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Nordic: SingStar's Bozek On 'Unbundling' Games

Speaking at her "My Everything" session at the Nordic Game Conference, SingStar producer and director Paulina Bozek stressed 'unbundling' as the key to harnessing 'Game 3.0's credos of enabling choice and creativity.
Speaking at her "My Everything" session at the Nordic Game Conference in Malmo, Sweden, SingStar producer and director Paulina Bozek stressed 'unbundling' as the key to harnessing 'Game 3.0's credos of enabling choice and creativity. Focusing on the forthcoming PlayStation 3 version of SingStar, Bozek said the game's overarching theme was "you choose." She quoted Nike president Charlie Denson, who spoke recently of the company's need to reverse 30 years of 'bundling' products, as Nike moved into an era of tailoring products to individual customers. "We were forced into this (unbundling) by the audience," said Bozek, stressing that a major part of the new SingStar would be the unbundling of the game's core -- its track listing, instead letting the player choose. She cited My SingStar Online, the game's central marketplace, as an example of user created content similar to the Nintendo Wii's Miis and user-modifiable MMO title Second Life. Using the feature, SingStar players will be able to capture and upload pictures and videos of themselves singing -- something, Bozek said, the team was inspired to do after witnessing the sudden stardom of Gary Brolsma when his 'Numa Numa' performance was spread through Newgrounds and YouTube. The most important thing, said Bozek, was getting the platform right. Right, in this case, meant a seamless user interface and something user-friendly, such as integrating the SingStore marketplace into the game itself so players didn't need to leave to purchase new music. Bozek added that the team expects 10 percent of the community to be active uploaders, and the remaining 90 percent simply browsers, so they tailored their development to get the tools right for that 90 percent, focusing on effective searches, user ratings, and top 10 lists, "so people can find the good stuff." Further details about the game were still kept under wraps -- when showing the SingStore interface, song prices were meticulously blurred out of the slide -- "I can't announce that today," she admitted.

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