Zynga Value Reaches $10 Billion – Report

Recently, the value of Zynga was reportedly put between $7 – $9 billion for a series of $250 million in funding. However, a new report says the funding is somewhere in the range of $500 million and that Zynga is valued at a mind blowing $10 billion.

This round of funding is believed to be led by Morgan Stanley, T. Rowe Price and Fidelity Investments along with existing venture investor Kleiner Perkins. It is believed that this is a precusor to Zynga making its IPO.

Source: All Things Digital

3DS AR Cards Detailed

Every 3DS sold will come with six cards, but they won’t just be normal playing cards. These cards will actually be “augmented reality” devices, allowing the camera on the 3DS to show animated images on the handheld’s top screen.

Here are the cards.

The cards include images of popular Nintendo characters like Link, Mario, Kirby, Samus and Pikmin, which will come to life in the right software. It’s basically a proof-of-concept thing, but it shows some interesting potential for the device.

Source: Kotaku

Intel Blasts Nokia Windows Phone 7 Decision

Nokia recently announced that they will be running Windows Phone 7 as the mobile OS of choice on their smartphones, much to the annoyance of Intel, whose MeeGo mobile OS is being dropped by Nokia. Intel’s CEO Paul Otellini says that Microsoft made “incredible offers [of] money” for Nokia to make the shift.

“I wouldn’t have made the decision he made, I would probably have gone to Android if I were him,” he said. “MeeGo would have been the best strategy but he concluded he couldn’t afford it.”

“We will find another partner,” he added about MeeGo. “The carriers still want a third ecosystem and the carriers want an open ecosystem, and that’s the thing that drives our motivation.”

Source: Reuters

Bizarre Send Off

Bizarre Creations is no more, and as a tribute video editor Eamon Urtone has composed a slow motion compilation of many of their recent games. Set to the piano piece Clair de lune, the video features images from The Club, Blur, James Bond 007: Blood Stone, Project Gotham Racing 4 and Geometry Wars.

{video link no longer active}



Games Dominate All Time App Store Sales

Apple has announced the most popular paid and free apps on the iPhone and iPad in honor of the 10 billionth app download on the App Store. The most popular paid iPhone and iPod Touch app of all time is Doodle Jump, with games composing nine of the top ten paid apps.

Versions of Tap Tap Revenge and Pocket God both are listed high, with Angry BirdsBejeweled 2,Traffic Rush and Flight Control filling the list out. Games only compose four of the top ten paid iPad apps, with Stick Wars and Backbreaker leading the way. Nearly half of the paid apps for iPhone and over a third of the paid apps for iPad are games.

Free game apps were not as popular as paid ones, comprising only one of the top apps for both iPhone and iPad (Paper Toss and Solitaire, respectively).

Source: Gamasutra

Guitar Hero ‘Abused’ By Activision, Says Former RedOctane CEO

Activision’s decision to essentially pull the rug out from under the Guitar Hero franchise left many shocked over the move {link no longer active}. Perhaps the most ticked off (with the most right to be so) is former CEO of RedOctane Kelly Sumner.

“[Activision] tried to get too much out of the franchise too quickly. They abused it,” said Sumner. “There’s no reason why Guitar Hero cannot continue. It’s a great product. My gut tells me there is still a significant market for Guitar Hero.

“Not every game can be a billion dollar franchise, but maybe that’s what Activision wants,” he added. “I’d be surprised if they sold the brand as it’d prove to the world there is still a market for this product and show them up. Look at how Take-Two has handled GTA. They haven’t thrown products out there. They’ve nurtured it for over ten years and it is still a strong franchise.”

Source: MCV {link no longer active}

InFamous 2 Gets A Hero

Sony has announced that InFamous 2 will release on June 7, 2011. They also announced that along with the standard version of the game they’ll ship InFamous 2 Hero Edition, which will retail for $99.99.

Check out the Sly Cooper logo on the sling pack!

“Short of actual electrical super powers, the Hero Edition delivers everything an InFamous fan could want including a highly detailed 8.5″ Cole MacGrath statue, a sportable sling pack modeled after Cole’s own in-game gear, the InFamous 2 #1 mini comic from DC Comics, the official InFamous 2 Hero Soundtrack and a super voucher code for a collection of in-game content,” writes Chuck Lacson, Associate Product Marketing Manager for SCEA.

There will also be retailer exclusive pre-order items, like the in-game 24k Gold Amp from Amazon, the Kessler character skin from Best Buy, the Lightning Hook special power from GameStop, and the Electrocution Grenade from Walmart.

Source: PlayStation Blog

Uncharted Director Says He’s ‘Very Respectful’ Of The Franchise

Director David O. Russell has talked openly about his ideas for the Uncharted movie, and fans of the game franchise have responded with open skepticism. Russell recently talked about his experiences with the game in an interview, in response to those criticisms.

“My son plays most of the games in our house, and I will play them with him but I m not hardcore,” said Russell. “I’m not going to present myself as hardcore. But I played the game a bunch of times and I also read as much as I could about the game and I met the game s creator, Amy Hennig, who s really cool. I started to brew together what I thought could be a really cool idea that I d never seen in a film before Really intense action and really intense family dynamics on a global stage.”

“To grow a game into a movie is an interesting proposition because a game is a very different experience than a movie,” he added. “You guys are playing the game, and it s about playing the game. It s not about a narrative embracing you emotionally. You know what I’m saying? So, I want to create a world that is worthy of a really great film that people want to watch and rewatch, so that s what I m working on right now.”

Along with the general themes of the film, casting Mark Walberg as Nathan Drake has also rankled some fans. Russell, however, is trying to take this all in stride. “As far as I’m concerned, I m very respectful as far as the core content and spirit of the game, but beyond that it s my job as a filmmaker to make what I think is going to be an amazing movie. People have to trust that and let that go, I think. There s not a bunch of movies you can point to that are made from games that are amazing movies, that stand up to time as a franchise or as [individual films].”

“I personally think it s really cool when you see that someone like Darren Aronofsky is going to make an X-Men movie or to get someone such as myself to make this picture. You can be guaranteed that it s going to be real, it s going to be raw, it s going to be intense, it s going to be original, and it s going to be propulsive. And those are all the things that I want when I go to watch a movie like that,” he concluded.

Source: Slashfilm.com