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Virtual Reality and Video Games

The video game market is changing in an exciting way with the introduction of Virtual Reality technology. As long as can be remembered video games have simply been played on either a small handheld device or a large television screen or computer monitor. With the introduction of VR technology everything that was thought to be known about video game design has been turned upside down.

 

There is a brand new market for immersive, 360 degree video games that require entirely different metrics for design and are played very differently from standard video games. This has led to a wide-open market for the design and development of these games, and the companies willing to take a risk with them have a chance at turning huge profits.

 

Valve is currently the leading company pioneering VR games with a current selection of five games on their Steam marketplace.

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Micro-transactions and their impact on RuneScape

Micro-transactions have become a driving force by which many mobile gaming companies manage to turn a profit, but what happens when these controversial transactions are added to a long-standing MMORPG? An MMORPG is a Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game which means that player interaction is at the forefront of the game and often viewed by developers as the defining metric of their game. RuneScape is an MMORPG that has been around since 2001 that has slowly started to decline over the past 5 years. In order to attempt to change their business model, Jagex, the company that owns RuneScape introduced micro-transactions, which essentially allow players to buy ‘success’ in the game.

Fast forward 5 years later after micro-transactions have been introduced: RuneScape’s player-base is on the decline and Jagex has been scrambling to retain players. They even went as far as to re-introduce a 2007 version of the game with no micro-transactions to appease players. As time has passed it has become increasingly clear that adding micro-transactions was not a successful business idea, and Jagex is still paying the price.

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Digital Trends 2017 Overview

Every year, We Are Social and Hootsuite release an annual report covering major trends in internet, social media, and mobile use. This report is massive – they released a deck of over 100 slides with graphs and statistics about the growth or decline of internet usage across hundreds of countries. You could spend a whole day or more digging into the specifics of this report and what it means to internet based businesses, but here are a few snapshots:

We can see a sharp increase of mobile device usage as well as a definite growth in “other devices,” though the total usage for this category remains small. This keeps in line with Google’s recent shift toward valuing mobile-friendly websites over non-responsive sites. As Internet entrepreneurs, we should keep in mind how much people value the ease of accessing the Internet from mobile devices, and build our websites and apps accordingly.

We Are Social’s analysis of what Internet usage means for businesses is spot on. Gone is the day that having a strong Internet presence was just an option. The Internet has become engrained into our very way of life, and should be treated as such from the business side of things. Internet usage and access should be factored in to every business plan and model. Not only do we need to understand how our customers think and what pains them, but we have to know how the behave on the Internet and what the best ways of reaching them digitally would be.

Facebook is absolutely top dog when it comes to social media platforms. It will remain one of the best ways to reach a lot of customers at once and it shows no signs of slowing down. Facebook along with Google dominates the online advertising world. We can expect to see more advertisements being integrated to the Facebook platform and should capitalize on this social media giant by advertising on Facebook as well as other online places such as Google. It is also moving toward a serious social ecommerce platform, which can be a tremendous advantage for Internet-based businesses.

You can view the entire presentation on Digital Trends in 2017 on Slideshare.

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