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The GamesIndustry.biz Podcast

Fortnightly updates and insight into the global video games market for industry professionals, aspiring developers and more. The GI.Biz's world-leading team of experienced trade journalists will be joined by some of the most notable figureheads and promising talent from the industry, lending their thoughts on the latest trends in the market
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The GamesIndustry.biz Podcast
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Now displaying: Category: general
Feb 15, 2019

James, Rebekah and Haydn discuss the latest industry headlines, starting with the biggest story of the week: Activision's plans to cut 800 jobs despite record revenues.

We debate whether such drastic cuts are necessary, and how Activision could have better handled the revelation. Plus, where does Blizzard fit in the publisher's future plans?

We also touch on the latest Nintendo direct, the ongoing battle for cross-play between developers and PlayStation, and Epic Games' efforts to dismiss rapper 2 Milly's lawsuit over a Fortnite dance.

Feb 6, 2019

Chris, Charlotte, James and Haydn gather to discuss the biggest news of the past few days.

We kick off the episode with the surprising (or is it?) success of Kingdom Hearts 3, having shipped five million copies worldwide and broken series records in various territories.

Following Chris' article, we also debate Electronic Arts' strategy in releasing Apex Legends, the new free-to-play battle royale game in the Titanfall universe, with little to no pre-launch fanfare, and the various factors that might deter a publisher from running a months-long promotional campaign ahead of such a release.

Microsoft's plans to bring Xbox Live support to Nintendo Switch and mobile are in tune with predictions we have previously made about the strengthening relationship between the two platform holders.

And finally, we ponder the latest in the heated discussion around Epic Games Store and its timed exclusivity deal for Metro Exodus.

As always, you can get all your daily news, insight and analysis into the world behind video games at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Jan 14, 2019

Following the news that Bungie and Activision are parting ways, the GamesIndustry.biz team discuss where the AAA publisher goes from here.

Whether part of the ten-year agreement between the two firms or due to a change in strategy, there's no denying that the break-up leaves a Destiny-shaped hole in Activision's limited portfolio (NB: We mean Activision specifically, which is left with Call of Duty and the Crash/Spyro remakes -- the wider company of Activision Blizzard is doing just fine).

Matt, Chris and James ponder whether Activision will seek its next billion-dollar franchise from another third-party studio like Bungie or perhaps turn to the many developers it already owns (most of which are working on Call of Duty) to come up with fresh ideas.

We also talk about the company's efforts in other areas, from esports to film production, and whatever happened to that revived Sierra brand the publisher so proudly relaunched a few years back.

As always, you can get your daily dose of news, insight and analysis into the world behind video games at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Jan 4, 2019

Brendan, Chris, James and Rebekah kick off the year with their predictions for the year ahead.

We've already covered analysts' predictions and industry leaders' most anticipated games on the site, but now it's time for us to offer our own take on what 2019 has in store for the games market.

Topics we explore include: the increased competition among PC stores, thanks to the rise of Epic and Discord's offerings; the growing speculation as to whether we'll see next generation consoles unveiled; and what challenges Nintendo faces in the Switch's third year.

We also share our most anticipated 2019 games and why we're looking forward to them.

As always, you can get your daily dose of news, insight and analysis into the world behind video games at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Dec 21, 2018

We round out the year with a thorough discussion of our favourite titles from the past twelve months.

The entire GamesIndustry.biz team is on hand for this episode, each with their pick (or, in a few cases, picks) for best game of the year. While we somehow managed to reach a consensus last year -- jointly recognising Zelda: Breath of the Wild as the greatest 2017 offering -- there's a much broader range of titles to discuss this year.

In case you haven't already read our Games of the Year article, we'll offer some hints: this year the team selected two PlayStation 4 exclusives, one Xbox, a handful of superb indie titles and even a premium mobile title.

There may also be some tangents involving games-themed Christmas jumpers and George Romero zombie movies.

Intrigued? Listen to the full discussion to find out more.

Dec 5, 2018

In light of increased scrutiny around loot boxes in full-price games, Brendan and James discuss how in industry is (and should be) handling this divisive monetisation mechanic.

