Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Let me introduce you to a competitor...

So it's commonly accepted in the business world that talking about your competitors is probably a bad idea. First, it's bad because you acknowledge them as a competitor and if your customers didn't know about them, well they do now. Second, you can get into all sorts of legal problems if you don't watch what you say. There are a lot of other reasons too but you know what, I don't care.... Let me introduce you to a competitor.

Lycos, remember Lycos? The search engine that disappeared? Well, they never actually disappeared entirely. They had this thing called Gamesville that was still popular with the casual game crowd. They made a strategic shift recently and now they're totally moving in on my turf.

Lycos is offering Albatross 18, a Korean MMO game that utilizes a cash store system. It's a cute game and potentially very mainstream. Nothing new yet, a lot of US companies have tried to bring Korean games here with no success.

What's interesting is an article on Gamasutra with the COO of Lycos, Brian Kalinowski. Here are some excerpts from the interview:

"Clearly one of our goals was to create a gaming destination to put us not only with other gaming portables, but to first of all differentiate ourselves with introduction of exclusive games, games that we will acquire from US and Asia as well as European markets."

"The plus is that we have four models, subscription, advertising, download, and also through partnerships we can be offering a micropayment system. So we have the revenue models to support any type of gaming platform, including vintage games that may lend themselves to advertising models."

Dang, he's good. Sounds suspiciously like Acclaim's strategy but I'm not worried...

.... well he does have a "C" in his job title.... and he sounds better in an interview.

Look, I'm not like jealous or anything ok? I mean, I totally have a way easier name to spell. And dude, I sometimes use words like vintage: "My pile of laundry is vintage". See, that was almost poetic.

I'm not worried.... Ok, maybe I'm a little worried. But competition is good and if nothing else, it will expand the industry. This is going to be a lot of fun!

Mr. Brian Kalinowski, game on! (thought I'd get the name in here twice for good measure, just in case he Googles himself).

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