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The GAMESbrief Unplugged Series
Three volumes. Two turbulent years. One essential history.
2009 and 2010 were vital, transformative years for the games industry. New platforms rose, new audiences engaged and new business models appeared. Old certainties about how to make money, how to reach your consumers and even how to enforce copyright were collapsing; as the dust settled, many of the industry’s former giants had fallen, while brand new companies and creators emerged.
Throughout this exciting era, Nicholas Lovell was helping creators, investors and publishers to make sense of the rapidly changing market. Now we’ve collected his articles from the era into three eBook volumes – an essential first-hand history of the games business in transition. Fascinating for anyone, professional or consumer, who wants to understand how the games industry got to where we are today, Nicholas’ articles chart the rough and often uncertain path that dragged games into the mainstream market.
Each volume collects articles and posts by topic, so you can chart the development of important ideas; observing the evolution of the modern games industry as it happened.
Volume 1: Gamers & Makers on the Edge
The first volume charts the rise of the indie developer and the loosening grip of the traditional publisher. Nicholas also engages with the controversial debate over tax credits, arguing that they would prevent rather than encouraging true innovation, and with the changing nature of copyright and the foolish ways in which old media companies were hurting their own interests with over-zealous copyright claims.
Volume 2: Freeing Games
How did the phenomena of “free” games begin? This volume explores the origins of the freemium (or free-to-play) game, approaching the topic from the perspective of developers, publishers and retail – all of whom reacted in different and fascinating ways to the sudden appearance of games at this radical price point. The centrepiece of this volume is an in-depth exploration, by Nicholas and other insiders, of the collapse of Scottish developer Realtime Worlds; a $100 million symbol of the failure of the “old” way of doing business, and a signal that it was time for a new approach to take over.
Volume 3: The Social Puzzle
In the final volume covering these exciting years of transition, Nicholas looks at the rise of new platforms like Facebook and iOS, and the appearance of games like FarmVille, which appeared from nowhere and ended up with tens of millions of players. As well as looking at why these games worked and what developers can learn from them, even today, this volume also deals with the explosion of self-publishing and the ways in which creators could free themselves to make their own games, find their own audiences and realise their own dreams.