No Whales: Toward Sustainable Mobile Economics

  Last week, during Nintendo’s Financial Results Briefing, company president Satoru Iwata was asked about how Nintendo planned to monetize their upcoming ventures into mobile games, specifically if they were planning on analyzing existing games as they designed their own.  Iwata acknowledged that the most successful and common strategy in the Japanese mobile market (which […]

Game Mods: Labor and Value

Last week, Valve made the shocking (though not altogether unanticipated) move toward allowing modders to sell mods through Steam Workshop.  This experiment lasted less than a week before it was abandoned in the face of widespread criticism and general discontent among Steam users.  I don’t feel the need to attempt a complete history of the […]

Game Design vs Whaling

Earlier this week, Mike Rose posted an excellent article on Gamasutra about the ethics of free-to-play game design. Despite similarities in name, free-to-play games are not the same as freeware games. While the latter are games that are actually given away by their developers, free of charge, free-to-play games entail a business model in which […]

A Humble Surprise

In my opinion, one of the most significant things to happen in the world of videogames in the last few years is the Humble Indie Bundle.  Beginning as somewhat of an experiment by the guys at Wolfire, the Humble Bundle challenged established industry assumptions about money, DRMs and corporate control.  Using a “Pay What You […]

Money Making Game

I got a survey about game development in my inbox today.  The questions were mainly focused on economics and employment, but they made me think.  Of course, as an academic, my research deals primarily with the videogame industry, so I think about it all the time.  This survey, however, wasn’t asking the academic me, but […]