Activision Quashes Call Of Duty Subscription Rumor

Rumors have been flying recently that Activision will start charging a subscription fee for their Call of Duty series. However, Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg has gone on record completely quashing the idea.

“Are we going to be charging for multiplayer The answer is no, said Hirshberg. The experience you have out of the box, connecting with the online community to play Call of Duty is absolutely integral to the experience and we’ll never charge for that. It’s not going to be something we’ll attempt to monetize; it’s part of the package.

“Nothing we or anyone else tries is going to work if it doesn’t have tremendous value for people and add a tremendous value to the gaming experience, added Hirshberg. [Pachter]’s probably looking at meta-trends in the world and in culture about online services and new ways things should be monetized from Netflix to cloud-based computing. So there are certainly a lot of behavioral shifts towards long-standing online relationships . . . But at the end of the day, all I’m trying to get across is I can unequivocally say we will never, ever charge for the multiplayer.”

Source: IndustryGamers

Oddworld Inhabitants Get Focused On Digital Download, F2P, Social

Oddworld Inhabitants founder Lorne Lanning recently talked about how he felt toyed around with by Microsoft, EA, and then Majesco. This caused The Brutal Ballad of Fangus Klot to be canceled in mid development in 2005.

“We found that if the publishers don’t own your IP, they don t have any incentive to push your game”, Lanning explained. “Publishers use your own company against you because they know that you have a burn rate. They know that this is your family of kids that you need to feed every month. So if they make a deal with you, then they realize, ‘Oh, you know what? We should have done this thing in that deal, too,’ They might start playing games with you. And then you find that your check is not showing up because they want to renegotiate.”

However, their experience on Steam has been wholly positive, and digital distribution seems to be where Oddworld Inhabitants will focus their attention from now on. “We have a lot of interest in seeing how the digital distribution mechanism really works,” said Lanning. “I’ve got to tell you, we were blown away. For the first time, we re able to tell where our sales were coming from, how many dollars we were making per day. We never got to know who our customer was before.”

“We’re looking more at where social gaming and networking is colliding. We’re looking more at free-to-play item sales rather than $60 of product”, Lanning added. “I believe the future of gaming is going to be based more on usage it s more like our electrical bill. If I give gamers something that’s free to play, they can get engaged that’s like the free demo, right? But if they want to get more engaged, then they start micro-paying, so they might find after $10 into the experience, they’ve gotten plenty, and that was enough and that was fine.”

“Our focus is not to build big, long story games. So the idea of building another Stranger, for us personally, is not even on our radar. It’s a whole different chemistry coming. And that’s what we’re interested in,” concluded Lanning.

Source: GameInformer.com

Sony Veterans Talk PS3 Equaling PS2

The PS3 right now is hitting its stride, having sold somewhere in the range of 41 million consoles. There’s still a long way to go before the PS3 reaches the PS2 levels of nearly 150 million worldwide, but former Sony executive and founding president of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Chris Deering thinks the mark can be reached.

“I think it can sell as many as PS2, maybe more,” revealed Deering. “In the case of both PS1 and PS2, we sold more Slim units than original models. The PS3 Slim has only been out a couple of years. If you could get a PS3 for a hundred pounds . . . Can you imagine It could go much higher and last longer.”

Phil Harrison, former head of Sony Worldwide Studios, is much more reserved about the PS3’s chances to equal the PS2. “I hope PS3 can match PS2, but I think the market dynamics are slightly different,” he said. “It’s much more competitive. For a large chunk of its lifecycle PS2 didn’t really have any competition anywhere in the world, so Sony was able to sell a huge number of units. If PS3 does reach the same level it will take longer and it will be a more difficult challenge.”

Source: Eurogamer

D2D Giveaways For Holiday 2010

IGN today announced their new downloadable promotion called “D2D Gives Back 2010. From now until the end of the year, one-in-five credit card customers will receive their download order free via Direct2Drive.

“We know better than anyone that gamers are already looking far and wide for the best deals on games this holiday season,” said Julie Uhrman, GM/VP, Digital Distribution, IGN Entertainment, Inc. “To meet that demand, we’re excited to announce two new cost-saving programs: ‘Lowest Price Match Guarantee’ and our ‘D2D Gives Back’ initiative, which marks a first-of-its-kind event, not only for D2D, but for the entire digital game download industry.”

Also, starting on Monday, November 29, Direct2Drive is launching Weekly Publisher Promotions, featuring a new exclusive partner sale each week and over 50 games every week until January. To find out more, please visit http://www.direct2drive.com/d2d-gives-back-2010/.

Zynga Settles With Playdom

Zynga today settled their long running litigation with Playdom, stemming from the former accusing the latter of theft of trade secrets and false advertising. The suit is settled and no terms of the agreement were disclosed.

“Zynga is extremely pleased with the final resolution of its trade secret suit against Playdom and various individuals, said Zynga general counsel Reggie Davis. The settlement reflects the very serious nature of the conduct involved, as reflected by the preliminary injunction, restraining orders, and contempt order issued by the Santa Clara Superior Court. We have great respect for Disney and are thankful that following its acquisition of Playdom, Disney resolved the matter to our satisfaction.

[a]list Summit Video: Who Is Sharing Your Content?

Social networking is an important part of any advertising campaign, but who is sharing your content is almost as important as what the content is. In this session from the summer’s [a]list summit, Greg Short, President & CEO of Eedar, and Tae Kim Manager of Brand Strategy & Planning for Meteor Solutions, talk about social trends.

Oprah: IPad Is ‘Number One Favorite Thing Ever’

Oprah announces her annual Favorite Things for the holiday season, giving a boost to whatever she mentions. Apple is the big winner this year, and the talk show host named the iPad the number one favorite thing ever.

After gifting everyone in her audience an iPad, Oprah said that Scrabble is her favorite app. She absolutely gushed for the device and said words cannot describe how I feel for this device.

Other Favorite Things include Netflix, a Sony 3-D television, a Sony Blu-Ray Player and a Kiva-Groupon partnership. Microsoft s Bing also came up, with the audience getting gift cards to donate money with.

Source: TechCrunch.com

UDraw Draws People Together For The Holidays

The holiday season is a big consumption period for everything, but it is especially true for family products. THQ is rather proud of its uDraw GameTablet for doing just that, having been praised by parenting publications and being in the top ten Wii titles on Amazon.

“Nothing is more important than fostering creative expression and freedom, and uDraw makes it possible to explore your artistic side through your Wii video game console,” said Martin Good, Executive Vice President of THQ’s Kids, Family, Casual Games and Global Online Services. “Especially at the holidays, we all want to find affordable gifts that the entire family can enjoy together, which is exactly what the uDraw is designed to be.”

The uDraw GameTablet, which includes the uDraw Studio game, retails for $69.99, while Pictionary and Dood’s Big Adventure retail separately for $29.99.