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Friday
Jun182010

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Anyone who knows me knows that one of my all time favorite games is the original Deus Ex.  Almost overlooked when released by the controversial Ion Storm in 2000.  Designed by Warren Spector and Harvey Smith, DX was an amazing blend of RPG and FPS that in my mind set in motion the concept of "sand box" or "open world" type games.  Though ultimately linear DX was able to present multiple paths to multiple outcomes better than many games before.

Anyway I can wax poetically about DX for every but I found this section at PC Gamer interesting.  They had a DX week and a bunch of really good articles and interviews.  Well worth a read if your a fan of DX or if your a new fan who has just recently found out about the new DX3 that is being released.

Talking to some folks at E3 it sounds like the new DX has a really good chance at being a worthy sequel to DX which makes me beyond happy!

http://www.pcgamer.com/2010/06/10/welcome-to-deus-ex-week-heres-whats-coming/

 

Also check out the HD Trailer of DX: Human Revolution if you haven't yet. Still weird to see the Square/Enix logo 0_o

 

Friday
Jun182010

Wool Labs

I'm a huge fan of Wool Labs and have been pushing hard for an investment in this startup for quite some time.. I think the fund is getting close as we've seen them organically grow this business into cash flow positive completely organically, and I think the time is right for a cash infusion and a major expansion/ramp up.

Wool Labs is a startup based outside of Philadelphia, PA that essentially has created the ultimate "spider" (I use quotes because they really have a spider on steroids) that crawls almost (I say almost because there are some technology hurdles there) the entire internet (and I mean entire) and with a natural language parser can pull out sentiment from every social network, forum, blog, discussion group, etc. on the internet.

Overnight Wool Labs can break down how exactly the "Internet" feels about your product on its own or in relationship with others.  I can imagine a scenario shortly where Brand Managers can monitor almost in real time how certain campaigns are being received!  Oh, and throw on top of that the ability to monitor in geographic as well as demographic (hey its your own fault for putting so much out there on the internet) terms and break down sentiment at those levels as well.

Imagine the FDA with this tool in their hands, they could monitor almost in real time for "Patient Zero" instead of "Patient 350".  Big Pharma would almost be forced to adopt this tool on a universal basis in order to stay one step ahead of the FDA and their investigations and possible fines.

Are they the next Google? No probably not since they are not really in that business.  Search is in itself its own animal.  This is not the next Search Engine but rather completely turns Marketing and Advertising on its head and the companies that are smart and agile and understand how to use these tools will gain a huge competitive advantage over their slower and dumber rivals that have to wait 10 to 30 days for traditional campaign reporting. 

Thursday
Jun172010

Relaunch Part Deux

Well there is sufficient enough stuff happening in my life both personally and professionally to once again relaunch my personal site.  I'm hoping to capture some insights on a professional level as the project I'm currently involved with (more on that later) is one of the more exciting ones I've been privileged to be a part of in my career.

As usual I'm still very much a Technology and Gaming freak of nature and I'm proud to say my "bad" habits have not changed very much as I've grown older and wiser.  Sure I'm not hopelessly addicted to World of Warcraft anymore (probably a good thing), but I still enjoy a few hours a week and am very much looking forward to Cataclysm when/if it launches this Winter.

I'm playing around quite a bit with various F2P Online Games since its going to be such a large part of my professional life coming up.  I also see this as the future of Video Gaming in general.  Right now its largely isolated to Online Gaming (mostly Asia) but I envision a future where most if not all "Video Gaming" (be it console, online, web, mobile, PC etc.) moves to a F2P model where micro-transactions drive most of the revenue.

When companies like Nexon can pull in an estimated $20 ARPU from US customers its no surprise to see the traditional Publishers blink.  Running a business model around AAA big budget and big advertising "smash hit" titles is rapidly a losing proposition. The 2010 ESA report is out (grab it here: http://www.theesa.com/facts/pdfs/ESA_Essential_Facts_2010.PDF) and while that only paints the retail picture and not online sales (of any sort) its a start reminder that "Video Gaming" is not recession proof.  What's not reported in there though is any sort of online sales and subscription/transaction revenue.  Clearly that is where Publishers will begin to look for 2011 profits and beyond.

So while "gamers" might be averse to being "monetized" one has to be aware that there is a rapid changing consumer model that "we" as the "traditional" gamer simply might no be 100% comfortable with.