IBM's First Ever Live Web Broadcast Conference on Massively Multiplayer Online Games

I'm happy to inform you that our IBM-MMOG Blog is now joining the Brand New GameTomorrow Blog !
The discussions on MMOG issues will continue there !
You'll be redirected to GameTomorrow within 15 sec.
See you on GameTomorrow.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Discuss the games of tomorrow

I'd like to recommend a brand new blog discussing the future of games.
What are the next generation games going to look like? You probably pretty much know, don't you? What about the generation after that?
This blog really provides a good understanding of the game market today, and try define the future of gaming and game-related technologies, focusing on the trajectory of gaming technologies, third-generation user interfaces, massive online environments, and the interaction of gaming and IT.
I already joined the blog and found key issues to discuss
about MMOG! See you there!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Is Roland Garros becoming an MMOG ?

You probably saw it. Over 1,500,000 surfers opened it and 28,000 online players joined this new MMOG!
To celebrate its 20 years of partnership with Roland Garros, IBM offered surfers a free MMOG, allowing them to enter a clay court and challenge each other. During the game, players could keep an eye on the real tournament scoreboard. After about 6 minutes of playing, lots of players eventually stayed on the site to chat with their opponent.
How to play? Put the mouse over the expanding Flash banner and play! Where to find the banner? On the most popular french websites... and during the tournament! This was a 2 week long operation designed by Ogilvy for IBM and it was a great success.
A new kind of MMOG is born, called "Advergaming", half advertising, half gaming! I'm sure we will see it again, soon. Don't you think?

Hurry up! You can still play the game until end of June at !!!!!!

CBS Interview on Online Game Industry

The increasing popularity of "massively multiplayer" online games involving tens of thousands of players provides a business opportunity for IBM, as Steve Canepa, IBM V.P. of Global Media & Entertainment Industry, invited by CBS MarketWatch, explains.
Watch his interview at !
Steve Canepa, IBM

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

All the questions from the conference...

As I promised you, every question asked during the web broadcast has been posted here. Below you will find the questions answered by the speakers and then the other questions. Patty, Geoff, Stephen, Chris and Raph will soon come to answer them!

Questions answered by Patty Fry, Global Executive, Online games & DCC, IBM

  1. What's the future of the RETAIL market for games, given the trends towards games download, wider bandwidth, piracy ... What are the key strategic priorities for games retailers? (From François)
  2. Do you foresee that commerce should be integrated into games?


Questions answered by Geoff Heath, CEO, NC Soft Europe

  1. With all the next generation consoles including the online capabilities, do you think your MMOGs will end up on them and will they reach a bigger audience?
  2. What are the most important pieces of advice you can give to company working in community management?
  3. What is the next big thing in MMOG for NC soft?
  4. Is Guild Wars, with its no fee model, going to change the MMOG market for better or worse?


Questions answered by Chris Chung, VP Game Publishing, NC Soft

  1. Guild War changed MMOG dramatically, is something like that likely to happen again?
  2. Can online advertising and MMOGs mix be a good thing?
  3. How many concurrent players are there at peak hours in GuildWars today? (From Nathan)
  4. Could you clarify the relationship between NC Soft and Arenanet? (from Desiree)
  5. What are the other projects you have in preparation? We heard a lot about Tabula Rasa, the new game from Lord British. Where are you with this one?
  6. Could you describe your R&D department? Which percentage of your budget are you spending in R&D? (From Doug)
  7. Will you make the game accessible via console in Japan given the market? if not how will you attract gamers? (From Virginie)
  8. Are there no differences in gameplay preferences between different regions around the globe? Is the kind of gameplay experience offered by Guild Wars well liked all over?
  9. How do you decide how much free content to release to keep players interested while still getting them to pay for expansion packs? (From David)
  10. What are the key challenges associated with speeding up game development and the associated costs?
  11. How many server CPUs are in each data centre? (From Nathan)
  12. How many sales have you had in Korea vs. US vs. Europe? (From Jason)


