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GameWisp Blog

How YouTubers and Indie Developers Saved Horror Gaming

Posted by Greg Rozen

Oct 15, 2014 7:00:00 AM

Not enough people like horror. At least, that's been the opinion of major developers in recent years. Sure, there's an audience out there that likes to be frightened, challenged, eviscerated time and time again, but it's too small. Their tastes are too niche. Why invest an enormous, AAA production budget in a game only genre-fans will play? The dollar supersedes all. The result has been that, for a while, it wasn't so great to be a horror gamer. You'd get your occasional big-budget blockbuster, your Resident Evils and Silent Hills, but even then, the frightening bite was washed away, the game stuffed full of action-adventure elements to make it palatable to the masses. It really seemed, for a time, that the age of the traditional scary game was over.

Amazing how quickly things can turn around.

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Topics: Opinion

GameWisp Status Update - WatchRooms and Videos (October 10, 2014)

Posted by Michael

Oct 10, 2014 2:21:00 PM

We’ve been quiet lately, as you may have noticed (well, except our Twitter account). The team has had their heads down as we push forward with renewed energy following the conclusion of the TechStars program, and, as such, are on the cusp of unveiling some great features that you’ll love.

In this update:

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Topics: development, site updates

Supportive Phone Calls: The Inherent Problem of MCN's

Posted by Greg Rozen

Oct 8, 2014 6:00:00 AM

It's beginning to feel like Pewdiepie's the only person we talk about over here. I'd love to to write about something else, every now and then, but, wouldn't you know it, the guy just keeps making news. This past week was no exception, as comments he made during an interview with the Wall Street Journal raised more than a few eyebrows.

"The fact that Disney bought Maker Studios doesn't really change anything for me," he said. Maker Studios is the multichannel network with which Pewdiepie is currently contracted. "If I ask for help, they reply, but that's all the contact we have. We'll see what happens." The internet superstar went on to say, in a separate segment of the interview, that he and several associates have been discussing the possibility of starting their own network. Pewdiepie's contract with Maker runs out this December.

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Topics: Opinion

Shadow of Mordor, YouTubers, and Branded Content

Posted by Greg Rozen

Oct 1, 2014 8:00:00 AM

New releases are a little like holidays for the gaming video community. When a much anticipated product finally hits the market after weeks, months, or even years of hype, there's always an uptick of activity online, a flood of new videos, active discussions on Twitter, Facebook, and everywhere else. Meanwhile, the viewers all head to their favorite channels to see fresh game-play, not just for entertainment, and not even just for reviews, but simply to see the new game being played. A game can speak for itself, really, and they can make a more informed purchase decision.

This is a symbiotic relationship between content producers and developers. The former needs fresh content, a draw both for the audience they already have, and anyone new, out there in the digital ether, who might just stumble across their channel looking for help deciding whether something new is worth their hard earned cash. The game companies, meanwhile, get mountains of free publicity, hundreds of thousands or even millions of people online watching their game without them lifting a finger. It's a marketer's dream. So, you'd think cultivating relationships between these two parties, deals built around early access and "branded content", would be a natural, expected next-step, and to a certain extent it is. It's just that with those deals comes controversy.

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Topics: Opinion

PewDiePie, Exlcusive Content, and the Future of Web Video

Posted by Greg Rozen

Sep 24, 2014 8:00:00 AM

PewDiePie has had himself one hell of a summer. As big business seems to finally be catching on to the looming giant that is web video, and game video in general, the posterboy for runaway success in the relatively new medium has been getting mountains of press. He's the emblem of the industry, the example that proves the viability of the space. As a result, the most-subscribed channel on Youtube with just under 31 million is actually growing even faster than it was before. His audience is real, rabid, and enormous.

So it's no surprise that PewDiePie, real name Felix Kjellberg, took the next logical step, airing exclusive premiers of his videos away from YouTube for the first time, with MLG.TV carrying his popular podcast "BroKen" on Monday. Given the size of his audience, this was inevitable. YouTube has been good to Mr. Kjellberg, with reports that he raked in as much as $4 million in ad revenue in the previous year, but the reality is that those numbers are a drop in the bucket compared to what your traditional celebrity would squeeze from over 30 million fans. This is the beginning of what will be, without a doubt, an ongoing trend of big-time YouTube talent finding new ways to turn their viewers into paying customers.

