Posts by Nadia Oxford

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...

read more

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,...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

ESRB Video Game Ratings: Still Working?

ESRB Video Game Ratings: Still Working?

You probably feel a bit disheartened whenever the media latches on to a story about some act of youth violence that is twisted to blame a Mature (M-rated) video game that no child has any business playing. Cheer up then: According to a US-based study by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), more and more stores are barring kids from buying games that have been rated M by the ESRB. The study, conducted through secret shoppers, determined that only 13 percent of the...

read more

Can Call of Duty Keep Going Strong?

Can Call of Duty Keep Going Strong?

Call of Duty is one of the most successful video games franchises currently on the market. What kind of longevity can we expect from the series? Before you answer, consider this important tidbit: The Call of Duty franchise is the lucrative property of Activision, the same publisher that ran the seemingly unstoppable Guitar Hero series into the ground. In fact, two internal memos published by Activision in February and leaked to GiantBomb address outside worry that...

read more

Socal Games: Is There Hope for MySpace?

Socal Games: Is There Hope for MySpace?

Do you have a MySpace account? Better question: Did you have a MySpace account? Most users who haunted MySpace in their early teen years secretly hope that a selective computer virus will someday gnaw away every crumb of their old profile – the glittery .gifs, the pop music embeds, the angst over parental rules that are “sooooo unfair.” Once upon a time, MySpace was an ideal venue for young teens who needed a small corner of the Web in which to store...

read more