GamesBeat weekly news roundup

Here’s some of the stories that ran only on GamesBeat this week. We’re running more stories exclusively on the GamesBeat section of VentureBeat now, particularly when the stories are mainly of interest to game readers. The broader interest stories are running on VentureBeat as well. And please visit the GamesBeat section to catch up on game news. We’re ramping up our game coverage, so you’ll find more and more news at GamesBeat.

The DeanBeat: From the Supreme Court to Anonymous, 2011 was a transformational year for games

Skyrim was the “most played” game of the year, and we voted Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception our Game of the Year. But if you paid attention only to the big games this year, you may have missed some of the most important news ever to hit the game industry. It’s no exaggeration to say that 2011 was a transformational year for the game industry. As the game industry’s trade group chief, Michael Gallagher, said, “The word ‘historic’ is overused, but as we look back on 2011, it is a perfect fit for our industry’s year.” Here’s a recap of 13 events that made this such a big year for games.

The DeanBeat: Game industry predictions for 2012

We all know how worthless predictions can be, but they’re kind of irresistible. They’re easy to make, particularly if nobody pays attention to whether they came true or not. I could come up with a lot of crazy forecasts, like Zynga buys Ubisoft. But I’ll try to stay real this year. If you have some ideas of your own, please leave them in the comments and take our poll at the end.

What Zynga taught the game industry: Consumers are in charge

Zynga’s IPO yesterday marks a major milestone for the games business. It marks something more important and profound than validation of Facebook’s ecosystem or proof that the free-to-play business model is here to stay. It’s far simpler — in games now, just as in music, video and books, consumers, not media companies, are in charge.