- I always eagerly await Vinny Carrella's Gamezebo casual game columns, and his latest is called 'Kill the 60 Minute Trial', and advocates plaintively: "We shouldn't have to buy a subscription in order to get a game for less than $19.99, we should get games for $9.99 across the board, and the way to do this is to sell games to 100% of the downloading audience, and the way to do that is to get rid of the 60 minute free trial."

Wow, many big ideas combined at once here! Carrella goes on to suggest: "The consumer doesn't need a free trial, what she/he needs to help make a buying decision is honest marketing, better online demos and more press coverage in the form of reviews and editorials. That's how it works in the industry known as core gaming, where games are marketed and promoted and demonstrated and reviewed and talked about, so that by the time the consumer gets to EB or Best Buy he knows what he's buying."

You know, I like the cut of Vinny's jib here, but the point of casual gamers tends to be that they don't check preview/review sites (like Gamezebo!) to work out what to buy before they buy it - though maybe the biz needs to change that? It is true that a lot of cloning is presumably based on the fact that consumers are not well educated as to who originated the concept or who did it 'best' - but we can't force them to, of course.

Carrella concludes: "I'm not an expert on business models, but I'll tell you, long before I was in the games business I was a game player and then a game developer, and as a game player I don't feel that I should have to download a twenty, thirty or even fifty megabyte file in order to find out whether or not a game is good enough to spend twenty dollars on it." This Flash demo point is a good one, I think, and the article is worth checking out just for the excellent comments.