The video games industry has undergone some significant changes. Not just in terms of improvements in graphics and gameplay, but also in delivery channels and monetisation. The rise of free to install games has arguably made games more disposable, placing additional pressure on providing that instant hook to keep users playing and hopefully watching adverts, making in-game purchases, subscribing, buying add-ons or availing themselves of whatever other monetization the game uses. With this in mind, it was interesting to read about the use of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as another potential monetization mechanism within games. Equally interesting was the comment from industry legend Sid Meier warning about focussing on monetization mechanisms ahead of good old-fashioned gameplay.
In my view, innovation in the games industry is to be welcomed, regardless of whether it is in gameplay, monetization or any other aspect of the game, as it opens up new options and new experiences to users. If you are a games innovator, remember the possibility of protecting the insight, investment and time that often underpins that innovation by protecting the intellectual property that can be used to protect those innovations. That includes not only the traditional copyright in software code, but also trade marks for game brands and franchises, design registrations for any visual aspects of the game such as characters, the GUI, in game visuals and the like, as well as the possibility of patenting any novel and technical games mechanisms such as novel random event generators or novel display arrangements that allow off screen features to be better identified.
In any event, the games industry is looking healthy and coming up with plenty of innovation, but listening to some wise words of experience might just help to keep the fun rolling.