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Electronic Arts photo
Electronic Arts

EA improves revenue in first quarter of 2014, delays Dragon Age and Battlefield


KOTOR 3 still not in development
Jul 23
// Brittany Vincent
As Electronic Arts' first fiscal quarter came to a close on June 30, the publisher found that it had beaten expectations for profits and revenue. EA credits much of this success to the runaway success of Titanfall. CEO Andrew...
PC gaming photo
PC gaming

PC gaming hardware market holds lead over consoles


Enthusiasts continue to drop big bucks for big hardware
Jul 17
// Brittany Vincent
The PC gaming hardware market, which consists of personal computers, upgrades, and peripherals used for gaming, is alive and booming in contrast to the general decline in the mainstream PC market. Ted Pollak, Senior Gaming An...
Yogscast photo
Yogscast

Yogscast participating in revenue share to promote Space Engineers


Can we pay for them to not make that "awww" noise?
Jul 16
// Brittany Vincent
YouTube streaming group Yogscast has announced that they will form a partnership with Keen Software. In return for a share of sales revenue for a month of the game Space Engineers, Yogscast will offer a series of vi...
Microsoft photo
Microsoft

Microsoft to announce biggest round of job cuts in five years


Cuts could come as early as this week
Jul 16
// Brittany Vincent
Microsoft is beginning its restructuring in the near future, as forecast by CEO Satya Nadella last week in an interview. The reductions will most likely be in engineering, marketing, and areas of overlap with Nokia. The restr...
Japanese gaming photo
Japanese gaming

Reports of the Japanese gaming market's decline are exaggerated


Japanese gaming is actually still alive and well
Jul 14
// Brittany Vincent
A popular rumor in gaming nowadays is the decline of the Japanese gaming industry. This seems to be espoused by news outlets, financial reporters, and even Japanese developers themselves. Through various interpretations of th...
Industry photo
Industry

Examining what's behind the $12.5 billion in game company acquisitions last year


Chinese folding ownership away from traditional markets
Jul 14
// Brittany Vincent
Digi-Capital, a London based firm, stated in its second-quarter report that mobile gaming has been the source of the largest amount of companies changing hands with $4.6 billion in deals in the past year. Closely following ar...
Critical Path photo
Critical Path

What do you think about cut scenes?


Kojima, Cliffy B, Jordan Mechner, Vander Caballero, Rhianna Pratchett and more weigh in
Jul 11
// Steven Hansen
There are hard line stances against cut scenes ("cheating"!), Kojima considering them a natural outlet for all the movies he watched, and developers considering them one of many useful tools in this new Critical Path&nb...
Lorne Lanning photo
Lorne Lanning

Lorne Lanning explains why he previously left the game industry


Makes sense, actually
Jul 09
// Brittany Vincent
Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty! is an HD remake of the PS1 cult hit Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee. Lorne Lanning, the co-founder of publisher Oddworld Inhabitants, and a man who recently took an eight-year hiatus from the video games indu...
Crytek photo
Crytek

Crytek UK has stopped work on Homefront: The Revolution


Staff has gone unpaid over a month as pressure mounts on new title
Jul 03
// Alessandro Fillari
Amid recent reports of unpaid employees and mismanagement at Crytek, we are now seeing clear signs of trouble within the development studio. The UK branch of Crytek, which is actively working on Homefront: The Revolution...
Industry  photo
Industry

Worldwide gaming market expected to hit $100 billion in yearly sales by 2018


Smartphones integral to growth
Jun 26
// Brittany Vincent
Projected game sales for 2014 are expected to total $64 billion dollars globally. By 2018, the global sales have been projected to reach $100 billion, mostly due to the giant leap in mobile gaming. Burgeoning economies in cou...
 photo

Adam Sessler covers his career through videogame memories


Guest editorial is a good read
May 23
// Dale North
I've been doing this writing about videogames thing for a decade now, and I've met a lot of amazing people and have made some friends for life during that time. As much as I love games, it's really the people that make this t...
 photo

Movie studio Lionsgate gets into the games business


Nerdist co-founder leads the charge
Apr 30
// Dale North
Lionsgate, the movie studio behind Hunger Games, The Expendables, and many other films, is making a move into gaming. This move will be headed by their new President of Interactive Ventures, Peter Levin, the co-founder and fo...
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GameStop to open 400 tech stores this year


Investing $40 million in new stores
Mar 28
// Dale North
We know GameStop sells games and consoles as their bread and butter, but they want to get in on the tech game as well. They're investing up to $40 million in stores that will sell tech hardware, like phones and tablets. Their...
Naughty Dog photo
Naughty Dog

