EEDAR Hires NPD's Richard Ow

February 16, 2012 -

Research firm EEDAR has hired Richard Ow to become the company's new Vice President of Sales & Strategy. Ow leaves his position as Director of Product Development and Client Development for Games at The NPD Group. He served at the research firm after 13 years. Ow will be charged with overseeing all sales activities in the gaming sector.

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ESA Spends $190k to Lobby Lawmakers about PIPA

January 16, 2012 -

What level of commitment does the Entertainment Software Association have in the anti-piracy bills before lawmakers? About $190,000's worth according to a Kotaku report.

5 comments | Read more

Jim Sterling's Open Letter to the ESA on SOPA

January 2, 2012 -

Destructoid's irreverent and outspoken Jim Sterling pens an open letter to the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) to point out their hypocrisy for supporting free speech in one instance and then going against it in another. 

4 comments | Read more

UKIE Endorses DNA Conference

June 22, 2011 -

UK videogame trade group UK Interactive Entertainment Association (UKIE) has given its endorsement to the DNA Conference, which takes place on July 14 at the 1 Victoria Street Conference Centre, in London. The DNA Conference focuses on the "Digital Out-of-Home Interactive Entertainment" (DOE) industry, which includes video amusement, interactive digital attractions & simulators, digital kiosks, exergaming, digital hospitality, retailtainment and edutainment, and other services in the pay-to-play sector.

"UKIE’s remit is to support all aspects of the Interactive entertainment industry," explained Sam Collins, Commercial Manager for UKIE. "We are delighted to be supporting the DNA conference and the exciting work they are doing within the out of home sector. Many UKIE members are already actively engaged in this area and we expect more to enter this developing market."

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EU Commissioner Promises Public Shame to Naughty ISPs

April 19, 2011 -

While Europe might be enacting new telecoms law on May 25, most of the new regulations avoid anything that might resemble net neutrality rules. But one politician is promising to do something to keep consumers happy and protected from the telecommunications industry. Like here in North America, these rules come off as all hat, no rabbit. Still, the EU commissioner promises action of a sort: shame.

European Commissioner Neelie Kroes promises to keep an eye on any Internet problems that might arise from blocking, throttling, or lying to the public about actual connection speeds. If problems arise that can't be solved by changing ISPs, Kroes says she is prepared to legislate. But for now, the good commissioner says that she plans to publically shame ISPs into good behavior.

1 comment | Read more

EU Rules Says No to Net Neutrality Rules

April 19, 2011 -

The European Commission has decided that it will not pass legislation that makes Net Neutrality principles a matter of law. Instead they said that they would rely on existing law, media coverage outing unfair practices by the telecommunications industry and consumer complaints.

"I am determined to ensure that citizens and businesses in the EU can enjoy the benefits of an open and neutral internet, without hidden restrictions and at the speeds promised by their service providers," said Neelie Kroes, vice president of the European Commission for the Digital Agenda. "I am a firm believer in the principles of competition, which are at the core of the new enhanced telecom rules on transparency, quality of service and the ability to easily switch operators."

4 comments | Read more

E3 Expo Revenues Tripled in 2009 Thanks to LACC Return

April 15, 2011 -

Entertainment Software Association tax documents reveal that the return of the Electronic Entertainment Expo to Los Angeles from Santa Monica managed to net the group $12 million. From 2006 to 2009, the Entertainment Software Association changed the format of its annual trade show several times before settling on its current format.

In 2007 the group attempted to downsize the show and moved it from the Los Angeles Convention Center to nearby Santa Monica. While it made the show smaller, it also raised membership due and show fees, which agitated a number of publishers. In 2008, the ESA returned the show to the LA Convention Center, but kept it small. This resulted in reduced revenues for the show that year - from $3.49 million in 2006 to $3.24 million in 2007. Membership fees that year were not enough to offset that shortfall; ESA dues raised $15.22 million in 2007, down from a high of $17.41 million the year prior.

