Posted tagged ‘indie’

Why HeyZap Coins and Mochi Coins fall short

July 21, 2009

Recently both HeyZap and Mochi Media launched virtual goods platforms for Flash games. In short they allow players to purchase game items with hard currency. Want to kill zombies more effectively? Buy this $0,05/600 Mochi coins double-barrel shotgun! With virtual goods being the “new advertising” as far as internet business models go, why does this effort fall short? Jussi, we thought you loved virtual goods!

Oh yes, I still love virtual goods. There is nothing wrong with the basic premise of the service offered by HeyZap and Mochi Media, but plenty of issues with trying to monetize primarily single player Flash game experiences. It’s the classic “If a tree falls in the forest, and nobody is there to see it, does it really fall” problem. I can buy a better shotgun, but without other players, my friends and my rivals , what is the point? Why would I bling out my virtual house if my friend’s can visit? Is there anybody to listen when I boast about my exploits? Is there anybody to best? Anybody to share this experience with?

Due to the nature of the games they serve HeyZap and Mochi Media are currently limited to effectively selling you “cheat codes“. It’s a hollow experience without the social context offered by persistent multiplayer games (e.g. MMOs or social games), and I don’t expect this to save Flash games developers. In HeyZap’s and Mochi Media’s shoes I’d be investing heavily into providing the tools to let Flash developers create these persistent multiplayer experiences (Nonoba is doing it). However, as a Flash developer I wouldn’t wait – I’d jump ship to social games this instant (massive & free distribution, social context, paying customers = the win).

Further reading

Crayon Physics Deluxe coming 7th Jan 2009

January 1, 2009

Petri Purho, game creator extraordinaire and a good friend, has finished Crayon Physics Deluxe and the amazing game will be out for PC on 7th of January 2009. Crayon Physics Deluxe won the Independent Games Festival’s Seamus McNally Grand Prize in 2008 – effectively the highest honour an indie game could receive. Petri’s taken the time he needed to polish it to a masterpiece and I for one can’t wait to get start playing in a weeks time!

An iPhone version licensed exclusively thru Hudsonsoft is also coming and it is expected to hit the Appstore any moment now.

I found about Petri’s experimental games a year ago on his site and just had to meet him. We had lunch and met a couple times thereafter. I found Petri to be an auteur in the greatest sense of that word. The success of Crayon Physics definitely took him by surprise. Watching his acceptance speech at IGF for the grand prize pretty much epitomizes this. He was wearing a monocle and opening with a wholehearted “f*ck yeah!!!”. Made me grin like never before ;-). I’m happy that I had a small role helping him with business side of things and seeing that he has found the best business partners to support him and let him create more awesome games.

Petri, HUGE congrats on finishing what is definitely a landmark in games!