Posts Tagged ‘video games’

Facebook is Your New Desktop

August 8, 2009

by joseph.young.2009

With the massive growth in social gaming over the past 12 months, I felt it was necessary to get some first hand experience on what makes these games so successful. Though I’m still studying the space, one takeaway from the experience was Facebook’s design to become your new desktop.

What do I mean by this? Just look at these two pictures.

FacebookDesktop

The first image shows Facebook in my browser at fullscreen (F11 on Firefox and IE). This should not look surprising to anyone who has used Facebook recently to play a flashed based game. What is interesting is when you compare this image to the image of a clean install of Windows XP.

xpDesktop

The “Start” menu in Windows is replaced by the “Applications” in Facebook. Bookmarked application buttons give you access to the Facebook apps you access often. This is a direct copy of the quick launch icons in the windows taskbar (not shown in this screenshot). On the bottom right of the Facebook window is the chat client that mimics a chat program (say MSN) in your system tray.

Facebook has taken a user interface (UI) that the majority of computer users are familiar (Windows XP), and reproduced it online. This may be due to the Microsofts investment in Facebook, or just a reflection of their chummy relationship. My opinion on Facebook’s strategy is a bit more nefarious. The end goal is to kill the heavyweight OS, and instead have users connect directly to the web when they boot up their computers and spend all their computer time in Facebook.

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Creating a Brand Ecosystem

November 9, 2008

by joseph.young.2009

A brand (or business) ecosystem allows customers to live in your brand constantly transitioning from product to product or service to service, or a hybrid of the two. Here are some examples.

Microsoft Windows and Office keep your productivity in the Microsoft brand. Moving between the different applications, Word, Outlook, Excel allow you to do what you need to do everyday under the Microsoft umbrella. You’re become engrained in your workflow that requires Microsoft products indefinitely.

Google does the same thing, wrapping the majority of what you do on the internet in the Google brand. Searching is now “googling,” news is google news or google reader, workflow is moving online in google docs. You spend enough time there, and you’re living in the Google ecosystem.

Game have tried this in the past, but now they’re a larger push. I believe this is a result of general content improving on all levels, requiring people to work harder to keep their audience’s attention. One case of this is between Fable II and Fable II Pub Games. The player could play the Xbox Live Arcade game (secondary interface) before the game came out and allow them to build up a gold balance to spend in the main game (primary interface), Fable II. Another recent attempt is in Tiger Woods 09. They’re tying a cellphone game and console game to keep you thinking about golf all day long. The result of these campaigns should see increased sales over other titles. Fable II is off to a great start selling 1.32M units in just a few weeks. The affect of the new cellphone title on Tiger Woods 09 should be iteresting to watch. Last year they sold under 1M units on a single SKU with Tiger Woods 08. Let’s see if the ecosystem can get the title back over the 1M unit mark on a signle SKU like they did back in 04 and 05.

Motion Pictures Copying Video Games

October 26, 2008

Those of us hitting our thirties and forties (men mostly) have grown up with two things: video games and motion pictures. By motion pictures I mean television and movies. And by video games, I mean the stuff on the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) and SNES (Super NES). Back in the SNES days, I was introduced to franchises. One that always rings fondly is the Final Fantasy Series. The great thing about a franchise is that you can do any number of storyline and characters without people ever becoming disinterested. Think of any great sports franchises. The Lakers, the Raiders, the Yankees. Any of these franchises are so powerful that they attract an increasing number of viewers (families and generations) every season (year). Video games publishers look for the same thing. Read the rest of this entry »

Video Games as Advertising Channels is Here

October 16, 2008

With the election less than 3 weeks away, the media blitz to create political awareness and convincing is in full swing. Traditionally this is through print, radio, television. You know, the traditional mediums. In 2004, advertising on the web was the hot thing. Howard Dean’s grassroots campaign saw plenty of banner ads. But that was 2004. What’s happening in 2008?

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Why Atari will Succeed

September 19, 2008
lastshepard.wordpress.com

Source: lastshepard.wordpress.com

Reading about the Phil Harrison interview yesterday, anyone in the game industry would see Atari‘s forward thinking strategy. The focus of the company moving forward will be based on digital distribution and new media (Facebook, iPhone, etc). Contrast this with the strategy of Gamestop and parts of EA, and you can tell why this is forward thinking.

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