Interview to Hype! Magazine: "How much is a game worthy?"

Hype! level 7 cover
How much is a game worthy? In the end of 2007, Radiohead made a revolution in the music distribution business by sharing their last album "In Rainbows on the Internet for free. With the music price going down to zero, and movies cheaper and cheaper, what is the right price to pay for a video game? Specialists on authorship rights and intellectual property talk about a future where games might be... free.

This is how is presented "How much is a game worthy?" article on this month's issue of the Portuguese games magazine "Hype!" by its team, an article written by Jorge Vieira (Hype!'s Operations Director) and where Manuel Luis Rocha (Department Chief on Intellectual Property of the law firm PLMJ), Duarte Nuno Vicente (Director of the Portuguese division of Virgin Play) and myself are interviewed.

Some quotes from the article:

first you have to define your goals: if the goal is to monetise your works, authors shouldn't think that they have to "avoid the free distribution of their works" in order to achieve it. In the music world, for decades artists are sharing their works for free in order to get known enough to get a deal with a record label, or in order to find out where to give concerts.

When talking about the digital world, where the perceived value of a non-physical work is tends to nothing, going free works as a first step in managing to grab user's attention

[obligatory blanket licenses would be] better than what we have now, but far from perfect. What must be done is a reflection on the concept of copyright, why was it created, and if it still makes sense

It is typical to listen someone talking about "how kids nowadays ignore copyright", but isn't it time to think if - for younger people - copyright doesn't make sense anymore? And, if it doesn't for them, does it make sense in the world?"

The trick is obvious: go viral. Make your own game, make demos and put videos on YouTube, publicise it, put them on people's mouths. Give it. Create a community around it, make your users feel as being an important part of your game. Listen your community. Create the game's blog, reply to comments, read the critics, accept suggestions. Get involved with your community, and it will grow.

If you like this article, you might be interested in attending my presentation about "Virtual Worlds: Pass, Present and Future" I'm going to do this Saturday at Tecnonov 2008, an event about Technology and Innovation in Coimbra, Portugal.