It is my day to write the Editor’s Note, the short, sweet and hopefully entertaining introduction to this week’s issue of The Escapist, “Whole New Door” discussing how a game makes it from the hands of the creators to you, the consumer. I sit at my PC, staring at the blinking cursor on a backdrop of white for about 20 minutes, decide that’s not helping and set off to explore the internet to hopefully get the creative juices flowing.
On my journeys, I discover the best t-shirt evar through an ad on … some site or other. I answer some emails, stare at others blankly. I answer some IMs, and again, stare at others blankly. I turn back to the internet to watch the most disturbing video of the week, sent to me by IM. My reaction was somewhat like Christopher Judge’s.
I go back to my blinking friend, and yes, stare blankly at it for a while. I know that once I type the Editor’s Note, all I will have to do is copy/paste it into our beloved/hated content management system, ask for a proof and it’s good to go. The above internet cruising, pondering and blank staring is about as complex as it gets here with content delivery in today’s wired age. Starting an article is often the hardest part. Once it’s done, toss it up on the net and it goes directly to the user’s brain. And stays there. Like the Orangina commercial. But less … furry.
Games? Not so much. They are still dealing with the multi-layered system of publisher to distributor to store shelf to user. Seems awfully complicated. Sure, some are jumping on the digital distribution bandwagon, but not all platforms have reached a point where this is feasible. And so, many games are relegated to navigating the treacherous waters of the Distribution Channel, with it’s naysayers, bottom-line keepers and shelf-space watchers. And this week, we illuminate a few of the pitfalls of getting to market and some of the ingenious moves made to bypass those.