除此之外，它确实成功了。谁知道《Journey》会卖得那么好，还成为PSN有史以来最大的成功？所以它是一次双赢——《Journey》这件光辉的作品既体现了索尼一贯擅长的艺术风格，又成为该公司在经济最为拮据的一年的支柱。快，将它移植到Vita！别当真，把它移植到Vita。让游戏玩家和索尼的痛心的是，不会再看到这样的好游戏了，Thatgamecompany 融资500万美元用于新游戏开发之后，高级制作人Robin Hunicke和联合创始人及总裁Kellee Santiago等却相继与发行公司Sony分道扬镳。一句话，《Journey》是备受争议的宠儿，也是成功的商业作品，在PlayStation 3上也一样。
Boss Alien是一家由前Black Rock核心成员组成的游戏开发工作室。该公司的目标是，让手机游戏达到AAA游戏的品质——这是业界的陈词滥调了。对于大部分开发者来说， 这听起来似乎是一种自负，似乎是看不起其他了不起的手机游戏开发者，但Boss Alien不仅做出了一款强悍的游戏，还表明他们了解如何从玩家身上捞钱的残酷本性。游戏不是免费制作出来的，玩家不可能免费玩。大家都要付汽油费、付车费甚至为你已经付过费的东西再付费。只要确保你买的是那些不可复制的游戏，保证我们不是返回去克隆匹配消除游戏和填字游戏。天晓得，这些游戏已经够多了。
发行商Natural Motion已经有过一次成功的经历，但是，无论靠赛马卖出了多少虚拟马鞍（游戏邦注：这里是指该公司的另一款游戏《My Horse》），赛车给他们带来的信誉远比前者高。他们靠这个项目发财后又收购了该游戏工作室。这是一个英国开发商和一个英国发行商之间的励志故事。
皇天不负有心人，《Borderlands 2》给辛苦努力的Gearbox带来巨大成功，足以稳固该工作室未来的发展。《Borderlands》是Gearbox的《光晕》。在游戏机领域，当有那么多大开发工作室的生死悬于最后一次发行时，Randy Pitchford的制作团队经济实力雄厚，成为最冷酷最强悍的开发团队之一。
它也是Take-Two的另一个大收获。Rockstar算什么？《Borderlands 2》完爆《Max Payne 3》。投资商曾担心Take-Two是另一个Rockstar，但《Borderlands》必定已经让股市相信，就像育碧，这是一家知道如何通过先发现和支持原创来挣钱的公司。
《World of Tanks》
你知道现在游戏开发的热点在哪里吗？白俄罗斯。准确地说，是白俄罗斯的一家游戏开发公司和一款帮助它从120人的规模（不算太差）成长到1200人的游戏。虽然行业高管们为《The Old Republic》、《The Secret World》和带术士和熊猫的游戏带来的挑战而担心，但Victor Kislyi和他那支勤奋的团队却为免费游戏、MMO和PC游戏找到了新代言人。4千万注册玩家是不可能错的。他们就爱用坦克打CS。
Kislyi公开承认他遵循的是Battle.net的对战模式，但希望通过增加多款游戏—-《World of Tanks》、《World of Warplanes》和《World of Warships》来改进全套服务。做事要高调——这款游戏打算延续十年以上，但公司要保持低调态度。这位CEO定期地约见玩家一起喝酒，顺便收集反馈。你知道有多少CEO愿意和付他们薪水的玩家如此亲近？看来明年又是Victor的回合了。
当你认为《Minecraft》是一种PC现象时，它就转向Xbox Live——一片众所周知不待见独立游戏的领域，并且成功拿下它。《Minecraft》不只是由图形拼凑出来的东西，还是一个让玩家做他们想做的事的玩具盒。无论用操作手柄还是鼠标或键盘，它都一样好玩。4J工作室在保持《Minecraft》的新意和贴近Notch的原创设计方面，做得相当好。这不是为了促进销售量的游戏机副产品——Xbox Live上的500万份销量相比于手机版的500万下载量和PC版的800万份销量，也是个巨大的成功。可以肯定的是，《Minecraft》在XBLA上的成功将对微软下一轮Xbox数字战略发挥了重大影响力。
《Clash of Clans》
《Gunshine》行不通，所以Supercell继续前进。《Clash of Clans》（和《Hay Day》）是它最大的成功，每天为这家芬兰公司掘金50万美元。帝国养成的策略游戏在iOS不算陌生，玩家有数百万。当你谷歌搜索这款游戏，看看弹出多少与之相关的虚假网站、黑客、维基、社交和论坛网站，你就知道这款游戏已经具有坚实的玩家基础了。
《Clash of Clans》仍然高居排行榜，是因为充分利用了良性循环——休闲玩家看到滑动图标，再看到热情的玩家评论和精美的游戏截图，最后点击进入。游戏是免费的，所以没什么损失。《Clash of Clans》说明了，你不需要借助传统的游戏媒体宣传。当媒体注意到这款游戏时，它已经非常火爆了。
人们还在破那个方块吗？天呐！它是一款游戏？管它呢。它是一个实验，一个话题，一款找不着要点却相当过瘾的游戏。Peter Molyneux和22 Cans的成员们所做的就是，创造一个事件。随你怎么定义它。努力赢得奖励。玩完了就把它从你的iPad上删除。如果它不是Molyneux的鬼才方案之一，还会吸引媒体的报道吗？不会，但那是公平的。它只是一种优势。许多工作室都想占这种上风。
《Curiosity》的成功是22 Cans的其他项目，《上帝也疯狂》的续作《Godus》无法复制的。Kickstarter网站对那个项目的大众融资活动已经接近完成，那是应该让该团队很受到鼓舞。不要做期望中的事，要做就做疯狂的事。能做出这种选择和把握机遇的公司并不多，所幸22 Cans是其中之一。祝这些家伙好运，他们会需要运气的。
《League of Legends》
