Wonacott Communications

Online Entertainment Insider – Feb. 10, 2012

It’s a difficult job in general to get a video game funded. Video game legend Tim Schafer (Day of the Tentacle, Grim Fandango, Brutal Legend) decided to go against the grain of the traditional publisher model and used crowd-funding service Kickstarter to help him develop an untitled adventure game. It was a risky move, but one that paid off since Kickstarter announced that Schafer broke company records by raising more than $1 million in 24 hours. Schafer’s game will tentatively be out in October 2012 on Steam.

Schafer’s bilking of a publisher raised some interesting questions about the state of industry business today – questions that were posed to industry analysts Michael Pachter and Jesse Divinich this week at the 2012 DICE summit in Las Vegas. Check out their take on the state of video game publishing in this Gamasutra interview.

Find out more news from around the world of digital entertainment in this week’s edition of the Online Entertainment Insider, and have a great weekend!


The Industry
January's Game Sales Hurt by Lack of Major Releases, Says Analyst
TIGA: 71 Percent of UK Startups Focused on Digital Distribution
Study: U.S. Gaming Population Has Nearly Tripled in Three Years
Report: French Game Development Tax Breaks May be Prohibited

The Players
D3Publisher Takes Over from THQ for DreamWorks Tie-Ins
Ignite Game Technologies Raises $5 Million for Realistic Racing Sim
Japan’s DeNA Generates $445 Million in Q4 revenues for Mobile Social Gaming Network
Sega Studios Australia Lays Off 37, Transitions to Digital
Disney's Interactive Media Revenue Down 20 Percent to $279 Million
Strong Video Game Releases Help Time Warner to Increased Full-Year Profits
EA CFO Eric Brown Resigns
“Battleship” Movie Adapted into FPS by Double Helix
Zynga Inks Deal With Hasbro to Bring FarmVille Into the Real World
Activision Blizzard Posts $1 Billion Profit in 2011
Sony's Credit and Debt Ratings Downgraded

The Entertainment
Nexon's Popular KartRider Franchises Comes to Facebook
Skylanders Giants Due This Fall
Dungeon Defenders Hits a Million Paid Downloads
Fruit Ninja Kinect Sells a Half-Million Copies; Jetpack Joyride Reaches 14 Million Downloads
Diablo III Set for Second Quarter 2012 Launch
World of Warcraft Loses Another 100,000 Subscribers
Call of Duty: Elite Pulls in 7 Million Users, 1.5 Million Paid Memberships
Super Meat Boy to be Torn Apart, Rebuilt for Touchscreen Devices
LittleBigPlanet Karting Confirmed by Sony
New Biohazard Gameplay Mode Infects Crossfire: Europe
Skullgirls “Story Mode” Trailer Tells a Story of One-on-One Punching

The Technologies
Microsoft Readies Windows 8 App Store Games
Apple Warns Developers Not to Manipulate Their App Rankings
Kinect Star Wars Launches April 3
U.S. PlayStation Vita Now able to Access PlayStation Store

Upcoming Events 
D.I.C.E Summit, Las Vegas, Feb. 7-10, 2012
GDC, San Francisco, March 5-9, 2012
Social Media World Forum – Europe, London, March 27-28, 2012
PAX East, Boston, April 6-8, 2012
DEMO, Silicon Valley, April 17-19, 2012
LA Games Conference, Los Angeles, April 23-24, 2012