New GigaGamez Bloggers Talk Big Gaming Trends

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GigaGamezJust in time for GDC, the GigaGamez surge is on! This week, Om and I are bringing on three more regular bloggers, a couple of them selected in part from our open audition. It’s an impressive roster of seasoned writers who know the business of gaming, so I want to introduce them here, getting their quick take on the biggest uncovered trends in the industry, and, of course, their five favorite games.

Blake Snow is a freelance business, technology, and games writer. He is also a seasoned web consultant, a novice husband and father, and has been an avid gamer for over 22 years. He blogs professional for and personally at Questions, comments, and feedback can be sent to

The most uncovered or unappreciated acquisition, investment, platform, or game IP in the game industry?

“Easy. User-generated game content specifically for consoles. Granted, PCs have been using avatars and custom character vestments for years, but its a new ballgame for consoles. Were talking about content that spreads virally and that can interact on its own. In-game user-generated content has/will make game software much more enduring. Both participation and individual attention will likely increase (think Consoles 2.0) in the coming years. Though Miis just scratch the surface, the stripped down Lego doppelgangers are an unexpected hit. People are spending lots of time creating and sharing them. Expect Microsoft and Sony to follow suit leveraging their online systems in the process. Current potential hang-ups for the medium’s advancement include workable execution (beyond that of simple Miis) and resentment by some developers of the social games movement in favor of full creative control.”

Five favorite games:
Zelda: Minish Cap
MDK II (Saturn)
Guitar Hero
Wii Sports
Resident Evil 4


Alex Handy, AKA VonGuard, was editor in chief of Game Developer magazine. He has written for Computer Gaming World, Computer Games Magazine,,, Wired, and dozens of other print publications. He lives in Oakland with his Resident Evil-loving wife and a fat Siamese cat named Butter. His first GigaGamez story on indy game distribution (mysteriously featuring a biking lizard) is here.

The most uncovered or unappreciated acquisition, investment, platform, or game IP in the game industry?

“It’s been almost two years now but the acquisition of Edios Interactive by SCi will yet bear sweet fruit. One decent Tomb Raider game later, and we all now understand why Bono was so interested. 2005 saw another acquisition that is only now blooming: GameStop’s swallowing of Electronics Boutique. Anyone else notice those hot profits from the third quarter of 2006? And whither the collectible? Perhaps the most important acquisition of the year was that new, in-the-box copy of Zelda you bought at the flea market. Still-shrinkwrapped NES titles have doubled in value in 2006, according to Video Game Collector’s Magazine, and that kind of growth is nothing to blow at.”

Five favorite games:

Super Metroid
Super Mario Land 2
Evil Genius
Battlefield 2
Diablo 2

Raymond Padilla

Also joining us is Raymond Padilla. In addition to sporadic articles about comic books and professional wrestling, Raymond has been writing about videogames and technology for more than a decade. He has written for dozens of enthusiast and mainstream publications, and produced/hosted an original video program for Yahoo! Inc.

Five Favorite Games:

Final Fantasy Tactics
Baldur’s Gate II
Pokemon Sapphire
Final Fantasy V
Disgaea 2

Welcome aboard, gents!

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