Jan 252011

This afternoon I was on a panel on mergers and acquisitions in the social games market alongside a bunch of great folks. It was the last session of the day, and they asked me to go “all designery” so I did. 🙂

You can find a liveblog here:

ISA 2011: Live-Blogging the Mergers and Acquisitions Landscape for Small and Mid-Size Developers.

And a news article here:

ISA 2011: Small Developers Don’t Need to Sell Out Yet

You can also get the highlights of the entire conference by simply reading the search results for the #isa2011 hashtag on Twitter.

Speaking at Inside Social Apps

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Jan 182011

I seem to have neglected to mention that I will be on a panel at Inside Social Apps InFocus. The event is on the 25th — next week! As I understand it, they expect the event to be full, with no registrations available at the door, so if you’re in the area, you may want to register now on the website.

The panel I am on:

M&A Landscape for Small & Midsize Developers

Paul Bettner, GM, Zynga with Friends (former Founder & CEO, Newtoy)
Sean Ryan, Director Games Partnerships, Facebook (former EVP and GM Games, News Corp)
Atul Bagga, VP Equity Research – Games, ThinkEquity
Raph Koster, VP Creative Design, Playdom (former President, Metaplace)

Some of the world’s largest media companies and game publishers have made major acquisitions of social game developers in the last 18 months. We’ve also seen consolidation in the space through several acquisitions of small-to-midsize developers. As we begin 2011, what do the shifting landscapes in the media and games industries mean for M&A activity, and potential acquisition targets, in the year ahead? We will investigate from every angle.

Wikipedia and MUDs hits Wired

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Jan 162011

Funny how this sort of thing happens… two years after the big kerfuffle over ThresholdMUD’s Wikipedia article being deleted (see here and here and here), we get a Wired UK article on Wikipedia and MUD history.

Eventually, the community decided to move on, and founded MUD Wiki, a Wikia dedicated to the genre. Wikia was introduced in 2004 by Jimmy Wales and Angela Beesley, and allowed free web hosting for third party Wikis. It made it easier than ever to make niche Wikis on the most obscure or insular topic possible, and let Wikipedia get on with talking about things that are truly notable.

And maybe, in the grand scheme of documenting gaming history, a dedicated Wikia makes sense. Individual MUDs might be better suited to a Wikia, and its also promising to see Wikipedia’s own page on the genre in general is large, comprehensive and bibliographically diverse.

“Wikipedia is not a directory of everything that exists or has existed”, the site explains in a manifesto detailing its scope. And It would be near impossible for Wikipedia to be a complete and thorough repository of gaming history, with Deus Ex or The Legend of Zelda sharing the same word count as something obscure like Biomotor Unitron on the Neo Geo Pocket.

Where 3d browser stuff stands

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Jan 152011

Been awhile since I posted about how progress is going on this front. Everyone is very excited about HTML5, of course, but particularly with the latest H.264 news, Flash is still going to be pretty widely used. WebGL is going to be in Firefox 4, (basically, the OpenGL ES 2.0 API will be available).

To my eye, the WebGL stuff is behind the Flash stuff in terms of framerate consistency and performance — but it does have all sorts of nifty off-the-shelf integration with Web data on the fly, because it is literally “a 3d web page” made out of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Here’s a video of the “Flight of the Navigator” demo — if you have a WebGL enabled browser, you can actually try it yourself.

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