Gaming Roundup: Virtual Seventeen; Wither In-Game Ads?; Grown-Up Gamers; Perfect World

This story was written by Tameka Kee.
Hearst, MTVN (NYSE: VIA) partner to launch virtual Seventeen : Seventeen magazine has launched a special issue within Virtual MTV, MTVN's group of virtual worlds (including Virtual Hills and The Virtual Real World). Seventeen.com readers that enter the world can get Seventeen-branded virtual merchandise like gift bags, clothes and items for their virtual living spaces; and "meet" the magazine's editors and celebrity guests at special events. Rival CosmoGirl (which ceased print publication in October, but still exists digitally) launched a similar effort in There.com last year.

In-game ad growth to be sluggish: Massive may have had a huge in-game ad upfront last week, and companies like Double Fusion are brokering deals with game publishers left and rightbut according to execs at the Reuters Media Summit, the gains still won't translate into a major impact on the business costs publishers and console developers incur. Nor will they make a meaningful dent in the overall U.S. ad market. So while some analysts are pegging in-game ad sales to top $1 billion by 2011, execs like Take-Two chairman Strauss Zelnick said isn't nearly as bullish: "I have been saying ever since we took over Take Two that I thought in-game advertising was a very limited opportunity that applied mostly to the sports business, and I remain of that belief," he said. "It's a detail. It exists, it can be profitable, we'd be happy to have it. It's just not going to move the dial."
More after the jump.


Over half of all adults play games : Maybe Zelnick and the other execs hadn't had a chance to see the stats from the latest Pew Internet & Life studyas it found that 53 percent of all American adults play video games. And these grown-up gamers have more than enough disposable income to attract advertisers of all kinds: 62 percent of players have an annual household income between $50K and $75K. Of course, the younger generation plays more: 81 percent of respondents age 18-29 said they play, but nearly a quarter of older Americans (65+) also admitted to gaming. The research organization polled more than 2,000 people and found that they played games on a variety of devices, including consoles, PCs, handhelds and mobile phones. Release.

Chinese game developer Perfect World (NSDQ: PWRD) to buyout InterServe Caymans : Beijing-based online game developer Perfect World is slated to acquire InterServ Caymans, the Caribbean arm of Taiwan-based game tech company InterServ International for about $23 million in a share purchase deal. Perfect World develops MMORPGs, and though most of its revenue is generated in China, its licensing agreements extend through Asia and into Europe and South America. Release


By Tameka Kee
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