A few things Mark Wallace

Month: August 2011

Genre-ifying Time Management Games

not how I'll be spending my time

I recently got a promotional email from PlayFirst (see above) pushing their “top time management hits” and exhorting me to “check out these fan favorite time management games!” My question: Are there really people out there who are thinking to themselves, “Hm, I wish I had a new time management game to play”? Isn’t that like someone thinking, “Okay, time to buy a new audio-based interpersonal communication device,” instead of “I need a new phone”? Continue reading

Didn’t Actually Exponentiate

Nicholas Lovell’s GamesBrief has an Interesting look at iPad / iPhone sales figure for Great Little War Game, which is actually a very good (but I would not say great) little strategy game. Co-founder Paul Johnson notes that a 5-star review from Touch Arcade, the biggest iOS games site on the Web, produced a nice spike but “didn’t actually exponentiate.” I’m not actually surprised to hear this, not because of the nature of games review sites, but because of the nature of the game. Because GLWG doesn’t actually include a multiplayer mode (other than in-the-room-with-friends “pass and play”), it’s hard to see how a spike in uptake would turn itself into viral adoption. Of course, Angry Birds was in the same boat, but that’s a different beast, aimed at a different (and much broader) audience, and with a different (and again, much more broadly welcoming) price point. So this GamesBrief post ends up being a look at the pop you can get from high-profile reviews and front-page category listings in the app store. These things turn out to be only an intro into the top of the sales cycle; what you do at that point is up to you, and it seems that the nature of the game is what determines the outcome more than anything else. In this case, I’d say GLWG might have a better time pursuing other marketing channels. Given the profile of the audience, a turn-based strategy game is never going to take off like wildfire in the app store. But I’d suggest there are channels where it might capture a more appropriate set of eyeballs, eyeballs that are ready to cough up more cash (so to speak) than most casual / arcade games are asking these days.


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