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The Almighty Buck

Are Micro-Transactions the Future of Online Game Business Models? 68

Last week we discussed news of Sony Online Entertainment's unveiling of a store that would allow players to purchase in-game Everquest items for real money. Massively spoke with John Smedley, SOE's CEO, about the system and what their goals were. He made the point that they were limiting sales to things that wouldn't unbalance the game. "They're fun and they're convenient. That's all they are. We're not selling power. There are a lot of respectable viewpoints on this, and a lot of reasonable people can disagree on them. Our view is that nothing here is gamebreaking." Edge Magazine has a related piece about Mytheon, an upcoming action-strategy game that will rely on micro-transactions to support its otherwise free-to-play business model. The game's producer suggests that micro-transactions are "a model that really gets us closer to the end user, and that's the way things need to be in the future, online."
Quickies

Submission + - The 11 Worst Trends in Video Games (2007 Edition)

Ant writes: "This GamePro.com feature on eleven worst trends in video games for 2007: "So why do trends exist? Because they are familiar, they enable standards, and they just make life easier. In the case of video games, trends help companies maximize sales while reducing costs because gamers will purchase what they are accustomed to. But easier isn't always better. Here are eleven reasons why..." Seen on Digg."
Media

Submission + - Movie pirates want DVD sniffer dogs killed

freedom_india writes: In continuation of the previous story about using sniffer dogs to detect pirated CD and DVDs, it seems two malaysian dogs (flo and Lucky) helped detect and bust a fake DVD ring costing pirates about $3 million.
http://www.smh.com.au/news/unusual-tales/pirates-w ant-lucky-and-flo-whacked/2007/03/22/1174153232231 .html
Now, the pirates have put a bounty on the dogs' heads, because "...In Tuesday's raid, the two dogs helped seize a cache of around a million pirated game and movie discs in the southern city of Johor Baru, neighbouring Singapore. At least six people were arrested..."
"The dogs are being given a month's trial by Malaysian officials in a joint effort with the Motion Picture Association, which groups six major Hollywood film companies."
So is this the begining of a a new Dogs era by MPAA?

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