Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Tuesday Potpourri

Holy cow, it is completely insane here today. Soccer, hockey, adult work-related stuff--it's a tornado.

Eli 10.9 had his big track meet last weekend, and I'll tell you about it tomorrow, but today, some potpourri.

Cory Banks wrote an interesting story over at the entirely indispensable Gamers With Jobs titled Blue Light Special: How GameStop’s Used Game Sales Affect The Industry. In particular, he notes that according to an interview conducted in 2009 with Gamestop's CEO Paul Raines, "70% of trade credits from used games immediately go into sales of new software."

The entire article is well-worth reading--I highly recommend it--but that's really THE number, isn't it? If Gamestop is telling the truth, and that number is correct, it's very hard to argue that used game sales do anything but stimulate new game sales.

Having said that, though, is Gamestop legally required to tell us the truth? And could there be more than one truth here? What I mean by that is whether it's possible that the way Gamestop defines the question helps give them the answer they want to display.

An example: note that Raines said "70% of the trade credits from used games..." That sounds iron-clad, right? Well, not exactly. What about trade-ins that are sold for cash? The last I heard, they deducted 20% of the trade-in value, but there must still be a decent number of people trading in games for straight cash. That wouldn't be included as part of Raines's narrow statement.

It swings the other way, too. There's nothing stopping a consumer from trading in a piece of hardware (even an iPod or iPad) and using the credit toward new games. That's an uncounted bonus effect for gaming companies.

The only conclusion I can draw from the conflicting claims of the gaming publishers is that their words don't mean as much as their actions. And their actions indicate that, on the whole, they consider a relationship with Gamestop to be a net positive.

Here's some big news: Andreas Illiger, the developer of the entirely wonderful Tiny Wings, recently mentioned in an interview   (thanks, Touch Arcade) that his next game is almost completed ("a few weeks"). It's another iOS game, but there are no other details.

That's huge, because Tiny Wings was a perfect little bit of fun.

I've also been playing two iPad games recently that were originally released on the PC--Rebuild
 and Pandemic. In Rebuild, you're trying to save a city from zombies, and in Pandemic, you're a disease trying to wipe out mankind.

Lighter fare, these.

I've mentioned them both before in their PC incarnations, and the ports are both absolutely terrific. I actually prefer these versions, particularly on the iPad, because the touchscreen and large screen size make it incredibly easy and convenient to play. You can't go wrong with either one, and the prices are ridiculous ($0.99 for Pandemic, $2.99 for Rebuild) compared to the entertainment value.

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