Playdom Talks Waxing And Waning Of Social Games

There have been a spate of social gaming acquisitions over the past year or so. Despite the fact that Playdom CEO John Pleasants has snapped up seven smaller developers in the past year, he thinks that purchases like that will slow down.

“If you go back 18 months [and look at who] were making the top 25 games on Facebook, there were 14 indie companies. Today, that number is five,” said Pleasants. “There are 250,000 apps on Facebook. There are 250 games launching a day on Facebook. It is very difficult for small companies to break in. It s near impossible. And in that context, the deals are cheaper. We are at a scale now where we are comfortable. I don t think you will see a continued pace of acquisitions.”

He thinks that social gaming is still in an early stage and will expand out to five major companies like Playdom and Zynga. “We still hustle, said Pleasants. We don t feel like we are winning the race. I don t think any one company wins the race. I think a handful of companies will be in the front pick. There will be an A list, and we want to be firmly in the pack.”

Pleasants is, overall, hopeful about the market and expects it to be worth a few billion dollars in five years. “We are in a race. There is a sense of urgency,” he said. “I am as bullish as ever. In the West, it will go from a $1 billion market to a $5 billion market in the next four or five years. It s a very fast growing business.”

Source: VentureBeat

Blizzard Denies $100 Million StarCraft II Pricetag

Recently, a report came out that StarCraft II cost over $100 million to develop. Blizzard has come out to refute that number, though they have not said just how much it does cost.

“Activision Blizzard Inc. hasn’t disclosed development costs for its Starcraft II videogame,” the Wall Street Journal disclosed. “A July 16 article incorrectly said the company spent more than $100 million to develop the game; that figure referred to its World of Warcraft game.”

Live Gamer’s Latest Coup: EA

Live Gamer announced that EA has selected them to power their micro-transactions. Live Gamer’s Elements micro-transaction platform will be integrated with its global IT systems and augment its existing e-commerce capabilities for EA studios worldwide.

“We selected Live Gamer due to its unique e-commerce functionality and payment methods which will augment EA’s current e-commerce capabilities,” said Dennis Self, EA’s Chief Information Officer. “With that, EA is committed to its efforts to enable global online gaming capabilities, and Live Gamer provides us with additional capabilities to do that.”

“EA is synonymous with some of the most popular video games of all time. EA has also embraced and innovated new business models in the game industry since its pioneering efforts in online gaming and now extending to their entrance into social gaming,” said Andrew Schneider, President and Co-Founder, Live Gamer. “We are honored to be part of EA’s efforts to further evolve the industry and offer gamers new and exciting online experiences.”


Darkseid Comes To Smallville

Smallville is returning for a tenth and final season, and the final villain will be appropriately epic. The producers revealed that major DC baddie Darkseid will send off the long running Superman series.

Star and executive produer Tom Welling will be directing again, as will Justin Hartley. Erica Durance will also be appearing in every episode in Season 10.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Gears Of War Shifts Movie Towards District 9

The original Gears of War movie project went off the tracks earlier this year when director Len Wiseman left the project. Now, Epic designer Cliff Bleszinski indicates that the whole project might start over again from scratch.

Apparently, the first script for the movie was like 2012 over the top action and CG. What Bleszinski describes the new approach as is more like District 9, the acclaimed sci-fi production from a production crew that was, ironically, originally going to make the Halo movie.

Source: The Movie Pool

Mark Ruffalo Will Smash As Hulk

After a presentation for Captain America and Thor, Marvel rolled out the main cast for the anticipated Avengers movie. Among them was Mark Ruffalo, who was confirmed to be the new Hulk.

Samuel Jackson introduced the initial Avengers cast, including Robert Downey Jr. The man who would be Iron Man then asked if anyone had seen Inception.

That was the most ambitious movie I ve ever seen, he said. Then I thought: Wait a Goddamned minute. Marvel is going to take all of their top superheroes and put them together in one movie. THAT is the most ambitious movie ever.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Traditional Agencies Adapting To Digital

Traditional agencies have often been regarded as dinosaurs when it comes to digital ad methods. However, trends suggest that the gap may have closed between older agencies and their online-focused brethren.

The Old Spice The Man Your Man Could Smell Like campaign has been a success both online an off, and it comes from an agency typically focused on TV and print. It all comes down to creating engaging content.

Digital used to be this thing that was a little more computer and Internet based. You had to know coding, Flash and HTML,” said Edward Boches. “Now, what you have to understand is how consumers behave in relationship to content, community, technology and media.”

Web developers have become just as common as creatives at many agencies. Additionally, digitally focused shops have been trying to expand and simplify their platforms.

Still, traditional agencies and digital shops have seperate focuses for the most part, and not many traditional agencies have shown the capabilities to create engaging (and enduring) social-media platforms. “Most are immature in the social-marketing space and are treating it on a campaign basis,” said Forrester Research analyst Sean Corcoran.

Source: AdWeek

Street Fighter Takes On Tekken

Capcom announced recently that it’s developing Street Fighter X Tekken. This crossover between the two seminal fighting game series will use the same tech behind Street Fighter IV, and feature classic Tekken characters like Kazuya Mishima and Nina Williams matched up with well known street fighters Ryu and Chun-Li.

This is history we’re making, said Producer Yoshinori Ono. Two fighting games that have rivaled each other are finally standing on the same stage. This isn’t just a showdown between Tekken and Street Fighter, but a decisive battle for Capcom and Namco Bandai Games. So I’m going to give it my all.

Call Of Duty Gets Avenged Sevenfold

Avenged Sevenfold is using Call of Duty: Black Ops as the backdrop for their latest music video. Showing the acceptance of games in mainstream media, the band is using the video as a means to promote their new album “Nightmare, releasing July 27.

Michael Jordan Slams It Home In NBA 2K11

Part of the incorporation of Michael Jordan into NBA 2K11 is the The Jordan Challenge, letting players have the chance to try and live up to the legacy of His Airness in 10 different legendary games. As a teaser, 2K Sports unveiled this teaser trailer with the first in-game footage of Jordan in action.