网络游戏。虽然许多游戏公司刚开始看到竞技游戏玩法的潜力，但Riot Games已经让过百万玩家网上竞技，800万玩家围观。《League of Legends》有300万玩家同时在线。你还说它不流行吗？腾讯与它合作四年后看到了这款游戏的潜力。
还面临着艰巨的挑战——引只更多新玩家以及缓和在线玩家狭隘的、激进的态度是眼下最紧要的事。但随着《League of Legends》的成攻和新赢利渠道的开发，我们有理由相信Riot很努力，它的成果让许多其他公司得以长期赢利。
《光晕 4》经过改造之后又大获成功。Bungie删除了《光晕》中的一些陈旧的内容，再由微软游戏工作室团队343 Industries接手。任务艰巨，但Frank O’Connor和他的团队知道他们能行。现在，只是公开记录的问题了。批评家们爱《光晕4》，玩家们也一样。343的制作本系列的下一款游戏的方法也很有趣——在线语音问题不大，因为《光晕》的其他900万玩家并不关心谁做了这款游戏：他们只想体验到最棒的《光晕》。粉丝的反响热烈，但不要根据他们的反馈执行整个开发过程。
《Rage of Bahamut》
我仍然对《Rage of Bahamut》感到困惑不解，但我不怕承认这一点。我想还有许多人也有同感。没关系，CyGames的卡牌战斗RPG游戏对我们来说出现得太突然了，但它确实在韩国、日本、欧洲的Android和iOS市场上引起轰动。美国发行商DeNA非常看好它，以9000万美元的价格购入20%的Cy Games的股票。该发行商在盯紧游戏的同时，还计划在不久以后购入剩下的80%股票。
DeNA试图复制在日本取得的成功，而《Rage of Bahamut》已经成为其在美国建立Mobage平台的关键。发行商希望借它在海外市场打头阵。一旦DeNA的财政有盈余，它将开始认真考虑并购欧洲的公司。
在90年代中期，如果我爸爸看到《FIFA》的逼真画面，一定会问我在看哪场比赛。在那时，这种迷惑并不令人吃惊，因为从远处看，以最不经意的目光看，《FIFA 95》看起来就像是真的足球比赛。在2012年，随着《FIFA 13》的发布，EA Sports比其他开发商更加接近完美。
《FIFA 13》是一款每天都在变化的游戏。它实现了Andrew Wilson的设想：作为连续性体验的AAA游戏；重新定义了“玩家服务”的含义。它还提供了游戏业中最大方的内容程序包之一。玩家仅在单人模式中就能收集到价值40英磅的东西，之后还有联机游戏、挑战游戏、EA Sports足球俱乐部、终极球队等等。许多游戏特征已存在于之前的版本中，但今年确实全面集合了。《FIFA 13》为该系列、乃至运动类游戏树立了新榜样。
《Bubble Witch Saga》
《Bubble Witch Saga》已经在Android和iOS平台发布了，它是第一款同步玩家数据和跨平台购买的游戏。所以游戏在手机和Facebook上的任何数据、游戏进程和虚拟物品都是同步的，玩家可以在不同平台上继续游戏。对于2012年，这只是跨了一小步，但有望为以后的跨社交和手机网络打下坚实的基础。（本文为游戏邦/gamerboom.com编译，拒绝任何不保留版权的转载，如需转载请联系：游戏邦）
12 Games That Defined 2012
By Matt Martin
Has it been a hard year for the games industry? Every year has been hard for the games industry. If it wasn’t hard the industry wouldn’t be going through such a terrible and terrific rate of change. But while the old studios fell, publishers crumbled and retail clawed along the gutter, the successes were just as prominent. The industry is pumping with fresh blood, new talent, bright ideas, secure business models, alternative retail channels and a willingness to adapt, grow and learn. And above all it continues to deliver games that are the envy of the entertainment world. Here then, are some of the titles that stood out as the biggest, brightest examples of success in the video game industry in 2012.
Sony is broke. Absolutely broke. What it can’t afford to do is help make trippy indie adventures when it should be making money. That shit doesn’t sell, it’s just a PR exercise to make a company look like it’s willing to experiment and try new ideas in a business where risk is rewarded with redundancy.
