Articles of Interest

Inside Social Games estimates that offers are generating 30% of social game revenues in 2009 in the US.

Gameloft is de-emphasizing Android development. Their rationale: “We are selling 400 times more games on iPhone than on Android.”

While its well known that Valve goes to exceptional lengths to keep its game communities alive and growing, did you know that Team Fortress 2 has been updated 97 times since it was released two years ago? Almost once a week, on average.

And speaking of Valve, I love how organic their writing process seems to be. Writers are involved from the beginning of a game’s development (as they should be), but it’s understood that the narrative may change significantly — just like the gameplay — if a good-enough reason to make a change presents itself during development or playtesting. Bottom line: at Valve, narrative, like gameplay, is something that benefits from time and polish.

Rumor: Facebook may require developers to accept Facebook Credits alongside other payment options in their games and applications. Facebook’s cut? An “Apple-like cut of 30%.” I’d expect Facebook to go about this more subtly (for example, by doing more to expose quality games and applications, but leaving out those that fail to embrace Credits. If you don’t want the extra exposure, you can leave Credits, but you’ll likely just pay for the exposure in other ways…)

The Economist has published an excellent article, “A world of hits“, that echoes much of what I’ve been arguing about the Long Tail on this blog, and offers some interesting new data to boot. Worth a read!

There’s more to life than games:

Nice ABC video on Zappos’ service mentality, compensation and corporate culture. Interesting aspect of the hiring process: new employees are offered $2k with no strings attached if they’d like to quit at the end of their orientation/training period. I’m guessing that’s not really enough cash to make most people even seriously consider quitting, but it sends a signal (“if you’re just here for money, just take this check and leave now”) that in and of itself probably has some value.

On picking the co-founder of your startup: “The ideal founding team is two individuals, with a history of working together, of similar age and financial standing, with mutual respect. One is good at building products and the other is good at selling them.”

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