Microsoft ends work on ‘Flight’ in blow to games group

Well, that didn’t last long. Microsoft confirmed today that it has ended development of Microsoft Flight, the “freemium” PC title that the company launched less than six months ago as a follow-up to its discontinued Flight Simulator franchise. We were impressed by our time with the game, but it apparently didn’t catch on with a wide… Read More


Video: Double Down rains cash on Casual Connect crowd

Lots of speakers aim to give their audience valuable takeaways, but Double Down Interactive’s Glenn Walcott took that concept very literally at the Casual Connect conference in Seattle today. As he wrapped up his speech this afternoon at Benaroya Hall, the Double Down exec gestured to the sky. Suddenly $1,000 in dollar bills started raining… Read More


Facebook expects to see more ‘core’ video games

Facebook may be known for Zynga’s FarmVille and other laid-back games, but there’s a big opportunity for third-party developers to make more titles on Facebook that appeal to “core” gamers — the types of people who might have traditionally spent most of their time using living room consoles. “With the improvements in 3D technology, and… Read More


Photos: Geek burlesque reveals the sexy side of video games

What says “Seattle” better than videogame-themed burlesque? Not much. Friday night at the Theatre Off Jackson, Seattlelites were treated to the “nerdlesque” show, JOYstick. The two-hour, sold-out show was exploding with videogame references, from the drink menu featuring cocktails inspired by God of War and Donkey Kong, to the hilariously entertaining emcee who began the… Read More


Seattle game firm says rival stole its monsters, and more

Runic Games, an independent Seattle game studio that makes the Torchlight action role-playing games, says a company in China has copied monsters, sound effects, scenes and much more for its own game, Armed Heroes Online, for iPhone and iPad. The dispute has played out so far in a series of tweets and forum posts involving… Read More


Xbox 360 marks 18 months atop U.S. console market

Microsoft’s Xbox 360 sold 257,000 units in the U.S. in June, topping Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Nintendo’s Wii for the 18th consecutive month, according to NPD Group research cited by the Redmond company. That translates into 47 percent market share among current-generation consoles. The latest numbers were down considerably from the 507,000 Xbox 360 units… Read More


Victory for swordsmanship: Clang gets $525k on Kickstarter

Clang, the sword-fighting video game project led by sci-fi author Neal Stephenson, surpassed its $500,000 goal on Kickstarter over the weekend and has now raised more than $526,000 as the crowdsourced funding campaign draws to a close. It’s the latest in a series of high-profile game projects funded through Kickstarter. The project by Stephenson’s Subutai Corp…. Read More


Ask Andru: Is Wii U really a next-generation console?

Today we received a question about Nintendo’s upcoming console release, Wii U, with GeekWire reader Alex wondering why the company continues to release new peripherals for a console that’s seen better days. Question: What’s up with the Wii U? Why is Nintendo releasing yet another expensive peripheral for the aging Wii? Nintendo originally announced Wii… Read More

Yanis Varoufakis

Video-game maker Valve: ‘An economist’s paradise’

Here’s a great weekend read. It’s the opening blog post in a new weekly series from noted economist Yanis Varoufakis, the “economist in residence” for Valve, the Bellevue-based company behind games such as Half-Life and Portal, in addition to the dominant Steam game-distribution platform. This makes perfect sense, actually. Gabe Newell, the Valve president, showed his… Read More


DigiPen students launch Touch Tactics gaming project

If you ever wanted to visit the industrial-design aesthetic of 18th-century Europe and command some artillery and battleships, then some students from DigiPen Institute of Technology have just the game for you. They even have zeppelins. The independent project, dubbed Touch Tactics, is a turn-based online strategy game that will leverage Apple’s Game Center. It will be… Read More


E3: PlayStation gets a lift from Harry Potter and HTC

Sony surprised the audience at the E3 video-game show tonight with the announcement of Wonderbook, physical books that use augmented reality in tandem with the company’s PlayStation Move controller and PlayStation Eye camera to creative an interactive reading experience, bringing the book to life on the television screen. The company announced a partnership with Harry… Read More

