Recently we launched a promotion allowing key prospective accounts to win an Apple TV simply by integrating the GROW SDK. These studios were already going to implement, but to help push them along we added a little Christmas incentive to be added as part of their Christmas game update.
This promotion led to a few interesting discussions and some interesting thoughts about the Apple TV market from a game developer stand point.
Half of US House Holds Will Have an Apple TV
Apple has already sold 25M units from previous models, which is actually not such a big number, but the new model is much better with many more apps, better music integration and the best remote around. This holiday season, many people will most likely get one and Apple’s unmatched ability to push their slick products to consumers will win, especially now that they are serious about this market. I can easily see how half of Americans will have this toy (in the next few weeks). Families that have photos and music on iCloud and use Siri will be even more inclined to get one for the house.
Games Might Not Be the Main App
Most families have more than one TV in the house. The xBox is usually located in the playroom, far enough so that the explosions from the shooter games can’t reach the ears of the adults. However, the Apple TV might find its way to the main living room, where it’s less likely for a 2 hour gaming session to be held especially without interruption. This is one of the reasons why I don’t think we will see many xBox and PlayStation type of games on the Apple TV.
Free-2-Play: Less than iPhone
Apple’s power comes from mobile and iPads. These worlds are dominated by free games monetized through IAP and ads. The initial content offered for Apple TVs is mainly around games that are ported from Apple’s existing platforms. The big difference is that its hard to imagine someone playing this type of game for very long on an Apple TV. It seems most children enjoy playing games on touch screens now compared to the big screen when it comes to action and arcade games. It’s also hard to imagine someone playing Candy Crush on the main TV.
The Opportunity: TV Based IP & Multi-Participant Games
If my theory that the Apple TV will be in the main room of the house is correct, the games that will become more popular are games that allow several people to play together. Games like Just Dance and FIFA are good examples, but they require different types of controls. I believe the hits will come from content that combines IP from the TV space with multi-participant gameplay. This way the content will fit nicely in the main screen and will engage multiple family members or guests. It’s therefore more likely to stay on the screen and not replaced with a cooking show. Maybe its the cooking show to begin with…