The Consumerist每年都会从孟山都公司（跨国农业生物技术公司）、安泰保险以及麦当劳等企业中评选最差公司，并由读者投票表决最终结果。Xbox One制造商微软公司也进入了候选名单。
2）据pocketgamer报道，Rumble Entertainment代表Mike Sellers在最近GDC 2014大会上的演讲中引用Swrve数据指出，硬核游戏有半数收益来自0.15%的玩家，这些鲸鱼玩家是追求收益的开发者的主要目标。
如图所示，Flurry指出第一象限中的游戏可通过广告获得成功，这类游戏拥有较高的粘性和留存率，其中题材包括纸牌、问答和社交回合制游戏，例如《QuizUp》和《Words with Friends》。这些游戏有可能随着时间发展创造极高的广告印象，它们通过广告创造的收益可能高达90%。
第二象限的题材包括老虎机、战略和管理模拟游戏。它们每周有大量的访问次数，但留存玩家的时间并不会太久，例如《Clash of Clans》和《Tiny Towers》。开发者要最大化这类游戏的收益，应该在IAP上获得平衡，因为这类玩家对内容和功能的付费意愿较高。针对非付费玩家，开发者可通过奖励性视频广告，为他们提供游戏虚拟货币，从而创造广告收益。
第四象限的题材包括连线消除解谜，以及跑酷等较低访问频率但较高留存率的游戏，例如《Candy Crush Saga》和《Temple Run》。由于它们可以随时间发展创造大量广告印象，所以最好是通过广告实现收益，但如果是《Candy Crush Saga》这种热作也有可能通过IAP实现高收益。
Flurry这一分析仅适用于免费游戏，这并不意味着付费游戏就不会有市场，例如Fireproof Games推出的《The Room》和《The Room 2》这款付费游戏最近销量就突破了500万份，并且几乎没有投入营销成本。
4）据gamasutra报道，在GDC大会日前举办的游戏作家座谈会上，Obsidian Entertainment创意总监Chris Avellone（游戏邦注：代表作包括《辐射2》等）指出，他喜欢采用纪录片式的方法，首先在游戏玩法头5分钟提出一系列“疯狂的问题”，让玩家产生探索答案的兴趣，并继续怀着这种兴趣体验游戏。
IGDA游戏写作执行委员会成员Toiya Kristen Finley建议游戏文案在引起玩家兴趣时要考虑场景来叙事，想想玩家在这些开放场景中将与什么东西互动，并举例称《Brothers:A Tale of Two Sons》就通过使用了场景来区分两名主角，让他们以不同方式同游戏中的物体互动。
独立游戏《Pap & Yo》开发者Vandr Caballero指出，叙述机制本身就很值得关注，要尽快设置规则和玩家期望。这些规则可以让玩家理解游戏内容，如果执行得当，就可以让玩家在不知不觉中扮演游戏主角。（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）
1）Electronic Arts might get ‘Worst Company in America’ three-peat
A multinational chemical conglomerate, a for-profit health-insurance company, and multibillion-dollar fast-food restaurant chain are all “fighting” for the title of “Worst Company in America,” but they’re all underdogs compared to a maker of video games.
Titanfall publisher Electronic Arts is once again a part of The Consumerist‘s annual Worst Company in America tournament. Each year, the blog selects dozens of companies like Monsanto, Aetna, and McDonald’s to go against one another in head-to-head matchups. Its readers then votes for whoever they think is worse. In the end, only the most terrible company (in the eyes of the voters) is left standing. For the last two years in a row, that was Electronic Arts.
Xbox One maker Microsoft is also up for the “award.”
EA first “won” in 2012 after an outcry from fans over how EA subsidiary BioWare ended its Mass Effect trilogy. The developer once promised a number of different endings to the sci-fi franchise, but it actually only served up three mild variations of the same climax. Another EA studio, DICE, had numerous connection issues with its Battlefield 3 shooter in late 2011.
In 2013, EA once again took the title thanks in large part to its problems with the launch of city-management game SimCity. The $60 release didn’t work for properly for weeks after launch because it required an online connection and EA’s servers couldn’t handle the load. Once SimCity did start working, gamers found that the online connection and focus on multiplayer (it did not have a single-player mode when it debuted) created a number of additional problems with its mechanics.
Around the time of its last “Worst Company” award, EA chief operating officer Peter Moore addressed fans’ displeasure with his company.