During the episode, we touch on the dangers that legislation like that imposed in Belgium and the Netherlands pose to publishers, the IGDA's recommendations on how games firms can show it is implementing loot boxes responsibly, and the different mindsets the prevalance of this monetisation is creating among players.

As always, you can find all your news, insight and analysis into the world behind video games at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Nov 21, 2018

This week, we're joined by Resolution Games CEO and virtual reality proponent Tommy Palm to discuss the ongoing hurdles the immersive technology must overcome.

At a time when skepticism around the future of VR is on the rise, with with past champions declaring it's nigh on impossible to build a business around it, Resolution Games continues to invest in both virtual and augmented reality projects. The firm recently secured $7.5 million in a seed round, bringing the firm's valuation up to $87.5 million.

But, Palm tells us, it's not easy. On the show we discuss the limited audience and how it might be grown, and the potential for new standalone headsets like Oculus Quest. 

We also touch on the type of experiences that are likely to drive virtual reality going forward, and the opportunities afforded by augmented reality.

As always, you can get more news, insight and analysis into the world behind video games at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Nov 12, 2018

This week we're joined by Reality Gaming Group co-founder Tony Pearce to discuss the changing landscape of cryptocurrency and blockchain-based games and services.

Following a surge of interest in the technology at the tail end of 2017 and the headline-grabbing devaluing of prominent cryptocurrency Bitcoin - plus tales of scams and failed projects funded by Initial Coin Offerings - we look at how the opportunities for games firms have changed.

Pearce also reflects on what his company has learned in trying to establish the cryptocurrency behind Reality Clash, an augmented reality shooter for mobiles that allows players to buy and sell in-game weapons with real-world value.

As always, you can find all your news, insight and analysis into the world behind video games at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Oct 12, 2018

In the wake of Microsoft's Project xCloud announcement, James, Matt and Brendan ponder the possibilities for game streaming. While undoubtedly a disruptive force in the games industry, what role will the technology play in Xbox's future - or that of video games in general?

We discuss the hurdles that Microsoft - or any would-be streaming service provider - need to overcome to appease consumers and deliver the convenience the public has come to expect from Spotify and Netflix. Plus, we consider the implications for developers and how this might lead to the rise of exclusive titles built specifically for streaming.

While Microsoft naturally dominates the conversation, we also touch on EA's streaming ambitions, Google's Project Stream, Nintendo's experiments with streaming Switch titles in Japan, and more.

As always, you can find more news, insight and analysis into the world behind video games at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Aug 7, 2018

This week, we're joined by Simon Smith, managing director of family games publisher Thumbfood. 

Smith joins us to discuss why the family and kids games market needs "a kick up the arse" on consoles, and why a wider audience is the key to driving PlayStation 4 past 100 million sales.

We also touch on how to avoid the mistakes made by previous publishers with an interest in family games, how to compete with the flood of free-to-play kids titles on mobile, why educational titles might stand a better chance of breaking through the noise, and why Crash Bandicoot's ongoing success indicates there is demand from the mainstream for more family-friendly games.

As always, you can find more news, insight and analysis into the world behind video games at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Jul 26, 2018

Recorded during Develop:Brighton 2018, we're joined by former Valve writer Chet Faliszek to discuss the realities and possibilities of AI in video games.

Faliszek shares how he believes AI can be used to build more systemic gameplay, and how this can create more unique experiences for the players. He also touches on why mid-sized studios are best placed to take advantage of this rapidly developing technology, and drops a few hints about his first project with UK developer Bossa Studios.

The discussion also covers the difference between player agency and interactivity, why writing more generically actually makes dialogue feel more natural, and how games can offer more options than 'kill all your enemies'.

As always, you can find more news, insight and analysis into the world behind video games at www.gamesindustry.biz

Jul 17, 2018

We're joined this episode by indie figurehead Mike Bithell, developer of Thomas Was Alone, Volume and bitesize text adventure Subsurface Circular.

