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Rise of the Gamers

May 29th, 2013 by dimpledbrain

I’ve spent some spare amount of time on mobile games for the past few months. Two games ( and the only two that I actively play) that I think have managed to somehow redefine mobile gaming are (a) Clash of Clans and (b) Injustice Gods Among Us ( or renamed as Injustice The Mighty Among Us in the Middle East region).

Why?

(1) Revisiting Deep Fundamentals (click here for the post.) Before I go on, I must say that the authors Alvin Toffler and his wife Heidi Toffler are true futurists and great thinkers. I couldn’t help but to deeply envy them since the idea is first conceived in 1980. Deep fundamentals argue that the future will be governed more and more by 3 things; i.e. of (a) time (b) space and (c) knowledge. If I’m not mistaken, Alvin Toffler has passed away recently.

Previously mobile games couldn’t charge customers properly. Let’s get a bit technical here. Game publishers previously (and logically) thought that customers will pay for ‘unique’ items, i.e. anything that one couldn’t get from playing the game itself. Sounds extremely logical ( like how many corporations think but unfortunately not grounded in reality). It turns out that Clash of Clans allows gamers to get everything available on the game by playing the game itself. No hanky panky but the catch is this – if you want to complete the stages faster, you have to pay for it. Ka-ching!!! Deep fundamental 1 – of time.

The other bits that Clash of Clans did very well: (1) creating clans (literally) to house groups of members, i.e. to increase stickiness. Bam! Deep fundamental # 2 – shrinking spaces. (2) allowing chat function and troop donations. Bam again! Deep fundamental #3 – (ease of) transfer of knowledge. The thinking is definitely there.

What makes the other game (Injustice) interesting is this – they are charging customers for 2 variables (energy and power credit) vs. 1 variable for Clash of Clans (gems). Will need more time to see how this actually pans out. Of course, the games themselves are very interesting and fresh to begin with.

(2) 2 Malaysian tycoons, 2 football clubs and 1 dead end.

  • Computer and video games industry worldwide is about USD25 billions vs Malaysia GDP (2010) of USD 193 billions. As it is now, I’m doing an unjust apple vs orange comparison, like comparing urban and rural folk mentality in Malaysia and their voting choices. However, the potential is huge. But sadly, I don’t think we have the capabilities to jump on the bandwagon. Oh, btw, the top spender in Clash of Clans is a Malaysian (residing in the US).
  • So why didn’t the 2 gaming tycoons (of Tan and Lim) in Malaysia spend a bit of their resources on this puzzled me to the max. And instead they rather spend on blood sucking football clubs. Ego perhaps? Buying football clubs via established corporations is a precursor to (their) doomsday. So also companies that buy or build their own building(s) and/or frequent CEO appearances on the front pages of leading business magazines. Mark my words. History has an uncanny way of repeating itself.

I always like the scuttlebutt approach to investing. Philip Fisher is extraordinary. If you equate good investing with Benjamin Graham, then you are gravely mistaken. To begin with, that guy’s life is a mess. However, that’s another story for another day. Scuttlebutt basically means to browse around yourself to see what’s working and what doesn’t. (Then proceed to pay Consultants a hefty sum of money. If the report matches your conclusion, great. Otherwise, ignore the report only.)

So the next time if you ever watch a Japanese anime, instead of seeing only a soft fluffy toy rushing towards a beautiful girl crying out, “Nee-sama, my happy valleys!”, one can understand the culture of Japan from it. Questions like (1) why kamikaze warriors wear helmets (2) why the main battles are usually single hero and why do they have to greet each other before fighting? (As far as I am concerned, if I see a lurking enemy, I’ll just shoot my f****** bazooka. No time for greetings. But this is a very important aspect of Japan/ samurai history.)

That my friend is one form of scuttlebutt.

 

 

 

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