Gaming’s new superstars are independent developers

Independent e3-indie-developersgames don’t rule the sales charts. Their fan base is dwarfed by that of even a mid-level game put out by a major publisher. And the money they make is just a drop in the bucket in an industry whose global revenues last year totaled $93 billion.

But lately, those indie developers have been the belle of the video game ball.

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‘Grand Theft Auto V’ races to next gen platforms

“Grand GTA-next-genTheft Auto V,” which last September set entertainment industry sales records, is speeding toward the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.

Rockstar Games and Take-Two Interactive Software broke the news late Monday night at Sony’s pre-E3 press conference. Although the announcement had been expected, that didn’t dampen the response from fans.

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E3 may pull the plug on Los Angeles

The e3-leaving-lavideo game industry has held its annual trade show in its backyard of Los Angeles for 17 of the past 19 years. But the president of the Entertainment Software Association, which organizes the annual event, says E3 may pull up stakes.

“E3 is a world class show that deserves a world class venue,” said Michael Gallagher at a media dinner Sunday night. “The Los Angeles Convention Center is no longer a top-tier property.”

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Nintendo at the crossroads

Just nintendo-crossroadsseven years ago, Nintendo was the undisputed king of the video game world. The Wii was impossible to find, as people who had never considered themselves gamers couldn’t get enough of the company’s products. Today, despite the introduction of a high-definition system that blends console and tablet gaming, the company is looking more and more like the industry’s pauper.

Sales of the Wii U are stagnant. A slow trickle of releases hasn’t helped matters. At the same time, Sony has managed to recapture its golden touch from the PlayStation 2 days, when it could do no wrong in gamers’ eyes—and Microsoft is posting healthy Xbox One sales, despite some public relations missteps.

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Disappointing Zynga primes for a comeback

Zynga, zynga-comebackto many investors, is a cautionary tale.

In the months preceding its 2011 IPO, some analysts estimated the company to have a market cap of $15 billion to $20 billion. At the last minute, that was dropped to $7 billion. And the company’s shares quickly took a dive after trading commenced. Today, the company’s market cap sits at less than $3 billion.

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Will Amazon be the next giant in gaming?

Just amazon-gamingas video game publishers and console makers are getting used to the disruption Apple and Google brought to the industry, another shake-up might be looming.

Amazon, which previously only sniffed around the edges of the gaming world, seems to be positioning itself to become a much bigger player. The only question is: When?

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Microsoft reveals action-packed Xbox lineup for 2014 and beyond

Microsoft E3-msft-confput the emphasis squarely on action at its annual pre-E3 press conference in Los Angeles, showcasing a variety of titles filled with guns, knives and other instruments of destruction.

Whether it’s the futuristic weapons of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, the hidden blades of Assassin’s Creed: Unity or the dual-wielding pistols of the Master Chief, there’s a good chance you’ll be causing some carnage this fall.

Read more at Yahoo! Games

10 best-selling video games (so far) of 2014

The best-selling-games-2014-so-farnext generation of consoles is starting to shake up the sales charts.

With the release of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, there’s a new mid-year sales leader in the videogame industry—and it’s not Call of Duty for a change.

This year’s list, in fact, is full of changes—perhaps none so remarkable as the strong showing of Lego. A pair of games based on the children’s toys are among the top-selling titles so far in 2014. And Minecraft, the little indie game that became a juggernaut (selling over 15 million copies life-to-date), has shoved some familiar franchises off the list.

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New consoles don’t spark retail run on game sales

Video cnbcgame hardware is hot once again. The games themselves? That’s a murkier picture.

Retail sales of game systems are up 51 percent in 2014 compared with a year ago, according to data from The NPD Group. Excitement over Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One and the potential of the next generation has revived interest in console games, which is welcome news for traditional gaming companies.

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For gaming’s big three, the real battle begins

Last E3-walkupyear, gamers had a pair of new consoles to get excited about. This year, the video game industry is hoping to maintain that excitement with a crop of some of its biggest game franchises.

If E3 2013 was about hardware, E3 2014 is centered on software. But as traditional game makers flex their muscles, there are plenty of upstarts at next week’s trade show looking to steal that thunder.

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