Fallout Publisher Signs Mikami

ZeniMax Media has announced that it will acquire Tango Gameworks, founded by Shinji Mikami in March 2010. The veteran developer behind Resident Evil 4, God Hand and Vanquish will join Bethsoft and id Software.

“It’s refreshing to find a publisher who understands, trusts, and supports the development of blockbuster games and works to make it a collaborative effort,” said Mikami. “The library of AAA franchise titles ZeniMax owns speaks for itself. We are very excited to be joining ZeniMax and working with a company that is dedicated to creating the best games ever made.”

“Shinji Mikami has earned a stellar reputation as one of the industry’s finest game developers,” said Robert Altman, Chairman and CEO of ZeniMax Media. “He has repeatedly created hit titles that have earned praise from fans and critics around the world. We share his vision for innovative, genre-defining games and look forward to working with Shinji and his team at Tango.”

Batman 3 Titled ‘The Dark Knight Rises’

Christopher Nolan has revealed more details for his third Batman film, announcing that it will be called The Dark Knight Rises. According to his vision, the movie will not be filmed in stereoscopic 3D, instead using HD IMAX cameras. The Dark Knight was filmed in IMAX, and those who saw it know it that it looked pretty stunning.

“Additionally, Nolan eliminated what many assumed would be the primary villain in the film. While he didn’t say who the villain will be,” Nolan said, “It won’t be the Riddler.”

Source: Hero Complex

Mobile Game Industry $10 Billion By 2014, Says Study

Futuresource Consulting released a report recently estimating that the mobile games market is on track to reach roughly $10 billion worldwide by 2014. The Apple Store is almost 30 percent of all mobile games and generates $1.7 billion globally in game sales.

“There is no doubt that paid-for apps games are leading the gaming charge,” says Patrik Pfandler, Lead Mobile Analyst at Futuresource, “and our forecasts show apps-based gaming will account for more than 95 percent of total mobile gaming revenues by 2014 that s despite the glut of free apps games out there.”

The report also says that smartphone ownership should grow by 50 percent in 2010 to 270 million worldwide. While the App Store currently has the best selection of apps, Android is quickly becoming more popular and currently represents 10 percent of the market.

“The growth of in-apps payments is a key ingredient in the commercial success of apps gaming. In the short term we’ll see the rise of the freemium business model, where the game is downloaded for free, but incorporates micro-transactions and virtual currencies, encouraging users to unlock additional features, new levels and premium content. In the longer run, we’re going to see ad-funded apps games start to gain more traction as well,” added Pfandler. “The accelerating uptake of smartphones has been the primary driver in apps growth, with high quality touchscreens, powerful programmable processors, improved graphics and cameras, increased storage, accelerometer and GPS all becoming standard and all making their contribution to an improved mobile gaming experience.”

Blizzard Working On A Second MMO

Blizzard President Mike Morhaime has confirmed rumors that the studio is working on a new MMO. He didn’t reveal many other specific details, other than it would be different than World of Warcraft.

“We’re thinking of it as sort of a next-generation MMO. It’s not a sequel to World of Warcraft – we want to do something a bit different,” said Morhaime. “We’re not trying to replace World of Warcraft. We think that World of Warcraft can continue co-existing with our new MMO and some people might prefer the new one, some people might still prefer to play World of Warcraft.”

“But I think after building World of Warcraft the first time, we’re so much smarter now,” he added. “We have a lot of expertise that we didn’t have before. And I think we also want to sort of… every massively multiplayer game doesn’t have to be similar to the ones that exist today. We think you can go in different directions and still have a great massively multiplayer experience and we want to sort of experiment with what that might look like.”

Source: GameTrailers

PlayStation Rewards Its Fans

Sony Computer Entertainment America has launched a new loyalty program called PlayStation Rewards. Starting out as an invitation-only beta for PlayStation Plus early adopters and Gamer Advisory Panel members, there will be multiple award tiers depending on how quickly they buy new games, purchase content in PlayStation Store or Home, download PlayStation Network video content, and take surveys. Rewards include PSN avatars, dynamic themes, PlayStation Home content, and entries into sweepstakes and giveaways.

“PlayStation’s most important asset is its loyal fans and PlayStation Rewards gives us an opportunity to show our appreciation for their amazing passion and desire to continually evolve the gaming world,” said Susan Panico, senior director, PlayStation Network. “We can’t thank our fans enough for the feedback they have given us over the years and look forward to even more dialog to help us evolve PlayStation Rewards to make it the best possible loyalty program it can be.”

Ice Cube Chilling Out Black Ops

Ice Cube has had a rather prolific acting career, including Boyz n the Hood, Three Kings and Friday and he’s getting more onboard with games now. While he’ll be lending his voice to Epic’s Gears of War 3 in 2011, his first role will be in Call of Duty: Black Ops this holiday.

“Check me out in Call of Duty: Black Ops,” Ice Cube recently tweeted. “I’m Corporal Bowman.”

Super Mario All-Stars U.S. Bound

Nintendo of America today announced the release of Super Mario All-Stars Limited Edition. Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the release of Super Mario Bros., the compilation will release in December 2010 for $29.99.

The Wii game disc will feature Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, Super Mario Bros. 2 and Super Mario Bros. 3. Super Mario All-Stars Limited Edition will also come with a soundtrack CD and a commemorative booklet.