Reuters is running an interesting story on the present - and future - of digital distribution in the game industry.  Among the facts:    "17 percent of games sold in 2008 by PC gamers were digitally downloaded...digitally downloaded games will account for roughly 2 percent of industry sales this year, or around $400 million."  DD games are expected to "double annually for a few years, to $800 million in 2010 and $1.6 billion by 2011."

This comes a day after Turbine announced that their game, Dungeons and Dragons Online, would now be available for free.  The business model will be built on microtransactions - selling gamers content the enhance the game play experience.  This model isn't new.  Microtranscations have fueled a virtual economy -  and underground - in massively multiplayer online games for year.  A Korean game called Crazyracing Kartrider has been a pioneer of this. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before this craze finally and fully takes hold here. 

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Deep Learning Could Bring the Concert Experience Home

The century-old quest for truly realistic sound production is finally paying off

12 min read
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Image containing multiple aspects such as instruments and left and right open hands.
Stuart Bradford
Blue

Now that recorded sound has become ubiquitous, we hardly think about it. From our smartphones, smart speakers, TVs, radios, disc players, and car sound systems, it’s an enduring and enjoyable presence in our lives. In 2017, a survey by the polling firm Nielsen suggested that some 90 percent of the U.S. population listens to music regularly and that, on average, they do so 32 hours per week.

Behind this free-flowing pleasure are enormous industries applying technology to the long-standing goal of reproducing sound with the greatest possible realism. From Edison’s phonograph and the horn speakers of the 1880s, successive generations of engineers in pursuit of this ideal invented and exploited countless technologies: triode vacuum tubes, dynamic loudspeakers, magnetic phonograph cartridges, solid-state amplifier circuits in scores of different topologies, electrostatic speakers, optical discs, stereo, and surround sound. And over the past five decades, digital technologies, like audio compression and streaming, have transformed the music industry.

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