Posts made in August, 2010

What’s Next for Social Games

What’s Next for Social Games

An estimated $7 billion in virtual goods was sold in China last year, and another $1 billion in the Western world. What gets me intrigued about this is the fact that the West is just getting started and we have 8.5X more gross domestic product (GDP) than China. That should generate enough buying power to suggest that when the West is comparable to the 2009 China market, it might be a $60 billion market in the West alone. At that point on a global basis, including...

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Today’s Industry: Has Anything Changed?

Today’s Industry: Has Anything Changed?

Despite the video game industry’s crushing sales losses last year, it’s a fundamental truth that analysts, experts and insiders alike are quickly having to wake up and accept: Nothing has changed in 2010. Color us shamed and embarrassed; despite the continued success of social, mobile and online games, and rise of alternative platforms such as Facebook and the iPhone/iPad, monolithic publishers like Electronic Arts, UbiSoft and Activision still...

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Game Theory with Scott Steinberg: Episode 2

Game Theory with Scott Steinberg: Episode 2

Despite assurances to the contrary, as revenues continue to flatline and studios disintegrate, game industry leaders are grudgingly being forced to accept reality: Nothing has changed. Besieged on all fronts by shifting player habits, growing economic issues and the rise of digital downloads, games for social networks and free-to-play online outings, insiders are becoming increasingly desperate to reinvent themselves. Forget what you see in the headlines. In the...

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Games: The Future of Social Media

Games: The Future of Social Media

Hyperbolic headlines? Us? Never. Alas, we can’t take credit for gems like How Gaming Became the Future of Social Media (that honor belongs to our friends at Fortune magazine), but appreciate the sly commentary on the rise of social network games like FarmVille, FrontierVille and Mafia Wars nonetheless. And why not: We’re all too happy to chime in inside it with comments on how Facebook games and companies like Zynga, Playfish and Playdom are making a...

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Casual Gaming’s Future Lies in the Cloud

Casual Gaming’s Future Lies in the Cloud

After months of rumors and speculation, OnLive’s gaming service launched recently, and the era of cloud-based games has begun. There has been much debate around how cloud gaming can transform the traditional video game business, turning game players from buyers into renters and making video game consoles like the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 obsolete. Much less has been discussed on the impact on casual games. Cloud gaming has the potential to revolutionize the...

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Dear Gamers: Stop Acting Like Stuck-Up Jerks

Dear Gamers: Stop Acting Like Stuck-Up Jerks

I like beer. My favorite kinds are big, wonderful, hoppy microbrews that you chew as much as drink. But sitting back last weekend, watching motocross bikes leap off piles of dirt and knocking back a few Coors, I realize, “I just like beer in general.” In other words, I’m losing my ability to be a beer snob. I like wine too. But wine intimidates me so much that I rarely drink it unless I am home and it comes out of a box. Wine people have wine magazines and...

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Video Games Don’t Kill Kids

Video Games Don’t Kill Kids

Violent video games always seem to be on trial in America – a strange irony in a country that made Saw IV number one at the box office, with nary a peep about violent movies, songs, TV shows, books, comic books and other forms of pop culture generally uttered in this kinder, gentler, more enlightened age. (Must be all the torture porn on display at your local theater: It tends to leave one feeling slightly desensitized.) But we digress: In all serious, there...

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Hollywood Pounces on Social Games

Hollywood Pounces on Social Games

Disney’s purchase of leading social network games maker Playdom (second only to Zynga in the valuation and Facebook game market) may seem like a strange buy at first blush. But the acquisition makes perfect sense from a business perspective, as the film and TV giant looks to leverage its award-winning stable of cartoon and live action properties as well as beloved childhood characters into the social gaming realm. Even as the company moves to sell off...

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Is PC Gaming Dead?

Is PC Gaming Dead?

Every few years, the same ugly question rears its head: “Is PC gaming dead?” Truthfully, one need only point to titles like FarmVille, FrontierVille, Pet Society, Restaurant City, Happy Aquarium and other social network games and their meteoric growth to instantly refute these claims. But as a simultaneously massive upsurge in digital distribution (and associated boom in digital sales), free to play online games, MMO games, casual games, indie games,...

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Virtual Storytelling Comes of Age

Virtual Storytelling Comes of Age

As ardent fans of fantasy, horror and sci-fi literature in all its forms (comic books, novels, short stories, etc.), it’s no surprise that we also enjoy video games with expansive scripts, well-developed characters and sophisticated dialogue. Unfortunately, while these types of titles enjoyed a renaissance during the ’80s and early ’90s courtesy of interactive fiction, point-and-click adventures and role-playing game (RPG) classics, writing...

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