As the weeks pass one by one, we can witness one game launch after another – huge franchises launch huge new titles with thousands, or even tens of thousands of units sold all over the world.
These games have tens of thousands of fans, keeping them entertained for hours, or even weeks (or years even, but for that the games must be really exceptional).
There is one category of games that we don’t talk about – a gaming industry that’s one of the most profitable ones in the world, with hundreds of titles and tens of thousands of users from all over the world: real money online gaming. In those countries where it’s not explicitly prohibited, real money online gaming is a very popular pastime – and source of profit for some.
The players are not how you might imagine them – most of them are lawyers, housewives, shop assistants or even school teachers, with one thing in common: their passion for gaming. Some prefer card games or dice, others find entertainment in playing with other games of chance, or even casual games or lotteries.
They choose their place of play based on various features – some choose them by the no deposit bonus offers they are rewarded with, others prefer to make their choice based on the games they can play. Now that I think of it, most people looking for profit choose by the no deposit bonus, while the others prefer to be excited and entertained by the games themselves… Read more
Newzoo reveals the outcome of its first Italian National Gamers Survey.
This research is part of a series of surveys and in-depth data analyses across thirteen countries.
The results show that a lot of Italians, more than in other EU countries or the US, see playing games as a social activity: playing together online or physically together with family and friends. That could explain the amazing 65% of all Italian gamers that also play games on social networks. In general, Italians are willing to spend money on games, ranging from high-end console or PC titles to online casual, social and MMO games.
Italy boasts the highest share of paying mobile gamers in Europe: 36% of 8.2M mobile gamers, a figure only matched by the US. Newzoo estimates that Italians will spend a total of €1.7bn this year, including all retail, mobile and online business models as well as second-hand trade and import. This is slightly more than Spain with €1.6bn, but half of the UK or France with €3.6bn and €3.2bn. Read more
Latest expansion for Blizzard Entertainment’s massively multiplayer online role-playing game reaches a record 3.3 million copies sold through as of its first 24 hours of release
Blizzard Entertainment announced that World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, the third expansion for the critically acclaimed massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), sold through more than 3.3 million copies as of its first 24 hours of release, making it the fastest-selling PC game of all time. This milestone eclipses the previous record of more than 2.8 million copies sold in 24 hours, set in November 2008 by Blizzard’s second World of Warcraft expansion, Wrath of the Lich King .
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm was simultaneously released in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Europe, Russia, Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand on December 7, and became available in Korea and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau on December 9. More than 10,000 stores throughout the world opened their doors at midnight to welcome players who wanted to be among the first to obtain a copy of the expansion. In addition, approximately 15,000 players attended official launch events hosted by Blizzard and key retail partners in the US, Canada, France, Germany, Russia, Sweden, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK, and the region of Taiwan. Read more
26% voting increase as gamers cast 1.54m votes and name Mass Effect 2 their ultimate game
It’s taken 200 days, over 4000 games and 1.54 million votes, with Mass Effect 2, Plants vs. Zombies and the Call of Duty franchise all emerging triumphant with two honours apiece, as the winners of the 28th Annual Golden Joystick Awards (http://www.goldenjoysticks.com) were announced today in London.
The most coveted accolade for “Ultimate Game of the Year” at the world’s most popular gaming awards, was presented to Electronic Arts for Mass Effect 2, which also scooped “RPG of the Year.”
Plants vs. Zombies from Popcap Games also netted two Golden Joysticks, winning “Download Game of the Year” and “Strategy Game of the Year.” Activision’s seemingly unstoppable Call of Duty franchise, continued its annual winning streak with 2010’s third double, bagging “Shooter of the Year” for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and “One to Watch” for the forthcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops – released next month.
The 28th Annual Golden Joystick Awards celebrates a successful year which saw gaming further embed itself into people’s daily lives – as one of the UK’s most popular modern leisure activities. Read more
The only guide to the blockbuster entertainment event of the year is available now
The official BradyGames guide to Halo Reach went on sale today and is the latest in the publisher’s critically-acclaimed Signature Series of high quality strategy books that dissect the biggest games, revealing strategies and secrets that you won’t find anywhere else.
With a pedigree that has seen it develop strategy guides for some of the biggest videogames of all time, BradyGames’ official Halo Reach Signature Series guide continues this tradition and is the only choice for gamers looking to experience everything that the latest instalment in the Halo franchise has to offer.
- COMPLETE CAMPAIGN COVERAGE
Learn the best path through every mission and gain valuable information about each pivotal encounter on the planet Reach.
- EXCLUSIVE RENDERED MAPS
Highly detailed maps for the Campaign, Firefight and multiplayer modes. Discover choke points and defensible positions, heavy weapon locations and powerful items, spawn points, hiding points and sniping locations. All on BradyGames’ easy to use maps.