Apart from it does sell. And who knew it would sell so well, with Journey becoming the biggest ever success on PSN? So it’s a double win – a glorious piece of art as entertainment and a banker for Sony during a year it needed to scrape together every single penny it could find. Quick, port it to Vita! No seriously, port it to Vita. The sad thing for games players and Sony is we won’t see its like again, with Thatgamecompany taking over $5 million in funding and Hunicke, Santiago and friends buggering off elsewhere. Journey: critical darling, commercial success. On the PlayStation 3, no less.
Boss Alien came straight out of Black Rock redundancy focused on the prize – the cliché of bringing triple-A sensibilities to mobile gaming. From most developers that sounds like arrogance on their part and a snub to all those great mobile developers already out there, but Boss Alien delivered not only a wickedly strong game, they showed they understood the ruthless nature of squeezing money out of the player. Games aren’t free to make and the player doesn’t get a free ride. Pay for gas, pay for cars, even pay to speed up something you’ve paid for. Just make sure you pay otherwise these games don’t get made again and we’re back to cloned match-three games and word puzzles. God knows, we’ve had enough of those.
Publisher Natural Motion was already a success, but street racing gives them so much more credibility than horses, no matter how many virtual saddles you sell. They bank-rolled the project and then bought up the studio as a thank you to those involved and a f**k you to anyone else who saw a potential talent acquisition. That’s a UK developer and a UK publisher success story right there. Break out the bunting and have a celebratory cucumber sandwich.
Borderlands 2 gave Gearbox that mega hit it’s been striving for and so rightly deserves, the title the studio can build a solid future on. Borderlands is Gearbox’s Halo. At a time when so many big development studios live or die by their last release, Randy Pitchford’s gang of reprobates are some of the coolest, baddass and erm, financially secure development teams in the console space.
It’s also another big franchise for Take-Two. Rockstar who? Borderlands 2 blew Max Payne 3 right out the water. Investors have been worrying for years that Take-Two is just the Grand Theft Auto company, but Borderlands must now surely convince the suits at the stock market that like Ubisoft, this is a company that understands you start making lots of money by finding and backing the original creative vision first of all.
