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July 06, 2010


Adrian Forest

Care to elaborate on how you think "Apple has fucked up, this year, bigtime"?

Stefan Hayden

1. I would have said this was inevitable. but I guess that's really only true that google seems to be delivering on their promises.

2. I agree! I feel like games that are truly fun have yet to make it in to facebook.. not that I follow it very closely.

3. hard to refute. probably always true these days. it's hard to see the web 2 or even 4 years out some times.

4. I wonder if we need to wait for japan to get in on this before real dev time is put in to these kinds of games.

5. Joe Danger does look cool. I feel like PS3 is building a real family of games. not sure if it's enough to really save it though.


#1.I second Adrian's question. I hate their closed ecosystem, but much to my chagrin, it seems to be working. What've they messed up?

#3. I've been thinking the same thing, and funny enough, using the same analogy. I recently watched the fabulous documentary "Riding Giants" about 3 of the pioneers of different evolutions in big wave surfing, and have game industry parallels for the first two. Now wondering who and what the third is?

#5. Amen. I don't own one yet, but Joe Danger alone may push me over the edge. I heard rumor they were turned down for XBLA because of overlap with Trials HD. If that's true, shame on MS.

Lastly, I think the "5 things I'm thinking right now" has the makings of a good meme. I'll have a go at mine this evening.


Since my Blackberry tracking ball just jammed and my Xbox just served up an extra-large "red ring of death" ... a new Android and PS3 seems just about right!

Dan Hon

1. Android will "win" in terms of marketshare, but Apple are going to continue to be a much bigger contender than they were in the Mac/Windows era. I'm not sure that Apple have fucked up, though.

2. Yes. I've got a big chart I'm using internally that shows the drop-off in Farmville post Facebook removing game/app notifications and moving over to having apps send email. It's a shell game right now, and this is *incredibly* reassuring to me.

3. Yes, and no. More likely on the web as a platform rather than as a device (although the first Android platform game to scale to Farmville-style 80MAU will be pretty awesome - how long until that, though?)

4. Ha, yes!

5. It already was when Uncharted 2 came out :) Also: echochrome2 looks WAY MORE FUN.


1. I'm baffled by how well the newest iPhone is doing, considering it's just more of the same. I'm not sure this is the year that Apple will pay for ignoring Android, though.

2. It's already happening. Since they removed some of the more spam-like elements from the player recruiting dynamics of certain Facebook games, they've been hemorrhaging players by the millions. When the game's "rewards" consists purely of pushing those addiction buttons, the fact that it also doesn't demand much effort from the player may balance it out into the most minimal game possible, but doesn't do much for player retention.

3. Yeah, and, like the Facebook game frenzy, the only companies to really benefit from it will be the one(s) who got there first. The rest, who show up when they see all the money, will be lapping up the left over crumbs.

4. Agreed. It's one of many unexplored areas that sadly I don't expect to see much activity in any time soon. Unfortunately this is an industry that usually has a hard time dealing convincingly with emotions (other than anger), and all-too-often thinks "mature" means "heh, heh, bewbs."

5. Given the small number of PS3s out there, smart, smaller games like this are the only ones with a real chance of success.

Wow, busy, busy. I envy your productivity... but not your workload.


This was fun!

The Right Now in the title needs asterisks, and yes - Kim - do it! I was thinking just yesterday that Twitter has taken over for many, many people in the immediateness category. What are you thinking right now. Blogs are more and more considered: which requires time.

Unless you do this kind of thing :)


I'm with everyone (not just on this thread) when I ask... explain (1) please? What have they fucked up?

Ian Betteridge

1. Uh huh, sure, and this is the year of Linux on the desktop too (And to answer Dan - they've "fucked up" by making all those billions, the bastards, when they they should have gone down the Google route and not actually had a business model. /me shakes fist at air).

2. Not sure about this. Poker, bingo, etc all seem to be doing pretty well long-term with the "push short term addiction" buttons.

3. I think this is only true if you're measuring success in terms other than actual, proper, real, accountable revenue. It's easy to look like a massive success when all you've actually got is a huge audience who don't spend any money with you and a big profile on TechCrunch. Look out for companies that aren't taking VC money but do have actual revenue streams - and back them.

4. In games? Yeah. But wait for the inevitable slew of vampire/romance bollocks cashing in on Twilight.

5. If you buy one second hand, make sure it's not the one that got pinched from us!

Ian Betteridge

Tsk, my grin tag vanished from that last post. I hate HTML.


The Apple thing. I've been seeing a lot of anti-Apple (by Apple users) sentiment recently, more in the past 6 months that in the past 5 years total, at a guess.

Angriness against: lack of portability of libraries; flaky iPhone4 reception/design; Apple's censorship of iStore apps; no pr0n; performance issues all over the place; no Flash; etc.

Off top of my head. It's not what we used to see around Apple, which was 100% devotion. Apple users are now beginning to sound like Windows users, tbh. Worse, even, due to lack of hax.


Given how Apple has increased its user base in recent years with the iPhone, it would mean that a majority of complaints actually would be coming from Windows users... perhaps they're just a whiny bunch? ;)

Although, seriously, you're probably right in that when there's an increasing number of people using a completely closed system, an increasing number of users are going to be crashing against the limits of that system and getting frustrated.


