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.”

Japan Polled On 3D Games

Research firm goo Ranking recently polled Japan to see what games they want to play on 3D TVs. A survey included a wide degree of age groups and include 68.2 percent females.

Top 30 game series mentioned:

1.) Super Mario series
2.) Mario Kart series
3.) Final Fantasy series
4.) Resident Evil series
5.) The Legend of Zelda series
6.) Super Smash Bros. series
7.) Dynasty Warriors series
8.) Monster Hunter series
9.) Street Fighter series
10.) Dragon Ball series
11.) Gran Turismo series
12.) Winning Eleven series
13.) Tekken series
14.) Metal Gear Solid series
15.) Tomb Raider series
16.) Ace Combat series
17.) Silent Hill series
18.) Virtua Fighter series
18.) Love Plus series
20.) Ridge Racer series
21.) F-Zero series
21.) The House of the Dead series
23.) StarFox series
24.) Siren series
25.) Medal of Honor series
26.) Call of Duty series
27.) Virtual-On series
28.) Need for Speed series
28.) Panzer Dragoon series
30.) Space Harrier series

Source: Kotaku

MySpace Also Sending Personal Info

While Facebook has recently been coming under fire for sharing personal information with advertisers in apps, MySpace apparently does the same thing. The issue primarily comes up in ads clicked by the user.

The data being transmitted were MySpace user IDs, which can be used to look up a person’s MySpace profile page that often includes a real name, photographs, location, gender and age. Companies that were sent the info, including Google, Quantcast and Rubicon, denied using the personal information.

MySpace says it forbids app makers from sharing user data with outside entities. “It has recently come to our attention that several third-party app developers may have violated these terms and we are taking appropriate action against those developers,” a MySpace spokesman said.

Source: Wall Street Journal

LimeWire Goes Sour

LimeWire has received a federal injunction five months after losing a copyright-infringement suit with the record industry. U.S. district judge Kimba Wood ordered the music sharing site to disable “searching, downloading, uploading, file trading, and/or file distribution functionality, essentially shutting the site down.”

“While this is not our ideal path, we hope to work with the music industry in moving forward,” Limewire said in a statement. “We look forward to embracing necessary changes and collaborating with the entire music industry in the future.”

No More Heroes For PS3

Konami announced today that they will be bringing No More Heroes: Heroes Paradise to North America. They will localize the game exclusively for PS3, where it will be playable using either the DualShock 3 or Move controllers.

The game will feature the original story, wherein Travis Touchdown travels around Santa Destroy with his Beam Katana in order to become the top assassin in the world. There will also be new boss characters, a Rebout Mode for fighting old foes, and a Viewer Mode to re-watch the story.

No More Heroes: Heroes Paradise is slated to release in 2011.

PayPal Announces Micro-Transaction Deal

PayPal has announced a new plan for digital goods and content sales. With pricing as low as five percent plus five cents for purchases under $12, users will be able to purchase content for games and other media quickly and easily.

“The decision to purchase digital goods and content usually happens on impulse, so the act of paying needs to be as quick as that impulse,” said Sam Shrauger, PayPal’s vice president of global product strategy. “PayPal for digital goods is an ideal solution for game developers, newspapers, bloggers, media companies, and anyone who is looking to monetize premium digital content around the globe.”

Feature: An MMO Legend In A Pocket

The MMO business has evolved quite a bit over the past decade. What was once the domain of subscription based titles aimed at hardcore players has become mostly free-to-play with larger audiences in mind. With that said, there was an even larger audience waiting to be tapped in the mobile sphere, and with that Spacetime Studios saw an opportunity.

Comprised of experts from the local MMO development community in Texas (including veterans from Sony Online Entertainment), Spacetime Studios was founded in late 2005 by videogame veterans Cinco Barnes, Gary Gattis, Jake Rodgers and Anthony L. Sommers.  In 2009, Spacetime formed a research division (ClockRocket Games) to investigate the development and publishing pipelines for mobile devices. They released seven small titles and after an aborted team-up with NCsoft (canceled when that company withdrew most of its North American initiatives) they took the technology learned from that project and others to create the world’s first 3D real-time mobile MMO. After working determinedly for several months without pay, they produced Pocket Legends.

