Seattle Office of Film + Music


From the early days of Pong onward, millions of gamers have been entertained by animation that changes instantly in response to the player’s every move, even though such real-time graphics have mainly been a clunky cousin to the sophisticated CG of movies like “Toy Story” that were rendered slowly, frame by frame. Yet today real-time graphics are getting some serious respect — and beginning to transform film and television production. Andrew Orloff, creative director and visual effects supervisor at Zoic Studios, said, “I think you’re going to see a merging of the skill sets of the gaming world and the film world in a very real way,” he says. “Two TV seasons from now, you’ll see more and more shows doing this. It’s not decades away, it’s (just a few) years.”

July 28, 2009, 12:14 pm
Filed under: Digital Media | Tags:

Hollywood Reporter
Home entertainment has suffered from the recession but not as badly as other business segments, and video game sales are a success story. That’s how Entertainment Merchants Assn. chief Crossan Andersen summed up 2008’s disc business Monday. “In a re cession of historic proportions, American business icons from banking to insurance to auto manufacturing were brought to their knees, with many companies requiring economic resuscitation from the government to survive,” Anderson wrote in the group’s annual report. “Consumers tightened their belts, and jobs were lost. Facing this economic tidal wave, our industry did remarkably well. Overall, however, consumers spent less money on other ‘nonessentials,’ from new clothing and electronics to restaurant meals and, yes, DVD. Meanwhile, the video game sector seemed impervious to all of this and experienced record-setting growth.” The report by the EMA, a nonprofit whose members are DVD and video game retailers, noted that video game console sales increased 11% last year.

June 16, 2009, 11:18 am
Filed under: Digital Media | Tags: , ,

Hollywood Reporter
Economic uncertainty that is hampering most media won’t stop the growth in video games. Revenue generated in the U.S. and Canada by the video game industry, minus hardware sales, will grow at an average clip of 5.8% annually over the next five years, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers analysis due out Tuesday. Such growth prospects exceed that of other media, with notable exceptions being online advertising and Internet access — the latter being driven by a continuing shift from dial-up to more expensive broadband.

Game retailers mull impact of downloading
June 12, 2009, 10:52 am
Filed under: Digital Media | Tags: , ,

Hollywood Reporter
Will digital downloads kill the video game store? That’s the multibillion dollar question facing retailers from Wal-Mart and Target to GameStop, as Internet distributors continue to grow. Retailers including Target splashed out on large booths at last week’s E3 Expo in Los Angeles, showcasing games such as Activision’s “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.” But gamers — especially on personal computers — are increasingly turning to alternative methods to play and buy games, such as downloading or “streaming” online games, rather than trekking to a store.

How the iPhone Is Shaking Up the Videogame Business
June 5, 2009, 9:38 am
Filed under: Digital Media | Tags: , ,

The iPhone has revolutionized everything. It’s going to enable incredible things for gaming,” says Neil Young. No, not the guy with the guitar and muttonchops, but the one who spent years churning out blockbusters as the head of Electronic Arts’ gargantuan Los Angeles studio. Since splitting from EA last June, his startup ngmoco (short for next generation mobile company) has been cranking out games for Apple’s all-in-one device. Young says the iPhone platform represents an “inflective moment” for the industry, one that necessitates a whole new approach to development and distribution.

May 29, 2009, 10:23 am
Filed under: Digital Media, Film | Tags: , ,

Hollywood Reporter
Can Hollywood movie studios save the video game business? It seems an unlikely scenario given the studies that suggest moviegoers are increasingly forgoing the latest film releases to spend their time and money playing “Grand Theft Auto.” But with year-over-year game sales down, the industry finds itself on a bit of a losing streak as it descends on the Los Angeles Convention Center next week for the annual E3 video game confab. What could turn things around is the potential growth market of games based on film and television properties.

Survey: Games trump movie theaters
May 20, 2009, 2:55 pm
Filed under: Digital Media, Film | Tags: , ,

Hollywood Reporter
The box office is booming. Nevertheless, Americans seem to prefer spending time with video games over a night out at the movies. In the past six months, 53% of U.S. consumers have gone to the movies, but 63% have played a video game, according to research firm NPD Group. This despite record revenue being collected at American movie theaters. Through Sunday, 498 million movie tickets have been sold this year, 10% more than in the same frame last year, according to the National Association of Theatre Owners. NPD surveyed 11,000 people who have spent money on at least one of three categories: video games, movies and music. The results are part of its “Entertainment Trends in America” report.

In iPhone’s Wake, Nintendo, Sony Push Handheld Game Downloads
March 24, 2009, 10:19 am
Filed under: Digital Media | Tags: , , ,

Apple’s iPhone is changing the way we buy and play handheld games. Small wonder, then, that both Nintendo and Sony are pushing game downloads as the next big thing on their portable players. On April 5, Nintendo will launch its DSi hardware in the U.S. The big feature upgrade: Internal flash memory, and a slot for a SD card that will allow users to buy games online. And Sony will be putting much more muscle behind its online game store for the PSP, which has languished.

PCs to replace videogame consoles?
March 24, 2009, 10:17 am
Filed under: Digital Media | Tags: , ,

The OnLive Game Service, which is being shown off at this week’s Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, will essentially turn any computer with a broadband Internet connection into a high-end console and enable users to play games instantly without the need of a download. Service makes videogames the last form of entertainment to turn to on-demand as a future form of distribution.

Nintendo wins Wii controller patent dispute
March 19, 2009, 10:28 am
Filed under: Digital Media | Tags: , ,

NY Times:
Nintendo said today that a federal court dismissed a lawsuit brought against Nintendo over patents related to the Wii and GameCube game controllers. Fenner Investments alleged that the game controllers infringed on its patent, U.S. No. 6,297,751. Judge Leonard Davis of the U.S. District Court in Tyler, Texas, dismissed the case today.
Nintendo said that it was pleased with the decision. But the company has been the regular target of patent holders who are trying to collect royalties from the game company.