38 Studios Packs Up For Rhode Island

Curt Schilling will in fact be moving 38 Studios to Rhode Island from Massachusetts. This comes after the Rhode Island Economic Development Corp. approved eight to one to grant the $75 million guarantee to the company.

I’ve invested a significant amount of my life’s earnings in 38 Studios, said Schilling, and I will protect the loan guarantee that’s been given by the state with the same passion and interest that I’m protecting my own investment in this company. Our paths are very much aligned.

This agreement is expected to bring 450 jobs to Rhode Island by 2012. 38 Studios’ first release, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, is scheduled for 2011, while work on their MMO is ongoing.

Source: Boston.com

GameStop Conquers Kongregate

GameStop Corp. has announced that it has acquired Kongregate Inc. The social gaming portal currently has 10 million monthly players who spend roughly 23 million hours per month on the site.

“Kongregate advances GameStop’s digital strategy by providing a gaming platform for casual, mobile and browser games that can be promoted and played by our existing gamers,” said J. Paul Raines, Chief Executive Officer of GameStop. “We welcome the Kongregate team to the GameStop family.”

“Combining Kongregate’s expansive catalogue of games with our well known consumer brand, powerful marketing and strong customer relationships, means that even more gamers will be able to enjoy their games anytime, anywhere and on any device,” added GameStop President Tony Bartel.

The acquisition of Kongregate is expected to close on August 1, 2010 for undisclosed terms. Jim and Emily Greer will remain in leadership positions in the new entity, with this new alliance expected to help consumers discover more free-to-play games.

“To date, our company’s unique DNA has given more than 8,500 game developers the tools to make their games social, reach a huge audience and make money from over 30,000 innovative games,” said Kongregate co-founder Jim Greer. “This includes access to virtual currency and robust community features such as leaderboards, player achievements, profiles, multiplayer, dedicated game forums, and a site-wide leveling system. Our community will only be enhanced with GameStop’s close relationship with millions of passionate gamers.”

Apple Responds To Jailbreaking Decision

Recently, the Library of Congress’s Copyright Office ruled that phones, like the iPhone, can be legally jailbroken. Today, Apple issued a formal response to the decision.

“Apple’s goal has always been to insure that our customers have a great experience with their iPhone and we know that jailbreaking can severely degrade the experience,” Apple said in a statement. “As we’ve said before, the vast majority of customers do not jailbreak their iPhones as this can violate the warranty and can cause the iPhone to become unstable and not work reliably.”

The company noted that jailbreaking an iPhone may leave it vulnerable to security issues. They also noted that modification of the iOS is a violation of the iPhone end-user license agreement, meaning that Apple can and will deny service on such devices.

Source: PC Magazine

Blizzard Talks Feedback In Real ID

Blizzard is currently riding high on the release of StarCraft II globally, but it wasn’t long ago that most of their fanbase was focusing on the controversial Real ID initiative. Michael Ryder, Blizzard’s vice president and executive managing director for international operations, gave something of a measured response to the question when asked if he was surprised by the reaction.

Well, we weren’t surprised to get feedback. That’s something that’s part of our culture. We know we’re really fortunate to have a lot of passionate players that care about what we do. So we always go out to the players and give them a heads up on what we’re thinking about doing, and we look for their feedback. In this case we got feedback, said Ryder. We were able to then take that feedback, reconsider, consider all the factors, of which that feedback was one. Ultimately we decided we would not go in that direction for the time being, and see if there were other ways we could address the objective we had, which was to improve the forums generally.”

So, all in all, the process worked. We put the word out. We got the feedback. We reconsidered. We made a change. We appreciate the fact that we have such passionate fans, he added.

When asked what Blizzard is considering doing to the forums instead, Ryder responded, There are a couple of things we’re doing and there are other things that we’re thinking about. But one of the things we’re doing is allowing people who are posting on the forums the ability to rate the post, so that the moderators can see where the quality conversations are happening. That will help. There are other things: an improved search function, for looking for different things in forums. We’re going to continue to try to find other ways to upgrade the quality of the experience in the forums.

While some might say this proves that Blizzard listens to their fans, Ryder was more humble about the implications. Certainly, getting feedback from our players is a big part of what we consider when we’re making changes or innovating. It reinforces the notion that we’re privileged to have those players that care and give us feedback, he concluded.

Source: Eurogamer

PlayStation Store Getting Recommendations

The 3.41 firmware update for the PS3 is coming soon, and one of its additions will be the You May Like section for games and videos on the PlayStation Store. This will be a list of items that other PSN members have bought that purchased the item you’re currently viewing.

This feature is a great way to discover new games that you may not know about, and it s another step toward making the shopping experience easier and better for you all similar to the five-star ratings feature we added in the last firmware update, writes Eric Lempel, VP of Network Operations Americas. Please note that while the 3.41 update will be released shortly, the recommendations feature on PlayStation Store is slated to go live by the end of July.

Source: PlayStation Blog

Capcom Speeding Up Releases

Capcom has recently been taking as long as four years between sequels for its main franchises. The Japanese publisher indicates to Nikkei.com, however, that it may be looking to reduce that time between one to two years.

Functionally, this should mean an increase in the number of main franchise releases (like Resident Evil) from two a year to three or four. This will be done by continuing to outsource to outside developers, Capcom says it’s making the change to better meet the needs of players, and naturally to boost its own business.

Source: Kotaku

Atari Founder Nolan Bushnell Keynoting [A]list Summit

Next week, August 4-6, at the beautiful Westin Verasa Napa in California, Ayzenberg Group will be hosting its third annual [a]list summit. This year, the theme will be CCCP – Content, Conversation, Conversion, Participation. These are all keys to effective video game marketing, especially in this new world of social networking. The summit will focus on how best to market games in this brave new world.

Presentations will include David Perry’s (Gaikai) talk on cloud gaming, the ESRB’s pointers on content approval, a discussion on 3D gaming, best practices for leveraging Facebook, how to sell digitally, and more. And to highlight the event, the summit will be capped with a special keynote from Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari, who recently rejoined the publisher’s Board.

“From the early days of Atari and the beginnings of the videogame industry to revolutionary Chuck E. Cheese and back again to Atari, Nolan Bushnell has had a unique and amazing career. Hear the insights of a pioneer who remains a leading force in our industry,” reads the event page.

Stay tuned to [a]listdaily next week for coverage if you can’t make it out to Napa.

Check out the event page for more information.

Limbo Will Creep You Out

Limbo has been getting a lot of attention of late from those who like the indie gaming scene. Check out a recent trailer for the (finally) released game below.

Tron: Legacy And Lightcycles

The next big trailer for Tron: Legacy has debuted, and it’s more story heavy this time. Appropriately, it has some of the most breathtaking CG ever committed to film.