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We Dare Footage Shows PEGI Rating May Be Appropriate

March 12, 2011 -

This actual gameplay footage from We Dare, the sassy, saucy, and apparently badly marketed game from Ubisoft shows that the game is probably rated appropriately in Europe. In other words, harmless fun and not necessarily harmless "adult" fun. So if that's the case and the game is appropriate, then the blame for all the fervor over the game's content has to go to Ubisoft’s marketing department, who released a commercial making the game look like a way to get another couple to have a four-way...

Anyway, check out the video and see why We Dare is about as sexually charged as an episode of the Golden Girls.. Thanks to Andrew Eisen for the video link.

13 comments

EMA Scholarship Applications Now Being Accepted

February 22, 2011 -

Applications are now being accepted for the Entertainment Merchants Association's 2011 academic scholarships. The scholarships which will be awarded to a number of "deserving top college-bound students or graduate students within the EMA-member family."

"We are proud that, since its establishment in 1987, the EMA Scholarship Foundation has provided financial assistance totaling more than $1,000,000 to over 228 students,” noted Andersen. “This has been made possible through the generosity of our member companies that have contributed to the foundation.”

EMA’s Scholarship competition is open annually to high-school seniors who will be entering college as freshmen in the following year; undergraduates currently attending a four-year college institution, and graduate students.

As for eligibility:

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Action Alert: Net Neutrality and Congress

February 15, 2011 -

The Entertainment Consumers Association has issued a call to action related to net neutrality. Tomorrow Congress will drag the entire upper echelon of the FCC in to grill them about the new net neutrality rules and about its power to regulate both broadband and wireless service providers. The alert follows:

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How EverQuest II Helps Train Soldiers

January 26, 2011 -

University of Minnesota doctoral candidate Kyong Shim was practically laughed off campus when she said she wanted to study video games. But three years later Shim is getting the last laugh as various government agencies and the United States Army utilize her data and expertise for training and research on human behavioral patterns.

The Army has signed on to study and use the teamwork aspect of MMORPGs to improve communications and teamwork when tackling a common goal. Shim and other researchers from universities across the country sifted through terabytes of anonymous EverQuest II user data provided by Sony Online Entertainment to find patterns and communication characteristics. Sony provided researchers with anonymous player communications, game logs, and other game data.

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EFF on Sony v. Hotz

January 24, 2011 -

The Electronic Frontier Foundation said in a recent statement that the legal action Sony has taken against George Hotz sends a dangerous message. The groups says that it has been warning of the dangers of the anti-circumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act including having a chilling effect on free speech and stifling research on security issues.

The EFF says that legitimate security researchers will be afraid to publish results for fear of facing legal action from big corporations. They also added that the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act could be abused to try to make alleged contract violations into crimes. Here is more from the EFF statement:

2 comments | Read more

LOGIN 2001 Call for Speakers

January 7, 2011 -

Organizers of LOGIN 2011 have put out the call for speakers this week. The annual event dedicated to online and social gaming is looking for speakers and their abstracts to be submitted so they can be properly vetted and approved ahead of the events launch on May 16 - 18 in Bellevue, Washington. Candidates are asked to review the topics of interest and session submission tips on the LOGIN 2011 website and then submit a completed session proposal form with 1,000 word abstract and biography before the deadline of Feb. 13, 2011.

The organizers offer the following five tips for submitting suggestions:

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Interactive Age Names Top 30 Game Law Firms

January 6, 2011 -

According to a national survey conducted by Interactive Age, the number of lawyers specializing in the video game and interactive entrainment industry is on the rise. The survey showed that there are 530 attorneys in the United States practicing law related to video games, new media and interactive entertainment. The survey selected the top 30 law firms in the country.

The top five law firms, according to the survey, were (in order) Perkins Coie LLP, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, Jones Day LLP, and Kenyon & Kenyon LLP.

