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Nymo, one of our members here on FRI, wrote an excellent article for his new blog "Free Realms Insight". Its going to be a series of blogs on FreeRealms and how it relates to the gaming industry. Enjoy!

 

Happy new year Insiders! Since I enjoy keeping my eye on the gaming industry, I decided to start a new blog series called "Free Realms Insight", which will give you a peek into the industry in relation to Free Realms, along with some opinions.

 

I found 2 articles recently that caught my eye, and both of which were actually posted right before Christmas.

 

 

First up, 7-Eleven reports that sales for prepaid game cards have actually doubled, despite the state of our economy. This turn has caused the company to actually double their selection for the cards.

 

"Electronics and videogames are still the number one request on teens’ holiday wish- lists," says 7-Eleven's Prepaid Cards category manager Brian Haynes. "With tighter budgets many are choosing more affordable online games. Virtual currency or points can go a long way to enhance these online games without much cost."

He continues, "Families are looking at ways to stretch their entertainment and holiday gift budgets. Prepaid game cards offer a very affordable option, and they’re fun for the whole family. Free-to-play games are more popular than ever in the U.S., and 7-Eleven can easily be players’ go-to place to pick up their favorite game cards."

 

It's certainly an interesting turn in the industry as more and more turn for virtual goods on their computer screens rather than asking for game disks for their gaming systems. Though, They haven't seem to release any numbers, and I haven't heard anything from GameStop recently. I would love to hear how sales for prepaid game cards stack up to console games from stores like GameStop, Best Buy, Target or Walmart. While I'm sure disk-based games are still selling more, I wonder if game cards also took a big chunk of the game sales this holiday.

 

I have been getting many of my prepaid game cards, like Free Realms Station Cash/Xbox Live Gold Membership and Microsoft Points/PlayStation Network cards, from 7-Eleven a lot recently, but now with more stores like Walgreens now selling a bigger selection of gift cards, including game cards, they are just way more convenient to get rather than full console games. Not to mention more affordable, as 7-Eleven's manager mentioned. It's certainly cheaper to $10 to $20 on a card instead of picking up a new $40 to $60 dollar game. Being that these cards are way more affordable and easily accessible, it's no wonder they are popular this season.

 

It has been an interesting shift for the industry. With things like all the Facebook games rising in popularity, more and more now are willing to spend a little on these free-to-play games that they can play at just about any computer. Could we expect more, smaller games like these with 'microtransactions' coming in the future? My guess is a big "yes."

 

 

Finally, it has come to my attention that Free Realms has been nominated for KAPi Awards.

 

Via The Children's Technology Review, it appears that the game has been nominated under the "Virtual Worlds" category for the Kids @ Play Interactive Awards (otherwise, KAPi). Who else are nominated in that category? You may groan, but: Club PenguinMoshi Monsters, and Webkinz Jr.

 

Being that Free Realms is the only real 3D and non-browser-based game in that category, as well being one of the newer ones, it will be interesting to see who takes home the award...

 

Who will win the KAPi Awards? It shall be revealed this Thursday, January 7th at the Kids@Play Summit during CES (the International Consumer Electronics Showheld annually in Las Vegas). I'll be keeping my eye out for it during the big wave of news that should come from the show this year...

 

 

And that about does it for this first entry of Free Realms Insight! However, I'm not all done yet:
Usually after every post, I like to pose a question to you the reader. This time, I want to know where do you buy your SC cards, if you live in America and can easily access them (international sc cards is a different topic, maybe something I might explore in the future), and do you buy other pre-paid game cards as well? Other opinions and comments on other things in this entry is also greatly appreciated!

 

Thanks for reading, and see you on the next Free Realms Insight!

Nymo, one of our members here on FRI, wrote an excellent article for his new blog "Free Realms Insight". Its going to be a series of blogs on FreeRealms and how it relates to the gaming industry. Enjoy!

 

Happy new year Insiders! Since I enjoy keeping my eye on the gaming industry, I decided to start a new blog series called "Free Realms Insight", which will give you a peek into the industry in relation to Free Realms, along with some opinions.

 

I found 2 articles recently that caught my eye, and both of which were actually posted right before Christmas.

 

 

First up, 7-Eleven reports that sales for prepaid game cards have actually doubled, despite the state of our economy. This turn has caused the company to actually double their selection for the cards.

 

"Electronics and videogames are still the number one request on teens’ holiday wish- lists," says 7-Eleven's Prepaid Cards category manager Brian Haynes. "With tighter budgets many are choosing more affordable online games. Virtual currency or points can go a long way to enhance these online games without much cost."

He continues, "Families are looking at ways to stretch their entertainment and holiday gift budgets. Prepaid game cards offer a very affordable option, and they’re fun for the whole family. Free-to-play games are more popular than ever in the U.S., and 7-Eleven can easily be players’ go-to place to pick up their favorite game cards."

 

It's certainly an interesting turn in the industry as more and more turn for virtual goods on their computer screens rather than asking for game disks for their gaming systems. Though, They haven't seem to release any numbers, and I haven't heard anything from GameStop recently. I would love to hear how sales for prepaid game cards stack up to console games from stores like GameStop, Best Buy, Target or Walmart. While I'm sure disk-based games are still selling more, I wonder if game cards also took a big chunk of the game sales this holiday.

 

I have been getting many of my prepaid game cards, like Free Realms Station Cash/Xbox Live Gold Membership and Microsoft Points/PlayStation Network cards, from 7-Eleven a lot recently, but now with more stores like Walgreens now selling a bigger selection of gift cards, including game cards, they are just way more convenient to get rather than full console games. Not to mention more affordable, as 7-Eleven's manager mentioned. It's certainly cheaper to $10 to $20 on a card instead of picking up a new $40 to $60 dollar game. Being that these cards are way more affordable and easily accessible, it's no wonder they are popular this season.

 

It has been an interesting shift for the industry. With things like all the Facebook games rising in popularity, more and more now are willing to spend a little on these free-to-play games that they can play at just about any computer. Could we expect more, smaller games like these with 'microtransactions' coming in the future? My guess is a big "yes."

 

 

Finally, it has come to my attention that Free Realms has been nominated for KAPi Awards.

 

Via The Children's Technology Review, it appears that the game has been nominated under the "Virtual Worlds" category for the Kids @ Play Interactive Awards (otherwise, KAPi). Who else are nominated in that category? You may groan, but: Club PenguinMoshi Monsters, and Webkinz Jr.

 

Being that Free Realms is the only real 3D and non-browser-based game in that category, as well being one of the newer ones, it will be interesting to see who takes home the award...

 

Who will win the KAPi Awards? It shall be revealed this Thursday, January 7th at the Kids@Play Summit during CES (the International Consumer Electronics Showheld annually in Las Vegas). I'll be keeping my eye out for it during the big wave of news that should come from the show this year...

 

 

And that about does it for this first entry of Free Realms Insight! However, I'm not all done yet:
Usually after every post, I like to pose a question to you the reader. This time, I want to know where do you buy your SC cards, if you live in America and can easily access them (international sc cards is a different topic, maybe something I might explore in the future), and do you buy other pre-paid game cards as well? Other opinions and comments on other things in this entry is also greatly appreciated!

 

Thanks for reading, and see you on the next Free Realms Insight!

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