World of Tanks
You know where’s hot for game development right now? The Republic of Belarus. Specifically, one company and one game that’s helped it grow from 120 people (not too shabby to begin with) to more than 1,200 people globally. While execs were watching and worrying over The Old Republic, The Secret World and that one with wizards and pandas in it, Victor Kislyi and his hard working team built the new poster boy for the free-to-play, the MMO and the PC gaming businesses. 40 million registered players can’t be wrong. They love Counter-Strike with tanks.
Kislyi openly admits he’s following Battle.net’s lead with Wargaming as a full service, but hopes to improve on that by adding multiple games – World of Tanks, World of Warplanes and World of Warships. There’s nothing small about the ambition – the games are intended to last for ten years or more – but the company remains humble. This is a CEO that sits down to drink beer with his players on a regular basis and gather feedback. How many execs do you know who are willing to get that close to the people who ultimately pay the wages? Next year it looks like the round’s on Victor. Again.
Minecraft is just like Angry Birds. It’s been ported to multiple formats, you can buy toys based on its characters (well, a pick axe) and it’s made a shit-tonne of money. In the context of video game development it’s a cheaply produced game that’s gone on to conquer the world. It’s one of the shining stars of the new games world. Mario and Sonic are old farts compared to these guys.
Just when you thought Minecraft was really, truly a PC phenomenon it turns up on Xbox Live – that notoriously indie unfriendly place – and conquers it. Minecraft isn’t about many things, graphics being one of them, but it is about giving people a toy box to do what the hell they like with. And it turns out you can be just as playful with a controller than a mouse and keyboard. 4J Studios has done a fantastic job keeping Minecraft feeling fresh and close to Notch’s original vision. This isn’t a console spin off that was expected to nudge the sales numbers up a little; with 4.5 million copies sold on Xbox Live it’s doing a grand job of racing after 5 million downloads of the mobile version and the PC’s 8 million units. You can bet the success of Minecraft on XBLA is having a massive influence on Microsoft’s digital strategy for its next Xbox.
Clash of Clans
Gunshine didn’t work for Supercell, so it moved on. Clash of Clans (alongside Hay Day) has been its big hit, pulling in over $500,000 per day for the Finnish company. The empire-buiding strategy game is at home on iOS and loved by millions. When you Google a game and see lists of cheat sites, hacks, wiki, social and forums pop up you know this is a title with its own community.
Clash of Clans is still hovering around the high end of the Top Grossing charts and taking advantage of that virtuous circle, where casual browsers see the slick icon, the glowing customer reviews and the damn good-looking screenshots and plunge in. It’s free to get started, so there’s nothing to lose. Clash of Clans demonstrates that you don’t need traditional consumer games press. No score out of ten matter, and by the time the press have noticed it the game is already a very big hit indeed.
Are people still chipping away at that cube? Christ almighty! Is it a game? Who cares. It’s an experiment, it’s a talking point, it was a shambles at launch, it’s pointless and it’s addictive. What Peter Molyneux and the 22 Cans guys have done is create an event. Define it however you like. Try and win the prize in the middle. Slag it off and delete it from your iPad. Would this have gotten the press coverage it did if it wasn’t one of Molyneux’s harebrained schemes? No, but that’s not an unfair advantage. It’s just an advantage. Many studios would kill for that kind of upper hand.
What Curiosity has done hasn’t been repeated with 22 Cans’ other project, new god game Godus. The Kickstarter for that project is stalling, and that’s something the team should be encouraged by. Don’t make something expected of you, make something completely off the wall. There are only a handful of companies that can make that choice and take that chance, and thankfully 22 Cans is one of them. Good luck in the future guys, you’re going to need it.
League of Legends
E-sports. While many in the games business are just getting their heads around the potential of competitive games playing, Riot Games has been making millions off fans fighting each other online with more than 8 million people watching. There are 3 million concurrent players in League of Legends. It’ll never catch on you said. Tencent saw the potential when it started working with them over four years ago.
