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GAMING by Marauder

GAMING

Can’t afford a ticket to China to go visit the Forbidden City? Well, now all you need is your computer. IBM, which is a big believer in virtual worlds, and China’s Palace Museum have created an exact replica of the 178-acre Forbidden City. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/10/10/real-world-got-you-down-ibm-invites-you-to-a-virtual-forbidden-city 10/10)

The one segment of the industry that may fare well during the downturn is gaming, based on recent trends:

  • Nintendo continues to lead among 3rd generation consoles approaching 30 million global units sold. The company’s Wii Shop Channel is gaining popularity, offering downloads of classic games for points that can be purchased online or at a retail outlet. The platform also offers an increasing selection of WiiWare – games built by independent developers
  • Microsoft says sales are picking up steam since it lowered the price on the entry level Xbox 360, even in Japan where the company has struggled to gain market share. Microsoft raised its forecast for sales in Japan, emboldened when publisher Square Enix said the latest Final Fantasy edition would launch for the Xbox 360 as well as the PS3. (FF has quite a cult following it Japan)
  • Sony is so confident that it is refusing to lower the price of the PS3 for the holiday season according to Edge magazine, which at $399 is the priciest console on the market. Sony said it’s on track to meet its goal of selling 10 million units of the PS3 and 15 million units of the PSP in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2009 (Cynopsis 10/10)
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GAMING by Marauder

GAMING

Square Enix, the maker of such hit video games as “Final Fantasy” and “Kingdom Hearts,” has launched its initial iPod title, “Song Summoner: The Unsung Heroes,” a role-playing game designed exclusively for the Apple platform, the company said Tuesday. Also, Flair has created “iNo,” a quiz game that uses the music stored on the device as the basis for the questions. (The New York Times/Reuters 7/8, Pocket-lint.co.uk 7/8)

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GAMING by Marauder

GAMING

Top 10 Third-Party Videogame Publishers/Developers, By Quarterly Revenue
Company            Revenue, most recent quarter           Notable Game
Electronic Arts $1.503 billion                                 Madden NFL ’08
Activision             $1.42 billion                                   Guitar Hero 3
Square Enix $1.125 billion                                  Final Fantasy XII
Namco Bandai $1 billion                                           Soul Calibur IV
Ubisoft                 $708 million                                   Assassin’s Creed
Konami                $642 million                                   Metal Gear Solid 4
THQ                     $509 million                                   Saint’s Row
Capcom                $503 million                                   Resident Evil
Sega Sammy         $500 million                                  Sonic the Hedgehog
Take-Two Inter.     $240 million                                  Grand Theft Auto IV
Source: Forbes.com

Used video games actually benefit the industry by helping to boost sales of new games, raising the brand equity of some titles and supporting in-game ads, according to a survey of 2,000 gamers that research firm OTX conducted in March. In presenting its findings, OTX Executive Vice President Eric Villain said almost two-thirds of gamers — 45 million people — reported buying both used and new titles. (GameDaily BIZ 4/8)