Capcom Likens Case Zero’s Effect To A Successful TV Campaign

Capcom has been pleased so far with the results of Dead Rising 2: Case Zero. With a half million people having paid $5 to play it, Capcom thinks it’s as good (or actually better) as a major ad campaign.

It s the most dynamic sales weapon we have ever had in our arsenal, giving us the equivalent exposure of a multi-million pound TV campaign, said Capcom s U.K. product manager Karl Reader. We foresee other publishers will follow suit. With increasing development budgets and increased risk, several smaller projects is only sensible. What we are seeing is a precursor to episodic gaming with Capcom at the helm.

This style of digital distribution is a win-win scenario for all parties, added Reader. Retailers will enjoy a surge of pre-orders that traditional campaigns only aspire to. Consumers enjoy six hours of gameplay for a low price. Finally, it serves as a barometer for us as a publisher, allowing us to gauge demand for the title and adjust our marketing plans for Dead Rising 2 accordingly.

With the success of the prequel DLC, Capcom announced that there will be a sequel DLC titled Dead Rising 2: Case West, which will also be Xbox 360 exclusive.

Source: MCV

Movie Producer Talks Shadow Of The Colossus Process

Turning Shadow of the Colossus into a movie is not an easy task; the original game is a moody isolated affair with very little plot or dialog. However, Misher Films production executive Kevin Ping Chang is aware of the challenges of working on a movie of the game with such an outspoken fanbase.

We have to remember that the film versions of properties that have fervent fan bases, like the Lord of the Rings, are never completely thorough adaptations of the material, said Chang. In the LOTR movies, certain scenes were added or changed to create a movie quality that didn’t exist in the books, but we don t question them because Peter Jackson put them in so seamlessly. To capture that same essence is what we are aiming to do with the properties we’re working on as well.

For Colossus, beyond the cinematic quality of having Wander battling these sixteen colossi, we have to effectively translate that into a narrative that people are going to want to watch for two hours, he continued. Without getting into the specifics of the script, that’s a big challenge, especially for something so stark. I don’t want to say it’s abstract, but players have their own interpretations for what is going on. I have to sometimes dissociate myself from the game as a player, because experiences that might make sense as a player might not translate to a narrative film standpoint. Nailing down the story is going to be the biggest challenge, but so far we are at a point where I feel very good about it.

While there’s been some push-back from Hollywood in the past with game creators being involved with movies, Chang made it clear that he is trying to involve game designer Fumito Ueda and Team ICO as much as possible. We are trying to repeat that transparent process with Sony and Team Ico. Sony Japan is very involved right now, we sit down with them whenever they are in town for things like E3. Sony America, we keep in contact with them once a month. As for Team Ico, we like to keep Ueda-san as best up to date as necessary. When we feel like we re comfortable with the product, we’ll approach him and ask ‘is this something that speaks to your vision and your inspiration ‘ The very first meeting, probably my most nervous meeting, between him and our team, we had to explain to him what we saw for this movie.  I didn’t say a thing in that meeting, it was all my boss and the writer!

Chang also addressed the subject of bringing a Japanese game to American audiences, saying, In our dealings with our Japanese partners there has been a cultural gap, but in a good way. There is a certain art form that comes from the East, different than what we find in the West how do you mix those together and still capture the game’s vision. At the same time, when we were referencing filmmakers and films in our discussions with Ueda-san, he was very well versed in Western cinema. Something like WALL-E breaks down the barriers between cultures.  When you reference a film like that, he gets it, he sees the type of movie you are thinking about.  He understands what we are after if we say we aim to capture the magic from the first hour of WALL-E.  It hasn’t been as difficult as it might have been in the past, but it is an interesting process to deal with culturally. There is a lot of etiquette involved, but a lot of that comes from the fear of them not knowing the filmmaking process and we have to walk them through it. Traditionally, Hollywood has done its own thing in a vacuum outside of the games business, but people are much more open to direct collaboration nowadays. Of course, a lot of film people now are part of a generation that grew up with video games, so there is mutual respect for game creators.

