Meet The GANG: Gaming Death Podcast & EP 100 Party On June 12th 2014! #E32014 #E3Live #E3

Breaking News!

We have live coverage on the @GeekyAntics Twitter and GeekyAntics.net site.  Tonight, June 10th 2014, at around 9pm Eastern (6pm Pacific) we’ll be doing a special E3 show with the Gaming Death Podcast.

E3 - Electronic Entertainment Expo - E3 2014 #E3Live

Big things going on.  Come join the GANG for #E3Live fun.  So far, I’m most enjoying the small studio and indie releases.  I dig what Microsoft is doing with the ID@XBox program.  Any time us little guys have a chance to level the playing field, that is exciting news to me!

Project Spark is particularly intriguing.  This is a sandbox game that actually allows you to create your own games.  Will this be like RPG Maker Ace VX or will it be more akin to Sony’s Little Big Planet?  Competition is heating up and it’s GREAT!

More E3 Coverage Here

Special thanks to the Gaming Death Podcast and GamingDeath.com for keeping us updated on all the latest video game news.  Even if you’re not into gaming, this technology and the game mechanics of it all are worth checking out.  E3 is, after all, a marketer’s wet dream, no?

So, what have you enjoyed of the #E32014 reveals so far?

Meet The GANG: Gaming Death Podcast & EP 100 Party On June 12th 2014! #E32014.

Curse Of Naxxramas June 3rd Release Date? #YOHTAI

The cards are alive with the sound of roars!

Hearthstone is taking the Internet by storm.  Chances are you are not a “gamer” per se but you have played or at least heard of it.  The iPad app has brought Hearthstone to the masses and remains a featured app with a MetaCritic rating of around 88-95 on any given day..  and it’s “just” a card game!

If you have been keeping tabs on Hearthstone, it may be worth noting that the first expansion, Curse Of Naxxramas, may come as soon as June 3rd 2014 (trust me.. June 3rd is a VERY educated “guess”).  This expansion will introduce new cards, fresh game mechanics, and a deep single-player experience perfect for less competitive players.  Regardless of the definitive release date, Naxxramas is gonna be awesome.  Summer 2014 is gonna be the Summer of Hearthstone!

What excites me about this game beyond the marketing opportunities is the fact that this game is truly accessible.  Blizzard knows how to develop games that are fun and easy to learn.  Their properties become staples of geek and even mainstream culture.  Heck, Hearthstone is still new and already tournaments are popping up with hundreds of thousands in prizes! #BlizzCon

Hearthstone follows the same tradition of accessibility and pervasiveness.  It is simple while offering tons of replay value and depth.  The layers of mastery are very satisfying indeed.  Hearthstone is omnipresent.  Do not resist.  Give it a try.

Join us at #YOHTAI – Ye Olde Hearthstone Tavern And Inn!

Ye Olde #Hearthstone Tavern and Inn #YOHTAI Issue No. 3.

XBox Or PS4? Why It Does Not Really Matter

Soooo… The burning question these days people have for me is this:

Are you or should I get? XBox One or PS4?

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For now, I say neither. That was my opinion months ago and it will be my stance a year from now. I originally drafted this article when we started to see real demos of the PS4 and XBox One.

I find the launch titles are uninspiring. Call of Duty is old hat and I want to milk Battlefield 3 Premium before upgrading. Racing games and sports? I will pass.

Not enough for you? Let’s go through it point by point.

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SteamOS, Next-Gen Gaming Consoles, And The Future Of The Gaming Industry

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Yesterday’s massive response to Valve’s SteamOS announcement confirmed many of our predictions and expectations but, more importantly, it showed us that there is still a gaping hole in the gaming industry. With countless gamers looking forward to the XBox One and PS4, there are still many of us wondering if this next generation of gaming is really going to bring us anything new. SteamOS has addressed those concerns but Valve still has two more huge announcements to make.

Before I get into predictions and speculations, I would like to address the next-gen console war as I usually do here. From there, we can jump into what is confirmed and what we hope is next. The implications here go well beyond gaming as we see some major innovations in technology and shifts from pure gaming to multi-purpose computing systems.

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Why XBox One, Wii U, And PS4 Have Already Failed

Now that the silly debates over always-on, always-connected DRM and used game limitations are behind us (thank goodness), we can finally focus on the heart of the next-gen console wars. To me, your gaming console of choice boils down to a few simple core issues:

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A Look At The Gaming Industry, Player Motivation, And Social Media Dynamics (Opportunity!)

This blog post is so interesting to me that I posted it on my other blog (yup, breaking some SEO rules)!

I’ve been working on some projects lately with heavy social media and game mechanics involved.  Thing is, the majority of online marketers, brands, and businessses still do not see the massive opportunity here.  I think these numbers speak for themselves:

(I realize this image is HUGE and doesn’t jive with my theme so click it for the full-sized image, if you like statistics, market research, and/or gaming..  but hate long load times…  You’re welcome.)

ESRB Video Game Industry Statistics

I know you analytics and market research buffs will love this, even if you don't "game"!

What’s interesting to me here is that the data hints that socializers are the biggest group of gamers.  I look at everyone as a player, though not all players are necessarily gamers (being a gamer, in the more traditional sense, is more of a lifestyle choice, a conscious commitment)..  Yet we all play games in our lives: reward programs, social influence scoring platforms, sweepstakes, blogging, etc.

