MySpace: The next online gaming destination?

In an attempt to arrest MySpace's ever-faster decline into irrelevance, News Corp. is transforming the social network into an online gaming destination.

The 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 games online.

News 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.

Tags:  Gaming, Facebook, MySpace, fox