Richard Branson making E3 announcement?

Virgin's billionaire boss tipped for games announcement at this year's LA expo; online-only service predicted.

Richard Branson, chairman of the Virgin Group of companies, is being tipped to return to games with an announcement next month. According to a report by British industry trade magazine MCV, the entrepreneur will attend the Electronic Entertainment Expo in June to launch a new product: an online-only service that is set to partner with leading publishers and content owners.

MCV reports that Branson's new business is expected to run across the "leading console formats," including "Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network, as well as multiplayer PC gaming." The new venture will also feature the "most popular games on the market," according to the magazine, and will be "challenge-based." The service described by MCV sounds similar to the one Branson announced in 2007 called A World of My Own, which sells downloadable games and is currently remains in beta.

Branson is chairman of the Virgin group and could be making a return to the games industry.

Branson's Virgin Games label was a successful venture in the mid-to-late 1980s, publishing games across the majority of major PC and console platforms. The brand was renamed Virgin Interactive in 1994 and published Disney games, such The Lion King and The Jungle Book, as well as the original Command & Conquer.

Virgin's assets were sold off to various companies in the late 1990s, with its British studios acquired in a management buyout, US developer Westwood going to EA, and the remaining assets snapped up by French publisher--and bankrupt Interplay parent--Titus Software. The Virgin Games brand now exists in the form of an online casino, poker, and bingo portal. With BT teaming up with OnLive in the UK, and Virgin Media offering similar services in that market, there's plenty of scope for Branson to want to get back into the industry.

Check out GameSpot's E3 2010 coverage for more on this story as it develops, as well as full coverage of the show starting June 13.

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Discussion

71 comments
mschwind
mschwind

You would thind with all of Branson's billions he could afford a less hideous face.

digi-demon
digi-demon

Meh. Wonder how long it will take before they get bored of this and sell it off (like they did with Virgin Megastores)?

Jammerz14
Jammerz14

They shall make a console and call it The V-Box. I'm sure that has never been used before.

KrazzyDJ
KrazzyDJ

Aah ... The Jungle Book. What a sweet game !!!

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

"the IBM stellarsphere, the Microsoft galaxy... planet Starbucks."

MagicOneUp
MagicOneUp

er... a ghost from the past. the 7UP Spot game was crap, and also most of the Virgin Interactive games were also crap. i think he should better off making that space thing....

wahyudil
wahyudil

too bad, westwood was gone now

Neil_Clancy
Neil_Clancy

I'm sorry, is he trying to compete with Steam? He might as well quit while he's ahead.

MatzeEdend
MatzeEdend

I used to like some of the older Virgin games... It'll be interesting to see the end result.

Skargamer
Skargamer

its funny seeing the word virgin everywhere...i was talking about the company, what were you thinking about? :P but seriously, i dont care as long as he keeps the hair! :lol:

Phil-teh-Pirate
Phil-teh-Pirate

@StuartBraule Well he'll have to fight with TESCO over the charred remains of Earth.

cptpeg
cptpeg

This is awesome news!!! Global Gladiators, Cool Spot, Earthworm Jim and Chuck Rock are some of my favourite games ever! Lets hope they get back to making games like these and not turn into the production line that is EA.

eastwoodmaniac
eastwoodmaniac

@jer_1 Clearly you do otherwise you wouldn't have followed the link to this page. Unless of course you've just come-a-trolling. Which would be just a bit sad.

storm_trooper10
storm_trooper10

@ StuartBraule Remember, he's building a space station, I think Mr. Virgin will take over the Universe!

StuartBraule
StuartBraule

is it me or is mr. Virgin trying to take over the world, lol

SadPSPAddict
SadPSPAddict

Almost everything he touches turns to gold and all that so be interesting to see!

shani_boy101
shani_boy101

i don't even understand how an online-only service that can "run across the 'leading console formats,' including Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network, as well as multiplayer PC gaming." could even work, but good luck to him.

Bangerman15
Bangerman15

i wanna see what this guy is up too for games... he has alot of money so maybe it might be something good?? u never know

evilgamer22
evilgamer22

I have never liked this guy, but I can't deny how good of a businessman he is. I mean the guy is a billionaire and a high school drop out, so he knows what he is doing. For this reason I am intrigued to see what he is up to personally I don't care about the idea of an online renting service like some people have suggested and I think Branson has something bigger than just renting games online because he always trying to think of the next big thing.

killeroo
killeroo

Bransons a well cool guy, hope invests millions into an awesome game! hahaha

BigBacon87
BigBacon87

@deesnutts25 I actually do live in Canada so no go. My roomie is on something similar to that here but you can never get the games you want right away and because we are in the mountains(4 hours from a decent size city) it takes quite a while. That's why Im curious to hear more about this at E3 it might be perfect for my situation.

ahpuck
ahpuck

He is going to announce the upcoming Billionaire Tycoon game. I actually like this guy, the whole world is his video game console.

deesnutts25
deesnutts25

@BigBacon87 Ever hear of Gamefly?? Unless you live in Canada then you should give it a shot. No hour long drive to find something you don't want. The problem is the shipping times depends on if your post office scans the games you send back, if they don't then its usually a week turn around for you to send the games back and to get new ones. The good thing is if there is something new that is coming out that you want just send the games you have back and wait it out for that new release and get it the day after it is released to play, beat, and get all achivements and what not, then send it back for something else. If you want to keep it you pay $50 USD instead of the $60 that you would normally spend.

