Articles of Interest

  • Via Morgan Ramsay, a Magid research study has revealed the following:
    • Half of game buyers, including hardcore game buyers, focus mainly on price (yet again, reason to consider mechanisms such as episodic content and micropayments to reduce initial purchase pain.)
    • Recommendations from friends and family are four times more “influential” than TV commercials, magazine reviews, or game demos. Previous experience with a game franchise was 2.5x more influential.
  • In an effort to fight cheating, EA has closed 180 user accounts and deleted 15 trillion gold pieces from Ultima Online (the equivalent, as explained by Raph Koster, of $21M USD – derived from current eBay prices).
  • BioWare has 3M registered users in its official fan community.
  • Powergrid’s Kilowatt game/exercise system will be installed in various Gold’s Gyms nationwide. Gold’s is not known as a “high tech” or “luxury” gym chain, so this announcement is especially notable.
  • I received an email announcing that EA is looking for a lead designer to help create a new, female-friendly online multiplayer Sims title. Not unexpected; this market is too attractive to abandon just because Sims Online didn’t pan out.
  • Sulake, maker of Habbo Hotel, has raised another $7.65M, on top of $23.5M just over a year ago. Sulake had revenues of $30M last year, and is expanding into Asia.

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