GAME AUDIO RESOURCES
Gamasutra.com, Game Developer magazine's Web component, provides technical features, profiles, product reviews and networking resources in all areas of game production, from audio and visual design to legal issues.
The Game Audio Network Guild, aka Audio G.A.N.G. (www.audiogang.org) provides a community for networking and evangelizing audio issues, as well as fostering education. The group also hosts annual industry awards.
Girls In Games (www.girlsingames.com) seeks to attract and promote women in the areas of design, art, audio, programming and production within the global game industry.
The Interactive Audio Special Interest Group (www.iasig.org) helps developers of audio software, hardware and content exchange ideas about interactive sound, and provides resources via standards creation and maintenance, research reports and recommended practices.
BANNER YEAR FOR GAME BIZ
Recently released 2006 U.S. retail sales figures show record numbers for the game industry, and the stats just keep rising. Last year's sales for games and consoles totaled close to $12.5 billion; adding in PC games brings the grand revenue total to $13.5 billion — up 18 percent over the previous year.
The long-anticipated release of next-gen consoles and continued strength of Sony PlayStation 2 sales accounted for a strong rise in hardware revenues, with sales numbers coming in at $4.6 billion — a 42.8-percent increase over 2005, with a whopping 87.5-percent increase in console hardware revenues alone. Software sales continue to account for the biggest chunk of the overall pie, however, bringing in $7.4 billion. And there's no end in sight: The industry is predicted to grow to $46.5 billion by 2010.
BY THE NUMBERS
Units sold of Super Mario Bros. for Nintendo, best-selling videogame of all time
Units sold of The Eagles: Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975, best-selling album of all time
When most people think of gamers, the image of idle teenage boys often comes to mind, but the actual demographics may surprise you. Check out these stats from the Entertainment Software Association:
Average age of a videogame player
Percent of heads of households who play computer games
Years an adult gamer has been playing videogames
Percent of women over 18 who play videogames
Average age of a videogame buyer
Percent of Americans over 50 who play videogames
Hours per week gamers spend playing videogames
Sources: RIAA, Guinness World Records, the NPD Group, Nielsen Entertainment, Plunkett Research, Entertainment Software Association
GAME DEVELOPERS CONFERENCE HITS S.F.
Want a piece of the $13 billion game industry? Network with the talent behind today's hottest titles and technology at The Game Developers Conference 2007 (www.gdconf.com), taking place this month in San Francisco. GDC is the world's largest game-creation event, attracting more than 12,500 attendees annually; the conference, slated for March 5 to 9, offers more than 300 seminars, lectures and networking events for developers, publishers and other content creators for PC, console and mobile game platforms. If you're looking to build up your game audio chops, this is the place to learn: An expanded audio track offers such sessions as “PS3: Audio Development From the Trenches,” “The Art of Orchestration” and “Mobile Audio Has Gone Berserk!”
Events run into the wee hours with the 7th annual Game Developers Choice Awards, 9th annual Independent Games Festival, the always festive Audio G.AN.G. Awards and the wildly popular Video Games Live concert event. (See our profile on page 78.)
Check out our expanded GDC coverage, including convention tips, San Francisco city guide ongoing reports and blogs straight from the show floor at www.mixonline.com/GDC.
NEED FOR SPEED
When it comes to favorite game genres, fast-paced action games are the most popular, followed by sports and racing. Surprisingly, fighting games fall behind role-playing and family entertainment in popularity.
GOT A POCKET FULL OF QUARTERS…AND A LIGHTER
In 1983, Bally/Midway developed an arcade game to coincide with the release of a new album by a hot rock band. In the game, bandmembers had to retrieve stolen instruments while avoiding alien obstacles and return to their spaceship in time to make their intergalactic gig. Although most of the game sounds were generated by chips, during a bonus “concert” round, an actual analog cassette deck inside the cabinet played a loop of a smash hit from the album. If you can name the game, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Correct entries will enter in a random drawing to win a CD box set from this band.