Ubisoft: Assassin’s Creed Sequel Coming This Fiscal Year

Ubisoft has dropped a heavy hint that the third Assassin’s Creed is on the way this fiscal year.  As reported in Joystiq, the publisher said on an earnings call that it has already shipped eight million units of Assassin s Creed 2, with the sequel taking only about three months to ship what it took its predecessor 18 months to reach.  Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said that the next title is slated for sometime during its next fiscal year ending April 2011.  He added that the game will take the sequel’s protagonist Ezio to Rome during the height of the Knights Templar.  Read more at Joystiq.

‘The Play’s The Thing’

The Shakespeare Country tourism authority is seeing success with a casual online game based on one of its prodigal playwright s most famous works, Romeo and Juliet.    As reported by Daily Mail UK, the game Romeo Wherefore Art Thou designed to promote tourism to Shakespeare s birthplace in the UK has lured 22 million people.  The casual game puts players in the role of Romeo overcoming obstacles and collecting items for his star-crossed lover, Juliet.  Shakespeare Country chief Phil Hackett said the game attracts more than 250,000 unique visitors every month, adding that its success is due to viral sharing by those who ve played it.  Read more at Daily Mail.

Super Bowl Ads Recap

Adweek and Ad Age give everyone a chance to do what some of the Indianapolis Colts’ receivers might have been wishing for today, the chance to catch a few things they missed.

Adweek has a compilation of all of the ads aired during last night’s Super Bowl.  The outlet lists them by genre, such as celebrities, animals, etc., and also by when each spot aired during the game.  Check it out at Adweek {link no longer active}.

Ad Age writer Bob Garfield takes a critical look at all of the spots, rating his best to worst on a five star scale.  Check it out at Ad Age {link no longer active}.

Is Twitter’s Marketing Relevance Fleeting?

Brandweek’s Todd Wasserman explores how marketers are starting to diverge on the value Twitter brings to their social media efforts.  Some marketers Wasserman speaks to view the service as having limited value, perhaps even having jumped the shark.  As one major brand’s chief marketer puts it, more and more Twitter is becoming the butt of a joke in popular culture.  Wasserman looks at which brands are benefitting from their Twitter presence and why they re succeeding, and which have stopped trying.

Read it at Adweek {link no longer active}.

Japan Game Developers Look West

M2 Research analyst Wanda Meloni has written a brief on the state of Japanese game development.  Her paper gives a quick look at the country’s game market including the growth of social media games.  Meloni then provides a list with brief profiles of a dozen Japan game studios participating in Game Connection, a developer-publisher pairing event at  next month’s Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

Read The Brief at M2 Research.

Shack News Game Releases For The Week

Shack News lists this week’s videogame releases.

EA’s Dante’s Inferno and 2K Games BioShock 2 get ready to battle it out on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.  BioShock 2 also gets a PC version.  Meanwhile the Wii set gets ready to monkey around with Sega’s Super Monkey Ball: Step & Roll.   And some noteworthy licensed fare hits Nintendo s handheld DS in Activision’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightening Thief and a Konami Scene It title dedicated to vampire fetish film Twilight.

Check out the full list at Shack News.

EA To Bring Madden NFL To Facebook

EA Sports is bringing its Madden NFL football videogame franchise to Facebook.  EA Sports president Peter Moore in a Bloomberg TV interview that the publisher is planning a Facebook Madden game, saying that the move is to make Madden more accessible.   Moore also said that a version of the game for the social net would be a simpler experience than EA s NFL games for console.  EA Sports spokesman David Tinson told Bloomberg that no official announcement or date has been set for the Madden Facebook game.  Bloomberg points to EA s $400 million acquisition of Playfish last year as evidence of the publisher’s desire to become a big player in the social game space.  Read more at Bloomberg {link no longer active}.

Xbox Live Arcade Sales Jump

Research firm Forecasting and Analysing Digital Entertainment has released a report showing Xbox Live Arcade revenues jumped in 2009.  As reported in CVG, the firm found that sales from digital downloads of Arcade games rose 34 percent in year-over year comparison to reach more than $103 million for the year.  It said the average price of games sold during the year also saw a bump, rising by more than nine percent from last year to an average $9.12 a title.  The top-selling game for the year was EA and Dice’s Battlefield 1943, which the report showed as making $12.5 million in revenue.  CVG list the top ten selling games from the report.  Read more at CVG {link no longer active}.

Maxim e-Print Issues Come To iPhone

Men’s magazine Maxim has started offering paid iPhone and iPod Touch app versions of its print issues, reports Ad Age.  Maxim follows GQ and Esquire in becoming only the third magazine repurposing print content for Apple’s mobile devices.  Maxim editor-in-chief Joe Levy said his visually driven magazine translated well into an iPhone app.  Each issue of the Maxim magazine app costs $3, compared to the print issue s list price of $5.99.  Ad Age says that unlike GQ and Esquire, Maxim also offers yearly subscriptions to the app for $15, a $5 increase over the print magazine s $10 annual subscription rate.  Read more at Ad Age {link no longer active}.