Revenant Alley

EA’s Secret World online game is nothing like World of Warcraft

Electronic Arts already has a game like Blizzard Entertainment’s supergiant online game, World of Warcraft, in the works — but it looks like the game publisher has one more trick up its sleeve. The company unveiled its next online role-playing game, Secret World, at its summer games showcase on Thursday.

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Sony's PS Vita shipping in January: Report

Uh-oh. First Sony said that its next handheld game console, the PlayStation Vita, would be available for the 2011 holiday season. Now, judging from a report on Destructoid, the console may ship in the first week of January through Amazon.com.

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Take-Two's Karl Slatoff won't rush blockbuster video games out the door

Karl Slatoff is the executive vice president and chief operating officer at Take-Two Interactive, which has published some of the hottest-selling video games in history, from Grand Theft Auto IV to Red Dead Redemption and this year’s LA Noire. Not everything New York-based Take-Two does is golden (Duke Nukem Forever is getting bad reviews), but Take-Two is definitely carving out a reputation as a haven for some of the video game industry’s most-talented developers.

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Redbox jumps into video game rentals

Redbox, which runs several kiosks in stores that let individuals rent movie DVDs at cheap rates, announced Thursday that it is introducing video game rentals to around 21,000 of its kiosks.

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The best games of E3 2011

We saw lots of video games at the E3 trade show in Los Angeles last week.

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VentureBeat’s photo gallery captures the noise of E3 2011 (part 1)

The only thing bad about an E3 photo gallery is that you can’t hear the sounds. E3, the video game industry’s trade show, is an extremely loud trade show, with game exhibitors blasting sounds as much as they can to draw attention to their games. The convention drew an estimated 45,000 people to Los Angeles this week. We were there from the first parties to the last. We saw many of the 35,000 screens showing off new games. Here’s the show in pictures.

Kabam raises $85M for hardcore social gaming business

Here’s a “kaboom” for all those social game skeptics out there. Kabam has raised $85 million in a fourth round of funding to fuel its business making hardcore games for social networks such as Facebook. The backers include Google Ventures, Pinnacle Ventures, Performance Equity and SK Telecom Ventures, as well as earlier backers.

How EA’s John Riccitiello sees the past few years of struggle

Like many seasoned executives, Electronic Arts chief executive John Riccitiello believes that learning from failure is essential to success. He said so in a recent commencement speech at the Haas business school at the University of California at Berkeley, where he graduated in 1981.

LA Noire lives up to the name “movie-like” video game

A packed crowd of over 200 film fans filled the SVA Theater in New York City during the recent Tribeca Film Festival to watch LAPD Homicide Detectives Cole Phelps and partner Rusty Galloway track down “the red lipstick killer” in LA Noire.

Lenovo-based Eedoo video game system revealed in China

Lenovo is backing a new video game system that is expected to launch in the second half of this year in China. The iSec system has Kinect-like motion controls and is aimed at a mass market consumer that doesn’t buy the current game consoles.

Will Wright says games are headed toward ubiquity, diversity, and art

Will Wright is perhaps the most successful video game designer in history, creating games from SimCity to Spore. His games have sold tens of millions of units and have opened up new genres such as life simulations and “god” games. So there’s nobody better to talk about the future of video games. At a recent talk, Wright predicted games will become ubiquitous and more diverse, and some will be meaningful works of art.

GameStop retail giant opens a store on Facebook

Video game retail giant GameStop has opened up a store to sell games on its Facebook fan page. The store will sell physical games that users can receive in the mail or pick up at a local store.

The IRS isn’t playing games with Trip Hawkins

Trip Hawkins, the chief executive of mobile gaming firm Digital Chocolate and founder of Electronic Arts, may be on the hook for $20 million in back taxes after a judge rejected his attempt to use personal bankruptcy to cancel the debt, according to Forbes.

Nintendo CEO: Smartphone games are worthless

In a feisty attack on the fastest-growing sectors of the video-game industry, Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata said that smartphone games and social-media games focus on quantity instead of quality.

Calling all gamers! U.S. video games sales dip 5 percent in January

Video game players may have been too busy playing with their Christmas toys last month, as U.S. sales of video games fell 5 percent in January. Total sales of game hardware, PC games, console games, and portables fell to $1.16 billion from $1.22 billion a year ago, according to market researcher NPD. And January a year ago was down from the year before that.

Seven reasons why video games will grow in 2011

Console video game sales aren’t getting the love they once did from consumers. Activision Blizzard shocked the game industry yesterday when it said it was laying off 500 people and shuttering the Guitar Hero video game franchise.

Atari game creator Al Alcorn talks about creating Pong and modern game industry

Allan Alcorn is a one of the wizards of Atari and one of the fathers of the video game industry. Back in the early 1970s, he got together with Nolan Bushnell to create coin-operated video games, such as an arcade version of the early game Spacewar! Bushnell asked Alcorn to make a simple ping pong game, a version of the Magnavox Odyssey’s tennis game, under a contract from General Electric.

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.

The sights of Blizzcon 2010, day two

It took Blizzcon 2010 attendees a little longer to fill up the Anaheim convention center today, but by the end of the night the place was once again packed with fans of Blizzard Entertainment’s video games. Tenacious D, a musical group featuring actor and musician Jack Black, closed out the conference by rocking out to some World of Warcraft-themed videos.

Insomniac Games’ Ted Price on keeping the workplace fun

You’d expect the video game industry to be one that’s pretty fun to work in. But the hours can be brutal, and a lot of people who enter the field burn out quickly. Ted Price, President and CEO of Insomniac Games (makers of the “Ratchet and Clank” and “Resistance” franchises) talks in this Perfect Business video segment about how his company keeps things light and promotes collaboration among its employees. The methods include a lack of bureaucracy, office happy hours and even cruises.

Video game sales fall 10 percent in August

It must have been too sunny in August to stay indoors and play video games. Overall U.S. console game sales fell 10 percent in August, continuing the trend of weakness for the industry once described as “recession proof.”