Articles of Interest

Even BioWare can stumble when it comes to community management. Takeaway: few people are better candidates for extensive training than your community managers! (Also: do not try to tell Star Wars fans what does and does not happen in their universe…). But as I knew it would, BioWare ultimately did the right thing by its community. :-)

MadWorld, the “blood soaked” action title once identified by IGN as one of the most anticipated Wii titles, which nicked an 82 metacritic score, has sold just 66,000 copies in the US. I don’t claim to know why. Perhaps the reason is that if you like this sort of game, you’re likely to be already playing one or more competing titles on your Xbox 360 or PS3 — which you prefer for action titles, perhaps, thanks to the online service and/or better graphics? Or perhaps hardcore gamers have simply stopped paying attention to the Wii? I didn’t closely follow Madworld’s release, so I don’t know if it was poorly launched, and thus, if such speculation is off-base. What do you think? Meanwhile, here come predictions that EA will dominate the Wii games market in the near future. (Note: many of EA’s upcoming titles are family-friendly and/or based on known IP, and thus not comparable to Madworld.)

Raph tells an insightful story about an Easter Egg hunt game in Metaplace: “There’s no reward in this game, there’s no winner or loser, and there’s no endgame. Yet even during testing, I had to tear myself away, and when put into Metaplace Central, average session length for the day went up 50%. But… in some sense, it’s a crummy game.”

Soren shares some of Sid Meier’s fundamental game design rules. A good read!

Alice discusses some of the work that she has been doing with Channel 4: “In sum: find talent, identify the key areas, find a fun angle, sow many seeds, and give the growing ideas as much sunlight as possible. Be useful. Make people smile, and give them something helpful to their lives. Public service gaming is fantastic.”

There’s more to life than games:

Wise words from Seth Godin: “People don’t reply when you [email] them a resume, because it costs too much to do that ten thousand times… Stamps are underrated. Friction rewards intent and creates scarcity.”

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