Mar 092011
 

I was interviewed by Andrew Collins in December’s Hyper Magazine about Social and Augmented Reality gaming. Hyper magazine is a great game monthly and a regular buy for me with its pretty solid reviews and impartial editorial for the game world as well as some forward looking features. The gaming industry is close to a precipice as games spill out into the real world (as I have blogged about many times before!) so I thought I would publish the article (and my interview on which much of the article is based) this week as the race for the augmented reality, locative game space trophy truly begins and the contestants line up on the starting grid…

  1. Sony with it’s NGP virtual treasure hunts
  2. Nintendo’s 3DS games in the real world AR launch
  3. a multitude of Android AR game apps in development/release and in case you missed it
  4. about to be released the iPad 2 with it’s dual camera support for Augmented Reality locative games and all the iPhone AR apps that will flood across
  5. and of course

Mid to late 2011 is going to be significant – a fun, social, locative augmented reality game nirvana. Perhaps the real battle though is going to be between locked down, TV room, single player console gaming vs open, social, locative casual AR gaming? Interview after the cover…

KINDLY REPUBLISHED © HYPER – THE MAGAZINE FOR GAMERS DECEMBER 2010


 

Traditional game developers are extending the gaming experience beyond what appears on the retail disc and into the social realm, rewarding players for exploring media outside of the console and the PC.

Andrew Collins takes a look at what’s on offer

Casual social networking games have exploded in popularity recently, with a bunch of casual game developers popping out of the woodwork producing low-tech but addictive games. Now traditional game developers and publishers have joined the party, seeking to adapt the trend to their own needs, and their own games.

This bleed of PC and console games out into social networking services has immense potential. There’s a whole world of cool stuff going on right now, and even greater stuff just around the corner – that has the potential to change the way we game completely.

You probably already know the most basic form of this blend of traditional and social gaming: the automatic status update. Many games now will notify your Facebook or Twitter contacts when you accomplish a goal in-game.

It’s unfortunate that this is the most recognisable example of this trend; at best, it’s annoying, and at worst, it’s annoying as hell. Do you really care that your flatmate’s cousin’s boyfriend just unlocked an achievement in FIFA 11? How do you feel when he unlocks 10 in the space of half an hour, flooding your social networking news feed?

Fortunately, developers have realised this and have moved on to integrating gaming and social networking in more interesting ways that suit us all.

WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME?

Before we look at these developments, it’s worth looking at why the games industry is embracing social networking.

As we found out in issue 204, the market for casual social networking games is booming, generating ridiculous amounts of revenue for those lucky or smart enough to have a finger in this lucrative social pie.

But the learned readers of Hyper are not the only ones who have cottoned on to this fact. Traditional games developers and publishers have seen the sheer number of people drawn into this social gaming trend, and have realised that it could work for them – not as a direct source of revenue, but rather as a form of marketing.

Put simply, every time you tell your 600 Facebook friends what game you’re playing, you’re giving the publisher 600 free ads for their game, and giving the game your own personal stamp of approval. Congratulations! You are advertising space.

Gary Hayes is an expert on the relationship between games and social networking. He has a terribly long bio – far too long to reproduce in full here – with experience in TV, music, virtual worlds, game production, lecturing, and many, many other things. He’s most succinctly described as a `transmedia guru’ – someone who dwells in the overlap of different mediums.

According to Hayes, this venture of traditional gaming into social networking isn’t a short lived gimmick that just a few companies are toying with – it’s now a necessity for developers.

“From an economic point of view, given the massive rise of social games over the last couple of years, and the decline in console games generally (in June of this year there was around a 10% drop in total game industry sales, down to about $6.7 billion), traditional games developers – EA and Ubisoft and so on – are looking at social gaming as really a pretty important part of the mix that they need to be involved in,” Hayes says.

