Did the Games Industry Just Take 5 Steps Backwards?!?

What kind of brain fart was the inspiration for GameCrush? Really? Just when I thought the industry was moving in the right direction toward mass market. Clearly this is an indication that things are still completely out of whack.

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Global Gaming News

Global Gaming News: Nov 1 – Nov 6

North America

Activision Blizzard

Activision posted revenue of $703 million for the third quarter, compared to $711 million last year. While revenue was down from 2008 quarter figures, the company had net earnings of $15 million compared to a loss of $108 million for the same quarter.

In separate news, Activision announced that World of Warcraft has started support of microtransactions, selling pets for $10 each. Initial reaction has had customers up in arms about the additional costs.

Wow - pandoranmonk

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Middleware Update

Epic just announced it is making its development kit available for free for noncommercial and educational use.  This comes just a few weeks after Unity landed $5.5 million in VC funding. I’m not inferring that Epic’s move is a reaction to Unity’s news, rather I think it highlights that tool and middleware vendors are still jockeying to meet a growing range of game development needs.

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Gaming’s New Market Dynamics and the Importance of Middleware

Not to state the obvious, but 2009 has been bad for business. Of course the video game industry has been impacted, but the woes of the game industry have more to do with growing pains from within. Many of the traditional models were breaking down independently of the economy.  The retail model is too expensive and development costs are too high to support the added retail cost burden. Up until last year the industry was in a state of paradigm paralysis – or the inability to see beyond the current models. Defined as the greatest barrier to a paradigm shift, paradigm paralysis has overshadowed growth opportunities for many companies.

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E3 Part II: The Tools and the Tech that Make it Interesting

This second part of my E3 coverage takes a deeper look at some of the technology working behind the scenes that make these games so remarkable. There is so much attention given to covering the games at E3 and giving detailed features of the new games on the horizon. But what about the tools and technology used to create these cutting edge games? Where are we at with the development?

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Finally, the money is flowing again.

In the last two days there have been several announcement of new funding rounds for a couple of game technology companies. Yesterday Unity Technologies, the browser-based game engine company, announced a $5.5 million Series A round with Sequoia Capital. Then today Organic Motion, specializing in trackerless motion capture technology, announced a Series B round of $7.4 million led by Foundry Group.

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E3 Part I: The Big Three Take Their Positions

THE BRIEF  –  E3 Part I: The Big Three Take Their Positions

This year’s revamped, revitalized E3 could not have come at a better time for the industry. With the global economic meltdown it was serendipity that E3 organizers decided to go back to a bigger, more open show format. The excitement was certainly there this year and the 40,000 attendees seemed to welcome a return to some of E3’s glory days.

This Part I of The Brief will highlight an overview of the big three console companies because they were the epicenter of all things E3 this year. More specifically they each seem to be succinctly rounding out their product offerings into complete gaming ecosystems. Yet each company has a very different vision and strategy for attracting and retaining customers to their individual gaming experience.

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