"The results of our recent survey show there are 530 attorneys practicing law in the area of video games, new media and interactive entertainment," said N. Evan Van Zelfden, editorial director for Interactive Age. "The appeal for these big firms is that this sector lets them leverage all of their expertise across the board for a single client."

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The Coolest School in America

January 4, 2011 -

A school in Washington D.C. shut down in 1996 due to declining enrollment and on-campus violence has made a comeback. in 2002 the school re-opened and ever since that time administrators have had to think outside the box when it comes to education. The Mckinley Technology High School in Washington, D.C., has re-invented itself mostly by embracing a unique approach to its curriculum: video games and simulations.

Computer simulations have played a major role in education at this school. Teachers and administrators want to graduate creators, not consumers:

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BBC2 Vietnam Operation Hastings Unlocked For Everyone

January 3, 2011 -

Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 Battlefield Bad Company 2 Vietnam players finally manage to unlock the Operation Hastings multiplayer map - well after PC players, who managed to accomplish the milestone last week. DICE challenged players on all platforms to hit the 69 million team actions milestone to unlock the map. Team actions include such activities as healing teammates, spotting enemies, resupplying teammates, reviving teammates, and repairing equipment.

Unfortunately, DICE gave Xbox 360 and PS3 a free pass; they did not have to hit the 69 million mark. As of this writing, Xbox 360 players had 51,943,729 team actions, while PS3 players hit the 38,796,680 mark.

Source: BattleFieldBadCompany2.com by way Joystiq

1 comment

Giant Robot's Christmas Game Night

December 17, 2010 -

According to Game, Set, Watch, this weekend Giant Robot Los Angeles will host its fourth Game Night get-together and it will offer some special Christmas fun. Giant Robot's Game Nights are free bi-monthly parties that celebrate indie titles and invite people to play games in a casual, friendly environment.

With the help of Attract Mode and Meat Bun, this Saturday's event will feature the following:

- An X-mas edition of Vlambeer's hit indie game Super Crate Box made exclusively for Game Night

- Arthur Lee's Merry Gear Solid games

- A custom "holiday pack" edition of 8-BITar Hero, which mixes the Rock Band experience with old-school Nintendo games

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ESRB App Gets an Update

December 15, 2010 -

The ESRB has released an updated version of its app that makes it easier to look up ratings on a particular game while shopping. The free mobile app lets users snap photos of video game boxes to find out what the ratings mean. By taking a photo and using the app, consumers can get deeper content descriptors and information on the age-appropriateness of every game sold in stores. This is particularly useful for parents that may not be familiar with what is appropriate for teenagers and younger children.

The app is available on iPhone and on Android devices. You can grab it from the ESRB's mobile site or by searching for "ESRB" in the Apple Store or Android Marketplace.  

1 comment

Study: Exergames as Good as Traditional PhysEd

December 8, 2010 -

The results of a study released by the University of Calgary this week reveal that video games (exergames) may be as good as traditional physical education classes in keeping children physically fit. The research tested the effects of several video games that encourage users to jump and balance such as dance games, light walls and games that use the Wii's balance board.

After two years studying the effects of games on Calgary elementary school students, researchers found that these exergames improved balance by up to 30 percent. This was compared to conventional physical education that included traditional games like badminton. The results were comparable to a six-week Physical Education program that focused on improving agility and balance using dance, gymnastics, and obstacle courses.

3 comments | Read more

Games, DVDs, may be Subject to New CPSC Rule

October 11, 2010 -

According to a report on the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance, a new rule from Consumer Product Safety Commission may make it so that packaged media like DVDs, videogames, and other products aimed at children will have tracking labels attached to them (PDF).

Part of the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA), the rule was meant to satisfy a congressional mandate for safety recalls on children’s products related to things like lead levels from toys and other products from China.

