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Showing posts from February, 2009

Check it Out: Everything Old is New Again Edition

These guys were able to turn a USD 100k plus, HD television into Pong - and people loved it. Can we call it a classic? Thank you Nolan Bushnell and Ralph Baer.




Game Prices Are Falling: Did We Really Think This Through Edition

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The argument for lowering game prices is an easy one. When I saw Ubi lower prices at the end of the year, I was about to write a post about the erosion of price and how it was about time we figured it out. We are the most expensive form of media not only at Wal Mart, our number one retailer, but in the entire market. The argument is supported by the history of other media. Films on tape first came out at USD99 and the purchase market really wasn't there. Sales didn't take off until the price was cut by two thirds. DVD's on the other hand were introduced at an average price of USD 20 and the market took off immediately. We don't even have to go outside our market to find precedent.

I remember when we were releasing Tomb Raider 2. The sales of Tomb Raider doubled when we cut the price from USD 49 to USD 39, trebled at the cut to USD 29 and then quadrupled at the cut to USD 19. As an econ major, I saw the market was clearing dictating USD 19 as the proper price…

Citizen Kane of Games: Poisoning Young Developers' Minds Edition

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A couple nights ago I had the good fortune of speaking in front of a class of young designers, engineers and business people in USC's game program. They are full of great ideas and I am confident many of them will create things I can't even imagine today. Their young minds are so gooey and malleable and they bring the unadulterated exuberance, brilliance and naivete of youth which has not been beaten down by years in the system. They still talk about what they can do, rather than the reasons things can't be done. Their faces look up, rather than down with hunched shoulders. All the more reason for me to be so disappointed to hear they are being shackled by the insecurities of our generation when they asked whether we have seen the "Citizen Kane" of games and if not, when it will be made. I guess this is appropriate. I mean after all, everyone considers Citizen Kane to be the Taj Mahal of games. No, they really don't because that would be stupid. I…

Facebook: Worlds Collide Edition

Worlds Collide Theory
A theory which states that a man must keep his personal life (i.e. friends) separate from his relationship side (i.e. girlfriend). Should the two worlds come into contact with each other (by means of his girlfriend becoming friends with his friends), both worlds blow up.
"If Relationship George walks through that door, he will kill Independent George! A George divided against itself, cannot stand!" - George Costanza

Facebook is the Elaine Benes of the new millennium. Elaine's befriending George's fiance threatened a cosmic collision of epic proportion. Elaine was the instigator only because Seinfeld happened in roughly 10 BF ("Before Facebook"). Today, Facebook realigns the cosmos, constantly putting each of our worlds at risk of collision and in some cases, I fear, supernova. I wrote Facebook's missing buttons before - I would still love to have a "what are thinking?" button - but as the population grows, the iss…

TED Conference: Rocket Launching Boba Fett Edition

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I just got back from the TED Conference. It was my 7th. My first was in 1997 and I took a few years off after 2002. The conference has changed a lot over the years. Richard Saul Wurman used to treat it as his own personal dinner party. He populated the stage -and audience - with fascinating people talking passionately about things they loved. If business or philanthropy happened, it was organic. Chris Anderson, who took over officially in 2003, saw an opportunity to harness the power of the crowd and encourage things to happen. Both were right, and both put on a great show which can only be characterized as Mental Floss. The stage and the crowd are full of people who just do things. Big things, small things and in between. Whether I agree with them or not, there is no questioning their moving forward. You can read about the big names who show up, cool announcements and great talks at other sites - tons of blogs and articles are already out, with more to follow. I want …

Bourne is Back: New Home Edition

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I have actually been too focused on my day job to post recently. Some the work was announced today, more will trickle out later.

Here is the announcement from EA:

Ludlum Entertainment Grants EA the Exclusive Video Game License for the Works of Robert Ludlum
02.02.09
Redwood City, Calif. - February 2, 2009 - Ludlum Entertainment has granted Electronic Arts, Inc (NASDAQ: ERTS) the exclusive worldwide license to create video games based on the works of Robert Ludlum, including the blockbuster Jason Bourne series. The first game to be released as part of the multi-year agreement is based on Jason Bourne and is currently in development with Starbreeze Studios in Uppsala, Sweden.

"Robert Ludlum's Jason Bourne is the most exciting action hero to emerge in decades, thrilling audiences around the world," said Mike Quigley, group vice president of marketing, EA Games Label. "EA is excited to enter into a long-term relationship with Ludlum Entertainment, bringing the action, intr…