Two trends clear in Facebook’s IPO filing on Wednesday were the inexorable rise in importance of digital-based gaming revenues and the growth in mobile – we learned Zynga was a key revenue-generator for Facebook and half of Facebook’s members were now users of its mobile products .

Earnings and data from Electronic Arts, THQ and Japan’s Gree over the past 24 hours further emphasise that the old order of disc-based console gaming will have a declining share of consumers’ attention, as consoles become more general entertainment boxes and smartphones and tablets proliferate. Read more

The relationship between video game developers and their marketing departments is usually akin to a bulletstorm between two warring sides in one of their shoot-em-up titles. Or so Kudo Tsunoda, creative director for Microsoft’s Kinect motion controller, and Danny Bilson, THQ’s head of core games, implied in speeches at the MI6 video game marketing conference on Thursday – while pointing out that the respective successes of Kinect and THQ’s Homefront game have been forged by exceptions to that rule. Read more

THQ received a bloody nose recently with the timing of the release of its mixed martial arts UFC Undisputed 2010 game.

Brian Farrell, chief executive of the video game publisher, is hoping for a better outcome by holding fire with Homefront, a new first-person shooter that faces formidable opposition from Activision, Electronic Arts and Halo-maker Bungie. Read more

THQ and chief executive Brian Farrell (pictured) made a fighting comeback in the June quarter, with their mixed-martial arts game selling nearly 3m copies and returning the video game publisher to profit.

THQ reported sales up 77 per cent on the previous year at $243.5m and profits of 9 cents a share compared to losses of 41 cents. Read more

  • Apple‘s new iPhone 3G S, which costs an unsubsidised $599 to buy in the 16Gb version, costs only $179 to make, according to iSuppli. The research firm took the phone apart to price its parts and found Toshiba provided the most expensive component – the flash memory at $24.
  • Google unveiled a public trial of a key piece of its mobile internet strategy - an extension of the AdSense network to mobile app developers. Developers will be able to include adverts in their apps targeted by keyword, demographics and location. This potentially gives developers access to the entire base of AdSense advertisers, posing a big challenge to specialist mobile ad networks like AdMobs.
  • Seagate Technology, which has cut jobs and salaries and restructured to combat slumping hard-drive sales, may have turned a corner. In a trading update, it raised its sales expectations for the current quarter to between $2.2bn and $2.3bn and predicted the industry would sell 120m hard drives, compared to its earlier estimate of 114m.

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Video-game industry sales are continuing to slump in the US, with NPD figures for May released this evening showing a 23 per cent drop year-on-year, with falls led by hardware sales.

It’s hard to imagine any improvement till the holiday season, barring early price cuts for the consoles.  Major game releases also seem to be “back-end loaded”, compared to last year, when there were big hits earlier in the year, such as Grand Theft Auto IV (GTA). Read more

The top-selling video game for May on the latest consoles is unlikely to be disputed. UFC 2009 Undisputed, released on May 19, shipped 2m copies in its first two weeks, according to its publisher THQ, and looks likely to top the NPD charts when the research firm releases its figures on Thursday.

It’s a sign of the growing popularity of the Ultimate Fighting Championship and the sport of mixed martial arts.  It’s also a signal for THQ’s competitors, namely Electronic Arts, to seek a piece of the action. Read more

  • Google executives mounted a concerted public defence of how the search company wields its wide-ranging power on the internet amid signs of growing regulatory concern. The comments came as a Google lawyer confirmed for the first time that US regulators had shown their interest in possible competition issues raised by chief executive Eric Schmidt’s position as a director on Apple’s board.
  • Hulu, the US online video service owned by NBC Universal, Fox and Walt Disney, has signed its first batch of content deals with international television producers, the first step towards a full global launch of the service. The company was set up 18 months ago by the media companies as a viable alternative to YouTube for professionally produced content.

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SpongeBob gameTo borrow an EA game title, it feels as if there is an Army of Two, or perhaps three, benefiting from booming video game software sales.

That best sums up the paradox of strong industry sales but disappointing revenues and losses for individual publishers. Read more