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Industry scuttlebutt is that Three Rings, the casual online game studio behind the cult hit Puzzle Pirates, is about to storm into the user-created MMO space, to compete against players like Second Life. This is big news, because the inventive scallywags of the SF-based Three Rings […] Read more »

Raph Koster and Linden Lab, man the mizzens! Scuttlebutt is Three Rings, the casual online game studio behind the cult hit Puzzle Pirates is about to storm into the user-created MMO space. Word first surfaced on 3pointD, which caught wind of Three Rings co-founder mentioning their […] Read more »

Cult filmmaker creates game for a genre already heavily influenced by cult filmmaker’s original movie IP equals… blockbuster, or ironic so-so seller? I’ve been a fan of John Woo’s Hong Kong action films since forever, so I’ve had an eye on Midway’s Stranglehold; slated for May […] Read more »

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Bless VG Charts for laying it out so starkly: with 4.24 million units sold worldwide, the Nintendo Wii now has just under 50% of Microsoft 360’s 8.76 million installed base. Thing is, it took the 360 about 15 months to get that large a base, while […] Read more »

Still in Beta, GameVideos.com now has 700,000 640,000 monthly visitors, according to Jason Freidenfelds, spokesman with site owner Ziff-Davis. (It’s part of ZD’s 1UP Network for gamers.) That’s a lot of gamers looking at trailers, industry interviews, and segments from ZD’s video programming, which is what […] Read more »

So there’s two new fantasy MMOs with high name recongition launching now. Only three years ago, gamers and the industry would greet that announcement with at least a modicum of enthusiasm. Now the general reaction is more likely to be, “But… why bother?” Sony Online’s Vanguard: […] Read more »

Last Friday, Slashdot’s Zonk confirmed rumors that eBay was delisting RMT items from their service— and now GigaGamez has more details. Short for “real money transfer”, RMT is a gray market means for gamers to buy and sell an online world’s precious items. (Gold and fantastic […] Read more »

It’s a bit like Alan Greenspan walking into an Econ 101 class at San Francisco State University, picking up a guy’s term paper, and saying, “Dude, WTF?” There’s been a lot of blogosphere back-and-forth on the question, “Is Second Life’s internal economy a pyramid/Ponzi scheme?”— launched […] Read more »

Om just passed me the most recent attempt to deflate the Second Life hype bubble, a Valleywag post which is actually an excerpt of a longer post by financial analyst Randolph Harrison. Essentially, Harrison argues the internal SL economy is a pyramid or Ponzi scheme, and […] Read more »

Jason and I soft-launched GigaGamez during the holidays, but with Om’s go-ahead, it’s time to rev this blog into high velocity. We’re already scouting far and wide for one or two more bloggers to join us in covering the business of online games. To spice up […] Read more »

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Google is looking to get into games, according to CNN Money, and before this week is out, should be announcing a deal to buy Adscape Media Inc., and through them, work with publishers to feed ads through the Internet into their online games. (Presumably, the elevator […] Read more »

Guitar Hero fans, time to clench your plastic axe tight and fret. After creating the revolutionary, incredibly successful rhythym-and-music franchise, it looks like the New England-based Harmonix won’t be developing the next sequel. As first spotted by Game Daily, that task has been taken over by […] Read more »

What you’re looking at on the right is, in the opinion of some of its most reputed developers, an interface that will throttle their branch of the game industry. It’s the game menu for Microsoft Vista, and it allows parents to block access to select games, […] Read more »

But come on, Second Life has got to be over-hyped, isn’t it? The open source announcement notwithstanding, nor recent news of IBM/Sears or CBS/Star Trek creating sites in-world, how can there possibly be so much enthusiasm for a service which has, at best, about 260,000 active […] Read more »

Normally we assume games and television are competing mediums. (Which is why advertisers, afraid of losing their younger audience, are trying to promote their products in games themselves— albeit with limited success.) But in one case, at least, it’s not a zero-sum deal. When the History […] Read more »

For the game industry as a whole, it’s a small news item, but I believe it’s going to have repurcussions that will last years: the Slamdance Guerilla Gamemaker Competition (an offshoot of the popular indy film festival) pulled an entry called Super Columbine Massacre RPG from […] Read more »

This cute YouTube video is PG13-ish and probably not safe for work (unless you work in a dive bar), but it’s also a great 3 minute illustration for why the Wii is succeeding in the market beyond all expectations. Ask yourself if this movie would make […] Read more »

Om just passed on a fascinating entry from the blog of Tristan Louis, an application development VP with financial giant HSBC. Inspired by Clay Shirky’s scathing (and somewhat disputed) takedown on the media hype surrounding Second Life, Louis began crunching the economic activity numbers available on […] Read more »