Uncharted 4 director has left Naughty Dog


Game director Justin Richmond moves on to Riot Games
Mar 27
// Alessandro Fillari
Just a couple weeks after Amy Hennig left Naughty Dog, the studio has now seen another major departure. Justin Richmond, the director of the upcoming Uncharted 4, has now left the studio. Talking with IGN, Richmond spoke abou...
Molyneux photo
Molyneux

Enjoy the indie craze whilst it lasts, says Peter Molyneux


Just as well he's still in bed with Microsoft, eh? Oh wait...
Mar 26
// Alasdair Duncan
Peter Molyneux is at it again, this time saying that the recent indie game boom of the last few years isn't going to last. Sound the doom sirens! Speaking to CVG, Molyneux explained, "These things go in cycles, what I'd say i...
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Gaming Live announces their alternative to Twitch


Streaming video for Europe
Mar 26
// Dale North
European online video platform Gaming Live has announced their streaming service for games, eSports, and other related content. This startup was accepted at Dubai's TURN8 Accelerator and earned a seed fund of $30,000.  T...
Castlevania photo
Castlevania

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2's development was troubled


Ex-developers cast blame on MercurySteam's managment and culture
Feb 28
// Alessandro Fillari
Well, this is awkward. Not only did Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 review fairly poorly across the board, now we're seeing former developers step into the light and call out Spanish development studio, MercurySteam, for poor ...
AAA Games photo
AAA Games

AAA game business unprofitable says Just Cause dev


Business is 'not healthy at the moment'
Feb 08
// Wesley Ruscher
Profitability in AAA titles nowadays is tricky business. We scoff when companies claim a game that sells 3.5 million copies is not a success, and perhaps rightfully so. Amidst the inflating development costs of the new consol...
Playstation 4 photo
Playstation 4

NPD confirms PS4 launch 'biggest in history'


Sony had sold one million units in 24 hours at launch
Dec 12
// Alasdair Duncan
After the news earlier today that market research group DFC Intelligence was dubbing the launch of the PlayStation 4 the biggest ever for a console, a statement from Sony President and CEO Jack Tretton confirmed it, backed up...
Studio Closure photo
Studio Closure

Development studio Terminal Reality has shut down


Studio behind Ghostbusters and BloodRayne has closed
Dec 12
// Alessandro Fillari
2013 hasn't been to kind to struggling game studios, and it appears we've got another casualty before this rocky year in gaming closes out. It is now reported that the Texas-based game studio, Terminal Reality, has shut down....
Atlus photo
Atlus

Atlus is free to revive classic Sega brands


Naoya Tsurumi talks business as usual with Atlus and giving access to dormant IPs
Nov 29
// Alessandro Fillari
When Sega purchased Index Holdings along with Atlus back in September, many fans of the niche company were worried about the future of their beloved library of titles. Fast forward to today, it all looks like it's busine...
Ubisoft photo
Ubisoft

Ubisoft explains how launch games can be underwhelming


Cites cross-gen development as the main reason
Nov 18
// Alessandro Fillari
It's always about the games when it comes to the console, and with the release of the new systems, it's easy to take for granted how much effort goes into the making of the titles. For many, the games available at launch can ...
Xbox One photo
Xbox One

Man who got an Xbox One early invited to launch event


Microsoft invites gamer to launch party after retailer mix up
Nov 11
// Alessandro Fillari
It looks like things worked out for Swami, AKA the guy who got an Xbox One early and posted an unboxing video. Not long after detailing his experiences on Twitter, his system was banned from Xbox Live and his video was hit b...
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Typing of the Dead: Overkill was almost never released


When passion and a bizarre zombie game collide
Nov 02
// Alessandro Fillari
To pretty much everyone's surprise, Sega released The Typing of the Dead: Overkill just in time for Halloween. In this sequel of sorts to the infamous Typing of the Dead for the Sega Dreamcast and Arcade, players must put the...
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This game industry layoff list site is a huge bummer


Ugh.
Sep 05
// Dale North
Check out site Game Job Watch and be bummed out for the rest of the day. It's essentially a running list of industry job losses. Double up on the bummer with their Twitter feed. At the site, click on any company logo to ...
The next great indies photo
The next great indies

Broken Age, Below, and more: The games of HORIZON


A parade of indies
Jun 20
// Liz Rugg
As previously discussed, Venus Patrol and MOCAtv's "alternative E3 event" HORIZON was pretty interesting both conceptually and in how it was executed. But what about the games?! That's why we're even here, right!? A few of the larger announcements to come out of the event have already been covered here at Dtoid, but what about those smaller, beautiful indie games HORIZON promised?
HORIZON photo
HORIZON

Thoughts on HORIZON: An alternative E3 event


Notes on the Indie-focused event from an attendee
Jun 20
// Liz Rugg
Exactly one week ago, E3 was in full-swing in the bright city of Los Angles, California, and a brand new little event was quietly gearing up to happen. That lil' happening was HORIZON. Billed as an "alternative E3 event" and ...
Surveys!! HELL YEAH!!! photo
Surveys!! HELL YEAH!!!

