News Of The Day 6/29/2011

World of Warcraft explores a free model, MySpace is sold, and assorted other stuff happens, but it's kind of easy to forget with THAT news . . .

Sounds like there's two books we need to read: Do The Work and Anything You Want.

Marketing lessosn from the Greatful Dead? I am so reading this as well.

A sarcastic guide to writing about Greece when you hate it that nicely mocks the media. Included as I'm a cynical bastard.

Greece has some kind of budget agreement, but Barry Ritholz notes it's really more the creditors. I don't think this is going to go over well, and I suspect the Greeks will be bitter for a decade or more. Sure their tax system was a disaster and their government corrupt, but they're still not happy.

The job recovery looks U-shaped. Which right now indicates we won't be fully recovered for 5 more years.

Bank of America settles a lawsuit with investors to the tune of $8.5 billion. Essentially they were told to buy back lousy mortgages they sold in the form of bonds. This is a big loss to the bank – and they were posting a loss anyway. This may open the floodgates to all sorts of lawsuits – but oddly seems to up investor confidence.

Amazon appears to be getting deeper into advertising. More evolution of them as an Ecosystem . . .

The He-Man movie may be back.  The 80's are rich opportunities to mine concepts . . .

Social Media:
MySpace being sold to Specific Media for $35 million. The staff is getting cut in half. Specific Media is an online advertising/media company, so I'm not sure what they're going to do with it.

Face it, Apps bring in a lot of revenue. This may explain the seemingly odd attempts to make new app stores.  Not every app store can survive, but this may show that it's a worthwhile risk for some companies – and we may not see the end of My Little App Store for awhile.

Oracle is buying a lot of companies. Not sure what they're up to, but it's something to check to see if you or someone you know is in the cross-hairs. Probably means they're will be some restructuring in the years to follow – and that means layoffs – so caution when approaching Oracle.

How sloppy reporting gives people the wrong idea about the value of Facebook and its owners.  Not that we haven't seen a lot of bad reporting on economics the last decade . . .

Video Games:

MUST READ: Blizzard jumps on the free-to-play model, making the first 20 character levels free. Let's see how it plays out for them – because this could lead to the evolution of various models (and point to how mature games can keep bringing people in). For instance I can see games starting with paid options, then introducing free if they're successful.

Gamevil is going to invest $10 million in American game companies. Go for it people, there's cash out there.  Interesting too in the light of Perfet World acquiring Cryptic – more Asian attention on our game companies comping?

Zynga is apparently filing an IPO. I'm sure it will be overvalued – thats the market, not Zynga's fault.

Zynga is going to provide mobile games and content for AT&T. Smart move, and lets them be less dependent on Facebook. If you do mobile Zynga may be a good target for your skills.

EA Game's President Frank Gibeau sounds awful impressed with the Wii U. I'm curious as to how EA's online initiatives are going to tie into this – could Nintendo be making EA their app source/store, or one of them? Specific deals? I'd like to know more . .

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Who's next on the going-to-free game model?

Steven Savage