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May 7, 2013

Video game maker drops gun makers, not their guns

SAN FRANCISCO, May 7 (Reuters) – In the midst of the bitter
national debate on gun violence, gun manufacturers and videogame
makers are delicately navigating one of the more peculiar
relationships in American business.

Violent “first-person shooter” games such as “Call of Duty”
are the bread and butter of leading video game publishers, and
authenticity all but requires that they feature brand-name
weapons.

May 6, 2013

Electronic Arts, Disney strike “Star Wars” games deal

SAN FRANCISCO, May 6 (Reuters) – Electronic Arts and
Walt Disney Co sealed a multi-year licensing deal under
which the video game publisher will develop games for mobile
devices, PCs and consoles based on the “Star Wars” movies.

Disney, which bought George Lucas’s Lucasfilm Ltd and the
blockbuster sci-fi franchise for $4.05 billion in October, will
retain the rights to develop online and mobile games, both
companies said in a statement on Monday.

Apr 24, 2013

Microsoft to reveal next-generation Xbox on May 21

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Microsoft Corp will unveil its much-anticipated next-generation Xbox on May 21 following months of speculation the company is gearing up to announce a new video game console this summer.

The company sent out media invitations on Wednesday, hinting it would be announcing the successor to its seven-year old Xbox 360. A new console from the software company will come on the heels of rival Sony’s announcement in February that it will launch the PlayStation4 this holiday season.

Apr 12, 2013

Electronic Arts cuts staff at Montreal studio

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Videogame publisher Electronic Arts has begun laying off staff at its Montreal game studio in its latest round of jobs cuts, less than a month after former Chief Executive John Riccitiello abruptly resigned.

The company, known for its “FIFA” and “Sims” games, declined to divulge the number of jobs affected, or how many employees it has in Montreal, where it has developed console games like “Army of Two”.

Apr 11, 2013

Cybercrime ring attacks videogame companies for years-researcher

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Cybersecurity researchers have uncovered a Chinese hacking ring that they said broke into the servers of dozens of online videogaming companies and stole valuable source code over a four-year period.

Kaspersky Lab warned on Thursday that an organization it christened “Winnti” had infiltrated the servers of at least 35 game developers and publishers, mostly in East Asia including South Korea, but also in Germany, the United States, Japan, China, Russia, Brazil, Peru, and Belarus.

Apr 3, 2013

Disney to shut LucasArts games studio, lay off workers

LOS ANGELES/SAN FRANCISCO, April 3 (Reuters) – Walt
Disney Co plans to shut the 30-year-old LucasArts studio
it inherited with the acquisition of George Lucas’ film company
last year, and focus on licensing its “Star Wars” brand
externally, a spokesman said on Wednesday.

The closure will involve an unknown number of layoffs. A
“small team” will remain to handle licensing partnerships but
all inhouse development has been halted, including its
much-anticipated title “Star Wars 1313″, said Miles Perkins, a
spokesman for Lucasfilm Ltd.

Mar 28, 2013

GameStop says demand hit as customers await new consoles

March 28 (Reuters) – Retailer GameStop Corp warned
of weak sales this year as customers delay purchases ahead of
the arrival of next-generation videogame consoles, but it
reported stronger-than-expected quarterly results.

The world’s largest retailer of videogame products said on
Thursday that it expected full-year sales to remain flat or fall
by as much as 8 percent, implying revenue of between $8.18
billion and $8.89 billion. Analysts on average expect $8.86
billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Mar 18, 2013

Electronic Arts CEO quits, takes blame for missed targets

SAN FRANCISCO, March 18 (Reuters) – Electronic Arts’
Chief Executive Officer John Riccitiello has resigned after six
years at the helm of the video games publisher, saying he held
himself accountable for missed operational targets.

The company behind the “Sims” and “Medal of Honor”
franchises on Monday warned investors that earnings in the
current quarter will be at the low end of, or slightly below,
its previously issued forecasts.

Mar 18, 2013

Electronic Arts CEO steps down, takes blame for missed targets

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Electronic Arts’ Chief Executive Officer John Riccitiello has resigned, saying he was “accountable” for the company missing its operational targets.

The company warned investors that earnings in the current quarter will be at the low end of or slightly below its previously issued forecast after the announcement.

Mar 11, 2013

EA says SimCity server issues improve, not yet ‘all-clear’

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Server problems that botched the launch of Electronic Arts Inc’s new “SimCity” title last week and incensed gamers who could not access the game for days have improved but not yet been fully resolved, the company said.

About a week since the game’s launch, the company has been scrambling to add servers and issue client updates to tackle server connectivity issues that plagued users.