MediaFile

EA cuts out middleman, launches video game download service

It might be a few days before a stampede of people will storm into the LA convention center to catch the video game industry’s latest wares but EA wasted no time in getting out the word about its new digital download service, dubbed “Origin.”

“Origin”, which EA announced on Friday, lets consumers buy and download PC games directly from the publisher online, as well as track all of their games across different platforms.

Publishers like digital delivery of games to consumers because they offer higher margins than games sold in brick and mortar stores like GameStop.  EA has been pushing its digital strategy hard to investors and its digital business is now growing faster than the company’s overall business.

Sales of online games, including digital downloads, Facebook games, online subscriptions and other forms, is expected to grow to $18 billion by the end of this year, according to DFC Intelligence, while regular sales of games sold in stores is expected to slip.

Users can find games on Origin the same time they come out in stores.

While there are other ways to download PC titles on services such as Steam, EA is offering exclusive titles on the new service. It will be the only place to find a digital version of “Star Wars: The Old Republic,” the highly-anticipated massive multiplayer game that will come out later this year.

Penny Arcade Expo East: Nothing small here

256256696Believe it or not, there were crowds gathered on Friday doing something else besides waiting for an iPad 2.  About 60,000 people swarmed Boston for Penny Arcade East, a major  convention for video game fans on the East Coast.

PAX doesn’t garner as much media attention as industry shows like E3 in Los Angeles each summer, where major games companies announce new products. While there aren’t as many reporters or  or executives in attendance, PAX EAST is still a big event for gamers- the hoards of people who help make the $60.4 million video game industry bigger than Hollywood.

It’s for people like Andrew Hydrusko, a 23-year-old student who drove from Delaware with four friends so he could dress as his favorite Mega Man character, Protoman, at the show. He donned a poncho, bullets and a painted motorcycle helmet reminiscent of a power ranger,  as he waited to play Guild Wars 2, an upcoming MMO game from NCsoft.

WoW! Blizzard Entertainment turns 20

uk.reuters.com

Blizzard Entertainment, the publisher of World of Warcaft and StarCraft 2 (Korea’s national past time) turns 20 this year. In February 1991, three UCLA grads, Allen Adham, Frank Pearce, and Mike Morhaime founded a publishing company called Silicon & Synapse. Based in Irvine, California, it would later go on to be known as Blizzard Entertainment and crank out $1.65 billion in revenue 2010.

Here are some highlights of an interview on Monday with two of three founders, Pearce and Morhaime, as well as Activision Blizzard’s CFO Thomas Tippl. Here’s a  video the company made to celebrate.

ON HOW FAST THEY CAN GET OUT THE NEXT WORLD OF WARCRAFT UPDATE (CATACLYSM TOOK TWO YEARS):

CES: You will take this meeting. You will take this meeting.

The Consumer Electronics Show, or CES as most people call it, produces approximately 1 million press releases for every person who attends the annual Las Vegas technology trade show. (Think: “There are 8 million stories in the Naked City. This has been one of them.”)

Here are excerpts from my favorite one so far:

CARDIFF, Calif.,  Jan. 4, 2011  /PRNewswire/ –  Mind Technologies Inc. (Pink Sheets: JEDM), announced today that the Company’s management team will be attending the  Consumer Electronics Show (CES)  Conference in  Las VegasJanuary 6-9, 2011.

“We have been contacted by several media outlets for an interview and explanation of our software products,” said Mind Technologies CEO and President,  Brent Fouch. “This particular conference is rich with opportunities for us to build relationships and expose our company to thousands of people at the same time. This is an excellent way for us to kick off our aggressive marketing program we have lined up for 2011,” concluded Fouch.