Archive for the ‘pc’ Category

Here’s a nice follow-up to yesterday’s post about the Korean online games market. Gamasutra has a good interview with Min Kim, VP of Nexon USA, about the company’s expansion into Western markets with their games and business model.

One of Kim’s main points here is that every new game that launches as free-to-play here in North America is actually helping Nexon (and others) build the market. This is a nascent market that needs to be built up before the publishers get too worried about competition. Right now they need to focus on convincing players of traditional North American games that free-to-play is worth their time.

Read the full article at Gamasutra

San Jose based Pearl Research has recently published a report forecasting the online games market in Korea to exceed $2 billion in 2011. Growth has been beyond healthy, with three of the top 5 Korean game operators seeing a more than 50% increase in revenue in 2009. The companies have shifted their focus beyond the Korean borders and Nexon in particular has announced that non-Korean contributions accounted for the majority of its global revenue in 2009. Micro-transactions are a key to the growth for these operators and it’s interesting to see this business model grow to other regions beyond Asia.

Read the full press release (pdf warning)

UPDATE: Well, that was fast! Looks like Blizzard is now NOT going to require real names for forum posts. So much for that experiment I mentioned below. Still kind of interesting to see this play out though. Obviously the Blizzard users weren’t so excited about the idea of their real names showing on the forums – so much so that Blizzard quickly changed their policy. Power to the people right? My original post remains below.

Looks like the end of anonymous flame wars and forum trolls. At least that seems to be Blizzard’s hope for their Battle.net portal forums.

Blizzard has recently introduce their Real ID feature that is meant to unify your account for their games and give you a more engaging and accessible experience – I’m paraphrasing, but you get he point. The bottom line is that one of the features of Real ID is to expose players real names to their friends in Blizzard games. This also extends to the forums.

It will definitely be an interesting experiment to watch as requiring a forum poster to include their real name is rare at best. It could have a significant affect on the overall number of posts and on the content of those posts. Now when you get Rickrolled by John Smith you can go find him in-game and punish him.

Realtime Worlds recently announced via their user forums that they will feature in-game voice ads in APB. The news was actually originally dropped (accidentally) via one of the beta users that noticed a button for voip premium on his account page. A long and somewhat nasty thread erupted and led to one of the community officers posting a sticky to officially explain what’s going on.

The biggest complaint among users is that this is not a free game. Users will buy the game and pay monthly fees. The fee for premium voip (to get rid of the ads) is on top of the other costs. They are also peeved because of the way this news got out and because it came out so late into the beta. The game is now in early access and will be launching soon, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens with this feature.

Overall, it looks like the APB users are actually pretty accepting of voice ads. What they are really taking issue with is the implementation.

Ok, so full disclosure – I work for Dolby Labs and am Product Manager for Dolby Axon. So I definitely have a vested interested in Dolby Axon.

(Dolby Axon is a voice chat technology for online games and the desktop client is our stand-alone chat client)

That being said, I honestly do think the latest update we’ve made to the Dolby Axon desktop client is really cool. The main feature of this release is an application programmers interface (API) that allows independent software developers to create applications that integrate with the Dolby Axon desktop client. This means that you can add support for Dolby Axon voice chat to any application. We’re hoping that the community will create game mods, addons, plus lots of other cool stuff that we haven’t even considered.

The Dolby Axon desktop API is installed with every copy of the desktop client (it’s tiny) so that everything you need to get started with development is right there in the install folder.

I’ll be posting as software is released that includes support for Dolby Axon. When the list gets long (hopefully soon) then I’ll create a page here to track things.

As always, you can find the Dolby Axon desktop client here: http://axon.dolby.com

For more information about this release please see our knowledge base: http://support.axon.dolby.com

how a beta can backfire

Posted: June 27, 2010 in console, games marketing, pc

EA is gearing up to release the latest in the Medal of Honor franchise – called simply Medal of Honor – and are really looking for a return to glory. This was no doubt planned to battle the Call of Duty franchise from Activision that has been dominant lately. EA has taken a cross-studio approach and have tapped DICE (famous for the Battlefield franchise) for the game’s multi-player and EA Los Angeles (the traditional Medal of Honor studio) for the single-player campaign. I saw the game recently at E3 and while I didn’t see anything ground breaking, it does look like a perfectly competent shooter that plays well and was fun in my quick show-floor demo. I’m definitely excited to play more.

What’s been interesting to me has been the response to a minor delay with the Xbox 360 beta. Read on for the details.

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