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BMO Round-Up: Industry Leaders Wax Lyrical At Financial Conference

At yesterday's BMO Capital financial conference, a slate of the industry's top executives -- from Nintendo and Microsoft through EA, Ubisoft, Take-Two and more -- explained the state of their market in the financial downturn and their plans for 2009 -- he
At yesterday's BMO Capital financial conference, a slate of the industry's top executives -- from Nintendo and Microsoft through EA, Ubisoft, Take-Two and more -- explained the state of their market in the financial downturn and their plans for 2009. Here's Gamasutra's round-up of the top related stories: Fils-Aime: 'The Era Of Passive Entertainment Is Waning' Highlighting user-created content as one of the game industry's most important throughlines, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime says that "no longer is entertainment a one-way street" and points to "consumer-generated, active media" as the industry's future. Microsoft 'Pretty Comfortable' With Economy, Expects 2:1 Dominance Over PS3 The games industry is not recession-proof, says Microsoft exec Mindy Mount, but she believes that the biz -- and the Xbox 360 -- will "weather this storm a lot better than other businesses", also claiming that NPD will show "we continue to outsell [PS3] by a ratio of two to one" for October. Ubisoft's Guillemot Bullish On 2009, Talks Up Avatar MMO Ubisoft president and CEO Yves Guillemot believes that 2009 will be a "great year" for the software industry, despite current economic conditions, notably highlighting an Avatar MMO, accompanying the James Cameron movie, as a particular Ubisoft highlight to debut next year. Concerned Over 'Rough Holiday Season', Take-Two Looks To New Biz Models Take-Two Board chairman Strauss Zelnick is "concerned that it's going to be a pretty rough holiday season," and as part of a long-term success strategy, he says the company will further explore downloadable content and subscription models - noting that GTA IV's DLC may move to February 2009 to ensure the highest quality. EA's Moore: Some Sports Games 'Too Hard,' Accessibility Is Key EA Sports president Peter Moore been discussing his division's offering, noting that EA Sports games have sometimes been "too hard" for mass audiences, claiming that "we need to make our titles much more approachable and accessible to the new consumer", and pointing to Asia's free-to-play techniques as one key area of growth. Farrell: THQ Aiming For Profitability With Big Title Focus THQ president and CEO Brian Farrell spoke today at the BMO Capital Markets Interactive Entertainment Conference, suggesting the company's return to profitability will focus on "one to two" major yearly titles to be pushed "aggressively", and commenting: "When we focus, like we did with Saints Row 2 and Saints Row 1, we win." Wii Fit 'Evergreen', Says Fils-Aime Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime says that titles like Wii Fit that "question the very definition of a video game" are poised to become "evergreen sales" successes, lacking the early spike and subsequent dropoff of interest in hardcore titles Ubisoft: Massive Entertainment Will Bring Company Closer To MMO Space Ubisoft plans to use recently-acquired World in Conflict developer Massive Entertainment to bring itself closer to the massively multiplayer online games space, beginning with "light MMO" and eventually producing MMORPGs and MMORTSes. Sony Still Thinking Big For 'Entry-Level' PS2 "As the PlayStation 2 comes up on its ninth Christmas, SCEA sales and marketing VP Ian Jackson says the economic downturn might make Sony's last-gen console a more attractive option than ever -- and since it offers an "entry-level product into the PlayStation brand," Sony is still placing a global effort behind it."

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