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Video-Game Publishers See Another Blockbuster Year

After a blockbuster year with record sales, video-games publishers show no signs of letting up in 2008 as they prepare for the release of a parade of new titles for legions of gamers.

The gaming community is already buzzing over the long-awaited release of such titles as Grand Theft Auto IV from Take-Two (TTWO), Spore from Electronic Arts (ERTS) and Little Big Planet, a new game from Media Molecule, a small game developer. Industry observers say some of the releases could spark a new trend in games offerings.

The stakes are huge. THQ (THQI) is pinning its hopes on the release of Saints Row 2. And Nintendo hopes its new fitness game will provide a successful template for its best-selling console.

Together, these new games could take the industry even higher. Despite fears of a slowdown in the economy and weak consumer spending, industry sales were up 52% to $13.2 billion, as of November, from a year ago. Gamers saw one of the biggest lineups ever with releases that included such blockbusters as Halo 3, Call of Duty IV, Rock Band, and Guitar Hero 3.

The year clearly belonged to Activision (ATVI), which not only topped sales charts through the crucial holiday season, but also pulled off a $18.9 billion merger with Vivendi Games to become the industry's largest publisher.

While publishers haven't completely disclosed the titles under development, here's a list of some games that could have the greatest impact on stock prices in 2008.

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