This Week In The Business: Spilling Trade Secrets Is A Party Foul

This Week in The Business: Spilling Trade Secrets is a Party Foul

"They were sparring, with a little braggadocio, a little machismo, in a very immature way. Our employee said something he shouldn't have said. It's embarrassing." -- Kabam SVP Steve Swasey, explaining why competitor Machine Zone is suing Kabam over trade secrets.

Elsewhere in the business of gaming this week...

QUOTE | "Maybe it's just delusions of grandeur, but you just think, if I release a game, everyone will go, 'What's that?' And then they will all pile onto the servers, have a great time, and get the ball rolling and talk about it. But that didn't happen." -- Dan Marshall, creator of Gun Monkeys, talking about why he now realises how important marketing is to games."

QUOTE | "I realised that with work I'd have to do to actually create a demo, I might as well make the game." -- Tim Follin, creator of Contradiction -- Spot the Liar!, talking about how the full-motion video indie game came about.

QUOTE | "Fundamental changes are needed to ensure Rovio succeeds in its global ambitions to be the leading entertainment company with mobile games at its heart." -- Rovio CEO Pekka Rantala, talking about why the company is laying off 260 employees, for a total of 370 employees in less than a year.

QUOTE | "Overall, the market for mobile games is growing and there are hundreds of thousands of games out there. However, all of the growth is within the top one per cent, even a fraction of the top one per cent." - Wooga CEO Jens Begemann, talking about how they have to spend much more on marketing to have a chance at success.

STAT | 15 per cent -- Percentage of total American mobile phone usage time devoted to games in 2015, according to Yahoo! analytics firm Flurry; total mobile phone usage rose by 35 per cent over 2014, but game time dropped from 32 per cent of total time (from 52 minutes per day to 33 minutes per day).

QUOTE | "You don't make money by making games, you make money by shipping games." -- Pixelbomb Games lead coder Phil Muwanga, talking about why the two-year-old studio is determined to get its ambitious debut title Beyond Flesh and Blood finished.

QUOTE | "We're not seeking to make a game that heaps of people will play... We're only making it because I really want to play this game." -- DayZ creator Dean Hall, explaining why he's making his new MMO called Ion.

QUOTE | "As fame and celebrity latch onto the games industry as it moves upward, it begs the question of if and how it will affect the industry." -- SuperData's CEO Joost van Dreunen, talking about the increasing importance of noted actors and celebrities on games.

QUOTE | "Your average game fan who chooses a project to invest in will know as much or more about what they are doing and the risk they are taking as your average investor in anything." -- Mike Wilson, co-founder of Devlover Digital and Gambitious, arguing why "equity crowdfunding" is a good idea.

QUOTE | "We've seen a lot of great initiatives on the hardware side, but ultimately it's going to be the content that sells headsets." -- Tommy Palm, CEO and co-founder of Resolution Games, talking about how his company raised $US6 million to create VR games.

STAT | 3.7 per cent -- Amount video game hardware sales rose at GameStop last quarter compared to the same quarter last year, according to the company; however, that 3.7 per cent increase is after you adjust for the change in the value of the dollar, and without that adjustment hardware revenue dropped 2.2 per cent.

Top image via Shutterstock.


Comments

    I like this one:
    QUOTE | “Maybe it’s just delusions of grandeur, but you just think, if I release a game, everyone will go, ‘What’s that?’ And then they will all pile onto the servers, have a great time, and get the ball rolling and talk about it. But that didn’t happen.” — Dan Marshall, creator of Gun Monkeys, talking about why he now realises how important marketing is to games.”

    Yeah... also, it was an indie multiplayer-only PVP game. If you go plodding into that bone-filled tar-pit (seriously, Steam is an elephant's graveyard of indie multiplayer-only PVP games), it should probably come with some realistic expectations. Glad to see that lesson stuck. From the actual article:
    He says the game taught him practical things about developing 2D games in Unity and creating procedurally generated levels, as well as instilling in him a greater appreciation for the value of solitary gaming.
    "I'm not touching multiplayer with a barge pole ever again," Marshall said.

    And The Swindle (his next title), does actually look pretty rad.
    Good to see someone actually being sane about the role of Publishers, too.

    Publishers are only 'bad' when they affect creative control for the sake of sales. The real purpose of a publisher should be to do just that: publish. Market and distribute. Game developers are not marketeers. They are not distributors. This is a good role for a publisher to serve.

    The problem with big publishers is the same problem that came around with music labels. They started bankrolling the creative process, and because they were doing it for money instead of the love of art, they expected a return, and because they want to maximize their return, they affect creative control to generate the kind of game that gets a return.

    The Swindle's promotion extended beyond that immediate sphere of influence, thanks in part to a partnership Marshall undertook with Curve Digital. He had originally signed up with the publisher to port the game to consoles, but said Curve was eager to take the game on the road to shows like PAX and EGX Rezzed, and helped line up coverage at outlets Marshall thought might not have been interested if he had approached them personally.

    This. This is a publisher's job. And this is what you should pay them for. NOT for bankrolling the thing, which they then own themselves and the developer gets a cut, it should be the other way around.

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