“It’s part of their survival,” he says. “There’s a quote from Alex St. John [DirectX creator and social gaming producer] who says that if a game doesn’t have a social element, it’s going to be dead before it starts out, in the future.”

BETTER MODELS

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Jul 302009
 

Running the Australian Laboratory for Advanced Media production I often have to provide a broad contextual background (as well as detailed insights!) to many of our seminars and labs. Over the past few months I have presented across a range of topics suggested in the blog title and lucky for some these have been captured in video form! So the player below contains (for now) seven separate presentations, a mix of free informal evening ones through to more formal full day workshop intros. The video production value is variable so I add the audio only versions at the bottom too and there are links to the other many great speakers at each session, detailed below the video box. These are unedited and contain the usual umms, arrs, errors, coughs & pregnant pauses, oh and I hope some great content. All are 16by9 apart from the serious games in 4by3, Enjoy

  1. SOCIALIZED TV 2.0 – 17m © Gary Hayes Director LAMP @ AFTRS and CCO of MUVEDesign (slideshares here)
  2. GAMES: SERIOUSLY – 35m © Gary Hayes (slideshares here)
  3. VIRTUAL STORY: THE ART AND CRAFT OF MACHINIMA – 42m © Gary Hayes (slideshares here)
  4. (Seminar Intro) THE RISE AND RISE OF SOCIAL MEDIA – 13m (slideshares here) © Gary Hayes
  5. FREE AND EASY (seminar intro) – 10m © Gary Hayes
  6. IPTV FUTURES – 20m © William Cooper Head of Informitv (live Skype video interview with Gary Hayes)
  7. MULTIPLATFORM INNOVATIONS – 22m © Giancarlo A. Mori Senior Vice President, ANIMALLOGIC Interactive. (live Skype video intro interview with Gary Hayes)

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Mar 232007
 

Public Affairs Convention

I know it has been ages since I last blogged but all will be revealed shortly 😉

Here is an interesting conference, with a cool tagline, that I am speaking at in May which on the surface could sound a bit dull, “The 8th National Public Affairs Convention” but in fact has a very progressive line up of topics and speakers, so hats off to the organisers. A taster of the ‘social network’ emphasis on day one which certainly points at the acceptance now that much public activity is taking place in digital spaces, of course my area here is the 3D virtual space:

10:10am Case study: Windows Vista Launching with a bang, but the buck doesn’t stop here The Windows Vista media launch attracted 140 journalists and 50-million media mentions. How did Microsoft manage to attract so much interest in another Windows sequel? Cathy Jamieson, PR manager, Microsoft Australia

11:30am What makes a story headline the news?
A run-through of some of the year’s biggest stories, showing what attracted the media’s eye.
Patricia Kavanagh, client relations manager, Media Monitors

New media update: virtual worlds, blogs and beyond
11:50am Panel. PR opportunities knocking in virtual worlds
More than 850,000 users are spending real time and money in virtual worlds such as Second Life. But will the craze last, and how valuable will it become for PR?
Abigail Thomas, Head, Strategic Innovation & Development, new media and digital services, ABC
Gary Hayes, The Project Factory. Director, LAMP and architect of Telstra, ABC and AFTRS Second Life projects
Mark Jones, IT editor, The Australian Financial Review

1:40pm What makes Australians click? Online consumer trends
• Media habits of generations Y and X, boomers and seniors
• How widely visited are blogs and ‘virtual world’ sites?
• Where do Australians consume their news and current affairs?
Lee Hopkins, co-author, Social Media white paper

2:20pm Case study with Q&A
Now we’ve been talking a year – the corporate blog
Telstra’s “Now We Are Talking” blog has set PR tongues wagging, and the man behind Australia’s first major corporate blog will answer questions on everything from censorship to strategy.
Rod Bruem, chief editor, www.nowwearetalking.com.au, Telstra

