Counting the Game Industry’s Gold

Like most industries, the gaming industry is bound by the conventional economic wisdom that you must spend money to make money. Historically, that’s meant taking a loss on every game system sold (with the notable exception being most Nintendo consoles) in order to tap into selling game after game to console owners. This measure of success is known as the “attachment rate” or “tie ratio.” A somewhat (November 2008) dated Gamasutra chart shows that the Xbox was in the lead, with 6.6 games/system sold, followed by the Wii at 5.5 and the PS3 at 5.3.

This statistic has historically been a powerful metric for measuring market penetration and overall success for a console. After all, what’s the point of selling a console if you can’t sell game after game? But as with many things in today’s integrated media world, the lines have blurred and traditional metrics don’t necessarily tell the whole story. →  Read or die.

It’s the DLC, stupid!

Recently details came out about Guitar Hero: World Tour. It will have a fancy drum kit with faux cymbals. It will allow for music composition (sweet on paper). It may or may not be backwards compatible with DLC to date (depends on what article you read). It will feature approximately 85 master track songs, and will have a stronger downloadable content stream. It will also feature improved peripherals. Pricing will be “competitive” with Rock Band.

Rock Band 2 was just announced. It will feature improved peripherals, as well as support for third party peripherals. This is a great idea, because the equipment business sucks, and if Harmonix can find someone else to make better equipment, they can focus on their core competency: the music (we’ll get into that later). DLC songs will not only be forwards compatible, they will be backwards compatible: even if you choose not to upgrade to Rock Band 2, you will be able to continue to purchase new DLC and use it. →  Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Post

EA: Level 10 alchemists, Level 1 Tech Support

So unfortunately, like many Rock Band players, our guitar broke about a month ago. No problem, we have Guitar Hero 3 backups, so we’ll send it off for repair. Additionally, rumor is that you get a free EA game, so sure, we’ll take free stuff. So my roommate packaged up the guitar in a box (opting to not pay for immediate gratification, which was an option), and sent it off. We waited a few weeks, nothing happened, although the repair status on the website changed, so we anticipated that some sort of witchcraft was occurring deep in the EA support labs.

And boy were we right, at least about the witchcraft. Yesterday, a small box shows up for my roommate. He wasn’t expecting any porn (or so he claimed), so he was mystified what it could be. →  We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we play.