From Kinect to Angry Birds — the biggest video game stories of 2010

During 2010, we wrote about 1,100 stories on the video game industry — and the year isn’t over yet. But here’s a look back at what we thought were the biggest stories of the year. For fun, here’s a link to our story from a year ago, when we deemed that the biggest story of 2009 was that the industry discovered that video games weren’t recession proof.

Zynga launches Mafia Wars Atlantic City for mobile phones

Zynga launched a mobile version of its Mafia Wars Atlantic City game today. The game is the social game company’s first designed for the mobile Web in the HTML5 format, and comes as it’s seeking to show potential investors that it has more tricks up its sleeve than just social games on Facebook’s website.

As its CEO steps down, what’s happening at RockYou?

News broke late yesterday that Lance Tokuda is stepping down from his role as chief executive of social game- and app-maker RockYou. Coming barely more than a month after the company announced substantial layoffs, we started wondering where RockYou is headed. So I got on the phone with chief operating officer Lisa Marino to find out.

Microsoft executive: Xbox Live is the hook that will sell Windows Phone 7

The best feature of Windows Phone 7, Microsoft’s mobile operating system, is one that will differentiate it from the rest of the smartphone platforms on the market: Xbox Live integration. This feature will help players carry their online persona into the real world, said Matt Thompson, general manager of developer and platform evangelism for Microsoft. Thompson made the comments at the GigaOm Mobilize conference in San Francisco today.

Is companion gaming Ubisoft's answer to Zynga? (video)

Last night, game publisher Ubisoft unveiled its strategy to get big on social and mobile at an event in San Francisco. Ubisoft’s digital game chief, Chris Early, joined the French video game publisher six months ago to try to bring it into the age of social gaming. Many traditional video game companies are doing the same, launching small efforts one at a time. But those games aren’t getting noticed.