Housing starts are still low, but jump in permits suggest builders are planning

first_imgShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Share via Shortlink Housing construction hasn’t recovered to pre-pandemic levels yet, but more permits were issued last month than expected. (Credit: iStock)The latest federal numbers show that homebuilders are planning more construction than expected, but actual construction is lagging.The Commerce Department reported this week that construction permits rose 14.4 percent month-over-month in May, above economists’ 10.8 percent projection, according to the Wall Street Journal.Housing starts however were up just 4.3 percent, well below the 22.3 percent projected and nowhere near enough to make up for April 26.4 percent decline in starts brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.Work started on around 974,000 projects nationwide last month, compared to 1.27 million in May 2019. January 2020 saw the most starts of any month since the beginning of last year, with 1.62 million starts.The modest improvement in starts could be attributed to hesitation among contractors to start jobs because of confusion over new rules meant to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, which vary between jurisdictions. The higher costs associated with adopting those measures could also be slowing starts.May’s lackluster starts could reflect short-term delays. Other data suggests the mid-term and long-term prospects for the housing market are better than what May’s number reflect.The National Association of Builders’ poll saw builder sentiment record its highest jump ever, according to the Journal.Mortgage applications hit an 11-year monthly high last week, while refinancing surged 10 percent month-over-month thanks to low interest rates. [WSJ] — Dennis Lynchcenter_img TagsConstructionCoronavirusHousing Marketlast_img read more

Bondholders approve Sapir Corp debt restructuring

first_imgTagsAlex Sapirsapir corp. Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Share via Shortlinkcenter_img Photo illustration of Alex Sapir (iStock)Sapir Corp’s Israeli bondholders have decided that it’s a good idea to give the development firm a few more years to pay off its debt, given current economic uncertainty caused by coronavirus.In a Monday vote, investors in Sapir Corp.’s $44 million bond series overwhelmingly approved of the company’s proposal to push back the maturity date from 2022 to 2025. In exchange, the Alex Sapir-led company agreed to an immediate prepayment of about $8 million and a higher interest rate.Among the bondholders that participated in the vote, over 97 percent approved the proposal, well above the 75-percent majority required.“Today’s successful vote makes clear that our bondholders believe in the company’s long-term ability to maximize value and realize the full potential of our holdings,” Sapir Corp. CEO Amir Richulsky said in a statement.Richulsky also emphasized the firm’s positive outlook for its two major properties: a hotel in Manhattan and condo development in Miami.“Despite obvious hurdles caused by the pandemic,” the NoMo Soho hotel “is an incredible piece of real estate and we feel confident our business plan will prove successful,” he said. The Arte Surfside luxury condo project “has received strong feedback from the market and is truly the most unique asset in Miami Beach. We are proud of its quality and value in the growing luxury market.”In the early days of the pandemic, occupancy at the NoMo Soho tumbled to just 1.9 percent, Sapir Corp’s financial disclosure show. But that was typical of New York hotels which remained open at the time and which did not benefit from government contracts to house front-line workers.At the Arte Surfside, only three units of the 16 units have so far been sold. They went to Alex Sapir’s mother, his sister and his business partner. The developer is now planning to rent out units at the 12-story project with the expectation that some renters will become buyers.Sapir Corp. is also seeking to sell two development sites in Miami and Manhattan, and the broader Sapir Organization owns other properties like 260 and 261 Madison Avenue in Midtown Manhattan.Contact Kevin Sun at [email protected] moreSapir Corp seeks bondholder approval for $44M debt restructuringSapir Corp goes private as shareholders approve buyoutSapir Corp’s earnings highlight challenges facing NYC hotelsThe Sapir & Rosen feud: Theft and betrayal at a family real estate empirelast_img read more

Rent struggles for NYC restaurants now worse than ever

first_imgFull Name* Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink “Even before the pandemic when operating at 100 percent occupancy, these small businesses were struggling to stay open,” Andrew Rigie, executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance, said in a statement. “Now we’re seeing widespread closures, approximately 150,000 industry workers are still out of their jobs, and the overwhelming majority of these remaining small businesses cannot afford to pay rent.”A recent survey by the New York State Restaurants Association found a stunning 64 percent of restaurants across believe they could close by the end of the year.Some 40 percent of respondents said that their landlords have waived rent. Of those, 43 percent had half of their rent waived, and nearly 40 percent have had rent deferred.A smaller percentage have been able to renegotiate their leases: Fifteen percent say they already have, while another 28 percent are currently in good faith negotiations.Indoor dining is set to begin Sept. 30 and may offer some relief for restaurants, which have been experimenting with outdoor dining over the summer. The City Council also recently approved a bill that would allow restaurants to add a 10 percent “Covid surcharge” to patrons’ checks.But eateries will be allowed to operate at only 25 percent capacity, and the NYC Hospitality Alliance is calling for increased support of the industry moving forward.“The hospitality industry is essential to New York’s economic and social fabric, and to ensure the survival of these vital small businesses and jobs, we urgently need rent relief, an indefinite extension of outdoor dining, a roadmap for expanded indoor dining, covered business interruption insurance and immediate passage of the Restaurants Act by Congress,” Rigie said.Contact Sasha Jones TagsCoronavirusNYC RestaurantsRetail New York City restaurants have struggled to make rent throughout the pandemic but August marked a new high. Andrew Rigie of the NYC Hospitality Alliance (Getty; Institute of Culinary Education)Restaurants in New York City have been struggling to make rent throughout the pandemic, but this month marks a new devastating high.Eighty-seven percent of New York City establishments could not pay their full August rent, according to a new survey of more than 450 restaurants, bars, and nightlife venues by the NYC Hospitality Alliance. Of those, 34 percent did not pay at all.The numbers have been creeping up throughout the summer: In July, 83 percent of those surveyed could not pay their full rent; in June, it was 80 percent.Read moreIndoor dining can finally begin in NYC — with some big caveatsCommercial evictions, foreclosures halted through OctoberMovie theaters might not come back after allcenter_img Message* Share via Shortlink Email Address*last_img read more

