Category: Game industry

Three reasons why the Dutch games industry doesn’t suck.

Next week I'm speaking at the Festival of Games in Amsterdam. It's a curious thing, really, considering how tiny Holland is, and yet how active its games industry is. There are only a handful of internationally known game companies, such as Guerrilla Games (Killzone!) and Spilgames. But there's a substantial number of small and medium-sized companies out there. So I figured I'd go and check it out. — read on

Pinball Economics

image-44Because I was trying to understand virtual items and micro-transactions, I researched the trading card industry. It made sense to me to consider the fundamentals from an industry that has been around for a while as a yard stick to relatively new terrain. (Yes, yes, looking forward through the rearview mirror. Thanks McLuhan. Now go back to bed.) Today I found a similar parallel between the incentivized game design so common in social games (e.g. Farmville) and pinball machines. — read on

Player Modeling

One of the sexiest aspects of digital environments and online worlds is the ability monitor player behavior in an unprecedented way. Every single action, decision and event can be recorded, aggregated and analyzed on a scale that would make Orwell look like an absentee baby-sitter. — read on

Anything But Business As Casual

[Disclosure: A slightly modified version of this article appeared in the April edition of DFC Dossier.]

What in the early Internet days started as an afterthought today has grown into a market of its own. In 2008 the total revenue for casual PC gaming totaled a respectable $1.58 billion* in Western Europe, North America and most of Asia. DFC expects this number to increase to $1.69 billion in 2009.

Life’s been pretty good thus far: an average annual growth rate more than 60% has allowed everyone to do well. As more competitors entered the party, casual gaming also underwent a lot of consolidation as big-ticket publishers aggregated eyeballs for advertising’s sake. RealNetworks spent a lot of money to capture an audience large enough to sustain its ambitions for world domination. And as the current biggest casual company with 11.7% of total market share (based on revenue), it’s fair to say this strategy has paid off. The company is currently working to spin off its games division, RealArcade, as a separate entity.

— read on

Trading Card Freebie

  After spending a lot of time on free-to-play, I'm shifting to a game industry that is getting no love. Together with the wizkids over at To Be Continued, LLC I'm been working on a white paper that we plan to launch into the world in a few weeks. Trading Card Games (TCG), roughly the same size as casual gaming, are a natural extension of currently emerging free MMOs. For one, trading card games attract the same demographic. The immensely popular Yu-Gi-Oh!, which dominates with about 50% of the entire market, is hot sh*t with 12 year olds.
— read on

FlightControl by Firemint

Not entirely unrelated to my previous post, I DL-ed an $0.99 game for my iPhone which may well be one of the first ones to earn the label of worthwhile. While I maintain the theory that iPhone games suck (which they do), i'm observing contrary data points. FlightControl gets an honorable mention because it is clever and sans BS. — read on

Casual Hamburger

Last month I visited the 2009 edition of Casual Connect in Hamburg, Germany. With our casual games report almost finished, I flew to Hamburg to meet the movers and shakers in Europe. The industry’s state of affairs amidst an economic downturn persuaded a wide selection of companies to make an act-de-presence and network with existing and new clients. So here's what's up.

  — read on

Digital Distribution & GameStop [updated 12/19/08]

After iTunes killed Tower Records, I'm wondering what the effect of digital distribution for games will be on brick & mortar game retailers. In particular, I'm curious to see whether GameStop will end up with a fat lip, because I'm skeptical as to what extent the games industry is impervious to the current economic downturn. A few weeks ago a few telecom giants worried that given these circumstances, people are likely to cancel their landlines, for example. In other words, people will be looking to get rid off those expenses that are, well, unnecessary. And so in deciding between a landline and cell phone, the latter likely wins. Similarly, I expect people to stop buying those $50 games.  This does not mean, of course, that people will stop playing games. That's nonsense. What I think it means is that people will first and foremost look for ways to spend less on video games. And I see two ways to do this. — read on

Article Categories

Recent Comments

Recent Videos

  • Dubstep awesomeness

    Dubstep awesomeness

    Finally, someone combined my two favorite hobbies: simulator games and dubstep. Sweet, sweet nectar....

  • FPS Cinema

    FPS Cinema

    First person perspective is highly symbolic of the subjective point of view from which we, faced an ...

  • The TV Show

    The TV Show

    Insert your favorite French philosopher's musings on co-existing meta-realities here. Then stop bein...

  • Maximum Hulkness

    Maximum Hulkness

    The cure for the common GTA clone. Heck, the Hulk puts GTA to shame.  One enjoys roaming one's h...

  • Aart is gehackt.

    Aart is gehackt.

    After this illustrious example of hilarity, I've now also located a Dutch sesame street remix, web 2...

About Waffler