As you point out, the Battlefront Lootbox fiasco, shows the importance of having something close to a finished product before releasing a beta. Especially with games like Halo, Star Wars, World of Warcraft or even FIFA that have very passionate and critical fan bases, I think it’s important you insure that whatever product you release (even if you tell players its a beta) is up to a standard that doesn’t erode that brand value the franchises have managed to build. New games like PUBG and Fortnite are able to do earlier releases but for big blockbusters games that are expected to be tentpoles for developers, I don’t know that you can apply the same methodology.
Great post. Would love to know what you think about some of the most recent trends like Twitch (which allows you to consume games without paying / playing them), Fortnite / PUBG (which are proving the viability of competitive mobile games in the US) and the free-to-play model (which, as you mentioned has been popular for casual games but is growing for competitive games as well and threatens franchises like Destiny & CoD).
Interesting idea Peter. Why acquire instead of build? Is there a loyal user base already installed that would be hesitant to switch? My thinking is that if Discord is only adding text / chat functionality, its possible to develop that in house and maybe integrate it into Battlenet.
Thanks for sharing. How do you think EA was able to make such a big mistake with Battlefront 2? The way they handled loot boxes has fundamentally changed the industry and how it views micro-transactions and has even led many gaming platforms to change their policies and even some governments to enact regulations to change how loot boxes are managed. Given their reliance on data and player feedback, its surprising they were able to have such a misstep.
Interesting read. Thanks for posting. There are seem to be network effects at play here, given the more gamers there are playing, the more valuable the game is to me as a player. Given match making is prone to being manipulated, what could Blizzard do to prevent its games from losing losers and thus devaluing the game they’ve created?
Interesting read. Thanks for sharing. I wonder if McDonalds could offer some sort of loyalty program similar to what many retailers do so that they can get more information on the customer level. Although they capture loads of information based on ticket sizes, same store sales etc, they aren’t able to glean any insights based on my behavior as a repeat customer and I’m guessing they’re missing out on some useful take-aways. I know its tough for a fast-food restaurant to incentivize consumers to sign up for any kind of data-sharing promotion but could be interesting. Possibly if they tie it into the McDonalds promotions. Food for thought.
Interesting read. Thanks for writing. Given Amazon, alongside most of its Tech peers, are still viewed as “growth” companies, despite their size, they are given more lenience with their quarterly performances (which you point out). This has allowed them to make sizable acquisitions and make meaningful investments and market changing innovations. As the tech space mature, I wonder how this will change Amazon’s culture and ethos. Bezos consistently talks about having a Day 1 mentality in his Annual Letters to Shareholders but what happens when he is scrutinized more heavily on a quarterly basis such as we see with see with incumbents like GE, IBM, Disney, JPMorgan, etc. I wonder if Amazon will be able to maintain its reputation as the innovator we know today.
I do think so. Amazon has shown a dedication to launching a competitive entertainment platform and has already shown an interest in live sports. Even if the company wanted to view sports as a loss leader / customer acquisition cost, I believe they could outbid Disney for the rights in the early 2020s. Because, to your second point, live sports are the center piece of ESPN, but I think that Disney simply won’t be able to make a profit on the prices they’ll be forced to pay to win these rights.
I had no idea GameStop was once owned by Barnes & Noble at one point. I always knew they made a lot of their money on resales but I didn’t know they had established such an antagonistic relationship with video game producers. Although they’ve failed to make meaningful inroads into the digital marketplace, I’m guessing those producers weren’t too willing to partner up with them as the market shifted, which probably exacerbated their difficulties. Given these producers see margins jump by $10 when games are downloads and the digital market essentially eliminates any type of resale market, I wonder what options, if any, GameStop has going forward. It’s tough to see what kind of value they can add.