Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) said that gamers can play Free Realmsin five fully-localized languages: French, German, Spanish (Castilian), Spanish (Latin American) and English (UK). Originally launched in English (US) on April 28, 2009, Free Realms is a free-to-play, family-friendly online video game that has more than four million registered players. Chat and profanity filters that support all languages have also been implemented.
Professional video game league Major League Gaming today announced that it has acquired Troy, NY-based Agora Games. Agora builds video game community applications. Over the last four years, Agora has developed community websites for titles including Guitar Hero, Transformers, Call of Duty World at War, and Dance Dance Revolution.
Travelzoo (NASDAQ:TZOO) said it plans to sell its Asia Pacific division and will focus instead on its Europe, North America, and new Fly.com search engine businesses. For the twelve months ended June 30, 2009, Travelzoo’s Asia Pacific division reported revenues of approximately $1.5 million and an operating loss of approximately $7.8 million.
Chinese digital music company, A8 Music (Stock Code: 00800.HK) announced its unaudited interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2009.
During the period under review, the Group generated revenue of approximately RMB291.0 million ($43 million), representing a slight decrease of approximately 12% as compared with the same period last year.
Chinese media company Tencent said total revenues were RMB2,878.4 million ($421.3 million), an increase of 14.9% over the first quarter of 2009 (QoQ) or an increase of 79.9% over the second quarter of 2008 (YoY).
U.S. online retail spending totaled $30.2 billion in Q2, down 1 percent versus year ago, according to comScore. Q2 2009 represents only the second quarter on record where e-commerce spending has been lower than the same quarter the previous year. The fastest-growing category in Q2 2009 versus year ago was Toys & Hobbies, which grew 21 percent, followed by Books & Magazines (up 17 percent), and Video Games, Consoles & Accessories (up 15 percent).
Recruitment site 51job's total revenues for the second quarter ended June 30, 2009 were RMB193.3 million (US$28.3 million), a decrease of 11.6% from RMB218.7 million for the same quarter in 2008.
OLX, a classifieds site and direct competitor with Craigslist, is joining forces with hi5, a social networking site. OLX already provides services to social networks such as Friendster, MySpace Latin America, Fotolog and Sonico. Both companies claim to be at the top of the Spanish-language markets, but are less known in the US and Asian Pacific markets.
GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME) announced the launch of GameStop’s Casual Digital Store at www.gamestop.com/casual. The GameStop Digital Store is powered by download provider RealNetworks (Nasdaq:RNWK). To help kick-off the new Digital Store, customers can receive 50-percent off select casual games for a limited time. In addition, the store also features the new “Casual Lounge,” which is a way for gamers to connect with GameStop’s experts and make more informed decisions through editorials describing new releases.
Shanda (Nasdaq:SNDA) said it has entered into an agreement with SNK Playmore, a Japanese game developer, to co-develop The King of Fighters' World (KOF World), which is an online version of SNK Playmore's game The King of Fighters (KOF). Under the agreement,Shanda Games will be granted the right to operate KOF World in mainland China and a number of other countries.