From Video Games to the Metaverse
The global video game industry is exploding. It’s in a sustained growth period with no end in sight. Global gaming communities are filling the online lanes of engagement. It’s difficult for the video game industry to keep up with consumer demand, and that is the Condition Gold for aggressive ROI.
With the massive surge of people moving online to play games, the need for skilled teams that can handle rapid production lines has grown exponentially. Leaders in video game development need to identify trends, understand technologies, and navigate shifting global conditions. Addressing these challenges requires strategic thinking and long-term planning.
1. Analyze Rapid Growth of Video Games Globally
Major expansion is here. We expect leading console manufacturers to sell 18 million units by March 2023. This unprecedented growth has the potential to drive triple-A game development through the roof and bring new titles into the eager hand of gamers across the world.
Companies that global supply chain disruptions have affected because of Covid-19 will benefit immensely from this surge of consoles on store shelves.
“In 2020, the gaming industry generated $155 billion in revenue. By 2025, analysts predict the industry will generate more than $260 billion in revenue.1
Tech companies are looking to get involved in this revenue stream. Tech giants such as Google (GOOGL), Meta (META), formerly Facebook, and Apple (AAPL), have all made plans to enter the video game industry.” Investopdedia
2. Explore Video Game Technology in Global Commerce
Sometimes it feels like you start every day with a story about a new technological breakthrough. Leadership in video game development needs to keep up.
XR technology speeds up our ability to imagine and create realistic worlds. It offers us the opportunity to bring characters and objects of reality, through Augmented Reality (AR) or Virtual Reality (VR).
Slowly but surely, this technology is moving into our lives. Apple is making a big bet on A/R. Improvement in V/R headsets means players can stay inside their virtual worlds for longer. More immersive communication means better engagement in both social and commercial interactions. Brands are keeping a sharp eye on these developments.
Here at Streamline we’ve built immersive experiences for both Coke and Balenciaga, with more in the pipeline. We are launching a new initiative we call Beyond Games to focus on opportunities in the industrial metaverse.
But understanding these technologies is not all about brands and commerce. How our production pipeline functions are developing is key and cannot be overlooked.
New technologies allow people from different locations to collaborate on projects with one another - improving communication by allowing them to share updates, revisions, comments, techniques, and assets in a more efficient way. Game developers are continuously steering the gaming industry towards new heights, with top game development trends tailored for this purpose.
With XR’s combination of AR & VR, it also simplifies learning even when faced difficulty comprehending tasks at hand. And this use of XR is moving the video game industry into new fields, like engineering, medicine, aviation, training of skills in multiple areas, including the military.
To take advantage of these opportunities, leadership needs to challenge itself constantly,
3. Adjust to Shifting Global Game Dev Conditions
Modern video game development means producing across time zones and diverse cultural conditions. Leadership needs to fully comprehend every culture in their global enterprise. By fostering cultural fluency, we can create a harmonious workplace and cultivate beneficial business relationships. This unlocks the potential of our diverse perspectives to generate greater returns in both efficiency and profit. This is a foundational cornerstone of video game companies.
And here’s the simple recipe to get there: To effectively understand diverse cultures, it’s essential to start by understanding your own.
Think it through using your own culture, the one you understand on its deepest level. The nuances of your own culture will measure the understanding of a foreign culture.
Many factors come into play when assessing how you interact with those from different backgrounds. Look for the factors you don’t intuitively understand. And never lose sight of the fact you don’t know the full cultural story your foreign employees are operating from.
Guard against cultural assumptions.
Taking a step back and reflecting on each element of a culture will give you unique insight because particular elements trigger actions differently between groups will reveal the impact that culture has on your company’s productivity.
At Streamline, we began in Amsterdam, built a studio in Kuala Lumpur, expanded to Las Vegas, and recently opened a studio in Bogota, Columbia. We grew diversity deep into our company DNA. Such diversification has come with its challenges, but challenges we see them as our best opportunities for meaningful and sustained growth.
Working in a diverse environment requires being conscious of your own cultural norms, so you can understand and respect the differences between them. When collaborating with individuals from other cultures, it is important to be aware of their perspectives to prevent any potential miscommunications or misunderstandings that could arise. Having this mindset helps create positive relationships by allowing us to view problems through an open-minded lens rather than an inflexible point of view frozen in time.
Fluidity in business leads to innovation.
4. Track Monetary Trends in Global Games Business
Economic security continues to be of a concern in our rapidly changing world, and leadership needs thoughtful solutions to ensure equity of opportunity in emerging economies.
Too much focus on complex monetary policy may have made it hard for businesses to get financing. The sense is this has reduced productivity growth. Navigating this while doing business in the global video game marketplace takes a lot of attention.
Investors lend money to projects that can afford to return it with attainable interest. This means video game development needs to be accompanied by solid planning.
Leadership needs to understand the dynamics of investment. Investors are looking for projects that they can invest their money into that come with a promise of having the money returned with interest. Because video game development is a highly competitive field, adequate preparation and research must be undertaken by developers to guarantee that the end-product will appeal to gamers, no minor challenge.
