Metal Gear Solid Retrospective heads-up

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In a follow-on to our recent story regarding Metal Gear Solid
and GameTrailers.com MGS Retrospective video catchup series.
It is worth mentioning that the next of the weekly editions is
expected to be online anytime now with a direct link to be
found in the prior Stuffwelike story.
Continue reading “Metal Gear Solid Retrospective heads-up”

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Don’t lie to me – you’re playing games on that computer!

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New York based NPD Group, a provider of consumer and retail information for a wide range of industries reported April 2nd that overall American participation in gaming rose in 2007 to 72 percent of the population from 64 percent last year.  Of these, more than half say they play games online.

In its “Online Gaming 2008,” which analyzes the online gaming landscape and focuses specifically on consumer behavior, time and money spent in this market, the PC platform continues to be the driving force in online gaming, with 90 percent of online gamers stating they use a PC to play games online, 19 percent claiming they use a video game system (console or portable) and 3 percent claiming they use a cell phone. 

Four out of 10 online gamers are ages 2-17, driven heavily by kids ages 6-12.  Kids ages 2 to 12 are driving more than 25 percent of online gaming, while 18-24 year olds only represent 10 percent of online gaming.

2 years old??!! I was still learning to use the potty at age 2 and today kids are playing games online???????

At this point in the lifecycle of today’s video game consoles, multiple console ownership is low, with only 3 percent reporting that they own two of the three “next-gen” systems and only 2 percent claiming to own all three systems.

Among those who use a video game system for online gaming, Xbox 360 is the top system used, with 50 percent stating they play games online via that system.  On average, Xbox 360 owners spend the most time per week using their 360s to play games online, followed by PC and PS3 owners using these respective systems for online game play.

According to the report, 13 percent of online gamers spend 20 hours or more per week on online gaming.  Per platform, 33 percent of portable online gamers, 29 percent of console online gamers and 13 percent of PC online gamers are in this heaviest online gaming group.

“Despite the buzz in the industry regarding online gaming, it is still relatively small compared to offline gaming,” said Anita Frazier, industry analyst, The NPD Group.  “There is still a large, untapped market for gaming in general and online gaming in particular.”

Did You See Those Zombies in the Mall?

Dawn of the DeadDawn of the Dead 

You know that old adage, “Seen one zombie, you’ve seen them all?”

No, well neither have I.  But MKR Group, a boutique investor relations firm specializing in the representation of small companies across a broad spectrum of industries filed a lawsuit against Japanese video gamer Capcom Entertainment Inc. on Monday, February 25, alleging Capcom infringed on the copyright of the 1978 film ‘Dawn of the Dead’ to which it owns rights.

You remember ‘Dawn of the Dead’ the 1978 and 2004 remake movies scripted by George A. Romero – well, MKR contends that Capcom’s “Dead Rising” stole the idea  of people trapped in a shopping mall full of zombies from Romero’s original script.

“Dead Rising” was released on Xbox 360 in August 2006 and sold more than a million units in its first five months of sale.

Both ‘Dawn of the Dead’ and “Dead Rising” provide “thoughtful social commentary on the ‘mall culture’ zeitgeist” as well as “a sizeable portion of sensationalistic violence”, wrote MKR in its court brief.

“Mall Culture Zeitgeist”??!!  Geez, since when have mall zombies become part of youth culture?

Continue reading “Did You See Those Zombies in the Mall?”

Major League Gaming, now on ESPN

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In what appears to be a healthy intermingling of the mainstream sports and gaming cultures, ESPN has struck a deal with Major League Gaming so that they can have shows on ESPN. Sounds pretty cool and the guys at MLG are ecstatic enough to release this press release. This elevates MLG’s status to biggies like the MLB, the NBA, the NHL and what-not, because ESPN will be giving complete coverage to the MLG.

That means you’ll be seeing player interviews, the 2008 MLG Pro Circuit Competitions, streamed matches, scores, statistics and so on. We’re definitely not talking about an oddly-timed half-hour show talking about how gaming tournaments are so weird. We’re talking a full-fledged sports deal that puts the MLG actually into the major league.

Check out ESPN’s flashy new site for the newfound affiliation, where they’ve already got the show going, with fresh MLG news and Pro Circuit stuff. Those not in the know might also be interested in ESPN’s Video Games site, where they try to be real cool and pretend they are good at covering video games like other major sites we won’t mention here. Just kidding.

This event has a profound impact on gaming, perhaps the largest since Halo 3’s humongous sales. With nerdy gaming tournaments getting showtime on ESPN, you know that the mainstream-gaming gap is being filled slowly. And while some might be annoyed by that, the more optimistic among us will tell you that this can only mean more people play games, more people make games and hopefully, games become cheaper and better!

So much for Utopia.