Branson Expanding Virgin Gaming iGaming Empire, by
Greg Tingle - 20th May 2010
Gaming, gambling and iGaming fans, have we got some
news hot of the press for you. Our bat phone has been
running hot hot hot!
the past few months Media
Man and Gambling911 have been keeping you updated
on all sorts of exciting developments at Richard Branson's
Virgin Group, namelyVirgin
Casino, Virgin Games, Virgin Poker, Virgin Bingo,
and offshoot, AWOMO (A World Of My Own), with a DGI
(Game Domain International) tie in. Last week Branson's
Virgin Racing also sponsored Full
Branson will unleash the Virgin return to the video
gaming sector at the E3 event in Los Angeles, USA,
understand that a hard launch is being orchestrated,
with Sir Branson, the one and only, in attendance.
Can't wait to see what the man and his army wear and
what sorts of stunts they have up their sleeve, but
Branson isn't usually one to disappoint.
was one of the most successful brands to have ever
competed in the video gaming industry, albeit over
a decade ago, but 2010 is looking to be a record breaking
year for the brands re birth, pardon the pun.
was one of the first pioneers - visionaries to see
the massive potential of computer software as a global
Virgin entertainment business, establishing Virgin
Games in downtown London circa 1984. He later moved
the core of the operation to Guernsey which has lower
overheads and is understood to be more igaming industry
Bit Of History
company acquired Mastertronic and rolled Sega's Master
System across the European region.
Europe continued to power along, then Virgin Interactive
1994 it lost its Virginity, being acquired by Blockbuster
for a cool $250 million, then was purchased by media
powerhouse Viacom (which owns about half the media
Interactive Entertainment reached its financial global
revenue peak in 1997, bringing home the bacon to the
tune of $210 million.
94 - 98 it shared market dominance with EA (Electronic
saw partners and affiliates come on board including
such greats Westwood, Bethesda, Capcom, LucasArts
2004 Virgin Games has been V's staple gaming brand,
other gaming ventures basically on ice... until now!
new gaming "start up" (of sorts), expected
to go public at E3 will see Virgin pro actively exploring
partnerships with publishers, content owners, and
you get the idea. The timing looks to be right with
'Avatar' type technologies all the rage, movies being
adapted to games in record time, and the availability
of broadband internet at reasonable prices.
console formats and more will see the big V feature
red hot games, both classics and newbies. Think Space
Invaders to Cleo to Avatar, and their cousins.
are calling for interactive slot games, tournaments,
TV and movie brands, and more casino and poker type
experiences, in addition to what they already enjoy.
expect some sort of firm announcement from Virgin
at the expo or soon after re return to the mainstream
fire up the consoles...Xbox Live, PlayStation Network,
multi-player PC gaming and more is just around the
corner from the man who brought you Virgin Records,
V Festival and Virgin Galactic... be excited... we
sure as hell are.
the moment Americans and Australians are not able
to play casino, poker or bingo games at Virgin, however
with the expansion of Virgin
Games, and the push to clear up any gray areas
in regions such as the U.S and down under in Australia,
the whole suite of Virgin Games may go global sooner
rather than later.
of sorts, PartyGaming - including PartyCasino
and poker brands, Betfair
are all said to be watching this space closely. Australia's
Fairfax Media, publisher of The Sydney Morning Herald
and News Limited, publisher of The Daily Telegraph
and The Australian, are also following for both potential
deal opportunities and in a journalistic (journalism)
capacity. Foxtel has only just got wind of the news,
putting out its own gaming related press release less
than 24 hours before this publication.
gamers and igamers... Tomb Raider, Rome Total War,
Cleopatra, Flatout, WarHammer Mark Of Chaos, Pain
Killer: Black Edition, maybe even Dan Dare and who
knows what surprises will be jumping out of your computer
once Team Branson turns on the turbo and blasts off
Virgin Galactic style. TNA Wrestling, Hulk Hogan,
Ric Flair, Bill Goldberg, UFC, NASCAR, F1 and Bull
Run are all understood to also want to talk turkey
and potential deals with Branson and 'V'.
Entertainment, DC Comics, Dark Horse Comics, Playtech,
IGT, World Poker Tour, WSOP, SKY, Harrah's Entertainment,
Trump Casinos, Infinity Ward, Sony and Sega remain
tight lipped on the Virgin developments.
