Wolfire Games, who did (and will do) [Lugaru] - [Overgrowth] wrote column named after 'Another view of Piracy'. They are much more famous for Humble Indie Bundle at now.

Even if it's long, you could read with some time.
However I'd summary them with 3 paragraphs.

- 5% in US / 10% in Worldwide, iPhones are jailbreaked. But 80% of games are pirated. Why such a difference? Few pirates copied very many games. Average gamers might just 5 annualy(if you read this, you're not average, core gamer), but pirates does hundreds of them annually.

- Pirates don't buy at any cost. Reflexive did strong DRM, and just 1 purchase increased for 1,000 piracy down. So we could assume 1/1,000 rate, and that's not so big to do any DRM struggle.

- With DRM or not, buyers will buy & pirates will not buy. Humble Indie Sale cared about gamers as customers, not wannabe-pirates. NO DRM, no hassle. And within 2 days, 40,000 people joined & average payment was 8$. (It increased to 60,000 people at now, total 505,002$...) It's better than DRM online server.

In music, Radiohead & Nine Inch Nails did similar thing & got high praise about that. For Indie Games, [World of Goo] got fame for DRM-Free, and gog.com. There were similar sale marketing in the past, but Wolfire reveiled Numbers(Statstics) as real time, and it's very effective. Even many Korean communities are talking about this, so worldwide, this news might be very big.

This is how Indie struggle / does marketing / grows up, in very good way.

P.S. : Wolfire blog had over 3,000 subscribers, but after Humble Indie Bundle, became over 5,000. [Overgrowth] can't fail.
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via Gamerbytes

Gamerbytes posted assumption of 2009 XBOX360 Indie Game sale stats. The reason why I wrote as 'assumption' is, Major Nelson posted top 20 list but not sale stats, so Gamerbytes gathered sales information from XNA forum. So they have Top 20 lists, but not all the sales data.

You could see details from the link above, and I'd write few things about that.

- Reveune Share is 7 (developer) : 3 (MS)
-> This is almost golden rule for market, even itunes appstore is same. But please make sure 3 could be 'bottom share for final sale', NOT 7 is for developer. (If that seller has affiliates, developer share drops a lot.)

- 1st. winner sold 160,000. Many or Little?
-> That's sold well for 1 small team, and even he got over 100,000$. But it's small for No. 1 for whole market. [Pocket God] for iPhone was sold over 2,000,000 copies, and Maximum selling for XBOX360 Indie Games is very low compared to that. And that zombie game is really really good, you must purchase if 1$ only. And total sales dropped very much, even 10th. winner sold just 20,000 copies.
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Column : 'Price War' among Casual Game Portals.

I found 1 thread in developer's forum, which is crying over 6.99$ price at Big Fish Games. Well, it's not so new, and 'Price War' was somewhat complex for several years.

I'd write summary among those Casual Portals 'Price War'. But I haven't see every portals at then, and can't remember exactly when & how. This is just summary of what I experienced & remembered. If I missed some important things, please let me know by replying.

- Long ago (2-3 years ago.)

BFG had subscription like these.
19.99$ : Nothing you need. Just purchase, with expensive price.
9.99$ : 6 months subscription needed. Will be paid for 1 coupon monthly automatically.
6.99$ : 12 months subscription needed. Will be paid for 1 coupon monthly automatically.

At then, other portals had similar subscription based system. But almost of them were 9.99$ / 14.99$ each, not so low as 6.99$.

Real Arcade might have monthly subscription, 1 game free + additional games are discounted. That might be 9.99$ + additional 14.99$? Can't remember exactly, anyway somewhat like that.

Wildgames had 'coin' system. You could purchase coin(monthly based or just purchase), which can be used to Purchase or Rental. (Pay-per-play style.)

- 1 year ago.

Amazon got Reflexive, and they started selling games 9.99$(newer) / 6.99$(older). No subscprion needed, just lower price. That's very important change for Casual Portals 'Price War', because Amazon is so hugh & important company, and Reflexive NEVER discounted price from 19.99$ until then.

Right after Amazon - Reflexive unity, other portals started discount price to 9.99$ (or lower), as Spintop games did.

BFG has changed 6.99$ only, no subscription limit needed / but you will be automatically joined for that subscription.

- Now.

Amazon - Reflexive has several different prices, 6.99 7.99 10.99. And for 6.99, it's not limited to older ones, even some newer ones. And Amazon - Reflexive site has somewhat different lists, even if Amazon download games are updated by Reflexive.

Even Sandlot games started selling some new releases as 6.99.

