Wednesday, October 17, 2007

More on games learning from music

There were a couple comments and some follow-up posts regarding my comments about the music business. In a follow up email thread with Jane, I added:

One of my favorite comments on the most recent cracks in the music industry's foundations (those exemplified by recent moves by Radiohead, Madonna and others) was made by Seth Godin. In a post entitled "Radiohead and the mediocre middle", I think he really hits it on the head.

Godin makes the point that industries innovate from both ends. Small guys because they have nothing to lose and everything to win. Big guys because they have the bankroll and a fanbase that will follow them. The 'mediocre middle' sits and watches. They are unwilling to jump out of the frypan for fear of the fire. I think this applies to the game industry as well as it does the music industry.

Indies and small casual devs were the first to leap to the digital distribution channels, largely because they had no choice. You also have large developers like Valve (or in the casual space, Popcap), building distribution and other services - building relationships with customers.

As with the music business, I think the last to sense or react to any disruptive shift in the business will be the mid-sized developers who are dependent on the functions traditional publishers provide them, and the traditional publishers, who will be reluctant to abandon any business model that has been lucrative to date.

Jane asks in her post whether there's an equivalent to the "give the music away, make money off the concerts". There is. Can you guess what it is?

1 comment:

Daniel Cook said...

Here's an essay on small MMOs that I posted a while back that seems pertinent.

Learning from touring bands

take care