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Angry Birds Independent Video Games Case Study

Rob Miller | Monday September 16, 2013

Categories: GCSE, AQA GCSE, Games, Computer Games, Video Games, Key Concepts, Audience, Genre, Ideology, Institutions, Media Language, Narrative, Representation & Stereotyping, Hot Entries, New Media, Convergence, Digital Media, Integration, New Technologies, Synergy

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Independent Games Production and Distribution - An Institutional Context

Games like Angry Birds have become a cultural phenomenon – the game is deliberately simplistic and primarily targets a female demographic. It has benefited from the current (late August 2013) fragmentation of the computer game industry into a multi-platform marketplace where more mainstream, high profile so-called Triple A games like Call of Duty, Halo, Assassin’s Creed and GTA have struggled to achieve the commercial success that they have been used to. As a result, indie games like Limbo, Super Meat Boy, Temple Run, Uplink and Angry Birds are securing a place in the market. The definition however, of what an ‘indie’ game is remains fluid with even the massively successful Sandbox Indie game Minecraft labelled under this banner – it is in the middle of the market where the financial problems for the games industry are as console developers face high costs for limited reward.

Online gaming is the way forward but there is a vocal contingent of gamers who are very much in favour of free to play, no premium mobile games. ‘Hard-core’ gamers would label many of these as ‘toilet games’ and suggest that they are primarily to distract a female demographic in the same way flicking through a Gossip magazine would or watching a Soap Opera – this ‘analysis’ is of course an extreme cultural stereotype but reflects the polarity of the gaming community. EA (Electronic Arts) is a massive American developer, publisher and developer of video games responsible for many titles including FIFA Football, Battlefield, The Sims, Medal of Honour and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic in conjunction with Lucas Arts – in 2013 EA General Manager and Senior Vice President gave feedback that he was “pivoting sharply toward free-to-play models instead of the pay-once premium business model?. With an established organisation like EA...

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