3:30pm New media panel
DIY social media: taking your message direct to the public
• MySpace and other social networking sites – PR’s forbidden fruit?
• A spinner’s guide to YouTube: who’s using it well and how?
• The ‘lessons now learnt’ rules to blogging
• Search engine optimisation PR: pulling the world to your news
Mark Helvadjian, acting head of communications, community and front doors, Yahoo!7
Nick Moraitis, online and outreach director, GetUp!
Anthony McClellan, media commentator, ABC Radio and The Australian
Darren Burden, online editorial development manager, Fairfax

To download a PDF programme click here

Posted by Gary Hayes ©2007

Apr 192006
 

It seems social networks and user generated content that pervades them is now most definitely the next advertising dollar frontier. As reported by MediaPost, MySpace is about to create TV programming around it’s uploaded videos and start to introduce major media buy within that.

The enormously popular social networking site is working on deals that, Gold says, would extend the life of a TV sponsorship for a marketer, “integrating social networking into the TV show and their traditional TV buy.” All this would expand the life of a TV deal from “30-seconds to 3-months,” he added

MySpace now has 77 million members, mostly younger users, and is adding 230,000 or more a month. It has been touted as an emerging powerful tool for youth oriented marketers.Already some 100 advertisers regularly buy into the site including Honda Motors, Toyota Motor Sales, Wendy’s International, and Cingular Wireless, to name a few. Additionally, MySpace already has many deals with TV networks, which sponsor the site.

Simple – get the ads to the where the eyeballs, ears and index fingers are, certainly to where audiences are most attentive, in their trusted social networks. How long will they remain trusted though? How many uninvited guests will it take before MySpace turns into TheirSpace?

Another report from the Center for Media Research actually starts to quantify the UGC ad world. I copy the exec sum below:

Blogs, Pods and Really Simple Stuff Deliver Advertising At An Increasing Rate
…reports that advertising spending on user-generated online media – blogs, podcasts and RSS…has grown to $20.4 million by the end or 2005. Spending on blog, podcast and RSS advertising is projected to climb another 144.9% in 2006 to $49.8 million.
Some of the key growth drivers are continued audience fragmentation, the perceived ineffectiveness of traditional advertising, and the desire to reach the elusive 18- to 34 year-old demographic.
Other key findings included in the Executive Summary:

  • User-generated media remains primarily national in scope with 98.1%, or $20.0 million, of all advertising spending coming from the broader market in 2005
  • Advertising networks and click-throughs are the largest ad insertion methods, generating $8.0 million and $7.8 million, respectively
  • Blog advertising accounted for 81.4%, or $16.6 million, of total spending on user-generated online media in 2005, but blog ads will comprise only 39.7%, or $300.4 million, of overall spending in 2010
  • Podcast advertising totaled only $3.1 million in 2005, but is projected to reach $327.0 million in 2010, when it will account for 43.2% of all user-generated media advertising
  • Spending on RSS (Really Simple Syndication) advertising totaled $650,000 in 2005 and will grow to $129.6 million in 2010
  • Total spending on user-generated online media is forecast to grow at a compound annual rate of 106.1% from 2005 to 2010, reaching $757.0 million in 2010
  • Technology was the largest single category at $4.0 million in 2005, due primarily to the technology-savvy early adopters of user-generated media
  • Auto was the second largest marketing category, generating $3.9 million in 2005, as car manufacturers utilized user-generated media to market their higher-end models to the “influential” demographic
  • The media industry spent $3.2 million to advertise in user-generated media in 2005, as the industry tried to capitalize on its advanced knowledge of the consumer shift away from traditional media

It is no surprise that blogs and podcasts look like the major ad spend in 3 years time (70+%) but I really think, returning to the first part of this post, that UGC TV will be bigger. Whether delivered to your portable media player, broadand TV or PC, the appetite for original, unlimited programming will mean a vast audience exodus from traditional ad placement areas and I suspect this will include static and dynamic (non-rich media) web pages.

Posted by Gary Hayes ©2006

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