Tag Archives: gamesindustry.biz

A new dawn in gaming content

Okay, this isn’t strictly about content, but its a great story about how a struggling video games business is reinventing itself. And it does deal in content. Kinda.

Read the interview with Electronic Arts veteran David Gardner in ‘Atari Reborn’.

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HD-DVD dropped – so is Microsoft’s Xbox next to go?

The modern day equivalent of the VHS/Betmax video format war is over – according to online DVD rental firm Netflix.com.

Netflix.com is to drop Toshiba’s HD-DVD format in favour of Sony’s Blu-Ray equivalent by the end of the year so as not to confuse its customers. Because they’re nice like that.

Great news for consumers, but if the war has finally been won (which, let’s face it, is no surprise) then what lies ahead for Microsoft’s Xbox360 games console? Surely every recession-dodging-penny-pinching-gamer is going to opt for a future-proofed Sony’s PS3 console and its built in Blu-Ray DVD player?

So – will Microsoft now mothball the next incarnation of the Xbox and admit defeat and make way for NetFlix.com’s prediction that Blu-Ray will encourage users to continue using disc based entertainment for the next decade?

Or will Microsoft INSIST that downloaded music, movies and games should be the centrepiece for ‘Xbox 3’ going forward given ever increasing broadband speeds? Holy increased real-time advertising opportunities!!! Microsoft has already released a video downloads service. We assume there’s no full-game downloads being offered yet so as not to jeopardise retailer relationships, and not because of broadband speed limitations.

This latest blow in the HD format war and the fact that Microsoft divested of Bungie in 2007 – the maker of the lucrative Halo series of games – in no way suggests to us that Microsoft will be ditching its games console any time soon…will it?

Read the full story at GamesIndustry.biz

UPDATE (20/02/08): Paramount signs Xbox film download rental deal (Guardian).

Phil Elliott appointed as new editor of GamesIndustry.biz

Holy crap – gaming news site GamesIndustry.biz has appointed Phil Elliott as editor.

Taking over from Ellie Gibson, Elliott joins GamesIndustry.biz after one year as editor of GameSpot UK. He’s also worked at BBC Radio Five Live.

I’m hoping Elliot’s first action point is sort out the site’s impenetrable e-newsletter. Any suggestions on what else Phil should change?

No idea who this Phil bloke is? Read some of his posts on GameSpot UK, including his not-so-tearful farewell post.

GamesIndustry.biz newsletter – do they read contentcontent?

Has someone at Gamesindustry.biz towers read my post on how to improve their weekly newsletter?

As per my last post, I waffled on for an age on how text could be broken up, bulleted, other alliterative b’s.

Have they taken note of my comments on headings too? The latest newsletter breaks up text with some bold headings…but little else.

Sigh.

GamesIndustry.biz newsletter

Before we begin, can I just say that I’ve subscribed to the gamesindustry.biz email newsletter for years.

But good god, it’s painful to read sometimes.

Why? Well, take a look at the latest newsletter, which deals with the ban of the Manhunt 2 video game by Rockstar.

Tackling the topic of video game censorship means it won’t be short of eyeballs, but I’m prepared to bet a bloodied ice hockey mask that less than 10 per cent of all recipients of the weekly newsletter read the whole newsletter.

At best, I’d say they read the opening paragraph, scan for keywords in the main body, then maybe, just maybe, they scroll to the final paragraph to read the last two paragraphs. But I doubt it.

Some thoughts:

Bone up on web copy basics

Insert sub headings, limit each paragraph to one idea or issue. Help users navigate around the article with signposting sub headings, images or pull quotes. As a last resort, bold up keywords throughout the piece – a bit messy, but at least my eyes have something to hold on to. *I can’t believe I’m wheeling this one out* but get familiar with Jakob Nielsen: e.g. around 16 per cent of web users read web copy word for word, while the rest skim or scan. I’d bet that statistic drops to single figures for readers of this newsletter.

Bite the big one and cut the word count

The text is way too long and no matter how good the text is, no one will read it. And if they do, I bet they’ll print it off and save it for the train journey home. Then they’ll decide it’s way too long. Or just plain unattractive to the eye.

Get another editor

I’m guessing the length of the piece has more to do with gamesindustry.biz’s limited resources than anything else – in that I bet it’s been researched, written, edited and posted by the same person. A second pair of eyes would edit this down. And if there is a second pair of eyes, get another editor.

Don’t get me wrong – I read (or at least try to read) every gi newsletter I get. Loyalty dictates that I try to ignore the horrific formatting I’ve outlined above and the repetitive. laboured. hammering in. of each. point. again. and again. But I can’t.

I just don’t have the time to read really long and immersive articles…and I’m guesing its core audience – gaming execs – don’t either.

Please don’t take this the wrong way gamesindustry.biz – I just think you could be so much better.

On a more positive note, VNUnet.com (which favours a raw text email newsletter) reports that online games are grooming business leaders of the future.