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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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TF2Outpost, Revolutionizing Digital Currency

One of the largest growing digital markets currently exists on a game platform called Steam. Owned by a company named Valve Software, Steam is a multi-game platform that includes many blockbuster titles such as Counter Strike, Team Fortress 2 and many others. These games have in-game currencies (treasure keys, promotional items, cosmetic items) that have value in the real world that are determined as a part of the vast Steam ecosystem.

This all sounds great, but there is a problem. How does one player find another player willing to exchange items in one game for items from another game? How does this player accurately research the market in order to determine what is a fair exchange? TF2Outpost.com has come up with the solution. The creator of TF2Outpost had the goal of creating a centralized hub to allow players to exchange items between different games as well as advertise potential trades they would like to make. TF2Outpost operates on a subscriber model, generating revenue from customers who enjoy the website enough to pay a monthly subscription. Overall, this website provides a valuable service to the entire community that plays Steam games, while also turning a decent profit.

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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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