Friday, May 15, 2009

That's the Name of the Game - 9

Pssst.... you can see my latest That's the Name of the Game column entry a little early today, well, that is, if you see this posting right now before the entry goes live at today at 3 o'clock.

This week I wrote about the concept of "The Long Tail" in video game sales:What happens when the core video game demographic is marketed to? The core video game demographic tends to buy titles immediately, and then pass on the ones they don’t pick up right away. As the business side of the video game industry starts to attack this issue in order to increase sales, we see tactics like those of developers Valve and Criterion Games rise in popularity. These methods of development take titles and continuously shake them in front of gamers in an effort to keep the attention and the sales driving forward.

First off is Valve’s Team Fortress 2. TF2 launched packed together with other Valve titles like Half-Life 2 and Portal, and while those titles certainly made a splash together when they were released back in 2007, TF2 has been continuously updated. Every other month one of the character classes in the game will receive an update. New weapons, achievements, maps, and game modes will be released for the PC version of the game. More and more gamers will buy the game with each update and as such Valve has seen specific sales spikes every time they have an update or free-play weekend for the game. This allows Valve continued sales, marketing, and awareness.

You can check out the rest of my column this week at ""

As a general update, I've started posting much smaller (bite-sized) thoughts and musings. I'm finishing up this semester and in an effort to continue to generate content I'm throwing a mobile post up every so often when I can. This will come in handy at E3 as I walk the show floor and attempt to digest as much as I possibly can.

Also, if you're reading this and you're even mildly interested in producing a podcast with me I'd love to hear from you. You can drop me a line at

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