Category Archives: Business

Game business related posts.

Who Needs Ownership? (I Tested My Spotify Invite…)

I’ve been testing spotify music service lately. The basic idea is that (1) once you have an account, you can (2) listen to pretty much any music you can think of via that service. If you buy the membership, then you can also (3) download as much music as you want.

There’s one really interesting thing about this service: ownership.

After testing the service… I see absolutely no reason to purchase any music ever. Why would I? I can just go to spotify and play it. There’s no point to purchase music (I don’t know why they even bother selling music in the store, since anybody can listen it anyway) if you have this service.

I don’t “own” the music and don’t store it on my computer… but don’t really need, since the content is available anyway when I’m online.

I wonder how this would work in the gaming industry.

P.S. If you wanna test it, google for “spotify invite”… but you didn’t hear that from me, m’kay?

Board Games + iPhone = Something We’ll Definitely See More In The Future?

Reiner Knizia (famous German board game designer) said in one of his interviews that he believes that board games could very well work in various platforms – instead of need for a physical board. Now I’ve seen some board games like Ingenious (designed by Reiner Knizia) coming to iPhone.

Is it just my imagination, or is it so that more board games will be seen on iPhone?

Any thoughts? Anyone seen this happening too?

Cross-Buying

Long time ago in a far away Galaxy I got interested about the Battlestar Galactica board game and eventually bought it (40 eur). I liked it very much, and eventually bought the DVD boxes of the series (100+ eur). Then… I also ended up buying the Pegasus Expansion (another 40 eur).

Total cost: close to 200 eur.

The fact that I had couple of friends paying too helped… but it was quite interesting to note how all this worked. I got interested about the game, then I had to see the movies, then I bought more stuff for the game…

One guy put it this way (it was about a Tolkien based game):

I watch the movie, I want to play the game, I read one of the books I want to play the game, I play the game, I want to watch the movies, or read the books. if our game group continues in this vain we will never stop playing.

Brands. IPs.

Priceless in a long run.

Where You Go For Indie Games?

Indie Xmas site got me pondering about selling more indie games. I’ve been a BFG affiliate for quite a time now, but there’s not so many indie games. Well, there is… but they are kind of match-3 type of games. Or hidden object games. Most of them.

Semantics aside…

Where you go for Indie games?

Currently for me it’s Steam. Occasionally BFG (you can try dig some games from there too). And then I used to check Game Tunnel (which seems pretty much offlineish nowadays). And then there’s some places like D2D. And then some review sites like Indie Flux and many, many more. Manifesto and Kongregate used to be places to go… but not for me any more. Manifesto shut down and Kongregate is more like a Flash portal (nothing bad about that)

But where do you go when you really want to try & buy Indie games?

Did The Indie Xmas Calendar Thingy Made You Sales?

I couldn’t resist blogging, and I’m going to ask around to see what sort of sales people got via Indie Xmas. I might also share some more stats later when I get back from my holiday trip (this is a scheduled post you know), but at least on 22th day there was like 65000+ pageviews and 8000+ unique visitors which is pretty nice.

In case you participated, please feel free to share some stats about traffic or sales if you got any. Naturally there was tons of games, so for individual games the stats might not be that big. Possibly some sales here and there I’d say. (Who knows).

What’s the Next (Current) Big Thing? Social Games? Casual? Flash? Facebook? Iphone?

While I’ve been working on my zombie game (managed to nail couple of nasty upgrade issues some time ago by the way – good for me) I’ve also been watching some stuff happening elsewhere in the world. Like in the world of gaming.

I’m pretty good at making educated guesses about the stuff that people really want, since I’m more human than a programmer and have been doing this type of guesswork for quite a bit of time.

But… figuring out what some people might want does not equal to realizing what’s the next billion non-Zimbabwe dollar opportunity.

Jeff Tunnel (Garage Games) is believing that Flash is the next big thing. Jeff knows stuff. Experienced dude. Worth listening. Who knows what happens. (Also, the recent “premium content in Flash” has been pretty good thing compared to ad revenue. No link to share, but even Techcrunch was having an article on this).

Casual games – what about them? They are doing pretty well. (In fact, they keep bringing me still decent yearly pocket money thing even though I do close to nothing in that area.)

Social games (that’s a hard thing to define I’d say)… or let’s say Facebook apps might do decently. But they’ve kind of been available earlier. Who knows what Facebook and Twitter has to offer here.

What about iPhone? There’s probably opportunities there as well.

What’s your thoughts? Will downloadable PC games be here as they have been for years and year. Or will iPhone and others beat the crap out of PC gaming. What about Flash? Do we have downloadable games at all if people just go to work to play Farmville in facebook?

I know only one thing to be certain.

There’s always room for zombies.

Social Gaming Is Not the “Next Big Thing” – It’s Been Here For Decades

Some developers think that the social gaming will be the big thing. They say how Farmville or World of Warcraft gets so many players. Little Big Planet is marketed with the “social aspect” of games. I’ve discussed with some people who praise the social media and explain how twitter is like the next big thing after Jesus. Luckily I’m hear to shout from my tower and correct these hopeless stupidities.

There’s two things why social gaming is the next big thing.

  • Single player gaming is going to be there forever
  • Social games have been here like decades

I don’t think social gaming is that big thing. Or at least a new thing. Sure… you might see more online highscores in new games and more ways to “share” your stuff with others, but in the end people who wanna play solo wanna play solo.

Which brings me to my first point:

People who wanna play solo wanna play solo

Here’s some news you might not want to hear:

  • Farmville might have social aspect but my hunch says that 98% of the time you play it alone.
  • Sure, World of Warcraft is played online… but did you realize that there’s tons of people who play solo. These guys don’t want to belong to any clan or meet other people. They play WoW as a single-player game. And developers have catered for this as well. It’s actually massively single-player game to be accurate.

