Why China’s game business will hit $20B by 2016 (exclusive interview)

China has one of the most dynamic and unique game markets in the world. Rising from virtual non-existence a decade ago, and surviving a stage when every disk was pirated, the nation has become a force to be reckoned with in online games. Lisa Cosmas Hanson, managing director of Niko Partners, has watched the Chinese online game market for more than a decade. She has seen the rise of publicly traded companies such as Tencent, the launch of popular Western massively multiplayer online games such as World of Warcraft, and the emergence of social networking games. Mobile gaming has exploded with hundreds of Android app stores. And now there’s even a glimmer of hope that the Chinese government will allow the launch of game consoles, particularly if they are education focused. We talked with Cosmas Hanson about this ever-changing market. Here’s an edited transcript of the conversation.

The $99 Xbox 360 is not for you

Now that Duke Nukem Forever finally released, one major urban myth remains in the industry: the $100 gaming console. People dream of it. It’s a nice dream to have, like Star Trek transporters that beam you from Cleveland to Monaco for the weekend (or forever) and inkjet printers that don’t die within two years. But outside of a last-generation PlayStation 2, nobody ever nailed that formula.

Video game preorders are useless

Recently, an explosion of Max Payne 3 ads has hit all over. This is fine. It actually makes me more excited for the game when I am at work, and I look out the window to see Max Payne's face on the side of a bus. What does bother me are all of the Gamestop ads and commercials saying that I can get an exclusive map if I preorder the game. 

Bitmob Writing Challenge: Cartoon Opinion collected works

Ladies and gentlemen: Welcome to the results for last month’s Bitmob Writing Challenge. For the Cartoon Opinion prompt, we took a break from article writing to stretch our creative muscles in the field of political cartoons. Our community members took on Mass Effect 3’s ending, Sonic the Hedgehog’s doldrums, and more. Check out this gallery of drawings, and be sure to click on the links to show your support for our starving artists.

Could this be the final test? And a version war erupts between Shoe and Perivision

I'm sure you guys are sick of all these test posts, but believe me, it's needed. Getting to complete different publishing system to work in sync is no small feat. But we think we are almost there. And in the course of testing some of the editing functions, a version war has erupted between Shoe and your lowly tech guy Christopher (aka, Perivision).

Jita’s Ashes: EVE Online teaches us something about player freedom

Freedom is an interesting thing even if a little hard to define at times. It's a strange concept to try to apply to video games because as a hobby, we haven't really a needed to call the notion of freedom into the picture. But ever since massively multiplayer online games (MMOs) hit the scene, the idea of just what freedom means in relation to an online world has been a question that seems to be ignored for the most part.