Game Design

Why is CS:GO’s secondary market so insanely popular?

CS:GO is one of the most popular games in the world, and for good reason. The classic battle of counter-terrorists against terrorists has lent itself to a subtle reimagination every half-decade. With CS:GO’s take on the enduring franchise, however, something big happened: the introduction of weapon skins. Skins have been around in Counter-Strike since it …

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Game Design Industry

Can arena shooters be successful free-to-play games?

How do you capture the opportunity of a well-designed F2P game with the competitive balance of arena shooters? It’s a tricky question to answer, given the history of the genre and its intense skill requirements. While many games have failed to synthesize the magic of the arena shooter with the incredible potential of free-to-play, I’d …

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Game Design

Battleborn is a (Good) Free-to-Play Game Wearing a $60 Price Tag

Gearbox’s FPS / MOBA hybrid, Battleborn, has released, and as some of you may have heard, it’s a pretty good game that gets unfairly confused with another popular “Hero Shooter” on the horizon. Unfortunate release window aside, Battleborn is a game that suffers from an identity crisis. On the surface, Battleborn masquerades as a premium-priced title …

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Game Design

The Rise of Video Game Vanity: Or, Why Skins Sell

If you’ve been paying attention to the competitive free-to-play landscape, you’re likely noticing a trend in the gradual evolution of skins and other aesthetic content. Skins have become the monetary lifeblood for nearly every free-to-play game that has dreams of becoming an eSport or Twitch sensation, and yet they often serve no functional purpose other than …

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Game Design

Next-Gen Nostalgia

You know, after being in the “next-gen” world for the better part of 2 months, the amazing experiences that were delivered on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 were likely some of the best games the industry has ever seen. It’s easy to look back at consoles from our childhoods and, with our nostalgia-induced confidence, …

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