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ENTERTAINMENT
November 15, 2012 | By Ben Fritz
While sales of new video game discs have been plummeting all year, it turns out gamers are spending their money to play in other ways. During the third quarter (from July through September), total spending on video games -- new and old, purchases and rentals, physical and digital -- totaled $1.07 billion in the U.S., according to research firm NPD Group. That's down only 1% from a year ago. Those figures are more heartening to the game industry than monthly figures for new physical game sales and consoles that are released by NPD. In total, spending on physical games dropped 16% during the third quarter, and spending on games on digital platforms jumped 22%. Video game publishers make no money from used game sales or rentals (besides the initial sales of those titles)
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BUSINESS
April 1, 2014 | By Andrea Chang
Mobile games developer Industrial Toys has raised $5 million in a round of funding led by Accel Partners. As part of the financing, the Pasadena company is also announcing the launch of its first title, "Midnight Star," which will be available this summer in beta. Industrial Toys is an independent studio that designs mobile games for serious gamers. It was founded by Alex Seropian, who also founded Bungie Studios, the team behind the hit "Halo" franchise. "We're huge fans of mobile gaming, but we think there aren't enough great mobile games for core gamers and we're committed to changing that," the company says on its website . "We'll be mobile to the core, with games that let you have an immersive session at home that blows your mind apart as well as a 30-second experience that still moves you forward while you're waiting for the bus. " PHOTOS: Comparing the HTC One (M8)
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BUSINESS
November 2, 2010 | By Alex Pham, Los Angeles Times
Video games are replete with gangsters, zombies and other evil characters. But for the industry that makes those games, its scariest foe is Jim Steyer. A longtime children's advocate, Steyer has taken up the flag against the game industry and lobbied zealously on behalf of a California law that bans the sale of violent games to minors. The law, which was struck down by lower federal courts as unconstitutional, is scheduled for a hearing Tuesday in the U.S. Supreme Court. For Steyer, the hearing is the culmination of a life's work tackling what he sees as a major health hazard endangering kids.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 4, 2014 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski
As a child, Shannon Studstill sold gum to her classmates to finance her weekly trips to the video game arcade. That early investment in "Pac-Man" and "Defender" would pay huge dividends. Studstill, one of the most powerful women in the male-dominated world of video games, now runs Sony Santa Monica Studio, the development group responsible for the company's hit franchise "God of War" and the publisher of such critically acclaimed independent titles as "Journey. " The 43-year-old executive is an anomaly in an industry known for its underrepresentation of women.
BUSINESS
June 12, 2009 | Alex Pham
Consumers, daunted by the recession, hit the pause button on buying video games in May. The game industry last month racked up $863.3 million in sales of games and consoles, the first time since August 2007 that monthly sales came in less than $1 billion, according to a report released Thursday from market research firm NPD Group Inc. Sales of game consoles took a big hit last month, dropping 30% to $302.5 million from $433 million in May 2008.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 17, 2013 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski
"Grand Theft Auto V" delivered an adrenaline shot to the heart of the video game industry. The hotly anticipated title fueled a 27% boost in overall industry sales in September, across hardware, software and accessories, as compared to the same time a year ago, according to researcher the NPD Group.  The Take Two Interactive game became the bestseller of any title introduced in September, during the period since the firm began tracking the...
BUSINESS
February 22, 1999 | JENNIFER OLDHAM, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Interactive Digital Software Assn. President Douglas Lowenstein isn't playing around when he says unprecedented growth in the video game industry presents difficult challenges for developers and hardware manufacturers. The industry saw a 25% increase in revenues in 1998, with sales of video and PC games jumping from $4.4 billion in 1997 to $5.5 billion last year, according to market research firm NPD Group.
BUSINESS
August 4, 2003 | Alex Pham and E. Scott Reckard, Times Staff Writers
Like hard-core gamers poring over a strategy guide, investors and analysts are scrutinizing obscure entries in the financial reports of video game publishers. Two items in particular -- reserves and expense capitalization -- are getting attention in the search for clues as to why the Securities and Exchange Commission issued sweeping requests in July for information from the industry's leading companies: Activision Inc., THQ Inc., Midway Games Inc. and Acclaim Entertainment Inc.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 1, 2009 | Ben Fritz
In January, Stephanie Barish took her son to a birthday party and made the fortuitous choice to wear a T-shirt with the logo for Indiecade, a festival she runs that is dedicated to independently made, artistic video games. While there, she met a fellow parent, Scott Malsin, who was then the mayor of Culver City. He asked what the T-shirt meant and was immediately intrigued. "I wasn't aware of that world at all, but as we spoke it immediately appealed to me, and I asked her if she would think about holding it in Culver City," said Malsin, who's now on the City Council.
