LittleBigPrius Goes Green

As previously revealed, there will be a special contest resulting from a collboration between Toyota and SCEA. As you can see by the trailer, there’s a good amount of variety in the custom Prius level.

Dead Space Action On IPhone

Some have wondered how the iPhone version of Dead Space would look in action or what you would do to control it. Wonder no more with this video, which shows the Dead Space experience mostly intact.

Kongregate Talks About Android Market Withdrawal

When Kongregate released its Arcade App on the Android Marketplace, Google removed it in less than 24 hours. This surprised many people, and perhaps Kongregate more than anyone else.

“We were very surprised, especially since we had shown it to several people at Google in mobile, said Kongregate CEO Jim Greer. “The reason for the removal, and we didn’t find out until after it was already gone, was that they claim you can’t use their app store to distribute another app store — which is a reasonable restriction. But to us, what’s really bizarre, to call [Kongregate Arcade] an ‘app store’ seems like a pretty extreme stretch.”

The Kongregate Arcade App is a portal to Kongregate’s Flash site with over 300 titles. The difference is that for the app, it allows players to play games both online and off.

“If you download them,” Greer explained, “it’s essentially caching the file, and then when you play the game it actually uses a browser. It’s a browser — you can’t see the address bar but it’s a regular Android browser using WebKit. And WebKit loads the Flash file from the cache and you play the game in the browser, then you head back and you can play another game. So, it’s all essentially cached content delivered in a browser, which to me is just bizarre that that would be considered an ‘app store.’ It’s just browser-based content.”

“Every other removal that Google’s done previously has been, you know, fraudelent banking apps and other stuff that was just clearly over the line,” Greer said. “We were just shocked. I’m not ready to say it’s a philosophical shift from Google; you could misinterpret our app and think those are all native experiences, but right now I’m just confused.”

When asked why Google removed it, Greer said, “I just think they’re misinterpreting this. I think the people making this decision weren’t necessarily engineers. My background is as an engineer, so I’m hoping we can sort of have an engineer to engineer discussion where we say, ‘Hey, we’re playing content in the browser. This is crazy. We’re not distributing apps.'”

“Our understanding is that this wasn’t even a gray area; that it was totally fine. And that’s why we’re so surprised, he concluded.

Source: Joystiq

Capcom Says Smartphones Have Usurped Portable Consoles

While Nintendo has just unveiled more details for the 3DS, the world is a much different one than the DS launched into in 2004. In fact, Capcom thinks that much of the traditional role that portable consoles have played has been replaced by smartphones.

The casual gamer that used to play on the PC and the hardcore gamer that used to play on a dedicated gaming portable now plays on their smartphone, said Capcom Interactive’s president and COO Midori Yuasa. The iPhone and larger smartphone markets are extremely important to Capcom as, like no device before, smartphones have the potential to become a universal game platform. We have a lot of stuff on the horizon for both hardcore and casual gamers, so 2011 is shaping up to be huge on Capcom’s mobile front.

Capcom launched Smurfs Village, and with its sale of in-game items, it actually managed to outpace Angry Birds as far as income. The virtual purchases in that game (typically various increments of Smurfberries) range all the way from $4.99 to $99.99.

A freemium business model can be extremely effective as illustrated by the success of Smurfs Village. However, the key is that the game has to be designed from day one as a freemium title, added Yuasa. If you try and shoehorn in an alternate revenue model into an existing design, you end up with a muddled experience that users either ignore or hammer with user reviews.

Source: MCV

Game Ads And Base Appeal

Video games have had a long and somewhat infamous tradition of appealing to the base of the male id, between violence and sex. Someone recently sampled a variety of the latter, in both classic and more recent forms.




See the list of magazine ads and trailers at

Ubisoft Gets Smurf’d

Ubisoft has announced that they are collaborating with Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation to make a game based upon the upcoming movie The Smurfs. Aimed at the DS and Wii, the game mirrors the plot of the movie, where the Smurfs have been chased by Gargamel into Central Park.

We look forward to continuing our work with Ubisoft in the video game space, said Mark Caplan, Vice President, Consumer Products at Sony Pictures Consumer Products. The Smurfs video game will provide kids and families around the world with hours of enjoyment.

We’re thrilled to be working with Lafig Belgium and Sony Pictures on the Smurfs license. Our ongoing partnership with Sony Pictures Consumer Products allows us to create fun and entertaining video games based on some of the most popular family films, said Christian Salomon, vice president of worldwide licensing at Ubisoft. Ubisoft’s creative team is working hard on crafting the perfect video game experience that will appeal to new and old fans of The Smurfs.

Google Co-Founder Takes Up CEO Role

Google has announced that Larry Page will be taking up the mantle of CEO at Google. He replaces Eric Schmidt, who will become executive chairman and focus on tasks like corporate management and government outreach.

Page, who helped co-found Google, takes on day-to-day operations in order to make a cleaner chain of command and streamline decision making. Google’s fourth-quarter earnings were recently announced to be $6.37 billion, beating analyst estimates.

Source: Reuters

Final Fantasy XIII-2 Debuts In English

Watching the beginning part of this trailer is like watching the last few moments of a movie unless you’re familiar with the context, it can be a bit confusing. Still, images of this direct sequel are set up, and it certainly looks very pretty.

We had the trailer here, but unfortunately Square Enix removed the embed (not such a smart marketing move when people want to spread the word and show the trailer to friends…), so we’ll direct you to the official site where you can watch it.

THQ’s Bilson Says New Consoles ‘Would Be Horrible’

Typically, the way that the console business cycle has gone is that every five years, a new generation has launched and forced developers to adapt to new platforms. While that cycle appears to have stopped with this console generation, EVP Core Games at THQ Danny Bilson thinks that launching new platforms in a few years would be a disaster.

“It would be horrible,” said Bilson. “But I think they all know our model’s broken anyway. It still costs us a fortune to make games on this platform. If they’re going to up the scale, up the art, up the content, I don’t know how to make that and sell it to anybody for under $100 a game.”

“Who wants to do that?” he asked. “It’s bad for everybody.”

Bilson argues that now that the technology of consoles is down pat, developers can concentrate on being creative. “Stability of technology allows for the fruition and the growth of creative,” he declared. “We’re not having to invest all of our focus, and, oh my god, how are we going to deal with that new technology? We understand it. We still have guys trying to squeeze it to do cooler stuff, but it puts the weight of the mission under creative, which ultimately should get us more interesting and more creative stuff.”

“That’s the trick. We’re not going to get beat by another hardware upgrade like every five years like it was before. There will be little things. It’s up to us to compete in graphics and creativity. Sometimes I hope good creativity and style will be able to be more important. It is more important,” he continued. “As long as we’re creatively satisfied as gamers by what we’re getting, I’m really satisfied,” he added. “I still see cooler stuff, better stuff. So much is in the software engineering and working with the technology. I look at games and I go, wow, how did they get such great characters?”

Source: Eurogamer