We’re talking about the business of video games this week. We’re also going to talk about a special, disgusting surprise. What’s the surprise? Well, I can’t tell you, because that would ruin the surprise. Jeez, don’t you know how surprises work?

  • Free-to-play MOBA League of Legends has recently come under fire from business analysts for having a poor conversion rate, i.e. a poor rate of turning players into microtransaction purchasers. Ben Kuchera of Polygon explains why this isn’t a bad thing: the game has such a wide reach that it doesn’t need to pursue an aggressive monetization strategy; in fact, it has such a wide reach because it has a relatively tame monetization strategy.
  • Oli Welsh of Eurogamer writes about Square Enix’s Xboneheaded decision to make the upcoming Rise of the Tomb Raider a timed Xbone exclusive. He believes that this decision isn’t indicative of trends in the industry, and that platform exclusivity is dying out. If so, that’s good news for me, because I game primarily on PC.
  • Robert Rath of The Escapist has a piece about diversity in game protagonists and how playing as diverse characters allows us to empathize with a wide variety of people and experiences. I don’t have much to say about this piece, other than that I agree wholeheartedly with it.
  • Finally, as promised, a special, disgusting surprise, courtesy of Josh Scherer of Culinary Bro-Down: ramen poutine.