Casual, Flash and Indie Games so hot right now
2008 has to be the year of the casual game. The market is growing but more importantly there has been a huge amount of buzz around the industry. There are many factors involved in this but it has lead to a resurgence of original game design.
While Microsoft has been allowing ordinary people to make their own games for the XBOXliveArcade (XBLA) platform for a while and recently made it easier with XNA Creators Studio they didn't have the buzz that surrounded the iPhone App store games.
Nintendo's WiiWare platform is only now seeing some great games be released with World of Goo released this week. The PSN hasn't had as many hi profile casual titles. I guess you can't get a look in at Sony until they release Little Big Planet.
Also the Wii itself has shown that it's not just older women who like to play casual games.
Never has there been so many options for a game developer or even brands to get their ideas out to a usually hard to reach audience. And most importantly many of these options have a viable ROI meaning the cost for development is minimal or you might even generate income. And in some cases a lot of income.
We're also seeing games originally developed in flash and some just for fun being ported to the major platforms. N+ made a huge splash on the DS and PSP recently and DeBlob was released as a full fledged Wii game after originally being released as a free PC game that was developed by students.
Wrigleys recently sold their advergaming site Candystand to Funtank. After running it for 11 years and getitng up to 10M visitors a month! Article here.
Recently many of the major players in this market have launched "labs" or "resource centres" in an effort to educate and grab an audience eager to get involved.
Kongregate launched their labs with a sponsorship from Scion. Kongregate is my favirotie of all the gaming portals. They are the definition of what all gaming sites should be. PR info here.
Mochiads launched their resource centre days ago. Mochiads is #1 for flash game advertising.
Iminlikewithyou is another games site to keep an eye on. They recently launched their developer section too with source code and hosting for multi-player games.
I'm looking forward to the 2009 IGF in San Fran next year which showcases the best in indie games and look forward to 2009 being an even bigger year for indie and casual games.
Will brands be left behind as indie games slowly grow and erode TV viewing even more? Which brands will jump onto this early and reap the rewards.
Those wanting a piece of the flash casual game market can already advertise in them through Google In-Game advertising which launched only last week.
Digital Agencies on Twitter
I'd like to start a list of all agencies on Twitter with an "agency" account they post through. I have several now but thought I'd let everyone submit there before I do an article on it.
It doesn't count if your CEO or CD has an account it has to be under the agencies name.
I've also seen a few (well 2) with "fan" pages on Facebook which I thought was interesting. So if you have a "fan" page too let us know.
ASX Digital Media Watch 5
Has it been 3 months since we last checked in on listed digital stocks? I think it has.
Let's take a look at where the Australian stocks were in July 5th, 2008.
SGN: STW COMMUNICATIONS: $1.47
HYO: Hyro: $0.046
BLU: Blue Freeway: $0.069
CQU: Commquest: $0.175
QXQ: Q Limited: $0.015
MCU: Mitchell Communication Group: $0.55
Let's see where everyone is now. While recession talks are escalating digital is seen as the one area which wont be hit as hard. But the stink of recession has eroded confidence in everyone.
As of October 17, 2008
SGN: STW COMMUNICATIONS: $0.89 ($0.58)
HYO: Hyro: $0.022 ($0.024)
BLU: Blue Freeway: $0.060 ($0.009)
CQU: Commquest: $0.090 ($0.085)
QXQ: Q Limited: $0.009 ($0.006)
MCU: Mitchell Communication Group: $0.425 ($0.125)
Ouch another tough few months and it wont get better quickly. I'm no expert but when your share price isn't even 1c you have to wonder how it can be valued?
What I do find funny as that prices slump while charts like the one below are shown to try and boost investors confidence. These type of graphs are pure fluff. What this doesn't show if that the money isn't going to them. It's going elsewhere.
If companies get as creative with actual client briefs as they do with their accounts and investor relations then they might see a turn around. However I know when I have someone else money I treat it differently too.
Full Disclosure: I am not a registered anything to do with the financial system. I also run an independent digital agency and It's in my morbid interest to follow and kick these listed entities. I also previously worked at Hyro and was stiffed a large sum of money when they initially went into receivership back in 2000/2001. I also personally dislike the name Commquest purly on the fact it sounds lame.
"I don't punch I glass" T-Shirts
This top story on News.com.au shows how bad SEO for some places are and how lazy web journalism of the mainstream media is. I can't for the life of me find where this T-shirt is being sold?
Also I feel like it's the newspapers job to properly link their articles. Why mention the shirt but not provide me with a link to check it out and maybe complain if I was so inclined? It's just old school web journalism. Blogs have taken over as a good place to get news as they link their articles (maybe too much sometimes).
The article doesn't even cross link with other more high profile gassings like Wayne Carey. I'm lead down an article one way street. No related article links, nothing. Then a filtered comment section which provides a very slow dialogue.
Pretty much anything news worthy these days would have a related story or something worth linking up. Wikipedia links are the best example. Provide a way for your readers to get more info. It's not like they wont come back. That is unless they find a better site.
I'd like to see the news sites put more effort into their actual content and less into their sales strategies and ad serving technologies.
While I'm at it telling people what they can do better I can always spend more time proofing my posts for errors or grammar.