Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Dumb and dumber is more numbers

040910_NW2Before you jump to conclusion, this post is not about the movie dumb and dumber, although it is in the field of entertainment – games, phone games, social games to be precise. We play games to entertain ourselves and sometimes to socialise – traditionally it would be a game of cards, chess, hide and seek, or even table tennis. That brings me to Pong, the forefather of electronic games. Since then computing power and hardware abilities has grown massively in one direction. Each new game machine delivered more, faster, higher def. With more processing power crunching more graphics, the games got more high definition, more realistic, more complex, more sensational. Games started to look and feel like Hollywood, and costs more to produce and even more to buy.

Well that is until Nintendo’s Wii came along a couple of years ago, totally reversing the trend. With less development resources and less money to risk, Nintendo could not take on Microsoft and Sony in the game of biggger badder hardware and epic game developments. Cleverly, Wii went back to the basics, simple, fun and enterta( ining. You don’t need to spend hours building up your character, or understanding the plot. Not only Pa and Ma can play, even Grandpa, Grandma and baby sis can play too! Now that´s numbers!

The runaway success of Wii has proven dumber is more numbers! More fun, simpler to play, more people can and will play.

So what’s next? What is dumber than Wii games… yup… phone games, social media games. Even shorter, even simpler, even more no-brainer so you can simply stop thinking and just play. Game over? Try again. Try again. I swear just one more time. The popularity of Angry Birds just knows no boundaries!

This is the article I came across last week that started me thinking about simple mindless games – Apple’s Game Center outnumbers Microsoft’s Xbox Live. Fact is, Apple’s Game Center (think iPhone/iPad app games) has hit 50m members in just NINE months, overtaking Xbox Live’s 35m members which has been running much longer. The picture used in this article is the introduction of Apple’s Game Center just September last year. 50m in just this 9 months!

iPhone/iPad games, Android games, Facebook games… even Skype has joined in with Skype game. I wonder what will a Twitter game look like (edit: hitting that ReTweet button 5ox a minute is NOT a game). The days of dumb and dumber games has just started. Well as the saying goes in marketing, Keep It Simple and Stupid. Watch the numbers grow!

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