3DS Sets Pre-Order Records In U.K.

Nintendo U.K. has announced that the 3DS is the most pre-ordered game system ever on Amazon.co.uk, being both better than 50 percent higher than the Wii and 20 percent greater than the PS3, which was the record holder on the site. Games like Pilot Wings Resort, Super Monkey Ball 3D, and Super Street Fighter IV 3DS are also featured in the top sellers for software.

It s unusual for a handheld console to attract this amount of excitement in the run up to launch, such high levels of interest are normally reserved for the play-at-home hardware like the ground-breaking Nintendo Wii and last year s Microsoft Kinect , said Chris Poad, Director of Video Games at Amazon.co.uk Ltd. Nintendo 3DS is launching at a time when interest in all things 3D is incredibly high and with the promise of real 3D graphics without glasses, it s a real breakthrough in handheld video game entertainment.

Valve Goes Without Ad Agency For Portal 2

Valve has long been doing things thier own way, and will do so again with Portal 2. Along with outdoor ads seen on public transportation, they made up their own TV spot following a well received Valentine s Day-themed video for the game.

No one knows the product better than the folks who made it, said Valve s marketing VP Doug Lombardi. We’ve had many creative kick-off meetings with agencies over the years, and you d be shocked by the treatments that have come back. Copycat treatments. Cliché treatments. Treatments that reveal the agency wasn’t listening in the initial meeting.

With the Portal 2 ad, we playtested it and were able to make changes during production, adds Lombardi. With an agency, those types of tests are too often left to a post-mortem at which point, the value of those realizations is pretty close to worthless.

Source: MCV

Visigoth Sports Net Parodies Sportscenter

March Madness is upon us and several advertisers are looking to capitalize on the event. Capital One (the official bank and credit card of the NCAA naturally) has been launching their own ads that cross their raiders with a sportscast.


Facebook Pushes New Game Discovery

Facebook is adding a Discover New Games sidebar module that shows off what games users are playing. It is designed to be a way to grow games outside of developer promotion and revive some of the virality lost by the current set up of Facebook.

The module displays the names and faces of the viewer s friends who play a game the viewer has yet to install. The name of the game, its thumbnail icon, and a ‘Play Now’ link appear below the facepile. When users see this implicit social recommendation by friends, they assume their must be some entertainment value in the displayed game, and may choose to click and install it.

Source: Inside Facebook

Gears Of War Producer Laments Changing Betas

Game betas used to be a means by which the final kinks and balancing were worked out in the months leading up to a game’s release. However, with beta participation now guaranteed by various pre-order bonuses, they’ve become more promotional of the final product than a tool for the development process.

“For me I think it has to do with people moving from PC to consoles,” said Gears of War executive producer Rod Fergusson. “In PC days people were used to swapping out video cards, putting in their own memory, formatting your own harddrive . . . you were kind of your own tech support so the idea of having an unfinished product to play with and be involved with it was exciting. But when you move to the black box of the console it was sealed, and if you opened it you voided the warranty and so it was much more hands-off.”

“The idea of a console beta that’s an unfinished product is really foreign to that audience and so their expectation is that this is representative of the quality of the game and they have to judge it on this, he added. “It’s really hard to do betas then because you have to make it so polished and so far along that it’s hard to get the feedback you want.”

Source: Strategy Informer

Brink On The Edge With Pre-Order Bonuses

The pre-order deals for the upcoming shooter Brink are out. Game, Play and Amazon will all be getting different offerings in the Doom & Spec Ops Packs, Fallout Pack and Psycho Pack respectively.

The Doom Pack includes unique pieces of Doom game themed equipment and the Spec Ops Pack has combat equipment. The Fallout Pack has Fallout: New Vegas themed outfits and the Psycho Pack has has a set of unique combat equipment. All of the sets come with a body tattoo of some sort.

Source: Eurogamer

Game Industry Work: Reality Check

A generation raised on games has wide eyes and ambitions to really shake things up… but that’s not really how it works. The video is designed to be funny, but there’s a good amount of truth in it as well.

Prototype 2: Heller Throws Down

Prototype 2 will be all about destruction on a large scale, but sometimes its nice to slow it down and put on a little classic music. That’s just what was done for this trailer that teases Landing in 2012.

Dragon Age Comes To Facebook

Electronic Arts announced today that it has fully launched Dragon Age Legends on Facebook. The free-to-play online RPG is a collaboration between BioWare and EA s Play4Free studio EA2D that lets users earn items for use in Dragon Age II from now until March 31, 2012.

We built Dragon Age Legends with one goal in mind: to bring the AAA quality gameplay BioWare is famous for to the social space, said Mark Spenner, General Manager of EA2D. Dragon Age Legends brings true RPG combat and style to this massive social platform and delivers it at BioWare blockbuster quality, raising the bar for social games.

Play the game at facebook.com/dragonagelegends.

Sony: We Have A Duty To Push Boundaries

There’s been a lot of talk about the disappearance of the middle-class of games of late, with AAA titles becoming increasingly safe and less innovative. Ray Maguire, head of Sony Computer Entertainment U.K. acknowledged the issues facing current console games.

I think it’s probably true that most studios are now quicker to cancel stuff if it’s not living up to expectations in the green light process the costs are so big, said Maguire. But, actually, the technology inside today’s consoles means that we have the ability to tell stories in a better way, a much more graphic way, allowing us to get deeper into the narrative and become more creative in the way we put an experience in front of a consumer. In the case of Heavy Rain, that’s an entirely narrative-driven game when I used to work for Sega, I was introducing games like Golden Axe on the Mega Drive, narrative wasn’t even part of that conversation! But now we have the technology, we’re opening up new avenues of creativity.

When asked about funding Heavy Rain, he responded, There is a funding issue. We as a platform holder have a duty to push the boundaries, we will gamble on using technology and exploring different experiences, because someone has to. But if you’re a multiplatform publisher and selling to the marketplace that those platforms have created, then it’s purely a commercial decision.

The follow up asked if gambling on off-beat stuff was fundamental to Sony’s approach, he said, Absolutely it’s fundamental to us.

Source: Guardian