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Topics: Opinion

Untimely End or New Beginning: Microsoft Buys Mojang

Posted by Greg Rozen

Sep 17, 2014 8:00:00 AM

Well, it's officially happening. In what could be a seismic shift in the world of video games, gaming video, and YouTube, Microsoft has made a move to purchase Minecraft creator Mojang to the tune of $2.5 billion, with original creator Notch, along with other original founders, stepping away. Rumors of the massive deal started trickling out last week, with official word announced Monday. The internet was soon abuzz, accounting for the top three trends on twitter and eliciting a torrent of news pieces from every business and game outlet on the web.

The first question on a lot of people's minds, mostly those who haven't had the chance to bury themselves in hundreds of hours of voxel-based fun, seemed to be "why?" Sure, pretty much everyone has heard of Minecraft, particularly anyone with children, but that price tag is astronomical, and a lot of the more business-minded analysts wonder how the property has so much value.

Thing is, it's not just a video game. Sure, Minecraft is about as ubiquitous these days as solitaire-- it's on practically every potential platform, from Linux OS to cellphones-- and there's already a built in player-base of over 50 million users, but Minecraft's value extends far beyond the twenty bucks people drop here and there for their right to play.

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Topics: Opinion

ESPN vs. eSports: Some Still "Just Don't Get It"

Posted by Greg Rozen

Sep 10, 2014 8:00:00 AM

It's July in Seattle, and people are packing themselves into KeyArena. Times past, this wouldn't be unusual for the over-half-century-old coliseum. But the former Seattle Supersonics have moved on, changing their name and planting their brand-new blue flag in the dirt of Oklahoma, and these days the occasional rock-concert fills the place up a hell of a lot more readily than any of its regular tenants, like the University of Seattle basketball team, or the Rat City Rollergirls.

But on this day, in the middle of the summer, 2014, the house is packed, and the energy in the air is electric. There is no concert. No touring musical or minor-league match up. No, on this day, thousands have crowded in to join the millions streaming online to watch "The International." They're there to watch video games.

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Topics: Opinion

Do Big Dollar Deals Threaten to Change Web Video?

Posted by Greg Rozen

Sep 3, 2014 8:00:00 AM

 

Gaming video and its community of content creators are taking over the world. With the recent news that Amazon is purchasing Twitch for just under a billion dollars, the business world seems to be taking notice of this massive and still growing sector of the internet, wondering aloud not just why it's so popular in the first place (Old people. Am I right?), but how to turn it into the big money-maker of the future. That puts the viewers that turned this trend into the explosive phenomenon it is today in a somewhat awkward position.

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Topics: Opinion

What's the Next Big Thing in Let's Play?

Posted by Greg Rozen

Aug 27, 2014 8:00:00 AM

When it comes to Youtube, Minecraft is king. Really, the sheer volume of channels dedicated almost exclusively to Mojang's voxel-based creative sandbox is overwhelming, and there's good reason. Minecraft is really the perfect game for the medium; no two gameplay sessions are the same, and no two people play the game the same way. The focus on building things means that just sharing a unique creation is reason enough to cut a video, and seeing what someone else was able to make, probably in a way you've never considered, is reason enough to watch it. Add in how simple it is to get great personalities playing together, sharing servers, and you've got a game seemingly built from the ground up to be watched and enjoyed.

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Topics: Opinion

Superstars: What Hollywood's Golden Age says about Youtube's future.

Posted by Greg Rozen

Aug 20, 2014 11:21:00 AM

Love him or hate him, Felix Kjellberg, better known as 'PewDiePie,' represents the future of entertainment.             

If I were to say that web video was blowing up right now, I'd be decidedly behind the times. Web video blew up years ago, and now it's wedging its way into the mainstream, taking over. You don't have to look far for confirmation. A recent survey, commissioned by Variety, indicated that teenagers identify with and are engaged by Youtube stars like Smosh more so than traditional celebrities from film and music. Meanwhile, every day, it seems, a popular channel is purchased by an MCN, the record labels of our time, or an MCN is bought by a major Hollywood studio, like big-dog Maker Studios being absorbed by the House of Mouse, Disney.

There's a reason Hollywood and advertisers and everyone else looking to make a dime is so interested. This isn't some novel trend that they don't quite understand, hoping to exploit the "next big thing." They're scouring the internet, scooping up talent, bottling them, packaging them, for a very clear reason.

This has all happened before.

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Topics: Opinion

    

About GameWisp

GameWisp is a platform for gaming video creators and fans to interact around great content.  In this blog, we will be updating you on the progress of the GameWisp platform, as well as bringing you great content about gaming video and the creators who make it. 

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