Daily Marauder


GAMING by Marauder
March 19, 2009, 5:28 PM
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GAMING

PBS Kids Go! expanded its video player capabilities to include new in-video gaming on pbskidsgo.org. In video games designed to foster learning comprehension among the site’s targeted 6-8 demo have been added to shows such as Arthur, Fetch! With Ruff Ruffman and Wordgirl. (Cynopsis 3/19)

pbs-go

Then there’s Mooch, which as build a peer-to-peer video game trading site just launched in public beta. Instead of exchanging used titles at their local GameStop for a fraction of the original price, users can enter a list of the games they have as well as the games they want and the site’s trading engine identifies potential trades based on the commensurate value of each title. The site is free to use during its beta but will require an annual $20 subscription fee upon launch. (Cynopsis 3/19)

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GAMING by Marauder

GAMING

Marvel Entertainment and Gazillion Entertainment have struck an exclusive 10-year licensing deal to develop massively multiplayer online games based on Marvel’s stable of 5,000 characters. The first game in development is a casual MMO title for younger players based on Marvel’s Super Hero Squad comic. Gazillion also will develop “Marvel Universe,” an MMO game for PC and consoles. Financial details of the licensing deal were not disclosed. (Cynopsis 3/18)

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GAMING by Marauder
March 13, 2009, 7:06 AM
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GAMING

Nintendo Wii may do more than deliver games in the future, according to Lionsgate President Curt Marvis, who said the Wii offered opportunities to movie studios. For the Japanese market, Nintendo already has a video-on-demand service in development for the Wii. The New York Times/VentureBeat (3/13)

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GAMING by Marauder
January 29, 2009, 8:00 PM
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GAMING

Thanks to strong demand for its Wii and DS gaming platforms, Japan‘s Nintendo announced a 21% rise in operating profit in the third quarter. But that good news came with a caveat: The company also scaled back its forecast because of a strong yen, which makes Nintendo’s goods less desirable on the world import stage. Reuters (1/29)

Online gaming usage spiked significantly last year as broadband became more affordable and consumers looked for cheap entertainment options, according to ComScore. The category itself surged by 27% to nearly 86 million users with Yahoo! Games leading the pack. Americans’ total share of internet time spent playing online games grew from 3.7% in December 2007 to 4.9% in December 2008. (Cynopsis 1/29)

Top Online Gaming Sites -  December 2008 vs. December 2007
Total Unique Visitors (000)
Dec-2007        Dec-2008        % Change
Online Gaming                  67,457          85,977          27
Yahoo! Games                  16,184          19,468          20
EA Online                         12,673          15,369          21
Disney Games                   11,933          13,458          13
WildTangent Network           7,650          13,306          74
Addictinggames.com            9,706          11,343          17
AOL Games                         8,380          10,750          28
MSN Games                        9,685          10,263           6
Miniclip.com                        7,264           8,636          19
Nick.com Games                  6,020           7,092          18
Spil Games                          1,821           6,715         269
Total Internet Audience     183,619         190,650           4
Source: comScore Media Metrix

The gaming category also attracted more display ads, with total display ad views increasing by 29% to 8.6 billion.

Display Advertising Trends in Online Gaming Category – Nov. 2008 vs. Nov. 2007
Online Gaming                                       Nov-2007      Nov-2008    % Change
Total Display Ad Views (MM)                       6,659         8,610        29
Advertising Exposed Unique Visitors (000)     52,066       67,834        30
Advertising Exposed Reach %                       28.6           35.6        25
Display Ads per Page Viewed                        1.00           0.83       -17
Average Frequency                                    127.9         126.9        -1
GRPs Total Population                                 2,271         2,913        28
Source: comScore Ad Metrix

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GAMING by Marauder

GAMING

In the world of video game development, titans such as Electronic Arts and Activision rule the roost, but recently an independent game called “World of Goo” became the top-selling PC title on Amazon.com. According to this report, the industry is changing in ways that make it somewhat easier for indie titles to break through. The New York Times/VentureBeat (1/2)

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GAMING by Marauder
December 15, 2008, 6:35 AM
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GAMING

Slow sales of the roughly-two-month-old “Wii Music” game have some analysts concerned that the exponentially expanding game console from Nintendo may have hit its first roadblock. “It could be Nintendo’s first flop for Wii,” UBS Investment Research analyst Benjamin Schachter. The Wall Street Journal (12/15)

Getty Images

Nintendo game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, shown demonstrating Wii Music, says he isn’t expecting it to be an immediate hit.

wii-music

The gaming industry is emerging as a bright corner of the troubled economy as U.S. sales of videogames grew 10% to $2.91 billion in November, according to market research firm NPD Group. Sales of videogame consoles were also up 10%, to $1.21 billion led by the Nintendo which sold more than 2 million Wiis and 1.57 million DS hand-held consoles. Microsoft came in second, with 836,000 Xbox 360 consoles sold. Sony continued to struggle in November, selling only 378,000 PlayStation 3s, 206,000 PS2s and 421,000 of PSP handhelds. (Cynopsis 12/15)

The media industry will be watching Wednesday when video game publisher Take-Two Interactive Software releases its quarterly earnings. According to this report, crashing stock values at many games companies are making them prime takeover targets for larger media companies. The Wall Street Journal (12/15)

Top 10 PC Game Titles in the U.S.
Rank  Game Title                    Publisher                    AU%     Ave. Minutes Played/Week
1       World of Warcraft Blizzard Entertainment .723           671
2       Call of Duty 4: Modern  Warfare  Activision           .163           403
3       Halo: Combat Evolved   Microsoft Game Studios    .092           295
4       Sims, The                     Electronic Arts Inc. 0.09           213
5       Sims 2, The                  Electronic Arts Inc.         0.086          291
6       RuneScape                   Jagex Ltd.                     0.084           451
7       Diablo II                      Blizzard Entertainment    0.065          313
8       Team Fortress              2 Valve                          0.063          371
9       Counter-Strike             Sierra Studios                 0.062          282
10     CS: Source  Valve        Sierra Studios                 0.061          426
Source:  The Nielsen Company
Note:  Data from Jan – Oct 2008.  AU% = % of PC Gamers playing title in the average minute

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GAMING by Marauder

GAMING

Activision Blizzard sold a record 2.8 million copies of the latest World of Warcraft expansion: Wrath of the Lich King within the first 24 hours of its release. The Massively Multiplayer Online Game has about 11 million online subscribers. (Cynopsis 11/20)

lich-king

In its battle for the hearts and minds of gamers, Sony is developing a robust social-networking component to its PlayStation 3 console. The new element, to be called Home, has been in beta testing for weeks and allows users to explore an online world with avatars that can travel from one virtual place to another. The New York Times/VentureBeat (11/19)

National Geographic Ventures is working with video game makers on branded games for PCs, consoles and handhelds, according to this article. “National Geographic: Panda” will be available this month for handheld Nintendo DS, and next month Sony will have “National Geographic: Africa.” The Washington Post/The Associated Press (11/18)

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