E3 highlights Polish Gaming & Electronic Dice
June 2012 - While there are more talks about the Eastern Europe population spending time and money on games, companies from Poland are taking a proactive approach to the global market opportunities available from the open boarders format of gaming.
In 2012 Polish consumer spending on games is estimated to be between $350M-$450M USD, as recently reported by Newzoo, an international market research firm focused purely on the gaming industry. Their research showed that Poland zoomed in on the 18.1 million active internet users involved over 200 topics across all game business models and platforms. The majority of these consumers, 65% or 11.8 million users, regularly play games. About 44% of all the gamers are women. These figures place the share of gamers that spend money on games, rather than just free to play titles, at 53%; this is just slightly lower than levels in Europe and the US.
Peter Warman, CEO and co-founder of Newzoo, opined that Poland already is a great market for the on-line marketplace of high-end browser games and downloadable games. He further commented that most of the global game companies do not initially localize their products for the Poland market and thus miss out on serious growth opportunities that forecasts indicate will triple in a very short time period.
The Polish market growth for social networks and mobile device gaming is comparable to the other markets, with respectively 7.0 and 7.8 million gamers. The community sees smartphones as a platform as sign of status over consoles. In the local marketplace, US based Facebook and local social network Nasza Klasza go head to head in popularity and reach amongst paying social gamers. Each network is actively used by approximately 75% of all 1.8 million paying social gamers, who will spend an estimated $32M USD this year.
Although few polish companies had their presence at the 2012 E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) event in Los Angeles, only one had a booth like the other big game development companies. It would be nice to see a Polish Pavilion next year – said Magdalena Dybek, Trade Promotion Expert at Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Washington DC, like France and Germany had.
One of the exhibotors from Poland was Patryk Strzelewicz, the young founder of Dice. In discussions in his booth he said that - “Board games have been around for over 4000 years and at the center of such games there has always been one small but vital element: the dice – which has remained fundamentally unchanged in all that time. Until now, when his Polish company announced the first electronic dice in the world, the DICE+.”
Patryk opined that he “knows everything about dice”. He made my first set of dice when he was 17 and sold it on Ebay. He was surprised that the product sold for triple the price that was asked for. Last year he came with the idea to turn the classical passive dice to an active electronic one. He knew that there there was a very short window of opportunity with this realization, and had to enter the market as quickly as possible. Recently the field has been changing rapidly and there is more and more innovations coming. He then added with a smile – “the big companies are now approaching our booth and saying - why didn't we come up with this wonderful idea.”
DICE+ look and have a form factor very much like an ordinary dice, but in fact are an electronic product. The dice sends its score to games wirelessly via Bluetooth 2.1 and soon will support the low-energy modes available in Bluetooth 4.0. Unlike software rollers that have been incorporated in to games that ‘rolled’ the dice with the tap on the screen, DICE+ is an actual separate from the platform dice that lets the users perform the same gaming rituals enjoyed with traditional dice (rubbing the dice, blowing on it, shaking it long and hard, etc.) while technology does the rest. This gives portable board games played on tablets, laptops, smartphones and TV sets a modern update. Being able to actually roll the dice puts the fate of the game back in the players’ hands and brings digital interaction into the human world.
Players communicate with the game by using a series of moves: turning the dice upside down turns it on, and rolling the dice causes an automatic send of the result of the throw, to the game. Additionally a special algorithm checks for a minimum rotation degree and maximum landing angle analyzes every roll and detects any attempts to influence the roll trajectory. DICE+ then communicates with the user through colors:
green is used to signal a correct roll;
- red means that the dice must be re-thrown;
- yellow signals that the dice is charging;
- blue shows that DICE+ is searching for Bluetooth devices.
At the E3 show the booth allowed visitors the opportunity to play 6 games using DICE+: Ludo, Backgammon, This Way Up, Ruble Stumble, ImagineD+ and Rainbow Jack.
Once you start using DICE+ you will never want to go back to less interactive, software predictive algorithm based pseudo-random ways of rolling…NOW YOUR TURN.