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If you’re an avid YouTube viewer, you’ve probably noticed the growing number of videos on the site that contain clickable links within the display screen. That’s the result of Video Annotations, a feature introduced last June that allows other clips to be embedded into videos. Lately […] Read more »

InstantAction today officially unveiled its technology platform, which purportedly makes it possible to play any video game in a web browser. Not just 2D casual games, but hardcore 3D games with high-end graphics that would otherwise require a next-gen game console, or a huge client install […] Read more »

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Today, casual game advertising network Mochi Media is reporting some pretty impressive user numbers: nearly 100 million monthly uniques across the network. 96 million to be exact, up from 48 million monthlies in early 2008. A lot of that growth seems to have been in recent […] Read more »

U.S gamers, rejoice: After months of hearing tantalizing tidbits about the Nintendo DSi, available in Japan since last November, we finally have word that it will go on sale here April 5th, for $169.99. The latest addition to Nintendo’s DS handheld console line bristles with new […] Read more »

Here’s some good news in a particularly troubled time for Internet startups, and it’s especially piquant for anyone who’s been following the rise (and challenges) of social gaming: Offerpal Media is announcing today that it has secured $15 million in Series B funding led by D. […] Read more »

Today, the casual social MMO RocketOn is launching a beta partnership with six prominent youth-oriented consumer sites:, Hypster, Online Flash Games, Hotspot, Boosh Magazine and faceDub. Now, visitors will find RocketOn’s Flash-based virtual world overlaid on those sites, making it easy for users to create […] Read more »

Game industry analyst DFC Intelligence will publish a comprehensive study of massively multiplayer online worlds next month, and was nice enough to give us an advance peek at their list of MMOs and MMORPGs that earned the most revenue in 2008. The numbers are primarily estimates […] Read more »

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A total of $594 million was invested in 63 Virtual Worlds in 2008, according to Austin-based trade show company Virtual Worlds Management. That may seem like a lot, but that’s down from the more than $1.4 billion in 2007 (their estimate), a figure that was hugely […] Read more »

Updated with info from the company: Sega has laid off an undisclosed number of about 30 employees from its North American division, the video game software developer has just confirmed (while we’re waiting to hear back on exactly how many in the San Francisco office were […] Read more »

With Apple’s new GarageBand ’09, you can watch celebrity musicians like Sting and John Fogerty show you how to play the guitar, and that’s nice — but can you look over their shoulder to make sure you’ve got your fingering technique just right? That’s pretty much […] Read more »

Call it World of Greencraft: At a recent climate change conference at sponsored by Stanford University, Byron Reeves, a professor there, proposed an unlikely marriage of online gaming and consumer smart meters. Instead of just displaying incremental changes in energy consumption on the homeowner’s PC as […] Read more »

We just got word that the social game site is selling Boonty, the company’s underlying digital distribution platform, to Nexway, a leading EU player in legal online distribution, for an undisclosed sum. Nexway gets a top casual games platform already operating more than 25 countries; […] Read more »

What games stand the best chance of changing the broader industry in 2009, either by dramatically influencing what consumers play and purchase, or by demonstrating the commercial viability of new revenue models and genres? Below is a list of the 10 most likely candidates, culled from […] Read more »

Startups associated with social gaming were all the funding rage in 2008. (Think SGN’s $15 million last May, for example, or the $17 million that went to Playfish in October.) And though executives with casual game startups recently told me they’re confident they’ll survive this recession, […] Read more »

As this holiday’s video game sales are tallied up, one thing is already clear: As an article in the Wall Street Journal notes, Sony’s PlayStation 3 remains in a fairly distant third place, still eclipsed by Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Nintendo’s Wii. While it’s probably too […] Read more »

Way back during the Cold War, the North American Aerospace Defense Command began a cute Christmas tradition meant to reassure anxious kids that it was not planning to shoot Santa Claus out of the sky. NORAD’s annual Santa Tracker has since gone Web 2.0, in an […] Read more »

UPDATED One reason casual game startups are still confident in these recessionary times is that the top titles attract millions of players. Our friends at casual game ad network Mochi Media have provided a list of the 10 most popular casual games hosted on its network, […] Read more »

This year we watched a tremendous amount of money go into casual web game startups, many or most of which heavily depend on advertising as a revenue stream. As we’re all too painfully aware, however, when the economy turns sour, advertising budgets are among the first […] Read more »

With the economy deep in the throes of a recession, the only question these days is who — or what — is next? Today it was Sony’s turn, which, citing “the sudden and rapid changes in the global economic environment,” said it’s laying off 8,000 employees […] Read more »

Here’s a fun new Facebook game app that just went live: The Mplayit Mobile Arcade, where you can play dozens of free mobile phone game demos, including top titles like Spore Origins and Guitar Hero Mobile. It’s a Facebook version of the Mpowerplayer web site, so […] Read more »

Last month I had the chance to chat with a top U.S. Nintendo exec and suggest how, with a few savvy improvements to the Wii system, the company could turn it into the living room Net appliance of choice. But despite the opportunity Nintendo has with […] Read more »

Last week, President-elect Obama appointed Kevin Werbach, assistant professor of legal studies and business ethics at Wharton, and Susan Crawford, who teaches communications and Internet law at the University of Michigan, to co-chair his FCC transition team. In preparation for his incoming administration, the two, both […] Read more »

If you obsessively played Desktop Tower Defense last year (and really, who didn’t?), you’ll love this news: Paul Preece, creator of that insanely viral real-time strategy classic, has a new game site: Casual Collective launches today, backed by $1 million in seed funding from Lightspeed Venture […] Read more »

Users of IMVU, the popular web-based virtual chat room network profiled on GigaOM last June, can purchase songs from a catalog of 1 million tracks, either as a stream to be played within IMVU or as DRM-free MP3s they can play anywhere. Read more »

A week after Linden Lab said it was raising the cost of buying and maintaining much of the virtual land in Second Life, leading to open revolt among many users, the company has significantly revised its pricing policies. Read more »

Say you’re looking for the perfect place to watch the election results pour in tonight, but your living room seems too lonely, your favorite blog seems too impersonal, and (depending on how the vote goes) your neighborhood bar may break out into a fight. How about […] Read more »

The denizens of Linden Lab’s virtual world Second Life are a passionate lot, so when the San Francisco company recently announced a steep purchase and maintenance fee increase on popular regions of their virtual land, sign-waving avatars were soon gathered outside Linden’s SL office, in protest. […] Read more »

Plura Processing, a start-up funded by Houston’s Creeris Ventures has come up with a new model for game makers to earn some much needed cash: sell distributed network computing power. Read more »

The editorial/community game site Crispy Gamer, which has been in development over the past few months with $8.25 million in funding from Constellation Ventures and already boasts a million unique monthly visitors, is coming out of beta today. Read more »

The market for video games is changing profoundly, and a comparison of two prominent titles’ recent sales figures shows just how much: Wii Fit, a game largely marketed to women, is outpacing the latest installment of one of the industry’s biggest franchises, Grand Theft Auto. Read more »

This is either a brilliant Photoshop job, some canny viral political campaigning, or both: An Xbox 360 gamer playing Burnout Paradise spotted an Obama campaign billboard with a “Paid for by Obama for President” caption as he whizzed by in his turbocharged sports car, Game Politics […] Read more »

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