Links of the Day, 11/10/08


Manga absolutely dominated October graphic novel sales, according to Bookscan. Viz Media alone had 12 of the top 20 selling titles, Del Rey Manga had three and Tokyopop had one (Volume 8 of Loveless)

Japanese anime maker Studio Gonzo has reduced its annual output by half for 2008. Less titles coming out of Japan means less available to come to the States, so there may be a residual effect on the American anime industry.

Video Games

Activision and Electronic Arts can't seem to stay out of the news. Activision is keeping it all in the family by acquiring Budcat Creations, which adapted its Guitar Hero games for Playstation 2. Meanwhile, EA Mobie has launched Console Boost, which allows players of the console version of Tiger Woods PGA Golf to connect with the new mobile phone edition to download stat points. We've seen connectivity between handhelds like the DS and consoles like the Wii before, but this the first cell phone connectivity – and we're sure it will be far from the last.

In the latest game industry soap opera, Sega A&R content head Darren Williams dissed the Wii's emphasis on casual gaming, saying it's on its way to being "the most expensive board game on Earth." Perhaps Williams should consider which platform resurrected Sonic the Hedgehog before making hasty judgements.

More trouble for Circuit City: One week after announcing it would be closing more than 150 stores, the electronics chain, which currently sells five to 10 percent of the video games in the U.S., has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.


When your business seems doomed by advancing technology, learn to adapt and carry on: Blockbuster has announced that it will have a set-top box that people can use to access movies on demand for the holiday season. The movies will come from the Movielink download service. However, they may get competition from YouTube, which will be offering full-length movies from the MGM library in an attempt to boost ad revenues.

Sony BMG may be offering DRM-free music download via iTunes in the near future. So far, EMI is the only music company participating in Apple's iTunes Plus service, which offers DRM-free music that's higher quality for a slightly higher price.

Links of the Day, 10/31/2008

Video Games

Electronic Arts has said it will lay off staff, with some reports putting the figure at five to six percent. The company's profits have been dropping, and the announcement comes one day before the release of its latest quarterly finance report.

Midway has given interim CEO Matt Booty, who has held the position since March, a nod for the permanent job. The company has had some struggles as of late, so apparently, they believe Booty is the man who can return them to their glory days.

Konami is expecting an 88% jump in profits for the six-month period closing Sept. 30, largely driven by the latest installment in the Metal Gear Solid franchise. A single hit title can carry an entire company in these tough economic times, it seems.

Nintendo's highly-anticipated DSI is said to be hitting the stores next summer, sooner than initial reports that placed its release in the 2009 holiday season. The dual-camera device will be released in Japan tomorrow.


Is the on-again, off-again Google-Yahoo search deal crumbling? A new report from the Wall Street Journal indicates that Google could walk away from it for good as early as next week. The deal has been mired in antitrust legislation up until this point, so its failure comes as no surprise.

If you're a designer of iPhone apps, your future seems assured – demand for app designers has risen by 500 percent over the last six months.


More details have emerged about the cutbacks at Conde Nast. Men's Vogue, which was thought to be scuttled entirely in initial reports, is being cut back to a bi-annual instead - which means it may as well have been scuttled.   

Links of the Day, 10/23/08


The Japanese general trading company Sojitz Corporation announced on Wednesday  that it will dissolve ARM, the subsidiary that promoted anime licensing and distribution in North America, by next February. The move is not expected to affect its licenses with Funimation.

Video Games

Atari, the old console maker, is making a name for itself as a distributor nowadays. The company has signed a deal with CDV Software Entertainment USA to exclusively distribute the publisher's console and handheld titles released under the CDV USA brand in North America.

Another "oops" for a major company: Guitars for Wii music games made by Rage have been found to cause chemical burns because of a circuit board defect that causes the controller's AA batteries to leak if not installed correctly. Given the popularity of Guitar Hero and Rock Band, we're guessing there's more than a few of those out there. However, there's also good news for Nintendo, as it looks like its Wii Fit may bypass Grand Theft Auto as the best-selling game of the year.

Think you're programming games for the stereotypical geek? Think again – a new study shows that gamers are more active, both social- and sports-wise, than non-gamers. Gamers are also shown to be the influencers of their friends and family when it comes to pop-culture trends.


Yet another sad sign of the times: Citing slower gadget sales due to the current state of the economy, Sony is reducing its anticipated income for 2008/09 by 38 percent.

Comcast, which upset a lot of people with its anti-P2P measure, is now offering faster Internet speeds. It remains to be seen whether that will win back some of their lost goodwill.

Samsung is offering streaming Netflix content with the purchase of select Blu-Ray players. This may be the biggest move yet toward bringing streaming video onto televisions and into the mainstream.