Rule One to Success, Removing the Distractions

Millions of people have dreamt of being successful, having more money than they can spend, having the luxury vehicle, wonderful home, and beautiful wife. It’s easy to visualize having everything you ever wanted in your mind, but getting there is another story. If it was easy to be successful while doing the one thing you love most while never having to worry about money again, then everyone would be doing it. It’s true that some have had it easy, but most have to grind to get anywhere in life.

Getting to the path of professional and financial prosperity has never been more complex or crowded than it is in this day and age. Anywhere you turn, you’re up against competition. When one product disrupts the market and generates massive profits and buzz, many others jump on the bandwagon to obtain some of that market share. A lot of jobs have become automated, thus less need for humans to do the leg work. Prices of necessities and housing have increased, thus making it more prevalent than ever to have more than one stream of income on hand. With all this comes the increase in ways to access entertainment, interact with strangers, purchase merchandise, find love, etc.

There’s a lot of clutter in the storage space, and it’s up to you to keep your space clean and well maintained. What I mean by that is there is a lot of things that can distract you and keep you from focusing on working towards your goals. It’s pretty easy to get off track, especially if you’re constantly on social media, watching Netflix, messaging friends, or reading the latest celebrity gossip. Whatever hobby you love doing, if you find yourself doing it too often, even more than your work, then you’re easily distracted.

For years I had been a gamer. I started playing since I was five. I have had the gaming bug since. With online gaming being so popular, as well as some games having a immersive world with 100+ hours of content to explore, I had found myself addicted to games countless times, with the latest being Overwatch. Instead of working on my business or researching new ways to generate a revenue stream, I found myself indulged in match after match either trying to keep my team healed with Mercy or competing to get the play of the game with Symmetra. After playing for over 400 hours, I finally had to decide between my future or the game. I chose the former, trading in Overwatch at Gamestop in the process.

If you find yourself immersed in the things not related to your work and they’re taking up chunks of hours of your time, you have to make a decision on if you really want to become successful or live a normal life of trying to get by. If you want success, and you’re unhappy where you are now, then you can easily pinpoint the things that you’re doing that’s keeping you from working towards your goals. If you need to, write a list of those things that are a distraction in your life, and then decide whether to get rid of them completely, or wait until the night time or weekends to indulge yourself in those activities.

If great innovators like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos or Michael Dell allowed distracts to dictate their actions, then Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, or Dell Computer would have never existed, or if anything, never been the multi-billion dollar juggernauts that they are today. Building multi-million or billion dollar empires requires sacrifice and discipline. If you are serious about making your dreams come true, then it’s time to get started in limiting your involvement of the things that aren’t helping you to succeed. If you have to delete Instagram, do so. If you have to sell your gaming console to stop playing games, then do it. If you have to tell your friends to only contact you after 9:00pm, then make it so. Make those adjustments, as this action will mark the beginning point in your path to success.

Featured Image Source: Jose Luis Pelaez/Getty Images

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What Happens When a Franchise Like Call of Duty Reaches Fatigue

Everyone loves the introduction of new products from companies that understand the need for innovative solutions. It is why companies like Apple have thrived from their revolutionary creation, the iPhone, which is still one of the highest selling mobile devices on the market. When people see a new product with innovative features, and is much better than the predecessors before it, many flock to purchase it to call their own. Because again, it’s about providing something the world has yet to experience that they would enjoy.

But then you have companies that release products annually that bare similarities to the ones before it. You notice barely anything has changed except for maybe a fresh coat of paint or a small performance boost. These products do little to justify another purchase from a customer who already bought last year’s iteration. However, it may not matter to the company, because the brand behind the product maybe huge enough to the point where the product will still sell well, allowing the company to profit nonetheless.

Companies like Activision follow this formula with their Call of Duty franchise. It’s easily one of the most recognizable gaming franchises, and one of the most played games online. Every annual release still sells well, but not like before. The franchise’s last innovative release was Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. The game had it’s robust perk system, killstreaks, and RPG equivalent progression elements that the world had not yet seen. Nearly ten years later, the company has maintained the franchise’s core mechanics.

