BizSpots: Majesco, NCsoft, Microsoft, Emergent

Casual-game and MMOG publishers tip E3 hands, while Games for Windows gets a GM and middleware provider finds funds.


Majesco lines up E3 roster
Commenting on Majesco's first-quarter 2007 performance, interim CEO Jesse Sutton stated the publisher would shift the brunt of its focus to Nintendo's successful Wii and DS systems. True to word, Majesco today revealed its E3 Media and Business Summit lineup, and eight of its nine titles are for Nintendo platforms. For the DS, Majesco will be showing six: Nancy Drew and the Deadly Secret of Olde World Park; Zoo Hospital; Holly Hobbie & Friends; Turn It Around; Operation: Vietnam; and The Wild West. Majesco's two Wii titles will be Blast Works: Build, Fuse & Destroy and Furu Furu Park. Majesco will also show off the Japanese-developed Kengo: Legend of the 9, which it is publishing in the US later this year.

NCsoft riding four to E3
Undeterred by the imminent junking of its postapocalyptic massively multiplayer online game Auto Assault, NCsoft is revving up plenty of other games to take its place. The South Korea-based publisher revealed today its lineup of MMOGs set to be shown at this year's E3 Media and Business Summit. Headlining this list is the sci-fi role-playing/shooter mash-up Tabula Rasa, developed in part by industry legend Richard "Lord British" Garriott. NCsoft's other offerings include the next expansion in its long-running Guild Wars series, Eye of the North; its in-house developed Aion; and its free-to-play, microtransaction-supported Dungeon Runners.

Microsoft flies with Early bird
Microsoft today announced the promotion of Chris Early to general manager of Games for Windows - Live, effective July 9. Previously the studio manager for Microsoft Casual Games, Early will now lead the GWL team on integration between Xbox and Windows gamers, as well as explore ways to flesh out Live's offerings for PC gamers and assist developers in adding Games for Windows - Live support to their games. So far, the only game to support cross-PC and 360 play is Shadowrun. Last week, though, Sega announced Universe at War: Earth Assault would be the first third-party-developed game to support Microsoft's platform-spanning service.

Emergent secures $12M, promotes execs
Emergent Game Technologies, maker of the Gamebryo Element game engine used in such titles as Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and Civilization IV, today announced it had secured $12 million in funding. Emergent didn't specifically state its plans for the money, but it did note it was undergoing an organizational shake-up. In addition to consolidating its research and development team to one location, the company announced several upper-management promotions. Scott Johnson has been named president, John Goodale has been named vice president of marketing and business development, Lisa Wenniger has been named vice president of product management, and David Gregory has been named vice president of engineering and systems architect.

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