Closing in on title, LeBron James closes on Beverly Hills mansion

first_imgShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink LeBron James and the home at 9955 Beverly Grove Dr. (Credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images, and Google Maps)Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James has spent the last two months in a Disney World bubble, but that didn’t stop him from closing on his Beverly Hills mansion for $36.75 million.The Real Deal reported in July that James would buy the 9,146-square-foot home at 9955 Beverly Grove Drive, but the purchase price had yet to be finalized. The deal closed Wednesday.Lee Phillip Bell (Credit: Rodin Eckenroth/FilmMagic via Getty Images)The 86-year-old mansion was marketed at $39 million; the seller was the estate of Lee Phillip Bell, who created soap operas like “The Bold and the Beautiful” and “The Young and the Restless.” He died in February.Jeff Hyland and Rick Hilton of Hilton & Hyland represented Bell. James had no listed broker, according to the Multiple Listing Service.Widely considered the best basketball player since Michael Jordan, James has spent 17 years in the NBA, his past two with the Lakers. James’ 2018 free agent signing with the team was foreshadowed by his purchases of two Brentwood mansions while still a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers. James plans to keep both those homes, according to sources interviewed in July.At 35, James is on the verge of leading the Lakers to the 2020 NBA title, as players compete while quarantined in a resort outside Orlando, Florida. The Lakers took Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday night against the Miami Heat. Share via Shortlinkcenter_img TagsBeverly HillsCelebrity Real Estatelast_img read more

