Monthly Archives: March 2009

The Future of table gaming?

A really cool new trailer for the upcoming game R.U.S.E from Ubisoft. Not only does it look awesome, but I’ve also been told it truly is! What got me hook with the trailer is the table they use playing with. A new technology called Surface Computing, were instead for a classic computer its a table with a buildin big touchscreen display. View a cool example trailer of a Coffee Table computer here. I think this new type of computer wont be commercaly ready for a couple of years. But nontheless, I think it will revolutionise or transform how we interact with computers, and especially together with friends and family. 

As the R.U.S.E trailer hints at is how we can play games in the future. The term Cyber caffés will get a new meaning. I don’t think R.U.S.E will have this functionallity, but I could be wrong. Whats interesting is the concept! Just imagen all type of new games that would emerge if game developers got there hands on a table computer and started developing all sort of social multiplayer games. Everything from old game concept to new ones were you sit around a table with your friends and play agenst each other while drinking your cafe late. 

If I owned a hipp café, I would love be able to offer my customers the enjoyment of playing with those tables. Just imagien all the possibilities. Internet access, insert a USB and flip through your latest pictures, play some games and watch some youtube clips. A computer to interact with together. 

6th sense through new technology

First read about this on the Detective Marketing blog. A mindblowing presentation about a experement where they try widghen the senses. With just a couple of bucks almost anyone can buy and make those devices. Those new devices probably wont be out for commercial use for some years (or maybe they will be in one form or another).

But whats more interesting is what entrepenures and scientists will develop for new unthinkalbe uses. Better yet, in the hands of really creative game designers a new way of playing games will emerge. The possibilities are endless! 

Adapt the organization, not vice versa

Just finished reading Seth Godins book, Meatball Sundae and got many great ideas and insights. With all the projects and development I have at work, reading this book right now just spawned many great thoughts and enhanced my current ideas for our different project at work and our tactics and philosophy.

Seth Godin - Meatball Sundae

Seth Godin - Meatball Sundae

The big thing that struck me from this book was the focus on how organizations and companies NEED to adapt to the new Marketing trends and concept. Instead of looking for ways to utilize the new marketing tools like Twitter, YouTube and Google, take the opposite approach. If you want to leverage the power of all those new tools and trends, you need to change and adapt the organization, not just trying to use the tools, with the old Marketing thinking.

You can’t just use the new tools the same way you used the old. Old marketers need to go back to school, learn to think in a different way. All the trends Seth presents are really spot on with todays developed market and society. Not that every business and company need to use all trends, they open up many new options that reflects how we use and live with the new connected media, on a deeper level. And how the market still holds open spots, and thou we have seen many developments. And there much more to come I believe.

The best thing is how all the new ideas and thoughts in my mind are things I can adapt and work with right now, in this moment in my working life. And thats a strong power. It something to read a book and get inspired, but its even better if you can translate those ideas and thoughts on your business in the moment. It spawns even more ideas. New knowledge and inspiration is perishable!

Now Ill start on his latest book, Tribe.

Go offline, BE creative

I have often concluded again and again, that my creative mind starts to really work when I get alot of new input. When I read, surf the web, talk to people about interesting subjects and, unfortunately before sleeping. Its very easy once all influences start pouring in to let the creativity accelerate even more. The problem is to utilise the creative toughs, writing them down and focus on them.

Recently it hit me that the best way to really work through all the creative toughs is not to be connected online, or be surrounded with people. Its hard, for many people including me, to be focused and concentrated when you have a lot of noises and buzz. In todays work environment we are required to be on top all the time, creative on demand and very concentrated. For many its very hard to focus when we´re constantly connected, Emailing, Instant Messaging and meetings.

I recenlty had a great idea at work and haven’t let the though go away, quite the opposite. Its been nagging in the back of my head for some weeks now. But yesterday when we went to England for a parter meeting I had some time on the flight without internet, working off-line. And then I could focus all my thoughts on this and started documenting my thoughts and ideas. And it all started just flowing out of me. Not getting interrupted by anything I really could get all my ideas down on paper.

Then it hit me, that we should more often go online to get some inspirations and get the creative mind start working. And after a while go offline to get all ideas down on paper, do something concrete. Not only talking and thinking, but puting it on print.