Recorded just a few days after the surprise launch of the latter's spiritual successor, Quarantine Circular, we speak to Bithell about the advantages and potential of releasing games without any marketing build-up.

We also discuss the benefits of developing shorter games, the limitations this creates, and why embracing these limitations is the key to crafting a tight and easily digestible experience.

As always, you can find more news, analysis and insight into the world behind video games at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Jul 2, 2018

This week, we're joined by Geogrify founder and ex-IGDA director Kate Edwards to discuss one of the less-highlighted challenges of working in the video games industry: Ageism.

Recorded at E3 2018, the discussion explores who is being affected by ageism in the industry, and the impact on both victims but also the companies neglecting them. 

Edwards also shares the process behind her recent 50 Over 50 list, which highlights both notable figureheads within the industry and those who have perhaps been denied the spotlight throughout their careers.

Finally, she offers advice to industry members of all levels on how we can combat ageism.

As always, you can find more news, insight and analysis into the world behind video games at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Jun 21, 2018

The entire GamesIndustry.biz team convene to reflect on this year's major games showcase in Los Angeles.

Instead of talking through every announcement (which listeners are no doubt familiar with), we each choose a topic or trend that emerged from the show and discuss how it impacts the industry in general.

Throughout the episode we discuss the growing presence of consumers at E3, the continuing saturation of shooters and violent action adventures as the tentpole titles of the show, and the (glacially) slow shift towards a more diverse range of protagonists.

We also touch on the impressive roster of Avalanche Studios, what the future holds for the four developers acquired by Microsoft and where the console market is heading as rumours persist of a PlayStation 5 and a new Xbox.

As always, you can find more insight, news and analysis at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Jun 4, 2018

The full GamesIndustry.biz editorial team unites to discuss the upcoming video games extravaganza that is E3. Working through the major press conferences that always serve as the tentpole for this annual event, we discuss what we hope to see from each platform holder and publisher in terms of both line-up and strategy, as well as speculate on some of the games that might get announced.

The discussion ranges from Microsoft's lack of first-party titles and over-reliance on external publishers to Sony's oddly scattered approach to arranging game announcements before, during and after its showcase. As for Nintendo, what will the Mario maker focus on in its Direct and what will be revealed during the divisive (and very long) treehouse sessions.

We also touch on third-party publishers Bethesda, Ubisoft, Electronic Arts and Square Enix. A mix of leaks and pre-E3 announcements means much of these companies' line-ups is already known, but what surprises will there be? And did someone mention 'battle royale'?

As always, you can find more news, insight and analysis at www.gamesindustry.biz, where we will of course be covering E3 extensively.

May 18, 2018

Hot off the announcement of the Xbox Adaptive Controller, we're joined by SpecialEffect's Dr Mick Donegan, Joe Morgan and Bill Donegan - a trio of experts in the field of helping disabled gamers play the latest video games.

This episode begins with an insight into the making of the Adaptive Controller - for which SpecialEffect was one of the consulting charities - and how it marries different forms of input to open up gaming to as wide a range of people as possible, no matter what disability may have hindered them in the past.

We also discuss the next steps for the industry and whether we can expect more devices like this to appear, as well as general tips about how developers can make their games more welcoming for disabled gamers with considerations as obvious as customisable controls to more practice and tutorial areas.

Apr 21, 2018

This week we're joined by Mark Estdale, founder of leading voice production firm OMUK. Drawing on his experience directing actors for games ranging from best-selling PlayStation blockbuster Horizon: Zero dawn to Telltale's Game of Thrones series and indie hit hue, he discusses the elements that add up to a great performance in video games.

We discuss a brief history of voice acting in games, the reasons why A-list screen actors aren't necessarily best suited to the medium, and the importance of giving performers as much context as possible when they record.

There is also advice for studios looking to add voice acting on a low budget - even phone recordings can be of use - and how aspiring actors might get started in the field.

As always, you can find more news, analysis and insight into the world behind video games at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Apr 4, 2018

We're joined by Kish Hirani, industry veteran and chief technology officer at new virtual reality start-up Terra Virtua.

