Geoffrey Long
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Franchise fatigue?

There's an interesting piece in The New York Times today on Relying on Video Game Sequels. The article states that Electronic Arts, one of the largest game companies out there, is suffering a sales slump which might be attributed to something Janco Partners analyst Mike Hickey calls "franchise fatigue". Basically, if I bought Madden 2003, 2004 and 2005, do I really need to pony up another $50 to own Madden 2006?

IMHO, video games need to learn from the comic book industry. Why has no one created a subscription game yet? $10 a month delivers a game disc to your door with the latest chapter of a massive story arc. It's like an expansion set every month. Further, there could be any number of games in this series, each one starting anew at the end of the year. Wham! Recurring revenue stream, a bold new step in entertainment, and an all-new addiction for us Square-Enix junkies.



I don't think there's enough imagination present in the (offline) video game industry anymore to be able to keep a game interesting and 'new' enough to support a subscription business model. The first thing they would need is someone who can write a good story; monthly updates of first-person shooters don't seem attractive enough for my bucks.

Strategy/problem-solving games might be something that would work; a new problem or puzzle every month? Maybe. The problem is that judging by the types of games being published, which I assume is based on being "stuff that sells," apparently the strategy/problem-solving genre is a non-starter.

Oh, well. Read any good books lately?

Hey, John!

Indeed! I recently finished the Clive Barker's ABARAT, and Susanna Clarke's JONATHAN STRANGE AND MR. NORRELL is quite wonderful as well. For school, I'm plowing through Marie-Laure Ryan's NARRATIVE ACROSS MEDIA, which is proving itself to be quite useful, and for sheer entertainment I've been rereading all of Mike Mignola's HELLBOY books as well as Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean's recent MIRRORMASK screenplay/book/visualization/thing. :) You?

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