Flash Movie, Green Lantern Cartoon Discussed

While DC Comics characters haven’t been featured in movies quite as extensively as their Marvel counterparts, Warner Bros. is looking to change that. A movie based upon the Flash is close to being greenlit, and movies based upon Wonder Woman and Aquaman are being considered.

Additionally, Cartoon Network will be airing a cartoon franchise called Green Lantern: The Animated Series. Warner Bros. will work with the Turner to release it sometime after the launch of the Green Lantern movie comes out on June 17, 2011.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Star Wars: The Old Republic Most Expensive Game In EA’s History

Expectations are high for Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Electronic Arts is well aware of that. Hoping that the MMO will be a significant hit, EA is sparing no expense in its development.

“It is the largest R&D project EA has ever undertaken in terms of total dollars that we expect to spend bringing the title to market,” said EA chief financial officer Eric Brown at Janney Capital Markets’ 2010 Consumer Conference.

EA also isn’t rushing Star Wars: The Old Republic out the door, and aren’t expecting it before March 2011. “We’re not expecting it to ship in fiscal 2010, nor have we given a specific ship date thereafter,” said Brown. “We’re intentionally being nonspecific on the ship date.”

The goal is for Star Wars: The Old Republic to achieve a level of market penetration worthy of the brand, something SOE’s Star Wars: Galaxies never did. “In the past, for MMOs, the type of fiction that has resonated most broadly is fiction based on swords and knights and sorcery, et cetera,” Brown explained. “Star Wars is analogous to that — instead of the swords, you have the lightsabers; instead of the knights you have the Jedi — we think it’s a fiction that does very well, we think it’s a fiction that spans the decades. We think it has very broad appeal.”

With development in the hands of BioWare, EA is very confident in the final product. “BioWare is one of the highest-rated studios in terms of quality overall,” said Brown noting that Mass Effect 2 has a Metacritic score of 96, making it “the highest-quality title EA ever released.”

While EA’s first offering in the MMO space, Warhammer Online, only has about “a couple hundred thousand subscribers to date,” according to Brown, he thinks that Star Wars: The Old Republic is the right combination of IP, production values and studio to represent EA’s “principal investment and commitment vis a vis the MMO space.”

Source: Gamasutra

ModNation Racers: Mod Your Date

Emphasizing the mod heavy nature of ModNation Racers has been a major point of emphasis for Sony. This viral video shows how much better real life would be if modding was as easy as it is in ModNation Racers.


Jonah Hex Trailer Tightens Focus

Jonah Hex combines elements of the supernatural with Westerns and over the top Hollywood action. The funny thing is that the movie may benefit from targeting the same audience as Red Dead Redemption– check out this trailer and see if you think if the movie will capture some part of the comic movie and Western game zeitgeist.

Microsoft CEO Dismisses Apple Leadership In Market Capitalization

Recently Apple surpassed Microsoft in market capitalization, technically making it the largest technology company in the world. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, for his part, brushed off questions of the event’s significance.

“We are executing very well, that’s going to lead to great products and great success,” Mr. Ballmer said at a press conference.

Over the past decade, since assuming control of Microsoft from Bill Gates, the company’s market value has halved from $556 billion to $219 billion now, while Apple has gone from $15.6 billion to $221 billion on the strength of their iPod, iPhone, iPad and related online releases.

“I will make more profits and certainly there is no technology company in the planet which is as profitable as we are,” assured Ballmer. “Stock markets will take care of the rest.”

Microsoft has lagged behind the competition with its Zune and Windows Phone offerings, though a recent shake up at the Entertainment and Devices Division might wake it from its torpor.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Yahoo! Teams Up With Zynga

Yahoo! has announced that it has signed a partnership with Zynga. This will give the 600 million Yahoo! users worldwide access to Zynga’s games, right on the heels of their deal with Facebook.

“Yahoo is focused on providing compelling, personally relevant experiences and social games are core to this experience,” said Hilary Schneider, executive vice president, Yahoo! Americas. “Zynga will bring top notch social game experiences to Yahoo!, including through our open platforms such as Yahoo! Application Platform and Yahoo! Updates. Yahoo! will also continue to work with other partners, developers and publishers to bring compelling innovations and experiences from across the web to our users.”