“It is a 3D mobile MMO with a global server set,” described Spacetime co-founder Gary Gattis. “Most MMOs are 2D and the 3D ones I’ve seen are on localized servers with very poor performance; the server is in Japan or America and everyone has to connect through that. [Pocket Legends] plays over 3G, edge and Wifi on global servers. Android will play on that same server set, and then we’ll play on PC for those users as well.  And is the number one RPG on the iPad.”

Yes, though Pocket Legends is only available right now on iOS platforms like iPhone and iPad, it will be expanding out to Anrdoid and PC, making it the first cross platform MMO to be available on multiple mobile platforms and PC with all versions being playable WITH each other. It wouldn’t have been possible without the strong technology base supporting Pocket Legends, but it also came from user demand – many found themselves playing the game at home on their mobile phone and simply wanted the convenience of using a device that wasn’t running out of charge.

Choose your adventurer.

“Right now, iOS is primary, and Anrdoid is secondary and PC is tertiary. We’re talking to international distributors to get more exposure overseas,” said Gattis. “When asked if Spacetime was expecting that the high penetration of smartphones internationally would help give Pocket Legends exponential growth, Gattis candidly responded, “No idea, but that is certainly our hope!”

“Think, for a moment, about the appeal of having an MMO available anywhere at any time. It feels like a preview from the future, a time when your games will be with you no matter where you are. For now, Spacetime is in the enviable position of being the first-mover in its space, but they know that complacency is death for both MMOs and technologies, and they realize that they’re ahead in a field that will likely have many competitors very soon.”

“It’s always a good idea to innovate. We have a very powerful engine, and we’re in a brand new space, so it makes sense for us to make as much traction as possible before anyone else shows up,” commented Gattis. “We update the game on average every 1.5 days, so it’s a very current application.”

“Amazingly, the userbase for Pocket Legends has been established totally using word of mouth – no significant advertising spend has been made on the game yet. That will likely change soon, especially when they come to new platforms.”

“We’re exploring different marketing channels, all mobile. But most of our exposure has been through PRs, a couple trailers,” explained Gattis, who added about the new platform expansions, “It gives us cause to go back to some of the more traditional marketing channels, but with PC we’re able to do more of a brand marketing approach, with web banners emails, etc.”

“We’d say that Pocket Legends proves when you offer something good enough it sells itself… except that it’s given away for free. Yes, like most MMOs these days Pocket Legends is supported by micro-transactions and revenue generated from convenience items ensured that Spacetime’s employees don’t have to work for free anymore.”

“Because of the size of the market and the demographic, players are looking for free experiences; it brings in many more players to the U.S. and elsewhere,” said Gattis. “As you’ve seen, subscription based MMOs have been changing rapidly to micro-transaction – it’s just the way the winds are blowing.”

“We’re starting another game very soon. It will be mobile to start out, mobile plus other platforms,” said Gattis, who noted that they won’t wait to release it on Android and PC. “Once our technology is expanded to other platforms, we’ll be able to launch on them pretty much day one. Early next year we’re going to be talking about it more.”

Hobbit Confirmed For New Zealand

The controversy over when the two Hobbit films will be filmed has been raging for months as a backdrop between unhappy unions, a stalled production and a skeptical studio culture. However, the issue was important enough to draw a response from New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, who confirmed that the New Zealand government had worked out a deal with Warner Bros. to keep the Lord of the Rings prequels in New Zealand.

“I am delighted we have achieved this result,” said Key. “Making the two Hobbit movies here will not only safeguard work for thousands of New Zealanders, but it will also follow the success of the Lord of the Rings trilogy in once again promoting N.Z. on the world stage.”

The New Zealand government promised to stake Warner Bros. up to $25 million, grant $15 million in expanded rebates and cover $10 million of the studio’s marketing costs. “It’s good to have the uncertainty over, and to have everyone now full steam ahead on this project,” Key said.

Source: MTV