WorldWinner Helps Keep Boston in the Game of Casual Games
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it gives WorldWinner a connection to a Hollywood property, GSN, which is jointly owned by Liberty and Sony Pictures.
GSN has already evolved from a cable network concentrating on vintage “Family Feud” and “$25,000 Pyramid” reruns into a cross-media property that allows TV viewers to play online versions of some of the same games they see on TV, such as Corbin Bernsen’s nightly show “How Much Is Enough?” (GSN occupies channel 267 on the Boston Comcast lineup and 106 on RCN, by the way.) Enright and Meyer say that under the direction of WorldWinner, which now has responsibility for all of the game content at GSN.com, visitors can expect to see even greater integration between broadcast and online content in the future. “Liberty, WorldWinner, and GSN have designs on creating a world-class cross-platform games company,” says Meyer.
Speaking of cross-platform: There’s good news about WorldWinner for Macintosh users. Up to now, all of the company’s games have required Microsoft’s DirectX interactive graphics package, meaning they only work inside the Internet Explorer browser on Windows. That hasn’t held back the company much, according to Meyer, since WorldWinner’s target demographic is overwhelmingly made up of Windows PC owners who connect to the Internet through IE. But Enright gave me some news he says the company hasn’t announced to anyone else: it’s developing a new graphics architecture for its games that will work across browsers and operating systems. (Given how downright unnatural it is to hear the Windows chime coming from the office’s dual-boot Mac, we here at Xconomy are grateful.)
Enright says he’s enthusiastic about WorldWinner’s future—and that of the Boston gaming scene in general, as big companies like Liberty Media and Viacom (whose MTV subsidiary bought Harmonix Music in 2006) provide some stability in a historically turbulent industry. “It’s a great time for Boston in digital entertainment; the area has hundreds of companies involved in online gaming, as you’ll notice if you attend any of the Boston Post Mortems,” Enright says, referring to the area’s monthly gathering of game developers, usually held at The Skellig pub in Waltham. “But one of the things about the gaming industry here is that it can be a struggle to find companies that have good business models and long-term jobs. The models are always evolving, which makes it really challenging for people who want to make this a profession. But some companies are over the threshold of being risky and new—and we are clearly one of them. It’s exciting to be part of a company that has the ability to provide a persistent ecosystem”—and maybe earn a few tips in the process.
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