Most players probably don’t want to have social aspects or other human players to play with them. Many people want to experience a fine story that evolves. They want to be in charge.

Players want single-player. Sure, there’s more and more multiplayer games and options (which is good for me) but majority will still stick with single player gaming. Or they play multiplayer games alone.

Have you ever heard of a book that was “read co-op”? Same will be with many, many games.

Social games have been here for ages

Now, to the second point. Little Big Planet – the PS3 hit “social” game – has player made levels. Like 98% of those levels are crap*. It’s also played solo (or home with friends). Sharing tracks sure is easier when you have internet, but think of the following.

About 15 years ago I played some car game where you could create tracks. We created tracks and used floppy disks to bring those levels to our friends. That was social gaming.

* Based on a reliable figure that I just pulled out of thin air.

We player some football manager game. It was supposed to be 1-player game but we played it with my brothers. And same happened for Bruce Lee (C64) and many other games. That was social gaming too.

I have been playing stuff like MUDs, online multiplayer shooters for decade or so. We shared things with our friends and asked people to join. Some people modded. I even drew maps and shared other stuff. It was social gaming, but we didn’t call it that. It was simply called “fun”. We didn’t need to call it “fun 2.0″.

Now, somebody invented stuff like “share” and “2.0″ and “social web” and soon this new fad is embraced by the game development community.

Famous Quote by Abraham Lincoln: “If you call a tail a leg, how many legs has a dog? Five? No, calling a tail a leg don’t make it a leg.”

Social aspect in games is important, but it has been here like forever.

(Will be really interested to read this article in the end of 2010 and see how wrong I was. Oh well. Your thoughts? We can check those too in the end of 2010…)

Indie Xmas Calendar – Submit Your Game (Demo or Trailer – or Both)

The Indie Xmas Calendar is an “indie xmas portal” where people can come to test new indie games – at least one new game demo/trailer/screenie shown every day. If you are not familiar with the concept, please read the initial blog post for more information.

Requirements:
The game must be indie made game. If you don’t know what that means or if you have doubts whether your game is made in “indie spirit”, then you probably won’t qualify. Indie games are accepted.

Platforms can be any: iPhone games are fine. Wii games are fine. Xbox live arcade games are fine. PC games are fine. Mac games are fine. Everything goes as long as it’s indie.

Quality control: I reserve the right to deny any game submission for whatsoever reason. For example. If it’s total crap, then it like… won’t be suitable.

Submissions are open:
Please comment this post and tell information about your game:

  • Title
  • Website URL
  • Description or genre (in 50 characters)
  • Screenshot URL
  • Youtube video URL
  • Download URL
  • Platform(s):

Example submission:

Title: Dead Wake
Website: http://www.deadwakegame.com
Genre: Tactical zombie survival action
Screenshot URL: http://www.deadwakegame.com/downloads/images/screenie.jpg
Youtube video URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gpG-8q07sc
Download: http://www.deadwakegame.com/downloads/
Platform(s): Windows

More info:
initial blog post
more about the concept here

FAQ
Q: Can I sell my game?
A: Yep. Through your own site. In this site, gamers get to download new games every day, or watch trailers. A link to your site will be provided and you can sell your game there.

Q: I don’t have a finished game… can I participate?
A: Yes. You don’t need a finished game. You can send a trailer video instead.

Q: I don’t have youtube… but I have vimeo
A: I suppose that’s fine too, but I’d prefer to see youtube. You can go with vimeo if you want.

Q: What’s the point of this whole thing?
A: Spread the commercial spirit of xmas (=selling tons of to indie games) all over the world.

Q: How will this thing be marketed? How this works?
A: There’s some volunteers who have joined the ranks and will be helping with this. The original blog post got retweeted already many times (please do that too!) and got tons of interest. We’ll be doing press releases and Twitter marketing to get the forces going. The work that you need to do (aka submit your game) should give pretty good return-on-investment taken into account how little time this takes from you. And… of course you are free to join the party and blog about this thing! There will be more information coming in the following weeks as we prepare and launch the xmas portal.

Q: I have a question…
A: Please use this blog post to post your question

Q: I have an idea on how to do this.
A: Shoot! We are open to ideas. (But of course we gotta move on fast schedule to get things done, so don’t expect everything that’s suggested to happen)

Q: Where can I participate?
A: Make a comment on this blog post, and submit the necessary info. Thanks to WordPress no entries can be edited later, but we’ll try to manage with this limitation somehow. :)

That’s it folks…
Submit your game please.

(I’ll leave this blog post here probably for some days now as I stay offline)

Indie Xmas Calendar – Concept…

The idea about indie xmas 2009 is going forward. Here’s the thoughts I have about this:

I recommend checking out that blog post – it explains what this is in a detail. Those of you who haven’t heard about this idea, then in a nutshell this is about selling tons of indie games this xmas. 100% profits go to developers.

Here’s some ideas about the site concept:

  • It’s an indie Xmas calendar website
  • 24 “doors” to open, as in Christmas calendars.
  • Each door (slot/hatch/windows/things-that-can-be-opened/whatever you guys call them) reveals (1) an indie game trailer (youtube/vimeo) and/or (2) screenshot and (3) link to game website and possibly (4) link to downloadable demo.
  • Art style is xmas red… we’d need some sort of logo and a nice background. At minimum from some clip art place if there’s no time for something else.
  • Each game’s placement is random (1-24), and the games are equally spread among doors (so, if we get like 24 games, then we have one game per day. If there’s 100 games, then we have 4 games per day).
  • Each day, people get to visit the site and open new doors that reveal new (to them) indie goodies.

I’ll write more about this soon. Comment on this blog post if you got interested.