[casual_games] Top Download List

Allan Simonsen Simonsen at rocketmail.com
Tue Jan 17 02:37:11 EST 2006

> --Each dev/publisher gives download numbers, sales
> volume, and so on to a
> trusted 3rd party

Doesn't that just aggrevate the prisoner's dillemma?
Should I give correct downloads/sales for my title,
when there's a chance others could be lying? 

At least in the case of the Distributors, they're
title-independent ( as opposed to Developers, who are
biased towards the titles they produce, and on which
they'll be reporting numbers).

> --3rd party reports not what each title did but
> gives averages and spreads:
> 10% of all games sold in this range; 10% in that
> range, and so on.

I'd ideally LOVE to hear actual numbers, not just
'Bejeweled Style Match3's made up 32% of the market'.
Similar to how the boxoffice doesn't break down titles
by genre ('40% of all sales this week were horror'),
but rather by individual titles. The general info can
be extracted by browsing the top10 lists from the
major distributors anyways. 

> This makes me wonder, you'd think there would
> already be industry info
> providers doing this, and perhaps compensating to
> those who give the info in
> hopes of selling the results to us in the industry.

Probably because we're mostly small companies that
don't spend enough money on marketing/market research
for it to be worth their time. These reports start can
run into thousands of dollars. I don't know about you,
but that's money that I'd rather spend on development
from where I'm sitting (we're a small studio).

> It's clearly in the best interest of everyone in the
> industry for the
> generic info to come out. I can see why nobody wants
> their specific title to
> be exposed but the above would avoid that.

Why on earth not? Does Sony Pictures wring it's hands,
not wanting to expose to the world how much Spiderman
2 grossed in it's opening weekend? Of course not; it's
an excellent marketing point, gets them into the
mainsteam media, and helps drive more visitors and
subsequent TV and DVD revenues. 

It's not that different from our industry, being able
to market a game as 4 weeks on the #1 worldwide
ranking-list would make for good publicity. Real
numbers (preferably the kind with a $ sign attached to
it) would also make it a LOT easier for anyone looking
to raise funding (so there's an upside even for the
developers that aren't making #1 hits yet).

Irregardless of where the numbers originate, we'll
need to find some clearing-house that is universally
respected. If we expect an outside consultancy like
NDP to take up that job, we can all expect to pay a
pretty hefty price for the information. It would be in
our best interest if we could find a volunteer
solution internally in the community, and spend the
money saved on making better games :)

Allan Simonsen

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