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Is this the end of shouty men in hats?

If you pay attention to the icons of games in the top grossing charts on the AppStore, you will have noticed the Shouty Men in Hats phenomenon.   For a while, all the top grossing strategy games had for their icon a man. Wearing a hat. In an open mouthed shout. Yesterday, that all changed....

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Avoiding the Hippo in the room (or why large video game projects with charismatic leaders fail)

The BBC today ran a story about how to avoid the Hippo. The Hippo is the highest paid person’s opinion. It’s extremely dangerous. That person may not actually know the most, or be in position of all the facts. They are often very busy. But the CEO or the studio head or the Game Director...

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GAMESbrief reading list for Q1 2017

This was supposed to be a reading list at the end of 2016. But life got in the way (those of you who know me IRL may know that I got flooded out of my house by an exploding sewer on Brexit day. We hope to move home just before Easter, so I am quite...

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When everyone has tax breaks, wouldn’t it be better if no-one had tax breaks?

In their latest regulatory round-up, law firm Osborne Clarke points out that Germany, Italy and Spain will soon be joining the UK, Canada, France and many US states in offering tax breaks to developers. German Games Industry Presents Model Bill For Development Tax Credits Italy extends Tax Benefits for Audiovisual Works – Good News for...

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Meet a Hearthstone whale, sorry, superfan.

This is a fascinating interview from PCGamer with a Hearthstone superfan called Nick who spent $3,400 on Hearthstone cards in a single evening. It’s an enlightening canter through the motivations and mindset of someone who classifies themselves as a really big fan. The full post is worth reading. Here is a flavour: Would you recommend...

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My predictions in 2010 turn out to be quite true in 2017

Back in 2010, I wrote a blog post setting out how I expected the industry to develop over the next decade. In the end, the games industry will polarise into these three segments (can you polarise into three?): Blockbuster games Persistent social games Independent games I no longer believe that the era of the blockbuster...

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Never accept “we’ll do the PR for your game with a value of $50,000” in your publishing contract.

Over at MobileDevMemo, Eric Seufert has written an extremely useful post on working with a publisher for your free-to-play game. In particular, he highlights that a publisher should be able to commit serious cash AND serious expertise to driving user acquisition for your game. If all they are doing is appointing an external agency to...

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Is your problem in marketing, or in design?

I’ve been dealing with a number of clients recently who have challenges scaling their game. The game is good, the clients say, but we just need more scale. That is true, to a point. There is a virtuous circle that comes in successful games from scale: getting more users = more players to show up...

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They say no-one ever gets sued for breaching an NDA – $200 million says otherwise

There is an old saying that a non-disclosure agreement is not worth the paper it’s written on: secrets are hard to protect, and despite the best efforts of lawyers to get you to sign away all your rights whenever you sign the guest register at a company, NDAs are often regarded as a formality. Not...

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GAMESbrief reading list – October 2016

Games VR: There will be blood:  Rob Fahey’s take on VR. Rob points out that even if VR hardware is a huge hit, there is a lot of money flying around, and it’s hard to see all the investors making their money back. The key for us all is to remember that if this bubble...

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