Namco Says Over 23 Million Apps Served

Namco Bandai’s online and mobile games division Namco Networks has said more than 23 million apps have been downloaded from its library of games for iPhone and iPod Touch, reports Edge-Online. It said the total represents an average of more than 36,000 apps served daily. The company s current catalogue of titles for Apple s mobile devices include 24 games, with both original titles and franchise-based fare such as Pac-Man.

Read more at Edge-Online.

Nintendo Partners With Beyoncé On DLC For DS

Nintendo has enlisted Beyoncé for downloadable content for the fashion simulation DS game Style Savvy, reports LetsGoDigital. The publisher is offering five designs from the entertainer s clothing line Deréon that players can download to their DS through a broadband Wi-Fi connection. Nintendo will promote the DLC with two TV spots starring Beyoncé airing on Nickelodeon in the lead up to the network’s Kids Choice Awards. LetsGoDigital did not state a price nor say if the DLC is available for free. The outlet added that Nintendo has had a marketing relationship with Beyoncé since she appeared in ads for the 2009 DS game Rhythm Heaven. Read more at LetsGoDigital.

Activision Creates In-house Media Position, Hires Agency Vet

Activision Blizzard has created a new in-house media position and hired Amy Stettler, an agency veteran who most recently headed the Apple account at OMD.  As reported by Adweek, Stettler joins the publisher in the newly created role of global head of media and customer engagement reporting to CMO Brad Jakeman.  Adweek cites sources in saying Stettler s hiring is part of Activision s strategy in pushing its franchises beyond hardcore gamers.  The outlet adds that part of her role will be managing the publisher’s relationship with media agency WPP Group Mediaedge:cia, representing a $200 million account.  Stettler s background is primarily agency work.  She served as global media director on the Apple account at Omnicom Group-owned agency OMD since 2006.  Prior to that, she worked at Ogilvy & Mather and Euro RSCG.  Read more at Adweek.

‘Pach-Attack!’

There s a bold line between Wedbush Morgan Securities game industry analyst Michael Pachter and stock market prognosticator turned noisemaker James Cramer.  The line may have been made finer now that GameTrailers convinced the respected analyst to try his hand at showmanship in their new “Pach-Attack!” program.  Take a look at the video and you can almost imagine the type of props and devices Cramer uses on his CNBC show Mad Money showing up on Pachter s set.  On the other hand, this could shape up to be a solid platform for getting out news about the business side of games, something the industry is lacking here in the US.  In the meantime no promises from the[a]listdaily that we ll feature every episode, but now you know about it.  The series launches with the analyst giving a two-and-a-half minute primer on what hurt and helped game industry sales in 2009.

 

Watch it at GameTrailers.

Analysis: Game Anywhere Devices Changing Game Market

Writing for Industry Gamers, the analyzing minds at DFC Intelligence have penned a report on coming trends in the game industry. Tapping into their archive of research, including analysis they conducted a couple of years ago for institutional investors hedging on Nintendo, the firm forecasts how new devices and changing gamer demographics are reshaping the game marketplace.

 

Inside Rock Band Network

Writing for Business Insider, Nick Saint breaks down the business behind MTV Games and Harmonix’s Rock Band Network. Saint delves into the pricing model and development time to create tracks. He talks to those involved about the network’s potential to bring music games out of their slump, and touches on whether the genre’s other big player Activision needs to be worried.

 

Read the article at Business Insider.

Rock ‘N’ Roll Warfare

EA and Digital Illusions continue the distinct tone they’ve set for the Battlefield: Bad Company series in the sequel s game play trailer. While the setting is yet another visualization of current world order gone awry, there s a lot less drama about it in Battlefield: Bad Company 2. One of the more head-banging tracks from rockers Queens of the Stone Age providing the soundtrack helps set that mood. Maybe EA is setting up their feel good hit of the winter. Worth noting is a hint that the series trademark destructible environments might deliver on a massive, metropolis scale in the sequel.

 

Watch it at GameTrailers.

User Content Key To Music Game Growth, Say Developers

Developers Harmonix and Neversoft have spoken to Edge Magazine about the slumping music game genre, with an excerpt of their interview appearing in Edge-Online. Head of Harmonix Alex Rigopulos, maker of the Rock Band series published by MTV Games, has told the outlet that the music game category was hurt by the recession in 2009. He said the high price point of instrument bundles needed by new adopters hindered sales. He added that he doesn’t think the genre has peaked and that future titles will surpass sales set by their predecessors.  Neversoft’s Brian Bright, project director for Guitar Hero games published by Activision, disagreed with his colleague on sales growth. Bright said it s a tall order for any title to match sales of the genre’s record-setting Guitar Hero III, also ranked by NPD Group as the second bestselling console title of all time in the US. Both developers agreed on some aspect of user-created content as key to growth for the genre, but differed in views on what the user-centric experience means. Rigopulos pointed to his company’s Rock Band Network as the next defining moment” for the evolution of the genre. He said the network enables user content by “power-users,” essentially the community of musicians who can use it to provide new content. Bright said that future music games need to empower all users with content creation, making a game out of the ability to make tracks as well as play them back as rhythm games.

 

Read more at Edge-Online.

Sega Partners With UK Theme Park

Sega has struck a three-year deal with popular UK amusement park Alton Towers, reports MCV via an official press release. As part of the deal, the park is planning on rolling out attractions based on Sonic The Hedgehog that includes a rollercoaster called Sonic Spinball and a themed hotel room. The press release says the hotel room will allow guests to “live, sleep and even play the latest games from the Sonic franchise. The park will launch both Sega-themed attractions on Feb. 13, 2010.

 

Read more in the press release.