League of Legends.
Riot still loses money on actual e-sports tournaments but that doesn’t stop them because it believes playing games competitively can be a day job. 40 players got a year’s salary of $30,000 on top of whatever prize money they take home this year. That’s not a bad start.
There are big challenges ahead – making the game more approachable for new players and calming down the insular, aggressive online attitudes of its players should be top of that priority. But as League of Legends grows and new avenues like merchandising open up, it’s reassuring to know that Riot is one of those companies pushing very hard to establish a business that could benefit so many other companies in the long term.
Halo 4 was the big hit reinvented. Bungie stepped away from Halo what seems like ages ago, and 343 Industries stepped up to take Microsoft’s iconic franchise on. Big boots to fill, but something Frank O’Connor and his team knew they could do. Now it’s a matter of public record. The critics loved Halo 4. So did the fans. 343′s approach to creating the next in the series was interesting too – the online voices didn’t matter so much as the 9 million other Halo players who don’t care who makes the game: they just want the best Halo experience they can get. Fan feedback’s great, but don’t base your entire development on it.
So as the Xbox 360 begins to bow out of this generation, it still has games like Halo 4 showcasing all that can be achieved on an ageing console. And it kind of makes us wonder, with such talent on display and a blooming install base, do we really need the Durango release in November?
Rage of Bahamut
I’m still a bit baffled by Rage of Bahamut but I’m not afraid to admit it. I would image there’s many out there who feel the same. It doesn’t matter; Cy Games’ card battling RPG came out of the blue for many of us but it proved itself to be a sensation on Android and iOS across Korea, Japan, Europe and the US. Publisher DeNA liked it so much it acquired a 20 per cent stake in Cy Games for over $90 million. Keep an eye on it going the whole hog and buying up the other 80 per cent in the near future.
Rage of Bahamut has been key to establishing DeNA’s Mobage platform in the US, as it tries to replicate the mobile success it’s received in Japan. The game is partly responsible for the publisher expecting to turn a profit for the first time in foreign markets. And once it moves into the black, then it can begin looking seriously at mergers and acquisitions with Western companies.
The visual fidelity of FIFA in the mid-Nineties was enough to make my father frequently enquire about which match I was watching on television. At that point, his confusion seemed less absurd than it clearly was: from a distance, with a minimum of proper attention, FIFA 95 seemed to be real football. In 2012, with the launch of FIFA 13, EA Sports came closer than any other developer to realising that ideal.
And not just in the visual or physical sense, though FIFA 13 is certainly marvellous in both of these areas. The real strength of this year’s iteration is the way it harnesses the widespread passion that already exists for the world’s most adored sport, and builds it into the game’s mechanics: every player nominates a favourite team when they first start, with all of their results then feeding into a meta-table collated from the entire FIFA community; weekly challenges are set by the FIFA team, based on actual situations and results from football leagues all over the world; news stories from the sport are fed into the game and discussed by the in-game commentators.
FIFA 13 is a game that grows and changes every single day. It is the embodiment of Andrew Wilson’s view of AAA games as persistent experiences, and a redefinition of what we mean by ‘fan service’. It is also one of the most generous packages of content in the industry. A player could glean ￡40 worth of value from the single-player modes alone, but then there is online play, skill games, EA Sports Football Club, Ultimate Team, and more besides. Many of game’s features were seeded in previous iterations, but this is the year it really came together. FIFA 13 set a new template for the series, and for sports games in general.
Bubble Witch Saga
So it turns out you don’t have to be Zynga to reap the rewards of Facebook players. But King.com isn’t just hanging around on the social network, it’s making the move to mobile that so many Facebook publishers are struggling with.
Now available on Android as well as iOS, Bubble Witch Saga was one of the first titles to sync player stats and purchases across formats. So any stats, game progress and virtual goods are available on mobile and Facebook allowing for the carry-on-playing-where-you-left-off dream to edge that little bit closer. It’s a small step in 2012, but it’s hopefully going to become a massive feature for upcoming games across social and mobile networks in the coming months and years.（source：gamesindustry）