Game Veterans Launch Management Consulting Firm

A group of game industry veterans have set up a consulting firm for startup game makers and independent studios, reports Industry Gamers.  The Los Angeles-based firm, called Ambition Production Management, is founded by Dan Lee Rogers, a former Interactive Studio Management partner, Philipe Erwin, former Loeb and Loeb attorney and former head of Warner Bros. Interactive, and Lee Jacobson, former licensing VP at Midway. Erwin told Industry Gamers that Ambition aims to provide independent game makers with skilled partners capable of dealing with everything from getting a deal, game financing, licensing and distribution options and comprehensive legal support. Read more at Industry Gamers.

Philips Follow-Up To ‘Carousel’

Philips is upping the ante fivefold from its 2009 award-winning spot Carousel. The TV maker has enlisted five producers from Ridley Scott Associates, the legendary director’s eponymous production company, to create a series of new short films. The feature-film quality shorts are getting teased in this spot at Adweek, and blogger David Gianatasio sums up the concept of creating an ad promoting other ads nicely. Check it out at Adweek.


Sacked Infinity Ward Heads Suing Activision

Vince Zampella and Jason West, who until being let go by Activision this week headed Modern Warfare maker Infinity Ward, are suing the publisher for wrongful termination and breach of contract. Bloomberg reports that Zampella and West filed suit yesterday in Los Angeles Superior Court claiming Activision fired them based on a false insubordination charge just weeks before having to pay them royalties on Modern Warfare 2. The suit seeks $36 million along with ownership of the Modern Warfare IP. Bloomberg says Activision declined to comment on the lawsuit. Read more from Bloomberg.

Sony And CBS To Open 3D Research Center

Sony and CBS have partnered to add 3D consumer research to the CBS Television City center at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, reports TVB.  The facility is adding the Sony 3D Experience, a center designed for testing of 3D content created for both cinema and at-home entertainment. TVB says the new center will include research areas equipped with 3D TVs, 3D-capable Blu-ray players, and Sony PlayStation 3 systems to test 3D games. CBS Television City claims it gets 1.1 million visitors annually who represent what it calls a cross-section of the US consumer population. TVB says it will be the second such facility for Sony, with Sony Pictures currently running the 3D Technology Center geared to entertainment professionals in Culver City, Calif. Read more at TVB.

Another Classic Game IP Invading Film

Warner Bros. is in talks for film rights to the classic videogame property Space Invaders. LA Times reports that the studio is negotiating rights with Taito, the Japan game company that created the classic arcade game and still owns the rights to the IP. The news outlet says the move comes after Warner acquired Midway, which published Taito’s Space Invader games in the US. The producing team waiting to head the project includes Mark Gordon, producer on Saving Private Ryan and The Day After Tomorrow, and Jason Blum, producer of Paramount Pictures recent breakout independent film Paranormal Activity. Should the deal close, Space Invaders joins two Atari properties, Missile Command and Asteroids, in the string of old-school games getting picked up by filmmakers. Read more at LA Times.

GDC Gets Breakout Session On Online Games

Live Gamer and DFC Intelligence have announced VCON 2010, a breakout session focused on the games-as-a-service phenomenon taking place during next week s Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. The full-day session, scheduled for March 10, covers topics such as economics and strategies for tapping into the growing market for service-based, virtual item-driven online games. The roster of speakers and panelists draws from traditional and new game companies, with a few of the notables including Gaikai founder David Perry, Sony Online head John Smedley, Smith & Tinker founder Jordan Weissman, Nexon’s Min Kim, and Activision s Kai Hwang. You can access the full agenda and event web site through the announcement released by DFC Intelligence.

Facebook Rolling Out New Ad Tools

Facebook has partnered with ad tech firm Omniture to develop new media buying and analytics tools for advertisers, reports MediaPost. The companies are starting the effort by focusing on automating media buying and providing advertisers with new tools for audience segmentation and measuring engagement for Facebook campaigns. Among the new platform’s features are the ability to measure effectiveness of ad placements unique to Facebook Pages and what Facebook calls an immersive toolset accessible through one dashboard.”  Read more at MediaPost.