The Closing: Spencer Rascoff

first_imgShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Share via Shortlink Spencer Rascoff (Photos by Kevin Scanlon)Spencer Rascoff built the most consequential residential tech startup of a generation. As co-founder and former CEO of Zillow, he pioneered consumer access to home listings and price information, making his firm a platform that buyers and sellers — and, resentfully, brokers — could not do business without. After stepping away from Zillow in February 2019, Rascoff jumped back into the startup world as a founder. In January, he launched dot.LA, a news site covering the tech scene in Los Angeles, where he lives. He’s also an active investor, raising $350 million in an October IPO for a blank-check company with as yet undisclosed acquisition targets. Last month, he launched Pacaso, a startup that lets buyers purchase shares in second homes. Rascoff was just 24 in 1999 when he co-founded the discount travel startup Hotwire, which Expedia bought in 2003 for nearly $700 million in cash. Three years later, Rascoff and Expedia co-founders Rich Barton and Lloyd Frink started Zillow. Rascoff held various roles at the firm — COO, CFO and vice president of marketing — before being tapped as CEO in 2010. The following year, when he was 35, he led Zillow through an IPO that valued the company at more than $1 billion. Rascoff recently characterized that IPO as a “facepalm” moment because the stock surged from $20 to $60 per share within minutes of trading. That kind of one-day pop makes for a great headline but indicates the company left money on the table. The IPO did, however, fuel Zillow’s exponential growth. Over Rascoff’s tenure as CEO, Zillow acquired 15 companies, including Trulia, which it purchased for $3.5 billion in 2014. Its headcount went from 200 to 4,000, while annual revenue grew to $1.3 billion from $30 million. Last year, with Zillow’s stock dropping, Barton replaced Rascoff as CEO to go full-tilt on iBuying,  an algorithmically driven homebuying model that guarantees sellers a quick close and then aims to resell the property at a premium. (Barton has described it as a “moonshot” opportunity; he believes ignoring iBuying poses an “existential” threat.) Rascoff called the change “bittersweet,” but told The Real Deal he’s hardwired to keep building companies. “I’m just going,” he said, “Like a rocket that doesn’t have any burners anymore … The habits have been formed.”Born: October 24, 1975Lives in: Los AngelesHometown: New York CityFamily: Married with three kids (15, 12 and 9)Why real estate? I have a terrible memory for faces and names, but I have a fantastic memory for houses. I can remember almost every listing I’ve ever seen. I love that real estate is a store of wealth that you can enjoy. I’ve always found it dissatisfying and hollow to open up a brokerage account website and see numbers on a screen that show me some imaginary amount of money that I have sitting there. You were a nationally ranked chess player. Any lessons learned? I was the fifth-best chess player in the country under the age of 12. My coach at Dalton was Svetozar Jovanovic, a Yugoslavian chess master. He’d have a big pointer and he’d snap it on your desk if you weren’t paying attention. It was straight out of the Cold War Soviet Union, but on the Upper East Side. But it taught me everything: competition, concentration, how to plan ahead, to hate losing. Your dad managed the Rolling Stones. How did that happen? My dad worked at a white-shoe accounting firm called Hurdman & Cranstoun. One day in 1972, he was in the men’s room and the gentleman next to him was grumbling. He was a rotund British gentleman who identified himself as Prince Rupert Loewenstein, manager of the Rolling Stones. He was disappointed that Hurdman & Cranstoun wouldn’t take on the Rolling Stones because they were too wild for a white-shoe firm. My dad thought that sounded like an exciting opportunity, so he took a leave of absence to be the tour accountant. Ultimately, he left the firm, and over the next 30 years, he expanded into producing rock concerts and became one of the largest producers and business managers of tours for the Rolling Stones, U2, David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Paul Simon and lots of other folks.What was that like for you? It was cool but in a nerdy, business-y sort of way. Watching concerts with my dad was never about the music. We would stand together on the mixing plot, with 120,000 people cheering for the Rolling Stones, and he would be whispering in my ear, saying, “Those fireworks cost $100,000, and they probably weren’t necessary, but Mick wanted them.” “That big, inflatable woman in a bikini, it was $80,000 and probably wasn’t necessary, but Keith wanted it.”  He’d walk me through the P&L of every show. Each tour was really a startup in its own right. [My dad] would come home from work one day and say, “U2 has agreed to tour, so it’s time to spin it up.” About 200 employees would come together within a couple weeks. Seems like you took a lot from your father. You now also have a business podcast with your son, called “Dad I have a question.” How’d that come about? Luke [age 12] asks me a lot of questions. One time, my father-in-law was there when Luke asked me, for the millionth time, about some topic. After listening to me explain the answer, my father-in-law said, “You should really turn this into a podcast.” Luke loves measuring the statistics, tracking which ones perform better than others. He’s very focused on the fact that the tech-focused ones do well, and the political-focused ones do poorly. We have 35,000 listeners, so it’s been a fun project. Yesterday, Sophia, my 15-year-old daughter, had no school, so I brought her to the dot.LA summit for the day, and she ran social media. This is breaking news, I suppose, but I’m incubating another startup idea for which Sophie is the program manager.What’s the concept? I can’t tell you that yet. Stay tuned. You were 24 when you co-founded Hotwire, which you sold to Expedia. Was it hard to get taken seriously at that age? Yes. I vividly remember, as a 24-year-old, sitting with a 45-year-old who reported to me and thinking to myself, “How can I mentor, manage, coach and direct this employee?” That experience changed my management style to be more collaborative. In other words, I realized that I couldn’t tell him what to do. Instead, I could discuss what challenges he was facing and try to help solve his problems along with him.Where did the idea for Zillow come from? We were brainstorming business ideas in a conference room in Downtown Seattle, looking out the window at [the neighborhood of Queen Anne], where these Victorian houses all sit on a hillside. Somebody said, “Imagine if you could see a price on every one of those rooftops, almost like magic glasses that you could put on and see data and information on every home.”  The original idea was to try to create three prices on every home: a bid price that somebody would offer to pay for the home, an ask price that a homeowner would sell their home for and a market-clearing price, which was meant to be the Zestimate.So the initial idea was around pricing, not listings? Right. In fact, for the first two years there were no listings on Zillow. It wasn’t until about 2008, once we were already the fifth-largest real estate website, that we went to brokerages and said, “Will you please give us your listings?”Is it true your first move as Zillow CEO was to get rid of all the individual offices [switching to a bullpen] ? Absolutely. It was quite controversial at the time, and Rich [Barton] wasn’t immediately sure that it was a good idea.Do you think the Zestimate deserves the hate it gets? A few years ago, you sold your house for way less than the Zestimate; this year, you listed another for $7 million over. There are two points of criticism, accuracy and privacy. On privacy, Zillow provided enormous transparency to the marketplace, which helps people make smarter decisions. And I have no apologies for that level of information, even though I sometimes am the subject of articles about my own real estate transactions, which brings me no joy. The accuracy issue is a different topic. Zestimates have always been less accurate at the high end and at the very low end because there are fewer data points. What is a $30 million house worth? It’s very hard to know. The accuracy, however, has improved dramatically over time. When we launched in 2006, we had approximately a 14 percent margin of error. Today, it is in the mid-single digits. Zillow sparked a lot of fury among residential agents in markets like New York. How did you handle the criticism? I like to be liked. Personal criticism and criticism of my company always cut deep. My strategy was one of intense engagement. I spent a lot of time on message boards, on social media and in brokers’ offices … building personal relationships and listening. That differs from some other companies like Uber, for example, that have a more aggressive approach to the industries that it disrupts.You stepped down as CEO of Zillow last year when co-founder Rich Barton took over to spearhead a big iBuying push. I’ve heard you’re not a fan of iBuying. Oh, I’m a huge believer. I set into motion Zillow’s iBuying strategy. First we tried this marketplace model called Instant Offers: A consumer would say “I want to sell my home” and we would send their information to a handful of iBuyers. This experiment showed us there was clearly demand for the service, but ultimately we realized we had to be the ones that did the iBuying, so Zillow Offers was born. I still think it’s a fundamental and growing part of the real estate universe. How’s your relationship with Rich Barton now? Do you agree with the Zillow 2.0 strategy? He’s busy running Zillow and I’m doing my thing, so we don’t talk often. It’s friendly. There are always little things from the outside that you ask yourself, “Would I have done that little thing or not?” But the overall strategic direction I agree with. Is dot.LA a source of deal flow? Absolutely. It’s certainly not why I started it, but dot.LA unites my passions in startups, journalism and L.A. It’s also allowed me to meet great founders, some of whom I’ve gone on to invest in. You just started a company called Pacaso that lets people buy shares of a second home. Do you have other homes? I had a second home in Napa Valley that burned down in a wildfire a couple of years ago. It was our family’s happy place. We sold the land to a neighbor and still think a lot about trying to have a second home there. I’m looking for a Pacaso.You prefer to own a piece rather than the whole thing? I’m not going to use it all the time. My home that burned down was a $3 million home. Instead of buying 100 percent of a $3 million home, I can buy a quarter of a $12 million home.How has the pandemic changed your routine? For the 20 years prior to Covid I was on a plane every couple of days, and instead I’ve been with my family for eight months. The big innovation that launched today in the Rascoff house is doors. This house has a pretty open floor plan, and I’ve always thought about adding a door to my home office. After four years of waiting, I finally had a door installed.Where was the last place you traveled or vacationed? Last Christmas, we went to Machu Picchu, Peru. My wife is Colombian, and there’s a South American tradition on New Year’s Eve: You take an empty suitcase and run around shouting the place you hope to travel in the next year. We were shouting “Thailand! Russia! Antarctica!” I certainly had no idea at the time that those would be off the table. What are your vices? I watch a decent amount of garbage TV. We watch “Vanderpump Rules” and “Real Housewives” and “The Bachelor.” I eat a lot of ice cream. Do you feel successful? Yes. I’m not really motivated by money or media. I’m motivated by identifying new challenges and solving interesting problems. How do you instill that value in your kids? My parents always told me I’d never get a single dime of their money, but they’d always pay for my own education and then I’d be on my own. We’ve been saying the same thing to our kids. We’ll be there to cheer them along, but not support them.Your brother died in a car crash when he was 17. Did that shape you? He died the day before graduating from high school. He was taking the last edition of the school newspaper to the printer after an all-nighter. It caused me to kick things into the next gear in terms of focus and drive and seeking accomplishment. I felt like I had to accomplish twice as much to compensate for what he would have accomplished. I haven’t stopped running since. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten? Wherever you’re working, look [for someone] 10 years your senior. Find out if you want to be that person, and if you aren’t totally satisfied, get out.This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.last_img read more