The fracas around the number of actual, active Second Life users continues into 2007, but it’s fair to say no one believes it’s the 2,341,910 “Total Residents” currently listed on the homepage at the very moment I write this. (Not even Philip Rosedale, CEO of Linden […] Read more »

As we roll into 2007, here’s select highlights of posts and stories from the year that was. In my opinion, these are the entries that will be the most relevant in this new year: “What Games Really Sell” – Casual and family games will become more […] Read more »

Dean Takahashi, game columnist for the San Jose Mercury, and author of the recent book The Xbox 360 Uncloaked, gives GigaGamez his thoughts on the year that was, and the year to come: The big game industry news items for 2006: – “Nintendo swiftly offered to […] Read more »

Eric Zimmerman, CEO of Gamelab (creator of the million unit-selling Diner Dash and the upcoming titles Work and Out of Your Mind) shares his thoughts on the year that was, and the year to come: The big casual gaming news for 2006: “PopCap’s announcement of a […] Read more »

The announcement occured just before the final Christmas crush, so I wanted to make sure it wasn’t totally missed in the interim: during his last “town hall” appearance in Second Life, Cory Ondrejka, Chief Technology Officer for Linden Lab, the company behind SL, let loose this […] Read more »

If you want a case study in the economics of casual games, look no further than Diner Dash, the game franchise which has sold, as of this month, a million units. No flashy effects or “game god” designers, just an inviting, easy-to-learn light game about a […] Read more »

So there’s this hardcore gamer who wants to set up his Sony PS3 for the holidays, but he keeps hitting hurdles at every turn, and writes about these travails on his blog. It’s tough for him to find many launch titles he likes (“I settle on […] Read more »

Clay Shirky is a brilliant analyst of the digital era, and if there’s anybody who could implode the media vortex currently surrounding Second Life, it would have to be someone of his caliber. He attempted that last week with “Second Life: A Story Too Good to […] Read more »

Broadband is transforming the business of games, while games are transforming the business of broadband. Over the last few months I’ve doing my best to cover that evolution for GigaOM, and now I’m helping Om Malik launch this sister site, fully dedicated to telling that story […] Read more »

At a fundamental level, all money is virtual. (If it’s no longer tied to a precious physical product like gold, that is– but then, what currency is, nowadays?) At root, its worth depends on the value a group invests in it, whether it’s made of paper, […] Read more »

So the ad campaigns have been launched, the lines have been formed, and the products (most of them, anyway) have been shipped. With holiday shopping in full roar, there’s little Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft can do now to help the prospects of their next gen consoles, […] Read more »

For God’s sake, let us sit upon the ground/And tell sad stories of the death of kings; How some have been deposed; some slain in war… — Richard II Pardon the college sophomore Shakespeare citation, but the latest news in the next gen console wars brings […] Read more »

So, it’s semi-official: the Second Life avatar known as Anshe Chung, featured in a recent BusinessWeek profile of SL, is now worth over $1 million dollars. The news has already stormed through the blogosphere (as here, here, and first scooped here), but judging by most of […] Read more »

If you want a glimpse of the future of work in the broadband age, you can find it, of all places, on MTV’s website. To my knowledge, their recent gaming news segment, “Is Mining Virtual Gold Exploitative?” features the first video footage shot inside Chinese gold […] Read more »

There’s got to be a great story behind the rise and precipitous fall of the Sony Playstation, once the industry’s dominant console, but now in its latest incarnation, the PS3, an overpriced also-ran struggling to keep up with the Nintendo Wii and trailing far behind the […] Read more »

Connected consoles might be the theme this year, but as the Wii and PS3 go on sale, their promised online services, including web browsing, aren’t fully up and running yet. Because the Xbox has been out a good long year, Xbox Live has the most features […] Read more »

Now come the days when gamers unleash their inner Cartman, lining up outside department stores and murmuring “Kehm-ON!” every few seconds through gritted teeth as they wait to buy the Nintendo Wii (in US stores on the 19th) or the Sony PS3 (hitting US shelves tomorrow) […] Read more »

Not to get overly political, but Sony Computer Entertainment’s management is starting to remind me of the Bush administration. Despite constant dire warnings from so many experts (including an editor with the official Playstation magazine) that the PS3 is careening toward a disastrous launch, the company […] Read more »

So now we pretty much know why Microsoft is doggedly pushing ahead with plans to make a Halo movie, even after two studios balked at the budget, and the unlikelihood of such a movie making any money at the box office. It will almost certainly be […] Read more »

The latest New Yorker has a nice long profile of game designer Will Wright and his upcoming game, Spore; coupled with last month’s Wright/Spore profile from New York Times Magazine, it’s the strongest possible cultural affirmation of Wright as one of the world’s top artists in […] Read more »

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