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Source: Activision

Has the core mechanics improved for the franchise over the years? Not according to hardcore fans of the series. The quality of its annual releases may have accounted for its slumping sales over the years. The last time Activision boasted about a Call of Duty’s post release sales was Black Ops 3, which made around $550 million during its first 3 days on the market. Infinite Warfare was a different story, with analysts saying that the game sold 50% less than Black Ops 3. Activision mentioned that it foresaw this beforehand, but made profits with the inclusion of the Call of Duty: Legacy Edition bundle.

But before Black Ops 3, the previous Call of Duty Activision shared post release profits on with confidence was Black Ops 2, which made around $500 million in its first day, and sold around 11 million units in its first week. So there’s that three year gap in between, with Call of Duty: Ghosts and Advanced Warfare not well received. Infinite Warfare may have seen the biggest decline for the franchise, with their main competitor Battlefield 1 doing nearly as well sales wise.

If there’s one thing for certain, the proof is in the pudding. Gamers aren’t buying Call of Duty like they used to. Not much has changed to the formula. The graphics may have gotten an upgrade, but the gameplay mechanics are too similar to one another, the killstreaks and perks aren’t appealing like they once were, the server quality has changed little, and the new iterations have become a little more pay to win. In other words, little is being done by the company to bring innovation back to their beloved series.

It doesn’t help that Activision takes a long time to listen to their fans, usually having their developers create Call of Duty games that they perceive the public will want and buy. Sure a lot of people will buy their games, but if it carries similar issues, has the same futuristic setting three years in a row that nobody wants, has micro-transactions that help give paying customers an edge, and does little to improve the formula, then many people will stray away. It’s gotten to the point now that many YouTube influencers that have backed Call of Duty for years are complaining or turned their backs on the series. The final nail in the coffin for many was when Activision decided to charge $15 for Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Remastered’s extra maps that they believe should have been included in the base game, which already costs $40 alone.

In order for Call of Duty to maintain its staying power, the company has to make a change. They must be daring enough to spend extra to provide a product that adds value for the end user, and to lessen its focus on generating as much revenue from customers as possible, also called milking its fan base. With Call of Duty: WWII on the horizon, it maybe that fresh experience that players will find endearing. However, a even bigger recommendation would be to release a new iteration every other year to lower franchise fatigue. Of course, that will likely never happen, but with games like Rainbow Six Siege and Overwatch increasing in player base long after their releases, it wouldn’t hurt to follow their formula to success.

Featured Image Source: Activision 

What Game Developers Can Learn From Shooters Like Overwatch

It seems like no matter what, entertainment is one element that is recession proof. Consumers spend hours a day just watching videos alone. But what is also taking up the time of consumers are video games. A majority of these people are casual gamers, but then there are your hardcore gamers as well. These people are the ones who have high expectations for games, and would rather play a game that’s catered to a niche than something that is catered to everyone. Often times, when a game tries to do too much to please everyone, it doesn’t end well for the developers.

So given that dedicated gamers want something that will allow them to enjoy time outside of the real world for hours on in, what exactly can game developers do to cater to their needs? It is best to draw some inspiration from the highly successful game Overwatch. For a multiplayer shooter that’s actually increasing in popularity and player count, here are some ways it’s achieving just that:

Making it Multiplayer Focused

There are many gamers out there who usually skip the 5 hour single player campaign of a first person shooter to jump straight into multiplayer. So instead of spending extra money to create a compelling narrative, they focused solely on creating the multiplayer component. The amount of people turned off by this practice was in the minority, as they wouldn’t spend $60 on what they perceived was not a full game. But it stands as one example of why it isn’t necessary to please everyone, as millions still bought the game.

The Gameplay Mechanics Focuses on Teamwork

Instead of having a game where someone can lonewolf their way through the map to rack up kills and become unstoppable, Blizzard took a different approach, by making the gameplay based on how well you work with your team. Team composition plays a huge factor on how effective a team performs, as you need damage dealers, tanks to soak up damage, defense characters to hinder an attacker’s advances, and healers to keep teammates alive. That coupled with good communication makes for a game that rewards those who work together instead of going at it alone.