6 comments | Read more

ESRB Launches iPhone Ratings App

December 1, 2009 -

Just in time for the holiday shopping season, the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) has released an iPhone application that allows users to search the ESRB for videogame information.

In addition to showing a game’s rating, the app also details rating descriptors and provides a full explanation of the content in the title. Game summaries date back to July 1, 2008.

To back the launch of the application, the ESRB has also debuted a new Public Service Announcement.

ESRB president Patricia Vance added, “This new rating search app puts all this information at parents’ fingertips when they need it most, right at the store.  It’s a powerful tool that will help assure parents that the games they give as gifts are not only fun but also appropriate for their children.”

6 comments

Report: E3 2007's Santa Monica Venue Cost ESA $5 Million

May 19, 2008 -

Kotaku is reporting today that the ESA paid a $5 million penalty last year to move E3 out of Los Angeles and into nearby Santa Monica. The penalty was triggered by the ESA's decision to break a contractual agreement to hold the event in L.A. through 2012.

According to the report, the penalty, coupled with significantly lower revenues from the downsized E3 resulted in significant dues increases for member companies. The jump in dues may have triggered Activision, Vivendi and LucasArts to rescind their membership in the ESA, which represents the interests of US video game publishers.

11 comments

E3 Returns to Los Angeles in 2008

December 18, 2007 -

e3-vertical1.jpgEveryone agrees that this year's E3 in Santa Monica didn't quite work out.

So the Entertainment Software Association is moving the show back to the Los Angeles Convention Center. The announcement comes this morning by way of an ESA press release. E3 '08 will run from July 15-17.

Despite the return to the LACC, the conspicuous consumption flavor of E3 circa 1998-2006 will likely remain a thing of the past. From the press release:
 

The event will continue to focus on the business of the computer and video game industry, with an emphasis on press events and small meetings with media, development, and other key sectors. While there will be opportunities for game demonstrations, the 2008 E3 Media & Business Summit will not feature the large trade show environment of
previous years.


ESA head honcho Mike Gallagher commented:
 

We look forward to welcoming the media and top industry executives to a centralized, business focused and personalized experience. Our program of high-level meetings, networking and personal dialogue, and industry-shaping panel discussions will capture the explosive growth we have seen in 2007 and lay the foundation for the 2008 video game marketplace.

 

29 comments

CheapAssGamer in Legal Dustup with Circuit City

August 24, 2007 -

Another case of Big Gaming oppressing the little guy?

As reported by Joystiq, CheapyD of CheapAssGamer has been forced to hire a lawyer to deal with Circuit City. The retailer's ire was apparently triggered by leakage of upcoming price reductions posted on CAG.

In particular, Circuit City is pressuring CheapyD to give up the identity of Speedy1961, a user who regularly posts about price drops before they happen. Most recently, Speedy1961 revealed the $100 reduction on the 60GB PS3 ahead of the official E3 announcement.

CheapyD's lawyer has filed a motion to quash Circuit City's subpoena and we certainly hope it is successful.

Beyond that, how clueless is Circuit City management? Websites like CheapAssGamer create buzz and help drive sales.

GP: We encourage you to write to Circuit City and tell them how you feel about their ham-handed legal tactics. Sounds like a clear case of SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation)...

32 comments

LucasArts Prez Talks Video Game Legislation

August 8, 2007 -
Jim Ward, president of game publisher LucasArts, spoke about the political side of the video game business in a wide-ranging interview with Mike Antonucci of the San Jose Mercury-News.

Ward also serves as the current chair of the ESA board. His thoughts:
What we wanted to do was focus the ESA on that No. 1 issue, which is governmental, state and local legislation against games. In a macro sense, maybe he's right. But my concern, quite honestly, is that as we enter this political cycle, we become a hot potato...

And, by the way, at any moment, if some kid in West Virginia goes and blows away 32 people, and they find out that he played a video game, guess what, we've got a problem again. Just as if he had watched a movie and then done that. Or just as if he had read "Catcher in the Rye" and blamed it on J.D. Salinger...

