The UpStream

Virtual Goods Could See More Real Returns

posted Thursday Aug 4, 2011 by Jon Wurm

Virtual Goods Could See More Real Returns

The market for virtual goods and the potential it has the to be huge has been a topic for game developers and social platforms to salivate over in the recent months. More specifically, Zynga and Facebook who are gearing up to take a bigger slice of the quickly growing pie. Just recently, ThinkEquity LLC placed the market around $20 billion for 2014 and now PlaySpan and VG Market Study have put together some interesting findings that might justify the anticipation.

Their study concludes that 1 in 3 gamers who participate in online play spend money on virtual goods. Almost an entire 3rd of the online gaming community, 31%, have used real money to purchase virtual goods from a 3rd party. It also comes as no surprise that female gamers are more likely to spend more than men in many categories of games. For example, with casual games women spent $86 dollars on average as compared to $77 for men. They also purchased more from 1st and 3rd party publishers, $51 to $36 for 1st party and $62 to $28 for 3rd party publishers.

There are more exciting stats to come so hit the break.

Zediva Down, But Not Out

posted Wednesday Aug 3, 2011 by Scott Ertz

Zediva Down, But Not Out

Zediva, a video streaming service, started their public offering in March to mixed reviews. Zediva was formed to allow people to rent movies before they are available to RedBox and stream long before Netflix. They did this through an interesting means, though. The company has no agreements with the studios for streaming, but instead streams one-for-one physical DVDs.

While the allure of $2 video rentals was appealing, it was only a matter of time before a lawsuit came about. That suit was not far behind, coming in April. A group of studios, including 20th Century Fox, Columbia Pictures, Disney Enterprises, Paramount, Universal and Warner Bros, filed a suit against the start-up claiming copyright infringement. They claim Zediva uses "technical gimmicks" to skirt copyright law. This week, a US District Judge agreed.

To find out what he said and how Zediva responded, hit the break.

AT&T Cappin Foo's Data

posted Saturday Jul 30, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

AT&T Cappin Foo's Data

Starting October 1st, AT&T is joining the ranks of Verizon and T-Mobile and start slowing down your data speed once you hit an unconfirmed level that would mark you as one who uses "an extraodrinary amount of data." 9to5Mac has reported that because AT&T has seen an increase in data consumption of 80 times what it has in 2007 - before the iPhone was introduced - that the company may consider putting the hammer down on those crazy tethering and streaming mobile devices.

This change will affect the plans who currently have an unlimited data package, so you 5GBers need not worry.

While we're not surprised as yet another company either reducing speeds after a certain point in your allotted data or throttling speeds when you exceed a larger amount, we are surprised at what some of the details of this change might be. We have those after the break.

R2-D2 Soon Available as Home Entertainment Product

posted Saturday Jul 30, 2011 by Scott Ertz

R2-D2 Soon Available as Home Entertainment Product

It isn't every day that Microsoft creates a custom Xbox 360 to go along with a videogame release. Even more rare is for them to release a custom console for a game that they are not intimately involved with. Based on this information, it was a surprise when they announced a Star Wars Kinect custom console.

The console itself is modeled after R2-D2 with a matching gold C-3PO controller. In addition, a matching Kinect sensor is included, along with a 320GB hard drive, Star Wars Kinect and Kinect Adventures. All of this for a price of only $449.

Oh, by the way, it also has custom console sounds. So, are you going to be getting one of these when it launches this fall? Let us know in the comments section. Also, good news: you can pre-order from the Microsoft Store right now!

Satoru Iwata Takes Price Cut

posted Saturday Jul 30, 2011 by Scott Ertz

Satoru Iwata Takes Price Cut

By now, I think we all know about Nintendo's 3DS price cut, but that isn't the only thing getting slashed at Nintendo. Satoru Iwata, Nintendo's corporate president, has taken responsibility for the poor sales numbers and recognizes the probable loss that will accompany the price drop on the 3DS, and has announced that he will take a 50% pay cut, as well.

He won't be the only executive to be taking a major pay cut, either. In explaination of the pay cuts, Iwata himself said,

For cuts in fixed salaries, I'm taking a fifty percent cut, other representative directors are taking a 30 percent cut, and other execs are taking a 20 percent cut.

Hit the break to find out how and why this is happening.

NCSoft to Reveal New Game

posted Friday Jul 29, 2011 by Scott Ertz

NCSoft to Reveal New Game

Ever since NCsoft announced that they would be attending gamescom 2011 and were going to "make some world exclusive announcements," the Interwebz have been trying to figure out what it could be. The prevailing theory seems to have been there would finally be a release date for Guild Wars 2.

This week, however, NCsoft announced through a letter from Executive Producer Jeremy Gaffney that the big announcement will not have anything to do with any existing IP, but instead will be the game the guys over at Carbine Studios have been working on. While we may not know a lot about it, we do know that it is a new sci-fi MMO IP.

Want more information that that? Hit the break.

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