BizSpots: CNET, THQ, GameFly, Xfire, 9Dragons

GameSpot's parent inks deal with NBC, NewsCorp; WWE pub buys mobile studio, game renter opens new office; Acclaim releases mo' MMOGs; and game-matching service hits 7 million subscribers.


CNET, NewsCorp, NBC Uni strike video-content-sharing-deal
CNET Networks Entertainment, GameSpot's parent company, has inked a deal with Fox parent NewsCorp and NBC Universal. The deal will let the two media giants distribute original,,, and content on their forthcoming online video service. In turn, it gives CNET the right to distribute video content from the two companies on its suite of entertainment sites. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

THQ buys mobile dev Universomo
THQ has increased its presence in the mobile space with an acquisition in the cell phone's proverbial homeland, Finland. The California-based publisher of the WWE SmackDown! series has bought Universomo, makers of the 300 and Lego Star Wars II mobile games. The company also developed the mobile version of one of THQ's best sellers, Destroy All Humans! 2. Neither company divulged the amount of the purchase.

GameFly goes east
After years of strictly West Coast operations, GameFly has opened an eastern distribution center. The Los Angeles-based online rental service's new hub is located in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, and will focus on "expedited shipping" to the Midwest and East coast when it becomes fully operational later this year. For now, though, the center is only serving a limited number of customers.

Acclaim unleashes 9Dragons
The resurrected Acclaim has made headlines again this week with the launch of its latest massively multiplayer import from Asia. This time around, the game in question is 9Dragons a fantasy MMORPG set in Ming Dynasty-era China developed by Korean studio Indy21. As with other Acclaimed MMOGs, 9Dragons is free to play but allows MMOG players to pony up real-world gold for in-game items.

Xfire scorches 7 million
Lastly, this week Xfire announced it has reached a new milestone. The PC game-matchmaking community and message service now boasts some 7 million registered users, "Our seven million users constitute a very active community that spent over 14,300 man-years on Xfire in the month of March alone," Xfire CEO Mike Cassidy said in a statement.

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