Games, AWOMO (A World Of My Own), bring in on... faster
than you can say Virgin Racing Inks Deal With Full
Tilt Poker! Read about the life and times of Branson
and his world of planes, trains and automobiles (and
spaceships) on the Media Man International website
portal. Hours of entertainment for free.
remains one of dozens of corporate tech and communications
giants seeking clarity on Australian censorship laws,
both online and offline.
writer is has conducted business with a number of
arms of the Virgin Group and is a pro active member
of Virgin Unite
Video Game Censorship Minster News, by Greg Tingle
- 8th May 2010
both online and offline, and in this case, off the
shelf, remains a red hot topic down under in Australia.
and Gambling911 investigate and learn that fun and
games (and delays) are just part of the ride.
Federal and state censorship ministers have failed
to make a final decision on R18+ rated video games
despite expectations a meeting yesterday might produce
meeting of the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General
yesterday instead opted to release a report into the
extent of the consultation, showing there had been
about 60,000 submissions of which 98 per cent supported
allowing R18+ games to be sold.
federal Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor said
the ministers were not yet able to make a decision.
laws set MA15+ as the highest rating for a game, meaning
anything more explicit cannot be legally sold in Australia.
change to the laws would require unanimous support
from state ministers.
R Rated Superstar (Edge) WWE Superstar pro wrestler,
was unavailable for comment, as was Angelina Jolie
(Lara Croft in Tomb Raider) and Billy Murray (Captain
Price in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare).
Man will follow up all parties and contact the
Australian Communications and Media Authority office
into the new week to satisfy the demand of the astute
and loyal Gambling911 readership.
head of one of the world's largest computer game publishers
has accused Australia of censoring video games.
Gibeau, the head of interactive powerhouse EA Games,
weighed into the debate on whether games in Australia
should be granted an R18+ rating by writing an open
letter to the Government criticising its lack of support
for the adult rating.
Gibeau said the current policy forcing developers
to rewrite game code was "censorship".
policies that don't allow for the rating of mature
content in video games effectively censor entertainment
choices for adults," he said.
policies show a poor understanding of today's video
legislation in Australia that limits age ratings of
games to 16 demonstrates a distance between those
policies and the reality of the video game industry
and the people that play interactive games in Australia
Gibeau said adult consumers were entitled to be responsible
for their own entertainment choices and the classification
system for films had done a good job protecting children
from inappropriate content.
spectrum of gamers is as wide as the viewership of
television, movies, theatre, and the readers of books,"
don't insist that all books be written for children,
or that all television shows be cartoons.
gamers want their governments to treat them with the
same respect they get as movie-goers and book readers.
Australians should be allowed to choose the games
they play, including those with mature themes."
Gibeau also warns the existing Australian policy towards
gaming classification could also have a negative financial
impact on the many talented local developers.
makers should consider the environment they create
for game makers," he said.
that design policies hostile to game developers and
their creative medium will struggle to attract investment
from the global industry."
Games (and partner, Domain Game International),
are currently looking to attract investment to move
forward their international expansion plans of AWOMO
(A World Of My Own), an online multiplayer gaming
platform. Games to be released on AWOMO include Rome:
Total War, Fifa Football Manager, Warhammer: Mark
of Chaos and Tomb Raider: Legend. These will be offered
in addition to Virgin Games current suite of
online gaming products. Over 200 titles are expected
to be added once complete. Potential investors can
made contact via the AWOMO official website.
competitor, PartyGaming, which PartyCasino
brands are available to players in Australia, are
understood to be watching the AWOMO space closely.
PartyGaming is strong in the themed online gaming
sector with branded titles including Sinatra,
The Terminator, Mission: Impossible. Like Virgin Games,
they also offer a range of Marvel Entertainment -
Marvel Comics themed slot games, including Thor, due
to hit the movie cinema in approximately 1 year. PartyGaming's
Casino also offers iconic Iron-Man, however the
Playtech powered Noble Casino has some technical issues
in the past few weeks. PartyCasino is working at 100%
and Media Man
has a number of reviews available for reading. PartyGaming
Games have both won a number of awards and commendations
over the years and are regarded as two of the best
and most trustworthy gaming brands in the world. Virgin
was founded in 1970 and PartyGaming in 1997. PartyGaming
remains listed on the London Stock Exchange.
Next For Gaming In Australia?
is currently unclear how this video game classification
- censorship situation may or may not be related to
Australia's seemingly ultra censorship agenda, well
documented by leading journalists, academics and social
and political analysts. In the past week weeks bible
bashers and other do gooder groups have lobbied government
to see magazines such as FHM and Zoo Weekly disappear
off newsagent and shopping centre shelves.
report of gaming and gambling by the Australian Productivity
Commission is currently due to finally be made public
in approximately 1 month.
government initiate to filter the internet down under
is currently due to be actioned in 1 to 3 months,
depending upon what report and source you choose to
the fun and games continue.
adhere to your countries or jurisdictions laws regarding
gaming and gambling.