Archive for the ‘duh’ Category

It’s easier to create a clone of a clone of a good game than something original

Tuesday, June 26th, 2007 is running an interview with Jason Kapalka, the founder of PopCap Games. Among other things he spells out what a visit to any site with a collection of little Flash games should tell you: People make cheap clones of existing games because it’s easier than coming up with something new.

The truth is that very few games are developed without reference to past games. There’s always going to be titles that build on a previous mechanic or game. But there’s a fine line between that and very bold-faced rip-offs that aren’t adding anything to the game and are just trying to make a quick buck. There’s games like that in the hardcore gaming market of course, but the problem in the casual space is that the investment in resources can be a lot less. So a three person studio isn’t going to build a knock-off of Warcraft. But they could crank out a clone of Bejewelled in a few months. The barrier to entry is a lot lower so you get a lot more of it.

He says a lot more slightly less obvious things. Certainly worth a read.

Link! to the entire interview (

Game consoles cost lots of money.

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

Chris Buffa is a terrible writer; his latest article is no exception. I’m not actually sure what his point is, other than possibly that video game systems have always been expensive, and we get more goodies today than we used to, for fewer comparative dollars.

The article is pretty low on content, for example, this is the complete section about the Nomad:

For $180, players get a cumbersome machine that breathed life in a dying 16-bit system; that is if you had the money to feed its greedy, 16 bit processor. The Nomad consumes six AA batteries in two hours, a terrible issue that helped spell its demise.

The article is only really useful for comparing the cost of systems when they were new to today’s dollars, but since he inexplicably left out Nintendo’s offerings, its worth is suspect.

Link! (GameDaily) if you’re so inclined.