Most importantly -- and this is a belief system that you either buy into or not -- you have to believe in the sanctity of First Amendment rights. We believe you have to protect that, no matter what.
7 comments

Islamic Phrase Removed from Capcom's Zack & Wiki

August 1, 2007 -
zack-wiki2.jpgThis must be Capcom's day for troubling ethnic issues.

This morning, GamePolitics reported that Resident Evil 5 was receiving harsh criticism over its depiction of African villagers as zombies to be mowed down by a white protagonist.

This afternoon the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which describes itself as America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, issued a press release announcing that the phrase Allahu akbar ("God is most Great")  would be removed from Capcom's Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure. The puzzle adventure is scheduled for release on the Wii in October.

From the press release:
CAIR contacted Capcom after receiving a complaint about the use of the phrase in Capcom's "Zack & Wiki" game. The Arabic phrase is one of the most frequently repeated religious statements made by Muslims and is used often in daily Islamic prayers...

In an e-mail to CAIR, a Capcom spokesperson wrote: "We have already contacted the team working on the game, and the phrase has been removed from the game and will not be heard in future videos released to the public."

Said CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin:
134 comments | Read more

African Women's Blog Critical of Resident Evil 5 Trailer

August 1, 2007 -
Capcom's Resident Evil 5 hasn't even got a release date, but it' s already drawn the ire of a blog devoted to African women.

Black Looks calls into question the game's setting as depicted in the trailer, first shown at this year's E3 in Santa Monica:
The new Resident Evil video game depicts a white man in what appears to be Africa killing Black people. The Black people are supposed to be zombies and the white man’s job is to destroy them and save humanity...

This is problematic on so many levels, including the depiction of Black people as inhuman savages, the killing of Black people by a white man in military clothing, and the fact that this video game is marketed to children and young adults. Start them young… fearing, hating, and destroying Black people.

The point has been made by some gamers as well. In fact, GamePolitics reader Quad9Damage raised the same issue in a letter to GP just the other day.



UPDATE: Bonnie Ruberg has an article on this topic in the Village Voice.

Digg!
970 comments

GP on Joystiq: Gamers Like Mike

July 27, 2007 -
...the one in which GP explains that when you meet the new ESA boss, he's not the same as the old boss...

Catch it only on Joystiq
4 comments

Sony's PS3 Pricing Debacle Could Seize Moral Low Ground From Microsoft

July 14, 2007 -
Hey, console makers... just be straight with us gamers, please.

Microsoft still hasn't come clean on the extent or the cause of the red ring of death scandal which has vexed so many Xbox 360 owners - although they do earn props for extending the system's warranty to three years.

Now, under the harsh glare of E3 media attention, Sony has been caught engaging in manipulative PS3 pricing.

As most readers know, Sony kicked off E3 by announcing a $100 price drop ($599 to $499) on the standard 60gb PS3. Oh, and they were also introducing an 80gb model with a pack-in game for the old $599 price.

It turned out to be a tangled web, as PlayStation Europe boss David Reeves, perhaps inadvertently, let slip that when the $499 PS3's currently in inventory were gone, so was the lower price. That meant that the standard PS3 would be the 80gb model, priced at... $599.

SCEA spent most of Friday trying to get its story straight, as is well-documented by Joystiq. Indeed, Sony boss Kaz Hirai (left) confirms that the $499 PS3 will be short-lived in thsi video clip from VGTV:
The $499 price adjustment that we did for the 60 GB version for the American market, we're no longer in production for that product. So once that product is gone from the retailers shelves, then we're back to the $599 SKU only, so it's not like we have a two price strategy here in the U.S. market...
46 comments

Live Blogging Take Two

July 12, 2007 -
Waiting for T2 press event to start. I had heard he wouldn't be here, but new boss Strauss Zelnick is on hand...

