Trends and Background
The gaming business offers many opportunities to entrepreneurs who may not have access to large amounts of capital. Atari had to partner with Sears to distribute its Pong game and console in the 1970s, but the Internet and the iPhone make possible a more flexible, streamlined distribution model often dependent on micropayments. Start this section with my Forbes column on how game developers can benefit in the recession. Continue with Gabe Zichermann’s comprehensive overview of the history of and market for video games, which is a good introduction to my coverage of this space.
*Forbes Column 2009: Gaming The Recession
*Games: From Donkey Kong to Dominance
*PC Games – Where We’ve Been, Where We’re Going
*Games: Console Games – Hardware + Software = Ka-Ching!
*Funware and Social Games – All the World’s a Game
The Rise of Casual and Social Gaming
As these companies show, it’s not just about the 18- to 30-year-old male.
*Casual Games – Everyone Can Play
*Deal Radar 2010: Bolt Creative
*Deal Radar 2010: PressOK Entertainment
*Deal Radar 2009: Social Gaming Network
*Deal Radar 2009: Zynga
*Deal Radar 2009: Outspark
*Deal Radar 2008: PlayFirst Plays Casual Games Well
*Building the Electronic Arts of Casual Gaming: PlayFirst CEO John Welch
Playing for Money
Playing for money may be as old as games themselves, but with virtual goods and online tournaments, these companies are bringing something new to the table.
Multiple-platform and Multi-player Games
Super Mario Brothers, Nintendo’s 1985 hit of “summer-vacation-consuming scope” was, New Yorker journalist Tom Bissell contends, one of the first video games to be built around a world. It was of course a private world for small groups of friends, siblings, and cousins to navigate. That all changed, of course, with the rise of the Internet and MMPGs (massively multiplayer games) whose players, scattered around the globe, often create a game’s world together.
Developing Games for Social Media
This series of posts by guest author Saad Fazil delves into the social media ecosystem.
*Social Gaming on the Rise, and Lessons for Would-be Entrepreneurs
*Social Apps vs. Social Games
*The Fall of Wall Street and The Rise of The Virtual Street
*Secret Recipe of An iPhone App
*Think Flash Before You Think Big
See also the Convergence Device Movement page, which features gaming companies whose main focus is games for the iPhone and social networks, and the Education page, which has a section on edutainment.