Posts made in May, 2011

Nintendo 3DS Slow Sales: Sign of Trouble?

Nintendo 3DS Slow Sales: Sign of Trouble?

The Nintendo 3DS has been available in Japan since February, and it’s been available worldwide since March. It’s had time to worm its way into the hearts of gamers (in glorious three-dee!). Let’s check in: Sales-wise, how is the Nintendo 3DS doing? It looks like the system’s sales numbers have leveled out and possibly even stagnating after an initial burst. Oh oh. What does this mean for the Nintendo 3DS’s long-term prospects? Is this...

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The ESRB’s New Online Ratings System: Still Effective?

The ESRB’s New Online Ratings System: Still Effective?

The ESRB currently slaps its mark on downloadable console and PC games as well as console and PC games available at retail. That’s not set to change, but the manner in which the ESRB evaluates potentially offensive content in downloadable games is undergoing a shift. With the new process, digital game publishers are asked to fill out a multiple choice form for their title. The questions pertain to game content that involves acts of violence, suggestions of...

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Video Game Business Strategy: New Secrets to Survival

Video Game Business Strategy: New Secrets to Survival

Floored by the sheer amount of activity happening in the video games industry in the run up to annual tradeshow E3 2011? As insiders know, the excitement belies the churn in a business quickly and irrevocably being transformed by scrappy new technologies, platforms and entrepreneurs. “We’re experiencing the most change in the shortest amount of time that the gaming business has ever seen,” says Trip Hawkins, founder of publishing juggernaut...

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Is There Life Left in Rock Band?

Is There Life Left in Rock Band?

Is the instrument-based music and rhythm game genre dead and stone-cold stiff? “Yes!” cries the Internet collective. “No!” says Harmonix, who recently revealed that although there would be no Rock Band 4 in 2011, the series had generated 100 million song downloads, and still attracts one million online shoppers to play and buy downloadable songs each month. Though Activision put down the Guitar Hero franchise for a long nap last fall,...

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Video Game Marketing and PR: The Ultimate Guide

Video Game Marketing and PR: The Ultimate Guide

Pop quiz: What’s the biggest challenge that video game developers and publishers face today? Congratulations – if you said “discovery,” give yourself a pat on the back. With hundreds of free to play games, digital downloads, online offerings, social network titles and smartphone apps flooding virtual aisles each week, suddenly, it isn’t just about creating great games anymore. Given infinite selection, growing audience fragmentation across platforms...

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How to Succeed With Digital Distribution

How to Succeed With Digital Distribution

At this point in gaming’s history, the question is not when downloadable games will change the marketplace, but how. THQ CEO Brian Farrell’s vision of gaming’s future involves games that merge lots of downloadable content with a retail title, a vision he’ll distribute to the world with the upcoming MX vs. ATV Alive. When it’s released on May 10, MX vs. ATV Alive will cost $40 USD, $20 less than the typical retail title. From there, the...

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Will Android Games Ever Top Apple Apps?

Will Android Games Ever Top Apple Apps?

When the Internet talks about mobile gaming versus handheld gaming (and ho-boy, there has been a lot of that kind of talk lately), the Nintendo DS, 3DS, and Sony PSP are studied as distinct soldiers fighting a heated battle in their own ways. Any mention of Google’s Android game market, however, tends to be stapled onto discussions about the iPhone App Store. A good example of this kind of “Oh, and” can be observed on this IndustryGamers report...

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Fewer and Bigger Brands: A Good Strategy?

Fewer and Bigger Brands: A Good Strategy?

Given the rising costs associated with video game development and distribution, it wasn’t a big surprise when EA announced in 2010 that it was aiming to focus on making fewer titles from bigger franchises as a means of saving money. Flash forward to 2011. EA confirmed that its “fewer, bigger” strategy is serving it well. Big-name games like Bulletstorm, Crysis 2 and the upcoming Battlefield 3 have the publisher off to a good start retail-wise. EA...

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PSN Hack: Can We Trust Game Downloads?

PSN Hack: Can We Trust Game Downloads?

On April 19, the PlayStation Network was rudely visited by “an external intrusion.” On April 26, Sony finally got around to telling its user base, “Oh, yeah, about that: Looks like your personal information has been compromised. Sorry.” The hackers claim they have millions of credit card numbers; Sony won’t confirm one way or another, but says the credit card numbers are all encrypted. Stolen credit card numbers or no, one thing is for...

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Video Game Marketing: Creating Game Trailers

Video Game Marketing: Creating Game Trailers

Hyping up a video game via marketing is a slow, steady process. First comes the announcement, then comes the trailer, followed by dozens of supporting advertising and promotional activities. For any game in development though, that first trailer is a crucial showcase for your marketing efforts: It’s where viewers get their first real idea of how a video game moves, works, and aims to engage the player. A good trailer can also stoke excitement for a game if...

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