Spitz6860
Spitz6860

the guy looks like a pitbull...

BigBacon87
BigBacon87

I for one would love to be able to rent games off of PSN just as long as it doesn't lock out trophies. The closest location that rents games is an hour from where I live so not very convenient to say the least. One more reason to look forward to E3 I guess.

collinmul
collinmul

Ah, I'm seeing a trend. People seem to think his company will either be an online video game rental store (to ward off OnLive and the like?) or a virtual game store that somehow operates on XboxLive and PSN. That second option doesn't make sense to me from a revenue standpoint. Why would Microsoft and Sony let Bronson's company make money selling games on their servers? Seems to me Microsoft and Sony would be better off just selling whatever games Bronson would be selling *directly* to consumers. Ya know, cut out the middle man and make his share of the money, too? I can understand the first option: that this is the Microsoft and Sony answer to OnLive. Its the best of both worlds for Microsoft and Sony. They can offer new-ish games (rather than old and stale years-old games) without ticking off their retail partners, without having to pay costs to start new company divisions, and getting into eat into revenues that would otherwise go to GameFly and Blockbuster. If this new company is indeed an on-demand rental company I see numerous reasons why this would appeal to console makers. (How does easier access to game rentals help publishers? Perhaps the publishers get a hefty cut of each rental.) Having said all that, I'm not interested if this "on-demand rental company" is the case. ;)

Cornicello
Cornicello

I don't think I'll end up using what ever he's pitching but I want to wish him the best of luck.

okassar
okassar

Wow from creating an airline business to developing online game software? This guy is the definition of an entrepreneur. Whether this takes off or not is a whole 'nother deal, chance is against him though because this is kinda out of his box.

jer_1
jer_1

Who cares what this jackass thinks, seriously?

blackace
blackace

Sounds like he'll be taking is current online gaming service to XBox Live and PSN. Basically you'll be able to download their already existing online games on your 360 and PS3. I don't see anything great from this unless they will be allowing you to download some of the older Genesis games like Lion King, Cool Spot and Disney's Alladin,

gobig4ever
gobig4ever

Could this be the new "vigrin" video game system? you can only play it so far, before you get the red rings of death. OooO am i right am i right. .i'm sooo bored.

daveg1
daveg1

yeah hes going to make an announcement about how virmin shafted everyone with a chipped box lol..

sportwarrior
sportwarrior

The reacquisition of former Virgin property Command & Conquer, the reformation of original studio Westwood, and the creation of an all new, all original, all AWESOME Command & Conquer game.

Phil-teh-Pirate
Phil-teh-Pirate

The Virginator A new console with motion, sound and image sensing controllers! Want to shoot a gun? It's as simple as shouting "EH EH EH EH EH" really loud into a microphone glove on your hand! This and many many more useless features that might have once been in some crappy Tom Cruise sci fi movie that we think is the future! Exclusive to VIRGIN!

FallenAngel
FallenAngel

Richard Branson is badass. I'll listen to what he has to say.

nocturnalkisses
nocturnalkisses

lmao! "Branson is the chairman of the VIRGIN group" :picture quotation

myungish
myungish

instead of reviewing his current businesses and making improvements by listening to the customers (i know, a big ask), he wants to expand his empire so that more people can have inadequate customer service and unreliable products. well done branson.

gshell
gshell

i love this friggin' guy....my favorite rich dude

Barighm
Barighm

Hmm. Didn't realize that many talented studios used to operate under the Virgin brand.

mbashour
mbashour

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

fps_d0minat0r
fps_d0minat0r

how about adding consoles to planes, trains and anything else he owns. just hope no-one shouts "plant the bomb" on the plane while playing search and destroy lol.

monson21502
monson21502

i hate to tell these people. but charging for online on used games isnt gonna stop it.... i get my used games for 12 bucks each at pawn shops in town. im not talking old sucky games either. i got mgs4, halo 3 odst,call of duty waw, cod 4, uncharted 2, and just got just cause 2 and ff13 last week. i`ll pay the fee and still be getting the games for less then half price:wink:

HavocV3
HavocV3

Stephen Colbert>Richard Branson.

Vishant
Vishant

Forget gaming. Sort out your internet, tv and telephone business in the UK! they're useless, and the customer services in india are terrible!

namdar
namdar

A world of my own? looks like steam.... I think.. oh well who cares not interested...