With no small trace of nostalgia, I read through Wired's recent review of the top Amiga games of all time. If people romanticise about the lost summer of their youth, I'm sad to say I've often thought wistfully about how I spent those same summers playing Shadow of the Beast, Syndicate, Defender of the Crown and all of the other titles that made the Amiga a cult machine.
But just in case I needed any reminder that the world has moved on, Elias Glenn from Pacific Epoch has a interesting piece in today's Hong Kong Standard about how online multiplayer games are shifting to a free subscription/virtual merchandise business model. One of the rising stars based on this strategy is Shanghai based Zhengtu Network, which is generating 120 million yuan a month in profit from merely selling extras in game.
But multiplayer games are not easy to pull off. Creating content is expensive, and with the exception of World of Warcraft, few are really raking in the profits. No surprise that 'user generated' games are becoming more popular. James Wagner has a roundup at Giga Om. The big news is that Atari is joining an already crowded field with SecondLife, Sony’s Home, Viacom’s planned venture, along with start-ups Areae, Croquet, HiPiHi, Kaneva, Multiverse, Ogoglio, Outback Online, and Whirled. Makes you wonder what's going to happen to everyone's first life.
Ah, for the simple pleasures of Pong....