Gaming and Business

Been a while since I posted anything so it seems like the perfect time to rant about something.

I am currently a second year business student majoring in marketing. I really enjoy learning about how other businesses conduct/run their businesses. Recently there has been a lot of new Massively Multiplayer Online games introduced into the market. Obviously you have your classics; Eve online, World of Warcraft, etc. Today there are a number of MMO’s all fighting for a small piece of the market. Last year, Star Wars the Old Republic was released and raised the bar of MMO gaming with full voice over. Guild Wars 2 released in summer 2012, was a pleasent update the the classic Guild Wars. Interestingly enough both of these games and the classics have seen massive subscription declines. Why?

Well ultimately this is a normal situation of the product life-cycle. product-adoption-lifecycle

Basically as when an MMO gets announced it seeks “beta-testers” these are generally the innovators and the early adopters. They give important feedback on the game as well as entice them into purchasing the game for full price. At open beta you see more early adopters and at launch the early majority. These individuals are willing to pay full freight for the game and enjoy it regardless of bugs etc.

When an MMO reaches this point they fall right on their faces. For example, SWTOR got to this point had enticed all its early adopters and majority but had no endgame planned (by endgame I mean plan to adapt and restart the product life-cycle). Users quickly lose inters because there is no new content or the new content offered doesn’t appeal or is too late.

Ok, so what happens then?

Well, no surprise the product goes right through the cycle. Late adopters won’t pay the subscription and the game loses is revenue stream. Give it another year and the community for the game is gone.

World of Warcraft may be the exception to this but, ultimately they grasped this with the massive expansions (Pandera, Lich King, etc.) to restart the life-cycle.

So what is the problem?

I think that more games could be successful if designers recognize when its time to restart the cycle. This is easier said than done but having a real plan in the works will extend the game life and ultimately make the experience more fun. I wish I could still play SWTOR but there is no community, no one to run flashpoints with or heroics.

At the same time the revenue streams for games like SWTOR need to be redesigned from the ground up. This means changing from subscription to something else. I don’t know what that something else is but maybe raise the purchase price. I for one would rather pay $80 for a game and never pay for a subscription. But hey that’s just me.

Daskeyboard Review

So I was super excited to get my das keyboard on Monday and WOW I was not let down. The simplistic design does not due the key board justice. As a a heavy typist, I tend to bottom out my keys quite a bit and was a little worried the mx cherry blue switches would be too noisy. Yes they are noisy, as I am typing this it is hard to not notice the sound they make. Despite this its in a lot of ways “refreshing” from the experience using a standard membrane keyboard. About a year ago when I built my gaming PC, I debated getting a Das or a Razer Blackwidow. In the end I went with neither and ended up with a Steelseries Merc Stealth for about a 1/3 less than the previous two. I realize now the mistake since I was incited by its gaming advantages and not its overall typing advantages. The extra keypad became a nuisance when not in use and the LED’s were pretty much extra fancy novelties that I hardly noticed. It was packaged very nicely and require no drives or extra setup to use, just plug it in and boom your in business. I hope this keyboard will not only encourage me to type more but also to type better. While I overall prefer tenkeyless keyboards better, aesthetically and because they take up significantly less space. Fortunately the Das seems to have a more compact design than a standard keyboard. Not tenkeyless, but smaller dividers between the numb pad and arrow keys which essentially create a smaller keyboard. Typing just feels more natural as you can feel every key depress regardless of weather or not you bottom them out.
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In gaming the Das Keyboard has proven to be just as reliable as my previous Steelseries Merc Stealth. The tactile feedback helps recognize my hot key presses without visually ensuring. I noticed a particular improvement in my speed while playing Starcraft 2. Before getting my Das calculated my WPM on TypeRacer.com. Before I was doing a max 52 WPM and now with my Das I maxed at 66 WPM which is the fastest score I have ever had.

A few minor issues that I have with the Das;
1. Sometimes the reverberation of the springs can be annoying but overall its slowly becoming less noticeable the more I use it.
2. Most of the keyboard sports a matte finish except the top which is glossy and attracts finger prints and dusty easily. I have only has this keyboard a few days and already I have wiped with down twice due to dust.
3. While I never really noticed my LED’s as much in my old Steelseries Merc Stealth I do notice the lack of them in the Das. This is probably my smallest complaint but since the media keys are blue and not white like the others then they tend to blend in quite a bit making them hard to distinguish in low light.