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The GamesIndustry.biz Podcast

Weekly news discussion show offering insight into the global video games market for industry professionals. The GI.Biz's world-leading team of experienced trade journalists, who spend each week breaking down the biggest stories, lending their thoughts on the latest trends in the market, and discussing the implications for video games as a business
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Now displaying: 2018
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 23, 2018

Chris and James reflect on the recent Rockstar controversy surrounding the working conditions behind Red Dead Redemption 2 - and, more importantly, ask where the industry goes from here.

We discuss the growing scope of open-world games and the pressure this puts on developers and their resources, plus the decisions behind release dates and how this can drastically impact what a team is able to accomplish.

Finally, we wrap up by talking about how well we expect Red Dead Redemption 2 to perform when it releases later this week, amid a market suffering an ongoing decline in AAA sales (at least in terms of physical retail). And yes, we talk about those shrinking horse testicles.

As always, you can find all your news, analysis and insight 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.

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