Keep Away From Children

The debut trailer for Glitch shows off a trippy little game.  It s an online MMO being developed by Tiny Speck, a game company set up by the co-founder and former staffers of photo sharing site Flickr.  Based on first glimpse there s an abundance of creativity in the design, and with a hefty dose of psychedelic influence.  That influence might even seep from art style into game play, judging how the trailer depicts the game almost as a series of up and down mood swings.  It kind of raises questions on what was going on at Flickr.

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Watch it at GameTrailers.

Game Industry To Grow On Digital Sales, Says Analyst

Writing for GameSpot, Tom Magrino features an article on 2010 game industry outlook from Pacific Crest Securities analyst Evan Wilson.  Wilson provides his forecasts on retail, console hardware and digital sales, much of which he says is based on lessons learned in 2009.  He predicts slight overall annual growth of six percent for the industry, namely helped by a 34 percent expected spike in digital game sales.

Read the article at GameSpot {link no longer active}.

Message From Industry Gamers

Newly appointed publisher Mark Friedler pens a piece shedding light on Industry Gamers mission statement now that he’s on board, along with a bit of background on how the editorial site is a reunion of the seasoned game journalist corps that formed GameDaily.  He also outlines how game industry professionals can participate by joining the site s community and contributing content.

Read it at Industry Gamers {link no longer active}.

Ultramodern Warfare

Ubisoft sticks to the core sell for Ghost Recon: Future Soldier in the teaser trailer.  It’s a war shooter that’s going to set itself apart from current genre staples, such as Activision’s Modern Warfare, by injecting the genre with a hefty dose of future war tech.  There’s little game play shown possibly a few frames in there, though it’s hard to tell.  But the trailer is stylish and sets up the game compellingly, even if it does feel like it’s openly channeling Modern Warfare’s UI art style.

{video link no longer active}
Watch it at GameTrailers.

Game Industry’s Virtual Reality

Writing for LA Times, Alex Pham and Ben Fritz look at how what were once digital frontiers in the videogame industry, from digital distribution to online MMO and casual games, are fast becoming a big part of the landscape.  They put together a well-researched piece focusing on numbers, namely the growing revenues and investment the industry is seeing with digital initiatives.  The pair get insight from a roster of game executives including EA’s John Riccitiello, Sony’s Peter Dille, Valve’s Gabe Newell, MMO maker Nexon’s Min Kim, and social game maker Playfish’s Sebastien de Halleux.

Read the article at LA Times {link no longer active}.

Turning Around EA

Writing for BusinessWeek, Cliff Edwards and Adam Satariano pen an analysis of EA’s strategy to turn around losses in a piece titled Electronic Arts: Lost In An Alien Landscape.   The writers point out how EA has had eleven straight losing quarters since John Riccitiello returned to helm the troubled game publisher.  Wedbush Morgan game industry analyst Michael Pachter called EA’s most recent missed quarterly earnings “strike two,” adding, “Shareholders will revolt if there’s another strike.”  Edwards and Satariano break down what EA s rubbing on the bat to avoid striking out, namely its greater emphasis on online and casual games, and the Project Ten Dollar initiative to win back some of the business lost to used game sales.

Read the article at BusinessWeek {link no longer active}.

Europe Online Game Revenues Top One Billion Euro

Revenues from online casual games in Europe s three biggest territories topped $1.5 billion in 2009.  Gamasutra reports on a research report released by and TNS.  The report shows online gamers in UK, France and Germany spent more than 1.1 billion euro, or $1.5 billion, on online games last year.  Germans represented the biggest spenders, generating nearly half of the total.  The report shows the tally by territory as 320 million euro for UK, 270 million euro for France, and 540 million euro for Germany.  Read more at Gamasutra.

Disney Sees Potential In iPad

Disney head Bob Iger says his company is developing casual games, digital books and other entertainment apps for Apple iPad, calling the device a potential game changer for new forms of content.  LA Times reports on Iger s comments made on a Disney earnings call this week.  Iger cited Disney property ESPN’s iPhone app ScoreCenter as an example of how iPad provides a platform for rich content, saying an enhanced version of the real-time sports score utility for iPad could make the scores come to life.   He made a similar reference to another hot Disney IP, ABC’s “Lost,” saying viewers could do much more than just watch an episode of the show if they were using an iPad.  Iger said Disney Publishing Group is looking at multimedia enhanced digital books for the device, but gave no details on what specific IP or other types of content such as games were being developed.  Read more at LA Times.

Google Launches Social Net Features

Google has entered the social media realm with the launch of Google Buzz, reports Adweek.  Google Buzz adds a suite of social networking features such as status updates and photo sharing to online and mobile Gmail email accounts.  Adweek cites a Google company blog that says Buzz will begin to roll out this week and be available automatically to Gmail users without any downloads or installation required.  The news outlet says Google is attempting to tap into the booming category led by Facebook and Twitter by delivering services that give its vast Gmail install base fewer reasons to visit those sites.  Read more at Adweek {link no longer active}.