In today's main feature, for those a little down on the state of the game biz, veteran game designer and tutor Ernest Adams takes this month's Designer's Notebook, and makes a list of all that's great with video games and the video game industry today, in his own view.
One of the items that makes his list is always good for business, and that is, of course, "more ways to make money":
"We've got a whole lot more ways to make money. That mass market doesn't only consist of kid gamers who grew up into adult gamers, though. It also includes a bunch of new adult gamers who have come to gaming in a way that didn't exist 15 years ago. They're not buying games at retail, they're playing YoHoHo! Puzzle Pirates online. And that's great. Puzzle Pirates is delivering a good product at a good price without having to go through the horrendous rigamarole of getting a console license or trying to get a game onto the retail shelves. And so is PopCap. And Pogo. And WorldWinner. And Yahoo! And so on.
Oh yeah, and that mass market isn't all playing little freebie games that earn money through ad revenue either. They're also paying monthly subscriptions to play big games online. We have now managed to sign up a sizable chunk of a nation — a nation! — to play Lineage. If you had said at the GDC 15 years ago that a staggering number of Koreans (Koreans?) would be playing role-playing games (role-playing games, for God's sake?) on-line (what?) in Internet cafés (what??) in 2006, you'd have been laughed out of the hotel."
You can read the full Gamasutra feature on the subject
, a distinctly optimistic outlook on the next generation of game developers (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from external websites).