Top 10 gaming and apps trends of 2014: Oculus Rift, Minecraft and Twitch join big players

Dec 18, 2014 | Marketing through gaming

Key trends to check your 2015 plans against: • Facebook goes virtual reality: Social network’s acquisition of Oculus Rift hints that virtual reality could be the operating system of the future. • Gaming goes more mainstream: Minecraft bought by Microsoft, showing how far virtual worlds have come since Second Life, while Candy Crush and Flappy […]

Key trends to check your 2015 plans against:
• Facebook goes virtual reality: Social network’s acquisition of Oculus Rift hints that virtual reality could be the operating system of the future.
• Gaming goes more mainstream: Minecraft bought by Microsoft, showing how far virtual worlds have come since Second Life, while Candy Crush and Flappy Bird put mobile gaming in the spotlight.
• ‘Let’s Play’ videos are big business: Amazon bought game streaming network Twitch as YouTube walkthroughs get serious viewing figures
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2014 was another big year for gaming, with Facebook buying Oculus Rift, Microsoft buying Minecraft and Amazon buying twitch. Mobile and console games continued to converge, with Sony streaming PS4 games on its new smartphones. Old cliches were shattered with the news that women play more games than men, with apps fuelling the rise, giving marketers something to think about. As part of our review of the year, we look at the top 10 headlines that shaped apps and gaming.

Microsoft buys Minecraft for $2.5bn

Microsoft has bought Mojang, the maker of popular world creation game Minecraft, with the game’s creator leaving the company because he is a “nerd”, not a CEO.
Watch this video from Bloomberg analysing the deal here:

New Sony smartphone streams PS4 games
Sony has launched its latest range of smartphones and tablets, capable of streaming PlayStation 4 games, as mobile and console gaming slowly begin to merge.
Watch this promo video for the Z3 here:

Amazon buys game-watching site Twitch for $1bn

Amazon has bought gaming platform Twitch for $1bn, letting the online retail tap into the new phenomenon of social gaming.
Watch this video from Bloomberg exploring the ramifications of the deal below:

Candy crash? King shares dive as players move on

King Entertainment, the team behind Candy Crush Saga has seen $1.4bn (£833m) wiped from its value on weak earnings figures as gamers seem to be losing interest in the ‘freemium’ puzzle game.
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Hashtags to replace TV commercials? Xbox One adds Twitter trends to TV listings

In one fell swoop, Microsoft has become Twitter’s biggest interactive TV partner. Xbox One is adding a raft of new apps including Twitter and Vine, as Microsoft gets serious about social TV integration on its next generation console.
Watch this video explaining how the Twitter integration works below:

Facebook goes virtual reality: Zuckerberg buys Oculus Rift for $2bn

Facebook has bought virtual reality firm Oculus VR for $2bn, as the social network continues its investment in future technologies.
Watch this promo video from Oculus VR discussing the implications of virtual reality here:

Game over: Flappy Bird developer removes app over fame pressure

Mobile gaming phenomenon Flappy Bird has been pulled from the Apple and Google Play app stores, after its Vietnamese creator said its fame “ruins my simple life”- although he has not ruled out a sequel.
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Angry Birds lost quarter of players since 2012

Angry Birds has lost nearly a quarter of its players over the last 22 months, as the mobile gaming giant looks to expand into movies and licensing deals.
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How do mobile gamers use social media? Males go to YouTube, Females go to Facebook (infographic)

With the success of Angry Birds, Temple Run and Candy Crush Saga, mobile gaming has become big business for advertisers and game developers alike. But how can marketers tap into this highly tech savvy audience? New research looks into the digital habits of the gaming generation.
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Google Play now far ahead of Apple for app downloads (but still makes less money)

Google Play has significantly widened its lead over Apple’s App Store when it comes to app downloads, but Apple’s store still dominates app revenues, according to new research.
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