19th March 2009 by Diane

Virtual Collectibles

collectiblesAs 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 »

Posted in Events, ICO Partners

19th February 2009 by Diane

SOE data and local communities

neighborhoodSOE 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 »

Posted in Events, ICO Partners

29th January 2009 by Diane

News roundup 29/01/08

Posted in Events, ICO Partners