Category — New Business Models
GameIndustry.biz Article: "The Evolution of Distribution". This GameIndustry.biz feature article discusses Introversion Software's fierce independence and success with digital game distribution.
I wrote about this earlier when the XNA Game Studio Express Beta 2 was launched. This should be of interest for all budding game developers. All the tools you need to develop Windows and Xbox 360 games are available for free here. XNA developers can become members of the XNA Developers Club to access other XNA developers’ games and share their games with like-minded developers for $99 U.S. a year. Frankly, this is a terrific bargain and a wonderful opportunity for budding game developers to try their hand game development. Click here to get started.
More XNA Information: Gamasutra |Gamasutra 2 (interview with MS Rep) | Red Herring | XBox 365 | GameIndustry.biz 1 | GameIndustry.biz 2 (DNA of XNA)| NFHQ | XBox Solution | Digital Trends | Microsoft Press Release | Joystiq | GameSpot | CNet | Daily Tech
Dale's Comment: I was initially stoked about this announcement. I'd love to learn some new Halo 2 moves from Fatal1ty. That is, until I got to the fine print. Apparently CBS will only show snippets of actual game play because the content of the competitions are too violent for prime-time television. How crazy is this!? While I gather getting network coverage IS a step forward, this is the same-old, same-old network thinking! Who would want to watch something called the "World Series of Video Games" without being able to watch the actual competitions in their entirety! Clearly network TV is not the right venue for this. This will have to head on over to cable in order for it to be successful in the long term.
Microsoft’s XNA Game Studio Express Beta 2 aims to provide anyone who’s ever thought they’d like to take a stab at developing a video game with a platform and system to do so. The beta version can be downloaded for free until December 11.
Dale’s Comment: From everything I’ve heard about the XNA Game Studio, this bodes very well for both the future of video gaming and the prospects for new developers to get into the business. With this development environment, anyone can attempt to develop video games. Video games created with XNA can be uploaded to the Internet and downloaded by members of the XNA Creators Club ($99 a year – or $44 for a 4 month trial) who wish to give your game a go – including through Xbox 360 Live Marketplace downloads. This is a tremendous opportunity for new developers to start off small and get their creations seen by publishers. If successful, such small games might, one day, become saleable PC game titles or XBox 360 Arcade titles – or both. Heck, maybe I’ll give it a try!
GameStop has launched its new Internet-based digital distribution service “Download Now“. The service launches with some 1,000 titles including games from Capcom and Eidos.
Dale’s Comment: Internet video game distribution is an inevitability. The only thing surprising about this is that it took GameStop this long to get into the game that Valve has been in for several years with its Steam digital distribution system. I believe third party digital distribution has a very bright future. GameStop may face the same challenge that the likes of Cinema Now and others have faced in the context of online movie distribution – an industry reluctant to share revenue from 3rd party online distributors in the hopes it can bypass such distributors. But just like movies, in the main, I believe gamers won’t want to surf from publisher web-site to publisher website when searching for online game purchases. They’ll want a choice of one stop online game aggregaters just as they have a choice of brick and mortar shops to shop for games today.
Attorney Tom Buscaglia discusses some of the advantages of digital distribution for today’s video game developer – including higher profits, retention of IP rights and new funding models.
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Tom Hunter discusses the current and future pricing model for video games. Hunter argues why, in today’s modern age, there may be alternatives to charging consumers flat rates for specific content, citing the subscription-based cable industry as a model of particular merit to examine