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Video Game Group Rallying for Free Speech in US

October 23rd, 2010 | No Comments | Posted in News

Changes are quick to happen in an industry that moves as quickly as the video game industry does, but free speech issues, while not new, are certainly not what one normally thinks of when it comes to video games. The Entertainment Consumers Association, a non profit group that is composed of and represents gamers in the United States, has said that it will be holding a free speech rally in November 2010 which will take place at the United States Supreme Court building. The gamer rally is going to bring together a number of gamers from the organization who will be making a show of support to help make sure the Schwarzeneggar vs. EMA ‘violent video game case’ is not ignored by the media. Oral arguments will be held the same day the free speech rally takes place and is meant to protect the rights of gamers who wish to exercise their 1st Amendment rights under the US Constitution which guarantees them the freedom of speech. They believe that video games deserve to be considered as protected speech and have submitted a brief to the Supreme Court to state their support of this concept.

So far, video games have not been seen as deserving of quite the same protections that cover other forms of entertainment in the US say experts in the games industry. The worry is that without these protections, harsh censoring could go on based on some political leaders who use violence or other adult type topics in games as a way to malign the industry which they, being out of touch with today’s entertainment industry, think are primarily aimed at children despite the forced ratings which disallow minors from purchasing games with content that could be objectionable to parents.

Sales of Video Games Drops Yet Again in September

October 17th, 2010 | 2 Comments | Posted in News

According to marketing research, video game companies are suffering continuous declines in sales, not only in video games but hardware, software, accessories and even console systems right now. Only the Xbox 360 seems to continue thriving as the other systems such as the Wii and PS3 are still experiencing declines. While the 360 enjoyed a 37 percent increase in annual sales since last September. Software sales have dropped 6 percent despite the fact that analysts were anticipating an increase. There were a few bright spots in software sales, according to market researchers. These included Halo: Reach, which sold over 3 million copies, as well as Dead Rising 2 and Madden NFL 11. Anaylsts say that despite expecting an increase in software sales they have considered that part of the decline in sales could possibly be attributed to the overwhelming popularity of the freshly released Halo game. Many times in the industry, when popular game franchises release new games, other companies in the industry hesitate to release large titles at the same time and prefer to leave their releases for a later date when there is not as much competition.

An analyst from NPD stated an important point to remember while considering the decline in software sales: that there is content outside of the traditional video game sales such as digital content that is being sold, as well. What this means is that although console based games are not high in sales, there is a high volume of people downloading games and buying content online, too. Video game accessories have also seen an increase, especially the point cards available for both the Xbox 360 and the PS3 which allow players to purchase content or bonus items online at their leisure.