Mobile gaming with the PlayStation Vita
red dot award: product design 2012
Foto: Koelnmesse
"Tourist Paradise" by Leo Burnett GmbH
red dot: best of the best
"Grand Theft Auto IV" by Rockstar North Ltd.
red dot: best of the best

gamescom: Celebrate the games 2012

Until 19 August 2012 the gamescom in Cologne invites everyone to “celebrate the games” and to discover the latest trends in interactive entertainment. The world’s biggest fair for computer- and video games is held for the fourth time – this year on 140,000 square metres, an increase of 15 per cent, compared with a last year. The public can look forward to a broad range of computer-, console-, online- and browser games, as well as mobile and social games from well-known publishers.

One trend is that games are getting mobile and more social. The industry acknowledges the widespread distribution of smartphones and tablets and society’s increase in mobility. Furthermore, the range of so called Free2Play games increases. Major publishers such as Electronic Arts with “Command & Conquer Generals 2” put high hopes in this model. Free2Play does not mean that players get a limited demo version that is meant as an appetiser, but full version games that generate revenue through micro-transactions. The idea for this type of game came from Asia and is based on the assumption that gamers will prefer to pay for certain features, such as short cuts, special equipment or skills, instead of investing one’s precious time.

Manufacturers also regularly present latest trends and developments before the jury of the “red dot award: communication design“. In 2011 for example, the online game “Tourist Paradise” excited the international experts. In this game, the user takes over the role of a tourist who enjoys a cocktail at the beach bar, takes photos of a Buddha statue or follows the dance moves of the animator in a disco. Parallel to this, on the lower half of a split screen, a paramilitary character is shown in front of a similar scenery who, with analog movements, sets a press stand on fire, shoots a person or has prisoners deported. At the end, the online game reveals itself as a call by the ISHR International Society for Human Rights (Internationale Gesellschaft für Menschenrechte IGFM) which draws attention to the fact that tourists support existing regimes in countries like Cuba or Egypt financially with their package holiday.

Rockstar Games also received the coveted “red dot: best of the best” for “Grand Theft Auto IV“ and the outstanding communication design of the video game version of a gangster film. Thanks to more detailed graphics and animations, they were able to programme the game in a more realistic way. A big success: More than 22 million copies have been sold until today.

» best practice: "Tourist Paradise" by Leo Burnett GmbH

» best practice: "Grand Theft Auto IV" by Rockstar North Ltd.