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Best-Seller Strategy Guides 59

TasosF writes "The New York Times published a feature on the strategy guide publishing. Strategy guide sales reportedly generated about $90 million in 2004, with the guide to GTA San Andreas having sold 748,000 copies to date." From the article "'It's like writing a travel guide to a place that doesn't exist,' Mr. Hodgson said. 'Whereas Frommer's guides tell you what hotel to stay in, I tell you which hotel not to stay in because you're going to get dragged down by a gangster.' By most measures, strategy guides are not a huge business. They generated about $90 million in sales in 2004, according to the NPD Group, a market research firm; the figure dropped to $67 million in 2005, but that decline was expected as a cyclical moment, paralleling a transition in the industry to a new generation of advanced game consoles."
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Best-Seller Strategy Guides

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  • by jshackles ( 957031 ) on Tuesday March 07, 2006 @12:12PM (#14866780)
    I like strategy guides, actually, I love them. The internet is nice and a good way to find your information, but a strategy guide will give you that same information, and will be filled with maps (a very big advantage over text only FAQs) and the guides are also filled with art from the game.

    I may not want to play through Xenosaga again in the near future, but I can still enjoy flipping through the pages of the strategy guide and remember the various parts of the game and how I felt when I played this part, etc...

    Call me silly, but I'm probably the only person still around that enjoys the strategy guides nearly as much as the games themselves.

  • by Rob T Firefly ( 844560 ) on Tuesday March 07, 2006 @12:15PM (#14866807) Homepage Journal
    I used to have an insane collection of strategy guides back in the 8-bit and 16-bit days, which was of course before anything in those books could be found on the Internet. Nowadays, I do still dig the printed book with foldout maps, charts, and such more than looking up a gamefaq, but only for a few titles I collect and immerse myself in like the sad fanboy I am. In those cases I'm also likely to pick up action figures, soundtracks, and junk, so the tie-in aspect is just as much of a selling point for me as the strategic value.

    Also appreciated are the sometimes-included DVD-extra style additions to the guide, with the odd interview, concept art, or other behind-the-scenes geek-fodder that make the book more than just a fancy gamefaq.
  • In my opinion, the best strategy guides are the ones that go with strategy games. A few easy examples come to mind: Master of Orion 1 (written by Alan Emrich, who I maintain doesn't deserve the blame for MoO3), Alpha Centauri (probably the best strategy guide I've ever had) and Civilization: Call to Power.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 07, 2006 @09:44PM (#14871828)
    StrategyWiki [] is an interesting approach to strategy guides in contrast to the non-collaborative GameFAQs. It can often be hard to find the right guide on GameFAQs sometimes, because so many of them are poorly written and there are always too many [] guides written for each game. StrategyWiki's policy is to only have a single guide per game. Other issues that StrategyWiki solves is markup/image support and open licensing: StrategyWiki is licensed under the GFDL, whereas GameFAQs authors tend to be very restrictive in what you can do with their guides.

    The website isn't without its problems, however. Vandalism and the fact that MediaWiki is a resource hog will likely always be problems. The most glaring problem, though, is that the wiki hasn't really caught on yet. It needs some serious press. If you take a look at their hard [] work [], you'll see that the guide has had some serious effort put into it.

    If you happen to be a Wikipedia/GameFAQs editor/writer, maybe you'd be interested in the StrategyWiki project. They could use you...

    (Full disclosure: I am a writer at StrategyWiki.)

Executive ability is deciding quickly and getting somebody else to do the work. -- John G. Pollard