YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsVideo Industry

Video Industry

After crashing her white Corvette and injuring her much-glorified face on the way home from another night of hard partying, Shannon Wilsey sent a friend out to walk her Rottweiler, Daisy, and then shot herself in the head. For the 23-year-old sex video superstar known as Savannah, it was the most outrageous act in a short but outrage-filled public life.
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.
May 26, 1992 | From Associated Press
The home video industry would like to avoid a rerun of last year. After a decade of rapid growth, rental activity slipped for the first time in 1991, largely because of the recession, lackluster releases and the Persian Gulf War's effects on television viewing habits. Rental volume dropped by about 10% from 1990, while revenue fell 8%. Video purchases, however, were higher.
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.
Some movie theater patrons have taken to shouting "Video!" during previews of films they deem unworthy of spending $7.50 on. Unfortunately for the video industry, Mr. and Ms. Loudmouth haven't actually been showing up at the video store. For the first half of 1997, video rentals and sales were both down, the first time they have slumped in tandem. For January through June this year versus the same period last year, rentals were down by more than 8%, according to VSDA VidTrac.
A promising new video technology, which federal regulators backed a year ago to encourage a lower-cost alternative to cable TV, may be stalled because of a battle with the satellite industry over scarce airwave space. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration says communications satellites will need the same part of the radio airwaves that was planned for use by the video service.
Less than a year ago, Billy Blanks was a $70-an-hour personal trainer with a growing celebrity clientele--not exactly a rare job description in Los Angeles. Today, thanks to the power of video and an oft-aired TV infomercial, Blanks is on the verge of becoming the most popular fitness guru since Jane Fonda.
February 19, 1987 | Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press
Thousands of video halls are to be opened across the Soviet Union over the next two years as part of a drive to develop the country's fledgling video industry, a senior cinema official was quoted Wednesday as saying. Alexander Kamshalov, chairman of the state cinema authority Goskino, told the daily Sovietskaya Rossiya that the Soviet Union lagged behind most countries in the development of video.
February 7, 1987
Of all of the atrocities of the American Music Awards, one particular award really disgusted me ("Houston Wins With Old News" by Dennis Hunt, Jan. 28): Billy Ocean being awarded Favorite Male Video Performer was absolutely ridiculous. Peter Gabriel, for his ingenious videos that revolutionized the whole video industry, was overlooked, while Ocean, for his bland videos that epitomize the problem with the majority of videos on MTV, was honored. If these awards are a foreshadowing of what's to come in the Grammys, we're in for real trouble.
To the home video industry, there is no greater Satan than the black box. That's the electronic device that can allow certain unscrupulous viewers to filch TV signals and get movies for free. The Video Software Dealers Assn., or VSDA, an Encino-based industry trade group, says the devices are proliferating, robbing both video retailers and cable companies of revenue during a time of critical technological change.
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)
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)
March 11, 2011 | By Alex Pham, Los Angeles Times
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 | 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.
September 9, 2010 | By Alex Pham, Los Angeles Times
Girding itself for its final battle, the video game industry will lay out its arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court on why California's ban on the sale or rental of violent video games to minors violates the developers' free speech rights. The industry, expected to file its brief with the high court late Friday, seeks to overturn the state statute as it also takes on family advocates who argue that parents should be able to determine whether their children get exposed to violent media.
July 28, 2010 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski, Los Angeles Times
Walt Disney Co. made a bold bet on social networks as an emerging entertainment platform Tuesday by agreeing to acquire gaming company Playdom Inc. for $563.2 million. Playdom is among the largest makers of online social games, which allow players to organize mock mafia hits, coordinate sorority soirees or play other games on networks such as Facebook and MySpace. The deal positions Disney to capitalize on a segment of the video game industry that's rapidly expanding. "There's a huge growth opportunity happening in the marketplace that we weren't really playing in in any significant way," said Steve Wadsworth, president of the Disney Interactive Media Group.
September 5, 1995
You missed an important point in your exposition of what is at stake if denigrating labels on films are legislatively mandated into existence (Aug. 18). The proposed legislation is not about "aesthetic sensibilities." It's about money and power in Hollywood. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) supports this legislation, a position which seems incomprehensible to the Video Software Dealers Assn., the trade association for the video industry. Boxer claims that this obnoxious labeling falls into the category of "consumer protection."
June 12, 2010 | By Ben Fritz and Alex Pham, Los Angeles Times
On a warm Monday afternoon three months ago, the producers of the hit video game Call of Duty found their offices under invasion. Security guards with Secret Service-style radio earpieces showed up on the second floor of Infinity Ward headquarters in Encino on March 1 and refused to tell employees why they were monitoring the entrances. Staffers congregating in the hallways suspected it had to do with the mysterious absence that day of their longtime bosses Jason West and Vincent Zampella.
March 18, 2010 | By Ben Fritz
Not too long ago, many in Hollywood would never have heard of Nintendo North America Inc. President Reggie Fils-Aime. Now that video games are rivaling movies and other media choices for consumers' time and money and Nintendo has skyrocketed back to the top of its industry, few could dispute that he leads one of the country's top entertainment outfits. Nintendo's Wii, best known for its user-friendly controller that senses player's movements, has sold nearly twice as many units as Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3. Nintendo's DS, meanwhile, is far and away the most popular portable gaming device on the market.
Los Angeles Times Articles