The Growing Game Accessory Market

Writing for LiveScience, Dan Hope takes a look at the game console accessory market.  According to analyst firm EEDAR, the segment has seen steady growth over the past five years to become a $5 billion subset of the game industry.  Hope gets insight into the business and what s making it attractive to newcomers from EEDAR analyst Jesse Divnich.  He also talks to Chris Arbogast, marketing director at accessory maker Nyko, to hear how Nintendo Wii and music games have helped the market along, and where it looks to go as motion controllers enter the fray.

Read the article from LiveScience {link no longer active}.

EA’s Super Ad

EA has released the 30-second TV ad for Dante s Inferno slated to air during the Super Bowl.  The publisher breaks new ground by sticking a videogame ad in the Super Bowl lineup, but the spot doesn’t exactly go for anything groundbreaking.  The ad buy is estimated to cost EA between $2-3 million, CBS’ going rate for 30-second spots during the game.  Keep that in mind as the video ticks by, it’s more than $80,000 a second.

The spot is a series of the game’s cut scenes setting up the premise, then ending with a quick glimpse of what to expect for game play.  Even that “game play” sequence sticks to hi-res CG.  While the linked version of the video has the game s original tagline Go To Hell, the aired spot will use a changed slogan per CBS request.  (Note our thumbnail photo.)  The music is Ain’t No Sunshine by Bill Withers.

Watch it at YouTube {video link no longer active}.

Blue Moon Over Vegas

Bethesda Softworks and developer Obsidian have put out a sneak peek for the next game in the Fallout series.  While well-crafted and appropriately dreary for a Fallout video, the debut teaser isn’t revealing much more than what’s evident in the game’s title Fallout: New Vegas.  For the setting, it gives just a glimpse of a seemingly war ravaged Las Vegas, though it’s tough to tell how ravaged given that the casino skyline is lit and looks fairly intact.  Fittingly, Frank Sinatra sets the Vegas mood.

{link no longer active}
Watch it at GameTrailers.

‘Internet And American Life’

Writing for FastCompany, Zachary Wilson runs through findings gathered from Pew Research’s Internet & American Life Project.   The study gathered research on internet, mobile and social media penetration in the U.S.  Wilson leads by summarizing the report as finding that everybody goes online, everybody has a cell phone, and kids hate blogging and Twitter.   The piece is brimming with statistics.

Check it out at FastCompany {link no longer active}.

Sony Talks Motion Controller

Writing for Examiner, Matt Furtado has a question and answer piece with John Koller, director of hardware marketing for Sony’s game division.  While there are telltale signs of heavy-handed PR input on Koller’s answers, Furtado manages to get some light shed on the PlayStation 3 motion controller, namely the way it operates and how it compares to other motion devices including Sony’s own EyeToy.  Koller also gives a bit of info at end on what s up Sony’s sleeve for 3DTV.

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

Code Is Hell

There s been no shortage of quirky efforts in EA s marketing for Dante’s Inferno, a campaign that baited LA Times with a staged PR stunt before trying to bait everyone else in the industry with a fake bible-themed game.  Joystiq is reporting on yet another attempt by EA to subvert reality in promoting the game.  As spotted on IGN, GameSpot, Kotaku and Digg, EA has altered source code on these sites to insert ASCII art depicting demonic images.  Joystiq calls it one of the cuter, somewhat classier approaches to this title’s marketing.

At the time of this post all four sites listed still had the creepy code.  The one in our thumbnail photo is from IGN.  Read more at Joystiq.

Movie Gallery Files For Bankruptcy

Rental chain Movie Gallery has filed for bankruptcy, reports Industry Gamers.  The move comes several months after the company revealed that it was closing nearly a third of its Game Crazy videogame sections.  Movie Gallery also operates Hollywood Video stores.   As reported in Industry Gamers, the company is filing for chapter eleven to reorganize its business operations and plans to close 760 stores immediately.  The news outlet says that it s Movie Gallery’s second bankruptcy in three years.  It estimates that the store closures leave 1,906 stores remaining in the U.S., currently made up of 1,111 Movie Gallery, 545 Hollywood Video and 250 Game Crazy locations.  Read more at Industry Gamers {link no longer active}.

Capcom Reconsiders Role Of Western Game Studios

Citing disappointment with Swedish studio GRIN’s Bionic Commando, Capcom has said it is changing how it outsources game development to studios in the West.  Gamasutra reports on comments the company made to analysts on an earnings call.  Capcom said working in conjunction with GRIN on Bionic Commando showed the difficulty of using overseas companies to develop new games.  The game launched to poor critical reception and sold a meager 27,000 units at launch for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 combined, based on NPD figures for its first two weeks.  Capcom told analysts that while it could not develop enough games without using outside studios, it’s changing outsourcing strategy to one of using Western studios only for well-established characters and universal themes and certain parts and/or lineups of such games.   The company added that as part of separating activities at Japan studios from those in the West, it planned to create new titles primarily in Japan.  Read more at Gamasutra.

Retailer Backs Mature Game Rating For Australia

EB Games has joined the effort to introduce a mature rating for videogames in Australia, reports Joystiq.  Australia has been embroiled in a battle between game makers and government officials over its lack of a rating for games equivalent to other territories’ 18 years-and-over or M-Rated classifications.  The country’s ratings classification board recently launched an initiative to get the public to weigh in on whether it should begin using its mature-film equivalent R18+ rating for games.  EB Games has joined that initiative by starting a petition gathering signatures to forward to the government through its own web site, Grow Up Australia and EB Games.  The game retailer isn’t being subtle about where it hopes to lead the vote.  “What comes as a shock to many is that Australia is the only developed country without an R18+ rating for video games.”    Read more at Joystiq.