Socializers are driven by the interaction and engagement between others.  There is endless opportunity here for thought leaders, inbound marketers, brands, and, well, everyone.  I think the major paradigm shift here is in value propositions.  We’ve always thought of value and ROI in terms of dollars and cents (or traffic and visibility, the mass marketing, noise-making ways of old), yet Nexon, Zynga, FourSquare, and countless others have shown us that a virtual economy can ultimately be profitable, while keeping your overhead costs down.

These market leaders have also shown us that players may not be driven by achievement, high-level competition, or even curiousity.  As human beings, we are driven to feel connected, if not validated and accepted, even if we may be tagged as socially-recluse.  There is power in feeling like you’re a part of something bigger than you, a community, and networking with like-minded individuals..  even more so when we can meet our goals together!  Social is beating the pants off traditional marketing, especially for small businesses and start-ups trying to stay lean.

Zynga was valued at over 7 BILLION, last I checked..  their games are free and very similar to the myriad of mobile and Facebook games out there.  I’d say that should create urgency for us all.

Have you considered implementing game mechanics and design into your online projects?  How about now?

What’s Over At Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Pass Online? Brink First Impressions, Rin Anime Review, And MORE!

I’ll be focusing on project work and trying to play Brink and Mass Effect 2 “Arrival” in between for the next several days so here’s a look at what’s over at Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Pass Online. I hope you find DPO extra fun and geeky!

First and foremost, check out my Brink for the XBox 360 review. We talk about some of the smart moves Splash Damage has made to build upon their success with Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory. Bethesda has infused Brink with the RPG elements they are known for. Teaming up with Splash Damage has made Brink into a story-driven co-op experience with dynamic gameplay centered around objectives and smart teamwork. It’s definitely worth a look (I LOVE Brink, BTW)! I also touch upon the game on The Mundane Chatter Podcast if you’d like to give that a listen!

If Anime and Manga is more your bag, check out our Rin discussion. Rin is a great Anime aimed more at mature audiences. This piece is NSFW nor is it safe for kids. Adult supervision is strongly recommended.

DPO’s piece on Rin paves a path for more adult themes, including a look at the sexy (or SEKSY) universe of the Mass Effect series. There’s plenty of eye candy on the way. On the more kid-friendly side of things, I will revisit Yu-Gi-Oh! with our coming box buster and a review of current Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG online games. I skipped out on the motorcycle riding stuff (for now) so we’ll see how the latest Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship for the Nintendo DS stacks up to Yu-Gi-Oh! GX alternative and, my current favorite, Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s Decade Duels for the XBox 360. There’s definitely a lot of geeky stuff in the pipelines!

Check us out over at Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Pass Online (DPO) and let us know what you think! For now, I’ll be going AFK (sorta)…

The Video Game Industry: Economy Of Gaming And The State Of Video Games

Recently I posted my long-delayed “Economy Of Gaming” article on Duel Pass Online (DPO), citing the driving forces behind video game pricing and subscription fees. The key take-aways were as follows:

  • Video games cost money to make and maintain, so someone has to foot the bill somehow.
  • There are plenty of cheap online gaming options out there.
  • Free online games are not always what they’re cracked up to be.
  • Paid video games are better than free video games usually.
  • You get what you pay for.
  • Gaming companies need to put the gamer at the center of everything.

I’d like to revisit PlayNoEvil’s article on the negative impact of used games and piracy on the video game industry. The author of the articles on PlayNoEvil.com makes some very valid points. He discusses how it’s easier to see how profits shift with the growing popularity of used video games, whereas piracy is mostly a non-issue.

If you do a little digging, you can see that large corporations waste quite a bit of resources with their anti-piracy and copyright efforts, along with virtually pointless interrupt marketing. You’d think it would make more sense to just re-invest that money in research and development. Building innovative video games with incentives for early adopters and long-term supporters seems like a smarter investment of the billions of dollars thrown away with silly business.

Any self-respecting gamer will invest money on their gaming lifestyle and favorite video games, especially if they have strong online components. They want to keep their favorite video game franchises alive so it only makes sense. Surprisingly, even though online gaming has kept many video game companies alive, some fans wish there were video games with only single-player modes. I understand the need for story-driven video games but the money makers and trends point to a better way… Continue reading

XBox Code of Conduct: Lessons in Customer Service and Parenting

Today I am blogging via mobile so this is going to be a mostly vanilla post (until I get a chance to polish it a bit, of course). My topic of choice today can fuel quite a bit of different blog entries. I wish to discuss Microsoft and their continued bad customer service. I’d also like to touch upon the concept of the video babysitter, a lazy strategy used by parents today.

Console gaming is mostly community-driven (after all, the hardware is obsolete the moment it hits store shelves) and this is especially so with XBox LIVE, arguably the best overall onling gaming service (at least on consoles). Unfortunately, console manufacturers fail to see that their customers are part of the service they offer. Microsoft has definitely missed this point by not doing right by their customers. The Red Ring of Death, Open Tray Error, and Code of Conduct are amongst many things hurting what could otherwise be an amazing, fully-engaging console experience.

While we can get into all the facets of Microsoft’s missed opportunities, let’s look at the Code of Conduct. It is dressed up as a way to preserve the integrity of the XBox LIVE online community but, instead, it only becomes nuisance to paying subscribers. More times than not, the people being reported are merely the ones defending themselves; meanwhile, the real offenders and troublemakers remain online harassing on XBox LIVE.

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