Video games defy economic gloom

December 12, 2008

U.S. shoppers are still spending in a big way — they are just not buying cars, plane tickets, clothing, etc. But they are buying video games.

$60 video games? Do the math, says Zelnick

December 5, 2008

How do entertainment retailers come up with the prices they charge? Why is a movie theater ticket $10, a music CD $15, a rental DVD $3-$5 and a top video game $60?

from DealZone:

Shane Kim’s crystal ball: videogame deals, new content

December 3, 2008

Microsoft's videogame chief Shane Kim came by our New York office this morning for the Reuters Media Summit and shared his thoughts on XBox 360 sales ("cautiously optimistic") and the outlook for the gaming industry amid the economic doom-and-gloom ("Who knows, maybe flat performance will be considered a remarkable achievement").

Nintendo’s Reggie Fils-Aime: “Very Optimistic”

November 14, 2008

Wouldn’t you like to be Reggie Fils-Aime right now. Things probably couldn’t be better for the President of Nintendo of America — largely the face behind the popular “Wii” phenomenon — despite the global economic troubles.

Move over Mom, Lifetime’s got game

November 10, 2008

When the going gets tough, the tough play dress up.

Women-focused cable channel Lifetime Network on Monday expanded its push into gaming by buying Korean casual gaming site, Roiworld.com, the No. 1 teen dress up site in Korea.

Madison Avenue feels your pain

August 29, 2008

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These days, it’s not just Wal-Mart that’s beating the cost savings drum in its marketing. Indeed, in this climate of costly gas and food, job insecurity and falling home prices, you can’t beat cheap on Madison Avenue.

Video games industry appeals to core gamers at Leipzig convention

August 25, 2008

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    The rise of casual video gaming may have grabbed the headlines over the past couple of years, but the more hardcore end of the market dominated at Europe’s biggest gaming convention in Leipzig last week.
    Apart from new iterations of popular karaoke-style games such as Activision‘s Guitar Hero, Electronic ArtsRockBand and Sony‘s SingStar, which arguably kick-started the trend of easy-to-play casual fare, the world’s biggest games publishers focused on products for their core audience.
    Upcoming release Command and Conquer Red Alert 3 was a case in point. Not only does the game involve sending dozens of types of futuristic military unit across apocalyptic landscapes, but EA was marketing it in part on the basis that one of the
actresses in it, Jenny McCarthy, is a former Playboy playmate of the year.
    Most publishers were playing it safe, focusing on sequels such as a new version of The Sims – the virtual doll’s house franchise which has sold over 100 million copies since launch in 200? — or movie tie-ins such as a game based on new James Bond film Quantum of Solace.
    True innovation was thin on the ground, at least on a whistle-stop tour view of the main publishers’ offerings. Ubisoft demoed a game in the same genre as Command and Conquer which could be fully voice-controlled — apparently a first for consoles — while Sony previewed LittleBigPlanet. This marries the hot theme of user-designed content (think YouTube or MySpace) to an age-old platforming mechanic, the basics of which that would be familiar to anyone who had played Nintendo‘s Mario games.
    Cute sack-doll characters jump over flames and on to rising platforms, but the novelty is that most of the game, from the characters’ outfits and personalities to the landscapes over which they clamber can be modified by players and shared online.
    But for two of the other most hotly awaited games of the season, there was no news, albeit for opposite reasons. EA’s Spore, in which players guide a lifeform in the Darwinian struggle from primaeval soup to interplanetary conflict, is due out on Sept. 4 and had already been presented in near-final form at other events, so did not get a spot in EA’s main presentation.
    World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, the next installment of the online role-playing game that has over 10 million subscribers — was available to play in an early form, but it remained unclear when the final version would be on sale. A spokesman for Activision unit Blizzard could not even confirm it would definitely be out before Christmas.

Doesn’t matter what the FCC says Wii love you: Comcast

July 28, 2008

It’s been a rough few weeks for cable operator Comcast Corp. U.S. regulator FCC is on the verge of punishing it for allegedly fiddling with subscribers’ use of peer-to-peer services like BitTorrent while New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is threatening to sue if Comcast doesn’t agree to join other Internet service providers to block access to child pornography.

Wii can jam too!

July 15, 2008

It was Nintendo’s turn to play a little music. Following on the heels of popular music genre games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero, Nintendo showed off Wii Music at its E3 press conference.  Here’s a quick video — shot by our video games reporter Kemp Powers — of Nintendo executives, including legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto , playing the Mario theme song. (Hint: Miyamoto is the short Japanese man.)

Mii too!

July 14, 2008

xbox-avatars.pngIf imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Nintendo should feel very flattered by Microsoft’s press conference that kicked off today’s E3 Media & Business Summit in Los Angeles.