Dancing Stalin, a smash hit before release

The latest week one video have been played over and over again in the office. But not only in the office, but all around the world! The trailer for the upcoming strategy game Stalin Vs Martians. Published by newly formed Mezmer Games, a subdivision of Paradox Interactive who we share office and also work very closely with. About a week ago they released this trailer with a dancing Stalin, and the response have been interesting to view. Those who took it up and wrote about the trailer and games are divided i half. Ether they don’t understand it, simply ignoring the games potential. Or the other half who love it and say they will buy it even if it sucks. The bottom line is that it really punched through the thick web media and got noticed along with thousand upon thousands of views. Its allready nomintaed to many many Game of the Year awards before its even released! Or… no not really :)

See for your self. For some it might be provocative with Stalin and everything, But hey, sometimes thats what neccesary to get noticed!

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Twitter – Simple, open and easy finds unexpected growth

Its been a while since i took the time and watch some inspirational TED presentations. And last time I viewed the latest presentations one found my interest. Simply one word, Twitter spoke to me.

Twitter, a relative young service that created the expression Micro-blogging. Looking at the popularity of text messaging on cellphones and combined it with the blog technology, spawned a service and phenomenon now wildly adapted by many many people. I would like to see any numbers on how many Twitter accounts exist. Many view it as the next evolution or extension of regular blogs. And there are a big variety of different microblog services now. But Twitter is by far the biggest.

The speech by internet entrepreneur Evan Williams, one of the Twitter creators some points really struck me. He mention how Twitter have evolved and the users have found new ways to use the service than the creators ever though of. And I think one of the key for the success is how simple and open the service is. Twitter is  very open for users to develop new services outside of the original platform. With an easy to use API, the users and fans get great tools to build new applications. Open API for new services becomes more and more important. Developers today are used to have access to great APIs for them to use their imagination.

This isn’t anything new. Facebook have received much attention from developers, companies and users for all the Application available. And I believe this will be even more important in the future, not to develop a complete service, but rather build the groundwork and then let the users develop it further. Maybe, not even have a clear image of that the service should be used for. Let the users decide what is should be used for or how. Its been showed time and time again, that users can come up with new ideas for a product, service or brand that the owner or creator never had in mind. But often (still) do the owner or creator hesitate to take advantage of those ideas and are very quick to send out their “assassins”, their lawyers.

Twitters openness are totally in line with the principle of the web, easy, accessible and open! Lets just hope more new services follow the same concept. But, in all cases the first thing is to have a killer app that people love and want to help develop further.

Greedy king, call in an Entrepreneur

One of the biggest news (or farytales for those who prefer) here in Sweden right now is the upcoming wedding between our royal princess Victoria and her fiancé Daniel. Most of the Swedish people were very delited  to hear the engagement, thou I have to say i really don’t care that much. I was mostly annyod cause it took to much media space. According to me the royal family get to much media attention the rest of the time, but now they get even more. So next year there will be a big wedding, and discussions have already began to fire up.

Just a week after the wedding was announced the King Karl Gustav, wrote a letter to the state, asking for money to finance the wedding. This made many Swedish heads spin! The royal family already have a big fortune, and with regards to the latest finance problem in the world and Sweden were many many people have lost their jobs, this is a real insult. And it have began a debate whether the peopel should pay for their wedding, or them self.

Many of those who are for the state playing, argue over the PR value and exposure this is for Sweden as a country. How this will result in extra income from tourism, media and export industry. I’m not that convinced. I only think this is big in Sweden, and why should other countries bother with our small royal house? Also, in our neighbouring states the royal weddings were paid for with there own money, so why shouldn’t our do the same? I joined a Facebook group for those who don’t care about the wedding, and also don’t want to pay for the wedding, and the number of member today is about 43 000!

Many Swedes believe its important with a royal family. Obviously I don’t! I stongly believe we should change the structure, and make the royal family into a registered company! Let people who care for them, buy shares. Also the family have to think and work more like a real business. Instead of just getting money for the state and other more diffuse incomes, they have to work like the rest of us. For example, instead of just getting money for the wedding, Victoria and the King should think as an real Entrepreneur. Call in a entrepreneur consultant that can help them to find new ways to finance the wedding.

