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Kermitt Quirk, consult your accountant quick! Online world entrepeneurs and gold farmers dodged the tax bullet only a couple weeks ago, when an American policymaker announced there’d be no taxing of income earned by activity in virtual worlds and MMOs. (At least any time soon.) Turns […] Read more »

If you want to see how the game industry regularly acts as its own worst enemy, try and download the demo of a game that interests you. After getting several enthusiastic word-of-mouth recommendations for THQ’s Company of Heroes, a new WWII-themed real time strategy game, I […] Read more »

Unless you’re a hardcore gamer, you’ve probably never heard of Guild Wars, and that would be strange, because after World of Warcraft, it’s arguably the biggest success story in MMORPG gaming. Its 2.5 million player base makes it second only to Warcraft, but it’s not even […] Read more »

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So it looks like Master Chief will have to keep waiting in the lobby a bit longer. The gruff cyborg hero of the Halo series (the crown jewel of Microsoft’s Xbox consoles) was set to star in a film adaptation produced by Lord of the Rings […] Read more »

The other chainmail shoe finally dropped. After years of wondering when this moment would come, the United States government has officially turned its giant head toward the cottage industry of “real money trading”, the exchange of virtual goods and services in online worlds like World of […] Read more »

When I first wrote about Steam, the broadband distribution and gaming network of Valve Software, I described it as an alternate approach to traditional game publishing, avoiding as it did the war for retail store shelf space, and the painfully outdated approach of burning data on […] Read more »

Gamasutra just published a nice round-up of answers from three industry experts on two burning questions: “Are Microsoft and Sony emphasizing HDTV too much, not enough, or just enough? Has Nintendo made a mistake by not providing HDTV resolution for the Wii?” Both the Xbox 360 […] Read more »

Nielsen Interactive just released a study on gamers in the US. There’s a lot of interesting tidbits, nicely summarized by Next Generation here, and quite a few surprises. Who knew “active gamers” spent on average $16 a week on games, or that an estimated 117 million […] Read more »

The last time we saw Marvel Comics and game developer Cryptic Studios in the same sentence, the former was suing the latter, on the fairly dubious grounds that Cryptic’s popular, caped crimefighter-themed City of Heroes MMO supposedly encouraged copyright infringement. (Since its subscribers could create characters […] Read more »

As blogged a couple weeks ago, the Nintendo Wii will support Web browsing via Opera, with Nintendo’s Perrin Kaplan suggesting that users would “download an Opera browser using Wii points and surf the web”; since then, the story’s gotten even sweeter. The Norway firm behind Opera […] Read more »

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Wii serves a million in its first month; Sony admits defeat and sells its game division to… Microsoft? I’m writing this from the old town square of Warsaw, Poland, where the cobblestone courtyard puts you in mind of a World War II movie — and the […] Read more »

If three instances of a phenomenon equals a trend, then the unstoppable trend of the PC game business today is broadband distribution — from Valve’s Steam and distribution of episodic gaming, to niche/indy game downloads through Manifesto, to the recent entrance of telecom colossus Verizon into […] Read more »

You say you want a revolution, well you know, we’d all love to see the business plan. When widely admired veteran designer Greg Costikyan set the game industry on a roar with a sustained (and furiously blogged) rant at the 2005 Game Developers’ Conference, calling on […] Read more »

So this week’s huge news in the console wars comes once again from Nintendo, during yesterday’s press conference in New York: the Wii will let you browse the web. “You can download an Opera browser using Wii points and surf the web,” Nintendo’s Perrin Kaplan told […] Read more »

I’ve been decidedly downbeat about the prospects of Sony in the console wars (here, and even more jaundiced, here), not from any personal animus– after all, I still fire up my PS2 for a few quick rounds of DDR often– but frankly, because the folks at […] Read more »

So what comes after World of Warcraft, the massively multiplayer online game (or MMO) that became so, well, massive, that it turned into a category killer that rumbled the industry? That was the subject of much discussion last week at the Austin Game Conference, as was […] Read more »

You are looking at a screenshot of a game which, in all its shabby glory, sold more copies than Doom III. Never heard of Backyard Basketball? Neither did I, until game industry site Next Generation recently published a list of the top 100 bestselling PC games […] Read more »

Why did World of Warcraft from Blizzard Studios become such a monster success, and how can other online game companies replicate it? Industry analyst DFC Intelligence just published a great report that explains the former while tossing ice water on the latter. Provocatively entitled, “Is It […] Read more »

As we march ever closer to the opening rounds in this holiday season’s battle for console supremacy, I’ve blogged about the financial prospects for Nintendo (quite good) and Sony’s Playstation 3 (not so good), but I’ve yet to put Microsoft’s Xbox 360 under any serious scrutiny. […] Read more »

The biggest business news from the Second Life Community Convention here in San Francisco this weekend comes in the form of two reputed brands entering the 3D online world as immersive, interactive objects. First out the gate was an announcement from UK branding agency Rivers Run […] Read more »

Whatever happens at the second Second Life Community Convention this weekend, I’m fairly sure the highlight won’t be Linden Lab CEO Philip Rosedale appearing onstage in a sequined codpiece. That was last year, when the inaugural convention (the brainchild of several fans of the user-created online […] Read more »

Is a single game so popular that it’s dominating its space like a 800lbs. Tauren? That was the premise of “World of Warcraft Crushing PC Game Industry?” a frenetic Slashdot discussion launched by a recent interview with Age of Empires co-creator Brian Sullivan. “For retail PC,” […] Read more »

Former Dreamcast executive Peter Moore gave a great talk at Ziff-Davis Electronic Gaming Summit, advising the game industry on what they must do to expand their audience. As documented by Gamerscore, Moore’s speech, “The Elite 8: Eight Ways to Confront Elitism and Open Doors for Our […] Read more »

The Electronic Entertainment Expo, the simulation-infused game industry showcase that’s turned downtown Los Angeles into a digital supernova almost every May since 1995 is done. Following Friday rumblings about shows pending demise, E3 owner, the Entertainment Software Association, announced through spokesman Doug Lowenstein that the event […] Read more »

Nintendo just boosted their profit estimates for the coming year by $150 million from over half a billion dollars, indicating that the company might be one of the unlikely winners in the console wars. I would have laughed at that thought even a year ago, but […] Read more »

A glimpse into the quiet success story of broadband-based game distribution If you haven’t heard much about Steam, maybe it’s because of a lot folks on the business side of the game industry would rather it just went away. The brainchild of Valve Software, the game […] Read more »

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