“We can do better,” he said. “We will do better. But I am damn proud of this company, the people around the globe who work at EA, the games we create, and the people that play them. The tallest trees catch the most wind. At EA, we remain proud and unbowed.”
Despite that commitment from Moore, Battlefield 4 debuted in October to a variety of bugs and connection issues. Months later, developer DICE is still working to fix the game. That could once again drive some gamers to vote to give EA the trifecta in the Worst Company in America tournament.（source：venturebeat）
2）GDC 2014: Kabam reveals the three pillars to mid-core mastery
by Keith Andrew
So long a somewhat undefined and unpalatable group of games that sat awkwardly between casual and hardcore, mid-core is the midst of flexing its free-to-play muscle.
That’s according to both Mike Sellers – recently of Rumble Entertainment – and Kabam Vancouver’s Steven Martin who both took to the stage at GDC 2014 to not only define what a mid-core game is, but also to explain just how you make a good one.
As is customary with almost any F2P talk at any major conference, however, their words of advice were dosed with a healthy amount of caution.
“If you look at mid-core games, the top three or so titles are the big hits – and disproportionately the big hits,” offered Sellers.
“It’s not like the games at #4 or #5 are close behind or anything. The curve actually drops off really fast.”
Another startling stat – this time courtesy of Swrve – is is that half of mid-core revenue comes from just 0.15 percent of players. The whales, as it pained Sellers to say, are everything if healthy revenues are your aim.
Hey big spender
“The big purchasers start at $500-1,000, so you need to think about these big spenders and whether it’s physically possible for them to spend that amount of money within your game,” Sellers went on.
Developers frequently question whether this ‘whale chasing’ is morally wrong, he added, and whether other players – who, while they may not generate the revenue, do make up the bulk of a game’s userbase – get ignored as a result.
His conclusion? It’s something each developer will have to come to their own conclusion about in terms of what they’re comfortable doing. The bigger problem for the mid-core, however, is an inability for developers to take creative risks.
“Right now, innovation equals risk, and the end result is so many developers end up staying close to what we already know,” he concluded.
Not that tagging onto a familiar genre can’t pay off. Kabam’s Fast & Furious 6: The Game hit iOS and Android back in May 2013 and quickly raced to 48 million downloads having earned an Editor’s Choice spot from Apple in 90 different countries.
Are you sitting comfortably?
The secret of Fast & Furious 6′s success? Build your game like a stool.
According to Martin, the seat of the stool is the bulk of the game – the core loop, the graphics, etc. That seat is then held up by three stools; accessibility, user directed goals and the ‘late game’.
“We wanted to make sure if a player comes in and doesn’t know about cars, they can just upgrade their car and it gets better,” detailed Martin on accessibility.
“You don’t have to worry about it – all the player needs to know is, if they equip an upgrade, it’ll make their car faster.”（source：pocketgamer）
3）Analytics firm Flurry reveals how to best make money from the 70% of Android devices that engage in gaming
The idea that game developers can’t make money on Android is dead. Clash of Clans, Candy Crush Saga, and many more have proven that’s just not the case. The only question is what method for generating revenue is best for specific types of games.
Mobile analytics and ad firm Flurry took to the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this week to explain that over 70 percent of all Android devices engage in at least one game every month. Flurry says that it has over 525 million Android devices on its platform that regularly boot up games. Now, the company is out to explain how developers can make money by producing games for the audience on Google’s operating system, which makes up a significant portion of the $16 billion mobile-gaming industry. Flurry’s strategies involve finding the right balance of ads and in-app purchases for a particular genre — although it doesn’t seem to have any ideas for premium-priced titles.
Flurry released a matrix that explores the relationship between how often players load up a game and how long they continue to play it after downloading it. The analytics firm believes that developers can decide how to best monetize their game based on the relation between engagement and retention. The following chart breaks up 1,382 games into 14 different genres and then places them depending on sessions per week and 30-day retention. Flurry suggests different solutions depending on which quadrant of the matrix a particular genre ends up in.
Check it out. This is all based on data from Android games in the three-month period from November through January:
For quadrant I, the company sees a lot of success with advertising. These are games that have high levels of engagement and retention, which includes genres like solitaire, quiz games, and social turn-based games. That means titles like QuizUp and Words with Friends.
