Speaking of characters and homemade though, Rach emailed to tell me that a bunch of Etsy people have had takedown notices, cease and desists, from Namco because of unauthorized use of Pac-Man.
Hardly anyone has mentioned it, Faith (Pixelated Creations)
made a reference on Twitter, pointing out that, like my stuff, the
'game images' Namco are calling copyright on weren't even the original
sprites, but I'm guessing most people are feeling a bit intimidated to
[...] It seems a shame - it's not like most Etsyers are even
making a profit for the time spent on their creations, and certainly
wouldn't be making them if they weren't huge fans already.
Namco. Craftants are , as Rach says, your biggest fans: they help spread icon-love, and they help your brand. Let them continue. Or if it's about money, why not encourage them, authorise them for free, and take a small cut. If it's about quality, take note: there is no such thing as a brand-harming craft, because the love is evident in all of it.
Today it is very hard to launch a new game without spending more than
$100,000 to “seed” it and attract a critical mass of users, unless the
game is of exceptional quality and you can cross link from existing
Zynga and Playfish and co have enough presence, size and variety of offering to cross-link their own games. But what if you're not so big? Applifier might help.
J-Dating. Flirting games. Love games. I haven't played any yet and I SO WANT TO. Check this one out:
Real Host Love is a Japanese cell phone game for ladies. It's a
potboiler dating game. The protagonist is a female office worker who
lives with her mother. Her mother is in a traffic accident, and her
bills were paid by a mysterious young man. He leaves behind a lighter
that reads "Club Confidential". The game follows the female office
worker into the world of host bar "Club Confidential".
Come on. Why isn't the "west" doing anything like this (or is it - let me know!)? I would commission this stuff tomorrow. In fact, I'm going to. I kinda want Real Host Love crossed with Phoenix Wright crossed with Katamari Damacy. Also, Cooking Papa. Also, Animal Crossing meets High School Musical. Hello boys!