Monday, June 22, 2009

Girl games take video game industry by storm

During the E3 video game conference this month in Los Angeles, I noted how games for girls were gaining prominence and that the male-dominated game press didn’t want such games to share the stage with traditional macho games.
I wrote about the growth of girl games for the Tuesday issue of Investor’s Business Daily.
The industry officials I spoke with gave me their impressions of how the male reporters and bloggers responded to girl games during the media events at E3.
“To those people who were snickering in the press, shame on them, because they missed a big story,” said Chip Lange, vice president and general manager of Electronic Arts’ EA Hasbro division. EA detailed its “Littlest Pet Shop” and “Charm Girls Club” games at the show.
Tony Key, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Ubisoft Entertainment, also had a message for the juvenile boys who hooted and hollered during the girl game presentations: “Grow up. Are you in this industry or not?”
Ubisoft presented its "Petz," "Imagine" and "Style Lab" games for girls at the show.
NPD Group analyst Anita Frazier said, “A lot of the media covering the games market are core gamers themselves and come at it from that angle. A lot of them are primarily interested in the games they themselves would want to play.”
But by ignoring girl games, they’re ignoring the business side of the industry and an important new market, she says.

Photo from Electronic Arts showing a presentation at E3 of EA’s new “Charm Girls Club” game for Nintendo’s Wii.

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