Monthly Archives: November 2010

Received and Unboxed Assassins Creed Brotherhood today!

Finally, after much wait I received my package at the office! And today it came, fron my friends at Ubisoft Nordic I received my copy of one of the biggest game this year, Assassins Creed Brotherhood for Playstation 3. And they sent the Special Codex Edition. Packed with extra content, soundtrack, behind the scene movies, a map over Rome and much more. All in really cool box! Now I only need to find place for the box.

My co-workers wanted me to open it right away. So while doing this Angelica filmed my Unboxsing (seen below, Swedish talk). Now I only need to find the time to play it. Probably this weekend. Have really looked forward to this third instalment as the two previous games was great.

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OffiSync = Good for customers

The other day I read about a new free program available (for free) online called OffiSync. A nice little program which enable you to connect your Google Docs account with Microsofts Office. So basically you can work on your computer in Word, you can save it up in the cloud to your Google Docs account. Which enable you to always access the document later, as long as you have internet access. Its such a basic feature, but yet so powerful! The ability to connect the most used offline and online office work package  is really useful, and really good for customers.

This program was created by a third-party company, with the same name as the software. Ideally, the two IT giants would collaboration them self. Of cause they want every single person on the planet to ONLY use their software/solution. To own the customers, but sometimes collaboration is better, for the end consumer!

Collaboration,something that I think believe companies often forget, can benefit the end customers more then they can imagine. With all the new devices, operating systems, social platforms and new software programs, the connection between those and the ability to transfer files, documents, information and other media fast and easy between them.

I would like to point to two great examples, DropBox and Facebook Connect.

DropBox is a cloud file saving service, were I can upload and store my files. Then I can access them any time either through any web browser or the DropBox client.  Got introduced to this service through a business contact at work. She showed me how she used it to access all her work files on her iPad, without storing all files on the actual device. A true killer-app that made it possible for her to actually work with her iPad instead of caring around a heavy laptop. And the connection/integrations with the iPad apps is crucial for this to work.  Now I use it all the time to send files from my work computer to the home computer, fast and easy.

Facebook Connect is a feature Facebook offer everyone to freely implement on their web sites / software and games. Take a web site for example: It enables users to “connect” their Facebook identity, friends and privacy to any site. Another example is StarCraft 2, or rather Battle.Net (its online network). It uses Facebook Connect for players to through their Facebook profil add friends to their Battle.net friends-list. I never had to know my friends Battle.net names or anything. Just connecting through Facebook and right away I had 20 friends on my Battle.net account! And their is so many more ways to utilize this feature.

With all the competition out there in the market today, I think its better to focus on, what gives value and improve any service for the CUSTOMER! I mean, I have a lots of account to different services and it would be great if I could connect them better. To collaborate instead of forcing your customers to limit them to your service. Sure it might be a good service, but by thinking more openly and see the potential in collaborating, it can become great!

Beatles on iTunes. Content vs distribution

Today Apple had a little announcement, they will start selling Beatles songs on iTunes. Its among the few Apple announcement that only focusing on adding new content, instead of new features or technology. And it raises the question on content versus distribution.

The ultimate is to have the best content on the best distribution channel(s). But the news of Beatles on iTunes shows how long it can take before adding the best content. Apple is the leading digital distribution platform for music in the world! Every record label, artist and group do everything they can to be selling on iTunes. Specially when you take into consideration how dominant the iPod is for mobile music players, and buy music on iTunes might be the only way to have your favourite artist on your iPod.

And its the same by looking at Spotify for example. Spotify is at its core a free distribution platform, that tries to acquire as much content as possible to attract new listeners (accounts). Which in terms increase the potential for advertisers, potentials subscribing paying premium accounts and finally getting songs sold through the service. A basic but interesting business model:

Expanding content catalog = Attracts more users

The more users = More content owner should want to have their content for new/potential consumers.

Improved reaching to potential customers/consumers = Better chance to turn into paying users.

Still its in some way contradicting. A content service is mostly attractive if the user base it huge. But to get a huge customer base, you need to have great content to attract new users.

It’s the same for us at GamersGate. To attrach new customers we need to have the latest games. But in order to get the latest game we need to constantly increase the user base, so all our partners and potential partners wants to sell their new games at our store. We see a lot of new competitors poping up all around us, but I can only imagine the difficulties for them to build a customer base from scratch. We started with a lot customers from the Paradox Interactive community as our best customers.

One interesting blog post discussing this is from GamesBrief, about Electronic Arts acquisition of mobile publisher Chillingo, the publisher behind Angry Birds. Read this great piece, discussing EAs shifting focus on acquiring user installbase/new distribution instead of new IPs/Development Studios. How EA got the installbase from the great success of Angry Bird through the Crystal system.

Its the same if we look at valuation of sites / companies like Facebook or Zynga. The increadible high valuation of those companies have nothing to do with technology, ONLY numbers of accounts/users. Without Facebooks 500 milion users, then the core service is only okey. Here the content (features/applications) isn’t the big USP attracting new users. When it comes to social medias, (most of the time) the amount of active users is what attracts new users!

Beatles @ iTunes

Beatles @ iTunes