Previously, I had written about how the defining feature of gaming’s next generation will be a greater focus on accessibility. Today I would like to focus on one specific aspect of this: Bringing games to where the people are.
In the short history of gaming it has been an almost universal truth that people had to go to where the games were to play them. We had arcades which we had to drive to in order to play games. We had dedicated games consoles that people had to buy, set up and switch out games. We had PCs but were still limited in that people had to actively go to the game/computer store to buy games to play. In all these instances, the games did not come to the people. The people had to go to them.
In the future, games will be everywhere there are people a screen and an input device. You can already see this in mobile phones. Since the rise of the mobile phone with a screen, we have had gaming. It was limited in its scope to tetris clones, snake, card games and other limited graphic games. Now we have two prominent smart phone developers that have brought high resolution gaming to the public. People are used to carrying phones and now have the ability to use them as micro PCs including playing games on them. (more…)
I recently wrote this article on Gamasutra in response to a pair of articles which talked about the practice of copying game mechanics. The discussion has been interesting. So here it is for my own records.
I had never heard of Vlambeer or Gamenauts before yesterday. I had never heard of Radical Fishing or Ninja Fishing either. Yet in a single day, both companies and both games came crashing through my browser. Why?
To make a long story short, Vlambeer made a simple little flash game called Radical Fishing. They have a following of supportive and caring fans. They released this and made some money off of it.They decided they wanted to port the game to the iPhone but with improved graphics and gameplay. However they needed money now and made a couple more games browser.
While all this happened, Another game company, Gamenauts, saw a fun game that did not have an iPhone equivalent and decided to bring a game to that market that had those mechanics. This caused an uproar among fans of Vlambeer and their games.
That is the story in a nutshell. (more…)
Last week I was asked by the owner of Techdirt, Mike Masnick, to write up what my favorite posts of the week were. You can read it there and for my sake, you can read it here too:
It is an honor and a privilege to share with you my favorite Techdirt posts this week. I love this site and feel extremely tempted to just say, “Everything.” However, I will constrain myself and point out a few relevant and interesting stories from this week.
First, I want to point out the Dilbert comic on patents. This is the second time since I started reading this site that Dilbert has been cited; I doubt it will be the last. The thing with Scott Adams is he has immersed himself in technology and business and knows what he is making fun of. So when he is making fun of patent trolls, you know it is a serious business problem. I think too many companies took Dogbert’s Top Secret Management Handbook seriously and are actually running their businesses in that way.
Next, we have a couple of stories about Patent trolls getting their just desserts. First we have the story of EON-NET getting a smack-down from CAFC for filing bogus lawsuits. When is a non-practicing entity who files patent infringement lawsuits not filing a bogus lawsuit? Then we have the story about Fark standing up to Gooseberry. Seriously, with a name like “Gooseberry”, they should have known what was coming. What is really sad about this particular exchange was the nature of the patent itself. “Generating a press release online.” Well, if you happen to use Google Apps or WordPress to write press releases for your business, you owe these guys some money. Well, maybe not after the thrashing Fark gave them. (more…)
It has come to my attention, in a rather unsettling way, that content producers are more and more often turning to an adversarial relationship with their fans. I have seen this over the last year in the games industry as more and more game companies are turning to always on DRM (Ubisoft, Blizzard) or are turning to forcing fans to pay extra for online play if they get the game second hand (EA, THQ among others). This type of adversarial behavior is not even confined to games. It happens in film, music and television. Just recently, I had an encounter with SyFy over the policy of punishing fans of their shows who choose to watch online.
In everyone of these cases, the content producers are somehow “surprised” that their decisions are met with backlash from their fans. I don’t really understand why anyone can be surprised by that reaction. When you treat someone well for many years and then, for seemingly no reason, decide to slap them across their face, it should be no surprise that your fans will react poorly. (more…)
Two years ago, my wife and I found the Syfy series Sanctuary on Netflix. The first 2 seasons were available and we watched all of it. We loved the show. We were really excited about catching the third season this past year. However, we do not subscribe to cable or satellite television and were unable to catch the new episodes as they aired. So we turned to Hulu.com. This was great because Sanctuary season two ended on quite a cliff hanger.
Sadly, we were very disappointed with the news that after episode 2, new episodes would have to wait a full month before they would be available for streaming either on Hulu or Syfy’s own website. We ended up forgetting about the show and missing several episodes before we remembered. This is where another poor policy stepped in. Syfy only allows the last 5 episodes to stream. By the time we remembered to start watching, 2 or 3 episodes were already knocked off the internet. This made us upset and we just stopped watching.