Saturday, April 21, 2012

Digital distribution on the rise not just with ebooks, but with video games

Digital distribution is becoming a staple when it comes to publishing. We've all witnessed the rise in ebooks and reading devices such as The Kindle, The Nook, and The iPad. But how is this platform affecting other areas of entertainment?

With two boys, my household has become big on video games. We have a PS3 and our iPods are loaded with apps from Temple Run to Run Stick Run to of course, Angry Birds. So with all these free apps and games that you can download to your tablet and computer, have you wondered what's going to happen to Playstation, XBox, and Wii?

Matt Hulett at Startup Whisperer writes, "General purpose devices are the de-facto platform for gaming. No, I am not saying that the console is going to die. The $20 billion dollar console market is going to be on a a slow steady decline over many years and its not going away overnight. But, the numbers don't lie."

I don't know about you, but I'm fascinated by this. I mean who ever saw the decline of bookstores coming? Well, the numbers state that in Q4 2011, there were 26.8M tablets shipped and 150M smartphone shipped worldwide compared to only 21M dedicated game consoles and 13M dedicated game handhelds. So with digital distribution on the rise, game developers are getting very competitive and devising ways to get you to download their games.

I've always downloaded our apps and games from iTunes, but did you know there are other sites where you can get your game on? One of those sites is Gamehouse, which is one of the biggest online games sites out there and not only are they a game site, they also develop, publish and distribute video games. GameHouse offers various genres of games that will suit almost anyone's interest and are perfect for your tablet. From card games to word games to strategy games to adventure games, you're certain to find something that will keep you busy. GameHouse offers 2 membership methods--FunPass and FunTicket. A FunPass Membership costs $20 a month and allows you to download as many games as you want without annoying pop-ups and the FunTicket membership costs $6.99 a month and allows you to play games with time limits and advertisements. They also distribute credits, and you use those credits to purchase games at a discount of 30% per game purchase and each month you'll be rewarded with one free game to download. There are so many fun games on the site, you're sure to become addicted to at least one.

With sites like Gamehouse and more taking over the market,
I can definitely see Tablets and smartphones becoming the new gaming platform of choice. Hulett also predicts that we might see Amazon develop a Game Cloud.

"...imagine an expanded notion of what Amazon has done with their Kindle app — making it cross platform and dabbling in HTML 5," says Hulett. "Imagine building your game once and hooking into services like distributed entitlements, game state support, etc? For example, if players are on the bus using their Kindle Fire, they can save their gameplay and then pick up where they left off at work via Facebook on their laptop."

I don't know about you, but I'm definitely intrigued!

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