The first LOGIN conference was held in 2007 and called at the time, the Online Game Developers Conference or OGDC. A small conference dedicated to Online gaming, it has turned into a destination for quite a few and comments heard from attendees and sponsors alike were how many contacts and potential contracts were made, and how valuable they felt the lectures and panels were. One of the panels I always attend is the predictions. This was led by Peter Freese (LOGIN Conference) and included David Perry (Gaikai) and Ori Ingbar (Ogmento) http://www.2010.loginconference.com/speakers.php
Online Games 2015
Peter started off with the developments of preceding years and examples of how difficult the future was to predict. In 2004, the biggest online game happening was Lineage with 3 million players. In 2005, World of Warcraft happened and became the best selling PC game for two years. At this time in 2010, the last numbers heard were approximately 11.5 million players. 2005 also saw the launch of online consoles with the XBox 360 and Xbox Live service. 2010 saw the explosion of cellphones and their use in online gaming.
David Perry's prediction for 2015 is that Digital Distribution will be the only way we obtain games. This is already a trend at this time. He also predicted that friction - or the number of hoops a consumer has to jump through to buy a game, how easy it is to get into a game - will determine the success of the game and the distributor. He illustrated his point with his experience in buying, downloading and installing a game from Steam. From creating a Steam account to finally installing a game, took him 35 clicks / screens. He also predicts that the majority of funding in 2015 will go to Free to Play games, that gamers will demand and receive Quality, Convenience and Free games. Showing a trailer for Red Dead Redemption, he also predicted that Immersion and Photorealism will rule the day, and that Avatar (the movie) quality in real time will be possible as the technology will be available to support it.
According to Peter, the online games industry in Asia evolved because of piracy and in 2010, piracy will not be an issue because games will be free. The physical game box will go away by 2015 and players perception of games will have changed. Gamers will be playing a game but will no longer own a game.
Ori predicts one step further than photorealism, he foresees the use of Augmented Reality in games in 2015. A layer of graphics over the real world, and a great amount of user generated content which will be a big part of Augmented Reality.
Keynote: Today's Disruptive Technology and Effects for Online Gaming
The first keynote address was presented by Louis Castle of Instant Action. Disruptive Technologies are those innovative technologies which go on to unpredicted and unprecedented popularity and success - changing the industry landscape they affect and changing how consumers use a service or product. Examples include iTunes, Amazon, E*Trade and Youtube. In the gaming world, he posits that it is the advent of Cloud computing and the falling cost of storage. Online games can now store fantastic amounts of data. For example, databases of previous interactions like completed quests, character information of previous subscribers who haven't played in a while. Gamers no longer have to worry that their characters are wiped if they haven't logged in, in two weeks like the old Diablo/Battle.net days.
Louis actually touched on the same concepts that the Prediction panels presented as he spoke of the effect Cloud computing had on the online world. The game is served from the cloud and gamers can discover, share, play for free, and if they like it, then pay for the service. The days of demo disks packaged with game magazines are gone. Online games are accessed online.
Keynote: Total Engagement: Using Games to Change How People Work
This keynote was presented by Byron Reeves of Stanford University and Seriosity Inc. and J. Leighton Read of Seriosity Inc.. Starting off, they asked for a show of hands to see the number in the audience that had led raids or had been or are currently leaders in online games, whether they were class, raid or guild leaders. They spoke of a report published by IBM - Virtual Worlds: Real Leaders http://www.ibm.com/ibm/gio/media/pdf/ibm_gio_gaming_report.pdf - and their involvement in the research.
Online Entertainment, they said, was Immediate, Social, Connected, Optimized and Free. Work should parallel games, as for best performance, should to be In the flow, Collaborative, Aligned, Measured and Paid. The concepts parallel each other. The problems with a lot of work places is that the employee doesn't quite know what he is supposed to do, doesn't know what he is measured on, and doesn't see the rewards for his work. Unlike games where you know your objective, know the tools you have to meet that objective and know your rewards should you meet it.
For why and how MMOs facilitate leadership and why companies should view them as training grounds as well as emulate their design for their own organization, Byron and Leighton provided the following:
- Multiplayer games are BIG
- The current generation is a gamer generation
- Play is not the opposite of work
- A new science of fun is proving that the principals of play can and should be applied to work
- Engagement is in short supply - Autonomy / Mastery / Purpose is not supplied or is in short supply in the workplace
- The ingredients are known
- Gamers already do work - for this particular point; they showed that all the DOL (Department of Labor) job categories could be found in MMOs.
MMOs have hit the mainstream. Do you look forward to the day when a recruiter or interviewer asks you what games you play and if you've led raids?