Male game developers earn 25% more than females


Game Developer Magazine's survey shows
Apr 08
// Allistair Pinsof
Though we often discuss the insensitivities that females face in the game industry (see above image), a recent survey conducted by Game Developer Magazine presents a more internal conflict: on average, male game developers ea...
The Question photo
We answer The Question
[Every week (usually Mondays), Destructoid will pose topical a question to the community. Answer it if you want!] The games industry seems to be rather fond of remaking the leisure products of yesteryear with fancy, high-defi...

Half of Destructoid's readers block our ads. Now what?

Mar 09 // Niero Gonzalez
"Almost half of your readers block your ads. We don't think we're mistaken." BlockMetrics was easy enough to set up and monitor. At first, it was about 10%, then 20-something. When I dared to blink it just increased faster. Over a few days it never got better, averaging at an ominous 42-46% block rate. I thought their tech might have been flawed, so I performed my own tests and contacted another company who returned a similar result.  This means that we're working twice as hard as ever to sustain our company, as if keeping a group of game writers fed isn't difficult enough. We see gaming sites shut down or selling out so often these days. Feeling my pain yet? So, what would you do, standing in my one shoe remaining? I took these sobering stats to Twitter, and this is what people close to me said: [embed]247904:47442:0[/embed] Nobody wants ads in the way while they're trying to read something I know there's a fine line a publisher must walk when inviting ads in. We work with a very reputable outside company that respects our readers and is quick to ban ads we don't like. Destructoid does not allow ads that play automatic audio, and also doesn't allow ads that automatically expand without your interaction. If you ever see any of those, please report them. Also, if you stay logged in on our existing free accounts, you'll never see a full-page interstitial advertisement (the skip to continue kind). We've also moved most of our new videos to YouTube, which allows ad skipping in most circumstances. Despite adhering to what I believe are best practices for all parties involved, we're having this conversation. Still, I assume most of you haven't singled out blocking Dtoid for malicious reasons, so I went onward with my appeals.    Would you kindly un-block Destructoid? BlockMetrics' technology allowed me to overlay a special message to those who have Ad-Blocker installed. I didn't mince words: My appeal read something to the effect that ad blockers primarily hurt our writers, and if you are reading our site, we'd like your support. Indeed, our ad rate dropped slightly overnight. I didn't like guilt-tripping our readers, but it seemed like a better option than hijacking the site away from them. Ultimately, the best feedback came from one reader who, despite willingly denying our passive revenue, thought I was being too bold. A frank letter to the editors: Dear Destructiod,  Just a quick feedback. Today I found a message in red on top of my browser window telling me not to block ads on your site. I have an ad blocking software installed my my browser, as many of the more tech savvy users who are often gamers, do. I understand that you need to make money off the site traffic through ads. For a moment, I considered making an exception rule in my ad blocking software. However, there was no way to turn off the intrusive red message until I 'do what I was told'. I was intending to have a quick read of an article you have posted before proceeding to 'support your writers'. This made me uncomfortable, and alienated. Your site was no longer welcoming.  I have therefore decided not to visit your site or any of your affiliates. I can get my gaming news from similar sites that do not 'dictate' my actions, such as Kotaku, Eurogamer, vg247, Gamespot, Joystick, IGN, Giantbomb, Edge-online, Polygon - the list goes on. In this day and age, you might want to rethink the way you make money against the way you treat your readers because your competition is way too varied and strong to pull sustainable readership. I'm sure many others felt the same way as I did and a handful might actually give a damn to give feedback as I have. Just something to consider.  (Name Withheld)  What was most annoying about the letter is that he was right, and I knew it.  When I first read the letter, I felt like I was reading those kinds of hippie stories on the news where the guy comes into your house to rob someone; then when he gets beat up, he wins a lawsuit for aggravated assault. The principles of the matter don't matter -- you're just wrong and you can't punch your way out of it. It didn't help that my appeal was presented in a red floating box, and my tone was all wrong. Dating site OKC had the right idea. (Thanks, Chris) Still, I had to say something to this person that I've offended. Deep breath:  First of all, thanks so much for your candid letter and caring enough to write. May I ask why you use an ad-blocker on Destructoid? I'm also taken back that, despite learning that you had the option to indirectly help us fund the site by doing almost nothing, you found this request to be offensive. Was it what we said, and/or how we said it? I know you have many options in gaming sites, but I urge you to notice that gaming magazines and blogs are increasingly shrinking and