DICE Grows; Fatal1ty Glows; 360 Shows
Posted by joefunk :: Hollywood & Video Games | Industry Trends | Retail-Products | Usage Statistics & Measurement
When the 9th Annual Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences’ Interactive Achievement awards are doled out next month in Vegas, it will mark a pivotal point in the history of the organization. Under the no-nonsense leadership of Joseph Olin the last two years, the Academy has finally begun to ascend to its rightful place as a reasonable facsimile, if not the equal, of the hallowed Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
The event is a microcosm of the videogame industry in a way, as Hollywood has taken a greater interest in the proceedings. Turner has gotten behind the awards with its cool new GameTap service, and the production values of the event continue to improve under Olin’s leadership.
Blending substance with style, the DICE Summit has also become one of the few must-go events outside of E3, with a panelist list that’s virtually a who’s who of luminaries in the videogame industry. When the not-for-profit Academy celebrates its 10 anniversary in 2007, look for the momentum from 2006 to propel it to a new level of relevance in the crowded chatter of entertainment awards.
Some of you might have caught Jonathan Wendel, aka Fatal1ty, on 60 Minutes last night along with Yohan Lim, who has a fanclub in excess of 500,000 members earns more than $500,000 annually – playing videogames.
60 Minutes presented the men as cyber athletes: “I consider him an athlete because marksmanship is an Olympic sport, right? That's twitching the fingers as well,” says Edward Castronova, a professor at Indiana University who studies and teaches the economics and sociology of video games. “Our reigning stereotype of video gamer is a 16-year-old kid who is alone in his basement. And that's not really true any more,” he said.
The latest NPD data indicates that only 607,000 Xbox 360 hardware units have been sold in the U.S. through the end of December. Nevertheless, look for Microsoft to hit an installed base of 1 million 360s before the end of Q1.