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January Issue Focus: GDC 2013
January 2013
Jeff Hemenway, vice president of games at Digital River talks about monetization of mobile games
David Harold, director at Imagination Technologies chats about capturing the GPU market in smart phones
Drew Davidson, acting director of Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment Technology Center discusses choosing a school to learn game development
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Digital River   Back to Top
Jeff Hemenway, vice president of games at Digital River, talks about the flat PC market, how consumer behavior is forcing changes in the payment industry, and 2013 trends in the monetization of mobile games.
Jeff Hemenway
Jeff Hemenway
Q: Jeff, recently the flat PC market has taken its toll on the games industry. Is it the mobile market that has affected PC sales … and what are expectations for next year regarding the PC games sector?

Jeff Hemenway: While global personal computer sales are down, PC gaming is thriving. There is also no doubt that mobile gaming is currently experiencing phenomenal growth. And as these markets continue to mature and the key players emerge, there will be a deeper convergence of gameplay across PC and mobile. To address this, the PC gaming industry will need to adjust to take advantage of the new engagement opportunities while finding more profitable and sustainable business models. I believe there will continue to be new platforms released with enhanced abilities that offer consumers unique experiences, and we will surely see a few new ones in 2013. However, I also believe consumers expect to access more games and content experiences from any screen, no matter the size or place.

Across the globe, the PC gaming industry is growing strong, especially in emerging markets such as Russia, Brazil, and Korea. And there is still a market opportunity for PC gaming in North America and other more mature markets — just ask Wargaming, Nexon, Riot, and Valve. We've hit a speed bump in social gaming and I think the gold rush to F2P will naturally subside a bit in 2013 giving way to more blended business models. While there is no question that F2P is here to stay, I don't think it is the only monetization model that works. Make a good game with an easy and reasonable monetization plan and consumers will buy.

Q: At the recent Social Mobile Payments Conference, Digital River had a lot to say about how consumer behavior is forcing changes in the payment industry. Can you talk a little about that … especially about how that affects mobile game developers?

Hemenway: Most of us know the days of writing checks are in a steep decline. Much like our waning patience in the retail checkout line or online checkout process, consumers desire new, more convenient ways to make purchases that fit their on-the-go lifestyles. Today's "always on" and "instant gratification" consumers want "it" now and convenience is more important than ever before.

Digital River read more>>
Imagination Technologies   Back to Top
David Harold, a director at Imagination Technologies, chats about capturing the GPU market in smart phones, its abundance of job openings, and its GDC 2013 seminars in March.
David Harold
David Harold
Q: David, I know that Imagination Technologies is primarily known for your PowerVP graphics processors. And that you claim to have 75% technology market share for GPUs in smart phones. What are the key factors and/or strategies implemented that lead you to capture 75% of the market share?

David Harold: PowerVR is the industry's leading solution for graphics acceleration in the mobile and embedded multimedia market. Tens of thousands of developers rely on PowerVR's 3D graphics capabilities for games, UIs, navigation apps, and much more.

PowerVR graphics technologies are complemented by the PowerVR Insider ecosystem, which has more than 35,000 members and provides comprehensive support for developers, publishers, and middleware developers.

At the heart of this technology is a unique tile-based, deferred rendering shader-based architecture which allows our GPUs to deliver higher performance and image quality at lower power consumption and silicon area than our competitors.

Driven by demands for next-generation UIs with stunning visual impact and high frame-rate, designers now appreciate that many key applications rely on using low-power, highly efficient graphics processors.

The PowerVR Graphics programmable GPU IP core families have been designed to offer the best performance in their respective class, with no compromise in feature set and with full backwards compatibility to earlier generations.

Imagination's latest PowerVR Series6 Rogue family of GPUs delivers the advanced capabilities of OpenGL ES 3.0 as well as OpenGL ES 2.0 and 1.1, and other key graphics APIs such as DirectX.

Q: The latest headlines have Imagination Technologies buying the operating assets of MIPS — 160 engineers and 82 patents — for $60 million. It is said the move is designed to make IT a stronger competitor for CPU/GPU vendor Arm. What can your partners expect from IT once the deal is done?

Harold: This is a natural progression in our business. We are focused on SoC IP covering all key areas, and have been steadily developing our CPU capabilities for a number of years using our Meta processor. We see an excellent fit for the MIPS architecture and customer base with our plans for developing our position in the mainstream CPU market in the years ahead.

Imagination Technologies
ETCglobal Carnegie Mellon   Back to Top
Drew Davidson, acting director of the Carnegie Mellon Entertainment Technology Center, discusses choosing a school to learn game development, inviting programmers to become full-time teachers, and 2013 industry trends.
Drew Davidson
Drew Davidson
Q: Drew, Carnegie Mellon University will have a booth at GDC 2013 which is sort of an odd place for CM to be, would you agree? What are your primary reasons for exhibiting at a professional game developers event like GDC?

Drew Davidson: GDC is a great event for students who are interested in the game industry as a career path. Having a booth helps us meet students as well as young industry developers who are interested in getting a professional master's degree. And while we're not a program that's focused specifically on game development (we focus more broadly on the design and development of interactive entertainment technologies across a variety of fields), our students find GDC to be a valuable professional experience as well. So, it's a great event for us to attend.

Q: Actually, I assume your participation at GDC has to do with your Entertainment Technology Center which, I know, offers a two-years Masters of Entertainment Technology. For folks who want to get into game development, how does your course differ from those given at other universities? Why should prospective game developers pick your school over some of the others?

Davidson: The ETC at CMU is the premiere professional graduate program for interactive entertainment as it is applied across a variety of fields. The ETC offers a unique two-year Masters in Entertainment Technology degree that is jointly conferred by the School of Computer Science and the College of Fine Arts. At the ETC, interdisciplinary project work focuses around a range of areas, spanning learning, health, training, social impact, civics, entertainment, and more; and project teams develop games, animation, location-based installations, augmented reality, mobile devices, robotics, interactive performances, transmedia storytelling, etc. We emphasize leadership, innovation, and communication by creating challenging experiences through which students learn how to collaborate, experiment, and iterate solutions. The Entertainment Technology Center is simply different; we strive to design experiences that educate, engage and inspire.

ETCglobal

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