There’s something different about listening to music on a radio rather than a normal system. I’m not talking about the sound produced but the psychology behind it. The fact that somebody else is choosing the music for you, the fact that maybe you will be introduced to something new that perhaps you wouldn’t normally hear, the fact that it’s free! I accept that with the Internet and being able to download music for free does make a difference but there are plenty of Internet radio stations that seem very successful.
But how does this relate to gaming you ask? Well read on to find out.
I’m not talking about the type that you listen to but a type that you could play. Imagine you went into almost any high street store and picked-up a free DVD that contained the required data files for the next three months’ worth of GameRadio play. You go home and install it on your PC. You connect to the internet and wait a few moments for it to launch.
You now have a service very similar to radio, in that you play games either SP or MP for about 5 minutes, and then there is a small intermission which I’ll discuss in more detail later, then the next game starts. You can’t play the games without using the GameRadio system and have no choice (Almost, again I’ll discuss this later) about what you play.
The basic idea is to allow people to play games for a few moments to see if they like them. By not giving them a choice you possibly open up a new group of potential buyers.
I envisage a GameJockey who talks for a few minutes about the game that just finished and maybe about games due to be released, the next game etc. It can be part news bulletin, part chat and part advertisement. As with all radios stations you can either listen or walk away for a short break and come back just before the next game starts. The intermissions are perfectly timed, with a countdown timer always displayed on the screen.
As with normal radio stations you perhaps can choose between Shooters, Simulators, RPGs, Puzzles etc. However only 80% of the games fit that genre, the rest are a mix. The selection is carefully screened to ensure a good chance that players will at least try and play the games. I would never download demos of certain games but if something was in front of me and it was easy to learn and control then I might try it. Which brings me onto your objections.
No doubt you are saying that it couldn’t work because the games would be too hard to learn in a few minutes, would never download that quickly etc etc. Well I’m sure there are solutions for all of these problems. Games may have to be adapted to the GameRadio style. Controls made generic (meaning a special configuration file overrides the games’ version, E.G. so that all FPS games use the same movement and action keys). Instructions would need to be clearly explained in a very short time.
Remember all we are trying to do is introduce a new game to somebody who will hopefully say “that was fun, maybe I’ll download the full demo or even buy the game!” The player gets free entertainment and the game companies get free exposure. The cost of the DVD and bandwidth can be covered by the advertising. Perhaps even independent stations may appear and even make money. Damn! Why can’t I be a smart business man and do it myself? Sure, not everybody will use the system but no system is universal.
Perhaps the schedule repeats itself every six hours and the DVD contains 15 sessions. Each session slightly different. Maybe that means different levels or weapons etc. There could be plenty of variations.
Guest GameJockeys, exclusive reviews, there is plenty of marketing scope that could cover the costs. Competitions galore, fantastic prizes to be won. Okay, I’m getting carried away, but it could be a unique concept.
It’s easy to dismiss the idea as too technically difficult but often when there is money to be made solutions are found. Game publishers and developers are always looking for new ways to reach the buying public and this could be the next “Big Thing”.
Just remember you heard it on PlanetPhilip first!