Resident gaming guru and LA foursquare mayor Matt Story was in Las Vegas this week to moderate a discussion on gaming at the 2010 Interactive Sports Conference. He was joined by panelists from video game and virtual world publisher Six Degrees Games, game developer Quick Hit and social game developer Watercooler.
The conference, which gathered top executives from the fastest-growing interactive sports industries, covered a range of topics — from social media to mobile to venture capital opportunities inside of fantasy sports.
The panel took an in-depth look at the gaming space, dissecting issues such as multi-screen interaction, social gaming and licensing. Discussion centered around how sports gaming has evolved and is creating new ways to engage fans through social media, mobile platforms and downloadable content.
On the topic of multiscreen game playing, the panelists agreed that it shouldn’t be the main focus of the gaming industry just yet. It’s more important to focus on one screen and make sure it really works before expanding it to others. Once console gaming is down pat, then we can move on to what that means across screens.
Licensing was another hot topic. Attaining the rights to be affiliated with a major sports corporation or league can add weight to any game and lead to greater recognition on-shelf. It’s also easier to pull in business from large brand names when a significant label or logo is attached to the product.
Finally, the panel touched on the advantages and disadvantages of niche sporting games. The group agreed that despite having to overcome the stigma of a small audience, they tend to have a more concentrated core audience that is passionate about the content they’re consuming.
All in all it was great conversation about where gaming is headed and how sports games specifically can take off in the marketplace. The most surprising thing about the event, however, is the fact that Matt did not somehow find a way to weave Kobe Bryant or the Lakers into the conversation.