Train2Game news: EA’s Peter Moore sees all digital future

Train2Game students have seen the games industry change a lot over the last few years, in part thanks to the rise of mobile and cloud based gaming, and according to EA COO Peter Moore, games companies will need to keep changing methods of operating in order to survive.

“Transitions are hard because revenue slows down and costs speed up. You’re getting ready to develop for new platforms, whether they be hardware platforms or software, and it’s getting to be even more complex now,” Moore told Industry Gamers in the latest of their ‘Better know’ interviews.

Interestingly, as previously reported by the Train2Game blog, Moore has previously stated that Nintendo’s Wii U is not a transitional platform.

But he believes that developers and publishers to stick to traditional business models will find that they eventually disappear.

The companies that have prepared themselves and have diversified their offerings to chase the consumer wherever they want to play games are the companies that will succeed and thrive and flourish. Companies that continue to rely on the old model as the model changes before our eyes, unless they change their ways and invest in the future those companies eventually will die off. No two ways about it,” said Moore.

And the EA COO believes that, while physical copies of games remain strong for now, eventually we’ll be in an entirely digital industry.

“The packaged goods business, while still flourishing and strong, eventually – as we’ve seen in music and movies – will go to the cloud. It will go digital and we’ll be delivering games from the cloud and delivering games directly to hard drives and we’re still going to sell a lot of discs for the foreseeable future.”

But eventually, physical media will diminish as the core part of how gamers get their content. And we’re ready for that, but we’re also still ready to be the number one packaged goods publisher in the world.” said Moore.

“If you want to be a publisher that’s still going to be viable for the consumer 3-4 years from now, you better be ready to deliver your content anytime, anywhere and to everyone.” he added

Peter Moore has previously questioned the role of handheld consoles thanks to the rise of smartphone gaming.

So Train2Game, what do you make of Moore’s comments? Will the future be digital?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

(Source: Industry Gamers)

Train2Game news: Bioware gets new specialist social studio

Mass Effect 3 will have Kinect supportTrain2Game students will of course know Bioware as developers of the Dragon Age and Mass Effect franchises, as well as the upcoming MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic. Now the Bioware group also has a specialised social games studio thanks to EA’s acquisition of casual developer KlickNation.

KlickNation has been renamed Bioware social and will specialise in developing RPGs for social networks such as Facebook.

“KlickNation’s expertise in building innovative and compelling RPGs for social platforms makes them a seamless tuck-in with the BioWare team at EA,” Bioware co-founder Dr. Ray Muzyka, who along with fellow co-founder Dr. Greg Zeschuk, recently spoke to the Train2Game blog.

“We share the same creative values. The new BioWare Social unit will bring BioWare and EA franchises to the growing audience of core gamers who are looking for high quality, rich gameplay experiences on social platforms.” Muzyka added.

KickNation has developed social games since 2009, with releases including SuperHero City and Six Gun Galaxy.

“While developing social RPG experiences, we held BioWare as a role model for storytelling and game design,” said Mark Otero GM of the new Bioware Social label.

“Joining with BioWare and EA is an opportunity to realize our vision for bringing high-quality RPG titles to the fast-growing, highly-engaged core gamers looking for deeper experiences on social platforms.”

The Train2Game blog previously reported that Bioware were exploring the ‘experimental’ mobile market.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on EA and Bioware’s continued moves into mobile gaming? Are you excited by the prospect of a Bioware RPG on Facebook?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: GI.biz]

Train2Game news: Insomniac Games reveal social games influencing their Triple A titles

Train2Game students will be well aware what impact social games have had on the industry, but their influence isn’t just limited to Facebook and other networking sites.

Insomniac Games, developer of the Ratchet & Clank series , formed social games division Insomiac Click earlier this year, and believe it’s already influencing their Triple A products.

“Things are changing every day in that space. I think that is what’s so exciting about dipping our toes into that particular ocean,” Insomniac Games CEO Ted Price told GameSpot.

“We are learning lessons that we probably wouldn’t have learned if we were purely focused on our console games.”

“I think it’s opening our eyes to the necessity of more social hooks. And when I say that, I mean more focus on community, more focus on sharing within and across games. These are big topics that we discuss frequently at Insomniac when it comes to looking to the future, and we want to make sure that we are not stuck in the traditional console development set of rules.”

There is no right way to do it,” he added. “That’s what is exciting about it.”

Regular Train2Game blog readers may remember that a number of Triple A developers and publishers are planning to integrate social aspects into their games. Activision believe social is the future for consoles, and are plotting a ‘methodical’ entry into the social games sector.

Meanwhile, the Train2Game blog has also reported that Bioware are exploring the ‘experimental’ social media and mobile markets.  Could big publishers such as EA and Activision therefore be influenced by social games?

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on Triple A titles learning from social titles? Is it something that’s positive for the industry?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: GameSpot]

Train2Game news: Zynga building own social games site

Train2Game students will no doubt be aware that Zynga’s games are heavily tied to Facebook, with the Train2Game blog previously reporting that at its peak Cityville had over 100 million users.