If they truly would like to promote Sweden and all our good companies, they should look to attract sponsors! Volvo could sponsor the transportation, TV4 pay to send the event on tv and get the rights to sell it worldwide, ICA can provide the food and H&M could do a special Royal wedding cloth collection! There are endless openings to do smart collaborations and sponsor deals to fund the wedding. Sad that the royal family can come out of their shell and start thinking business wise.

"They begin to become costy!"

"They begin to become costy!"

Digital distributions on everyones lips

Its really an interesting time to be in the digital game distribution business right now. Many new developments are happening at the moment. Not just for games, but for all entertainment medias. iTunes, Spotify, Netflix, Playstation Network, Xbox Live and of cause Gamersgate. Consumer are adapting to the new way to get and consume media, althou owners and publishers aren’t alwasy as fast. More and more publishers are focusing more on digital distribution. Retail is still important to reach the mass market, but digital distribution becomes a strategic part of the overall strategy. One example is Capcom who really see the importance to lead when it comes to offer their games digitally. I also remember an article some time ago were the CEO of EA said that they expect to see an increase in revenue from selling digitally.

And digital distribution is also the biggest threat to traditional retail. As DD spreads and people are more comfortable to buy games this way, retail will feel this first. In an interview with my CEO on Gamesindustry.biz, he talks about this and how DD will rule on a couple of years.

From a publisher point of view, one thing digital distribution can help counter is the big pre-owned market. Retail chains like GameStop make millions in profit on selling used games. They offer customers to sell their used games to Gamestop, who then sells the games to a new customer. And this second sale of the same game are usually to a much higher price then what they bought in the used game for. And the difference will straight into Gamestops pocket, and nothing back to the game publisher. Publishers only earn money on the first sales, all sales after the first goes to the retailer. Consumer are happy cause they get to buy new games cheaper, but to the industry as a whole it isn’t good. Recently Amazon declared they’re entering the pre-owned game market. A news that probably let to the big fall of Gamestops stock value. And Gamestops CEO didn’t hestitate to doom Amazons used game investment.

Even if those to big companies weigh war against each other over the used game market, the money generated here won’t return to the publisher and developers. This is probably one of the big reasons downloadable content (DLC) have expanded though out the industry. The possibility to expand the experience for the player, but also the extra one money for the publishers. Not only won’t the retailers get any part of the revenue from DLC, its also a way to fight piracy. Digital is definetly the way to go, here to stay and conquer.

We are all mini-information aggregators

The flow of information is bigger as ever before. Through the wires of internet endless amount of information is traveling from each corner of the world. Our channels to access, consume and gather have increased. And even many minichannels within the big one, once again the web, have rised lately for us to connect and share information in new ways. World of mouth and the cretdibility of people around us opinions and recommendations have found new ways to spread through the new services. Almost everyone I know have either MSN, Skype, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Youtube account or their own Blog. Some, like myself, have accounts on all those services. And day in and day out, I talk with people on the IM channels, and check the different communities what my friends, family and people around me do, recommend and done.

And what I have discovered is that all those channels and my connections, I get more and more links to news and happenings which I then can investigate more. I think people in general like to share and recommend things with others. Just looking at myself, I find big joy in introducing new music bands for people and spread news and information to people who would like it. When it comes to informations and news, the biggest problem is time to find and read all the interesting info out there. But with all of those easy accessible networks of connections and new technology its even easier to just pass a link along in a IM message or simply copy it in “What am I doing right now?”-status on Facebook. Even if people don’t know exactly what other people read or recommend, they love to investigate what others are interested in. Also, to create niched interest Groups have never been easier, and through them spread information. We are all out and through different ways we find information or news, and we then want to spread them to people we believed would be interested. I’ve never before been recommended so many news, or spread through other what I have found.

One of the biggest thing to spreading of news are the credibility of people we know and trust. There are tons of aggregations sites and search engines. And even thou blogs and news sites have comments and rate features on every news of post, it can still be idiots rating or commenting. Information recommended of passed on from people we know are still rated higher. So spread the word!