Solid planning needs to be in place before any investor can consider potentially entrusting its resources for successful video game production. Although video game development might not guarantee a return on investment in its entirety, good planning can significantly increase the chances of success.
5. Manage Complex Video Game Pipelines
There’s no room in video game production budgets for poor planning. It is up to sharply focused leadership to provide detailed plans to build production pipelines that can deal with any unseen production contingency.
It’s imperative to identify and allocate tasks for key players at every milestone in a production sequence. This needs meticulous planning, outlining responsibilities, as well as setting up efficient pipelines that everyone can adjust to quickly.
An innovative ecosystem with reliable infrastructure, good communication, transparency in goals and methods to achieve them, healthy teamwork built on respect toward every member, makes a tremendous difference in productivity. Any resistance or agenda beyond the goal of producing a game that functions properly at every level needs to be identified and managed by leadership.
Friction between team member is a solid indicator the project might be in jeopardy of going off the rails. An astute leadership is ready to settle matters quickly and to everyone’s satisfaction.
Global pipelines have distinct advantages. Cross-cultural collaborations can yield exciting, unexpected creative dynamics. Time zones are an opportunity to extend the working day. Differences are often the crucible of innovation. But those advantages can quickly turn if basic matters run out of hand.
Mange the situations and regulate the temperatures of complex global pipelines.
6. Cultivate Diverse Staff Across Cultures and Genders
Embracing inclusivity and diversity brings endless rewards for organizations. At Streamline, diversity was the goal from the earliest iteration of our company culture. We recognized the dynamics of diversity and invested in them. It’s paid off as we’ve built the company, promoted talent, created a sense of global mission and focus.
By creating a workplace that respects different people, cultures and backgrounds, Streamline gained broader perspectives to help us understand our colleagues, our customers’ needs and desires, understand what is important in the different cultures we encounter as we produce our triple-A titles.
A healthy leadership promotes this kind of open-mindedness and understands diversity across cultures and genders fuels ground-breaking creative solutions--transforming workplaces into stimulating environments where employees thrive professionally as well as personally. Setting the company on a world-changing mission, a mission employees believe in.
The video game industry can be tough. Competition is fierce. A dynamic team, with the tensile steel of diversity and equality, is unassailable. When a team feels this type of strength, it commits to a project because of full confidence in the result. They know they are up to any challenge. They want the challenge. The bigger the challenge, the more passion the team brings to the task. Top-notch leadership recognizes and promotes this condition.
A well-balanced team is unbeatable.
Over 2-billion people identify as gamers around the world. Many of them likely work for your company. Leadership demand unlocking their capabilities while embracing the unknown to upskill your teams into a technology-first workforce. With a gaming framework, empowering your teams to work cohesively on collective goals, fulfill objectives, and make a healthy profit is entirely possible. Alexander Fernandez, CEO, Streamline Studios
7. Harness New Opportunities for Expansion
In the video game industry, the pandemic uncovered opportunity. While much of the economy faced shut-downs and staff reductions, the video game industry, built with an infrastructure of global pipelines and artistic independence, modulated to remote work without work stoppage.
This meant as economies came back online, the video game industry was ready for the surge in business. What we saw in an unmasking world returning to new paradigms were several golden opportunities.
Turning an opportunity into a golden one requires careful evaluation by leadership. The opportunities must be substantial and relevant - enabling a company to gain advantage. An opportunity must be sustainable enough to fend off competitors’ attacks, and accessible with attainable points of entry, not impossible to implement.
For Streamline, this meant recommitting to building studios in emerging economies.
South-South cooperation became a powerful instrument in the development of video game studios and technologies in emerging markets. We extended this model to create triangular cooperation, with video game developers in Columbia receiving expert technical help from Kuala Lumpur along a southern axis, and additional resources along a longitudinal northern axis from Las Vegas.
Each studio uses their own cultural imaginings to foster intercultural understanding through video game dialogues and production exchanges. For Streamline, triangular cooperation creates globally relevant gaming experiences rooted in deep cultural traditions, which leads directly to the next generation of games, a dynamic global community immersing themselves in cross-currents of cultures.
Video game development leadership faces a unique challenge of managing vast networks and pipelines, which requires expertise in fields such as project management, software engineering, legal analysis, and financial planning.
To keep up with the rapid growth of the industry, it is crucial that leaders remain open to new technologies, understand international monetary policy, and adjust to changing market conditions.
There are enormous opportunities for video game development leaders to foster a diverse environment. The industry can thrive and reach unprecedented heights by recognizing the dynamics of gaming culture and the importance of innovation on a global scale.
It is essential for leaders to recognize their responsibility to ensure growth. Our mission is to build strong partnerships in video game development. Let’s take on the world together.
Let’s meet at GDC
We’ll be at GDC Booth #S742, March 21st-23rd in San Francisco. So set up a time to discuss partnerships in video game development, or just drop by.