Allies & Empires also reached over 50 million users within weeks of launching, thanks to the Facebook platform.

Now however, Zynga wants to reduce their reliance on the social network, after the introduction of Facebook Credits saw a 95% drop in profits during the last financial quarter, and will start delivering games directly to consumers online or on mobile phones.

The social game developer has therefore revealed ‘Project Z,’ on Zynga.com, a gaming hub that’ll allow players to connect to games such as Farmville through their own portal rather than Facebook.

Games can be played across Project Z and Facebook as players will be allowed to use the same username and will feature familiar social features.

“Project Z is a Facebook connect platform that leverages your Facebook friends to play in an environment tailored with just your friends,” said Zynga COO John Schappert said at the Zynga Unleashed event in San Francisco.

“We learn a lot more about our players, not just from stats but from talking to them, and this is what they wanted.”

“It’s a platform for a direct relationship with consumers, whether on the web or on mobile, to give you a whole sandbox and create socialness about the games and not just within the games,” Zynga chief executive Mark Pincus added.

The news comes the day after Facebook launched its iPad App, and as reported by the Train2Game blog, it means Facebook games can now be played on mobile devices.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on Zynga’s move? What does it say about Facebook gaming? And what is the future of social media games?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum

[Source:  WSJ]

Train2Game news: Activision plot ‘methodical’ entry into social & mobile gaming

Train2Game students will be aware that many game developers are moving into digital, social and mobile gaming.

Indeed, as reported by the Train2Game blog, one of the biggest games industry publishers in the form of EA is massively committed to a digital push.

Their biggest rivals however, Activision, have been less keen to embrace digital. The Train2Game blog has previously reported that Activision CEO still sees a big future for traditional bricks and mortar retail rather than an all digital future.

And while Activision have yet to buy into social or mobile gaming in a significant way, their eventual entry will be ‘methodical’ Gamasutra report CFO Thomas Tippl told the Citi 2011 Tech Conference in New York City

We’re methodically investing in social and mobile gaming projects,” he said.

“While our goal is always to be number one in anything we do, even if we only get to half of our fair share in mobile and social over the next three years, it will still represent a significant upside, given that the mobile and social gaming markets have finally reached critical mass. And I expect it to grow at a double-digit clip for the foreseeable future.”

“We are certainly expanding the reach of our franchises through the platforms that are emerging,” the Activision CFO added.

Activision are starting to tip toe into the world of social media with their Call of Duty Elite service which will connect fans of the game with each other via mobile among other things.

As reported by the Train2Game blog, Elite will offer the chance for community game modes to become part of the official game.

And while Activision’s social media and mobile strategy is currently tied to their high profile brands.

“To date, we’ve mostly [explored social and mobile] around our existing franchises” said Tippl

“In the future you will see more activity on our part to broaden our social and mobile parts of the portfolio,” he added.

Of course, Activision isn’t totally foreign to digital markets, with 12 million – including some Train2Game students – people paying a monthly subscription for World of Warcraft.

What are your thoughts on Activisions digital and social strategy? Do they risk falling behind? Or are they wise to play the long game?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: Gamasutra]

Playfish social games played by 55 million people a month (and other fun facts for Train2Game blog readers)

Playfish Madden Superstars Train2Game Blog Image

Casual game developer Playfish has released some figures that Train2Game students may find interesting.  The EA casual firm now has 55 million users a month, a very impressive number given that the studio was founded in just November 2007.

Playfish has revealed a lot of other statistics that could very much encourage a Train2Game student to take a look at producing casual Facebook games in future. They certainly quite fascinating, especially with the fun facts and images included by Playfish.

  • 55 million people play Playfish games every month.
  • More than 340 million Playfish games have been installed and played worldwide.
  • More than 90 million items are virtually transacted daily in Playfish games
  • There are nearly 57 million restaurants in the game Restaurant City
  • Over 2.2 million American football teams have been created in Madden NFL Superstars
  • Almost 80 million people own virtual pets in Pet Society.
  • 1.7 billion apples have been purchased and fed to virtual pets since July 2008
  • 187 million pairs of shoes have been bought in Pet Society.
  • 10.9 million people have built their own ancient Roman city in My Empire.
  • 10.6 million football clubs have been created using FIFA Superstars
  • And nearly 25 million people own hotels in Hotel City.

The numbers are very impressive indeed, but pale slightly next to the Facebook giant that is Zynga. As reported on the Train2Game blog last week, their latest social game Cityville now has over 100 million users playing.

That news came just a day after a report stated that one fifth of consumers are now playing casual games online. And with an increasing amount of users purchasing in-game items, there is an increasing incentive for Train2Game students to look into producing social games in future.

For more information about in-game purchases, be sure to check out the Train2Game interview with industry consultant Nicholas Lovell.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the success of Playfish? Have you played any of their casual games? If so, what do you think?

As usual, you can leave your thoughts here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Souce: Playfish via MCV Online]