Eight news stories 12.2


  • Sega lose $119 million in the 9 months to 31.12.08. Sales down 15.4%, 560 out of 3,100 global staff to lose their jobs and a 20% cut in “R&D” which mainly means development of new games. Sega really is one hell of a takeover target now, all that fantastic heritage IP just waiting to be used properly. They would certainly be a far better fit for EA to buy than Take Two are. And Microsoft could release a stream of AAA exclusives if they were to be the buyer.
  • In 2008 more than $823 million was spent marketing video games in the United States. Nothing gives you clout like having budget to spend and it is using this clout that will bring the anti gaming elements of the press like Fox News into line. The industry really should get together to boycott advertising in media that paints an unrealistic or sensationalist picture of gaming in their editorial content, that would sort them out PDQ.
  • Abertay University to Become First UK Centre for Computer Games Excellence with £3 million from the Scottish government. It is amazing that the Scottish government are so switched on to where the world is going (as I have written here before) whilst the British government are so ignorant about the impending economic importance of gaming (as I have written before). Here is a great quote from this news article: “The global, interactive, creative media sector has a potential market value to Scotland of up to $68 billion by 2012.” And just how much could it be worth to England if our current Labour government weren’t so completely inept?
  • Intel expects Atom (the netbook processor) to ramp up to be in 7% of all PCs during the course of this year. That is a huge number of personal, portable, connected low end machines that people will want to play games on. Habbo and Runescape will love this.
  • 1.25 million games of FIFA ’09 played online every day. This is something everyone in the industry should write on a card and put on their mirror at home so they can remind themselves every day when they are shaving/putting on their makeup/both. Our industry has moved online. There is no going back. Unless your plans are centred around online you are going to lose. Boxed products are rapidly becoming just a residual artifact from history.
  • Game BAFTAs coming up on March 10th. Now BAFTA stands for British Academy of Film and Television Arts and I don’t think the game industry should have anything to do with them. Their old technology is linear, and lacks both connectivity and interactivity. Our industry will soon be bigger than both of theirs put together. Surely we are capable of doing this sort of thing on our own, being associated with them will only hold us back. There is no way that the top people in BAFTA will allow games to overshadow film and television.
  • EIDOS gives up on casual games. Ho hum, I could write an article about why it is essential to be in casual games, in fact I could write a book about it. Casual games offer a far better business model than boxed console games. And they allow you to do all sorts of things with brands. Let’s hope that Gimme5games, unshackled from corporate restraints and with entrepreneurial juices allowed to flow, prosper and grow.
  • The Conservatives blast the current government for destroying the once thriving British games industry. This junior politician, Ed Vaizey, seems to be informed and to have the right idea. Which may be too little too late when you look at what we have lost. And far more senior Conservatives like David Cameron and Boris Johnson have said very misinformed and unhelpful things about gaming in the past. So the jury is out. One thing is for sure, if they realised how massive the future importance of gaming is going to be and how big Britain could be in the global industry then they would get their act together pretty quickly. Just don’t hold your breath.