Sunday, January 27, 2008

Yet another medium

A couple interesting items from the video game biz. In one piece of news, we learn that Guitar Hero has racked up over a billion dollars in sales. I think that one of the factors that is too often ignored in discussions of the decline of the music and movie business is how much time and money their core audience spends on video games. A billion dollars is a lot of money diverted out of teens' entertainment budgets.

In another item, we find that EA is going to be making on-line games available for free, in an ad-supported format:

Electronic Arts is to release a free online version of the popular Battlefield game to be supported by adverts and micro payments.

The PC game, Battlefield Heroes, will be available only online later this year, and will not be sold in shops.

The move marks EA's first major attempt to tap into new sources of ad-driven revenue in Western markets.

The firm has a free version of its Fifa game in South Korea, earning more than $1m a month through in-game sales.

An inevitable development, I suppose, but also another contributor to media fragmentation. If you want to reach teen and young adult males, should you advertise on radio and TV, or on Battlefield Heroes?

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