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Jan 15, 2013

Toys and video games hook up on new Disney game platform

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Children will be able to move plastic toys that look like pirate Captain Jack Sparrow and other movie characters into a virtual world on a computer or TV screen in a game platform Walt Disney Co unveiled on Wednesday in hopes of boosting revenue at a loss-making division.

Disney’s new “Infinity” concept, to be released in June, comes with games inspired by “Monsters University,” “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “The Incredibles” franchises. The toys will come to life onscreen after being placed on a small electronic portal, similar to Activision Blizzard’s “Skylanders,” one of 2012′s top-selling games.

Jan 13, 2013

Women pry open door to video game industry’s boys’ club

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 13 (Reuters) – When video game developer
Brenda Brathwaite Romero started her career in the 1980s, she
could count the number of female developers in the industry on
one hand.

Today, many “Women in Games” roundtables she attends are
filled to capacity with new faces. The 46-year-old, sometimes
referred to as the longest-serving woman in the video game
arena, jokes that these days one can even encounter long lines
for the ladies’ room at the Game Developers Conference, one of
the industry’s largest gatherings.

Jan 8, 2013

GameStop slashes same-store sales forecast; shares skid

Jan 8 (Reuters) – GameStop Corp, the largest U.S.
video game retailer, slashed its forecast for fourth-quarter
sales after customer traffic shrank over the crucial holiday
season, sending its shares down 6 percent.

GameStop said it now sees same-store sales falling between 4
percent and 7 percent for the fiscal fourth quarter ending Jan.
28, versus a previous forecast ranging from an increase of 1
percent to a decline of 7 percent. The company also warned that
quarterly profit will come in at the low end of its previously
forecast range.

Dec 31, 2012

Zynga carries out planned games shutdown, including ‘Petville’

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 31 (Reuters) – Social games publisher
Zynga Inc confirmed on Monday that it has carried out
11 of the planned shutdowns of 13 game titles, with “Petville”
being the latest game on which it pulled the plug.

Zynga in October said it would shut down 13 underperforming
titles after warning that its revenues were slowing as gamers
fled from its once-popular titles published on the Facebook
platform in large numbers and sharply revised its full-year
outlook.

Dec 21, 2012

Mobile game companies race to make it to the holiday app charts

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Mobile game developers are scrambling to get on Apple Inc’s top mobile app charts this Christmas, as seasonal sales are expected to reach an all-time high in a fast-growing market dominated by the iPad and iPhone maker.

Just as Billboard’s music charts spell success for pop music, Apple’s charts for the top paid, free and top-grossing apps have become a touchstone for the gaming industry, with a top ranking giving sales an extra boost.

Dec 19, 2012

THQ files for bankruptcy, Clearlake makes bid for assets

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Video game maker THQ Inc said on Wednesday it filed for bankruptcy, and private investment firm Clearlake Capital Group has offered to buy its assets.

THQ has filed voluntary petitions under Chapter 11 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware to facilitate a sale of the assets of its operating business including its four studios and games in development.

Dec 11, 2012

Warner Bros and MGM invest in social-gaming company Kabam

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 11 (Reuters) – Warner Bros Entertainment
Inc and MGM Studios Inc have joined forces to invest an
undisclosed amount in the privately-held, social and mobile
gaming company, Kabam Inc, the games maker said on Tuesday.

San Francisco-based Kabam, which is known for its popular
“Kingdoms of Camelot” s trategy games that allow players to build
castles and battle troops in a medieval setting, competes with
gaming companies like Zynga Inc and Kixeye.

Nov 29, 2012

Sony’s PlayStation3 beats Nintendo’s Wii U over Black Friday

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Sony Corp sold over 525,000 PlayStation3 consoles in the United States during the week of Black Friday that kicks off the holiday shopping season, surpassing sales of Nintendo’s new Wii U.

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc said on Thursday that sales of its six-year-old PlayStation3 jumped 9 percent over the same period last year. The sales compared with over 400,000 units sold of Nintendo’s Wii U, the new console on which the Japanese company is staking much of its future.

Nov 26, 2012

Nintendo sells 400,000 Wii U consoles in first US week

Nov 26 (Reuters) – Nintendo Co Ltd sold more than
400,000 “Wii U” video game consoles in the United States in the
first week of its release, the games maker said on Monday.

Nintendo, which has gradually ceded ground to Microsoft
Corp’s industry-leading Xbox 360, needs the Wii U,
which comes with a touchscreen controller, to be a hit to turn
around years of losses.

Nov 21, 2012

Burglar of Steve Jobs’ house admits to eight break-ins

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A former salesman who lost his job and ended up homeless admitted in a plea deal on Wednesday to burglarizing Steve Jobs’ house and seven other homes in a crime spree capped by his break-in at the late Apple founder’s Silicon Valley residence.

In return for his plea of “no contest,” legally equivalent to a guilty plea in California, Santa Clara County prosecutors agreed to recommend that Kariem McFarlin, 35, be sentenced to no more than seven years and eight months in prison.