Making the Game Accessible

This goes hand in hand with the game’s teamwork focus. It’s a game that’s easy to play, but hard to master. Casual players who aren’t necessarily good at generating kills for their team can help in other ways, including support or tanking. Overwatch isn’t meant for everybody, as some people may not be fond of the animated art direction to this shooter or that it’s based on teamwork. However, it’s a game that doesn’t require a high skill level to get into, and that’s why even consumers who aren’t into first person shooters are actually playing it either by themselves or with friends.

Lovable Characters

There are a vast variety of characters that contain their own abilities to aid themselves and teammates in achieving victory, along with ultimates that can turn the tide of a battle. But even better is how compelling these characters are to the players. Blizzard Entertainment did well in creating memorable characters that captures the heart of gamers. Some stand out more than others, like Tracer, with her quirky enthusiasm, or Reaper, with his gritty demeanor. It’s no wonder you see several cosplayers dressed up as these characters at events. The game itself also allows you to access every character’s backstory, which helps to satisfy those who want to learn about the characters they love to play.

Quality Support and Updates

Blizzard Entertainment has a track record of creating amazingly addictive games that are built to last for years. Take World of Warcraft for example, released back in 2004, with its several expansions and gameplay improvements they’ve made to keep a high playerbase some 13 years later and going. Overwatch is no exception. In over a year since release, players have received new characters, maps, cosmetic items in the form of skins, emotes, character lines, among other things.

All characters and maps are free, while cosmetic items can be earned in game or through using real money. Not only that, but a heavy anti-cheating system, fixes to technical issues, character balancing, and event themed modes round up the amazing support this game has gotten. Overwatch has become a even better game than it was when it first launched, which is why there’s over 30 million registered players and counting. It’s hard to imagine the type of game it’ll be in the future, but it’ll surely get better with age.

Featured Image Source: Blizzard Entertainment

 

Three Reasons Why Video Game Season Passes Need to End

Those who were around and playing video games during the 70’s and 80’s era remember the simple yet addicting games like Pac-Man, Pong, Donkey Kong, Zelda, and Super Mario Bros. Back then, games were very difficult, but very fun, especially when playing with a friend. Between the Atari days up to the Playstation 2, Xbox and GameCube, when you purchased a game, you got the full game with no need to purchase add-ons. Those were the good old days.

But during the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 era, pricing for games have changed. A majority of games now have downloadable (DLC) add-ons you can purchase, meaning you don’t get the full experience unless you pay extra. Thankfully the $10 Online Pass was ditched in the previous generation, only to be replaced by the micro-transaction system. With many games containing several DLC add-ons, developers allow gamers to get them all in a bundle at a discount through purchasing a season pass, usually priced between $40-$50 dollars.

You can easily be paying over $100 for a single game, which can really put a hurt on a your wallet if you’re buying more than one game. To be honest, often times season passes hold little to no value to the consumer. Here are a few reasons why:

The Extra Content Doesn’t Justify the Price

Usually when you purchase a season pass, you may receive around a few hours worth of extra story, a few extra weapons, some extra skins, an exclusive item, and even a few days early access to DLC. This may sound good and all, but in reality it’s not. Developers make it sound good on paper to drive extra revenue. However, the content does little to add to the experience, while the quality of that content is often sub-par compared to the base game.

Season Passes Confuse the Consumer

Often times, you don’t know what you’re really getting from purchasing a season pass. One of the biggest examples is Evolve. The first season pass, already lacking in extra content, didn’t mention (aside from a few hunters and skins) everything that was included, which confused gamers. To make matters worse, the company released a second season pass to try to generate more revenue and keep people playing. That backfired tremendously, and the community died out soon after. It’s moments like this where season passes do more harm than good for the gaming community.

