June 5, 2012 |
Nintendo tried to convince an audience of industry professionals Tuesday morning that it can stage a comeback in the video game console business with its successor to the Wii. The Japanese company made famous by Mario and Zelda has seen its fortunes fade recently as sales of its once red-hot Wii console have fallen behind Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3. At a press conference just prior to the official opening of the annual E3...
June 1, 2012 |
One day before trial was set to begin in a trio of lawsuits with claims totaling more than $2 billion, video game publisher Activision Blizzard Inc. reached a settlement with the co-creators of the "Call of Duty" series and 40 developers who worked on the games. The last-minute agreement Thursday ended two years of litigation during which nasty accusations flew back and forth and Santa Monica-based Activision endured the embarrassing disclosure of private contracts and a plot, code-named Project Icebreaker, to secretly monitor developers' email and voice mails.
May 18, 2012 |
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)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 11, 2011 |
Erin Reynolds is a graduate student, so she knows at least one thing for certain. "Everyone feels stress," she said. That's part of the reason Reynolds and 12 others on her team created a video game that uses heart-rate sensors to help players learn to stay calm as they wind their way through a decrepit house filled with their characters' horrific memories. The 28-year-old USC cinematic arts student said she believes her psychological thriller game, Nevermind, can help people develop ways to cope with stress.
November 1, 2011 |
A Michigan woman recently placed a $15 "parlay" bet at the Las Vegas Hilton's sports book on a bunch of college football games for the upcoming Saturday and, in each game, she picked the favorite to win. If any of her picks failed to cover the point spread or lost their games outright, she would have lost her bet. Thus, her odds of winning the entire parlay were a whopping 600 to 1. She won anyway. The payoff? A cool $9,000. "This sums up our season as bookmakers" in college football, sighed Jay Kornegay, the Hilton's sports book director, after relaying the woman's story.
July 15, 2011 |
Video game sales plunged again in June, dropping 10% from a year ago, as consumers greeted some new releases with a yawn and as sales continue to erode for Nintendo Co.'s once-popular Wii console. Sales of games and the consoles required to play them were $1.03 billion last month, compared with $1.15 billion in June 2010, according to the NPD Group, a market research firm. The decline followed a 14% slide in May to a four-year low for the video game industry. The lower numbers do not necessarily spell doom for the entire sector.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 23, 2011 |
Gerald A. "Jerry" Lawson, an electronics engineer and video game pioneer who led the team that developed the first cartridge-based home video game console system to hit the market in the mid-1970s, has died. He was 70. Lawson, who lived in Santa Clara, died April 9 of complications of diabetes in El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, said his daughter, Karen Lawson. One of a small number of African American engineers working in Silicon Valley, Lawson joined Fairchild Semiconductor in Mountain View in 1970 as an applications engineer working with the sales department.
March 13, 2011 |
The gig: Scott Lahman is co-founder and chief executive of Gogii Inc., a Marina del Rey start-up that created the free text-messaging application textPlus for the iPhone and Android smart phones. TextPlus is one of Apple Inc.'s all-time most popular "apps," with nearly 8 million active users. The ad-supported app allows users to join group texting conversations with people in their social circles or interest groups, and is an attempt to add new visual and social functions to text messaging, long an unadorned but widely used technology.
March 11, 2011 |
The video game industry received a rare lift in February, with sales rising 3% in the U.S. as consumers dug deeper into their pockets to buy motion controllers and consoles from Microsoft Corp. and Sony Corp. February's increase was only the third positive month of the last year for the industry. Americans spent $1.36 billion last month on games and consoles, up from $1.33 billion in February 2010, according to a report released Thursday by the market research company NPD Group. A 10% uptick in console sales helped to offset a 5% decline in the amount of money that players spent on games.
November 2, 2010 |
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.