ad-blockers are not helping. Every website relies on ad revenue. Sure, some new ones will pop up with funding but once they get running they'll rely on ads, too. While others may be less forthcoming about it we're all in the same boat, and that's not an easy boat to keep afloat. Even IGN, who arguably has the most successful ad-free subscription model, was sold last week. If I can't appeal to people to at least passively support it with ads I'm not convinced you'd be willing to reach into your pocket and help us either, because there are and always will be free options that come and go. Am I correct in that assumption? As a personal note, I love that we give everything away for free. If I can continue to do that without silly things like pay walls or begging for donations then my company will face no uncertain future. That's all we're asking for here. We could offer twice the coverage, a bigger travel budget, better computers, and have more well-fed team running the show if everyone just passively allowed the ads. That's not reality, and I get that. The results so far are not good, but show promise. Since we put up the message only 3% of people have accepted our appeal, so you're correct in stating that others do feel the same way. Since I received your letter I've revised the alert from red to a soft blue so it isn't so jarring. What else might you do if you were in my shoes? Re: "I certainly was not expecting a reply." Thank you for respond to my feedback. I am aware that the competition is tough and downsizing/ bankruptcy is rampant in gaming industry as well as game-related media. Moreover, journalism itself is under immense pressure - I should know because I, myself is in the news business (editorial design, not a reporter). I did not activate ad blocker only on your site - the plugin blocks almost all ads automatically and I can tell it not to block anything on certain sites. So it is only a few clicks away to disable that if anyone really wanted to help out. I think you missed my point on why I was not willing to do it. It is a question of choice. If I was given a choice to unblock the ads out of good will, I would have done it. but the pop up doesn't seem to go away UNTIL I unblock. So there wasn't any choice to keep viewing without having it 'nagging' me all the time whenever I visit your site, and covering search fields etc. I think that is what put me off primarily. Maybe a gentle reminder that runs across the banner (there is plenty of space between the search field and sign up/ login buttons) or even posting an article about all the facts you've sent me will further enlighten the community and even shed light on the innerrworkings of your site might help. I find that 98% of the rolling news and pictures are repeated in most of the gaming sites and I'm sure you are aware there are reposts for exclusives (albeit with a credit and link to the owner) plus twitter etc so the only reason to check a certain site is for reviews and original content. Therefore, when reading itself becomes a hassle, the battle is already lost. I hope somehow this shed some light to the matter. This is of course, an opinion one one person but I have a feeling I'm not the only one that thinks so. As for my support, your sincere reply has made me unblock the ads on the site without a second thought and I will be visiting often.  I wish you and your team well and the best of luck in your future endeavours. If this were a movie, I'd dramatically turn to the camera with puppy eyes and blurt a dramatic call to arms: "Where were you when your favorite gaming site died?" Maybe I've won this battle, but I've lost a war I wasn't even aware I was fighting. I'm not alone -- ArsTechnica once fought back by limiting access to those running the plug-in and saw an immediate backlash. Clearly, fighting your readers head-on is not the right solution.  Ad-blockers have gone mainstream. Actually, it probably hit gaming sites the hardest because gamers are some of the most savvy computer geeks. We're tinkerers and tweekers, so what's a simple browser plug-in? Only 4% of our Internet Explorer users block our ads, which the tech elite have written off years ago. Another citing: When GameSpot's Total Access program ended three months ago, the news was met with the most ghastly of comments. It's one thing to see it on a spreadsheet but when you see your readers bragging about it, it's pretty fucked up: The solution must be weirder, more creative. No wonder Valve is selling hats If left unchecked, small publishers like me may face an ad block rate of 75% or higher with no way to pay my bills. I'm not going to lobby congress to make ad-blocking illegal. That ad block percentage is not really negotiable, and is only going to go up. Other technology trends are also closing in on independent publishers: ad rates are dropping, mobile adoption is booming and dragging old ad models that don't work into them, and (let's be honest) my Internet generation expects everything to be free, cheap, and plentiful. As a pro-consumer site operator, I'll be the first to admit none of that sounds unreasonable, so it's on me to figure it out. Yes, I can raise capital and wait for the market to evolve. I'm not going to do that. Everyone that's raised capital gets sold to someone they will later wish hadn't bought them. To quote a founding editor of a recent downsized publication: "Never lose control." "Just disable the flash ads" [Updated April 11]: If I've not made this clear, let me spell it out: I don't necessarily ever want Flash ads on the site, expanding ads, hovering ads, audio ads, gutter ads -- I didn't build this site to have ads on it.  