Posts made in August, 2010

The Ethics of Video Game Marketing

The Ethics of Video Game Marketing

I’m still digesting Gabe Zichermann and Joselin Linder’s book Game-Based Marketing. Not even twenty pages into the book, the unmentionable side of game marketing hits the fan: According to Zichermann and Linder, frequent flyer programs “are particularly and extraordinarily powerful. They routinely cause players engaged in the game to make decisions that are counter-intuitive to their well-being—and checkbook—in order to “level up.” And the book...

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Gaming’s Past, Present and Future

Gaming’s Past, Present and Future

Video games in their current state are not at all representative of video games as they were in their nascent form. The evolution of video games to where they are now shows unprecedented growth in production values and the quantity of creative people required to build almost any game that has a chance to survive the retail marketplace. Only a percentage of games these days are made in a way similar to the days when the roles of producer, designer and programmer...

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The Positive Side of Grand Theft Auto

The Positive Side of Grand Theft Auto

With a Supreme Court case that threatens government regulation of violent video games coalescing shortly and the token accompanying witch hunt that’s sure to precede its arrival, we thought it might be a good time to reiterate: Even the most seemingly ‘irredeemable’ and ‘horrifying’ games (e.g. Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto series) may simply appear that way because they’re viewed out of context. Mind you, we’d be the...

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Protect Your Rights: Gaming in Serious Danger

Protect Your Rights: Gaming in Serious Danger

This winter, the game industry — developers, publishers, retailers, et al — will face the single biggest legal challenge that such entertainment, broadly, has ever been up against and in the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). The State of California had appealed the U.S. Ninth Circuit decision to strike down the so-called CA “video game violence” law in Schwarzenegger v EMA, which every court had done in every such “violent video game” case....

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What Rebound? Games Haven’t Declined

What Rebound? Games Haven’t Declined

We’re seeing a market expansion with video games becoming a mainstream medium, so it seems that we should also see an increase in revenue from the sector. Instead, going by the traditional measurement of packaged video game software sold at retail, we have been seeing negative movement. Following the historical console cycle patterns, revenue should be increasing as unit volume rises significantly, even as per-unit pricing decreases.   But this console...

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Games on Trial: New Witch Hunt Looming

Games on Trial: New Witch Hunt Looming

It’s been a relatively quiet past few years for developers who focus on action games. Sales have been solid, while media hysteria about the genre has been, for the most part, muted. The heyday of finger-pointing and uninformed accusations could be about to resurface, though. While Jack Thompson is less a force of nature than he used to be (both legally and with mainstream outlets, who seem less inclined to put him on air), the elements of a perfect storm are...

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Michael Pachter Exposed: Truth Comes Out

Michael Pachter Exposed: Truth Comes Out

Michael Pachter is many things to many people: Gaming analyst, constant source of industry chatter and omnipresent font of wisdom for today’s media. (Not to mention erstwhile Game Theory contributor, but that’s another story…) However, as you may be saddened to learn, not everything about this outspoken business critic is as it seems. In an exclusive Game Theory original, we go behind the scenes of video show Pach Attack to expose the truth behind...

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Game Theory with Scott Steinberg: Episode 1

Game Theory with Scott Steinberg: Episode 1

Battered and bruised by plummeting sales, the video game industry staggers on, steadily losing ground at retail. When will we finally wake up and realize that things have irrevocably changed? From social network games to motion controls, iPhone apps, 3D games and cloud computing, the modern gaming business isn’t just virtually unrecognizable. It’s also being completely reinvented courtesy of new concepts like digital distribution and free-to-play titles with...

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Social Network Games: When Will the Bubble Burst?

Social Network Games: When Will the Bubble Burst?

Considering all the hype surrounding social network games for Facebook and other platforms in the wake of Google’s investment in Zynga and Disney’s purchase of Playdom and Tapulous (not to mention the potential financial bubble forming), one can’t help but wonder: Are social games ultimately headed for disaster? Our suspicion: Unlikely, though valuations will taper off, and the social gaming industry is inevitably destined to go through...

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