Cigarette usage influences Eastern MMO design

Last Friday, MIT’s Sloan School of Business hosted a business in gaming conference where panelists from 2K Boston, Sanrio Digital, Mythic Entertainment, and Turbine discussed, among many things, the current state of the industry. Even former baseball All-Star, and founder of 38 Studios LLC, Curt Schilling, joined the fun.

As the Journal of New England Technology noted, Sanrio’s Robert Ferrari talked about the difference between Western and Eastern MMO design, which prompted Mythic’s Eugene Evans to point out one very unlikely influence: cigarettes. Evans said all games developed for the Asian markets need to be played with one hand so that a cigarette may be held in the other.

I don’t smoke, so please understand when I say “gross.”

In all seriousness, now I understand why their economy isn’t doing so bad. The country receives a 20% tax on virtual income and the revenue gained from smoking, according to a December 17 announcement, is expected to generate almost $9.5 billion following another tax hike. Additionally, revenue gained from online gaming is on the rise due in large part to the increased proliferation of PCs in homes and internet cafes.

With all that in mind, are you at all surprised that the Chinese government has ordered government employees to smoke more?

Posted by Kyle Stallock
May 12th, 2009

Published by Reinout te Brake

Reinout is a games investor and strategic business consultant specializing in the games industry. Reinout established his credentials through his own successful investments, start-ups, consulting and (advisory) board positions that led through time to strong bonds with key stakeholders in this fast paced industry. He is known for his outstanding results in the gaming industry. He has worked with many game studios around the globe and is therefore well known in the international gaming industry. Check out his games podcast;

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