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Round-Up: NPD Analysis, Blue Fang Adds, Next-Gen Predictions

Today's round-up includes advance analyst prediction on this week's NPD game sales data, as well as a new senior employee for Zoo Tycoon developers Blue Fang, and ...
Today's round-up includes advance analyst prediction on this week's NPD game sales data, as well as a new senior employee for Zoo Tycoon developers Blue Fang, and the latest report casting its net into the future and predicting next-gen console sell-through rates, as well as the latest product news and Gamasutra job postings. - Morgan Wedbush commented on the upcoming June NPD North American game sales data with its expectations and analysis on the sales numbers: chief among its predictions were that June would see 13 titles selling over 100,000 copies, compared with 12 for June 2004. Total sales are expected to hit $400 million, an increase over June 2004's $380 million; factors contributing to the increased expectation are the influx of new and popular titles, as well as the PlayStation Portable's strong month. - Blue Fang Games, developers of the Zoo Tycoon series, has named Jay Dee Alley as its new Art Director. Alley will oversee the artistic direction of all future Blue Fang games, and manage its art department. Prior to his hiring at Blue Fang, Alley was Creative Director for the Xbox Entertainment Network at Microsoft, and Managing Art Director for Dynamix. "The Blue Fang team has proven that they can create games that appeal beyond the traditional gaming audience, and I am eager to help them explore new concepts and opportunities as we bring them to the next generation of gaming platforms," said Alley. - Elsewhere in industry analysis, Strategy Analytics has predicted that the three console manufacturers -- Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft -- will sell a combined 200 million next-generation systems by 2012. Sony is expected to account for 121.8 million units of that with its PlayStation 3, with the Xbox 360 selling 58.8 million and Nintendo a distant third with 18 million units. Principal analyst David Mercer concentrated on the systems' future as systems, saying "The Xbox 360 represents one of Microsoft's best hopes of controlling the digital home," but the report appears to have left out predictions regarding software sales and revenue. - Also posted today: product news including a release date for ClayTools for Maya, as well as the latest job postings from companies including Activision/Raven Software, Buzz Monkey Software, Concrete Games, Datascope Recruitment, Factor 5, Midway Games, Ratbag Games, Sessions.edu, Sucker Punch Productions, and Surreal Software.

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