Tencent realized $3.48 billion in video-game revenue during the first six months of 2014, more than Electronic Arts, Activision Blizzard, Sony or Microsoft, says NewZoo. The Chinese company specializes in free-to-play mobile titles and PC games.
Nintendo said it will no longer provide online connections for some functions in certain games played on the Wii, DS and DSi consoles as of May 20. These functions include leaderboards, matchmaking and online play in such titles as Mario Kart DS, Mario Kart Wii and Pokémon Black and White. Meanwhile, a hedge fund in Hong Kong that is a Nintendo shareholder is urging the company to offer free-to-play versions of its games for mobile devices. Seth Fischer, the manager of the hedge fund, wrote in a letter to Nintendo, "We believe Nintendo can create very profitable games based on in-game revenue models with the right development team."
EverQuest fans are getting the opportunity to create their own game environments with Sony Online Entertainment's offering of EverQuest Next that learns as users play, Nicole Lee writes. The company is also launching a sandbox, EverQuest Next Landmark, a free-to-play title where amateur game architects can use the same software tools employed by Sony's game designers.
The Ouya video-game console, priced at $99, goes on sale Tuesday with 150-plus free-to-play titles. Based on the Android mobile operating system, the crowd-funded console will go up against the more expensive Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One consoles in contention for holiday sales.
Nintendo may release a free-to-play version of its Steel Diver game by next year, seeing how that model could work in its portfolio of console-based games, Mayumi Negishi writes. If the free-to-play title proves popular, the company may consider offering games for smartphones as a next step, she notes.