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Stardock - From Indie Developer to PublisherJanuary 31 @ 2 AM source

Consumed_Crustacean writes "GameDaily has an interview with Brad Wardell, CEO of Stardock Systems. In the interview, they discuss Stardock's transition from a smallish independent developer to a full-blown publisher (both retail and online). Of particular interest is the discussion on DRM and their online distribution, which Wardell opposes, and said 'Software piracy is something that tends to be overblown. The question for us boils down to the number of sales lost due to piracy versus the number of sales lost due to people not wanting to be inconvenienced.'"


Hands on with SiN EpisodesJanuary 31 @ 1 AM source

onethumb writes "The video game industry may be on the brink of a sea-change just like music has seen and movies are in the middle of now. Valve began it by selling millions of copies of Half-Life 2 online with Steam, and Ritual's about to really turn up the heat by proving that online episodic game development really works. We'll get better games, more frequently, and with new, innovative gameplay. I spent some quality time with SiN Episodes and it looks like everyone wins - Ritual, Valve, and you." From the article: "Everyone wants episodic games. Developers want it because they get to make better games (by listening to their fans suggestions every 6 months and incorporating it directly into the next chapter) and do it more cheaply (6 months of game development vs years. Do the math). Gamers want it because their favorite games will be more frequent, higher quality, and more innovative since developers can now take some risks with different & new gameplay. But figuring out if it's a money-maker is a big risk. Someone's gotta put their hard-earned dough on the line and try it out."


New WoW Map Uses Google Local APIJanuary 31 @ 12 AM source

Lord Satri writes "The WarCry Network lead me to the world's only ultra-high resolution map of the World of Warcraft universe. From WarCry: 'The site leverages the powerful Google Maps API to create a revolutionary scaled map with detail and precision never before seen on the Internet. A user can display any number of ore, herbs, or, treasure. Currently there are more than 15,000 resources in the database. All this, on one easy to navigate page.'"


Fear of Girls, a D&D DocumentaryJanuary 29 @ 11 PM source

FhnuZoag writes "Google Video is hosting the short film 'Fear of Girls', written and directed by Ryan Wood. The film is a hilarious 'documentary' dealing with a pair of self-declared elite table-top roleplayers. The film has already appeared at a variety of fringe events, but here's a chance to see it for free and online from a server that probably can survive a slashdotting." Allright, so it's not that funny, but since I'm off the play D&D this afternoon, it tickled me.


2Q Results Blessing, Curse for Microsoft (AP)January 28 @ 4 AM source

The Microsoft Xbox 360 is on display at the the annual Microsoft shareholder meeting in a Bellevue Wash. file photo from Nov. 9, 2005.  The coming months will see Microsoft Corp. continuing to invest in industries where it remains the underdog, such as Internet technology and videogame consoles, while still making the bulk of its money from less flashy standbys, such as Windows, Office and server software.    (AP Photo/John Froschauer, File)AP - Microsoft Corp.'s well-received second-quarter earnings report illustrates a blessing and a curse for the technology company. While it may get attention for things like its Xbox 360 videogame console and MSN Internet search engine, when it comes to making money, Microsoft still depends on less flashy standbys such as Windows, Office and server software.



Massively Multiplayer Games For DummiesJanuary 28 @ 2 AM source

The lexicon and gameplay in Massively Multiplayer games can be confusing and, for some people, counterintuitive. Just the same, the genre has grown by leaps and bounds over the last year. Everquest 2, City of Heroes/Villains, Guild Wars, and a little game called World of Warcraft have all grown the market beyond the wildest dreams of MMG commentators. As such, there are a lot of folks who are either playing these games for the first time, or want to play one of these games for the first time. Scott Jennings steps from the shadows of the internet past, filling the role of advisor to a whole generation of n00bs. His book, Massively Multiplayer Games for Dummies, is a straightforward text on what to and what not to do in any Massive game you're likely to play. Read on for my impressions of a massively multiplayer reference for the rest of us.


PartyGaming signs record new players (Reuters)January 27 @ 8 PM source

Reuters - Online gaming company PartyGaming said
on Friday it had signed a record number of new poker players in
the fourth quarter and was on track to become the world's
biggest online casino.


Open Letter To Star Wars PlayersJanuary 27 @ 12 PM source

Sony Online Entertainment CEO John Smedley has posted an open letter to the Star Wars Galaxies Community, trying to start a constructive dialogue with the players. He discusses, honestly I think, many of the reasons behind the still much-maligned New Game Enhancements. From the post: "One last thing I'd like to discuss in this explanation is the business end of things. Many of you question the logic of the decision to do this NGE.. stating that many of the existing players will quit because we're changing the game so much. From our standpoint we have to look at the game for the long haul. EverQuest is will be 7 years old on March 16th. We HAVE to think that long-term. With the game the way it was we knew we would never be able to attract enough people to really keep SWG viable as a business." The players, they do not seem to be in the spirit of cooperation. Here's hoping something good comes out of it.


Microsoft says Xbox 360 sales started slow (Reuters)January 27 @ 9 AM source

Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates stands in front of the logo for the new Microsoft operating system Vista during his keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas January 4, 2006. Microsoft Corp. posted higher quarterly profit on Thursday, boosted in part by the launch of the Xbox 360 game console and SQL Server 2005 corporate database software program. (Rick Wilking/Reuters)Reuters - Microsoft Corp. has lowered
its 90-day Xbox 360 sales forecast due to production-related
shortages but is holding fast to its target to sell between 4.5
million and 5.5 million video game consoles by the end of June,
the company said on Thursday.



Microsoft quarterly profit edges higher (Reuters)January 27 @ 4 AM source

Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates stands in front of the logo for the new Microsoft operating system Vista during his keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas January 4, 2006. Microsoft Corp. posted higher quarterly profit on Thursday, boosted in part by the launch of the Xbox 360 game console and SQL Server 2005 corporate database software program. (Rick Wilking/Reuters)Reuters - Microsoft Corp. posted a 5
percent rise in quarterly profit on Thursday, boosted in part
by the launch of the Xbox 360 game console and SQL Server 2005
corporate database software program.