MySpace Planning Shift to Gaming Portal

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MySpace owner News Corp is planning to turn their struggling social network site into an online games portal in an effort to win back users from competitors like Facebook.

With Facebook looking more – at least if you’re going by the numbers – and more the victor over MySpace in the battle of social network site titans, MySpace parent company and media behemoth News Corp is looking to shift the focus of the site toward a more lucrative arena: games.

“MySpace is and will be more in the future a gaming platform, a space for people to meet and play games,” News Corp’s Jonathan Miller said at the Fortune Brainstorm: Tech conference. “If you look at the big activities online, games right now is number three. So it’s clearly going to be a major focus.”

This could be just as much of an uphill battle for MySpace as trying to compete with Facebook in terms of plain old social networking features. The former underdog turned top dog has offered games for some time now, many of them offering some kind of social bent connecting users. Facebook has even attracted major games industry companies, with Ubisoft launching a games portal on the site just last week.

So MySpace will have to give the social network with games spin a new twist. Nevertheless, Miller believes that his company is ahead of the curve, at least when it comes to the bigger picture. “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,” he said. “You must focus, and in our case we are focusing on music, games, video, things like that.”

That counts for MySpace and News Corp in general – Miller added that News Corp is considering making acquisitions related to games. Now that’s some big thinking – one of the world’s hugest media conglomerates taking games companies under its wing. Let’s see if News Corp’s really playing for keeps here.

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