Card Hunter

How to maximize your online game launch

For every video game megalaunch like Grand Theft Auto V or Battlefield 4, hundreds more are worthy of attention. So how can you ensure your latest title breaks through the noise? Strong decision-making can trump a strong marketing budget.

Soupy Sales

Free-to-play games are having their Soupy Sales moment

It’s too easy for kids to spend big bucks on games without their parents even knowing they do so — until the credit card bill arrives. This is why there should be spending caps in free-to-play games.

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.

Nexon will hold $1.3B IPO on Dec. 6 (exclusive)

Online gaming firm Nexon is expected to go public on Dec. 6 in Japan, VentureBeat has learned. The company, which was started in Korea and moved its headquarters to Tokyo, is expected to raise $1.28 billion in its initial public offering. [Update: the price was set on Dec. 6. The IPO will be Dec.14]

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Diablo 3 beta begins today

Initial invitations to join the beta testing program for Blizzard Entertainment’s Diablo 3 game are finally making the rounds to Battle.net account holders.

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Blizzard details World of Warcraft: Cataclysm’s epic finale

Blizzard Entertainment isn’t known for doing things small. That holds especially true for the World of Warcraft’s next content patch, which will bring a close to the company’s most recent expansion pack, Cataclysm. The game’s designers revealed new details about that content patch today.

Age of Empires Online could make free-to-play games mainstream

A new age is dawning in the video game business, and Microsoft wants to be part of it. Today, Microsoft is formally launching its Age of Empires Online game as a free-to-play online-only title. That means users can start playing the game online for free and can purchase upgrades and virtual goods with real money.