Thursday, December 29, 2011

You Know It's The End of a Year...

When Top 10, Top 20, Top 100 lists are spamming the internet. Seriously. Try to google a video game news story right now. I bet you the first 3 pages are filled with "Top Something-Something" lists.

Instead I bring to you a developers point of view that is rarely seen. The struggles of being a dev and adjusting to the trends of the gaming world.

Spicy Horse, the insane studio behind America McGee's Alice, is attempting to transition into social media gaming with a title called BigHead Bash for Facebook.

"In terms of the business model, it's been a struggle [to shift our development focus], that's for sure."

And it really is a big shift when you think about it. Console games can take anywhere from 2-10 years to develop (depending upon the studio). Social gaming is a fast-paced system. If you don't release your game once it's been buzzed you won't ever see the return on your investment. People expect social games to be here and now. They don't want to wait.

That's why Farmville has lasted as long as it has. They responded to issues as they happened in the game. They gave people a direct link to developers to make changes as soon as possible instead of a patch a year down the road through XBox Live. It's not an easy transition and it's nice to see some people openly admit to that; not as a means of sympathy but rather as a fact of the business.

Spicy Horse is still working out the logistics, such as how this game is going to make money, but hopes to have it release in the early quarter of 2012. Gaming still be a business.

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