Recorded during the official unveiling of the subscription-based VR platform, this episode discusses the remaining barriers between virtual reality and mainstream adoption.

Not only does this involve the ongoing search for that elusive 'killer app', but also a firmer understanding of what works in VR, the connection between the tech and rollercoasters, and the need for standards across the increasing number of devices on the market.

As always, you can find all your news, analysis and insight into the world behind video games at www.gamesindustry.biz

Mar 7, 2018

James, Brendan and Haydn discuss the impact and implications of Mountains' debut title, Florence: a short but definitely sweet love story built around gameplay vignettes.

We ponder the lessons to be learned from this acclaimed titles, both in appealing to a broader audience and exploring the wider remit of what video games can be. We also discuss other titles and developers attempting to break away from the typical gaming fare of bigger, better killfests.

We also compare Florence to Final Fight and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - it makes sense if you listen in.

Once done with this episode, why not read our interview with creator Ken Wong (https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2017-11-01-ken-wong-gamings-remit-is-up-for-us-to-challenge) or email your thoughts to james.batchelor@gamesindustry.biz?

Feb 28, 2018

This week we're joined by Kelly Wallick, CEO of Indie Megabooth and chairperson of the Independent Games Festival.

Wallick shares her views on the current state of the industry for independent developers, touching on the issues of discoverability, the varying success rate for studios that have previously exhibited at the Megabooth and the hard work that goes into sustaining an indie studio.

She also discusses the need for better curation on digital stores, plans for this year's Independent Games Festival, and some of her favourite recent indie games.

As always, you can find more news, analysis and insight into the world behind video games at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Jan 25, 2018

This week, we're joined by Paul Barnes of App Annie and Adam Telfer of Chatterbox Games to discuss the future of the free-to-play market on mobile.

Recorded at Pocket Gamer Connects, we ponder the most recent trends and shifts in the mobile market, the impact the ongoing loot box debate might have on free-to-play games, and how the monetisation model might in the coming years.

Barnes and Telfer also offer advice on best practices and how to ensure your free-to-play mechanics are effective but not offensive.

As always, you can get more news, analysis and insight at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Dec 20, 2017

The GamesIndustry.biz team reflects on the games we have most enjoyed over the course of the year, ranging from major AAA blockbusters to mobile hidden gems – and, of course, a certain Switch game.

Our collective game of the year may not come as much of a surprise, but listen in to find out which other, more unusual titles we've been playing across all platforms.

We also discuss which games we're most looking forward to in 2018.

Dec 15, 2017

We're privileged to be joined by three prominent actors from the world of video games, all of whom appeared together in Assassin's Creed Origins. Our guests this week are Abubakar Salim (who plays main character Bayek), Alix Wilton Regan (Bayek's wife Aya) and Zora Bishop (Cleopatra).

The trio share their experiences with performing in video games – which in Alix's case stretches back to 2009's Dragon Age: Origins – as well as the merits of voice recording versus motion capture and the challenges actors face as publishers turn their attention to established Hollywood talent.

As always you can find all your news, analysis and insight at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Nov 28, 2017

We're joined this week by Gary D Nissenbaum, founder of the Nissenbaum Law Group, to talk about licensing out your IP.

Gary talks us through the pitfalls to watch out for, such as termination rights, and offers advice on how developers can ensure their property isn't abused by licensees.

The discussion covers everything from merchandise to cosplay, and even touches on how best to secure other licenses that you can develop games around. 

As always, you can find all your news, insight and analysis at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Nov 10, 2017

This week, we're joined by a quartet of VR pioneers: Dave Ranyard, founder of Dream Reality Interactive and former Sony London developer; Stuart Whyte, director of VR product development at SOny London; Anna Hollinrake, senior artist at Climax Studios; and Simon Barratt, director and founder of Cooperative Innovations.

Recorded during this week's Develop:VR conference, this episode discusses the next steps for virtual reality, the ongoing hunt for that killer app, the importance of social aspects in VR titles, the evolution of out-of-home VR and advice on how to best get started when developing for the technology.

As always, you can find all your industry news, analysis and insight at www.gamesindustry.biz.

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