One of the most interesting business books I have read lately has been the The Long Tail.

Given the planning work I'm doing with XNA Game Studio Express (getting close to shipping now!), it was a fascinating book and really helped articulate the "gut" feel that many members of the team feel when it comes to community generated games.

Many of the management team have also read that book as well, so that allows me to use some of the terminology in the book to help describe what we planning to do around sharing games. As I started to do more research I found that XNA Game Studio Express had been picked up by many people and linked to the Long Tail (including an article by the author himself). Some of the links I found were:

Chris Anderson (author of the Long Tail) also links to an post about some comments that Peter Moore (one of my indirect bosses) made at a conference around game development. A surprising number relate to the work that we are doing:

  1. Beyond The Boys In Their Bedrooms.  Appeal to a much wider audience.
  2. Don’t Pass The Buck On Rising Development Costs.  We need to find ways to reduce costs and restructure our revenue models.
  3. Rebel Without A Platform:  Bring Aspiring Developers Into The Fold.  For too long we’ve expected the developers of the future to claw their way up to us … we have to start coming to them and proactively develop a farm team of future stars.
  4. It’s A YouTube World:  Embrace Community Created Content.  We’re control freaks when it comes to how games are delivered to consumers.  We need more spaces where garage designers can get noticed.
  5. Set Us Free.  We should look at delivering new IP in new ways that recognize how powerful a concept shaping your own gaming experience is.
  6. We’re Too Cool For School:  Make Ourselves More Approachable.  Games are more powerful, but less approachable.  We need to make more games for more people.  Expand demographics, online gameplay, strong family settings. 
  7. Lower The Total Cost Of Ownership With Choice.  Consumer should have choices, starting at entry level, purchases should be upgradable, don’t lock consumers in.
  8. Treat Windows Like A Gaming Platform.  Windows as a platform reaches more people than any console ever will.

I think that points 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, and 8 are particularly relevant to what we are doing.

So if you have the chance, pick up and read the Long Tail - it's well worth the read.