In a bid to make itself the number one software, tools and infrastructure provider in the video game industry, Calabasas-based Emergent Game Technologies Inc. has purchased NDL, an independent 3D graphics video game software developer for an undisclosed price. As a result of the purchase, Emergent will be ramping up its local hiring and plans to begin expanding its market share rapidly. The fusion of the two companies has Emergent’s Geoffrey Selzer thinking big. The CEO of the five year-old company plans to have a piece of the company’s software in 70 percent of all video games produced domestically. “I see the opportunity for Emergent to become the number one software provider to the game industry,” Selzer said. “By creating a one- stop shop for modular solutions that work over a broad array of games, there will be a move towards a framework that will enable video game developers to produce games more efficiently. It will allow them to focus their efforts on creating the types of games they want to create and not waste any of their time.” Emergent currently has 35 employees, with 12 people currently based in Calabasas, 20 based in Chapel Hill, N.C., and four others located in Walnut Creek, Calif. However, Selzer plans to have between 55 and 60 employees total by the end of the year, with 10 engineering and sales positions added in Calabasas. Prior to the merger, Emergent had made a name for itself typically supplying what’s known as middleware (a type of gaming software that acts as an intermediary between different application components) for primarily multi-player online role playing games. With NDL in the fold, Emergent will branch out into manufacturing software and tools for developers across all genres of the video game market. NDL is known for its Gamebryo 3D graphics engine, a type of software widely used by major video game developers and publishers such as Atari, Vivendi Universal Games and Bethesda Softworks. While Selzer remained vague about future plans to expand beyond the middleware software realm, he hinted at bigger plans for his growing firm. “We are and have been experiencing significant growth and expect that growth to continue for at least the next three years,” Selzer said. “After studying the industry, we have plans to scale the business significantly beyond middleware sales. But for now, we expect reasonably to be the dominant player in our market.” Circulation Increase Application Development Trends, a monthly magazine catering to the software industry, has announced plans to expand its circulation from 57,000 to 65,000, starting with its next issue. The expansion is largely the result of many of the magazine’s readers’ desire to have a digital issue, rather than a print one. “There’s something in our readers’ personality that says ‘why should I use a five century-old technology to read about the technology of today,” Application Development Trends’ Publisher Peter Hutchinson said. “And the advertisers much prefer for readers to receive the digital edition because it links to their websites, and it provides them with the single-minded pursuit of the leads that they want to accomplish.” As for its print edition, Hutchinson plans to restrict circulation to primarily Fortune 1000 companies. In the future, Hutchinson anticipates that 2/3rds of the magazine will ultimately be distributed digitally. Like all publications from its parent company Chatsworth-based 101communications, ADT magazine is given away for free, though only to technology professionals that meet a certain target demographic. In the case of ADT, in order to qualify for a subscription, one must typically be in upper level management at a software company. The magazine’s decision to shift gears reflects the general trends that have been occurring in the publishing business, as more and people become Internet savvy and demand to get their news digitally. Accordingly, advertisers have begun to shift more and more of their dollars towards the web. “We’ve seen an incredible demand and expansion of digital editions and along with that, a push for increased digital advertising,” Hutchinson said. “Magazines of all sorts are being challenged by the emergence of digital technology.” Dole Begins Campaign Starting this month, the Westlake Village-based Dole Food Company will began a new “Superfoods” marketing campaign to be placed in schools and supermarkets across America. The campaign, designed and implemented by the Dole Nutrition Institute, is specifically designed to instruct the public on the salubrious qualities of the bananas, pineapples, cranberries, frozen fruits and other foods that Dole produces. “More than anything, it’s an education strategy, it’s an extension of the other communication vehicles that the Dole Nutrition Institute has already created,” Jennifer Grossman, the director of the Dole Nutrition Institute, said. The Dole Nutrition Institute is a behind the scenes research, marketing and education foundation within Dole. In addition to having a research laboratory inside the institute, the DNI produces health and nutrition segments that run on airline in-flight TV, educational newsletters and brochures, a glossy magazine styled after Self magazine, an educational website and a hardbound food encyclopedia. Additionally, the DNI is producing a new Superfoods cookbook that will be placed in 275,000 copies of Prevention magazine this fall. But according to Grossman, the Superfoods campaign is just one of the first of a series of initiatives that the DNI plans to take before the end of the year. “We’re coming out with a holiday-themed magazine which we are in the final stages of editing. Our children’s website is getting a makeover and getting brought into the 21st century,” Grossman said. “Additionally, we plan to translate the most heavily trafficked areas into Spanish. When we’re done, the Dole 5-a-day website will be the largest children’s Hispanic nutrition site.” Staff Reporter Jeff Weiss can be reached at (818) 316-3126 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Video Game Company Plans to Ramp Up Local Operations