“Successful apps in this genre have built-in appointment mechanics — requirements that get a player to return to the game in a certain time period to gain a reward, which are critical to get those high frequency and return metrics,” Flurry senior director of publisher relations Torrey Lincoln wrote in a blog. “Genres in Quadrant I are particularly amenable to ads as they have the potential to generate a very high impression count over time given their high frequency and retention rates. It’s not uncommon to see advertising generate 90 percent of these games’ revenue.”
Quadrant II includes genres like slots, strategy, and management sims. They create a lot of play sessions per week, but they don’t retain users for very long. This includes games like Clash of Clans and Tiny Towers.
“To maximize revenue in genres like simulation, slots, and strategy, developers should tip the balance toward in-app purchases as these players are willing to pay good money for content and capabilities,” wrote Lincoln.
To get money out of those who won’t pay on these types of titles, Flurry suggests incentivized video ads that reward players with in-game currency.
Card battlers, racers, and action role-playing games make up Quadrant III. These have the lowest retention and session frequency, but they’re also genres that often make the most from in-app purchases.
“For these low-retention genres, it can be difficult to find the right kind of user,” wrote Lincoln. “These categories are known to have the highest average revenue per daily active user and low ‘loyalty’ — this is due in part to heavy marketing among competing games for only a niche audience.”
Lincoln explained that it is important for these types of titles to put an emphasis on generating revenue early in the life cycle of a game.
Finally, Quadrant IV includes games like Candy Crush Saga and Temple Run. These are match-3 puzzlers and endless runners with lower frequency by high retention.
“For these games, monetization strategy leans slightly more toward advertising given the high number of impressions generated over time,” wrote Lincoln. “Of course, if you’ve got a hit like Candy Crush, the game monetizes quite nicely through in-app purchases.”
Of course, all of Flurry’s suggestions are only relevant to free-to-play games. That makes sense. Flurry is a platform that helps get the most from that business model. Games that cost nothing to download and feature ads or in-app purchases also make up a huge chunk of spending on mobile, but that doesn’t mean that premium-priced games are extinct.
In fact, Fireproof Games, the developer of mobile adventure-puzzler The Room and The Room Two, recently revealed that its premium-priced titles surpassed more than 5 million in sales. It did that without marketing the game or paying for user acquisition.（source：venturebeat）
4）Winning players’ attention with game writing
By Simon Parkin
A panel of experienced game-writers offered advice on how to hook a player into a game’s story within its first five minutes at GDC today.
“I prefer the documentary method,” said Chris Avellone, creative director of Obsidian Entertainment who worked on Fallout 2, Knights of the Old Republic 2 and, most recently, FTL: Advanced Edition. He explained that this technique involves introducing a raft of “crazy questions” during the first five minutes of gameplay. “Hopefully the player will be interested enough in discovering the answers to those questions to keep their interest and keep playing.”
Toiya Kristen Finley, a member of the IGDA’s Game Writing executive board urged writers to consider environmental storytelling when attempting to snag their interest. “Think about what the player is going to be interacting with in those opening moments,” she said. “There are lots of techniques for things you can introduce through environmental storytelling.” She gave the example of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons as a game that uses the environment to distinguish its two protagonists via the different ways in which they are able to interact with the game’s objects.
Vander Caballero, creator of the affecting indie game Papo & Yo, a game about living in the shadow of his father’s addictions as a child, said that the storytelling of the mechanics themselves is important to consider: “Set up the rules and expectations as quickly as possible,” he said. “These rules are comforting and allow the player to understand what the game is — without this you risk losing them. If you do this well then your player will begin role-playing as the character, almost imperceptibly.”
The panel also explored the fundamental differences between writing novels and writing games. “Games are made by a group of people and are therefore driven by the relationships that exist between designers and other people on the team,” explained Jill Murray, director of narrative design at Ubisoft Quebec, who won a 2013 Writer’s Guild Award for her work on Assassin’s Creed III Liberation. “In fact, it rarely feels like writing as so much of the job is spending time in meetings, discussing. It’s deeply different to the solitude of writing a novel. The writer’s job on a game is usually to bring together all of the disparate elements of the game into something that had a broad meaning.”
Avellone agreed with Murray, pointing out that the player is also a collaborator in the delivery of a game’s story. “A game is all about individual stories you’re telling, everything from cutscenes to individual non-player character dialogue to item descriptions,” he said. “You don’t have control over the narrative as the player is able to make choices on what they see and read. Mostly I find that game-writing is far more compartmentalized.”（source：gamasutra）