Archives: January 2008

MMOG Chart.com Convalescent

Posted by: Matt Vella on January 29, Categories: MMO

Bruce Sterling Woodcock is the man behind the fascinating MMO statistics site MMOGCHART.com. The website was long the go-to resource for subscriber statistics and demographic trends in the biggest massively...

Up Next: Game Thinking

Posted by: Matt Vella on January 29, Categories: Serious Games

BusinessWeek's Jessie Scanlon has just written a great piece titled Rules of the Game about the emerging trend of game thinking, "applying game features to nongame consumer applications." Gabe Zichermann,...

Habbo, 86 Million Strong And Counting

Posted by: Matt Vella on January 29, Categories: Virtual Worlds

Timo Soininen, CEO of Sulake, the Finnish company behind the wildly popular virtual world/social networking site Habbo, dropped by BusinessWeek HQ today. He gave my colleague Reena Jana and I...

Books: Inside Game Design

Posted by: Matt Vella on January 28, Categories: Books

Editor's Rating: The Good: Useful and informative for insiders and casual readers alike. The Bad: Almost none; could use a little more analysis here and there. The Bottom Line: A...

Real-World Economic Troubles Reach Virtual Proportions

Posted by: Matt Vella on January 26, Categories: Virtual Worlds

With the lingering sub-prime mess, credit crunch, market madness, and global mania over economic coupling/decoupling, these are definitely times that try economists’ souls. But, those real-world economic troubles have rippled...

Fox News Responds To EA Criticism

Posted by: Matt Vella on January 24, Categories: Electronic Arts

A Fox News spokesperson responded to Electronic Arts' (ERTS) criticism of the channel's Live Desk program, which it says misrepresented the Mass Effect game in a segment earlier this week....

EA Tangles With Fox Over Mass Effect

Posted by: Matt Vella on January 24, Categories: Electronic Arts

Electronic Arts (ERTS) is serious about asking Fox News to straighten the record over its coverage earlier this week of Mass Effect, the hit titled released by the games giant...

EA - Fox News Spat Heats Up

Posted by: Matt Vella on January 24, Categories: Electronic Arts

A tiff between Fox News and Electronic Arts (ERTS) may be turning into a scuttle. According to reports cropping up on the web, the games giant may now be asking...

Coolest Thing This Morning: London 3D

Posted by: Matt Vella on January 24, Categories: Misc

Dr. Andrew Hudson-Smith, a professor at the University College London, is attempting to recreate the city of London using the hit PC game Crysis' mod tools. The so-called Digital Urban...

Games Recession? Pshawww, Analyst Says

Posted by: Matt Vella on January 23, Categories: Sales

With the markets going nuts, people are starting to ask about the looming consequences of softening consumer spending on the games market. Lazard Capital Markets analyst Colin Sebastian is saying,...

WoW Hits The Big 1-0

Posted by: Matt Vella on January 22, Categories: Activision-Blizzard, MMO, World of Warcraft

Blizzard Entertainment announced today that its juggernaut MMO, World of Warcraft, has reached 10 million subscribers. The announcement is a note to would-be competitors – listen up Age of Conan,...

All That Head-banging Nets $1 Billion

Posted by: Matt Vella on January 22, Categories: Activision-Blizzard

The NPD sales figures keep on giving: News yesterday that the Guitar Hero franchise has rocked out to the tune of $1 billion, with sales of some 14 million units...

A Big Play For Micro-Transactions At Home [Updated]

Posted by: Matt Vella on January 21, Categories: Electronic Arts

[Update: BusinessWeek's Paris correspondent Jennifer Schenker has an insightful piece analyzing the news of EA's micro-transactions play, including the potential consequences of the move in terms of software piracy. Check...

How Many Gaming Macs Did Apple Sell Last Quarter?

Posted by: Matt Vella on January 20, Categories: Apple, Electronic Arts

Apple (AAPL) is scheduled to release its first quarter results for fiscal year '08 on Jan 22. Citigroup analyst Richard Gardner is expecting a rally in Apple shares partly based...

EA Is Perfecting Game UI

Posted by: Matt Vella on January 19, Categories: Electronic Arts

Criterion’s much anticipated arcade driver Burnout Paradise is just around the corner. (Release date: Jan. 22.) Electronic Arts (ERTS) sent me a preview copy to check out over the long...

Yaris Game ‘Exceeding Expectations’

Posted by: Matt Vella on January 18, Categories: Xbox Live

A little over three months ago, Toyota (TM) released the first free, “brand-supported” (i.e. advergame) on Xbox Live Arcade. Dubbed Yaris, the light-weight title is a relatively simple dodge and...

Scion, Most Virtual World-y Brand?

Posted by: Matt Vella on January 18, Categories: Virtual Worlds

The whole brand meets Second Life, brand falls in love, brand’s time and money is wasted story is an old one. (My colleagues Reena Jana and Aili McConnon were at...

2007’s Best Sellers: Hardware + Software

Posted by: Matt Vella on January 17, Categories: Sales

Nintendo (NTDOY) dominated hardware sales last year, according to NPD's just-released figures for the year. Here's the list, year-to-date sales in parentheses: Hardware DS: 8.50 million (17.65m) Wii: 6.29 million...

Gaming’s $18 Billion Year

Posted by: Matt Vella on January 17, Categories: Sales

NPD Group’s final sales tally for the year just rolled with another set of all-time record highs. The U.S. games market grew a whopping 43% in 2007 to nearly $18...

EA Represents at LIFT08

Posted by: Matt Vella on January 17, Categories: Conferences, Electronic Arts, Europe

LIFT is a nifty little conference that takes place in Geneva, Switzerland early next month (Feb. 6-8). The gathering’s mission – to “promote discussion about new technologies and their impact...

Can Infogrames Pick Itself Up?

Posted by: Matt Vella on January 17, Categories: Atari, Europe, Infogrames

Patrick Leleu, Infogrames (IFGEF) CEO, seems to think so. Earlier today, Leleu told the French newspaper Les Echos the company was on track to stabilize itself by mid-year 2008. It’s...

Debate: Games Are for Kids

Posted by: Matt Vella on January 16, Categories:

To coincide with the launch of Games, Inc., BusinessWeek's debate room took up the prompt: Electronic games haven’t reached a level of sophistication commensurate with adult intellect. Pro or Con?...

PSN, Sony's Innovation Engine

Posted by: Matt Vella on January 16, Categories: Microsoft, Sony

I wrote a piece earlier this week examining the budding competition between console download services, particularly between Sony’s Playstation 3 Network and Microsoft’s Xbox Live Arcade. Quickly mentioned in the...

Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start

Posted by: Matt Vella on January 16, Categories:

Welcome to BusinessWeek’s newly minted Games, Inc. blog. Though debate over the artistic merits of video games is likely to continue indefinitely, their commercial significance reached an all-time high...

About

No longer child's play, the booming global games market is worth billions of dollars. In Games, Inc., BusinessWeek Innovation writer Matt Vella and Tokyo correspondent Kenji Hall analyze emerging business trends in video games and interactive entertainment. They’ll examine everything from button-mashing, chart-topping, console games to serious games commissioned by big corporations to train staff. They’ll also map the evolution of expansive virtual worlds and go behind the strategies at companies that are turning play into big business.

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