Wondering who T2 pissed off to get such an ungodly (8AM) start time. Here we go. Zelnick onstage, says his remarks will be brief. Reminds us once again that no recording devices are permitted. "I will hunt you down," he jokes.

Introducing Sid Meier to talk about new Civilization Revolutions franchise for consoles/handhelds. Running trailer for Civ: R... Sid is onstage, gotta love the guy. Showing some game play. Says the "revolution" in the title refers to bringing Civ to next-gen consoles. Says console players don't want to read manuals, just want to get into the game. Not sure if that's a backhand compliment or not. Game looks great, not sure what system they're showing it on. Sid says release next Spring.

Zelnick now introducing 2K Sports crew with All-Pro Football 2K8. Showing trailer... looks a little arcadish, talking late hits, etc. Visual Concepts onstage. Game looks great. First 2K football game since 2006, took a shot at Madden:
22 comments | Read more

 
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MaskedPixelanteIf by "distance themselves from Google Plus" you mean "forcing Google Plus integration in everything", then yes, they are distancing themselves from Google Plus.07/26/2014 - 12:20pm
MechaTama31I wish they would distance G+ from the Play Store, so I could leave reviews and comments again.07/26/2014 - 11:03am
Matthew Wilson@pm I doubt it. Google seems to be distancing themselves from G+07/25/2014 - 9:31pm
Papa MidnightGoogle+ Integration is coming to Twitch!07/25/2014 - 8:41pm
MaskedPixelanteThis whole Twitch thing just reeks of Google saying "You thought you could get away from us and our policies. That's adorable."07/25/2014 - 2:52pm
Sleaker@james_fudge - hopefully that's the case, but I wont hold my breath for it to happen.07/25/2014 - 1:08pm
SleakerUpdate on crytek situation is a bit ambiguous, but I'm glad they finally said something: http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2014-07-25-crytek-addresses-financial-situation07/25/2014 - 1:07pm
E. Zachary KnightMan Atlas, Why do you not want me to have any money? Why? http://www.atlus.com/tears2/07/25/2014 - 12:06pm
Matthew WilsonI agree with that07/25/2014 - 10:45am
james_fudgeI think Twitch will have more of an impact on how YouTube/Google Plus work than the other way around.07/25/2014 - 10:22am
IanCWelp, twitch is going to suck now. Thanks google.07/25/2014 - 6:30am
Sleaker@MP - Looked up hitbox, thanks.07/24/2014 - 9:40pm
Matthew WilsonI agree, but to me given other known alternatives google seems to the the best option.07/24/2014 - 6:30pm
Andrew EisenTo be clear, I have no problem with Google buying it, I'm just concerned it will make a slew of objectively, quantifiably bad changes to Twitch just as it's done with YouTube over the years.07/24/2014 - 6:28pm
Matthew WilsonI doubt yahoo has the resources to pull it off, and I not just talking about money.07/24/2014 - 6:15pm
SleakerI wouldn't have minded a Yahoo purchase, probably would have been a better deal than Tumblr seeing as they paid the same for it...07/24/2014 - 6:13pm
MaskedPixelanteIt's the golden age of Hitbox, I guess.07/24/2014 - 6:08pm
Matthew Wilsonagain twitch was going to get bought. It was just who was going to buy it . Twitch was not even being able to handle the demand, so hey needed a company with allot of infrastructure to help them. I can understand why you would not want Google to buy it .07/24/2014 - 5:49pm
Andrew Eisen"Google is better than MS or Amazon" Wow. Google, as I mentioned earlier, progressively makes almost everything worse and yet there are still two lesser options. Again, wow!07/24/2014 - 5:43pm
Andrew EisenI don't know. MS, in my experience, is about 50/50 on its products. It's either fine or it's unusable crap. Amazon, well... I've never had a problem buying anything from them but I don't use any of their products or services so I couldn't really say.07/24/2014 - 5:42pm
 

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