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MySpace to be transformed into online videogaming portal

News Corp believes games could revive the popularity of its social networking site

News Corp has revealed plans to transform MySpace into a destination for online videogames, in an effort to revive flagging numbers lost to rival social network sites Facebook and Twitter.

The company's digital head Jonathan Miller said he saw opportunities for gearing MySpace towards gaming: "MySpace is and will be more in the future a gaming platform, a space for people to meet and play games," the exec told the Fortune Brainstorm: Tech conference in Pasadena, California.

"If you look at the big activities online, games right now is number three," he added. "Communications, search, games. So it's clearly going to be a major focus."

Facebook had more than 307 million unique visitors in April of this year, reports Reuters, while MySpace had less than 125 million. Since buying MySpace in 2005 for USD 580 million, News Corps has fast been losing ground to Facebook, and recently replaced the site's co-founder and CEO Chris DeWolfe with its own management team, and laid off 30 per cent of its workforce.

But Miller said he saw videogames as an opportunity for expansion, not only for MySpace, but for News Corp, which also owns the Fox network and film studio.

"None of the traditional media conglomerates are also significant video game players, so to speak, and I think that that's the missing piece of the equation, particularly when you see how much time is spent playing games online," said Miller.

"You must focus, and in our case we are focusing on music, games, video, things like that."

He added that News Corp would possibly make acquisitions in order to boost its presence in the gaming sector, however he didn't reveal specific targets.

Word of the company's plans follow Rupert Murdoch's recent assessment that MySpace needed to become an "entertainment portal" in order to survive.

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Latest comments (1)

Nicholas Lovell Founder, Gamesbrief12 years ago
Buying Zynga, Playfish or Playdom makes sense to me. I could imagine them buying a casual games portal, perhaps. But to my mind, the potential for News Corp to buy a games publisher has peaked.

Miller is head of digital. He is unlikely to be recommending a massive investment in EA or Activision.

And at least, now that Eidos is no longer public, people won't automatically be speculating that a "swoop for Eidos" is imminent.

(I've put a list of my top targets at Gamesbrief, if you're interested
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