Much like many industries in today's uncertain economy, video game software developers are taking a bit of a beating. Major publishers like Electronic Arts, Midway, Eidos, Microsoft Games Studios, THQ and others are making some hard budgetary choices, cutting projects, and laying off development staff. And part of the buzz currently around this trend is that with the loss of creative staff at these firms, creativity will start to suffer in the 2009 and 2010 release calendars.
n interesting development happened this week: Hulu pulled access from the Boxee platform. Boxee is a software package that offers IPTV to various set-top box devices. For Hulu, Boxee was providing over 100,000 streams the week before it was pulled. It wasn't Hulu's choice, but was pressure from the content providers. Which leads me to the major point of this post: mainstream content owners don't get it.
NPD numbers for January came out last night, and despite the daily doom and gloom in the economy, the overall console market continues to post sales growth -- 148% year-over-year growth for the Wii, and 33% year-over-year growth in sales for the Xbox 360. Only the PS3 saw a decrease in year-over-year sales, losing 24.5% compared to last January's numbers.
With the release of Playstation Home and the New Xbox Experience (NXE) all three consoles now have an avatar system. While the Wii remains a fairly closed system, both Sony and Microsoft's offerings seem to have plans for tying their avatars in with marketing.