Mark Pincus

Book Excerpt: Why a car crash couldn’t stop Zynga from revolutionizing gaming

[Editor's Note: Seattle-area journalist Carol Tice is the co-author, with serial entrepreneur David Lester, of the new book How They Started: How 25 Good Ideas Became Great Companies. In this excerpt, reprinted with permission, Tice tells the inside story of how entrepreneur Mark Pincus and his business partners turned an idea into the social gaming powerhouse... Read More


Big Fish adds Silicon Valley investor Bill Lee to board

Silicon Valley investor Bill Lee, a backer of companies such as Tesla, SpaceX, Hootsuite and Zaarly, has joined the board of Seattle casual game developer Big Fish Games. The appointment comes a few weeks after Jeremy Lewis stepped down as CEO of the company, handing the reins back to founder Paul Thelen. Lee previously served… Read More


Microsoft unveils new ‘Halo Infinity Multiplayer’ plan

Halo is the franchise that introduced many people to the power of multiplayer gaming, and Microsoft will attempt to make new strides with a new experience called “Halo Infinity Multiplayer,” launching with Halo 4 on the Xbox 360 later this year. Microsoft unveiled the plan a short time ago, saying that the approach aims “to continue… Read More


Republique tops $500,000 Kickstarter funding goal

A few weeks ago, we told you about Ryan Payton’s effort to get his new game, Republique, bankrolled on Kickstarter. Well, here’s the update. This past weekend, the company surpassed its $500,000 funding goal, bringing in $555,662 from more than 11,000 backers on the crowdfunding platform. The milestone is even more significant, since as we previously… Read More


PS3 sucks less than Xbox and Wii in tough Q1 for consoles

Sony reported its latest financial results overnight, and the numbers put the PlayStation 3 back atop the worldwide console market for the March quarter. But that ain’t saying much. In a sign of the current weakness of the game console market, the PS3 reclaimed the title despite seeing its unit sales decline to 1.9 million units,… Read More

Master Chief_Halo4_Forward_Unto_Dawn

Microsoft gears up for live-action ‘Halo’ web series

It’s not a movie, yet, but Microsoft is planning to launch a new web series based on its blockbuster Halo video-game series, with real people playing the characters. A company representative confirms that Microsoft will be producing the live-action series, called “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn,” in conjunction with the launch of the Halo 4… Read More

Jordan Weisman

Shadowrun Returns breaks through $1.5M on Kickstarter

Shadowrun Returns, the revival of Seattle-area game designer Jordan Weisman’s classic franchise, broke through the $1.5 million mark overnight in pledges on Kickstarter. That’s more than three times the original goal of $400,000 in pledges — not the biggest Kickstarter project ever, but right up there with some of the most successful campaigns on the… Read More


The new shape of Microsoft’s entertainment unit: More diverse, less profitable

Microsoft’s Entertainment & Devices Division has long been synonymous with the Xbox 360 and video games, which have traditionally represented the vast majority of the division’s business. That’s starting to change. For the first time, non-gaming products were responsible for more than 25 percent of the division’s revenue last quarter, based on GeekWire’s crunching of… Read More


Hail to the Master Chief? Halo 4 launching on election day

Microsoft announced plans this week to launch Halo 4 on Nov. 6, kicking off a new era for the blockbuster Xbox 360 franchise. If the date sounds familiar, it’s because there is another pretty big event also happening on that day: the U.S. presidential election. The coincidence has generated all sorts of conspiracy theories about… Read More


Conan O’Brien visits Microsoft, tries out for Halo 4 role

Microsoft yesterday announced a Nov. 6 release date for “Halo 4,” the next installment in the blockbuster video-game series for Xbox 360, which is being developed for the first time by Microsoft’s 343 Industries — the first Halo game to be made outside the auspices of the franchise’s original creators at the Bungie game development… Read More