19th March 2009 by Diane
As micro-payments rapidly become the mainstream model for most new online games, there is a massive rise of business models offering collectible items. From games where the collectible elements are at the very center of the gameplay, like Magic The Gathering Online, PoxNora, Urban Rivals, Bella Sara, all the games from ChallengeGames, the recent UpperDeckU and the upcoming BattleForge, to games having a “Gachapon” , lottery ticket or “Lucky box” feature offering collectibles added as an afterthought (MapleStory, ShotOnline, etc…), collections of items acquired through a random factor are flourishing and are on the way to becoming a must-have in any micro-payment system. SOE has invested in the model even before having micro-payment games, by acquiring Worlds Apart TCG studio in 2006, before launching an EverQuest 1 & 2 in-game CCG, Legends of Norrath. More recently, they acquired PoxNora developer Octopi, and seem to be introducing collectible elements in all their new games. It’s still a mystery why Nintendo has not released a truly online Pokemon game yet. Read the rest of this entry »
19th February 2009 by Diane
SOE has released 60TB of data free for research(via ArsTechnica). This is a brilliant move from SOE, it is really likely to benefit the whole industry (and probably social science academic fields as well), but themselves are likely to benefit from it the most (since the data is about their game and customers.)
There are a few interesting snippets in the article from the preliminary examination of the data, which we found particularly worth mentioning:
- Players in the same time zone are 1.25 times more likely to play together
- Players in the same 10km area are 5 times more likely to interact
The data is only about US players, but this is something we have already observed with European MMO services (and it gets even more prominent once you throw different languages into the mix). Read the rest of this entry »
29th January 2009 by Diane
- Flying Labs opens a casual MMO division (“family-oriented”)
- Games Convention Leipzig is cancelled, but Games Convention Online will take place there from 31/07 to 2/08, dedicated to online games and especially browser games.
- Internet in 2008 in numbers.
- Study from Pew Research shows 35% of all US internet adults have a social network profile. For 18/24 years old it’s 75%. 50% of the US adult socnet users have a profile on MySpace, 22% on Facebook.
- SOE partners with PopCap for casual games on the PSN.
- WOW to have accounted for 50% of Activision Blizzard’s earnings last fiscal year according to analyst.
- Console manufacturers impacted by recession.