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news | 09/18/07 | Chris Martin
While we here in Seattle get to watch the Mariners crumble in what was a pretty decent year, we also get front page Microsoft news, regularly. Today, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported
that the European Court of First Instance, in a move upholding key elements of the March 2004 European Commission Decision, declared the American company responsible for misusing it's Windows monopoly. Specifically, the company packages Windows Media Player with their Windows software, a la
trojan horse, allowing market dominance of the software. Microsoft to EU court: "the decision on the Media Player opens a dangerous precedent for other companies and sectors. Airbus should start worrying about adding new features to their planes."
game: Xbox 360
news | 04/20/07 | Aaron Stanton
There's an interesting article written back in 2006 that asks the question, "Why is Microsoft still in the gaming industry?" After losing $5.4 billion between 2001 and 2006, what incentive does Microsoft have to stay in the home console market? In fact, Microsoft has no incentive, unless you look at what the entertainment division does for Microsoft as a whole. Microsoft wants to keep control of the living room away from companies like Sony and Apple, and uses the Xbox 360 as a strategic tool for a larger company vision independent of its individual profits or losses. Additionally, there's an 800-lb gorilla in the room that keeps getting overlooked: XNA.
review | 10/30/06 | Laurie Taylor
Zap Dramatic makes a unique series of games built around negotiating. In games such as "The Raise" and "The Mediator," players must navigate through a complex social web, made more realistic by a touch of unpredictability and predictable limitations. Dialogue-oriented games are occasionally popular (Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney, for example), but often suffer from the good/bad, light side/dark side, oversimplification of games like Fable or Knights of the Old Republic. Laurie takes a look at some of the Zap Dramatic offerings in this group review.
news | 08/05/06 | Chris Martin
Director Adam Slutsky, Co-producer Sean Jensen, and company are in the business
of making us laugh, and feel a little nostalgic for 1994. Their film "Zombies Ate My Neighbors," based on the Konami video game of the same name is a throwback to schlocky horror films and video game horror. The first part of three 3-minute shorts is up on TheProject.TV
and we have to say we're impressed. The film seems to have everything, even a twenty-something guy playing "grandma" in a white wig? Say no more.
game: Superman Returns
preview | 05/20/06 | Matt James
Superman may be one of the top superheroes in the superheroing business, but in videogames he has a spotty record at best. However, EA and their Tiburon studio is set to return the Man of Steel to glory (and, coincidentally tie-in with the latest Superman film, which, you know, out to bode well, right?). With some definitely next-gen visuals, Superman looks pretty, but can he back up his sexy little spit curl with a solid game experience? Matt James takes a look at Superman returns, and manages to avoid making a single joke about Superman 64. Amazing! Get the full preview here.
editorial | 04/05/06 | Monica Hafer
With more and more movies coming out of Hollywood based on videogames and comics, people are beginning to wonder why so few seem to translate well to the screen. Part of the problem is that there are business models in place that are prevent great adaptations that stay true to their original source material. Monica takes an insider's look at the relationship between movies, games and comics.
news | 01/12/06 | Shawn Rider
The Sex in Video Games Conference will be held in San Francisco June 8-9 at the Nob Hill Masonic Center, San Francisco, CA. The conference theme is "Exploring the Business of Digital Erotic Entertainment," which sounds totally not sexy to us. But the conference gains clout thanks to the involvement of Brenda Brathwaite, Game Designer and Founder and Chair of the International Game Developers Association's Sexuality SIG. If you've got a vested (read: business) interest in the future of adult erotic interactive entertainment, then this is the place to go. It should be more scandalous than E3.
game: Resident Evil 4
review | 11/13/05 | Laurie Taylor
Resident Evil 4 is a massive lurch forwards for the quintessential survival horror franchise. A completely new control scheme makes RE4 a much more agile, fast-paced game experience, and the storyline is a refreshing departure from the old "take out the secret Umbrella experiment" rigmarole we've gotten used to. This isn't your mother's Resident Evil game. Making its debut on the PlayStation 2 after a huge success on the Gamecube, RE4 is finding a whole new audience. Our woman Laurie gets down to business with Capcom's venerable old franchise, and she likes what she finds.
news | 10/11/05 | Shawn Rider
Gamestop completed its buyout of EB Games this week, making it the single largest game retailer in the country, as reported by Game Daily Biz. The merger creates a company with 4200 retail outlets worldwide, and expected annual revenues of $5 billion. Analysts expect the merger to lead to an increase in the used game market, which has recently been attacked by game publisher organizations as being detrimental to their business. The merger may well mean lower trade-in prices for gamers, too, which might in turn lead to an increase in traffic for online game trading sites as gamers flock to more worthwhile deals. And the news can only be seen as an indication that pre-release reservations and package bundles will enjoy unbridled growth. That could be problematic for gamers expecting to preorder an already very pricey PlayStation 3.
news | 10/09/05 | Aaron Stanton
BBC News is reporting that sales of the GameCube have dropped substantially in the US, and while the DS and GB Micro have sold well, development costs for the Nintendo Revolution have taken a serious toll on Nintendo's operating profits. Pre-tax income for the company has fallen nearly 41% since June, according to BBC. This still makes them more financially stable than Sony, which has posted substantial losses over recent years. Though they're making less money now, they are still operating at a substantial profit. Microsoft loses money on its Xbox division, but props up the operation with profits from other business ventures.
game: Kameo: Elements of Power
news | 10/05/05 | Shawn Rider
Rare's long-in-development Kameo: Elements of Power has made gamers oddly curious for over half a decade now. We're curious about the great graphics, lush game world, Xbox Live multiplayer, and, of course, Rare's reputation for delivering great titles. But it's odd because the game has been in development since it first debuted on N64, then moved to GameCube, and finally will land on Xbox 360 this Fall. Historically, such business shenanigans are not good for a game. We'll find out this Fall when we finally get our hands on Kameo: Elements of Power. In the meantime, here are some new screens.
game: Tactica Online
news | 09/21/05 | Aaron Stanton
One of the more interesting items shown at E3 2005 was an early build of Tactica Online. This massively multi-player title separates itself from the dozens of other online games in a number of ways, not the least of which is that it's a turn-based strategy game in the likes of Fallout, Jagged Alliance, or X-Com. From gameplay to business strategy (Tactica won't charge monthly fees) Tactica Online is trying to be something different. We've picked up a few screenshots of an early build, and it's looking pretty interesting.
news | 09/13/05 | Shawn Rider
Cyberlore Studios has announced their departure from the mainstream gaming world. After creating the classic Majesty franchise, Cyberlore made several great MechWarrior games and, most recently, the Playboy: The Mansion sim. However, today Cyberlore has announced that they will hang up their gaming hat and begin making "serious games" for business and training applications. Whee... Get the whole sad story in their official farewell press release.
Articles Archive | 06/14/05 | Monica Hafer
The growth of the video game industry and the acceptance of gaming into mainstream society has brought about both positives and negatives. Companies like Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft drive technology forward, but how does that leave the small, independent developers that helped give this industry its footing? An interview with Stardock reveals that there's a lot of spunk left in the independent market, and perhaps a healthier business model than the one currently driving the big boys.
Articles Archive | 04/18/05 | Chris Martin
ZOOtech is the manufacturer of DVD-Extra Studio. DVD- Extra Studio allows DVD authors to create seriously interactive DVD content, which makes possible games such as the wildly popular UK DVD version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Our man, Chris, finds out why ZOOtech was honored this year with the "Innovation Award" and the "Overall Winner" of the Sheffield Business Awards, and what this technology means for gamers (at least the bits that aren't still secret).
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