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Ninja News Roundup: Cheap Gamedev Resources, Gamedev Experience and Top Game Engines

Posted by Ninja Metrics | Blog

May 1, 2014 7:57:00 AM

Ninja Metrics News Round-upGame Development Resources on the Cheap

If you’re a first time indie developer, the majority of your funds are most likely coming from straight out of pocket, and game development isn’t cheap (particularly software). Most indie titles cost tens of thousands of dollars to make with a large portion of those fees being attributed to software licenses.

Thankfully, due to the recent growth of the indie-dev market, there’s a great amount of affordable and scalable software for first timers looking to get into the industry. Game developer Jamie Aisthorpe has put together a great list of resources for “The Poor Game Developer” over on GamaSutra

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Topics: Game Development, Game News, Game Industry

Ninja News Roundup: F2P Long-term Player Retention, Going to School and Fighting for Mobile Exclusivity

Posted by Ninja Metrics | Blog

Apr 24, 2014 8:08:00 AM

Ninja Metrics, Inc.F2P Long-term Player Retention

Making a great first impression for your players with an engaging and fun experience is the start to success of any video game, but it doesn’t end there - the next important step (especially in Free-to-Play) is getting them to stay hooked and come back for more.

With F2P games, player retention is the most important piece to the puzzle - you aren’t going to make any revenue if you can’t keep players engaged and convince them to buy IAP’s. Even more important is planning for the long-term, for example, engaging player by creating a vision of what the player might become if some time, and possibly some money, is put into the game.

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Topics: Game Development, Game News, Game Industry

Ninja News Roundup: IAP Effectiveness, App Store Discoverability and Must-read Gaming Books

Posted by Ninja Metrics | Blog

Apr 17, 2014 11:35:00 AM

Ninja_Round-upEffectiveness of In-app Purchases

In-app purchases are arguably one of the most popular forms of video game monetization - just take a quick look at the latest App Store charts, and you’ll find that most of the top games are freemium/free-to-play, including popular titles like Clash of Clans and Candy Crush Saga. But how effective are IAP’s compared to ads or even the traditional pay-to-download method?

VentureBeat Intel recently created a report, collecting data from 176 developers and over 1,000 games, to compare popularity of over 10 monetization methods versus their cost effectiveness. What they found isn’t particularly surprising - IAP’s reigned supreme over other

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Topics: Game News, Game Industry

Ninja News Roundup: Publishing Indies and the Making of Threes

Posted by Ninja Metrics | Blog

Apr 10, 2014 11:00:53 AM

Game Industry NewsPublishing Indies in the Era of Self-Publishing

As an indie game developer, team members are often a jack-of-all-trades - marketing and promoting a game, working with a PR team, finding the right ads, and doing many other things all the while developing the actual game.

As indie gaming has exploded in recent years and digital marketing requires more attention with the popularity of social media, independent publishers need help more than ever, says Steve Escalante, head of Versus Evil.

In this article on GamesIndustry.biz, Steve talks about exactly where small developers want/need help in different areas of marketing and promotion - from PR to advertising.

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Topics: Game News, Game Industry

Ninja News Roundup: Facebook Acquires Oculus, King IPO, and Evaluating Features for GaaS

Posted by Greg Kathol

Mar 27, 2014 8:08:00 AM

Ninja Round-up Katana GuyFacebook Acquires Oculus for $2B

One of the biggest surprises to come out of this week was yesterday’s announcement by Facebook that the company would be acquiring VR company, Oculus, for a blistering $2B ($400M in cash and 23.1M shares in stock).

First reactions to the announcement weren’t particularly positive - Minecraft founder, Notch, said he would cancel any talks of bringing the popular video game to the Oculus. The whole indie gaming and development community as a whole didn’t fare well with the news either, citing a distrust of Facebook, betrayment of loyal Oculus Kickstarter backers and the foreshadowing of a “Farmville” VR game.

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Topics: Game News, Game Industry

Ninja News Roundup: Gaming the App Store, Making Games for Players & Twitch Mobile Streaming

Posted by Ninja Metrics | Blog

Mar 6, 2014 7:57:00 AM

Ninja Metrics News Round-UpGaming The App Store

Charting on Apple’s App Store can be the primary source of revenue for an app or mobile game, so there’s no doubt that many game developers are “gaming” the system these days - by faking positive reviews and downloads to trick the charting algorithm.

When Apple’s charting algorithms become compromised through these “gaming” methods, it affects both the developer’s reputation and Apple’s, resulting in loss of customer trust while also not giving quality indie games a chance.

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Topics: Game News, Game Industry

Ninja News Roundup: Creating Strategy Games, US Game Revenues & Game Development Challenges

Posted by Ninja Metrics | Blog

Feb 27, 2014 9:02:00 AM

Ninja Metrics, Inc.30 Years of Creating Strategy Games

Game developer and designer Julian Gollop recently wrote an article on GamaSutra about his 30-years of experience in creating strategy games. He’s helped create AAA games like the X-Com series and Assassin’s Creed III.

