Articles of Interest

iPhone apps and games have earned Apple just $20 to $45 million, according to rough estimates by Jeremy Liew. (Of course, Apple doesn’t care because the app store is more of a marketing tool for the iPhone than anything else, as far as it’s concerned.) The remaining 70% — $50m to $115m — hardly justifies any real interest in attempting to generate revenue by selling games; giving them away for free and monetizing with microtransactions, on the other hand, is interesting. And of course, I’d expect to see a boatload of (additional) advergames in the near future — perhaps some will even be good!

The iPhone lost its spot as top-selling phone to the BlackBerry Curve in the first quarter of 2009. The Curve succeeded thanks, in part, to Verizon’s “Buy one, get one free” deal and from availability via four major carriers as opposed to just AT&T.

Interesting article about level pacing in single player, hardcore action games.

EA’s digital game distribution revenue has almost doubled year-over-year to $80m, and digital revenue as a whole grew to $400m. EA trumpeted those numbers as heralds to a new age of PC-based gaming.

Nintendo has revealed the global lifetime sales figures for first party Wii and DS titles. For the Wii: Wii Play – 23m, Wii Fit – 18.2m, Mario Kart Wii – 15.4m, Smash Bros. Brawl – 8.43m, Super Mario Galaxy – 8m, Mario Party 8 – 6.7 million. For the DS: Nintendogs – 22.27m, New Super Mario Bros. – 18.45m, Brain Training – 17.4m, Pokemon Diamond/Pearl – 16.8m, Mario Kart DS – 14.6m, Brain Training 2 – 13.7m, Animal Crossing: Wild World – 10.8m, Super Mario 64 DS – 7.5 million

This interview with SOE about the marketing of Free Realms was interesting to me in part because it discusses the use of twitter and pseudo-“exclusive” access to the Free Realms beta as a mechanism for driving consumer excitement. This is one of the several potential uses of scarcity that I referred to in my MBA lessons, Applied lecture at GDC and the IGDA Leadership Forum.

Walmart has leased store space to E-play, which released 77 “Video Game Buyback” automated kiosks at select Walmart locations as part of a limited pilot program. Customers scan a game’s jewel case at the machines, at which point a buy back price point appears on the unit’s screen. If the customer accepts the buy back price, the machine confirms the authenticity of the game disc and issues a credit to the customer’s credit card.

There’s more to life than games:

Another great Gladwell article, “How David Beats Goliath.” Summary: relentlessness and/or unconventional tactics that exploit obvious weaknesses.

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