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User Driven Content and Video Games

In 2013 Jagex Games Studios, the creators of RuneScape, a massively popular browser-based computer game was in a tight bind. Subscriber count was dropping off and they needed a new way to generate revenue. By picking the minds of their players the company realized that several updates over the past couple of years had driven away even some of the most die-hard fans of their game. In order to remedy this they came up with a unique solution: bring back a 2007 version of the game and allow the players to decide what is updated and added to the game.

Old School Runescape or 2007Scape was released in 2013 and immediately provided an influx of subscribers. The issue now was coming up with a way to keep these players. Jagex decided that every piece of content added to the game would need to pass a poll that 75% of players supported and have made a specific effort to introduce player-suggested ideas into the game. The staff regularly monitors social media such as Twitter, Reddit, and Facebook in order to analyze player feedback and to get new ideas of what to introduce to the game. Over the last 4 years since this game was released the subscriber count has steadily risen and now surpasses the amount of current subscribers to the still alive original version that doesn’t have player feedback as a core driving mechanism. This has proven that user driven content and user feedback can be tremendously successful in the video game world.

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Ark: Survival Evolved and Early Access

Over the last year and a half Ark: Survival Evolved has rocketed to the top of the Steam charts and has managed consistent sales, even though the game is Early Access, but what does Early Access mean and how does it affect sales of the game?

Several years ago Steam allowed game developers to begin distributing games that weren’t quite finished yet in order to gain feedback from potential players and develop the game properly. Many of these games start out free during the Early Access period but in the case of Ark the game actually initially went on sale for 60% of the cost when it is completed and fully comes to market. This isn’t conventional because your average buyer isn’t willing to risk spending their money on a game that isn’t finished. Instead, by providing a steep discount on the cost the developers of Ark have incentivized their potential customers.

The developers have been actively involved with Early Access players and many of these players see the Early Access period as their chance to influence how the game develops

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Order Ahead Apps

Lately, many different retailers, both online and off, have started using mobile apps that allow people to place orders before ever reaching a physical location. One example of this is Taco Bell, who recently launched a mobile app that allows people to order food ahead via their app and pick it up without ever waiting in a line. This means people in a hurry can simply order their food without worrying whether or not they’ll be able to get what they need in time.

Taco bell’s app has already started to boost their total revenues as people who would have avoided the restaurant due to time limitations can get their food. Other restaurants have started to follow suit.Personally, I feel that apps like these will prove to be a great boon to those who choose to adopt it, as it takes away the factor of limited time; something that many people take into serious consideration these days.

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Stardew Valley’s Success

In the video game world, a game has to be able to capture its player-base and offer them hours of enjoyment in order to be successful. Many people, not necessarily gamers, have heard of such behemoth titles like Call of Duty and Battlefield, as they are the cash-cows of the gaming industry. These games offer the typical excitement associated with video-games, and it isn’t unusual to see other companies try to recreate these tried and true methods. Warfare, racing, and sports are usually the most popular kinds of gaming genres, so it takes a special kind of creativity to try and become known in the gaming world. Eric Barone had that creativity.

 

Eric is a video-game developer that was making his very first attempt at making his own video-game. He created a game known as Stardew Valley; a simplistic farming/role-playing game that has the player leaving the complexities of corporate life to pursue the simplicity of farming. This formula is nothing new, as there’s been a few other games that explored this genre with some success. Mr. Barone’s Stardew Valley was met with incredible success, selling 550,000 copies of his game in about two weeks, earning him $8,250,000. With this single game, Eric Barone changed his life completely. He could have followed what was popular, but he instead decided to go with what he himself wanted to make, and because of that, he created a creative little masterpiece that no one saw coming. As of April of 2016, Stardew Valley has sold more than 1,000,000 copies, and doesn’t show signs of stopping anytime soon.e76ef4db2728146be75f28249bf5dde2a6b36ba064c07869e4c21542a1fed182

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Snapchat

Evan Spiegel, born on June 4, 1990, is the co-founder of Snapchat, and is among the wealthiest of young men in the United States. Snapchat was created in September of 2011, and is a mobile picture and video chat messaging application. Many users enjoy the app because it allows people to communicate and send pictures and videos to one another without filling up the storage of people’s devices, as the app deletes them automatically. The idea of Snapchat wasn’t anything new, but the execution was something that other companies had never explored before.

As stated before, Evan Spiegel has become one of the youngest billionaires in the United States, achieving a net worth of over two billion U.S. dollars. The reason Mr. Spiegel stood out to me is because of my belief that it only takes one good idea to become successful. The idea of Snapchat that Evan helped create wasn’t something incredibly ground-breaking, in fact, it was simply an augmentation of already existing messaging applications. It became successful because it found the issue of messaged pictures and videos taking up too much space, and fixed it with a simple to use application. This single idea not only changed the way people communicate with one another, but also allowed Mr. Spiegel to be able to comfortably retire on the massive success he helped create.

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Google as a Business

Whenever someone wants to search for something on the internet, they use something called a search engine. Nearly everything posted onto the internet needs one of these search engines in order to be used. One in particular has seen so much popularity that its very name has become a verb. That search engine is called Google.

Google is an American technology company that specializes in internet related services. It was founded on September 4, 1998 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin. It has since grown to become an almost undisputed behemoth in not only the search engine industry, but also most of the internet in general. Nearly every aspect of the internet reaches back to Google. Although not every venture Google has undertaken has seen success, it still remains to be one of the most successful companies in the world.

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