Posts made in March, 2011

Video Game Ads: Creating Solid Commercials

Video Game Ads: Creating Solid Commercials

Both monster video game franchises Halo and Call of Duty have utilized live-action commercials to promote their brands to a hardcore customer base that is more concerned with how these games utilize graphics hardware than watching actors ham it up on primetime TV. So where does this fit with each series’ marketing plan?  Is it a creative divergence meant to engage and entertain the audience, or is it a blatant deception to ensure that sales don’t suffer...

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Should MS, Sony, Nintendo Fear Facebook?

Should MS, Sony, Nintendo Fear Facebook?

If you’re on Facebook, you’re already familiar with the social network’s ability to connect friends and family through video games and gaming type functions. Surely you’ve endured the torrent of social game invitations and accepted or blocked them accordingly. Facebook has proven to be a very successful and lucrative game platform, but will its success eventually eat away at the number of third-party publishers that park their titles on home...

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Digital Distribution: Downloads Take Over

Digital Distribution: Downloads Take Over

Digital distribution’s popularity is building at an impressive rate, but we still don’t associate it with mainstream game distribution. When we think of digital downloads, we think of game patches from the Big Guys, or an indie project from the Little Guys. The meatiest game fare is still found on the shelves of GameStop. But EA recently made a statement that could herald irrevocable changes for game retail. In an interview published by Gamasutra on...

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The Games Industry vs. Social Games

The Games Industry vs. Social Games

Humans are an argumentative bunch of primates, and gamers are a particularly quarrelsome branch of that group. Brenda Brathwaite, the former creative director of LOLapps and the current COO of John Romero’s new company, Loot Drop, is particularly heartbroken over the community’s general boiling hatred for Facebook games. Whereas we’ll all unite to fight back against a slander piece like Fox News’ “report” on supposed sexual...

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Wii 2011: Has Nintendo Blown It?

Wii 2011: Has Nintendo Blown It?

2011 is a busy year for Nintendo. The upcoming launch of the 3DS is understandably gobbling up a lot of the company’s resources, but the Nintendo DS and the Wii still require sustenance. The Nintendo DS recently got a good meal with the launch of Pokemon Black and White in early March: The games sold 1 million copies within 24 hours of launch, proving that the hardy DS is far from down and out. But what about the Wii? The game menu for Nintendo’s main...

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The Price of Making Mature Games

The Price of Making Mature Games

David Cage, the creator of the PlayStation 3 drama hit Heavy Rain, rocked the industry recently when he dished out a simple plea to developers in a speech: “Make games for adults. Seriously. It’s going to change your life.” He elaborated: “We should be, in our industry, on par not with b-[movies], not with popcorn movies. We should be on par with the best movies out there, in matter of storytelling and characterization and emotion, etc.,...

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How to Make Money on Microtransactions

How to Make Money on Microtransactions

Everybody Edits is a maze-based platforming game that anyone can edit and play online in real-time. The friendly-sounding title helps define the experience, which is very much open-ended and a great deal of fun to tinker with. As it happens, Everybody Edits also carries some interesting lessons about microtransactions. The initial game was put together for Newgrounds by a fellow named Chris Benjaminsen. Benjaminsen talked a bit about the game’s evolution and...

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How Indies Can Escape Work-For-Hire

How Indies Can Escape Work-For-Hire

What is best in life? If you’re a creative person with a passion for video games, there’s enormous satisfaction to be had in founding a game studio and bringing your own IP into the world. Nothing extravagant; just a small team of talented fellows and ladies who want to help you give birth to your sassy ledge-hopping cat. Unfortunately, unless you have a great deal of money to cushion potential falls (and there will be falls), indie studios usually end...

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Are Game Controls Too Complex?

Are Game Controls Too Complex?

Pac-Man predates Mario, but the hungry little gobbler is still one of the most recognizable video game mascots of all time. The franchise’s formula of maze-running and binge-eating has held up well too, thanks in part to stylish modern upgrades in the way of Pac-Man Championship Edition and the more recent Pac-Man Championship Edition DX. Toru Iwatani, the creator of Pac-Man, recently shared some welcome recollection on the conception of Pac-Man, and he threw...

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Is Video Game Piracy Theft?

Is Video Game Piracy Theft?

Society’s transition to digitally-distributed entertainment is exciting, but it’s not without a few speed bumps. When games were invariably encased behind three inches of bullet-proof glass at the local Toys R Us, there was no question about how you were supposed to go about procuring the latest Mario adventure: You whipped out your wallet, and a shuffling red-shirted employee would pick through his ring of keys and open Heaven’s Gate just long...

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