Console gaming future and a Clash of Clans commercial worth $ 9 million

Even I, living in the Netherlands, and not being a sports fan, read about the new commercial shown during the break of the Super Bowl. During a full minute Liam Neeson featured in the commercial for Supercell’s Clash of Clans. The ad shows him threatening to go after another player that is trying to take his gold. A 30-second spot during the NFL’s championship game costs about $4.5 million. Developer Supercell decided to pay for a full minute of airtime during the big game, setting the company back about $ 9 million . They could do this, because gaming on smartphones and tablets generated around $25 billion in revenues last year and Clash of Clans was the top-grossing app on both iOS and Android in 2014.

Coincidence has it that I read that BAFTA announced its 2015 Game Awards, and on its list for mobile/handheld gaming you don’t see any other games then smartphone and tablet games. Not a single 3DS title, and only one smartphone title that’s also available on the Vita.

Several thoughts came to mind when reading both articles. My first thought isn’t really relevant in this matter, but it occurred to me that here in the Netherlands we hardly see any gaming commercials. Some for Nintendo, but I have yet to see a commercial for HayDay or Clash of Clans here. On holiday I have seen them on the American television and in the UK. Wonder why that is?

Secondly, and more important for this article: wow, that’s some serious money to pay for a commercial. But then I guess they reach a lot of public airing it during the commercial break of the Super Bowl. And they must expect to generate enough revenue to make it worthwhile. And third: how can it be that BAFTA completely overlooks great titles like Final Fantasy and Super Smash Bros? I’m not saying the games that they listed aren’t good (I’ve heard a lot of good things about 80 Days, for instance) but it seems so strange to not mention any other handheld games on dedicated consoles.

Remember when I wrote about Nintendo’s Future, some time ago (article here). It seems that since then the sales of the WiiU have picked up, and with the hype for the New3DS and the Amiibo collections, Nintendo seems to be doing a good job. There are lots of great games waiting to be played, but still, it does make me wonder. Is this is a sign that console gaming will have to take a step closer to app gaming if they want to survive? We discussed this in the article about what Nintendo app you’d like to see on your mobile. (article here). I do think there is room to do that, not porting Nintendo games to mobile, but make connections between, for instance, MiiVerse and an app on your mobile, or taking your favorite Pokémon with you in an iPhone app while you’re out and about.

What do you think about these developments? Is it inevitable that over the course of the next few years console gaming will become less popular, and give way to mobile gaming? Or will there always be a smaller but still profitable market for the next 3DS or WiiU?

For those of you who got curious to see the ad, here it is:

and to make it complete: this is the list of the BAFTA nominees:

-80 Days
-Hitman Go
-Monument Valley
-The Walking Dead: Season 2

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