In an attempt to arrest MySpace's ever-faster decline into irrelevance,
News Corp. is transforming the social network into an online gaming
company, owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch, had to do something,
after all, once MySpace lost major ground to Facebook in June, posting
smaller U.S. numbers than the latter — Comscore reported
MySpace had 68 million compared with Facebook's 74 million uniques
(just from the U.S. Internet audience, the gap is even wider when
looking at worldwide figures).
News Corp owns the Fox empire —
the cable news network and the film and television studio — but hasn't
entered into the video gaming industry. News Corp digital chief
Jonathan Miller said
at the Fortune Brainstorm conference that could be an advantage for the company:
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
Corp. bought MySpace in 2005 for $580 million, just before it began its
decline. Since then, the company's laid off a third of the site's
employees and replaced the co-founder and CEO.
Seeing how much
time people spend playing video games — consoles, MMORPGs, online games
— News Corp. envisions dollar signs. MySpace would keep its music focus
as well, and transform into something of an entertainment portal. Said Miller:
If you look at the big activities online, games right now is number
three. Communications, search, games.
One would think it likely that the company would start off with
video games related to its movie and television properties. If that
worked, it could expand even further into the field.