- EXHAUSTIVE MULTIPLAYER CONTENT
Study BradyGames multiplayer intel to gain an edge on your competition. Learn the best ways to use Armor Abilities, pin your opponents at long range, slug it out at short range, hold important positions, rush objectives, maximise kills at choke points and gain the upper hand online. Read more
Game Connection Europe is back with its 10th edition in Lyon, France, November 16th to 18th, 2010 and announces 4 additional featured events. Game Connection has a history of bringing together leaders in the video game industry, and these four events will to expand visitors networking circles and help them connect.
In less than three months, the entire interactive entertainment community will be welcomed to the most effective and productive business event in the industry. Lyon will once again be the international center stage for experienced developers, cutting edge service providers, powerhouse publishers, and worldwide distribution partners. The trade show addresses all platforms, all genres, all services in one place and with one goal: to get business done.
For the last past years, the trade show has shaped itself into reflecting the latest market tendencies, with special focus on Online, Social and Casual games. With the upcoming event, Game Connection will provide an even broader international scope in sharpening its audiences and cover more areas of the video game market. With the launch of four additional events, Game Connection will respond to every game industry leader’s concerns or needs, from premiering projects and raising funds, to improving professionals’ individual skills and connecting national trade organizations to one another.
Game Connection Europe 2010 now features: Read more
Save On Pushing Tin And Paratroops All This Month!
This month at the Shrapnel Games official e-store, the Gamers Front, gamers looking for something different in their strategy games will be pleased to know that Air Command 3.0 and The Falklands War: 1982 are the choices for the monthly special. Grab them all month long at their reduced prices and enjoy their unique gaming challenges.
In the majority of strategy games victory is only attainable through destruction and elimination. Air Command 3.0 is a strategy game in which violence creates failure, not success.
A rather unique game, Air Command 3.0 belongs to the strategy sub-genre of the air traffic control sim. The player is responsible for directing air traffic at one of ten airports through all manner of environmental conditions. Winning the game is dependent on those aircraft landing safely, and though it features a great UI that makes Air Command 3.0 highly accessible, there is a lot more to getting those aircraft on the ground then just a click or two.
Air Command 3.0 does an excellent job of setting the mood. Digitized vocal acknowledgements from the pilots will make you feel like you’re up in the tower at Hartsfield, and realistic doppler precipitation patterns will make your local weatherman jealous. Four levels of difficulty ensure that everyone from professionals who do this kind of thing for a living to those that are afraid to fly will find the right amount of challenge. There is even an option to simulate communication difficulty with the pilots, adding yet another layer to the challenge. An editor to create your own airports is also included, making it possible to create any airport in the world.
Gamespy said it best of Air Command 3.0. “Have you ever seen those jugglers that juggle three objects and then suddenly have three or four more thrown into the mix? That’s what it feels like during the rush hour in Air Command 3.0. Just when you think you’ve got the situation under control, it changes. However, when you get it right, it’s very rewarding, and when you get it wrong, you’re left with the mix of anger and desire to improve that is sometimes called addiction.” Read more
Pre-order marks the start of the single player Beta
Take the reins and prepare for all-new equestrian warfare with the opening of the pre-order for Mount & Blade: Warband, the upcoming sequel to the beloved Mount & Blade from Paradox Interactive. Gamers who pre-order Mount & Blade: Warband will gain immediate access to the single and multiplayer beta.
Mount & Blade: Warband is available for pre-order via participating retailers: http://www.mountandbladewarband.com/buy
Developed by TaleWorlds, Mount & Blade: Warband adds multiplayer battles for the very first time, as well as a new campaign and complete graphical overhaul. Both on foot or mounted upon wild stallions, the bloodthirsty fight for the throne of Calradia rocks medieval battlegrounds once again on March 30th in North America and via digital retailers. Other regions will follow shortly thereafter.
View footage that highlights new singleplayer aspects in a newly released trailer for Mount & Blade Warband: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVCkz2e9Bz4
Mount & Blade: Warband Game Features:
• Multiplayer battles with up to 64 players. Multiplayer modes include Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, Conquest, Battle, and Siege.
• Graphical overhaul: State-of-the-art rendering technologies combine with a more informative interface, allowing new and advanced players alike to enjoy an unprecedented level of immersion.
• Seek adventure alone, or recruit and train an army fit for a king. You and your companions will gain experience and skills while your soldiers evolve into a deadly fighting force.
• New campaign allows you to become the ruler of a faction and convince lords to become your vassals.
• New ability to marry a lady of the realm for romance or cold political gain. Try to win a lady’s heart through poetry or bravery.
Video Game Designers, Players, Collectors and Fans Will Invade Vegas This Summer
CGE Services Corporation has announced that the 2010 Classic Gaming Expo will rock Tropicana Las Vegas on the weekend of July 31 and August 1, 2010.
