Shogun 2 Invades Social Sphere

The Escapist has announced that it is launching a unique social advertising campaign for Total War: Shogun 2. Similar to the game itself, it will offer numerous different troop types for the player to use against a defending army.

Players attack by using the official forums and Twitter, with one entry towards a grand prize with every victory you have in battle. Potential prizes include copies of Total War: Shogun 2 and Origin PC Gaming Desktops.

To find out more, visit escapistmagazine.com/content/Shogun2/.

Apple Not Looking At Game Companies

Apple has become a major power in the realm of gaming thanks to the popularity of the App Store, but they don’t produce games themselves. Despite rumors that they might pick up a company like OnLive to provide streaming games on their iOS devices, Panoptic Management Consultants analyst Asif Khan has reason to believe this won’t happen.

“From my firsthand conversation with Steve Jobs last year at the shareholder meeting, I can tell you with confidence that Apple will not acquire a game company,” said Khan. “They would rather rake in the 30 percent of App Store sales that they currently have set up with developers.”

Source: IndustryGamers

We Dare Getting Warning Sticker

We Dare has attracted some attention over its PG-13 raunchy ads, but the game has only received a PEGI rating of 12 (equivalent to a ‘T’ for Teen) rating. Ubisoft has revealed that it will receive a Parental Discretion Advised sticker on top of that, and explained why.

Since PEGI is a Pan European system, the questionnaire is designed to meet varying cultural standards in all the member states, said Ubisoft. So for example, mild violence may not be a very shocking element in your country, but the swearwords in some games may be.

PEGI does not take into account the context of a game when rating it, we only look at the contents of the game, continued a statement by the company. [We Dare] has been rated as a PEGI 12 because it contains mild swearing, minor assault on a human-like character and words/activities that amount to obvious sexual innuendo, explicit sexual descriptions or images and sexual posturing.

Source: Cubed3.com

 

Robert De Niro Open To Uncharted Movie

David O. Russell has this idea to make the Uncharted movie into a a film about a family of antiquities experts that dole out justice. Mark Wahlberg has already been cast as Nathan Drake and Robert De Niro appears open to the role that Russell wrote for him.

“Absolutely, sure. I’m aware of it,” said De Niro when asked about the film. “I haven t seen [the script] yet. I thought he did a terrific [job] in The Fighter.”

Source: MTV.com

Rovio Makes Millions On Merchandise And Licensing

Rovio’s Angry Birds cost only a little over $100,000 to make (which is peanuts compared to AAA games these days) and has made $70 million and counting. Rovio’s co-founders said they want the Finnish company to become “Disney 2.0”, with cross-media efforts in TV, merchandise and comics.

“Look at how Disney got started,” said chief executive Mikael Hed. “Steamboat Willie created Mickey Mouse, then they added more characters. You can see the same pattern today, but everything is happening much, much faster. Other brands used to build recognition over the course of decades. We’ve done it in one year.”

Rovio has around 40 employees and generates nearly a $1 million month from the ad supported Android version of Angry Birds. Roughly 40 percent of the company’s revenues are from non-game businesses, like as merchandising and licensing, with that only likely to increase with the upcoming release of Angry Birds Rio.

“We are building our infrastructure with Angry Birds. So we have the distribution, the marketing, everything in place, so that we can basically take any IP and drop it in, said Hed. And we have the capability of producing the games on all the platforms – smartphones, consoles, PCs, Mac, online, Facebook – you name it. Then the TV, the movie side, it will happen when the time is right.”

Source: Wired

Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood Gets Special OnLive Pre-Order Offerings

Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood will be available on OnLive the same day it comes to PC retail. OnLive is celebrating this with a couple of special offers for those that purchase Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood.

Those that pre-order the game will be upgraded to the Deluxe Edition with two extra multiplayer characters, two exclusive single-player maps and one Ezio armor skin. They’ll also be entered in an OnLive game room setup, including a 47 Vizio 3D HDTV and OnLive Game System with 2 controllers.

To find out more visit onlive.com/go/acbrotherhood.

Facebook Offering Movies For First Time

Facebook has announced that they will be offering movies for rent or purchase on the site. The first such film is The Dark Knight from Warner Bros. which can be rented for $3.

Warner Bros. intends to make other films available over the social media site in the months to come. The movie studio already offering The Dark Knight and Inception apps in iPhone for users to download the movie separately from iTunes.

Source: Los Angeles Times

NOS Fueling MLG

Major League Gaming (MLG) has announced a partnership with NOS Energy Drink. There will be a retail promotion for MLG through NOS products, a sponsorship of MLG Pro Player FearItSelf during the 2011 Pro Circuit, and will be the title partner of the soon to be launched MLG Performance Center at MLG Studios in New York.

NOS fuels victory in every competition with four wheels and a tailpipe, and now we want to do the same for competition with a controller, said Tutul Rahman, NOS brand marketing lead. “We know how much our consumers love gaming, and MLG is the preeminent organization for competitive gaming, so it s a great fit. We can t wait to get started.

At MLG we strive to work with the most powerful brands, like NOS, that appeal to our vast community, said Sundance DiGiovanni, CEO, MLG. Given NOS s dedication to motorsports through Nascar and Drifting, we are proud to have them involved with the sport of professional and competitive gaming.

Homefront Balloon Promotion Goes Awry

THQ recently released 10,000 red balloons as part of a promotion for Homefront. Designed to simulate the way that South Korea sends messages to North Koreans, rain sent many of them straight into the San Francisco Bay.

“When I looked out the window and saw thousands of balloons dropping straight into the bay, I was flabbergasted,” said Rod Fujita, a senior oceans scientist for the Environmental Defense Fund. “I never expected to see something like this in San Francisco, where there’s such concern about the bay and pollution.”

The balloons carried a promotion that would allow those that found it to receive a downloadable pack at GameStop. After pictures showed thousands of the balloons in the bay, environmentalists blasted the promotion, and THQ went into damage control.

“We understand the concerns consumers have regarding the impact balloons can have on the environment,” read a statement by GameStop. “However, the balloon drop stunt in San Francisco was created by THQ . . . and Game-Stop had no prior knowledge of it.”

THQ for its part said that the balloons were 100 percent organic and biodegradable, and they sent a clean up crew to remove remaining debris.

Source: SF Gate

Retail Needed To Promote PC Games, Says NCsoft

The sale of PC games at retail has dropped off over the past decade, replaced mostly by digital downloads. Still, NCsoft Europe managing director Veronique Lallier thinks that things like midnight openings and story incentives at a brick-and-mortar shop bring more awareness to a title than a digital retailer ever could.

Retail remains hugely important to us, said Lallier. Many retailers have a dim view of the PC sector but they know the one genre that continues to thrive there is the MMO. The High Street offers a great opportunity and focal point for both trade and consumers alike, particularly at release. You need only look at the continued popularity of midnight openings to know this.

There is a risk in always looking at the worst case scenario of a particular trend, Lallier added. In reality, genuine change takes place at a slower pace. PC games will undoubtedly drift online as delivery speeds improve and resistance to digital sales falls away, but we re a way off from seeing PC disappear from retail. There are always more avenues to be explored when it comes to driving retail sales. Whether this is promoting a game, time card or an exclusive item, we see it as an important ongoing process that can only be bettered by closer collaboration with all of our retail partners.

Source: MCV