Heh. Yeah, that's probably it. It also depends how you view success: there's no doubt Apple is Big and Successful, but are they Good? I'd say no, where once I would have said yes.

Sweatshops, DRM, control: it's not the sort of thing *I* value in a company. I don't shop in GAP for the same reasons, or eat McDonalds or buy Coke, etc etc.


(I'm completely screwed if Google ever goes Evil...)


You *still* don't have a PS3, Alice?!?!??!?!


I know! I have a PS2?!??!!!

Ian Betteridge

Sweatshops? You mean Foxconn?

Which also manufactures stuff for Dell, Sony, Intel (if you have a machine with an Intel mobo, it was made by Foxconn in the same factory as Apple's stuff), Philips, Nokia... etc etc etc.

That PS3 you're thinking of getting? Made by Foxconn. Your Wii? Made by Foxconn.

Basically, if you've bought a piece of high tech in the last five years, it was made by Foxconn (AKA Hon Hai Precision).

By the way, the touchscreen on your Android phone by HTC? Made in a sweatshop - http://act.ly/1xf There's even a specific local campaign targeting HTC for a boycott because of it.

You can even get t-shirts! http://emblack.wordpress.com/2010/04/29/campaign-against-sweatshop-htc/


Re: Foxconn - Yes, Andy Grove touched on this in a recent article:


"The company has grown at an astounding rate, first in Taiwan and later in China. Its revenues last year were $62 billion, larger than Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT), Dell (DELL), or Intel. Foxconn employs over 800,000 people, more than the combined worldwide head count of Apple, Dell, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), Intel, and Sony (SNE)"

"Until a recent spate of suicides at Foxconn's giant factory complex in Shenzhen, China, few Americans had heard of the company. But most know the products it makes: computers for Dell and HP, Nokia (NOK) cell phones, Microsoft Xbox 360 consoles, Intel motherboards, and countless other familiar gadgets."


Funny thing is, I remember reading a few years ago that Foxconn was one of the better Chinese manufacturers (in terms of how they treat employees). Of course, since we're talking about China, that could just mean they aren't using any children and/or actual slaves to do the work... the bar is set pretty low there.

Not to mention that all the abuses happening in Chinese sweatshops pale in comparison to the unspeakable horrors occurring in the Congo that are a direct result of the "conflict mineral" trade used in cellphones and computers. Since there isn't any tracking of materials at the moment, it's impossible to tell if the electronics you buy use such material or not. (I think the use of such material is almost guaranteed in the making of cell phones, though.)


OK, my 5 things post:



Intetesting that it's Apple that's getting the negative press tho. Xbox, htc, not so much: they too, in time?

Looking now, big K.

Space Toast

1. In one of those great "Did I win, or...?" moments, I managed to talk a client out of building an iPhone app last year -- in favor of an iPhone site that also got shelved. I agree that the app store is a pain in the ass, but Android as a gaming platform? I can't follow you there. It's too fragmented. The user experience is too unreliable. Handheld gaming is all about the tactile experience; iPhone is years ahead of Android here, and Android is closing the gap about as fast as (Ian is right) Linux on the desktop.

2. I never fell for the whole Facebook gaming thing anyway, so I can't comment. But...

3. ...with JavaScript engines approaching native code performance, SVG still primed for its cue, Canvas, WebGL (I hope -- though I'd prefer SVG 3D) and HTML5, standards-compliant browser gaming IS the next big storm.

4. You've written interesting bits on this before. In the same way that survival horror as a subgenre doesn't really have the same impact without the interactive experience, I fear that romance may require a certain sense of helplessness that static narrative provides. I just haven't seen mechanics that work, except those that deal more with obsession, possession and repression -- which are more what happens when romance goes wrong (Stephanie Meyer).

5. Meh? Meh.

Good thoughts all.

Ian Betteridge

The reason Apple is getting the negative press re using Foxconn is simple: Put "Apple" or "iPhone" in a headline and it will get five times the page views that "Dell", "Intel", "Sony" or anyone else would get. Sad but true.

PC Pro did a story about this recently (http://www.pcpro.co.uk/blogs/2010/07/01/and-thats-why-we-talk-about-the-apple-iphone-4-so-much/). Around 15% of their news stories are about Apple, but in June nearly 75% of their page views came from stories about Apple. It's MENTAL. If anyone actually paid for news, it would be a great time to write about Apple :)


@bob_d Small number of PS3s? C'mon, I can't let that one go. Care to justify that?


Added my five to the mix: http://blog.dwlt.net/post/803651482/5-things-july-2010

Leigh Caldwell

Here's mine. I have a feeling I've got this concept slightly wrong, though...


Thanks for provoking some thoughts on Foxconn too, btw - a post on that is scheduled for later this morning.


DWLT gets quote of the month in my book:

"To anyone who thinks that Android is somehow “better” for developers, you’ve clearly blanked out/weren’t around for the first ten years of mobile games development."

Dan @ Collision Games

"4. Romance/love, the genre, is spectacularly underexplored."

I think this is spot on! In fact, I'm going to explore this now...

hussain @ tablet pc news

Just not , i can admit that apple has lost the hold over tablet market. Its still the first choice of tablet lovers worldwide.

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