- Electronic Arts business disaster. $641 million loss for Q4 ’08. 12 facilities to close 1,100 staff to go. All whilst gaming is booming like never before. So EA’s management cannot blame the market. And if you cannot blame the market then what can you blame? Certainly not the development staff who are losing their jobs, they were asked for ever higher Metacritics and they delivered. EA are definitely a sitting duck of a takeover target now.
- Texas has “Entertainment Software Day” in recognition of what our industry contributes to the state. Can you imagine the current British government doing that? They have watched over the ongoing demise and destruction of the British gaming industry. Because they knew that they could rely on financial services to earn the country money.
- ELSPA campaign for online child safety. Now I know that this is well intentioned but is it really the job for a trade body? Surely it is the job for parents of maybe government? So presumably ELSPA are doing this to earn brownie points with the government, they should have learned better by now, the government only cares for what the tabloid press print. And you don’t see the book industry trying to stop 12 year olds getting hold of Portnoy’s Complaint. But then Portnoy’s Complaint doesn’t even have an age rating.
- Amazon launch digital game distribution. The biggest news this year. Expect Amazon to be one of the biggest suppliers of games to end users via online some time soon. This is another massive blow to high street retail. I am not a financial analyst but I know which shares I would be dumping on this news. 88 million active customers is a lot of retail presence.
- Console game prices coming down. $50 to $60 is still far too much for a game and is surely untenable in the long term. If any one thing holds the industry back now then it must be this. We are now mass market and we should have mass market pricing that compares with other entertainment.
- The Japanese game market shrank 13% last year. And the UK could become the second biggest games market in the world this year. How things have changed as the effect of the PS3 traincrash rumble on. It will be interesting to see if Microsoft can take up some of the obvious slack in the Japanese market this year.
- Jack Thompson is at it again, this time the citizens of Utah are the victims of his one man disinformation campaign. It will probably take federal action to stop him running amok, state by state.
- Guinness World Records 2009 Gamer’s Edition. Further proof of just how mainstream our industry now is. We have come a long way in a short time.
You were looking for something to do. Go and hassle our MP for a games day in Leamington. Ideally, I want to be on an open top double decker with masses of people cheering for me (and I supposed the other developers here too).
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