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Showing posts from October, 2009

Our Governor at Work: Schwarzenegger Speaks his Mind Edition

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They say it was an accident, but when Arnold Schwarzenegger gave legislators his response, he also told them what he really thought in the first letter of each sentence in the body of his cover letter.

Here it is:



It kind of makes me like him again




Yeah! Developers Can Sell Into iPhone Apps: Apple's Unbiased Indifference Edition

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I was on my way to the airport for another business trip in a month where I spent more days on the road then at home, and I saw another of the ubiquitous billboards for the PSP Go. My first thought was “I have to get one.” I mean come on, it is not just gadget porn. They are dangling a slick new drug in front of a junkie. It is small and electronic and it lights up and makes noises. It even has a slidy thing with buttons. It doesn’t do anything the old one doesn’t do and in fact, with is smaller screen and inability to use my UMD games, it does less. But Sony’s blatant pandering to my addiction didn’t bother me. I am used to it and accept it, as well as my inevitable succumbing to temptation followed by the post purchase depression as a fact of life. It was the next thought that bothered me. After I looked at it I thought I would not buy one because I could just get games for less money on my iPhone. The abuser is not Sony, it’s Apple, and not just because they are bumm…

Zynga's Doing it Old School: Showing Us How It's Done Edition

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So remember when making games was fun. Schedules were measured on single year's calendar, budgets had fewer than US phone numbers and revenue had more? Zynga does and they are bringing those days back - with a vengeance. There is certainly no formula for finding success in ultra low budget games, it is even more amazing to hear of a game company which is churning out low budget cash cow games like jelly beans down a conveyor belt. Sure, it is "only a game company," but this game company, which is rumored to be preparing for an IPO, went from zero to well into the 9 figures in revenue - rumors place revenue between 150 and 250 million dollars - in two years and operates on margins - rumored to be 60% EBITDA - that would make any media executive cry.

If you have a Facebook account, you probably played, or received a post from a friend who plays Mafia Wars, Farmville or Zynga Poker. If you are not on Facebook, you probably never heard of the company. Which is odd, co…

Talking About a Revolution: Bizzaro EA Edition

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I don't think this idea rises quite to the level of heresy of this one, but it could definitely fall into the category of "Wow, that is nuts . . . hmmm now that I think of it, it may not be so crazy." You see, I got this email from Gamestop with an amazing offer on a great game:



As a Tim Schaefer fan since Full Throttle, I was already counting the days to release, but Gamestop nows sweetens the deal by offering the game for one ATM unit, or as some of us might say the right price for a game? Sure, it would be tremendously hypocritical for me to cash in games to Gamestop, but if I put on just a bit of a disguise and went somewhere other than my regular Gamestop. . . . Inspired by Pete Townshend's one man crusade, and like him, solely in the interest of research, I looked at the list of games:



I wouldn't give back Arkham, still hours to go in The Beatles - and it is one of the only games my wife will play with my son and I - do they really want G.I. Joe or G-For…

Apple's Attempt to Reinvent the Game Business: Selling the Razors Edition

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I read this article a while ago about the entire game business fearing Apple, and I thought it was kind of silly. Then the next day I saw this one proclaiming Apple's dominance over all others and started to think I was wrong when I said Steve Jobs' reality distortion field would not extend into the game business. Then I closed my macbook, took a deep breadth of fresh open air and realized, as tempting as it is to say Apple figured it out and is going to save the day, just like they did for music. But the articles are falsely equating the music business with the game business, and they are really wrong – and we should be happy.

In the New York Times article, Yoichi Wada, CEO of Square Enix was called for a new business model. “The next breakthrough in gaming is not going to be in hardware,” Yoichi Wada, president of a top Japanese game maker, Square Enix, told Game Show participants. “It’s going to be in how to create a successful business model.” The implication is Apple…

Metacritic is all WET: Just Sayin' Edition

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Last week I bought WET because it looked like fun and I wanted to play the game. After playing half way through the game I found it didn't only look like fun, but it delivered on its promise. It was what I wanted Stranglehold to be and what Gungrave never delivered. Lot's of mindless, shooting fun. Sometimes that's just what I want in a game. But apparently, most critics did not share my view. When I first looked on metacritic the score was in the deadly sixties, but has since moved up into the safe haven of mediocrity found in the seventies. Not quite green banded goodness, but not bearing the red mark of humiliation. I wish metacritic didn't matter, but unfortunately, developers' livelihood is based on this hopelessly useless, conflicted, arbitrary measurement system even though more and more and more people are realizing marketing and word of mouth are more significant factors in the purchasing decision than a Metacritic score. If you really want …