Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders
Forget sports tournaments or new movie releases as boosters for game demand. Electronic Arts' latest hero is America's most famous chat show host.
Chief Executive John Riccitiello, at the Reuters Media summit, went out of his way to praise Oprah Winfrey, whose recent shout-out of Scrabble gave a new lease of life to the not-so-new word game.
"We're very thankful to Oprah for mentioning Scrabble on iPad as one of her ultimate favorite gifts. There was a 400 percent pop ... on her word." He said. "I think there's different grades of favorite so we were happy to be among her ultimate favorites."
So did Riccitiello contact Oprah directly to say thanks? "My sense is that the number of people sending her flowers is too many for her to notice my petunias," he said.
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?
We asked Strauss Zelnick, executive chairman of game publisher Take-Two. He says it's simple math, based upon the value of that experience.
Strauss Zelnick, chairman of Take Two Interactive, has a bone to pick with the media: He doesn’t like the two words “Financial” and ”Crisis.” At least not when they are used to describe the current state of economic affairs.
“I don’t think we’re in a financial crisis,” Zelnick said at the Reuters Media Summit. “The use of the word crisis — I’m loathe to be critical of the media since I’m every bit a part of the media — but I don’t think the word has been especially helpful. We’re obviously in a recession and these are very very trying times.”
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").
He also gazed into his crystal ball and served up some insights on the trends shaping the gaming business.
The spectacular debut this month of Take Two’s blockbuster video game Grand Theft Auto was no better than expected, EA’s head of international publishing, Gerhard Florin, told the Reuters Technology, Media and Telecoms summit in Paris.
EA on Monday extended its public offer for Take Two by a month after failing to win more shareholder support for its $2 billion hostile bid but did not up the price. Florin said he was surprised there had not been a more negative approach to the violent game, which instead was hailed as a work of art, even in Germany, which tends to shun violent video games.