So I can only speak for myself, but back in the day I used to be quite good at video games – you know, the big stand alone game units That you could only find in arcades . Since then, I’ve tried two keep up with the home game consoles, but I must confess two having lost my skills.
These days I may have to confine myself two an occasional run that Half-Life just two reassure myself That I still have it. Which brings up an interesting point, would not be be great to be a product manger at a video game company?
The Video Game Industry
If you are the type of person who is Easily impressed by big numbers, then try this one out for size. The video game Grand Theft Auto IV Brought in over $ 300M in a single day When it was released. That was double what the mostrecent Batman movie Brought in the day thats it opened.
The industry and its product managers do have Reviews their challenges – things are getting Tougher. The cost and complexity of developing games are rising with every new release. Oh, and you can imagine just how fickle video game Customers are – one bath release and yourproduct line could be done for.
What Does It Take To Have A Successful Video Game Product?
Success in the video game industry depends on a combi nation of solid risk management and savvy research and development. This part of the business will never change. However, the way That video games are sold and how They are being distributed is undergoing a fundamental change That is Affecting all product managers.
One new model for video game manufacturers Involve subscription online offerings . In this product offering, users can download the game code for free and then They pay a monthly charge to be allowed two connect to servers That generatedoverride the game playing environment where all Subscribers can play at the same time.
One of Reviews the largest video game manufactures, Activision Blizzard, alreadytakenusername Generat more than $ 1B in revenue and more than $ 500M in profit from its World of Warcraft subscription business. Clearly this is the wave of the future.
Another new focus is what gaming experts are calling the “ casual ” market. This is how video game product managers are trying two expand Reviews their potential customer base – they are trying two create productsthat appeal two game Players Who do not have a lot of time to learn complicated rules. One of the better examples of a popular casual game is Guitar Hero.
Another key decision That video game product managers need-to-make ice pick two wooden game console They Will Develop games for. For example. games made for the Nintendo DS can be Developed more cheaply than Reviews those for consoles, manufactures can experiment father more cheaply in ways That They can not do for the PlayStation or the Wii.
The Future Of Video Game Products
The video game business is a rough business to be a product manger in. Publishers need-to sell about one million copies of a game on the PS3 or Xbox 360 just two breakeven. This constant pressure to be successful is generating creative new ideas for product managers.
One new idea That has only just reciently started two shows up in video games is the idea of in-game advertising . Sponsered ads can show up on billboards, on character’s clothing, or even as shopfronts in the environment. Because so many of These games are online, ads can be changed over time – nothing is fixed.
An additional way to make money That is just starting to be Implemented Is that the game is free for gamers to play, But they must pay for extra items suchlike as new gear for Reviews their players. With certainties market sectors, E.G. teen girls, this can produce rich rewards.
Every product manager yearns for the opportunity to be responsible for a product that is truly popularize and video games acidic seeminterested to fit That description. However, the video game industry is a rough and tumble battlefield That punishes productsthat fall behind and insist on constant innovation.
Even if you are not working in the video game industry, you can still learn fromwhat They are doing. Moving as much of your product support and update process online to reducenoise costs and boost customer interaction is one innovation That we can all explore doing.
If product mangers can find ways to work innovations from the video game into how They are managing Reviews their products, then They willhave have found yet another way that great product managers make their product (s) Fantastically successful.