The Innovation Is, How Games Are Now The Fastest Growing Entertainment Category- Saad Choudri, Chief Strategy Officer, Miniclip
The mobile gaming industry is incredibly unusual. Which other industry where companies spend millions of dollars developing and marketing a product then says to you, the world, download our product and enjoy it for free?
We are so confident about our product that, once you’ve got it, you have the choice to play it for free for the rest of your life, and that’s great, or if you do choose to pay for any additional features and enhancements it’s because you really enjoy what we have created. Take a look at some other industries, for example, FMCG or automotive; they too invest hugely in product development but expect consumers to commit to purchase from the outset.
It is this unique approach that our industry takes within the business world that really is innovation. It’s the application of an idea, which helps push forward the cultural zeitgeist to the next thing. Innovation may not necessarily need to be disruptive, but it may become disruptive. It will be interesting to see which other sectors follow this “courage in your convictions” approach!
The future of the wider gaming industry, and this will differ from company to company, will most certainly involve virtual reality and the metaverse. Whether we see this in the next 10 years, I’m not sure, but more likely in the next 15-20 years. The funding and investment in this space shows that the brightest minds in the business are tackling this. The results of all this investment means even traditional business and commerce constraints, for the majority, will have disappeared, increasing productivity.
A combination of a global pandemic and the prospect of increased leisure time means that people are seeking increased social connections – just take a look at Netflix and their streaming numbers. More leisure time means people of all ages, all around the world, will want to engage with each other more and have the time to do so. Whether that is playing games together or enjoying a movie at a watch party, it’s that social connection and experience they want.
It’s all very exciting for Miniclip, as games are the best place to have that social connection. Think about it in its simplest form. People who want to play games and enjoy things together don’t have to have all the bells and whistles like the VR headset, in a VR world, and with the most fantastic graphics. I’m not saying we may not go there, but with a simple game of pool on your mobile, you can hang out with friends because, in real life, you would go to the bar and play pool together.
By providing that opportunity and experience in its simplest form, we are, as our purpose says, helping to ‘unleash the gamer in everyone.’
Saad Choudri joined Miniclip in August 2011 and quickly ascended into the executive team and has been a driving force within the development of Miniclip’s mobile business. Saad spearheads the company’s corporate strategy and currently leads the M&A, Investment, Publishing, and Strategic partnerships work. Consequently, Saad is often the first point of contact for Miniclip within the wider industry, he is recognized as one of the top 100 influential people within the UK Games Industry and holds a Guinness World Record for a high score in Guitar Hero!