Skill-based matchmaking (SBMM), a system that aims at matching players of similar skill level within the same game, was implemented into Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019). The aim is to create a more balanced experience for everyone, as lower skilled players get separated and shielded from highly skilled ones. However, the vocal Call of Duty community hates the system, want it removed and do not hesitate to let developers know about it on a daily basis. It turns out the system actually offers significant benefits for the companies and games implementing it and as a result, it seems clear that Skill-Based Matchmaking is here to stay. Here is why.
The title of this post makes it clear: if some video game monetization strategies are deemed “acceptable” it certainly means that some others… aren’t!
Following various controversies and during these times of exploration, the video game industry seems in dire need of some guidance and clear lines not to cross when developing and implementing its monetization strategies. Therefore, it would be interesting to try to define what is and what constitutes “acceptable monetization” in video games.
This post delves deeper into the dark side of monetization, and tries to underline a few limits that should not be crossed by game publishers who aim at building long-lasting, trustful relationships with players.
In a context where more than 40 games are released on Steam each day, standing out can be extremely difficult. As a result, according to game marketer Mike Rose’s estimates, about 82% of those games don’t even make minimum wage and only 7% enough money for their studio to survive. To increase his odds of success, Mike Rose uses a checklist of 6 elements, in addition to the basics (writing a press release, putting together a trailer, building a press list, building a social media presence…). In here, I will focus specifically on his use of Discord to build a growing community and keep it engaged throughout the life of the game.
Did you know that, more than 30 years ago, Nintendo had a Secret Weapon so powerful it could have outplayed Sega from the very beginning, had it not failed to use it?
Surprisingly, this secret weapon was no other than Nintendo’s original NES sales representative in America, Sam Borofsky, who represented and advised Nintendo during the early days of the NES. But how exactly could a single person have had such an impact on the fate of Nintendo and Sega?
Mario is such a global phenomenon and well-known character today that it can be hard to remember or imagine that it wasn’t always the case. Yet the Italian plumber became famous in the most chaotic of times and his fate was less than certain when he was first introduced to the world. He is a character that not only saved the princess but also, arguably, the video game industry all together. He is the fruit of everything Nintendo does best, in combination with brilliant marketing tactics.
So how did he become so successful? What role did the NES play? And how did Nintendo first market Mario?
In the last two or three years, Ubisoft has considerably transformed and improved its company image and is slowly regaining trust from players. This likely comes following the end of 2014, where the company was making the headlines for having had one of its worst years in terms of PR and corporate image. Some critics even went so far as to placing them on the same level as Electronic Arts, which has been infamous for deceiving fans and creating public outrage throughout its existence, in addition to being voted “Worst company in America” several consecutive years in the past.
But when I look at Ubisoft today, it all feels like a long time ago. They seem committed to being better and are taking significant actions to regain their fans’ trust. So how are they doing it exactly?