Tag Archives: Opinion

Big publishers’ AAA focus is good for Indie game devs

There are essentially two broad classes of games that sell. There are the so-called ‘AAA’ titles, which might be big financial hits or big financial flops, and there are ‘ordinary’ titles – games with a lower production value, but significantly less financial risk involved. In times past, those ordinary titles have been the mainstay of the games industry, sometimes incurring modest losses, but more often providing the steady income that offsets the big flops in a publisher’s ‘AAA’ stable.

With big publishers increasingly focusing on those ‘AAA’ titles and shying away from those mainstay games, money is left on the table. Money that Indie devs are well-suited to pick up.

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The level 20 rule

 

It’s been a while since I wrote about MMOGs professionally, but that doesn’t stop me having an interest. I have half a dozen MMOGs installed, and was recently ‘comped’ a copy of Star Trek Online and 60 days of game-time. I’ve just hit the equivalent of roughly level 20 (Commander, grade 1), and that set me to thinking.

Once you hit approximately level 20 in an MMOG, you’ve essentially seen all of the gameplay innovation that the game is going to offer, in all of the combinations that it is going to be offered.

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“In-principle” agreement on R18+ classification could delay R18+ classification indefinitely

I know, it seems like the various State Attorneys General coming to an “in-principle” agreement in favour of an R18+ rating for games would be a good thing for… well, actually for getting the rating passed.

However, it actually isn’t and it could delay this repair to the classifications system indefinitely. If the “in-principle” agreement hadn’t been announced, we’d likely have had an R18+ classification in the works by next week. As it is, it is actually looking increasingly doubtful that it will turn up any time soon.

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Play it now – Game Dev Story

Play it now!
Got an Android device handy? Want a cool little management game for just a couple bucks?

Give Kairosoft’s Game Dev Story a whirl. Currently, the game is 40% off to celebrate the release of their newest game, Hot Springs Story.

Game Dev Story is just what it sounds like. A game about developing games.

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No faith in Yee

California State Senator Leland Yee has just spent somewhere in the ballpark of a million Californian taxpayer dollars to have his bill on violent video games struck down by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional. Again.

Yee says he’s going to do it again. In fact, that would make the third time he’s heaped all of that money into a pile and metaphorically set fire to it.

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It doesn’t get any cheaper

Money speaks all languages. It says 'goodbye' to me in all of them. It’s an awkward time for games-publishers as the industry and market performs a very slow and protracted migration from physical retail sales to digital distribution.

You might think that with an increasing percentage of copies of games titles being sold via digital distribution channels that the publishers’ costs would be falling. Well, it isn’t getting any cheaper for them.

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So, how’s that working out?

So, you might remember my writing about how Activision reaffirmed its commitment to triple-A teams, basically continuing working on the strategy of only making blockbuster hit games – just like every other big player in the gaming industry seems to be doing.

So, how’s that been working out for them?

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Play it now – SpaceChem

Do you remember when I wrote about Gondola? Did you tragically lose a half a day to its rapacious mechanisms?

Well, I nearly didn’t get this piece about SpaceChem written. I didn’t want to stop playing long enough to write it. So be careful, it’ll eat a chunk of your day (or even days) and it’ll eat twenty bucks. You might also be afflicted with high levels of intellectual stimulation and fun. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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Owning the Playstation 3

Not too long ago, I had a big grumble about how modern consoles essentially weren’t owned by the purchasers – since the manufacturer could limit or change the capabilities of the devices more or less at will, alter the effective market value of the device in their sole discretion and so on. It was clear that ownership of the console continued to vest in the manufacturer, by the various legal tests for property.

The Playstation 3 was originally a much more open platform, allowing you the possibility of actually running your own software on it, but then Sony took that away, and asserted the rights of ownership when anyone attempted to open it back up.

Well, the Playstation 3 is now owned by users. Pretty much permanently.

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