Kamen Rider takes over Japanese charts

first_imgKamen Rider takes over Japanese chartsTakes three of the top five spotsRachel WeberSenior EditorWednesday 2nd March 2016Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareKamen Rider: Battride War Genesis took over the Japanese top ten this week, with the new entries scoring combined sales of 78,000 units. The PS4 version of the game took the top spot with 33,000 units. [PS4] Kamen Rider: Battride War Genesis – 33,195 (New entry)[3DS] Mega Man Legacy Collection – 23,942 (New entry)[PSV] Kamen Rider: Battride War Genesis – 22,303 (New entry)[PS3] Kamen Rider: Battride War Genesis – 22,280 (New entry)[PSV] Attack on Titan – 22,178 (Lifetime sales – 84,290)[3DS] Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games – 22,032 (63,768)[PSV] Kan Colle Kai – 21,587 (162,344)[PS4] Attack on Titan – 16,803 (77,959)[PS3] TV Anime The Idolmaster: Cinderella Girls G4U! Pack Vol. 9 – 12,792 (New entry)[PS4] Street Fighter V – 11,206 (53,196)In hardware the PlayStation 4 saw a slight drop in sales but not enough to dislodge it from the top of the charts. PlayStation 4 – 26,502 (Last week – 29,363)PlayStation Vita – 17,368 (22,191)New 3DS XL – 17,257 (16,533)Wii U – 5,392 (3,902)New 3DS – 4,944 (4,363)3DS – 2,694 (2,427)PlayStation 3 – 1,493 (1,665)3DS XL – 550 (569)Xbox One – 60 (162)Charts collated by Media Create and published by Gematsu.Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Publishing & Retail newsletter and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesResident Evil: Village is the third biggest PS5 launch so far | UK Boxed ChartsBut physical sales down over previous Resident Evil gamesBy Christopher Dring 2 days agoEpic reportedly offered $200m to Sony for PlayStation exclusivesThe firm also reportedly started discussions with Microsoft and noted that securing first-party Nintendo games would be a “moonshot”By Marie Dealessandri 2 days agoLatest comments Sign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.last_img read more

Far Cry Primal: Selling the Stone Age

first_imgFar Cry Primal: Selling the Stone AgeThe creative director and marketing boss on shipping Ubisoft’s mammoth titleRachel WeberSenior EditorMonday 7th March 2016Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareCompanies in this articleUbisoftIt’s a daring move to make a massive thematic change to a franchise. Making a change that removes all the guns can seem, from the outside, to be total madness, but that’s exactly what Ubisoft did with the latest instalment of its Far Cry series. GamesIndustry.biz spoke to Thomas Simon, game director, and Thomas Seris, senior brand manager, about the creation and marketing of this Stone Age story.”I think there’s a natural fit between the Stone Age and the Far Cry franchise. That’s why there was a strong buy in from everyone, because we see it as the first frontier and that’s a concept we really like to explore in all Far Cry games,” says Simon.”It was the first time man started fighting with each other while still being chased by very dangerous wildlife, it’s an ideal setup.”He reveals that the concept was first circulated during the development of Far Cry 3 and work began on the project during the development of Far Cry 4. “A Far Cry game does not have to be necessarily ultra realistic but it has to be believable” “A Far Cry game does not have to be necessarily ultra-realistic but it has to be believable. For that there’s really a sweet spot to find where the experience still affords the freedom and fun that we like, and at the same time feels grounded, like you’re part of a world that has rules and logic behind it that you can join and accept.”While the development team were busy creating the world, it was up to the marketing team to start selling it to press and hardcore Far Cry fans.”Far Cry Primal is a completely fresh take on the franchise and our marketing plans reflect that,” explains Seris.”In terms of support, our plan is in line with Far Cry 4. The Stone Age was a brutal and challenging time and our goal with the campaign was to bring that to life for players.”Part of the campaign included getting the game in the hands of press quickly, to allow them to not only play the game but ask questions about it too.”Shortly after we revealed the game, we gave specialist press an opportunity to get hands-on time with the game and conduct developer interviews. This gave the press a chance to tangibly experience new aspects of the game and to answer questions they might have had since the announcement. “Providing press with hands-on time was a core component of our campaign because one of the special things about Far Cry is its systemic feature; they could then share those unique experiences with viewers and readers.”A whole new languageExpand ▼”We discussed if we should totally invent a language or use an archaic English version, and at some point we found a solution with the help of linguistic experts from the university of Kentucky and we actually did a mix between using a real archaic language and adapting it to our needs.”Seris particularly emphasised the importance of the YouTube and Twitch community when it came to spreading the word.”These content creators are some of the most passionate gamers and their feedback, interest and support goes a long way,” he says. “YouTube and Twitch are important platforms for our campaigns and Far Cry Primal is the perfect game for these platforms. The systemic nature of the open-world creates an unpredictable playground where anything can happen at any time.”Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games The biggest change to the series, and the one I personally had the most questions about when it was announced, was the absence of guns. Having now played it, I don’t miss them, especially not when riding my tamed sabre-tooth while shooting off multiple arrows. That’s thanks to a careful balancing act by the development team, says Simon.”The idea was really that even though we know we don’t have automatic weapons we wanted to give the same tactical freedom for players between short-range, long-range. Weapons that you use aggressively, some weapons that are more stealthy. “All that was really core and we did a lot of work to adapt the world, the animals, the enemies, to that loop. We had to change the range at which they attack you, the weapons they use, in order for the gameplay, the combat loop, to find a new equilibrium.”Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Daily Update and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesUbisoft posts record sales yet again, delays Skull & Bones yet againPublisher moves away from target of 3-4 premium AAA titles a year, wants to build free-to-play “to be trending toward AAA ambitions over the long term”By Brendan Sinclair 11 hours agoFirst-party Ubisoft titles will now be branded as ”Ubisoft Originals”Change was made alongside the announcement of new Tom Clancy titleBy Danielle Partis 2 days agoLatest comments Sign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.last_img read more