It Fragments the Community

Multiplayer focused games fall prey to this. Friends are not able to play the same maps together because one person doesn’t have the DLC add-ons. Worse, when online communities die down, it becomes a chore to find a match in the DLC content because a majority of players never bought the add-ons, so you’re stuck playing the regular maps. This is unfair for consumers who have no idea how well developers will support their game, and how healthy the playerbase will be in the coming months or years.

Replace Season Passes With Expansions

Gaming companies need to take a page out of PC’s book. Several computer games throughout the years have had expansion packs released, which provides a lot more depth to the base game, and several more hours of pure enjoyment. Gamers already spent $60 to support a creative project, why not offer truly compelling content in the form of expansions? It’s better to add 15-20 hours worth of story that extends the core story in a great way, while adding new characters, several new weapons, and more gameplay mechanics than just a few extra missions and skins. This in turn will keep players playing, and increase profits.

Offer Free Updates and Long-Term Support

This system is effective mainly for multiplayer games. Games like Overwatch and Rainbow Six Siege have implemented this system well, which is why their online communities are actually growing and are very healthy. By offering new maps, characters, weapons, an overhaul on their game’s online infrastructure, while fixing technical issues, these games are better than when they were released. So when making a game, make it catered to a niche market, offer a post launch release plan, be prepared to troubleshoot issues, and then execute.

Featured Image Source: Activision

Here’s Two Videos of Me Playing Rocket League

As you already know, I’m a gamer, and I’ve been so for several years. In one of my previous posts, I shared with you a couple of videos of me playing Overwatch where I did good in one game and did terrible in another. Part of what I share on my YouTube channel are some of my gameplay recordings, with more to come in time.

As much as I love Overwatch, it’s not the only game I play. Rocket League joins the list of my favorite games of this console generation, and it stands rightfully so. There’s never been a game like this that combines fast cars with the fantastic sport of football to create a dynamic, adrenaline rushing experience. It’s actually one of the few multiplayer games that I’m half decent at.

In the video above you get to see me score 4 goals for my team, helping us to solidify a victory, where here’s another video below of us winning in overtime, with me securing the game winning goal with ease:

Just like Overwatch, I was hesitate to give Rocket League a try because even though it’s a unique game, it was something I thought I wouldn’t enjoy because I preferred more realism in my sports games, and games in general. But now I could care less. The fun factor is here, and the gameplay mechanics is smooth. This game favors skill level and teamwork over mere progression, which I like. If you haven’t given Rocket League a try, I highly recommend that you do.

Again I plan to post a lot more gameplay videos on my YouTube channel in the future, so if you like to watch gameplay videos, while being entertained, please check out my channel and subscribe to watch more content. And don’t hesitate to share your feedback. I usually respond to comments on my channel, and will respond here as well.

Featured Image Source: Psyonix

Here’s a Couple of my Overwatch Videos on YouTube

Hi Everyone. It’s been awhile since I’ve written a blog post. Honestly I still need to learn time management, especially since I have a lot that I’m working on. One of the things I’m working on is building my YouTube channel. I’m still figuring what exactly I want to share with my target audience, but one thing is for certain, gaming is on that list.

I’ve been a gamer since I was 5 years old. I mainly play on my Playstation 4 Pro. I’ve been a Playstation fan since Sony’s first console years ago.

One of the main games I’m playing is Overwatch, a game I slept on for almost a year. It wasn’t until recently I gave it a try, and fell in love with it. The above video is footage of my best gameplay thus far. But below is a video of some of my worst gameplay:

I plan on playing Overwatch for as long as the game is supported by the great people of Blizzard Entertainment, which knowing them will be several years. There’s something about team based shooters that intrigue me. Maybe it’s because there’s that need to work together as a unit to fulfill objectives, rather than just going out on a rampage.

Again gaming videos are just one of the things I plan to share on my YouTube channel, and will share on my blog from time to time. But I also plan to share more, another being lifestyle content. So please be on the look out for that. Thanks again for checking out this post, and please check out my YouTube channel to see my gaming and Vlog videos I’ve posted.

Featured Image Source: Blizzard Entertainment