Eight new stories 13.11

  • Beyonce Knowles refused to fly without her Xbox 360 and PSP. This is just brilliant. People relate to other people far more strongly than they relate to mere objects, hence the enormous power of celebrity. This story has hit the global media which just adds to our mainstream credibility. Stories like this are priceless and do gaming more good than even the Electronic Arts marketing budget.
  • Microsoft come down hard on game thieves, cutting them off from Xbox Live. This is also just brilliant, they cannot do enough of this. If people are not prepared to contribute towards the cost of making a game then they should not be allowed ownership. Xbox Live is a fantastic mechanism for catching and punishing these thieves and there is no reason for Microsoft not to zap every single one of them. It is great to see how these thieves squeal when caught: “ooh well, dammit! this sux ass! was sittin’ here catchin’ up on some hulu stuff… and low and behold i get a message, disconnected from xbl. didn’t think much of it. then i’m imin’ with a friend of mine, and he asks, can you get on xbl… test connection… YOU’VE BEEN BANNED!!! argh. owell”
  • Greg Joswiak is Vice President of iPod and iPhone Product Marketing for Apple and thinks that the iPod is a better gaming device than Nintendo’s DS or Sony’s PSP. “Whereas a lot of these devices [picks up Nintendo DS and Sony PSP] are more in the past. And a big part of that is not just the device itself, which is easier to carry, and has the touch display and accelerometer which is great for gameplay, but it’s the electronic distribution of the apps as well.” These days he isn’t the only one being so bullish about the iPod as a gaming machine. And Apple are spending a marketing fortune to help make it so. Of course regular readers here knew in August 2007 that this was going to happen!
  • Super Obama World. Free to play, casual, satirical PC game. Just shows how all pervading gaming has become. The switch to ubiquity has been so sudden over the last 12 months. We live in amazing times.
  • Harmonix founders Alex Rigopulos, and Eran Egozy, received USD 150 million last quarter from Viacom for beating targets and will get a final payment in 2009 which will exceed USD 150 million. All part of the acquisition of their company and far more than the parties on either side were expecting. All down to the phenomenon that is Rock Band.
  • Shari Redstone resigns her post of chairperson of Midway Games. You have to wonder what is going on here. Massive losses, going nowhere, too small to be a global player, not keeping up with the market boom. They are just so ripe for being M&Aed.
  • Keeping on the M&A theme, Ubisoft has acquired Massive Entertainment and with it the World in Conflict franchise. This fits in with what Ubisoft said that they would be doing and just adds to the fantastic organic growth that they are achieving. They really are superstar publishers and show everyone how to get it right. A very sharp contrast indeed to Midway.
  • More analysts think that the game industry is recession proof. And there is more evidence to back them up. People are extremely reluctant to give up entertainment and video games are brilliant fun as well as being supremely cost effective. Most gaming is done for free. All of which I was saying a year ago.


  1. It is for sure as per me that gaming industry can never be down. Yes temporary fluctuations are expected. Due to this reason these products will always be in demand.

  2. Apple still don’t get games, then. Surely Greg Joswiak is aware that both the DS and PSP are gearing up to offer full games via download? And having a proper strategy for certifying games (something the iPhone App Store completely fails to address) is infinitely more valuable to the consumer than extra processing power.

  3. I still think nothing matches game play on the Motorola Krave. It’s got so many features that make it perfect for gaming, like a touch screen display, speaker phone, full html browsing and 2 MP camera. Ever since I started working with Motorola I have become a huge fan(motorola.com/krave). Has anyone else seen it yet?

  4. First off…

    “Ever since I started working with Motorola I have become a huge fan(motorola.com/krave).”

    Um, really? Shocker. Nice pitch though.

    Now on to things other then advertising…

    Brice I would be extremely interested to hear what you have to say about Ubisoft outsourcing all of it’s QA to India. I am not sure how this is viewed in the UK, but it is generally frowned upon here in the States. Even more so with the economic downturn.

    Source… http://www.gamecyte.com/ubisoft-outsources-all-qa-to-pune-india

  5. Outsourcing QA to India makes absolutely perfect sense. It means that QA can work whilst the development team sleep. And vice versa. Also India generates hundreds of thousands of high quality IT graduates.
    This was something I looked at in some detail about 5 years ago when I was at Codemasters.

    I agree that customer facing outsourcing can be problematical, but backroom stuff like QA works well.
    Also game outsourcing is well established in India, look at http://www.dhruva.com/ , so it is inevitable that you have played games with Indian input.

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