Gamescom 2014: Indie games under the spotlight

Ana Sunjic

Marketing Specialist - Mobile Payments

This year’s Gamescom saw much interest and a spotlight on indie games, both in business and consumer-oriented areas. Keeping an eye on indies and the vast potential that exists within that community is definitely the right thing to do in the upcoming period. We were instantly reminded of our partners Wargaming; they started out as a developer studio in 1998 and grew into a global gaming giant with three thousands employees. No wonder major platforms seem to be willing to adopt the visuals and story elements from indie game developers, bringing a more mainstream look to their initial vision.

Gamescom 2014 had attracted over 300,000 visitors from 88 countries, including over 30,000 B2B visitors and more than 700 exhibitors. Despite the fact that the number of exhibitors didn’t seem to grow, the number of represented countries did, which is further proof of the growing international reputation of this Germany-based expo and the role it plays in the global gaming business. Business-wise, there’s a growing interest in specialised marketing, user acquisition and monetisation solutions which have to be seamlessly implemented and have an unambiguous value proposition for developers and publishers.

Indie or mainstream, console or PC-oriented, game developers were looking for ways to attract and retain gamers, as they always have. Large, medium or small, they all want visibility for their titles and a large, growing user base willing to purchase their titles. Given the rapid growth and evolution of free-to-play online games, a number of social features emerged to power user engagement and loyalty.

Multi-device gaming is another growing segment, with major names joining and driving the trend with value-added services. Following that trend, Sony has announced the November launch of PlayStation TV, a micro console that can stream PS4 content to TVs and directly access the PlayStation Now service.