BFG is still same, 6.99$.
Plus, 2.99$ daily sale for 1 chosen games each day, through Toolbar(IE/Firefox).
And they started selling some 'Collectible Edition' w/ extra contents, maybe 19.99$ or more. (Later they release plain release for same game.)

Plus, Playfirst & Big Fish Games are united.

- Summary

-> BFG is NOT the only 1, who caused price war.
-> The most important change was, Amazon got Reflexive.

P.S. :  Even if I didn't write about Steam, they offered 9.99$ casual games (started from Popcap), and that could effect lower price somewhat for Core game portal.

P.S. 2 : In fact, such changes among Casual Games are more complex. Not only for PC game price war, but also for Nintendo DS / XBLA porting(29.99$ or 19.99$), even for Facebook game. And not sure you know, even Big Fish Games started 'Online Game' Free-2-play style subscription. I just wrote about 'PC Downloadable Casual Game' price war here.
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Column : raptr.com could be last.fm of VIdeo Game?

I have used raptr.com service around 1 month, and might write something about that. Here is my raptr page, and you could check it out.

First of all, what is raptr? I might explain it as 'Last.fm of Video Game'. I really like last.fm scrobble, so really liked raptr idea when I found it.

If you play some XBOX360 game, raptr counts time & get achievements status. Same for PC game / Playstation 3 / World of Warcraft / even Facebook game. Seems to be good for its basic idea. Just the problem is, it's not working properly.

I used it for PC & XBOX360 game, and issues gaming news to Facebook & Twitter.

1. PC

I installed raptr client, and every PC game must be played through that. Slightly different from last.fm, because I play music at iTunes -> scrobbled through last.fm client.

But it has few (or many) problems like this.

- Can't detect all PC games. Steam games (which are installed ) are fine, but can't detect non-Steam games very well. I hope to register not-detected games by myself, but it doesn't have any menu to add. Even if raptr db has that game, can't detect, as [Blackwell Convergence].

- Can't detect playing Facebook games. As I see, other players checked [Mafia Wars]. But even if I did Facebook Connect, my Mafia Wars is not recorded. Same for Flash Games, maybe only available through raptr client.

- For Steam achievement, not connected automatically. I reported to forum twice, and it works after that. (So... Manual connection needed.)

2. XBOX360

In fact, I like ratpr more for XBOX360, rather than PC. Every games are detected automatically, even for some Demos / Trials. However it has some detects.

- For XBOX360 acehivement, not connected automatically & reported to forum. Same as PC problem which I wrote above.

Except for forum report, it's working well & I like it. Anyway it doesn't support Playstation 3 Trophy, because Sony doesn't allow.

3. Facebook / Twitter

The best part is for raptr is, it posts to Facebook & Twitter for game playing & achievements. If somebody wants to let friends know about gaming situation, raptr is very good.

raptr supports Facebook Connect, so connection to Facebook is easy. And for twitter, just write Nickname / Password & it works, And it supports several options, as post everyhing or just post daily summary.

Just the problem is, if you play a lot of game everyday, it could be almost Spamming. Daily Summary might be better for that.

Personally, I like raptr idea very much. However it might need much more improvement. Must detect PC games more properly, better auto-sync needed. However, it's still fun to try.
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Few days ago, I bought XBOX360, finally. And my 1st. purchased game was, [Puzzle Quest : Challenge of the Warlords].

Well. For Pig-Min Korean, I did several features as Review (Nintendo DS / PSP / PC) - Interview - Column. I played & wrote articles about that too much. And XBLA is my 3rd. version to try. Unusual for me, because I play game & quit very fast. However there are reasons.

1. I must be familiar with XBOX360, and need proper game.
2. GamersScore...

XBOX360 is cool, but I need some Game to play which I could use for it properly. I got [Lego Batman] & [Pure] as Bundle, but they are too difficult for me. It's already midnight & can't go out to purchase some package, so I entered XBLA. And purchased it.

For GamersScore, 1 of my friend told me a lot 'how GamesScore is important', and I knew it very well. I might get some easy-achievement games, but it's already midnight. [Puzzle Quest] is not so easy game, but i already cleared it & could be better than other games.

That's why I re-purchased [Puzzle Quest] for XBLA. Still a Good Game, even better than newcomer [Gyromancer].

P.S. : How many people will do multiple purchase (or rent), to get PS3 Trophy & XBOX360 GamersScore? That could be another interesting aspects for recent game market, and that 'achievement hunter' market could be much bigger than we assume.

P.S. 2 : My GamerID is mrkwang, US account. Please add me friend if you wish. And also for XBOX360 review copies. :)
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