GameStop rolls out Jolt as it moves into digital distribution of games

The nation’s biggest game retailer GameStop, which opens some 400 retail video game stores a year, launched its first free-to-play online game today. This move, together with the company’s acquisition of Jolt Online Gaming last year, shows that GameStop isn’t blind to the fact that digital distribution of online games could threaten its physical store business.

Sixteen years in the making, Trip Hawkins' latest game for Facebook is "best idea I've ever had"

Trip Hawkins, chief executive of Digital Chocolate, isn’t shy about describing his company’s latest Facebook game, NanoStar Castles. He first conceived the game, which you could summarize as Pokemon for grown-ups, more than 16 years ago. He boldly says it is “the best idea I’ve ever had” and personally oversaw its design and production.

The sights, scenes, schticks and stunts of DEMO Spring 2010 (photo gallery)

The DEMO Spring 2010 conference ended today after three balmy days in Palm Desert, Calif. A total of 65 companies competed for the $1 million prize that was awarded tonight to eXaudios, which created call center software that could detect the emotional state of a caller based on the sound of the caller’s voice. But the conference wasn’t just about a Darwinian contest. Here’s a photo gallery that shows off some of the best sights and scenes of the event. The opening photo above captures Matt Marshall, editor-in-chief of VentureBeat and executive producer of DEMO, as he greeted the crowd on Monday morning on the big stage.

Yoichi Wada's Final Fantasy: 96 million and counting

Yoichi Wada is kind of greedy. His company, Square Enix, has shipped more than 96 million copies of its Final Fantasy games since 1987. But he wants people to buy more, more, more. On March 8, the Japanese company began selling Final Fantasy XIII, the latest edition in the long-running role-playing game. This title has a lot more action in it and loads of movie-like animations in between the fighting sequences. But it remains true to its role-playing roots as well. Wada, chief executive of Square Enix, is pinning a lot of hopes on this game. Square Enix knows that its core market in Japan isn’t enough to fuel its growth. The company has to succeed on a global scale to keep growing. We caught up with Wada at the launch part for Final Fantasy XIII. Check out our interview.