BizSpots: IDG, WCG, THQ

IDG nabs another former ESA exec; Cyber Finals up for auction; THQ teams with GBA through 2009.

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Carolyn Rauch named new IDG VP
Last November, the Entertainment Software Association outsourced management duties of the new Electronic Entertainment Expo to IDG World Expo CEO, helmed by newly appointed CEO Mary Dolaher. The move was unusual, considering Dolaher had just left the ESA, where she was the show runner for the old E3. The brambles grow thicker today, as IDG has announced another former ESA exec, Carolyn Rauch, has been tapped as vice president of event development. Rauch's new charge will be the development of new events and initiatives for IDG, with a particular emphasis on event planning and branding.

WCG taking bids on Finals host
With the World Series of Video Games having just signed CBS to host its 2007 broadcasts, the World Cyber Games Committee has announced it is taking bids on the host city for its 2009 Grand Final. First established in 2000, the World Cyber Games focuses on global competition and boasts more than 1 million participants from 70-plus countries. Seattle played host to the 2007 World Cyber Games Grand Final, and gamers will converge on Cologne, Germany, for the 2008 finals. The host for 2009's Grand Final is scheduled to be announced in March 2008.

THQ renews GBA license through 2009
In a recent SEC filing, it was revealed that THQ has signed on to develop for Nintendo's aging Game Boy Advance through 2009. Originally set to expire July 18, 2007, the extension may come as a bit of surprise, given the widespread popularity of the Nintendo DS. However, THQ holds the exclusive license for Nickelodeon and Pixar properties, and will release Ratatouille and Nicktoons 2007 on the kid-friendly portable later this year. The handheld is also relatively cheap to develop for, and has a nearly 80 million-strong install base.

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