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Businesses Games

Mobile Gaming Giant Calls For Longer Product Life Cycles 30

An anonymous reader writes: South Korean gaming firm Nexon has vowed to release mobile games with longer life cycles, focusing on attracting users for at least 10 years rather than relying on fad sales. The company argued that developing a sustainable ecosystem in the mobile gaming industry was more important than generating immediate sales. While Nexon is the region's largest PC gaming business, it has been comparatively laggard in its attempt to break into the mobile world. Following its announcement last year that it would initiate a strategic push into the mobile sector, Nexon has built a dedicated mobile business unit, as well as global teams looking at international markets.
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Mobile Gaming Giant Calls For Longer Product Life Cycles

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  • So, let's everyone stop doing it this new way so we'll survive.
    • by known_coward_69 ( 4151743 ) on Sunday December 20, 2015 @02:23PM (#51154647)
      not really mobile gaming is where console and PC gaming was in the late 90's. Especially when Sony flooded the market with games for the original Playstation. after most of the early developers and publishers went out of business because there weren't enough people to play all those games, we got constant sequels and longer cycles for releases
    • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

      Just realize that the mobile industry has stabilized now, two big players; Android and iPhone.

      But still the security level of either platform is pretty weak. The most worrying thing is that I can't select to say "no" to access rights to app upgrades. And that's what's needed - just say "no" to access to the address book and other stuff for apps because why do that app really need to access my address book?

  • Ten years works great for Sony with the PlayStation. Apps, not so much.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    It's simple. Stop creating steaming piles of IAP-laden shit and start making quality software people want.

  • Yes... please. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mlts ( 1038732 ) on Sunday December 20, 2015 @02:29PM (#51154661)

    Before IAP came around in Android and iOS, there were a number of decent games, because the incentive was to get people to play the game.

    What killed gaming on both platforms was IAP. This was supposed to be useful for a game designer to sell levels or an expansion... but what happened is that it fundamentally changed gaming on the platform for the worse. Instead of playable games, we got almost everything being released winding up "F2P/P2W", where the game was free, but the difficulty was extremely high and slow, in order to get people to go, "what the hell", and buy some smurfberries/brains/crowns/tokens/serum/ to get over that hump. Even classic tower defense games wound up going this way, where if you wanted a chance at completing them, you had to toss a few bucks each level for added powerups.

    It would be nice to see the smartphone gaming market move away from Candy Crush like stuff back to games that are actually playable without having to buy large amounts of some in game currency. I would pay for levels and expansions... real content. Having to pay just for a chance at moving on... sorry, got better things to do.

    There are companies that can do gaming right. Square-Enix for example. Maybe more companies should see about going that route.

    • Wouldn't all you need to do, to do it the opposite way of normal?
      Instead of making a iOS game, you make a game for one of the 3 consoles, or Steam, stratgically delay porting so they line up in week to biweekly releases to keep the PR stream up, and then finally do the iOS/Android release last?
      Then again, there is some rather extreme control issues on iOS so far, and this is going to stop a lot of ports. Mostly because 1 button games are rather hard to do properly, since it means the buttons mechanics has t

    • by Anonymous Coward

      What really happened is that some idiots released a "study" that showed people using microtransactions in the first 10 minutes and then rarely again. So, the companies response was to make servers with fewer players and launch a new one every one or two weeks.
      I'm not sure about the player response, but from what I've seen, they tend to last a while and then migrate to a newer one, spending less and eventually leaving altogether.

    • the game style games mostly flopped and the studios either went out of business or switched to consoles/pcs. Squae-Enix doesn't really count. If you take away the ports of their mainline games (Dragon Quest/Final Fantasy) they didn't really make any money on their traditional efforts. Folks who want traditional games want a game controller, not a touch screen. That problem hasn't been solved. Take a look at Ground Ponders. It's a very well made hex based strategy game that's almost unplayable because the co
    • It would be nice to see the smartphone gaming market move away from Candy Crush like stuff back to games that are actually playable without having to buy large amounts of some in game currency. I would pay for levels and expansions... real content. Having to pay just for a chance at moving on... sorry, got better things to do.

      For what it's worth, Apple is trying to do just this. They have an entire curated collection called Pay Once & Play [apple.com], which promotes games with no IAPs,

      However there's only so much

  • by Anonymous Coward
    What's this? Someone actually wants to encourage people to have an attention span longer than that of a gnat? Set aside their need for instant gratification? Be in for the long haul? Say it ain't so! How will Millennials ever survive this merciless onslaught against their very nature? Surely TL,DR disease will bore their flighty brains to death!
  • by MikeRT ( 947531 ) on Sunday December 20, 2015 @03:17PM (#51154857)

    How about a peripheral standard for turning a phone or small tablet into a gaming device? Standard button count and purpose. Just go buy a new $30 case for your phone and now you have a Gameboy-like device.

