Posts made in March, 2011

The Old Republic vs WOW: Epic Fail?

The Old Republic vs WOW: Epic Fail?

It looks like Blizzard is taking on a role that’s always pleasant to see in the games industry: The role of a courteous competitor. Blizzard’s president, Frank Pearce, told MCV that Blizzard wants to see EA’s upcoming Star Wars: The Old Republic MMORPG succeed because the MMORPG market in general can use a “shot in the arm.” “This is a game that has an opportunity to grow the MMO market if done right and therefore is very...

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Game Marketing: Do Ad Agencies Matter?

Game Marketing: Do Ad Agencies Matter?

Video game advertisements are the closest we’re brought to a new game before the act of actually playing it. That’s why it’s easy to forget that the ads we see on television, in magazines, and on movie theater screens are not put together by the ladies and gentlemen who made the game. Rather, game ads are usually put together by outside folks who know the advertising business: Ad agencies. Valve recently revealed that it’s set to change this...

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Are Small Budget Games a Dying Breed?

Are Small Budget Games a Dying Breed?

According to Logan Booker, the media liaison for the Aussie game studio Firemint, the iPhone game Real Racing 2 cost over $2 million USD to develop over a period of 18 months. To which the immediate response can only be, “Well, for a while there, the iPhone was looking like a great place for indie studios to get their start with low-budget games.” Are things as bad as all that, though? Is the low budget game about to lay down and die? Firemint is the...

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Gaming’s Dilemma: Expand or Die

Gaming’s Dilemma: Expand or Die

The cost of making video games is continuously rising (or, you might say the cost of making video games is increasingly increasing). That’s to be expected. After all, game hardware is becoming more complicated, so it stands to reason that taking advantage of that hardware costs a fair bit of cash. But there comes a small problem with rising development costs: The people who buy high-budget blockbuster titles, the “core gamers,” are a stagnating...

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Does NPD Group Know What It’s Doing?

Does NPD Group Know What It’s Doing?

Whenever the NPD Group reads off video game sales numbers, the gaming community makes sport of the event by declaring victory for favored systems and defeat for retail’s stragglers. But even the most hardcore fan has to admit that reading NPD’s numbers is like reading a report about modern technology that was written by a dinosaur. NPD’s game-related sales data feels less and less relevant as the group continues to report exclusively on game sales...

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Video Game Storytelling: History and Origins

Video Game Storytelling: History and Origins

Heavy Rain for the PlayStation 3 is an important adventure game and monument to virtual storytelling; it demonstrates how developers can go about making realistic, mature video games (maybe too realistic, according to this thoughtful write-up by Chris Lepine of The Artful Gamer). But maybe Heavy Rain goes beyond “important.” According to its creator, David Cage, Heavy Rain is more than a definitive title in the interactive storytelling genre: It is the...

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Is the PlayStation 3 Doomed to Fail?

Is the PlayStation 3 Doomed to Fail?

The life cycle of video game consoles has been flipped completely on its head. Microsoft launched the Xbox 360 miles ahead of the Nintendo Wii and PlayStation 3, but the company is in no huge rush to replace its 6-year-old games system. Sony and Nintendo aren’t moving quickly to replace their aging consoles, either. In fact, Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter believes it’s going to be some time before we see the next generation of game consoles....

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Breaking into the Business – Pt. 2

Breaking into the Business – Pt. 2

We covered some basic game industry career information in part one of our feature on how to break into the video game business. Let’s assume you’re now ready to apply for jobs, but aren’t sure where to start. The following sections should point you in the right direction. This article assumes that you have no previous game industry experience and that you’re looking for work in the United States. Show Us What You’ve Got It’s crucial to have both a...

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Rising Handheld Costs Torture Developers

Rising Handheld Costs Torture Developers

We stand on the cusp of the Nintendo 3DS’s launch. Good times, but now we have to ask the unavoidable question: As handheld games and portable gaming in general become more complex, what will that eventually mean for game developers’ budgets? Chris Kingsley, the co-founder of the UK-based Rebellion games studio, believes that the advanced tech that makes up the innards of the 3DS and upcoming Sony NGP/PSP 2 means people will be expecting fancier...

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Are Video Game Sales Bouncing Back?

Are Video Game Sales Bouncing Back?

The NPD video games sales numbers are in for February. They’re chilling, shocking, depressing… Oh, just kidding. They’re fine. The industry rebounded 3% after suffering a 5% slump in January. Really though, what branch of retail doesn’t suffer a slump in that magic month when the world opens its Christmas credit card bills and screams in one collective voice? The strongest sellers in February were Call of Duty: Black Ops and Marvel Vs....

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