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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Free-to-Play, the hottest trend right now!

Pay-to-Play is dying...

More and more Free-to-Play games are showing up and many of these are online distributed. I think that we will expect to see less and less online games on the shelves and even less online pay to play games.

New business models, such as micropayments, are the new trend. With these, games can sometimes generate even more money than Pay-to-Play, but even more it easily knocks Pay-to-Play out of the competition.

 

Free-to-Play is reaching puberty!

The age of internet is here, and so is Free-to-Play. You don't need store distribution anymore. You got the internet! You dont need to charge players to play your game, give them the opportunity to enhance their gameplay with micro payments. Let the players choose what they want to pay for and how much.

Let the players design their own style of playing... and paying! If the players want to use their money to enhance their PvE, let them do that! If they want to use their money to enhance their PvP, heck why not? 

 

PtP versus FtP

Pay-to-Play have the advatage that the players know that when they have bought the game, they wont need to put in any more money to enhance their gameplay. They already got it all! Although, not as many players might actually try out the game.

Free-to-Play offers the opportunity to play the game as it is and IF the player wants to he can pay smaller sums of money to enhance their gameplay. More people will try the game and possibly pay for it than with at Pay-to-Play model. Although players that don't want to or can't use micropayments (low age or similar) might find the game unfair when the paying players get advatages or a more enhanced gameplay than they do.

 

I recommend checking out BattleForge, Dreamlords: The Reawakening and the game development company Bigpoint.

This is my assumtion: Free-to-Play games are the future and the present. Game developers that make Online Multiplayer games will have to adapt to this business model if they are to survive the competition against big Free-to-Play giants as Bigpoint in Germany.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Data Retention Directive - The Death of Privacy

What is the Data Retention Directive?
(Swedish translation: Datalagringsdirektivet)

The Data Retention Directive Law forces phone and internet operators to store all information they possibly can on their clients. This can be their IP, visited websites, position of mobile phones (thereby being able to track your movement) but also your sent and recieved SMS/MMS messages as well as rung and recieved phone calls.

- Thanks to Elkers for this information.

Over at Kreativrauschen.com I found some information about how thing worked out for Germany in this matter. I'm scared, really:

Starting next year, all communication providers in Germany will have to store all connection data for six months.

This includes:
  • Phone calls: Date, time, length and involved numbers of all phone calls (landline, mobile or VoIP)

  • In case of mobile phones additionally the location of the phone at the time of the call, the IMSI code of the phone and SMS connection data.

  • Internet access: IP address, date, time and length of the connection, and the line which was used. (to be clear: not each individual ip connection. Only date and time of your connection to the internet and which ip you were using).

  • E-mail: e-mail-addresses involved and the header of each e-mail.

How do we stop it?

The very best way to stop this is to express your disapproval of this law by sending e-mails or even calling the EU parlament seat holders and telling them how you think about the matter. It's not weird, many people call and e-mail them already, so you are definetly not the first.

Also, DONT FORGET TO VOTE on a party that clearly stands for The Right to have Privacy and recents this law. My vote will go to Piratpartiet this time, as I think the best way right now to stop this law is by voting on them. Vote before the 7th of June.

 

This is my assumption: If the Data Retention Directive gets approved, our privacy will be next to nothing. The only way of getting privacy is to stop using devices connected to the internet (cell phones too) and start living underground, where there are no cameras.

Community, the very Soul of the game

A community? What's that!?

A community is a group of people that share a common interest. In games, think of community as fans. Fans that play your game and that interact with eachother just beacause they want to. They choose to do this in and around your game of own free will and hopefully likes to do so.

The community are your players, but also your non-playing fans. You can still have a community even if you haven't released a game which they yet can't play.

Players interact with each other from different places, in different groups. Players that usually hangs around in the chat rooms, may find other players hanging on the forums.

Some players stay inside the mini community of clans, some only play against other players.

Some hangs around the website and interact through other mediums than the game developer provides, like MSN or AOL.

A community isn't so important, or is it?

Yes, it's very important. If you don't have a community, who will play your game? If no one chooses to meet and interact in or around your game, you don't have a community and thereby no soul to fill the body, the game.

It is important to have a community before the game is released, when it has been released and even after the game has been shut down (as MMO-games sometimes does). 

  • Having a community before release gives some kind of ensurance of a community even after release.

  • A community after release is your players; the ones who buys your game and makes sure you get dinner on your table (not in every case).

  • Still having your community even after you shut down your servers is good if you are planning to make more games, especially in the same genre. This community can be used as a start-up community for another game.

  • Don't waste your community, or it will waste you!

 

This is my assumtion: A game, other than single player games, without a community is a game without soul and a game without success.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Is there a Right to Privacy?

Yes, but maybe not for long. The Swedish Government are over time shrinking the the Right to Privacy more and more. One could wonder: When is it completely gone?

Are we all terrorists that needs to be monitored 24/7? Are we all threats? From what I know, I have barely heard of ONE terrorist being associated with Sweden. I might just be uneducated in the matter, who knows.

Du bist Terrorist!

Here is a great video about the population being treated as terrorists. Is this our future? Well, right now it wouldn't really suprise me, honestly.

This is my assumtion: In a matter of only a few years, our society will be monitored close to what's shown in the video above.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

What is Viral Marketing?

In this post I'm going to explain what Viral Marketing is and what why It's such a good way to market your product, or in my case: Game.

  

What is Viral Marketing?

- Viral Marketing is a way to market your game through your community or fanbase. Creating something that will make the community themselves spread the word and, in a way, work as word-of-mouth advertising group.

 

How can you use it?

You can use it either by creating cool and remarkable advertising, such as gameplay or pre-rendered videos of your game, like Bungy did with Halo. You can also create incitament for your own community to start advertising your game and thereby bringing new players into the game.

Here's an example:

  1. An Invite a Friend system is implemented (basicly allows your players to invite their friends into the game and getting rewarded for doing so).

  2. Existing players starts to invite their friends into the game (thereby doing advertising).

  3. New players starts to enter the game and the existing players gets rewarded for bringing in a new player into the game (the viral marketing is successful).
 

Why should you use it?

Viral Marketing can be used successfully even without investing any real money. The only thing you need to invest is time, creativity and effort. Although, Viral Marketing campaigns with real money investments may have greater chance of success and may enable you to create campaigns you otherwise wouldn't be able to.

 

This is my assumtion: Viral Marketing is the best way to market your game, as long as the game has or is built around a community.

Friday, May 22, 2009

What is this blog and what am I talking about?

First, let me introduce myself. My name is Joakim Bergman and I'm a Game Developer, a Journalist and an advocate for the Right to Privacy.

There's two subjects I care about almost more than anything right now: Game Development and the Right to Privacy of the Individual, and that's what I'm going to talk about in this blog.

 

The concept of this blog:

  1. Making assumtions about Game Development or the the Right to Privacy matter.
  2. Leaving every post open for discussion.
  3. Giving me and others greater knowledge about these two subjects.
     

This is what I call: Viral Blogging.

- What's Viral Blogging? or Viral Marketing? See my upcoming blog post.

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