November 30, 2007 |
Kathleen Buczko, a mother of three, is the toy industry's Grinch this year. She plans to cut her spending on toys by 25%. To the video game industry, she's more like Santa -- because she's boosting her game budget by 600%. One big reason, the San Pedro resident said, is that she wants to protect her 5-year-old son from another toy crisis. Two of his favorite playthings -- a Mattel Inc. die-cast car and a Thomas the Tank Engine train by RC2 Corp.
November 26, 2007 |
It takes a certain mind-set to invent a gadget that causes a video game's villains to start disco dancing. For Insomniac Games, an independent studio in Burbank, the Groovitron is a signature touch -- zany, unexpected and over the top. Other wacky weapons in Insomniac's latest game, "Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction," include the Transformer, which morphs enemies into cute penguins, and the Gelanator, which traps foes in cubes of lime gelatin.
November 12, 2007 |
For many parents, figuring out which video games are safe for kids can itself be a maddening game. Most game reviews in fan magazines and on enthusiast websites don't offer much help, with their fixation on geeky details such as frame rates, texture maps and physics engines. The packaging gives parents a few clues -- whether the game contains violence, strong language or sexual innuendoes -- but little else.
July 24, 2007 |
"Guitar Hero" has helped turn Activision Inc. into an entertainment-industry hero. The popular video game helped the Santa Monica company swing into the No. 1 spot in video game sales for the first half of 2007, according to data released Monday by the NPD Group, a research firm. Activision became the first independent publisher this decade to knock out Electronic Arts Inc., ringing up $397.
June 28, 2007 |
Video-game buffs might feel hooked on their favorite titles, but they won't be officially addicted anytime soon. Saying the issue needed more study, the American Medical Assn. on Wednesday scaled back a controversial proposal that sought to declare excessive video-game playing a mental disorder akin to pathological gambling. The association also decided against urging parents to limit to two hours a day the amount of time their kids play video games, watch television and surf the Internet.
May 9, 2007 |
Electronic Arts Inc. has a need for speed -- because its current pace is disappointing investors. Slowing down as the rest of the industry gains momentum, the world's biggest video game publisher Tuesday posted a wider quarterly loss and declining sales. It is making a bumpy transition to the next generation of consoles, which includes Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox 360, Sony Corp.'s PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Co.'s Wii.
January 13, 2007 |
A strong December capped off a record year for the video game industry, with U.S. sales of software, hardware and accessories up 19% to $12.5 billion in 2006, according to market research firm NPD Group. Last year saw the long-awaited launch of new gaming systems from Nintendo Co. and Sony Corp., but older systems dominated software and hardware sales in part because of a scarcity of next-generation consoles.
November 26, 2006 |
IT started as a goof -- an easy way for gamers to share their latest tricks online. An option in the first-person shooter "Quake" allowed players to record and save "Quake Movies" for later viewing. Soon, players were recording other games, dubbing in dialogue, creating characters and story lines, setting up impressive-looking shots and actually doing a bit of editing.
October 19, 2006 |
Nielsen Media Research Inc., whose TV viewer surveys have long determined how much advertisers pay for commercials, is getting into the digital arena with a ratings service for video games. Nielsen announced plans Wednesday to launch GamePlay Metrics, designed to give the video game industry a precise system of electronic measurements to standardize the burgeoning market for the buying and selling of ads in its products.
May 15, 2006 |
A soldier in a Humvee scoots across the desert, warily eyeing the vast, empty plain. A fire appears on the horizon, driving smoke high into the sky. The soldier is alert but calm. There is a rumbling noise, then the rat-a-tat-tat of gunfire from Iraqi insurgents. Suddenly, the soldier flinches and the scene disappears -- quieted by a keystroke. The soldier relaxes and returns to the reality of his therapist's office. Game over.