September 2016.- It looks easy when you see Usain Bolt win the 100 metres final. And just like Usain Bolt in the closing metres, when he relaxed ahead of Justin Gatlin and Andre De Grasse in the Rio 2016 Olympics, seeing the race in his pocket, so felt the creators of Pokemon Go this summer when they broke all records in the world of videogames.
In a mere month, from the start of July up to the first days of August, Pokemon Go reached 100 million downloads and even though comparisons are hateful, let’s put this into context. Don’t forget that the telephone took 75 years to get to 100 million users; the cell-phone took 16 years; and, in the world of apps, WhatsApp took 3 years, with 12 months in the case of Candy Crush in 2012, coincidentally the year of the London Olympic Games.
This amazing growth has also meant a record income, hitting 200 million dollars in the first 30 days, far higher than income obtained from the previous greatest hits of the sector such as Clash Royale with 80 million, and Candy Crush with 25 million. Income that, like all games running under a Freemium model, comes from those users willing to pay for certain “powers”, “objects”, “extra lives”, etc. in order to progress faster through the game. And it is forecasted that in the US market Pokemon Go’s daily income will reach 1.6 million dollars per day (calculating only iOS users), far higher than the $350,000 per day generated by Clash Royal.
This income is split between the firm Niantic which developed the game, The Pokeman Company which is the game publisher, and also Apple and Google which take 30% of the income via the apps downloaded from their platforms. And to get the complete picture of those making a profit, one also needs to know that Niantic, a Google spin-off, has as its main shareholders Google, Nintendo and The Pokemon Company (which is the company holding the rights to Pokemon). And, on top of that, Nintendo is one of the three owners of The Pokemon Company.
The gaming sector
On a macroeconomic level, gaming isone of the most dynamic and high growth sectors and currently generates around 80,000 million euros a year worldwide, more than movies and music together. And with rates of constant growth running at 8%, phones games are growing the most and showing a forecasted increase of 37% in 2016.
In terms of consumption by countries, China leads, followed by the United States, Japan and South Korea, with Spain in eighth place worldwide (source: NewZoo, a consultancy firm specializing in the video game market. June 2016). And if we look at the data on spending per person per year, taking into account the population with internet access, the ranking confirms the leadership of the most technologically advanced Asian countries: with Japan ($100) and South Korea ($91) in the first two positions, followed by the US ($80).
Barcelona hosts two international videogame conferences
In the case of Spain, consumption of video games represented 1,812 million dollars, $48 per online user. With Catalonia making its mark in terms of proliferation and diversity of businesses, concentrating more than 25% of firms—nearly 100 companies—invoicing 100 million euros and employing 1,000 skilled workers.
As regards this last point, Catalan universities play an important role here, offering training programmes and six graduate programmes aimed directly at current and future gaming professionals. And this is one of the reasons behind foreign multinationals deciding to set up in the Catalan capital, such as Activision/King, Zeptolab, Ubisoft, among others.
Furthermore, the fact that Barcelona hosts two international videogame conferences: Gamelab at the end of June and Barcelona Games World at the start of October, means that Catalonia is firmly on the worldwide videogame map.