Categories
Other essays

“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.

Categories
Other essays

“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.

Categories
Articles (non-refereed)

“Redesigning Game Industry Studies”

Citation:

Payne, Matthew T. & Steirer, Gregory. “Redesigning Game Industry Studies.” Creative Industries Journal 7.1 (May 2014): 67-71. Solicited for inclusion.

First Paragraph:
“What exactly is a video game? How do we as gamers experience its liminal bounds? Moreover, how do we as scholars delimit those experiential parameters for the purposes of study? These are, of course, enduring questions for game studies. However, in the coming years, as digital games continue to grow in popularity, we believe that these questions will become increasingly germane to creative industries studies as well. Individual video games, both as discrete cultural texts and as engines of play, will become harder to pin down in response to the dual challenges posed by saturated markets and digital distribution. In other words, as cultural producers create more kinds of games for more kinds of players, defining what a game is with any certainty will require updated research tools and methodologies. In this piece we want to highlight two research areas that will be vital for future media industries scholarship in general, and games studies in particular: distribution and marketing.” (p. 67)

Categories
Edited Book Chapters

“Manufacturing Militainment: Video Game Producers and Military Brand Games”

Citation:

Payne, Matthew Thomas. “Manufacturing Militainment: Video Game Producers and Military Brand Games.” War Isn’t Hell, It’s Entertainment: Essays on Visual Media and Representation of Conflict. Edited by Rikke Schubart, Fabian Virchow, Debra White-Stanley & Tanja Thomas. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2009: 238-255.

From the anthology’s Introduction:

“We should ask ourselves what the military is thinking when producing video games as instruments of public relations, recruitment, and training. This is exactly what Matthew Thomas Payne does in his essay based on interviews with the head producers of America’s Army (2002), America’s Army: Rise of a Soldier (2005), and Full Spectrum Warrior (2004). These producers become new media cultural brokers whose visions of war and opinions about representation and realism are immensely important in shaping the games that entertain millions of users globally.” (p. 8)