Mobile games will grow to account for one third of the global games industry in 2015, making it the games industry’s fastest-growing segment, according to Newzoo Research. The global mobile market reached $24.5 billion in 2014, following impressive growth rates of 33% and 57% for smartphones and tablets, respectively.
NFC technology is increasingly contributing to that development, as it bridges the gap between video and mobile games and the physical world in an effortless and exciting way. NFC-enabled physical toys and collectables can act as active elements in console and mobile gaming and extent authentic brand loop for licensed gaming merchandise.
The SMARTRAC ‘Tap and Play – Global Experience Center’ emphasizes the strategic importance of the toy and gaming market. The center demonstrates latest technology and state-of-the-art use cases, the latter being focused on monetizing models for gaming. It features a demo installation of Twinsprite’s NFC toy management platform, plus several demos supplied by industry partners like Calm Island, Cartamundi, NXP, Parrot and others.
During the ‘Grand Opening’ on May 26 the center also illustrates its secondary purpose, as professionals from all over the toy and gaming industry meet with independent game developers from Scandinavia, and not only, to share creative ideas and know-how.
“NFC and mobile gaming are a perfect fit, so are Finland and independent game developers,” Mikko Nikkanen, senior director, Segment Industry, Electronics and Gaming at SMARTRAC, said. “These were good reasons for SMARTRAC to establish the world’s first knowledge center dedicated to the use of NFC technology for gaming purposes here in Tampere. We are very proud to be able to utilize our ‘Tap and Play – Global Experience Center’ as a focal point for professional ‘gaming aficionados’ from all over the world. Now it’s perfect time for creating the Internet-of-Toys.”
Prior to the official opening, representatives from SMARTRAC’s partners commented on the ‘Tap and Play – Global Experience Center’, the cooperation with SMARTRAC, and the importance of NFC for the future of gaming in general.
“For many years, Cartamundi has been using and developing innovative technologies that connect cards and games to digital devices,” Steven Schoenmaekers, VP Games Manufacturing Services at Cartamundi Group, said. “A younger, connected generation is looking for hybrid gaming experiences. That’s why NFC technology opens up a huge number of opportunities for card games, board games and trading card games. Together with SMARTRAC, we will continue to bring NFC technology to the games industry and create magical gaming experiences.”
“As the leading supplier of chips for NFC applications, we are proud to support our partners and customers in developing the ‘next big thing’ in gaming, as we see a great market opportunity in this prospering industry,” Jacques Kruse Brandao, director business development for gaming at NXP, added.