Tag Archives: gaming

Sony Makes Brilliant Move

13 Jun
Sony Playstation

Sony made brilliant use of Xbox’s PR fumbles.
Image: Shutterstock

If you aren’t a gamer, you may not be aware of the recent waves in the gaming industry as the next generation of console development is rolling out.  It began with Microsoft’s announcement of the Xbox One in late May.  Microsoft has fumbled the promotion of the new console, not only upsetting the gaming community with its lackluster game development but with a feature that many game enthusiasts have long feared.  Not only will the system require an online connection to play, but will essentially render used or borrowed games useless without a significant fee to Xbox for a new verification code.  While Microsoft scrambled to clarify the online features and announce more game titles, the sour taste from the original announcement is still fresh in consumer minds.

Especially now that Sony has swiftly used the bad PR to its advantage with its announcement of the Playstation 4 console. Not only did Sony include a montage of new games during their announcement at a major electronics conference, but also practically bragged that it would be a hundred dollars less than the Xbox.  Two complete its One-Two punch to Microsoft, Sony made a twenty-two second instructional video on how to share used games (you hand your game over to your friend).

Sony stocks spiked right after the Xbox announcement, indicating that Xbox may have some trouble peddling its new wares to the market.  However, it ultimately seems that Xbox is targeting another market entirely.  The promotion for the device has heavily stressed its cloud computing capabilities, indicating the ability to streamline a wide variety of media consumption at record speeds.  Television and movies are more important to the Xbox One marketing strategy, and may attract buyers who are not as upset about not being able to buy used games.  Meanwhile, Playstation is executing a pro-gamer strategy perfectly, using everything from pricing to humor to rake in loyalty. It will be interesting to see which one pays off.

The Roleplaying Game Industry’s Salvation may come from its history

8 Jun

Wizards of the Coast, the world renowned father of the modern roleplaying game, has recently announced open beta testing for the edition it plans to release in the near future. The move is unprecedented in the industry, as the leading game creators of the legendary Dungeons and Dragons have been notorious with their secrecy towards upcoming editions.

Unfortunately, that business plan miserably backfired with their most recent fourth edition. Due to a record low amount of player feedback, many veteran players of Wizards’ games did not buy in to the new edition, and instead continued playing the older version of the game. This kind of lack of support could easily mean disaster for a tabletop gaming company.

Because roleplaying games have one major upfront expense that continues to provide enjoyment for upwards of two decades, whenever a company releases a new game, player buy-in is a must. If players decide the older version is superior, the company does not make any new money. Add to this the fact that more and more of the younger generation is drifting to trading card games, computer games, and fast paced technology lifestyle, the industry that revolves around this older concept is slowly failing.

It’s a good move for Wizards of the Coast to involve their customers more thoroughly in their product development. The roleplaying game industry was built on the reputation of Dungeons and Dragons, and without this powerful name in tabletop gaming, the industry could easily be relegated to the dust bin of history.