Now in its 12th year as the ultimate destination for retro-gaming aficionados, Classic Gaming Expo introduces the pioneers of video game design to the players who grew up with their creations. In previous years, the special guests at CGE have included such dignitaries as Ralph Baer (the “father of home video games”), Nolan Bushnell (co-founder of Atari Inc.) and million-selling game designers like Al Alcorn (Pong), David Crane (Pitfall!) and Rob Fulop (Demon Attack). Luminaries like these will present keynote speeches at CGE 2K10, where they will reveal the behind-the-scenes stories of their greatest hits, answer questions and sign autographs for fans. Please check the official CGE Web site at www.cgexpo.com for an updated list of “alumni” who are expected to appear at this year’s show.
A major portion of the expo is devoted to retailers and collectors who buy, sell and trade games, peripherals and gaming memorabilia. The main floor is a giant showroom for vintage game vendors as well as publishers who create new games for classic systems. Classic Gaming Expo regularly attracts hardcore video game collectors from around the world; many of the rarest and most valuable games have changed hands at CGE. Yet there are also plenty of bargains to be had. Parents can introduce their kids to the Atari games they played as teenagers…collectors can fill the holes in their Nintendo libraries…amateur video game historians can learn about rare prototype games and game systems. Classic Gaming Expo meets all of these needs and more.
One of the show’s most eye-opening exhibits is the CGE Museum, where over 1,000 of the most desirable video game artifacts are put on public display. These are the “holy grails” of video game collectors—one-of-a-kind prototypes, limited-edition collectibles, rare hardware and ephemera. In previous years, the CGE museum has proudly displayed such precious items as the ultra-rare Stadium Events NES game (a copy recently sold for over $13,000), the Nintendo
World Championships 1990 cartridge (both the gray and gold versions, valued at $18,000 and $5,000 respectively), unreleased Atari systems and much more.
Other attractions at Classic Gaming Expo: live music, a variety of game tournaments, dozens of classic arcade games set up for “free play” (no tokens or quarters necessary!) and plenty of classic home game systems available for attendees to walk up and play at their leisure. Another popular highlight is the Saturday-night CGE auction, where rare games, systems and memorabilia are sold to the highest cash bidder in a raucous atmosphere of collector camaraderie and one-upmanship.
Classic Gaming Expo 2010 is open to the public; gamers of all ages are welcome. The “Early Bird” admission price is $25 for a weekend pass if you register on the CGE Web site before May 31st. The second-tier “advance registration” price will be $30 between June 1st and July 1st, or passes can be had at the door for $35. Admission is free for children 8 years old and under. Click the “Discounts” tab at www.cgexpo.com for information on Tropicana Las Vegas’ special room rates for CGE attendees.
Europe’s Premier Game Developer Conference to Offer Expanded Exposition, Press Opportunities and Academic Exchange Program
The Game Developers Conference Europe (GDC Europe) has announced that it will return to Cologne, Germany in 2010 alongside gamescom, combining to present the leading European game industry event for developers, consumers, publishers, and trade professionals.
In 2009, GDC Europe hosted over 130 international speakers, 40 exhibitors and sponsors from 35 countries, 240 media representatives and around 1,500 participants – advancing to become the leading conference for computer and video game developers in Europe. “Of course, we intend to claim this leading role again this year,” said Frank Sliwka, Vice President European Business Development and Event Director GDC Europe. “GDC Europe plans to offer attendees and participants outstanding new opportunities to learn and network. This includes three major updates that will be added to the regular program featuring keynotes, lectures, roundtables & workshops and exhibition area.”
The show producers have expanded GDC Europe’s exhibition opportunities to include both last year’s exhibit areas and a major new space within the gamescom Business Area, which will grant GDC Europe exhibitors additional meeting room and exhibition space during the overlapping gamescom event. This new area – named the GDC Europe Business Lounge at gamescom — will also host a VIP lounge area for GDC Europe Plus members to convene and conduct business.
With German and European companies moving strongly to dominate the online and browser game space, GDC Europe plans to focus the second day of the event, August 17 to covering browser-based, social network and online games, and key emerging markets. Additionally, GDC Europe plans to provide a major platform for “online games companies” to host press conferences at GDC Europe on this day. “Given the international network of the Game Developers Conferences and the UBM TechWeb Game Network, a resounding response is guaranteed for these new conference offerings,” explains Frank Sliwka.
In related news, in March 2010, the UBM TechWeb Game Network will launch a new project called the “Academic Exchange Program,” in cooperation with the North Rhine-Westphalian state chancellery. It’s intended to promote the academic exchange between universities with game degree programs from North Rhine Westphalia (NRW) and America. As part of this event, university professors from NRW and their American colleagues will participate at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, and exchange information on current teaching programs and best practices. “The games industry will only thrive with qualified labor. Thus, an international program to exchange current training methods on an academic level is very desirable, since the shared knowledge on technical and design aspects of today’s video games are of crucial importance for today’s industry,” Frank Sliwka explains regarding the philosophy of the project.
For more information on GDC Europe visit: www.gdceurope.com.