Season’s Gaming

To the Editor: I enjoyed your Boutique MMOGs article. Naturally I agree that such smaller games represent a great opportunity for developers. However, I wish to point out that Puzzle Pirates was made for approximatey US $750k, not the ‘paltry $3M’ your article mentions in the same breath. If we’d had the foresight not to include the kitchen sink it might have been even cheaper, but then again, we might have eaten better, too. I would hate to make aspiring ramen-eaters think that a game of PP’s scope requires multiple seven figures.

– Daniel James, CEO, Three Rings

In response to “The Industrialization of Play” from The Escapist Forum: I can understand the desire to keep your in-game economy truly and permanently in-game, but personally the only ways I can see to prevent it from expanding outside the game world are by either excluding the economy altogether, or letting the developers take total control of the transactions.

– Bongo Bill

In response to “Club Xanadu” from The Escapist Forum: A fascinating article. I love how the article was titled “Club Xanadu” in reference to “Citizen Kane” which in turn was about … ah whatever … (and since when do game monsters have DNA?)

This whole article sounds so incredibly surreal, it sounds like its straight out of an old Sci-Fi channel film from the 70’s or something, or the Twilight Zone. I really wonder how successful this guy will be because of this, though. I personally think it won’t grow much beyond where it is now, but I could be wrong, and this could explode in a few years time.


In Response to “A Better Way to Play” from The Escapist Forum: Attempting to change the mainstream, push-button control style that has dominated the past two decades or so is kind of a big deal (to me at least). Maybe the change doesn’t seem like a big deal right now. The games are still first gen for the console cycle (and are subject to all the problems that go along with that). They will get better; and, I hope, they will bring gaming to a new standard of control.

We don’t think of it now, but where would we be without the analog stick? It seemed like a small difference at first, but it has made a huge impact in gaming (imagine Halo with just two D-pads). I expect motion sensitivity and pointing control to do the same.

– Blaxton

In response to “Little, Red Yen” from The Escapist Forum: It looks like the 360 has a chance to get some sales this time around, with Blue Dragon. Although it’s just hit the streets in Japan, people are already saying that MS is still underperforming in Japan. Getting huge sales RIGHT NOW isn’t a realistic strategy or expectation, but now that MS has tasted hither-to unknown success in Japan, someone needs to wake up and continue courting big-name Japanese developers to take a chance on their hardware.

Get Japanese developers to produce products for the Japanese market (which even to me, who is not a marketing ninja, is such a painfully obvious move), and not only will they move in Japan, but they’ll also sell well in the US.

– Scopique

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