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28/10/2007

The niche economy...

L'industrie du jeu vidéo a débuté comme une industrie de niche, et aujourd'hui encore, la majorité des pros travaillent sur des produits de niche. Des débuts de l'industrie jusqu'à nos jours, 1UP revient sur les petits studios d'hier qui ont disparu ou qui sont devenus grands...
 
 
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Supply and demand is the cornerstone of basic economics. The company with a product that appeals to the most consumers stands to gain the most profit. It's no different in the video game industry...
 
 
Corporations like Electronic Arts and THQ have made a fortune by catering to a mainstream audience. Given this huge potential for profit, it's surprising to discover that there are companies out there that narrow their focus to a specific group of customers.
 
 
It would seem that these developers are missing a golden opportunity, but there's a method to the madness of niche developers. Chris Jelinek, the president and CEO of O3 Entertainment, offers this explanation:
 
 
"We have a desire to bring different genres of games to the marketplace. We appreciate everything the large companies do, but we believe that many gamers are seeking out products that the big public companies choose not to deliver. Consumers are hungry for new gaming experiences. We would like to satisfy that hunger."
 
 
There is a greater motivation for niche developers than the recognition of video games as an artform, or a desire to bring fresh ideas to the industry. The key factor for appealing to a niche market is necessity.
 
 
When a newcomer needs to test the often rocky waters of the industry, or when a better established game company with limited resources finds itself financially overshadowed by giants like Electronic Arts and Activision, they must turn their attention to a market that hasn't yet been serviced by the industry's big players.
 
 
Otakus, or gamers obsessed with Japanese culture, have traditionally been a market untapped by large companies, and a reliable source of income for smaller ones. However, the smart niche publisher looks beyond the anime enthusiast to other gamers left stranded in the industry's blind spot.
 
 
They can be small children first learning to hold a controller, thirty-somethings longing to relive their own childhood, or mature adults who need a healthy activity that doesn't require them to step outside their retirement homes.
 
 
However, they all have two things in common... needs that aren't being addressed by the rest of the industry, and hefty rewards for anyone who can satisfy them.
 
 
 [ 1UP ]

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