Questions answered by Raph Koster, Chief Creative Officer, SOE

  1. Raph, you tell about the development costs constantly growing up. Please tell, does your company use external game development, do you outsource to decrease the development budget? How a development company, say, from Ukraine, which has low development costs but high talent and potential, haw can such a company become your potential external developer? Are you considering the possibility of external development at all?
  2. What has to happen in the industry for the financial models to work?
  3. Do you see convergence between music and online games industries?
  4. When asked about the most challenging design/technical issues, Richard Garriott expressed: "the devil is in the details": do you agree this is the next challenge for MMOGs and what should be done to address it?


Video On Demand

I received questions asking if you could have a copy of the presentations. I’m glad to inform you that the whole conference is now available for viewing on the Video On Demand Service at !

From eric to IBM

Mobile games are a real opportunity for creative studios - How IBM can support and help designers in optizing game design and dev (i.e. screen size, memory usage, bandwith etc...) ?

From pluban to IBM

Could you give me the name of an IBM contact in France dealing with games over here?

From tanguy to IBM

How IBM will help the community to create brand new games, Marcel?
How many people in IBM involve in the GAMES industry?
How big is NX PUBLISHING in terms of employees?

From ddc to Raph Koster

What do you think the future holds for secondary markets and item exchange in MMOGs?

From rademacherme to Raph Koster

What room is there for Indie MMOG developers in the future? --Ricardo Rademacher

From jaakko to Raph Koster

How much of the direction of design is really up to the clever designers, as opposed to CEOs and marketing (who have different goals and talents? Could you get millions for AI R ?

From ren to Raph Koster

Data = number of objects, not number of bits, right? Ren

From salesgames to Chris Chung

Is NCSOFT interested in using external development to make the games, and how it is possible to become your external developer?

From eric to Chris Chung

Do you plan on selling media advertising space (online)?

From eric to Geoff Heath & Stephen Reid

Can online advertising and MMOG's mix a good thing ?

From bo to Geoff Heath & Stephen Reid

What have been your most effective marketing channels so far ?

From jason to Geoff Heath & Stephen Reid

How do you distinguish between the "vocal minority" and "silent majority" in game feedback? The minority can give you a skewed picture of what is happening and is the most vocal about it....

From virginie to Geoff Heath & Stephen Reid

How do you address cultural differences in your content?

From omorgan to Geoff Heath & Stephen Reid

My name is Oliver Morgan from Komodo Entertainment Software. How much support will you give to your players? Just emails or telephones? What can be the size of a support team?

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

What happens next ?

I was really delighted to see the interest in MMOG. There are so many challenges and the people involved are so passionate about the industry that it is going to be great to see the creativity thats happening in the new games.

Great conference !

The first ever MMOG web broadcast conference with professionnals speaking from Paris, London, and LA, took place on Wednesday June 1st, from 3.30 to 6.30, and I have to say that ... it was quite a nice conference! More than 450 people had registered and 148 of them connected to hear the 5 speakers, Patty Fry, Geoff Heath, Stephen Reid, Chris Chung and Raph Koster, and their two hosts, Sheena and Me.
For those who missed the conference last Wednesday, or those who want to see me again, a Video On Demand service will soon be available. I'll send you the link !
A lot of questions were posted. Some have been answered directly by the speakers - see them on Video On Demand. I will publish the others on this blog and invite the speakers to answer them soon.
I hope you heard significant content during this conference and I encourage you to keep on debating on this blog and ask your questions about MMOG!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

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Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Where next for MMOG ?

Where Next For MMOG? Posted by Hello

IBM has organised on Wednesday June 1st, 2005 a first MMOG web broadcast, don't forget to mark on your calendar. Invite your professional gamefriends & customers to hear insider secrets and pose questions to the game industry’s top specialists, all from the comfort of your own office. This web broadcast targets Game Developers, - IT leaders- CxO business online games, Online Games Business leaders, Animation studios, Publishers and online game services providers.