Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Trouble in gamingland

(By Richard Holway 9.30am Tuesday 10th Nov 09) If there is one theme to sum up the technology scene right now it is ‘Diversity’. In particular how some sub sectors are doing extremely well whilst others fade. Computer games have been a buoyant sector for decades – indeed the UK was once the leading global developer. The market was simple. You developed a game for either a PC or a dedicated gaming console like the X Box or Wii. But it really looks as if consumers have turned off that kind of game in favour of handhelds and games played on social networking sites. Indeed, not just any handheld – but the iPhone/iPod Touch in particular. Not just any social networking site, but Facebook in particular

An example of this came to light this morning with Electronics Arts announcing yet another $391m loss in Q3 and the cutting of another 1500 jobs. Their trading statement blamed the slump in traditional console games market. Even though they are responible for the biggest seller this year – the Beatles version of Rock Band. EA have bought Playfish – which makes ‘free’ games for Facebook and MySpace users.

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