Source: Play Till Doomsday

Game Design Professor Talks Fear And Hatred Of Social Games

The rise of Facebook games has given traditional gamers a lot of ambivalence, with everything from their popularity to their quality being called into question. Charles J Pratt, game designer and Adjunct Professor at NYU teaching Game Studies, thinks he might have the answer.

Maybe social games are feared and hated because they make it obvious that the console/PC culture has lost control of the word ‘game’, wrote Pratt.

Source: Twitter

IPhone With CDMA Pegged To Begin Production Soon

According to Susquehanna Financial analyst Jeff Fidicaro, the production of the CDMA iPhone will begin in the next few weeks. This would possibly make the phone available for purchase in the next few months.

He attributes this knowledge to an increase of 5 percent in the production of 20 million to 21 million units for iPhones overall for the December quarter. Expect to see an announcement of a deal with Verizon or T-Mobile soon afterwards.

Source: Barron’s

Project Milo Killed, Says Report

Project Milo was one of the more original Kinect games, but it’s also been rumored to be cancelled on more than one occasion. A more specific rumor has come out, saying that 19 contractors were let go when development halted.

Lending even more credence to the rumors is that the two Kinect teams at Lionhead will merge into one. Some of the technology designed for Project Milo will now go into a “Fable themed Kinect game.

Source: Eurogamer

David Beckham To Promote EA Sports Active 2

Electronic Arts is looking to make their EA Sports Active franchise into a global hit. Thus, the company will be launching its EA Sports Active 2 brand on multiple platforms and it’s being promoted by soccer superstar David Beckham.

We’ll be doing what you’d expect plenty of advertising on TV, online, in print, at retail and outdoor. Our partnership with Beckham means he ll be involved in that, said EA Sports product manager Alice Brandvik. As the spokesperson for us, he’ll be doing some PR for us and will be involved in all the marketing activity. Having someone like Beckham who is at the pinnacle of fitness, with an aspiring figure, is really going to help us broaden the reach for EA Sports Active 2.”

Beckham worked with EA in developing EA Sports Active 2, which comes with 70 different exercises, an in-game personal trainer, a nine-week challenge plan and tracker for workout progress. It will come bundled with a heartrate monitor as well.

It s a triple-A title for us in the run-up to Christmas so we ll have a huge marketing spend around it,” added Brandvik.

Source: MCV

Netflix Gaffs On Canadian Launch Event

Netflix has expanded its business into Canada, and recently held a launch event in Toronto to celebrate this. However, reports were that the company hired extras to pose as excited future-customers, and Netflix VP of corporate communications Steve Swasey wants to apologize for that.

I want to address an event held by Netflix in downtown Toronto yesterday as part of our launch of Netflix in Canada. The launch included the shooting of a corporate video with some hired extras, who, it turns out, were given improper direction to talk with the news media about their enthusiasm for the Netflix service, read Swasey in a public post. This was a mistake and was not intended to be part of our launch plan. Simply put: we blew it. We didn’t intend to mislead the media or the public, and we can understand why some have raised questions. We’re sorry that our misfire has given Canadians any reasons to doubt our authenticity or our sincerity.

Source: Official Netflix Blog

BBC Praises Alan Wake

The rise of video games has led to a conflict with prime time television, with many young men in the prime demographic now spending their time playing games instead of watching television. Still, the BBC has taken a proactive role by launching their own games and BBC Worldwide’s vice president for digital entertainment Robert Nashak was particularly complimentary to Alan Wake.

It is interesting you mention Alan Wake, said Nashak. Recently the TV people came to me and said, We love Alan Wake, we would love to do something like this with you . There’s a spirit of collaboration right now that I have never seen in any company I’ve worked for. People who are doing TV shows are inspired by the fact BBC Worldwide are taking gaming seriously. They want to be part of it.

Source: MCV

RIM Reportedly Readying Tablet

Research in Motion, known for Blackberry, is reportedly set to show off its new tablet computer, along with the OS (named QNX) that will power it. Called tentatively the BlackPad, internal reports suggest it will be available for purchase by the end of the year.

The abilities off the BlackPad should include a seven-inch touch screen, at least one built-in camera and Bluetooth and broadband connections. RIM is hoping to attract more developers to make Apps for their mobile and tablet devices at next week’s developers conference.

Source: Wall Street Journal