• Thanks A Lot, Apple
    Many parents might be sarcastically thanking Apple this Thanksgiving, as according to recent research from Nielsen, the iPad (starting at $499) is the most desired item by kids 6-12 going into this holiday season.This isn't really a surprise. The iPad is an extremely kid-friendly device, with an intuitive and simple interface, tons of games, and several entertainment options. What I am wondering, though, is this: How did the 6- to 12-year-old market figure out that it was such a kid-friendly device?
  • 'Smurfs' Trump 'Birds,' Highlighting Rise Of Virtual Buying
    Last week, my colleague Josh Lovinson covered the new world record in the most expensive virtual goods transaction -- $335,000 for a virtual property in "Entropia" -- and the profusion of virtual goods that have been showing up in the gaming space this year. This week, virtual goods hit another milestone. "Smurfs' Village," a Farmville-esque iPhone app, unseated the amazing "Angry Birds" at the top of the app charts. "Angry Birds" costs 99 cents, while "Smurfs' Village" is free to play, so the entirety of its sales figures are based on in-game purchases of "Smurfberries," a currency that allows players ...
  • $335,000 For Virtual Goods!?
    A new world record has been set for most expensive virtual goods transaction. Again, it's the MMO "Entropia" beating its own record, with a player purchasing several virtual areas of the game from another player for $335,000. Previously "Entropia" made headlines for the auction of a virtual space nightclub for $330,000. The amounts are somewhat less startling when it is noted that the game has a transfer rate between in-game currency and real money. Still, this new record is a nice reminder of how high virtual goods are valued.
  • New Gaming Model With Release Of 'Undead Nightmare'?
    You may have seen some of the ad blitz for this weekend's launch of "Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare," a zombie-themed downloadable content (DLC) pack that builds on top of Rockstar's hit western genre game released earlier this year. Adding to the lifespan of a game through DLC isn't a new thing by any stretch of the imagination -- games like "Dragon Age," "Mass Effect," and "The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion" have been releasing plenty of paid DLC to get another crack at the same audience without an entirely new title launch. But "Undead Nightmare" feels a little different from what ...
  • Game Consoles, Meet Netflix
    Yeah, yeah -- Netflix is on everything from an iPad to a toaster these days, right? What's so newsworthy about some new devices getting it? Well, this week marked the end of Microsoft's "exclusivity" for Netflix software in game consoles, which may bring repercussions during this holiday season.
  • 'Duke Nukem' Dev Builds Goodwill With Community Project
    Any gaming enthusiast worth his or her salt knows the troubled tale of "Duke Nukem Forever," and its journey from hotly anticipated title to potential vaporware and back again. Announced back in 1997, the game's been through multiple developers, publishers, and graphics engines, and will finally be released -- maybe -- early next year.
  • 'Gamer' Is Too Broad A Label
    We've reached a point where the terms "gaming" and "gamer" are just too broad. Too many people play games regularly these days. Eight years ago, Blockbuster got blowback from gamers for trying to stereotype. While its ad campaign was intentionally far-fetched, it was seen as insulting by the gamer population at the time. But there was a general gamer population to target. This is no longer the case.
  • Controversies Swirl Over Purity Of Social Games, Microsoft's Jab At 'Nerds'
    Earlier this month, Microsoft hosted several press events to introduce its Kinect motion control product to fashion and lifestyle press and bloggers, aiming squarely at the casual set to sell its $200 competitor to Nintendo's profitable domination of the casual console market. The message Microsoft wanted to send was that Kinect was for the cool kids, and decidedly not its core gamer audience.
  • By Golly, In-Game Ads Work! (Maybe)
    Finally! After in-game ads have been around in some form for around 30 years, there's finally a study that links them to an increase in product purchase. Nielsen recently worked with EA and Gatorade to look into how much exposure to in-game ads would increase product sales. The result? 24% increase in purchases and an ROI of $3.11.
  • Old-School Game Marketing Genius
    This week I saw an article that reminded me of one of my favorite game marketing examples from a half decade before the first Gaming Insider was even written. The article in question detailed the sudden discovery of a verbally abusive commentator in "Wave Race: Blue Storm," a GameCube game from nine years ago. The idea of a dormant cheat code resurfacing well after a game's release jogged my memory.
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