[casual_games] Top Download List

Hal Barwood hal at finitearts.com
Mon Jan 16 20:21:16 EST 2006

All the reasons why we don't easily see usage and/or sales numbers for 
any games (not just casual games) are pertinent.  Here's how some of us 
might force the issue: huff & puff and roll out a big splashy site that 
casual gamers and developers can easily look at, plug in some 
partially-researched, partially gessed-at numbers, and insist that they 
tell the story in the absence of anything better.  If and when such a 
site gains traction, then it will behoove the aggrieved portals, 
developers and publisher types to issue corrections, thus improving the 
results.  Yes, those who want to keep secrets may start simply by 
attacking the site's cedibility, but as attacks and clarifications and 
marketing spinmeisters battle back and forth, eventually real numbers 
will leak out.  Over time, we'll know what's what.  Let's out 'em!


Matthew Ford wrote:
> I'm afraid it may be the good old inverted Prisoner's Dilemma dynamic: each
> one can share their numbers and theoretically help themselves by helping the
> whole industry, but if some do it truthfully and some do it untruthfully, or
> not at all, that "defection" hurts the truthful ones. Since everyone
> suspects others will defect, nobody makes the first move.
> We discussed something similar when debating whether to disclose subscriber
> numbers (or even concurrency numbers) in Asheron's Call 1 and 2. Unless you
> are sure you are #1, why do it and make it more clear to the customers you
> are not at #1 or close to it? Disclosing would help the whole industry, but
> who wants to do it first?
> I wish it were different but it ain't. So what alternatives do we have? Is
> there even a rough way to turn the numbers we have-- the size of the whole
> industry-- into individual guessestimates for titles given the info we do
> know about them?
> Which of these casual game publisher/distributors are public and therefore
> might have open-enough books to help us start some deductions here?
> -----Original Message-----
> From: casual_games-bounces at igda.org [mailto:casual_games-bounces at igda.org]
> On Behalf Of James C. Smith
> Sent: Tuesday, 17 January 2006 7:22 AM
> To: 'IGDA Casual Games SIG Mailing List'
> Subject: RE: SPAM-LOW: Re: [casual_games] Top Download List
> I agree that the current state of the casual games industry is very
> different than the box office and that portals have many publishing
> interests.  But I don't see why that would stop them from wanting to promote
> the industry in general.  As James G. pointed out, having a standard top
> sellers list to quote would create numerous opportunities for the mass
> market media to mention casual games.  When this happens, everyone in the
> casual games industry would benefit including portals, publisher,
> distributes, retailers, and developers.  Everyone want a bigger slice of the
> pie, but I think everyone also want to help the pie get bigger even if they
> are a publisher and a retailer at the some time.  
> -James C. Smith
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