Showing posts from March, 2009

More Irrelevance Warning: Foreshadowing Edition

Sometimes everyone is thinking the same thing as I am and other times, I just notice the references more because I am thinking about it. I don't know which one is happening now, but the New York Times seems to be saying the same thing about Harley Davidson as I wrote about the game business. It just seems like we could substitute Harley with the name of any one of the console publishers and the story would still be accurate. They are just further along the curve. The consensus on Harley is they must change or die.

I added the emphasis. You can read the whole article here.

. . . But Harley persevered by capitalizing on its revered brand, made famous in movies like “Easy Rider,” and more recently by appealing to boomers’ desire to recapture their youth. . . .

By building such a powerful brand with offbeat, behind-the-scenes efforts — little advertising, lots of accessories and minor visible changes to bikes over the decades — Harley has become a case study for academics, mar…

Really?: New Record Traffic Day Edition

Sunday night's post about gaming on the verge of irrelevance drove record traffic to this blog - by orders of magnitude and from 66 countries. Thank you to those who linked and those who visited for the first time and to all of those who chose to comment and email with an opinion. It is fascinating to see what resonates and what doesn't. I guess that one did.

I hope I have something else interesting to say again.

The Game Business Is A Year From Irrelevance:Where are Our Easy Riders and Raging Bulls Edition

Every time I told people in suits and ties - or my parents - I was in the game business, they started to talk about kids. They viewed our business as the toy business. Games are for children. This was when I pulled out my silver bullet. I had The ESA's (then IDSA) latest report showing the average age of gamers. I started when it was 27. The "average age" went up a year each year, but was still a neat statistic when I could say 30 or 31. Whether it was directed at a school parent or an audience at a conference, It inevitably led to a dropped jaw and a "wow, I didn't know that." The industry instantly became relevant to their business.

I haven't really paid much attention to this number because my proselytizing for the business was taken over by outlets like the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek and USA Today, which all have a larger reach than this blog or my speaking engagements. But this past week I saw some slides for an ESA speech indicati…

Out Gaming Microsoft: Apple About to Move Edition?

I was just sitting down to write a post about our need to expand beyond the core gamer. We are really good at making games for the 2 million people who buy good games and 5 million who buy great games, but that barely covers our budget. Sure Nintendo brought more people to the game market, but they only buy Nintendo games. The tie ratios are no where near what we need to consider the platform disruptive. Then I saw the post I stole and copied below from

Remember, Apple entered the MP3 player and smartphone markets when they appeared to be mature. All of the apps in the app store could easily run on Appletv and with incremental improvements on interface and design of the Wii mote, Apple could just skip over the hardcore gamer and pull the mainstream right in. This would not be the first time Apple the innovator borrowed a great idea. The Mac interface famously came from Xerox Parc, the iPod was introduced into a robust MP3 market and even iTunes was acqui…

Used Games: Howard Beale Edition

For years video game platforms and publishers alike worshipped at the alter of the channel - victims of Stockholm Syndrome. We put up with extortive demands for MDF, price protection demands and shelving charges all because we can't piss off the channel. We acquiesce to uniform box size because it's what the channel wants. We make sure the box covers are not offensive because the channel demands it. We can't sell units on line at a discount because the channel will get angry. Most significantly, we can't distribute digitally because the channel will get angry. We take their abuse and delude ourselves into believing retail prices are not eroding even though channel charges continue to escalate. But with Amazon, Best Buy and Toys R Us announcing they are following Gamestop’s lead and getting into the used game business it is time for our Howard Beale Moment. While they think they are claiming a beachhead, we have the power to make it their Waterloo. As proven out by…

Apple's Unlisted Number: WTF Edition

I sent my computer in for repairs and as I was driving by I wanted to call the Apple Store to see if I could come by and pick it up. They have this whole triage thing going on with the Genius Bar and I didn't know if I had jump through another set of hoops. Unfortunately, I did not have the store's number with me. I called information FROM MY iPHONE, the one EXCLUSIVELY on the AT&T network and the conversation went something like this:

City and state please.

Santa Monica, the Apple Store.

I am sorry we have no listing.

It's the Apple Store on Third Street Promenade.

I heard you sir, I am sorry, I have no listing, I have an Apple Computer executive training in Santa Monica California,

No, I just want the Apple Store.

Transferring to a supervisor

May I help you?

Yes I would like the listing of the Apple Store at the Third Street Promenade.

Checking . . . I am sorry sir, there is no listing.

How could it not be listed?

We are a paid information service. Only paying com…