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“Beyond Minnows and Whales: Reconstructing Mobile Gaming for the Cross-Platform Franchise”

Citation:
Steirer, Gregory and Matthew T. Payne. “Beyond Minnows and Whales: Reconstructing Mobile Gaming for the Cross-Platform Franchise.” White Paper research report presented to Warner Bros. Digital Distribution as part of the Connected Viewing Initiative sponsored by Warner Bros. and the University of California at Santa Barbara (2015).

Executive Summary:
This project identifies and evaluates possible methods of employing mobile gaming apps so as to support and increase consumption of cross-platform gaming franchises. In particular, we sought to analyze mobile gaming models that could drive engagement of cross-platform franchise games through connectivity features. We used market analysis, interface analysis, and small-scale focus testing among student gamers in order to identify the most promising engagement and cross-platform connectivity mechanisms given the current state of the mobile market and Warner Bros.’ own specific franchise and genre priorities. After producing an overview of the market and a general taxonomy of connectivity mechanisms, we examined the functionality of cross-platform interfaces according to three criteria: connectivity, visual/haptic design, and behavioral incentives. Though we expect publishers to continue to experiment with cross-platform franchise design over the next few years, our research suggests that unlockables represent the best mobile-to-console connectivity mechanism for their desirability and simplicity. Once we had concluded our primary research, we then applied our findings to the nascent WBPlay system so as to suggest how our research might inform WBIE’s future strategy with respect to cross-platform apps.

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“Key Issues in Digital Ecosystem Design and Implementation”

Citation:

Steirer, Gregory & Payne, Matthew Thomas. “Key Issues in Digital Ecosystem Design and Implementation.” White Paper research report presented to Warner Bros. Digital Distribution as part of the Connected Viewing Initiative sponsored by Warner Bros. and the University of California at Santa Barbara (2014).

Abstract:

Reflective of increased industry convergence, this project examines digital game and video distribution within a comparative frame to highlight how these models can be developed and applied across divisions. In a media distribution landscape awash with diverse models of content delivery, the video game industry has pursued a policy of experimentation and innovation with respect to the digital distribution of their goods and services and has therefore upended earlier approaches to monetization and radically changed consumers’ relationships to games and game-related properties. These models of digital game distribution have important implications for the digital distribution of long-form video, and this project will examine how these models could be adapted to “gamify” video distribution.

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“Wound Raider: Authorizing Trauma in Lara Croft’s Origin Story”

Citation:

Payne, Matthew T. & Derek Frank. “Wound Raider: Authorizing Trauma in Lara Croft’s Origin Story.” In Media Res: a Media Commons Project. 13 March 2013.

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“Broadband of Brothers: Fostering Gameplay Across Screens”

Citation:
Payne, Matthew Thomas. “Broadband of Brothers: Fostering Gameplay Across Screens.” White Paper presented to Warner Bros. Digital Distribution. Sponsored by Warner Bros. and the University of California at Santa Barbara (2012).

Executive Summary:
This report evaluates the efficacy of second screen applications to incentivize repeated gameplay sessions in online, multiplayer video games. Specifically, this research project analyzes the multiplatform support applications for two best-selling military shooters: “Elite,” for Activision’s Modern Warfare 3, and “Battlelog,” for Electronic Arts’ Battlefield 3. During the project’s six-week data gathering phase, fifteen participants kept detailed journals chronicling their hundreds of hours of collective gameplay while using these support apps. The participants also completed numerous questionnaires during that period. The data was later coded and analyzed to assess if “Elite” and “Battlelog” positively affected the participants’ online experiences. The report finds that the second screen applications amplified participants’ engagement with the video games because “Elite” and “Battlelog” gave the participants insider knowledge and strategies for subsequent play sessions.

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“Advergaming and Niche Branding”

Gurney, David & Payne, Matthew T. “Advergaming and Niche Branding.” In Media Res: a Media Commons Project. 18 August 2011.

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“Video Game Wii-ealism”

Citation:

Payne, Matthew T. “Video Game Wii-ealism.” In Media Res: a Media Commons Project. 19 July 2007.