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Here are 2013’s 10 Most Innovative Companies In Gaming:
1. Rovio
The maker of Angry Birds is #1 for making apps the new source for big entertainment franchises.
2. Tencent Games
For leveraging its online distribution network and moving into content.
3. Activision
For elevating physical and digital play with its Skylanders series. Spyro’s Adventure and its sequel, Giants, feature dozens of chip-embedded action figures that interact with whatever happens on the screen, whether it’s a TV, computer, or handheld.
4. Microsoft
For revolutionizing home entertainment. Microsoft has assembled a digital living room. The system connects Windows, Xbox, and Kinect via SmartGlass, a free app that debuted last fall, which turns a portable device into a remote control and second screen.
5. Nintendo
For making the controller just as crucial to the gaming experience as the console and the Wii U.
6. Ouya
For electrifying gamers with a hackable console that features both a compelling design and an affordable device.
7. Telltale Games
For creating affordable appointment gaming. With The Walking Dead, Telltale has given gamers a way to play that’s amenable to busy schedules and with minimal upfront buy-in.
8. Valve
For pushing gaming into the hands of everyone. In 2012, it released its Source Filmmaker moviemaking tool to gamers for free, enabling just about anybody to produce Pixar-quality animation.
9. Imangi Studios
For pivoting into a freemium phenomenon. When sales started to slump (it was originally a 99-cent download), they made the game free to play and reaped about five times as much revenue.
10. Kabam
For turning hardcore gamers into a gold mine. Kabam puts out games that are long, complex, and appeal to players who are willing to devote lots of time to them…
[Image: Flickr user WastedButReady]

Here are 2013’s 10 Most Innovative Companies In Gaming:

1. Rovio

The maker of Angry Birds is #1 for making apps the new source for big entertainment franchises.

2. Tencent Games

For leveraging its online distribution network and moving into content.

3. Activision

For elevating physical and digital play with its Skylanders series. Spyro’s Adventure and its sequel, Giants, feature dozens of chip-embedded action figures that interact with whatever happens on the screen, whether it’s a TV, computer, or handheld.

4. Microsoft

For revolutionizing home entertainment. Microsoft has assembled a digital living room. The system connects Windows, Xbox, and Kinect via SmartGlass, a free app that debuted last fall, which turns a portable device into a remote control and second screen.

5. Nintendo

For making the controller just as crucial to the gaming experience as the console and the Wii U.

6. Ouya

For electrifying gamers with a hackable console that features both a compelling design and an affordable device.

7. Telltale Games

For creating affordable appointment gaming. With The Walking DeadTelltale has given gamers a way to play that’s amenable to busy schedules and with minimal upfront buy-in.

8. Valve

For pushing gaming into the hands of everyone. In 2012, it released its Source Filmmaker moviemaking tool to gamers for free, enabling just about anybody to produce Pixar-quality animation.

9. Imangi Studios

For pivoting into a freemium phenomenon. When sales started to slump (it was originally a 99-cent download), they made the game free to play and reaped about five times as much revenue.

10. Kabam

For turning hardcore gamers into a gold mine. Kabam puts out games that are long, complex, and appeal to players who are willing to devote lots of time to them…

[Image: Flickr user WastedButReady]

Here’s why Buzzfeed is #18 on our 2013 Most Innovative Companies list.
When he founded BuzzFeed in 2006, serial entrepreneur Jonah Peretti—who’d previously cofounded the Huffington Post—thought of it as a new-media mad-science lab. Social sharing was the next big distribution channel, he reasoned, and BuzzFeed was a place to create silly shareable content. The site is still brimming with listicles and cat videos, but over the past year, BuzzFeed has undergone a remarkable transformation: It’s now also a serious news site, blending in a high-powered team of journalists covering politics, gender issues, technology, music, food, and pop culture. 
Peretti sat down to discuss BuzzFeed’s breakout year.
 

FC: You don’t run traditional banner ads. Instead you run “sponsored content”—posts that feel like BuzzFeed content but that are paid for by a brand. Why? JP: I wanted our ads to have the same advantages as our content—something that people wanted to click on and share. We think of it as the evolution of advertorial. It’s a return to Mad Men-era advertising, where media buying and creative were the same business, and where you thought about advertising as telling a story. On the web, that changed; banner ads became the dominant force. There wasn’t the sense of craft in it.

Check out the full story here.

Here’s why Buzzfeed is #18 on our 2013 Most Innovative Companies list.

When he founded BuzzFeed in 2006, serial entrepreneur Jonah Peretti—who’d previously cofounded the Huffington Post—thought of it as a new-media mad-science lab. Social sharing was the next big distribution channel, he reasoned, and BuzzFeed was a place to create silly shareable content. The site is still brimming with listicles and cat videos, but over the past year, BuzzFeed has undergone a remarkable transformation: It’s now also a serious news site, blending in a high-powered team of journalists covering politics, gender issues, technology, music, food, and pop culture.