    If Apple and Google really wanted to take their platforms to the next level, that's all it would take. A simple controller-case standard and native APIs to support it if necessary.

    On the other hand, Nintendo is probably well positioned that if they wanted to release their own phone/DS-hybrid, they could probably do so and beat Samsung in sales within a year. They could even sell two variations, one for kids and one for adults. The kid version can only make calls, surf the web, play music and access the Nintendo app store. The adult version is just a Nexus-like phone with the Nintendo app store added on.

    • by Draeven ( 166561 )

      Actually, this pretty much already exists. Go buy a $1 OTG [miniinthebox.com] USB cable and a $25 wired Xbox 360 controller and it just works. Or, you can get something like this [ebay.com] for $12.

      It's not that there's lack of controller support in terms of hardware or the OS. It's just that game companies aren't rolling out support for them.

    • by captjc ( 453680 )

      Don't we pretty much have that? I mean, bluetooth seems pretty standard for most controllers on phones and consoles (except MS) and the button count on most controllers has been more or less the same since the Playstation 2 Dual Shock Controller, which just built on the SNES controller.

  • Interesting business strategy - jawboning competitors to slow down so that you can catch up. Doesn't quite work in the hypercompetitive world of tech.
  • by The Optimizer ( 14168 ) on Sunday December 20, 2015 @04:16PM (#51155067)

    As someone who has made games for over 20 years, including mobile, and was responsible for a game in Steam's top 100 played over 10 years after it's initial release... let me translate this press release for you...

    "We want a revenue stream sustained for 10 years without us having to constantly develop new games and enter into the lottery that is mobile games today.... ... We also want it to never rain during the daytime, or when we are out and about."

    Having worked on some hugely popular titles let me just say that I've learned that despite all you do, you don't control your audience. You're in the entertainment business, no matter how good an entertainment product you have, and no matter how much marketing you are doing, you are not making something that is truly necessary in your customer's lives.

    So if your players get bored, don't have as much time to spare, popular fads change, new fads sweep the popular conscience, technologies or platforms change, they don't have the money to spare, they want something new and more novel, or whatever... then life moves on and so do your players.

    The idea suggested by the headline - that a game's life cycle will be longer just because a developer deems it should be, is ludicrous.

    Digging into the press release, though, that's not what they are saying. They are saying they will design their games, technically and gameplay, with a long lifespan in mind. That means growing and evolving content - new levels, new content, new stories, etc. Ongoing active development, much like a long running TV show - never completely wrapping things up and always leaving the door open for what comes next.

    Doing that means keeping a development team active for the duration.. which in reality is going to be for as long the game sustains a certain revenue level. If not, the game goes into "sunset" mode. Lots of mobile games are already doing this entire strategy.

    Heck, I worked on an iOS game doing just that 3 years ago. It requires that your game develop a large enough *paying* player base early on, and that you sustain their interest enough to keep the IAPs coming, and do it on a regular and consistent enough basis. The whole whale vs non-payer thing comes into play, as well as newer, shinier competition. That means they will pull out all the (Skinner boxes, social groups/teams, etc) stops to keep players hooked and interested.

    Great if you can do it, but there is no magic formula or guarantee that you will succeed, or for as long as you want to.

    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      "We want a revenue stream sustained for 10 years without us having to constantly develop new games and enter into the lottery that is mobile games today.... ... We also want it to never rain during the daytime, or when we are out and about."

      This.

      But it's their own damn fault. They chased after the casual dollar with such reckless abandon, completely ignoring the core gamer crowd. The problem with this is that casual gamers spend a lot when games are a fad, but it completely disappears when the fad is o

    • "We want a revenue stream sustained for 10 years without us having to constantly develop new games and enter into the lottery that is mobile games today.... ... We also want it to never rain during the daytime, or when we are out and about.

      Part 2 is easy. Go to a desert. Part of Part 1 has an analogy. Develop a game for people who don't like excitement, the old folks maybe, where you can expect greater loyalty. The problem here is that these are the sort of games that an inspired and competent developer can develop from his bedroom and, unless you're a big bad IP troll, relatively easy to clone. So it's again the luck of the draw. I know people who still play some variant of Tetris or a Rogue-like adventure game.

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