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Today media giant Warner Bros. announced that it has acquired developer Rocksteady Studios, best known for last year’s blockbuster Batman: Arkham Asylum.

According to a Kevin Tsujihara, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group president, “Rocksteady demonstrated its professionalism and extraordinary development abilities with Batman: Arkham Asylum. This arrangement is a great strategic fit and we are very pleased to solidify our relationship with this talented development team.” Read more… »

It’s been a fun couple of days for Sega.  In their most recent financial report, the company indicates a slight uptick in their fiscal year net income.  Spanning the months of April-December of 2009, Sega had some impressive sales, for multiple games.  The most successful of these was Mario and Sonic at the Winter Olympic Games, which over that span moved 5.6 million units.

Perhaps even more surprising than that, however, are the sales numbers put up by sexy action newcomer Bayonetta.  The action/adventure title from Hideki Kamiya, the same creator as Devil May Cry, moved 1.1 million units from October 29th until the end of December. Read more… »

Today used game trade-in kiosks maker e-Play announced that they have suspended operations, and consequently will be shutting down all of its kiosks at Best Buy and Walmart locations. Some of you may remember, way back in May, when e-Play announced that it will be testing these kiosks at various Walmart and Best Buy locations around the U.S..

Upon investigation of the e-Play website, all I found was the statement, “e-Play, LLC has suspended operations. Thank you to all our customers. For more information call 1-866-602-6014.” Read more… »

Today developer Valve released some details about its Steam service, specifically pertaining to how its user base grew in 2009.

According to Valve Steam now has over 25 million active accounts, a 25% increase from 2008. Another note worthy statistic is that software sales on Steam increased by over 205% during 2009, “marking the fifth straight year the platform has realized over 100% year-over-year growth in unit sales.”  Read more… »

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There’s no doubt about it, professional golfer Tiger Woods has had a pretty rough start to 2010. The news media has had a field day with his marital problems, causing the athlete to lose numerous sponsors. One bit of news that should make Tiger happy is that EA has announced that the next iteration of it’s PGA Tour series, due out in June, will still use the Tiger Woods brand.

EA Sports president Peter Moore stated: “By his own admission, he’s made some mistakes off the course. But regardless of what’s happening in his personal life, and regardless of his decision to take a personal leave from the sport, Tiger Woods is still one of the greatest athletes in history.” Read more… »

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In a recent interview, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has some choice words regarding the publisher’s use of the Spider Man IP.

Kotick stated, “Our Spider-Man games have sucked for the last five years. They are bad games. They were poorly rated because they were bad games. We went away from what is Spider-Man. It’s about web-slinging. If you don’t do web-slinging right, what is the fantasy of Spider-Man?” Read more… »

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Today developer Visceral Games announced that it has teamed up with book publishing giant Random House to release a “special edition” of the 14th century Italian poet Dante Alighieri’s ‘Inferno’ as a means of promoting the upcoming action game Dante’s Inferno.

The paper back book will feature cover art similar to the videogame’s box art, as well as an introduction by executive producer Jonathan Knight and a sixteen page art section that shows “the evolution of characters and environments from the classic poem to the video game.” Read more… »

Cold, Hard Wii Truths

After three years of low-quality Wii software not moving from store shelves, retailers such as Target and Best Buy have had enough. According to Gamasutra, many retailers are refusing to pick up new Wii software if said games are mini game collections. This flies directly in the face of the common misconception that cheap-o Wii software sells in droves.

The article goes on to examine the current Wii environment and the on-going struggle of third parties to make a dent in the market. With hardware sales down 14% from 2008 and looking to drop even further, publishers are coming to grips with some hard truths. Chris Kramer, Capcom senior director of communications and community, notes that simple casual games hit it big in the beginning but not as much once the market became saturated.

Read more… »

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Fresh from today’s sleep-inducing CES conference in Las Vegas, Kaz Hirai has confirmed the long rumoured plans for Sony’s expansion of the PSN to other devices.

Pretentious PR spiel aside, a single PSN network ID is said to be accessible across all Sony media products and services, which means the virtual wallet you use to purchase  games will also work universally. Starting from the beginning of next month, Sony’s video service will also be available though Bravia Tvs, Blu-Ray devices and PCs.

In conjunction with this new network Kaz Hirai also announced the birth of a new division within the company, aptly named Sony Entertainment Network.

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PS3 sale header

Looks like the incredible Black Friday PS3 deals (and Sony’s sweet new ad campaign) are finally paying off, as Sony sold 440,000 units last week – the most of any single week, ever.

Sony: “In today’s economy, consumers are drawn to items that offer the most value for their money, making the PS3 an ideal choice for those who want a comprehensive gaming and entertainment system all in one package.”

Or maybe the “PS3 + Batman: Arkham Asylum + inFAMOUS + The Dark Knight Blu-ray for $299 at WalMart on Black Friday” deal helped.  Just sayin’.

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Who wants to adopt a PSP Go? Previously, you would have to have more money than sense to consider such an obligation, but now you can own one for the more reasonable price of £148.99. All you have to do is live in the UK and visit your local HMV retailer – not to sound like an intrusive advertisement, but that’s £76 off of the RRP! Wow!

It’s a similar story for Dj Hero, too, which has been slashed down to just £69.99.

These deals are not likely to last long, so it would be advisable to trek down to HMV if any of the above are on your Christmas list while stocks last.

Edit: at the time of writing the PSP Go has reverted back to £199.99.

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Future Pub down graph

Future Publishing has had a hard year; profits dropped from £9.5 million to £3.7 million (a loss of 61 percent) in the fiscal year that ended September 30, 2009.

Global revenues for the official magazine company of all three major console manufacturers are down as well, 13 percent to £153.1 million.  See what happened after the jump.

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