Those ads are a means to an end: they support a staff.  By removing Flash ads it would mean removing half of my writing team. You simply can't have GIF or Static ads at our size and expect to keep a time of this size fed. It's just not realistic. Allowing even semi-obtrusive ads (rollover to expand) is a difficult reality to explain, and one that I admittedly stumbled over while on an NPR talk show. I appreciate the well-meaning comments proposing that we simply remove Flash ads, but if it were that easy I would have done that long ago. In the words of our ad rep, they make us "competitive". That is to say I haven't fired anyone in the last seven years over the matter. Advertisers are also in a desperate position to use the web to advertise their products inexpensively. We're talking thousands of people the cost of a fast food value meal. Ad agencies are even more desperate: they're trying to keep their clients happy and also win more business by wining design awards. The most cunning (or annoying) ads win the clicks. Go punch a monkey. While we can afford to turn away auto-expanding and auto-audio ads, we simply cannot turn away all interactive ad units. There isn't a professional ad sales company that would take us as a client. I'd lose half my team, and there's no data that supports a mass ad-block appeal would lift even if we did. Let's also not be idealistic: there are plenty of Internet users who hate ads on principle or wants ultimate non-tracking privacy will eventually just use a different ad-blocker that doesn't have a whitelist policy. Just skim through the comments and you'll see that some people are above appeals, no matter how much we bend the advertising industry.  If you're big enough you're in a better position to try this, though. Indies, not so much. Larger websites with massive inventories with in-house control of their ad supply chain can appeal Ad-Blockers to whitelist them, but unless you're at the massive scale of Reddit you're not going to convince lazy/busy media buyers to specifically create ads for your smaller website. We're a medium-sized site and it wouldn't fly.  Sites smaller than us are in an even worse predicament: They solely rely on the wild west of ad networks where quality control is all over the place.  An ad network will call a script or two, not have an ad to display, and will bounce it to another provider. We've seen happen upwards of 25 times per page. The tech sucks, but then again, the Internet ad industry has only been around for so long. Its improving every day, but some of these ad serving systems are really showing their age.   Destructoid will somehow offer you an awesome membership program this year  I needn't point out to anyone that the videogames press has shrunk at record speed this year. Whether you're a freelancer for an established site or well-fed at a temporarily funded business that relies on ads, this ad-block trend will eventually take a slice from your livelihood. Take stock, do your diligence, and have a quiet conversation with your staff and readers about it. Yes, it is a business issue, but it also a matter of the viability of the independent press.  If you had to choose one single editorial or swag perk, ad-free browsing aside, what would make an annual membership on Destructoid worth your while?  That's the magic question. To offset ad-blocking or advertising altogether some top bloggers are trying the unspeakable: asking their readers to become the customer. Giant Bomb, ScrewAttack, and Penny-Arcade have all famously made this work. From the research I've done, the perks that these programs offer seems like the most respectful alternative to slinging the advertising hustle. We'll follow suit, and aspire to do the right thing. I certainly wouldn't put up the sites you know today behind a paywall. Instead, I'd challenge my teams to justify a network-wide membership with a bunch of bonus stuff, and the money we earn would go towards making even more perks. We're having those conversations internally right now, so we're open to ideas. Speak up. This is an interesting time to arrive at these crossroads, as our company turns seven years old next week. To be clear, we're not going out of business anytime soon nor will I be using this an excuse to lazily panhandle for dollars. No offense to those which have gone the one-time crowdsourcing route, but you won't find me on Kickstarter shopping for a temp quick fix. We want to remain a 100% independent and are willing to work that much harder for it by offering our readers something MORE, not by hiding what we already do behind a pay-wall. In the 7 years of our company we have never irresponsibly raised venture capital money, or have had massive layoffs. We believe in running a company the good old-fashioned way and want to stand the test of time. That's what makes working at Destructoid such a great place. Thanks for sticking with us, blocked ads or not. We'll make it our way. [sad keanu by implyingrope]
Ad-blockers hurt Dtoid photo
Hug it out
[Webmaster Dojo is a column where I share my experiences running Destructoid, one of the last sites not owned by a media conglomerate or venture capital velociraptor. I'll sling exotic coffee bean water to keep servers on.] R...


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