Zynga Opening New HQ In San Francisco

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has confirmed that Zynga is building a new HQ. The seven-year lease on 270,000 square feet in the Townsend Center could contain as many as 2,000 employees.

Now is the time to invest in this city, said Newsom. The rents have never been better.

Zynga is now occupying the spot that was home to Sega of America, showing the shift of the gaming industry from consoles to other media. Zynga has expanded from 398 employees in September 2009 to to 1,200 employees in 2010.

Source: VentureBeat

Star Wars Enters The Third-Dimension

LucasFilm announced today that it will be releasing the six Star Wars films in 3D starting in 2012. George Lucas himself will oversee the process, with The Phantom Menace expected to lead the way followed by the other movies in the years following.

While Lucas has been skeptical about the quality of 3D for years, an experience with Avatar convinced him that the technology was ready and that there were enough 3D theaters to support a major release. It is also believed that the ramp up of 3D television sales factored into the decision.

Tekken Tag Tournament Two Trailer

Sometimes, it pays to get right down to brass tacks with your game trailer, and Namco Bandai does just that by starting out with two guys punching each other in the face. The action is furious and frenetic in what’s easily the most anticipated Tekken title in years.

Game Show Network Acquires CPMStar

The Game Show Network (or GSN) has announced that it has acquired CPMStar. The marketing network is a popular online game network, with 300 million unique users, delivering 5 billion ad impressions per month.

Our acquisition of CPMStar has made GSN the largest online ad network for games, said John Zaccario, SVP of Advertising Sales for GSN.  We’re able to offer our advertising partners access to a large but highly targeted audience.

CPMStar complements GSN’s demographics perfectly, thus providing advertisers access to a broad range of audiences., commented Joshua Goldstein, President and Co-Founder of CPMStar. CPMStar is a perfect fit within the GSN portfolio.

Gran Turismo 5 Goodies

Europe is getting a Gran Turismo 5 bundle including a PS3 with a 320 GB hard drive and a copy of the game. The bundle is retailing for 284.99 British pounds ($452) and is similar to a Japanese bundle, though the PS3 will not be platinum blue.

Additionally, EB Games in Australia is offering a Gran Turismo 5 “face plate” for the PS3 Slim console with the game’s logo, artwork, and a signature by Kazunori Yamauchi. The accessory might be made available in the U.S. as well through GameStop.

Source: gtplanet.com

Alan Wake Goes 8-bit

Alan Wake is a psychological survival horror game where an author must survive a book he doesn’t remember creating. This trailer . . . has none of that, focusing instead on camp value and a pared down version of the game’s light mechanics.

Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood Sponsoring MCM Expo

Ubisoft announced that it is teaming up with the MCM Expo. They will be showing off Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood during the October event as an official sponsor, wherein they will promote the event and Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood will have banners, special activities ad demo stations at the October event.

Partnering with MCM Expo is yet another way to bring Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood to life, create positive word of mouth in the run-up to release and ensure the game is front of mind, said Ubisoft brand manager Jan Sanghera. We have always supported MCM Expo in the UK and it s encouraging to see it growing in popularity year-on-year. The event brings together many forms of entertainment such as film, video games, comics and anime, providing visitors with the opportunity to experience everything under one roof.

From our perspective, it s about ensuring Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood is seen as an essential part of this entertainment mix, added Sanghera. It s a fun environment, and will provide visitors the chance to engage and interact with the brand.

MCM Expo will take place from October 29 -31 at London s ExCeL Centre.

Source: MCV

PlayStation Plus Coming To Retail

Reports are that Sony will be offering gift cards for PlayStation Plus membership at retail. The cards will apparently cost $17.99 and offer months of PlayStation Plus access.

These gift cards are notably becoming available right before the holiday shopping season, though they don’t include the 12-month long subscription option priced at $49.99 online. PlayStation Plus currently gives early access to select beta programs and demos, and also offers discounts on certain downloads and occasional free games.

Source: Kotaku

Star Trek Free-To-Play Title Coming Summer 2011

Gameforge has announced that it will be launching a free-to-play, casual browser-based game called Star Trek Infinite Space in Summer 2011. The game will have a storyline set during the era of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and will be developed by Keen Games.

Bringing keen games on board to develop Star Trek Infinite Space was an easy decision to make as Keen has a strong history of producing outstanding titles, said Ralf Adam, VP of Publishing at Gameforge. Our production team will work closely with keen games to bring the vision we have for Star Trek Infinite Space to fruition.

We have been incredibly excited about working on this project with Gameforge since day one, said Antony Christoulakis, Creative Director at Keen Games. Star Trek is one of those franchises that every science-fiction fan would give anything to work on. We consider ourselves very lucky to have this opportunity and we are highly committed to delivering a Star Trek experience fans can be proud of.