What every indie needs to know about PR

first_imgWhat every indie needs to know about PRICO Partners’ Thomas Reisenegger outlines five keys to success for indie devsJames BrightmanMonday 21st March 2016Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareCompanies in this articleICO PartnersWith game development tools available to just about anyone today, it’s never been easier to make a game. Just about anyone with some degree of talent can become an indie, but standing out in the crowd on mobile app stores or the PC can be a monumental challenge. If you’re already famous, you have an inherent leg up on the competition, but most indies of course are not. Making a very good game doesn’t cut it anymore; on top of having quality, indies must leverage PR and marketing wisely. During a talk at GDC 2016, ICO Partners’ Thomas Reisenegger offered an overview of what he believes are the five most important things indies must do to improve their chances of success. 1. PositioningAssuming you’ve already got a handle on the basics such as creating a website, using social media and building a mailing list, Reisenegger noted that the first hurdle to clear is positioning. It sounds simple, but in reality it can be really hard. Your game may have numerous points of interest or features that you believe many gamers could latch on to, but in order to properly market a game, you need to hone in on one key message and one key piece of art. The idea is that you want to offer something most people can connect with easily. “You’re not selling a game, you’re selling a story, especially to press,” Reisenegger said.It’s also totally fine to go back to the drawing board with your game’s positioning. If you think you’ve figured out the positioning but then you see what fans like based on feedback, you can go back once or twice in the beginning to position differently. Reisenegger pointed to a couple of games that had difficult concepts to market but managed to pull of their positioning beautifully. This War of Mine, for example, was a concept that could have been a PR nightmare. But with the use of one important sub-headline, “In war, not everyone is a soldier,” people could more easily understand and connect with the game idea. Another example was Axiom Verge, which was able to target Metroid fans from the outset. The name itself doesn’t seem to convey anything, but by positioning immediately as a Metroidvania game, the game attracted the right fans. 2. Mastering news beatsThe next important PR skill for indies to master is the news cycle with the press. You only have a certain amount of PR ammunition and opportunities to reach out to the press, so you have to plan announcements strategically to give your game maximum exposure. Realistically, you have about seven distinct beats you can pursue: your game announcement, first screenshots, first trailer, start of a beta, previews, release date, and finally release announcement (plus launch trailer). “If I would throw money into one thing, I would do it on the trailer. Make your minute in the spotlight count” While it may look easy, there’s more to it than meets the eye so either you need to study and learn a lot by reading many different websites and learning what they like to cover and when and what they won’t cover, or you’ll need to hire a PR expert. When communicating your beats, Reisenegger noted that you probably want to avoid the huge event months (shows like E3, GDC, Gamescom, etc) if you’re an indie because the press is already flooded and your chances of getting coverage are much reduced. It’s also better to communicate your beat typically between Tuesday and Thursday, he said. You also need to be mindful of different time zones depending on the regions of the world you’re targeting, and importantly, you don’t want to make an announcement on a bank holiday by accident and squander your chance of coverage when no one’s working. That being said, you can pretty much ignore the above advice if your goal is to target non-traditional media like Youtubers and streamers. For those people, your story isn’t important, Reisenegger said, so just give them your game to play and hope that they will play it and cover it once. They don’t need headlines, so the only thing to consider is the timing of when you’d like to have your game covered by a streamer: earlier on in development or sometime after release. Finally, if you’re making a mobile game, you can probably ignore the streaming crowd altogether as it’s unlikely they will cover your game, said Reisenegger. 3. Making a solid trailerThe third and possibly most important element for indies to look at is the game trailer. “If I would throw money into one thing, I would do it on the trailer. Make your minute in the spotlight count,” said Reisenegger. When making a trailer you need to make an immediate positive first impression. You need to capture the viewer’s attention in roughly the first 15 seconds, Reisenegger said, and then you don’t want to drag out the trailer for too long; short and sweet is ideal to get your positioning across (1:30 is probably about as long as you should go).Reisenegger pointed to This War of Mine again as a game that managed to use its trailer effectively to reinforce its positioning and properly communicate the atmosphere of the game. 4. Guerilla marketingThe fourth key for indies to consider is guerilla marketing, which is essentially a way to leverage low-cost unconventional marketing tactics. Reisenegger brought up some of the tactics that were used back in 2002 for Acclaim’s Burnout 2. PR had promised that when the game came out they’d pay off people’s speeding tickets. The games press picked up on the wacky marketing stunt and that generated a news beat; then when the government naturally wouldn’t allow tickets to be paid off, the games press picked up on it again, so Burnout 2 gained a couple press beats with one stunt.Guerilla marketing can be effective when handled with care but there are many risks associated with it, Reisenegger said. The tactics often break taboos, they aren’t always 100 percent legal, and they don’t guarantee good PR. Reisenegger stressed that the idea that any PR is good PR is simply not true. Ultimately, any guerilla marketing must fit with the theme of your game and you should think twice about the implications before putting it in motion. 5. EventsThe fifth pillar of PR for indies is events. Attending events is naturally great for networking, showing your game to the media and getting feedback, but “don’t dance at every party,” Reisenegger said. Unless you have something new and interesting to show at each event you attend, there’s little point in trying to get the attention of the press over and over again. This ties into the mastering of news beats; since the press tends to cover the major events the most, it may be harder to get their attention then if you don’t have something really interesting to share. More pro-tipsRelated JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games Another thing to be aware of is that your PR plans really need to be planned out and implemented right away; doing too little, too late is a recipe for disaster. Additionally, playing the indie card doesn’t mean much at all anymore, so don’t expect the press to listen to you just because you’re indie. It’s also important to recognize that you can repackage your beats. If you announced a game and showed off a trailer and got literally zero reaction or coverage, Reisenegger advised just announcing again as if nothing happened – it doesn’t hurt to give it a second or third try, but don’t overdo it. Lastly, indies should ideally be engaging in Pull PR instead of Push PR, Reisenegger said. It makes much more sense to find out what websites like to cover and serve them something interesting, giving them a very detailed pitch that essentially writes the story for them and gets the reporter intrigued. It’s not always easy to figure out, but it’s the best way to get on board with a Kotaku or Polygon, he said. You should be sending out something that the editor wants instead of banging a publication over the head with your game. Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Daily Update and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesIn 2019, video game projects on Kickstarter held steadyIco Partners: Though tabletop drove segment’s rise, video games saw only minute growth in funded projects, money raised By Rebekah Valentine A year agoRatio of successful Kickstarter projects at highest since Double Fine AdventureICO Partners breaks down ongoing maturation of crowdfunding projects with H1 2019 updateBy James Batchelor A year agoLatest comments Sign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.last_img read more