Julian offers some great insight into how the game industry has changed since the 1980’s until now, as he’s shifted from indie, to big-box and back to Kickstarter-backed game development. He also discussed how strategy games specifically have changed throughout the years, and why many of the modern strategy games fail. “I think the biggest problem is an inadequate pre-production phase where the core gameplay has not been proven with an effective prototype," he says. "The key for building a good prototype is to 'find the fun' quickly and test it regularly with people who haven't been exposed to it before."

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Topics: Game News, Game Industry

Will Bitcoin Have Any Real Effect on the Video Game Vertical?

Posted by Greg Kathol

Feb 21, 2014 9:02:00 AM

There is a fair bit of noise out there about Bitcoin. Many have heard of it, most are trying to figure out what it really is, but some are using them and even “mining” them. So why is Bitcoin important, if at all and why should I care. Will Bitcoin have any real effect on the video game vertical? Time will tell, but I have some thoughts about this.

First a Little History

Bitcoin was created as a digital peer-to-peer currency in 2009 and is not backed by any government entity, bank, or other centralized service. A person (or group of people some contend) going by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, wrote the software for issuing or as it’s called, mining the Bitcoins. Here is the original paper describing Bitcoin. The mining process occurs when a participant solves complex math problems to mine the Bitcoins. Since mining and verification are decentralized, the growth and security of the system does not rely on a single source but rather a vast global network using cryptographic technology. Miners are rewarded for their efforts by being required to verify and record the transaction of a Bitcoin in exchange for Bitcoins and a small transaction fee, not unlike credit card processing or PayPal. What is unique about this process is that Bitcoins are created at a rate of 1 block or 25 Bitcoins every 10 minutes. There is a finite amount of Bitcoins that will be available to the world; only 21 million will be issued ending in the year 2140. Bitcoins are kept in digital wallets and are spent by going through a rather standard online transaction similar to online banking or PayPal purchases. Here is a little more info on Bitcoin. And if you are interested, a great Wiki page on digital wallets.

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Topics: Game Industry, Bitcoin

Ninja News Roundup: King Files IPO & Bridging the Console-Tablet Gap

Posted by Ninja Metrics | Blog

Feb 20, 2014 9:00:49 AM

Ninja Metrics | News Round-UpKing Files $500M IPO

Just over two years ago, social games company Zynga went public at $10 per share, as its popular games like FarmVille and Texas HoldEm Poker gained in popularity. Shares rose to almost $15 in March 2012, but quickly tapered off and are now worth only $5.

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Topics: Game News, Game Industry

Ninja News Roundup: Flappy Bird and Why Indie Developers go Insane

Posted by Ninja Metrics | Blog

Feb 13, 2014 7:37:00 AM

Ninja Metrics Round UpThe Short Rise and Fall of Flappy Bird

Just a few weeks ago, Flappy Bird was the #1 free app in the App Store - played by millions of users and talked about by the majority of tech/gaming websites. Its extremely simple “one-touch” gameplay frustrated players with its extreme difficulty, yet it retained an addictiveness reminiscent to the 8-bit console gaming days. 

Unfortunately, the game’s Vietnamese developer, Dong Nguyen didn’t appreciate the fact that people were becoming so addictive to his game, and had trouble coping with the amount of press Flappy Bird was receiving - so he took it down from the App Store earlier this week. Since then, a slew of copycats have made an App Store appearance and iPhones preloaded with the game started appearing on eBay (the company has since taken the listings down).

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Topics: Game News, Game Industry

Ninja News Roundup: Inspirational iPad Games and Trademark Protection

Posted by Ninja Metrics | Blog

Feb 6, 2014 7:33:00 AM

Ninja_Round-up12 Best Games for the iPad

It’s been almost four years since the iPad first made its debut, and since then over 500,000 native iPad apps have been uploaded to the app store, totaling $10B in sales across both the iPad and iPhone. While the iPad isn’t always the first iOS device that developers choose to prioritize upon, the recent 9.7 inch Retina screen and A7 chip in the iPad Air has become ideal as a primary platform for iOS game development.

Recent games like The Room are proof that prioritizing native iPad development can be successful, and only time will tell whether or not we’ll see more developers adopting this model - in the mean time, Kotaku wrote a good article on the 12 best

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Topics: Game News, Game Industry

Ninja News Roundup: Nintendo Smartphone Game Rumors & Open Development

Posted by Ninja Metrics | Blog

Jan 30, 2014 8:02:00 AM

Ninja Metrics News Roundup | KatanaIs Nintendo Going to Release Smartphone Games?

Nintendo has taken up a majority of the past week’s gaming industry news - and unfortunately it hasn’t been great. The company announced a $211M loss of income for Q4 2013, attributed to  low Wii U sales over the holidays

Just yesterday morning, president and CEO Satoru Iwata announced that he’d be taking a 50% cut in salary, while other execs would face a 20-30% reduction in pay. While the company is known for going against the grain with its non-conventional systems (compared to the Xbox and PlayStation), Satoru did admit that Nintendo “misread the market”, and is possibly looking at a new business structure.

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Topics: Game News, Game Industry

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