Peretti sat down to discuss BuzzFeed’s breakout year.

 

FC: You don’t run traditional banner ads. Instead you run “sponsored content”—posts that feel like BuzzFeed content but that are paid for by a brand. Why? 
JP: I wanted our ads to have the same advantages as our content—something that people wanted to click on and share. We think of it as the evolution of advertorial. It’s a return to Mad Men-era advertising, where media buying and creative were the same business, and where you thought about advertising as telling a story. On the web, that changed; banner ads became the dominant force. There wasn’t the sense of craft in it.

Check out the full story here.

Here’s why Samsung, #17 on our 2013 Most Innovative Companies list, should be lauded not loathed. 

Samsung built a user interface similar to that of the iPhone but gained its real edge by improving one of Samsung’s core strengths: producing big, beautiful screens. In fact, beginning with the company’s entry into the semiconductor business, Samsung has cultivated an ability to quickly study, imitate, and, where appropriate, improve upon competitors’ products. In an age when information flows freely and contract manufacturers can pump out millions of new devices in a matter of weeks, that skill may be the most underrated in business.

[Image: Stephen Doyle]

Here’s why Samsung, #17 on our 2013 Most Innovative Companies list, should be lauded not loathed. 

Samsung built a user interface similar to that of the iPhone but gained its real edge by improving one of Samsung’s core strengths: producing big, beautiful screens. In fact, beginning with the company’s entry into the semiconductor business, Samsung has cultivated an ability to quickly study, imitate, and, where appropriate, improve upon competitors’ products. In an age when information flows freely and contract manufacturers can pump out millions of new devices in a matter of weeks, that skill may be the most underrated in business.

[Image: Stephen Doyle]

WHY FACEBOOK AND TWITTER ARE NOT MOST INNOVATIVE COMPANIES
The simplest reason Facebook and Twitter are not on this year’s Most Innovative Companies list: Neither produced innovations worth celebrating.

“Both companies have turned their focus away from users and toward shareholders to get bigger, not better. Revenue is great, but not at the expense of the product.”

[Image: Adam Simpson]

WHY FACEBOOK AND TWITTER ARE NOT MOST INNOVATIVE COMPANIES

The simplest reason Facebook and Twitter are not on this year’s Most Innovative Companies list: Neither produced innovations worth celebrating.

Both companies have turned their focus away from users and toward shareholders to get bigger, not better. Revenue is great, but not at the expense of the product.”

[Image: Adam Simpson]

NIKE: THE NO. 1 MOST INNOVATIVE COMPANY OF 2013
“But Nike CEO Mark Parker knows he can’t just rely on celebrity endorsements and the power of the swoosh when confronted by big-name competitors such as Adidas and upstarts like Jawbone and Fitbit. “One of my fears is being this big, slow, constipated, bureaucratic company that’s happy with its success,” he says. “Companies fall apart when their model is so successful that it stifles thinking that challenges it. It’s like what the Joker said—‘This town needs an enema.’ When needed, you’ve got to apply that enema, so to speak.”
Here’s the full story about the most innovative company of 2013!

[Image: Jason Pietra]

NIKE: THE NO. 1 MOST INNOVATIVE COMPANY OF 2013

But Nike CEO Mark Parker knows he can’t just rely on celebrity endorsements and the power of the swoosh when confronted by big-name competitors such as Adidas and upstarts like Jawbone and Fitbit. “One of my fears is being this big, slow, constipated, bureaucratic company that’s happy with its success,” he says. “Companies fall apart when their model is so successful that it stifles thinking that challenges it. It’s like what the Joker said—‘This town needs an enema.’ When needed, you’ve got to apply that enema, so to speak.”

Here’s the full story about the most innovative company of 2013!

[Image: Jason Pietra]

Photo Issue 2011: Seventy percent of the world’s cocoa comes from West Africa, but less than 1% of the world’s chocolate is made there. Tim McCollum and Brett Beach founded Madécasse in 2008 to keep more economic benefit within the island nation. Beans travel by oxcart to Ambanja, where they are spot-checked for damage and appropriate dryness."Most Innovative Companies: Madécasse"  (March 2011) Photo By: Livia Corona

Photo Issue 2011: Seventy percent of the world’s cocoa comes from West Africa, but less than 1% of the world’s chocolate is made there. Tim McCollum and Brett Beach founded Madécasse in 2008 to keep more economic benefit within the island nation. Beans travel by oxcart to Ambanja, where they are spot-checked for damage and appropriate dryness.

"Most Innovative Companies: Madécasse"
(March 2011)

Photo By: Livia Corona