Nintendo leads games industry figureheads’ 2017 highlights

first_imgNintendo leads games industry figureheads’ 2017 highlightsAlso, Red Dead Redemption 2 (and various sporting victories) on execs’ 2018 Most Anticipated listJames BatchelorEditor-in-ChiefTuesday 19th December 2017Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareWith the year drawing to a close, we asked some of the most respected people in the video games business for their personal favourites of 2017.Perhaps unsurprisingly, several praised Nintendo’s new Switch console and its flagship launch title – the seminal Zelda: Breath of the Wild. But there were plenty of other high points for execs and developers to choose from, both industry-related and on a more personal basis.We also asked what these experts are most looking forward to in 2018, with Red Dead Redemption 2 a popular choice. Read to find out what else these figureheads are gearing up for:Yosuke Saito, producer, Square Enix2017 was certainly up there as one of the busiest years of my life as a game producer, starting with the release of NieR: Automata, then on to Dragon Quest XI and the PS4 and Switch versions of Dragon Quest X and its expansion pack. Even so, it was really nice to be able to deliver great results for each of them.To be honest, I’m really jealous of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, that is about to sweep the board at GOTY and all the other awards events. But hey-ho, I got to see how there are so many fans all around the world who love our games, so it truly was a happy year for me. Many, many thanks to all the fans!Looking ahead, I hope my work becomes slightly less busy and I can achieve a better balance with my private life. Having said that, I’m really not the type who enjoys having nothing to do, so I hope I will have a chance to bring you news on a new title in 2018. Stay tuned, but don’t get too excited ok!John Riccitiello, CEO, Unity2017 was all about the release of Google’s ARCore and Apple’s ARKit. These technologies are making mobile phones AR-ready — a move that will completely change how we experience the world around us.I’m looking forward to watching how industries outside of gaming will start adopting real-time 3D (RT3D) development. RT3D is something that’s easy to take for granted in the games industry – we’ve been working in this tech for two decades and it’s fundamentally changed how games are developed and how they work. I’m looking forward to seeing how all industries – from architecture and medical to automotive and space exploration – use RT3D technology to create dynamic content for their customers and the market.John Romero, co-founder and president, Romero GamesMy highlight of 2017 was Breath of the Wild – what an incredible experience! The feeling of absolute freedom in BotW is beyond any other game I’ve seen, and the design of the world is so well done. I’m very happy to see my belief in Nintendo, and great game design, is once again proven to be a huge success.I’m most looking forward to playing more games in 2018, and hopefully diving into World of Warcraft’s expansion, Battle for Azeroth, and getting to level 120.Brenda Romero, co-founder and design director, Romero GamesMy gameplay highlight of 2017 was absolutely What Remains of Edith Finch. What an incredible masterwork of game design. I was overwhelmed and just humbled as a designer by what that team created. They set a new bar.I know this sounds kind of crazy, but I am most looking forward to a big milestone we have in the new year. This is the most talented team I’ve ever worked with.Warwick Light, VP & MD for UK and Australasia, Sony Interactive Entertainment EuropeWe sponsor the nationwide Digital Schoolhouse programme, which enables secondary schools to deliver creative computing workshops to visiting primary school pupils. This year the programme held an esports tournament; 400 schoolchildren participated in the tournament through Rocket League on PlayStation 4. The tournament demonstrated the power of games and competitive play in building confidence, team work, communication skills and perseverance.The results were remarkable with 87% of participating pupils reporting a greater interest in studying computing and tech-related qualifications, and 75% of students reporting significantly increased interest in a career in the burgeoning video games industry.In 2018, I’m really looking forward to England playing the All Blacks for the first time in four years at Twickenham in November. I’m a kiwi with a British passport, so it’s a win-win for me.Harvey Eagle, Xbox UK category director, MicrosoftWell on a personal note I was lucky enough to take a sabbatical from Microsoft over the summer months. With my wife and our whippet, we took a driving holiday around Spain and ate some truly amazing food and drank some fab wine. A food highlight was catching tuna season in a restaurant called El Campero in Barbate, a small fishing town near Cadiz. And if you like bold fruity red wines I highly recommend Tomas Postigo’s Ribera del Duero. I know I shouldn’t be biased, but I have to say that the launch of Xbox One X has been a career highlight. We’re very fortunate that with us, Sony and Nintendo all having popular new devices our console industry is in rude health. And finally I want to win a chicken dinner before the year is out.Strauss Zelnick, CEO, Take-TwoMy highlight of 2017 was our launch of NBA 2K18, which is poised to become our most successful sports title ever, as well as the continued success of Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto Online more than four years after their initial release. In addition, the launch of new gaming platforms has been exciting to watch and good for our industry.Thankfully, I have several things that I’m very much looking forward to in 2018, including Rockstar Games’ launch of Red Dead Redemption 2 and our expansion into esports with the debut of the NBA 2K League.Liz Mercuri, education evangelist, UnityHonestly, my highlight of 2017 (where playing games is concerned) is how FFXV has renewed my obsession with the Final Fantasy franchise. No other FF in the series has hit me in the feels like VIII did until XV came along. (I know FFXV was released in 2016, but the ongoing release schedule for it has kept my obsession alive. I am loving the character episode DLC).The announcement of the new BAFTA Awards category – Game Beyond Entertainment – was a major highlight for me. I absolutely love that jobs in the game industry are now being recognized as viable career options and I adore that games are being seen for the mature, emotionally engaging and emotive medium that they always have been. This new category is testament to this fantastic change in public perception.Ian Livingstone, non-executive chairman, Sumo Digital/FlavourWorksAsking me to highlight just one thing is a bit like asking me to talk about my favourite child when I’ve got four! So, keeping it in the family, it was great to see Sumo Digital develop and publish their own IP, Snake Pass, see Playdemic’s Golf Clash become a huge global hit on mobile, read the announcement by Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe about publishing Flavourwork’s Erica, and see my new Fighting Fantasy gamebook, The Port of Peril, on the shelves at WH Smith!In 2018 I’m most looking forward to Manchester City playing in the Champions League Final (and hopefully winning)!Grant Kirkhope, composer (Mario + Rabbids, Yooka-Laylee)The highlight of 2017 was undoubtedly seeing Davide Soliani burst into tears when Shigeru Miyamoto said his name at the E3 Ubisoft press conference. I was sitting two seats across from Davide and it was such a heartfelt moment.The moment I’m most looking forward to in 2018 is when I get to write the music for the next Harry Potter related movie… I can dream right!Tim Heaton, studio director, Creative Assembly2017 was a great year for CA. My personal highlights were seeing our new Sofia studio release their first Total War title, celebrating our UK studio’s 30th anniversary with our very own music festival and, of course, winning a GamesIndustry.biz Best Place to Work Award.Darren Mills, co-founder and studio director, Sumo DigitalFrom a Sumo point of view, the launch and success of Snake Pass (our first original IP) was a big deal that was a lot of fun. It coincided perfectly with the launch of the Nintendo Switch, which is a great console and shows Nintendo yet again shining a new light on areas of our industry that we probably take for granted. Zelda was amazing. On a personal note, I got the chance to cross off a bucket list item by attending the Abu Dhabi F1 GP – a fantastic experience!2018 will hopefully see the British Games Institute’s plans coming to fruition, which will be great news for all of us. The Han Solo movie will be pretty cool, too!Keza MacDonald, Games Editor, The GuardianHighlight of 2017: The Nintendo Switch. The release of the first proper handheld-home-console-hybrid just happened to coincide with my becoming a parent and the evaporation of my couch-gaming time, so playing Zelda: Breath of the Wild in stolen moments during naptime was a joy.Most looking forward to in 2018: My great ambition for the coming year is to finally complete Persona 5.Gavin Raeburn, CEO, Playground GamesHighlight has been opening a second studio to build our new action RPG game, but a close second has been powering up my new Xbox One X and OLED TV – beast meets