Posts made in August, 2010

Top 10 Free-to-Play Growth Killers

Top 10 Free-to-Play Growth Killers

In the interest of playing devil’s advocate, I thought I’d throw out ten reasons why free-to-play (F2P) games and free online games in general might be slower to succeed in the Western world than they have been in Asia. While I don’t necessarily believe all of the following potential business problems, issues and concerns will inhibit free online games’ growth going forward in 2010 and 2011, each of them represents a significant challenge...

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The New Definition of Video Games

The New Definition of Video Games

When it comes to critics and the video game industry, sometimes, you have to draw a line in the virtual sand. Case in point: Our recent column for CNN entitled What Does ‘Video Game’ Mean, Anyway?, which explains why it’s ludicrous to look to falling retail sales as some sort of canary in a coal mine indicating that the hobby is on the decline, or worse… destined for extinction. The reason why? More people are playing video games than ever...

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Why it Pays to Self-Publish, Own Your IP

Why it Pays to Self-Publish, Own Your IP

I will make a case here for the importance and strategic value of companies publishing their own intellectual property (IP) on new digital platforms like the emerging app stores. In the old days, big companies could build strategic value by developing control over conventional channels of distribution. When you own the Golden Gate Bridge you can charge any kind of traffic to use your pipeline, but it loses value when everyone discovers how to fly. Browsing and...

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Why it Pays to Self-Publish, Own IP – Part 2

Why it Pays to Self-Publish, Own IP – Part 2

My prior post analyzed the vote of the public on the App Store and asked the question:  Is anybody dominating? Well, yes. I saved three companies to discuss here.  These are the only companies that have at least 10 of these 200 slots of shelf space and at least five owned self-published intellectual properties (IP) with at least one or more that the public had to buy. It is a special club with perhaps one big surprise. Electronic Arts – OK, here we go...

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The Industry’s Toughest Competition

The Industry’s Toughest Competition

It’s an easy mistake to make, assuming that the biggest outlay that we as game developers and publishers are asking fans to make is a financial one when they commit to buying one of our titles. However, the truth is that the real investment that we as game makers are asking our audience to make when taking the plunge is not monetary in nature, but actually one of their precious off-hours. In other words, as game creators, we’re increasingly competing more...

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5 Things You Don’t Know About Just Dance 2

5 Things You Don’t Know About Just Dance 2

How do you top a breakaway game like dancing simulator Just Dance, which has sold more than 3.7 million units on the Nintendo Wii to date? If you’re Ubisoft, you aim to do it again, by delivering a hard-hitting sequel packed with new features. Game Theory tangoed with producer Nino Sapina to chat about what fans of the first game can expect in this follow-up. So, without further ado, the following are five things you didn’t know about Just Dance...

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Designing Effective Online Ads

Designing Effective Online Ads

Any online game developer who doesn’t design with advertising in mind is giving up at least 50% of their game’s potential moneymaking value in the US. The rule of thumb for advertising is that for every user who will pay you a dollar for your game, there is another dollar from advertisers available to sponsor all of the people who want to play your game without making a commercial purchase. (Roughly 97-99% in the US on average…) To take advantage of...

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5 Ways Video Games Are Good for Kids

5 Ways Video Games Are Good for Kids

It’s not everyday that you see a mainstream media outlet extolling the virtues of how video games can be good for kids. But in a surprise turn, that’s just what TheStreet.com’s MainStreet does in recent article 5 Ways Video Games Benefit Kids, an effort which we were happy to support by providing insight into the many positive ways in which video games can impact children of all ages’ lives. No matter if you’re playing on the PC or...

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10 Ways to Make Money with Free Games

10 Ways to Make Money with Free Games

The following 10 revenue models allow some or all of their associated games or virtual worlds to be played for free. The ordering is quite unscientific and I’m sure I’ve missed something obvious or messed up a detail. I leave it to the Internet to correct me. 1. Virtual Item Sales A familiar revenue model first established in Korea and now the dominant model in Asia. Nexon – makers of KartRider, MapleStory, Audition and more – are ...

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The History of Software Piracy

The History of Software Piracy

Video games are a form of intellectual property, like books and film, that, once they have been created, can be copied. Copying a game is a lot cheaper than buying it because the copier is making no contribution to the cost of making the game in the first place. But, obviously, if everybody copied there would be no revenue for games makers and there would be no games. There are two main forms of game piracy and circumventing DRM (copy protection). There is...

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