IPad Goes On Clearance

Right on the heels of the iPad 2 announcement, the original iPad is being discounted widely. Also, those that purchased an iPad in the past couple of weeks will be able to get a refund for $100.

When the iPad 2 releases on March 11, its prices will range from $499 to $829. Right now, with the announcement of the successor device, the original iPad is being offered from $399 to $729, with prices generally $100 cheaper for refurbished iPads.

Source: Technolog

John Romero Targeting ‘Rest Of World’ With Loot Drop

Many social gaming companies have their roots in web development, not traditional gaming. However, that is beginning to change with Loot Drop founded by gaming veterans John Romero, Tom Hall, and Brenda Brathwaite.

We don’t have a view of strip mining the players for cash, said Romero, who also helped make Ravenwood Fair. When a player gives you money, you want them to feel good about giving you that money.

We have satisfied hardcore gamers for decades. Now it s time for the rest of the world, he added. Our opportunity is to teach the rest of the world how to play games.

Source: VentureBeat

Pokémon Pushed With Trading Cards And Beyond

Pokémon Black/White is launching soon, but that doesn’t mean that promotions will only be about the DS game. The Pokémon Collectible Card Game will releasing the Zoroark: World of Illusions gift box to complement the release of the game, with Sneak Peek packs coming this weekend and new decks scheduled to come throughout April.

We are very in a privileged position to be bringing the new characters to the trading card game so soon, said Pokémon TCG maker Esdevium s marketing exec Ben Hogg. From our long-running experience with the franchise, we know that the launch of Black and White will bring Pokémon to a new generation and we expect big things from the Trading Card Game in 2011.

This complements a wide demo tour, print ads focusing on both gamers and general audiences and popular gaming site takeovers for the Pokémon Black/White game.

Source: MCV

Minecraft Creator Talks Piracy, Games As Service

Markus Notch Persson has managed to make a small fortune with his hit title Minecraft, which he has been constantly updating and selling in alpha and beta forms. He had some strong assertions at GDC over online piracy, and suggestions for how to deal with it.

Piracy is not theft, he said. If you steal a car, the original is lost. If you copy a game, there are simply more of them in the world. There is no such thing as a lost sale. Is a bad review a lost sale? What about a missed ship date?

Treat game development as a service, he advised. Make a game last longer than a week. You can t pirate an online account.

Minecraft Meets Zombies

Minecraft has its own subculture now of references and elements that you don’t even play the game to understand. In Minecraft: The Last Minecart, it’s a pretty basic scenario that’s really enhanced by some surprisingly well done (and appropriate to the universe) special effects.

Dance Central Huge For Harmonix But Was Huge Risk

Dance Central has become a lead title for Kinect and has even outsold Rock Band 3 at retail. Harmonix CEO Alex Rigopulos admits that even launching Dance Central was a risk for the now independent developer.

Dance Central is one of the top-selling titles for the Kinect, and the Kinect is one of the most successful products in the entire video game industry right now,” said Rigopulos. “So we’re thrilled with how Dance Central has performed out of the gate.

“It was a gamble, he added. There was a moment where we had to take a big leap of faith as a company to devote ourselves to Kinect, which was an unproven peripheral. We had actually been doing R&D on a dance game before we even knew about Kinect. At some point early on, Microsoft showed us the Kinect, and at that moment we realized that it was the perfect technology for this application, and we felt very, very strongly about the potential for dance games.

“Yes it was a leap of faith, and yes we also felt that it was the right technology coming at the right time for the game that we wanted to create. Suffice it to say, we’re really happy that we made that decision, he continued. “It’s our top-selling product right now, and I would say the largest single development team at the studio is hard at work on Dance Central, without being able to be too much more specific than that.

“But, we do continue to have significant resources devoted to Rock Band both in near term and far term of Rock Band and we also have significant resources devoted to a number of new IPs and new game concepts in development as well. So there’s actually quite a lot of work underway here on a diverse variety of projects, he concluded.

Source: Destructoid

Ngmoco CEO Declares NGP DOA

The NGP is entering a brave new world where smartphones are increasingly powerful and popular sources of gaming. Ngmoco CEO Neil Young, in fact, doesn’t think Sony can win in this scenario.

I think they are hurt; I think they’re clearly hurt, said Young. I think PSP is done and the new [NGP] is dead on arrival. It’s really difficult to compete with an app store that has hundreds of thousands of applications and a wide range of options where the average price paid is around $1.20 and there are tens, if not hundreds of thousands of free applications that are really high quality. So I just don’t think Sony’s going to be able to compete with that.

Source: IndustryGamers

BioWare Talks Dragon Age Streamlining

Dragon Age: Origins was massive game, weighing in at around 30 to 100 hours, depending on how many side-quests you did and how finicky you were with your equipment. Mike Laidlaw, executive producer for Dragon Age II, says the experience has been streamlined to make it less intimidating and more accessible.

Take a look at how you play games, said Laidlaw. I d say it s a bit longer than Mass Effect but shorter than Origins. The game will take longer with side quests. At the same time, you can get through the story quite a bit faster because so much content is off to the side. Mileage will always vary, just take your habits and extrapolate.

Source: PlayStation Universe