Zynga’s games will be available across Yahoo!’s properties, including the homepage, Yahoo! Games, Yahoo! Mail, and Yahoo! Messenger. Users can provide updates across various social networks while playing Zynga games on Yahoo! properties and the games will be integrated into Yahoo! Application Platform and OpenSocial container.

“With over 35 million unique users playing our games every single day, social games are fast becoming a leading source of entertainment worldwide surpassing most television shows,” said Mark Pincus, founder and CEO of Zynga. “Our partnership with Yahoo! gives millions of new users the ability to connect with friends and families through games.”

Batman: Arkham Asylum 2 ‘Last Hurrah’ For Mark Hamill

While most people who know the name Mark Hamill might remember him as Luke Skywalker, the role that he’s truly owned more than any other is that of the Joker. He lent his voice to Joker for Batman: The Animated Series and helped define the character to a whole generation.

“I played The Joker from 1992 to 2004, for the entire run of the series,” he says. “I did everything, even the talking toys. They weren’t going to hire me, they were going to get another guy and I got very protective of the character. They said, ‘Well, we can’t pay you what you expect, we can only pay a scale.’ I said, ‘Look, I’d rather not let anyone else sleep in my sleeping bag.’ I would do all those things for scale. I even did the voices on the Australian Batman rollercoaster ride, I’m totally into it.”

Still, Hamill was somewhat reluctant to return to the role for Batman: Arkham Asylum. “When they said, ‘We want you to come back [to the role of The Joker] and do Arkham,’ I said the same; ‘I left on a high note, I don’t think we could ever top that.’ But they said, ‘We got Paul Dini,’ who was my favourite ever Joker writer, ‘and Kevin Conroy,’ who I love. This was a real reunion and a very pleasant experience. So of course I relented, but I had no idea it would have the impact it did.”

Ironically, that translated into even more reluctance to do the sequel. “My answer to [developers Rocksteady] for the sequel was, ‘Guys, we’re never going to be able to top the original.’ It was so claustrophobic. There were so many abilities like the stealth mode, and all those things you can do with the new technology. I wanted to be able to say I’d gone out on a high note.”

Eventually, he relented to their request. “I got on the phone with Rocksteady and they really reassured me and told me what they were going to do with the sequel. But I’m sworn to secrecy!”

“This will be my last, there’s no question about that. But it’s the last hurrah,” he said with a touch of finality.

Source: IGN

Android Outpacing IPhone In China

AdMob’s latest metrics on mobile sales imply that Android equipped phones may have surpassed iPhones in China. In April 2010, there were 882,384 Android phones, compared to 725,358 iPhones in China.

Total sales show that 10.6 million iPhones have been sold in the U.S. to 8.6 million Android devices. In other parts of the world, the iPhone is handily outpacing Android phones, with 27.4 million iPhones sold worldwide compared to 11.5 million Android phones.

A lot has been written about the iPhone’s poor performance in China.The iPhone has to compete with knockoff iPhones in China, and Apple has any number of other problems in the country that it doesn’t face elsewhere. And, of course, Android can be loaded onto far cheaper phones which would be affordable to more Chinese consumers, writes Nick Saint. But whatever it is that is hurting the iPhone in China, it has made the country a major outlier in the Android/iPhone race.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

Gaming Executive Casts Doubt On Natal

Microsoft’s Project Natal has tremendous potential, but the hands-free device also has its skeptics. Scot Bayless, for one, is not optimistic in the slightest.

“When I met with Microsoft in 2008 to look at Natal I asked, ‘when will you integrate this into the 360 ‘” said Bayless. “Their response was, ‘we’re probably going to wait and see on that.’ To which I said, ‘then you’re going to fail.'”

Bayless, who has experience at Sega, Microsoft, Midway and Capcom, thinks that fractioning the market with a peripheral will put off developers. “Plays like this always fragment and the disincentive to developers is powerful; when I’m spending tens of millions on a game, the last thing I want to do is lose 90 percent of my market,” explained Bayless.

If Natal retails for $149 as rumored, it will make success all the harder.

Source: NowGamer