Tag Archives: facebook

Articles of Interest

A couple weeks ago Facebook launched “Pay with Facebook” — functionality that enables users to make purchases within 3rd party applications using credit cards or, of course, Facebook credits. Yet another move that makes Facebook’s 200m+ users that much more appealing to game designers.

NPD estimates that 18% of LIVE Gold members download content regularly. 10% of PS3/PSN users regularly download content. These stats are interesting, but largely incomplete as they leave out LIVE Silver users (though it’s clear they download less content than Gold users) and refer to downloads in total as opposed to free and paid downloads; I’d also like to have seen a definition of “regularly.” So, the only real takeaway here is that digital content consumption on the console is taking longer to really take off than many critics of retailers would like. (Bear in mind that many console buyers never connect their consoles, so those 18% and 10% figures are even worse than they sound.) NPD also reported that 56% of digital game sales came from just three channels between July and December 2008: Steam, Bigfishgames and RealArcade.

Xbox LIVE Marketplace is finally instituting a user rating system sometime this summer! Assuming it’s well implemented, this should have a meaningful impact on Marketplace, especially Community Games (or whatever they’re calling it now; “Indie Games” I believe.) Of course, if required free trials weren’t already enough to throw publishers off their game, required trials combined with user ratings will really throw them for a loop. You can’t just sell a pretty box with a recognizable name anymore.

A very useful reminder for PS3 skeptics like me: Sony has been named the top consumer technology brand by teenagers worldwide, ahead of Apple and Nintendo (!) according to the Global Habbo Youth Survey, which polled 112k teens from over 30 countries. PlayStation was also named the number one console brand, even after all of Sony’s recent missteps. Now if only Sony could get around to selling the PS3 at a price teenagers can afford…

The Sims 3 exceeded 1.4m units sold in its first week on shelves. Advertisers take note: this is the start (not the end) of a great opportunity for downloadable and expansion-based product placements. See just one example from The Sims 2 era.

Scott Foe’s clever Reset Generation is now freely available on Kongregate, where it serves as an advertisement for Nokia. Check it out if you’ve never had the chance to before.

There’s more to life than games:

A robotics research group has created a prototype that was able to open and pass through 10 doors and plug itself into 10 standard wall sockets in less than an hour. Turns out this is a relatively significant milestone. My favorite quote from the article: “Now they can escape and fend for themselves.”

Articles of Interest

Via Henry, a study comparing the online behavior of US and Chinese teens. Some of the results: almost five times as many Chinese as American respondents said they have a parallel life online (61% vs. 13%). More than half the Chinese sample (51%) said they have adopted a completely different persona in some of their online interactions, compared with only 17 percent of Americans. Lots more interesting stuff in there.

Interesting article advocating for greater use of social media within corporations. Crux of the argument: the top talent of the future will be repelled by potential employers that don’t make significant use of the same media technologies that potential employees use in their daily lives. Quote: “You’re at home…you’re Twittering, posting to your family’s blog and using Google Apps to set up your family’s annual vacation. You go into the office and you’re liberated by…email?” Yet again, this makes me think about the use of video games as employee attractors. (Why should advergames be targeted at consumers alone?)

Steve Meretzky is priceless. Who else could depress you for six minutes and fifty seconds, then make it all worthwhile in less than ten remaining? This video is worth watching. (And Steve, you’re so right.)

Here’s a milestone in the evolution of free video games: EA has announced that an upcoming title in the Battlefield franchise will be part of the company’s new “Play 4 Free” series of games. Revenue to be derived from advertising and microtransactions.

Tom Buscaglia offers some advice to independent developers when negotiating with publishers. His bottom line: don’t forget to ask for your share of ancillary revenue.

Nabeel Hyatt notices an interesting (if unsurprising) statistic: of the top 100 most active Facebook applications, games do not perform statistically better than the average application, but multiplayer games such as Warbook and Scrabulous average 11.4% active daily users, a good 30% higher than the average top Facebook app (8.01%). Given that the very purpose of Facebook is to connect you with others, this makes perfect sense.