The video game industry has thrived in the conditions created by the coronavirus pandemic as millions of people are staying at home and are on the hunt for new forms of entertainment.
Game developers have seen an impressive surge in both revenue and attentiveness in recent months, but the question is whether the industry will be able to sustain its newfound gains or not.
Diogo Vasconcelos, an industry expert, believes that some inherent challenges brought about by the outbreak could diminish the prospects for game production as some elements of it cannot be completed without in-person interaction.
“The future is positive, commercially speaking. But the production side faces many challenges,” Diogo, the co-founder of Nerd Monkeys, told Via News in an interview.
Nerd Monkeys, a Lisbon-based studio, offers a variety of services such as video game design, production scheduling, and consulting.
It has also partnered with multiple universities and companies across Portugal to help promote understanding of video game culture and boost the industry through educational initiatives.
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Diogo says market reports show that consumption of video games typically grows during times of crisis.
“But the industry usually revolves around B2B meetings where you go and pitch what you’re working on to publishers and investors and see if they connect with it or not,” the young entrepreneur noted.
The co-founder of Nerd Monkeys explained that they were fortunate enough to close a deal in February to get funded.
“But I had planned many other meetings and trips to other events in the UK, Germany, and France and get those moments where you have at least 20 minutes of the undivided attention of someone that might be able to help you succeed in your business,” he said, adding that lockdowns and travel restrictions upset his plans.
Diogo maintains that new common forms of communication such as online and virtual meetings have opened up new horizons for people all around the world, especially talented professionals and founders who cannot afford to invest in traveling.
“I see that as a very good thing because I tend to try and look at things in a positive light. But it also means the loss of some actual human moments on the networking side,” he commented.
Elaborating further, Nerd Monkeys’ co-founder said talking over a coffee or dinner allows one to “connect with others on a personal level”, which is much harder to do over a Skype or Zoom call.
“That’s an area where many people are struggling a little bit. But we will adapt. That’s part of the job, and those who are adapting well will learn something new and grow.”
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In Diogo’s view, the gaming industry can gain a lot from this chapter in history where many people are confined in their houses.
“But it’s definitely not healthy. That’s my main concern for any industry, not only the game industry. It’s not sustainable to stay and work from home for too long of a period,” he said, expressing hope that the situation will improve in the near future.