Summermatter Anouk NB

Spécialiste des jeux vidéo

Avocate, diplômée de La Sorbonne, King's College of London et Cornell Law School, Anouk Summermatter est passionnée par l’industrie du divertissement ayant travaillé dans celle-ci pendant + de 10 ans; plus récemment comme membre du conseil d'administration de Take-Two International GmbH et Directrice Juridique, l'éditeur de la célèbre franchises Grand Theft Auto, et comme experte externe chez Pro Helvetia. En 2020 elle a créé gVentures fournissant des conseils stratégiques aux acteurs du secteur.

The Success of Gaming

Reportage en Anglais sur l'industrie du jeu, son évolution, ses opportunités et les lois qui la gouvernent.


Crédits: Pixabay:

Welcome to this newly created blog on gaming where we will be discussing the gaming market and the evolving regulatory landscape pertaining to video games and eSports. 

The Gaming Market

Gaming is effectively the fusion of data, technology and entertainment. It is forecast by Newzoo, an established game analytics consulting firm, to generate revenues of CHF 171 billion globally in 2021. It has long overtaken the music and film industries combined.

It is the fastest growing segment of the entertainment industry and its core mechanics have been embraced by other industries including the medical (MedTech), the travel (InstantTravel), the education (EdTech); the Art (ArtTech) industries and more.

Streaming game services [1], cross-platform games, broadband and credit card penetration have not only democratized the industry but propelled it into the mainstream. 5G will further contribute to this growth.

Newzoo estimates that there are 2.7 billion video game players across the world; 35 being the average age; and women accounting for 46%.

In Switzerland, 33.9% of the Swiss are gamers according to an eSports 2019 study produced and published by the Marketing Management Institute of the ZHAW School of Management and Law.  The Swiss gaming market can be summarized as follows:

While COVID-19 has accelerated an existing trend in terms of the popularity of gaming activities, it has also hindered and delayed the production chain of all the gaming hardware (ex. microchips/consoles…) as well as the development of games but it hasn’t stopped innovation.

Blockchain-built games are rapidly gaining popularity as they are enabling players to capture the value of in-game purchases more effectively. Since 2017 many of these games use non-fungible tokens or NFTs, a special class of digital assets that, unlike cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ether, cannot be directly exchanged with one another for equal value or broken down into smaller values. In short, these games allow a player’s in-game purchases to be tokenized making each digital asset and hence purchase a unique asset that may confer benefits or be exchanged for money or other digital assets.

From Games-as-a-Product  ("GaaP") to Games-as-a-Service ("GaaS")

Gaming today is no longer a solitary activity like it was in the 90's but a social activity with friends and a community of people sharing the same passion and goals within the gaming universe.

Today many game platforms are venues for gaming as well as for concerts, movie premieres, and social gatherings.

When Epic Games decided to host a Fortnite in-game concert with Travis Scott in the middle of the 1st wave of this pandemic 12.3 million people watched.

Roblox, a global platform that brings people together through play which went public on March 10th 2021, is allowing us to be together while apart by hosting birthday parties and celebrating other milestones.

That is how many of us have adapted to this pandemic. Coming together while physically apart.

Brands and advertisers are investing millions to reach new audiences through this medium. Burberry is the first luxury retailer to livestream its fashion show on streaming service Twitch, a platform owned by Amazon and customarily dedicated solely for video games content. Louis Vuitton has created a new collection of video game clothes in collaboration with Riot Games’ League of Legends. From casual brands to luxury brands, everyone is investing in the gaming world to reach, attract and engage new customers. 

We are at important inflection point driven by the accelerate growth of the industry and its transformation from a product industry into a service industry with a large portfolio of entertainment activities that includes eSports, which more and more countries around the world are starting to recognize as a sport.

The Federal government in Switzerland does not however recognize eSports as a sport for the moment, as communicated in its decision in March 2019

But this field is in constant evolution. The International Olympic Committee which until recently refused to consider virtual sports as a sport, released earlier this year its 2020 +5 years agenda issuing 15 recommendations, 1 of which is to encourage the development of virtual sports, evidencing a positive change of direction. 

eSports will officially become a medal event at the 2022 Asian Games, set to take place in Hangzhou, China.

Even the World Economic Forum has invited Vindex Holdings, a preeminent esports infrastructure platform, to join its Global Innovator’s Community.

Composed by local and international leagues, eSports is filling arenas the likes of Madison Square Garden in New York and offers youngsters new career prospects. Swiss players from the likes of Kinstaar (Huynh Duong Huynh) from Fribourg, currently a Solary team member, works full time as an eSports professional.

Gaming Laws

The laws governing gaming are vast, they are constantly evolving and vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

These include but are not limited to intellectual property, advertising, licensing, marketing, privacy, security, anti-competition, financial laws & anti-money laundering (ex. games with paid virtual currency that can be converted into real world currencies), gambling (ex. some jurisdictions consider the use of certain monetization mechanism such as loot boxes or fee entry prized eSports tournaments a gambling activity); etc.

As the industry grows up so will the laws that regulate it, the technology that anchors it, and the investment opportunities that its fosters.

[1] Luna from Amazon, Stadia from Google, Facebook Gaming Services, xCloud from Microsoft, PSNow from Sony, GeForce from Nvidia and others

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