Convinced that interactive games are one key to remaining relevant, MTV is investing more than half a billion dollars in the sector, Reuters’ Ken Li reports. Big media has long drooled at the thought of cashing in on video games–and failed over and over again (Millions of unsold E.T. the game cartridges still litter a New Mexico landfill). This said, MTV’s casual games are rocking: 42 million uniques visited an MTV game site in June, up 20% since January. Alas, traffic does not yet equal money: MTV is still experimenting with various business models (Neopets sells virtual pet accessories, for example). “Games are critical,” says MTV Global Digital Media president Mika Salmi (from Atom)
Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman also raved about the company’s game business in last quarter’s conference call.