beast! Next year, I’m looking forward to My 50th birthday and Newcastle United winning the Premier League. Come on Rafa!Shahid Ahmad, director, Ultimatum GamesMy highlight of 2017 was the Nintendo Switch and in particular, Super Mario Odyssey, which is one of the greatest video games of all time, so full of joy and delights.I’m most looking forward to Dreams by Media Molecule in 2018. I suspect we will all run out of superlatives when people have spent some time with it. It’s likely to be one of the most profound achievements in the history of the industry.Stuart Turner, COO, CapcomThere are two highlights for me. The first was watching the UK media, first parties and the great and the good of the industry collectively shit themselves when doing the real-life Resident Evil House in Shoreditch in January. Capcom has footage of a senior figure at SIEE diving into a laundry basket in a blind panic to hide from Jack Baker entering the room.So that, plus catching and finally getting a Farfetched in Pokémon Go.Debbie Bestwick, CEO, Team 17I would say the highlight of 2017 has been the immense success of the Nintendo Switch. To hear just a few days ago that it has hit 10 million sales is a phenomenal achievement. It’s been fantastic to see Nintendo be so supportive of the indie dev scene and it’s great to see some of our label games sat in the charts next to big AAA first and third-party titles!”It’s been fantastic to see Nintendo be so supportive of the indie dev scene and see our games sat in the charts next to big AAA titles” Debbie Bestwick, Team17In 2018 I’m looking forward to finally putting my feet up and having a relaxing quiet year handling more than half a dozen new gaming IP releases. In all seriousness, next year will see my 100th game release; it’s a big year for myself and all at Team17.Imre Jele, creator-in-chief, Bossa StudiosOne could argue that a game about fighting robot dinosaurs is a surefire hit. Yet I have to admit I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from Horizon Zero Dawn. But it went way, way above my expectations. Guerrilla managed to break into the crowded open world scene with a very competent new IP which has something most other games in the genre miss; a heart. Similarly, Hidden Folks is overflowing with personality and frankly, it just made me click and click and click for hours, much longer than I’d care to admit publicly. I did a vote within Bossa and the results are in: The team enjoyed Zelda most this year but we have a lot of Nintendo fans here so it’s a biased team. We are most excited for Red Dead 2 in 2018 because it has a rare type of universe – well recognised, yet not overused in games.Gavin Price, studio and game director, Playtonic Games2017 highlight has to be Playtonic receiving a VAT inspection. Trying to explain away our business model thus far to a VAT inspector… our crowdfunding campaign and then receiving royalties via a publisher as the reason for a very unpredictable set of reports over the last two years etc. turned me in to a quivering Alan Partridge style version of myself. Didn’t pass wind during the interview though.Also, chatting more with Team 17’s Debbie Bestwick. Her personal take on industry goings on via our private conversations are brilliant. When she takes over the world I’ll have some great material to bribe her with or live in fear of my life for knowing…Garry Williams, owner, Sold OutA highlight of 2017 was Mario Odyssey, realising I could afford to buy a whole system just for one game I was straight “in.” Knowing it could never be as good as the old versions I grew up on, I was proved wrong. Welcome back Mario my old friend!Richard Wilson, CEO, TIGAThe highlight for me was the excellent news that Video Games Tax Relief will be extended until April 2023. This measure is driving growth across our industry, encouraging more start-ups, more investment and more job creation. It’s great to know that Video Games Tax Relief is secure until at least 2023.Caspar Field, CEO, Wish StudiosIt’s bloody hard not to talk about Wish when we released two PlayLink games for Sony this year, but I’ll try. On a personal note, I’ve had some lovely game playing experiences with my kids this year, with my son in Overcooked and various Lego titles, and with my daughter in Yoshi’s Woolly World. Lots of happy memories of both, and a reminder of the simple joy that well-crafted video games can bring, in discovering surprising new worlds and playing delightful mechanics. Seeing those things afresh, through my children’s eyes, has been a marvellous experience.For 2018, the teenager in me cannot wait to play the new Spider-Man game from Insomniac! Looks totally incredible. And, as someone who’s affected by SAD, I also cannot wait for spring, as it’s usually a long, dark, cold run from January to April. Maybe I should hibernate. Or migrate. One of the two…Colin Macdonald, company head, All 4 GamesA highlight has been seeing the community forcing Disney to force EA to backtrack on exploitative business models. Like them or not, microtransactions are clearly here to stay but great to see that incumbents can still be taught not to take their paying audience for granted.And in 2018 I’m most looking forward to seeing whether our Switches are still in regular use after we’ve exhausted Zelda and Mario, and the appeal of the unique hardware format wears off.Personally I think I suspect i’ll still be hunting down more spirit orbs even come Christmas 2018!Dave Ranyard, CEO, Dream Reality InteractiveI have two highlights. One is the Oculus Go launch – a solid VR platform at a consumer price (around the same as a DS used to be). With the announcement of Sony’s VR headset sales and the launch of a mainstream affordable headset from Oculus I think that 2018 will be the year of solid platform growth for VR and by the end of the year we will see VR as a credible commercial platform.Secondly, getting the building work on my house finished and moving from the sofa back to a REAL bed.Simon Hade, co-founder and COO, Space Ape GamesWe launched Fastlane: Road to Revenge this summer which had amazing coverage within the YouTube community and in the same week we also announced that we were joining forces with Supercell. That week was obviously the highlight of 2017 for me personally.”It was great to see optimism return to mobile gaming in a big way. The market is now rewarding people who are bringing something fresh to the platform” Simon Hade, Space ApeMore broadly it was great to see optimism return to mobile gaming in a big way. Through 2015 and 2016 it felt that the mobile charts were all locked up by a small handful of formats, if not games. However, in 2017 this all changed. There are quite a few games at the top of the grossing charts that either didn’t exist or were not on anyone’s radar. There is a lot more investment activity, tons of M&A, and it feels like the market is now rewarding people who are bringing something fresh and interesting to the platform. This is great for gamers and an exciting time to be a developer committed to trying new things. 2018 could belong to anybody.Phil Mansell, CEO, JagexIt’s been something of a world tour for me this year, but GDC was a highlight and I’m already excited for 2018’s conference. With every year, the GDC matures, delivers more inspirational and informative talks, and provides perhaps the best games dev networking of any of the Western conferences. It’s a landmark event in the industry calendar.Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games A personal highlight this year was Jagex becoming a member of UKIE and joining the board of directors. I’ve admired UKIE’s work as a trade body in fighting on behalf of the games industry and helping make the UK such a great place to make games.Ignasi Prat, CMO, TappxFirstly, the advent of 4K native games in console gaming is really exciting. Secondly, the fact that mobile games revenues have exceeded those of the console segment this year. This leading position is supported by in-app purchases and ad monetisation models, the latter of which is being rapidly adopted by publishers. Lastly, 2017 has given us new Blade Runner and Star Wars mainline movies. What more could a geek ask for?!Johannes Heinze, MD international, AppLovin2017 was the year that we started seeing hyper-casual games start dominating the app store charts all over the world. Companies like Voodoo and Ketchapp rose to the top with mobile games defined by short gameplay loops and easy to understand objectives. This means hyper-casual games can easily be picked up by anyone, and require minimal localisation, if at all. While 2017 saw hyper-casual emerge as a trend, 2018 will be the year when more developers and studios realise the huge potential these games have.Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Publishing & Retail newsletter and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesEA leans on Apex Legends and live services in fourth quarterQ4 and full year revenues close to flat and profits take a tumble, but publisher’s bookings still up double-digitsBy Brendan Sinclair 5 hours agoUbisoft posts record sales yet again, delays Skull & Bones yet againPublisher moves away from target of 3-4 premium AAA titles a year, wants to build free-to-play “to be trending toward AAA ambitions over the long term”By Brendan Sinclair 8 hours agoLatest comments Sign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.last_img read more