BUSINESS
September 10, 1995 | GREG MILLER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Late last year, David Perry embarked on a trip around the country, stopping in New York, Chicago and other big cities to deliver two messages--both self-serving in their own way--to high school students. First, he urged the students to buy his company's latest video game, Earthworm Jim. Apparently, they listened. The game has since sold more than a million copies, becoming one of the industry's biggest recent hits.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 17, 2013 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski
"Grand Theft Auto V" delivered an adrenaline shot to the heart of the video game industry. The hotly anticipated title fueled a 27% boost in overall industry sales in September, across hardware, software and accessories, as compared to the same time a year ago, according to researcher the NPD Group.  The Take Two Interactive game became the bestseller of any title introduced in September, during the period since the firm began tracking the...
ENTERTAINMENT
July 27, 2013 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski
Activision Blizzard Inc. and a group of investors led by its top executives are buying most of Vivendi's stake in the world's largest video game publisher in an $8.2-billion transaction. The deal would free the Santa Monica company from the financial woes of its French corporate parent and enable it to focus on the fast-evolving gaming industry. Activision said late Thursday that it would acquire 429 million shares from the Paris conglomerate for about $5.83 billion in cash, or $13.60 a share.
NEWS
January 11, 2013 | By Melanie Mason
Vice President Joe Biden culminated a week of meetings on gun policy Friday, telling representatives of the video game industry that “there's no silver bullet” when it comes to confronting gun violence. “We know this is a complex problem,” he said, emphasizing the diversity of groups he has consulted since the initiative began in late December, including law enforcement, medical groups, hunters and gun owners and the entertainment industry. That range, he said, proved that the video game industry has not been not been singled out. “I come to this meeting with no judgment.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 8, 2013 | By Todd Martens, Los Angeles Times
The Grammy Awards are ready to play, at least in the minds of those who create music for video games. For the first time, a complete video game score has been nominated for a Grammy. At the February ceremony, Austin Wintory's compositions for PS3 title "Journey" will vie for a trophy alongside more recognizable cinematic names such as Hans Zimmer ("The Dark Knight Rises") and last year's Oscar winner Ludovic Bource ("The Artist"). For the 28-year-old L.A.-based Wintory, the nomination is "bewildering" - "stupefying," even, considering that video game scores have been eligible and overlooked by Grammy voters for more than a decade.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 5, 2012 | By Ben Fritz
The newest "Call of Duty" is off to a faster start than many in the video game industry had thought -- and appears to have reached $1 billion in sales faster than any game in history. "Call of Duty: Black Ops II" crossed more than $1 billion in retail sales by Nov. 27, its 15th day on sale, publisher Activision Blizzard Inc. announced Wednesday. That's a day faster than last year's installment "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3" reached the same mark. It also marks the first time Activision has announced sales figures for "Black Ops II" that exceed "Modern Warfare 3. " When the Santa Monica game publisher announced first day sales on a worldwide basis, instead of for North America and Great Britain as it had previously done, many in the game industry assumed it did not have apples-to-apples data that showed the new game performing better.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 15, 2012 | By Ben Fritz
While sales of new video game discs have been plummeting all year, it turns out gamers are spending their money to play in other ways. During the third quarter (from July through September), total spending on video games -- new and old, purchases and rentals, physical and digital -- totaled $1.07 billion in the U.S., according to research firm NPD Group. That's down only 1% from a year ago. Those figures are more heartening to the game industry than monthly figures for new physical game sales and consoles that are released by NPD. In total, spending on physical games dropped 16% during the third quarter, and spending on games on digital platforms jumped 22%. Video game publishers make no money from used game sales or rentals (besides the initial sales of those titles)
ENTERTAINMENT
May 18, 2012 | By Gary Goldstein
In the smart, involving documentary "Indie Game: the Movie," when video game designer Phil Fish chillingly asserts that he'd kill himself if he didn't finish his long-gestating game "Fez," you get the feeling he isn't bluffing. That's the level of depth and candor filmmakers Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky mine here as they profile several independent artists struggling to succeed in the highly corporatized - and often hugely lucrative - video game industry. In addition to the French-Canadian Fish, who spent more than four nerve-wracking years developing the much anticipated, aesthetically oriented "Fez," the movie also compellingly follows the long distance, rollercoaster collaboration between designer Edmund McMillen and programmer Tommy Refenes as they create "Super Meat Boy," their first major game for Xbox (it went on to sell more than 1 million copies)
ENTERTAINMENT
November 12, 2012 | By Ben Fritz
The video game industry got a much needed bonus last Tuesday as "Halo 4" players around the world spent more than $220 million on the heavily marketed sequel. That's the highest ever first day gross for Microsoft Corp.'s blockbuster science-fiction/action franchise. 2010's "Halo Reach," the previous record holder, enjoyed a $200-million "opening day. " Microsoft did not report how many "Halo 4" units it sold on launch day, but based on the game's U.S. retail price of between $60 and $100, the total is more than 2.2 million.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 8, 2012 | By Ben Fritz
A new basketball game and a sequel to the combo game/toy line "Skylanders" were two spots of good news in what was otherwise a grim month for the video game business. Take-Two Interactive's "NBA 2K 13" was the best-selling video game during October, according to the NPD Group, and outsold last year's "NBA 2K 12" by more than 60%. Activision Blizzard's "Skylanders: Giants" was only the No. 10 game, but outsold last year's "Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure" during its first month on sale.
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