Relief for developers? Apple app downloads pick up in May while marketing costs dip

For much of this year, the number of downloads in the Apple App Store has dropped, and the cost of acquiring new users — the basic marketing that developers do in order to get people to buy apps or virtual goods — has been going up. But developers got a little relief in the month of May, according to indices tracked by mobile ad firm Fiksu.

30 (rushed) minutes with Demon’s Souls

A few weeks ago, I wrote about three games I'm too afraid to play (I forget what the name of that article was, but I'm sure it wasn't on-the-nose at all). One of those fearful titles was From Software's PlayStation 3-exclusive role-playing game Demon's Souls, which frightened me because everyone keeps telling me how freakishly difficult it is. But I'm 31 years old and far too "mature" to let a bunch of ones and zeroes give me the willies, so long story short, I own a copy of Demon's Souls now.

Indie fighting game Divekick exposed me as a fraud

While I’m nowhere near the level of the best fighting-game players in the world, I’d like to believe that I am a somewhat knowledgeable and decent competitor. I enjoy going into training mode and trying different techniques out. I wrote a four-page article about the history of Street Fighter IV. I can't dispatch players with the ease of Ricky Ortiz or break a game apart like the combo- and glitch-finding monster Desk, but being able to discuss these highly technical titles in a way that people can understand has to count for something right?

Players take indie games for granted

Indie releases represent a step toward a new era of gaming where Call of Duty doesn’t dominate the market, and bigger titles are created with the same love and passion as their less-mainstream counterparts.

Square Enix is using a quirky game show to promote Quantum Conundrum

While many publishers promote new releases with simple banners or trailers, Square Enix is going a step further with its latest title, Quantum Conundrum. SE is teaming up with production company Iam8bit to produce The Super Dimensional Quantum Learning’s Problems and Solutions Gametime Spectacular. It’s a game show, and yes, that’s the actual name.

Kickstarter signifies the beginning of a crowdfunding revolution

Ah, the Kickstarter nay-sayers. A few months ago, when Double Fine's Tim Schafer managed to fund his point-and-click adventure game (code-named Double Fine Adventure) in less than eight hours, the mass copy/paste machine that we call the Internet was screaming more or less unanimously that it was not possible to raise more than an indie budget through crowdfunding. A month later, when Schafer had managed to get over 3 million dollars (and still counting, since they are now accepting PayPal orders), the popular wisdom had slightly changed to: "Well, it’s Tim Schafer, and it’s adventure games, but this probably won't happen again."

The FIFA effect: Games that transcend the traditional community

Video games are often viewed as a very superficial medium with little depth, substance, or tangible significance. While the argument that games are in fact art has been beaten to death, another dimension of substance and significance does exist. Games frequently have the ability to introduce people to whole communities of peers with similar interests or, in several cases, to communities that transcend the medium.

Past sales point to a ‘win’ for Nintendo with the 3DS XL

Nintendo’s announcement of the Nintendo 3DS XL is exciting news for the company, if sales of its DSi XL are any indication. Made specifically for older players who are more interested in a bigger screen than they are in a console that fits in their pocket, the DSi XL sold over 12 million systems since it launched on November 21, 2009, in Japan, roughly 8 percent of all Nintendo DS sales. And if DSi XL trends hold true, this success will continue for the 3DS XL.