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Game publishers bloody but unbowed after stock ruckus

Adrian Bott

Nobody but the most sunless and fungal of stock stereotype MMO-playing basement dwellers could fail to be aware of the recent events in the markets. Reports have been filtering through the various industry sites of how game publishers have fared.

The stand-out news is Activision Blizzard's clobbering, ending the day 13.8 percent down; EA also suffered, dropping 9.16 percent. Various other game publishers also caught the flak, including UbiSoft who ended 14.4 percent down, but the overall sentiment is still the same: the game industry is robust.

It would have been surprising if MMO publishers' stock hadn't suffered a decline in value, given the economic context. What's interesting to us is the attitude that games are a solid investment, possibly even more so in times of unease and uncertainty.

Much like movies in the time of the Great Depression, MMOs offer a chance to escape the real world for a while and enjoy an immersive, imaginative experience detached from everyday concerns. The great mistake is to see that as a negative, a flight into escapism, rather than a crucial part of the process by which human beings recover their energy and return to coping with the world.

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