Jason Rohrer’s “off-Steam” gamble paid off

first_imgJason Rohrer’s “off-Steam” gamble paid offThe indie designer released his new game outside of Valve’s platform, and it eclipsed sales of his last Steam release in one weekMatthew HandrahanEditor-in-ChiefMonday 12th March 2018Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareThe independent game designer Jason Rohrer has made more money in one week than he did in 11 months with his last game – and he did so while avoiding Steam altogether.Rohrer launched his new game, One Hour One Life, last week. Despite having released his PC games via Steam in the past, however, he elected not to do do on this occasion. In a post on his personal blog, Rohrer noted that his 2011 game, Inside a Star-Filled Sky, was the only game released on Steam on the day it came out – a level of exposure that led to sales that, “were huge and career changing.””Fast-forward almost seven years. On Tuesday, February 27, 2018, I counted 83 games launching on Steam that day, the same day that I launched One Hour One Life off Steam,” Rohrer wrote.Rohrer notes the benefits of Steam’s huge audience, review system, and customer loyalty, but he questioned the notion that PC games that shirk Steam are somehow “doomed to failure.” Minecraft, League of Legends, Overwatch and Hearthstone have all built their success outside of Steam, he argued, and the goal should be, “to make a game that’s so good that it won’t matter.”In the years since Inside a Star-Filled Sky, Rohrer observed, Steam has become very crowded and “the game press essentially vanished” – in terms of well-staffed websites that reliably cover new releases, at least.”The new world of video game success seems to be happening mostly outside the game press and independently from the impact of Steam’s crowded new release list” “The new world of video game success seems to be happening mostly outside the game press and independently from the impact of Steam’s crowded new release list,” he added. “I designed One Hour One Life intentionally to operate well in this new paradigm. It is, hopefully, a unique-situation-generator, down to its core, and it’s endlessly replayable.”Specifically, Rohrer created a concept that he believed would resonate with the YouTube community, and naturally spark conversation. In One Hour One Life, each new user enters the game as a baby, and in the space of one hour progresses through an entire human life. Infant players need care from others, all players need to eat and drink to survive, and care when they get older. “It also generates unique situations at a kind of meta level, because civilization collectively advances even when you’re not playing,” Rohrer added. “If you make another video next week, it will show something quite different from the video that you made last week.”While One Hour One Life’s early sales showed the classic trend of “exponential decay” following its day of release, its performance grew in strength. As Rohrer noted, while the games press and Steam used to allow for virality in short bursts around launch, on YouTube “these things take time to cook and build… YouTube videos take time to make.”March 9 was the game’s best day for sales by a significant distance, more than a week after it was first released. Rohrer’s last game to launch on Steam, The Castle Doctrine, made $70,000 in 11 months, and One Hour One Life has already eclipsed that total – without the necessity of paying a 30 per cent cut to Valve.Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games I realized today that in just over a week, One Hour One Life has brought in nearly as much as what The Castle Doctrine brought in over 44 weeks. And The Castle Doctrine’s graphs, both on and off Steam, always had the classic exponential fall-off after the launch spike.”Given that I’ve been working on this game for three years already and have at least two more years of work to go, the revenue generated by this game during launch week has not come at all close to making it a financial success,” Rohrer said. “However, it does look like it might be operating in a new paradigm of public interest in games, which is a slow build up to steady growth over the long haul.”There is a lot more detail in Jason Rohrer’s original blog post, which is well worth your time.Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Publishing & Retail newsletter and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesEA leans on Apex Legends and live services in fourth quarterQ4 and full year revenues close to flat and profits take a tumble, but publisher’s bookings still up double-digitsBy Brendan Sinclair 4 hours agoUbisoft posts record sales yet again, delays Skull & Bones yet againPublisher moves away from target of 3-4 premium AAA titles a year, wants to build free-to-play “to be trending toward AAA ambitions over the long term”By Brendan Sinclair 8 hours agoLatest comments Sign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.last_img read more