A Game Business Model: Learning from Touring Bands

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by Jay_Kyburz, Nov 11, 2005.

  1. Jay_Kyburz

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  2. baegsi

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  3. terin

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    Actually...

    I missed this post originally.

    These games that "fly below the mainstream" hah. Are you serious? It flies below this guy's mainstream but for CHRIST SAKE you could do a little more research on some of these companies.

    Jagex: http://www.jagex.com/

    Yeah, such a small company with their mere few hundred thousand paying users (nearly 400,000 now) and mere MILLIONS of users total. Runescape is bigger than most MMOs ever hope to be.

    Simutronics: http://www.play.net/

    Play.net has been around for AGES. This is like saying The Eagles are an indie band now because they aren't famous anymore. (There is still a former member doing tours, I saw them recently). The company was founded in 1986 and used to be one of the major game providers for AOL.

    Iron Realms: http://www.ironrealms.com/

    Ok... A mud company. This one makes some sense I suppose.

    Softnyx: http://www.softnyx.net/

    WHAT THE HELL? Gunbound is like an indie game/music group? With well over 10 million accounts created now and a solid playerbase of nearly a million? They just launched their second title to boot. This game isn't charging MORE from a smaller clientelle, it is charging LESS from a MUCH LARGER group.

    Three Rings Design: http://www.threerings.net/
    Puzzle Pirates... Ok I can buy this one too in regards to this article.


    So my conclusion: In reading this post and all the praise it got on the comments section I am disappointed with the inability of people to take discern a reasonable argument with horrific supporting information from a well thought out research paper.

    His conclusion is basically: Go make a niche MMO; with good planning you can get 6-9k users just like THESE games (almost all of which have hundreds of thousands of users).

    The MMOs I know are a little more practical; with anywhere from 100-1,000 users... and that's an amazingly difficult step to take.
     
    #3 terin, Nov 11, 2005
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2005
  4. terin

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    And...

    And I made a post on his blog about it.

    Take that Mr. Fancy Pants!

    -Joe
     
  5. ErikH2000

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    This article and a few other recent ones (Costikyan's pandemic/bioware merger, for example) that called rather large companies "small", "indies", "independant" got me thinking...

    We hear a lot of noise about a big movement to embrace indie games, and it's great. I hope it really goes that way. But even if it does, nobody is going to go out of their way to come down and visit all the one-man shops because they are "true indies" or any crap like that. It might be even harder to get noticed than before, because medium-sized developers with hundreds of thousands to burn (instead of millions) will quickly step in and play the "indie underdog" role for all it's worth. And we might have big publishers funding smaller studios if that's what's trendy and gets press coverage.

    It reminds me of the Libertarian Party in 1992 when Ross Perot showed up and seemingly invented the idea of third party politics overnight. There was this bitterness that nobody paid attention to Libertarians, even though they'd been around much longer and had obviously worked harder and accomplished much more than these Johnny-come-lately Reform Party yahoos. But it was just a lot of bitching.

    Wow, weird tangent. I'm just guessing that if there is something like a big indie movement, you'll see a few great successes here and there. Then everybody else will be down in the pit, cursing louder than before about the vile game press and their misuse of the word "indie" to describe everyone else but them.

    -Erik
     
  6. doodaddy

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    Terin, a little OT here, but I noticed you were writing a book about the industry. Have you ever read "Game Over"? It's a book about, basically the console gaming wars up through about 1995 or so. What about a short book on the indie game industry for indie readers (the same audience as your other book). I'm new and I'm curious how so many indies are kinda publishers and kinda copying each other. What is the history of all this? That kind of thing. Or maybe it is just a chapter in your book?!
     
  7. terin

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    Interesting...

    I'm not sure I could be an authoritative source on that DooDaddy.

    My book is a subject I know: Marketing an indie game in the year 2005/2006.

    While my knowledge of indie games is fairly robust, it is also extensive enough to know how much information I am MISSING.

    This is because I am relatively young and wasn't part of the industry in the golden age of shareware.

    A book like that would have to run from about 1990 to 2006.

    I think a book like that could easily be more mainstream than what I am writing, so I suppose if I could find a publisher it would be possible to write an interesting book on the subject.

    The problem is I have a good knowledge of the "golden" age of shareware, but long about 1995 shareware dropped into oblivion for 5-7 years or so.... at least in my mind it does. I know nearly nothing about indie games in the "dark age" of shareware. Obviously my knoweldge picks up about 2001-2002ish.

    Ergo, a book like that would take a lot of research and a lot of hunting down the people behind the old shareware greats for entertaining commentary on what made them... blossom.

    Anyway, it is an interesting idea and my book will NOT be covering it. I can't help but think there are others on this board who could be considered more qualified to write something like that.
     
  8. doodaddy

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    Not to belabor the point, but I guess I am considering this whole casual game thing, and a recap of the industry from the internet forward or even "broadband acceptance" (2000ish) forward would be useful. A lot of these games don't remind me of robotron or doom at all! They have a different market with different goals and needs. A short history, as best you could get it, would be a selling point alone, to me.

    In other words, I am not worried about the history of shareware or a precise definition of indie or anything. Maybe the world of "indies" is bigger than I understand so far. I am thinking of casual games mostly. Or a little more abstract, "modern games that can be downloaded and tried quickly."

    As for your idea that others would be more qualified, if you still think so, maybe someone would be interested in adding a chapter with you? Or maybe you could get heavier feedback for this chapter?

    Anyway just a thought from a newb.

    Thanks for listening.
     
  9. ErikH2000

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    He's writing a marketing reference, though. It's a how-to book, not a what-was book. I'm not sure why you'd want to tack on a historical account unless it directly related to what you should be doing right now to market your game.

    -Erik
     

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