WETA Livestream Reveals New Information About ‘Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes’

In anticipation of the new film Rise of the Planet of the Apes coming out this summer, at an official Facebook destination WETA Livestream {link no longer active}, fans were drawn to tune in and watch interviews with Andy Serkis and members from the special effects team at WETA. Throughout the discussion fans could check-in and chat in real time via Twitter or Facebook. Marking the reveal of new concept art {link no longer active} for the film, the discussion revealed in-depth ways that digital team and performers are working together to shatter an audience expectation of realism by bringing life to each character.

SSX Fans Are Called To Submit Ideas About How To Make The Next Game Great

Do you remember what it was like to carve lines and bust moguls in the days of SSX 3, SSX Tricky and SSX On Tour The development team creating the new SSX is giving fans a chance to share your thoughts about what you want to see in the new SSX in order to get a chance to play the new game. On Facebook, the SSX 1st Look Contest asks users to submit 100 words or less to be eligible to win a trip to EA Canada to be part in the SSX community event in early May.

Mortal Kombat Creator Excited By Extensions Of Franchise

Mortal Kombat is relaunching, and with it comes a new web series produced by Warner Bros. Series co-creator Ed Boon indicates that he’s excited to see things like Mortal Kombat: Legacy.

“To me it’s almost like an emotional introduction back into Mortal Kombat,” said Boon. “It taps into a lot of people’s seeing the first movies, playing the first games, and that whole part of their life that seems very defined by Mortal Kombat. I’d love it if this was the first of a number of things that we can do with Kevin and Warner Brothers in terms of bringing Mortal Kombat to other media; whether it’s live-action shorts like this, another feature film would be great, and of course future video games as well.

Source: Joystiq {link no longer active}

Chinese MMO Game Market Could Reach $8 Billion In 2014

According to Pearl Research, China’s online game market grew 25 percent in 2010 to $5 billion and could reach $8 billion in 2014. Tencent led in revenue with $1.4 billion for its QQ service social games, Netease.com was second with $749 million in revenue, followed by Shanda Games with $680 million, Perfect World with $374 million, and Changyou with $327 million.

Pearl expects there to be several mergers and acquisitions in 2011, both between Chinese companies and with international ones. They estimate that there are more than 450 million broadband connections in China and there are at least 138,000 internet cafes in the country.

IMVU Scores Big With ‘Crewpon’

IMVU recently ran a deal offering half off in-game currency (200,000 credits for $99), generating $112,000 from 1,126 users. A more recent Crewpon for the virtual world (40,000 credits for $25) saw 2,671 users participate and generate $67,000.

“It shows us that the group dynamic really helps with merchandising,” said Lee Clancy, senior vice president of product management and general manager of direct revenue at IMVU. “The same format that works in the real world is doing great in the virtual world. The most engaged users are participating first, but we think a broader group of users is also interested.”

“IMVU lets users create their own avatar and users can pick up six million different customization options, a total reached because of user-generated content. The virtual world has 50 million registered users, over 10 million unique visitors a month and revenue of more than $40 million a year.”

“We are playing back a broad cultural phenomenon with Groupon,” Clancy said, commenting on the Crewpon name. “We are in the early days of it, but we will definitely continue.”

Source: VentureBeat

‘Walking Dead’ Dead Billboard Removed From Funeral Home Wall

A billboard for The Walking Dead has been withdrawn and apologies offered in the U.K. That’s because the unfortunate public display advertising appeared on the side of The Co-operative Funeralcare.

Yikes.

“There must be somewhere else they could put it that would have shown a degree of insight and sensitivity,” said Susan Jones, from the Willow Burn Hospice. “Emotions can be pretty raw when people are recently bereaved. Words like ‘death’ and ‘dead’ can be very difficult.”

Some considered the ad ironically, at least at first. Web designer Greg Coltman, from the area, said, “At first I  thought it was quite funny, but when I thought about it I realized some people could take offense.”

“It is disappointing that we were not consulted as this advert could cause unnecessary distress,” said spokesman for the Co-operative Funeralcare from whom the space was leased. “When the billboard site was erected, we were assured that no insensitive adverts would be featured.”

“Clear Channel apologizes for any offense caused by the unfortunate juxtaposition of this advertisement, which was certainly not intended,” said a Clear Channel spokesperson. “We  arranged to have it removed right away and it has since come down.”

Source: Daily Mail

Spartacus Gets Dungeon Siege III Promo

Square Enix has announced that they will be sponsoring the TV series Spartacus to promote Dungeon Siege III. The show is running on Sky 1, with each episode is book ended by 15-second identifications for the brand, along with with six five-second sponsorship spots opening and closing every ad break.

“Spartacus is a great creative fit for Dungeon Siege III and gives us a fantastic platform to put the game in front of a large male audience,” said Square Enix senior product manager Grant Tasker. “It’s the perfect way to kick-start our pre-order campaign well in advance of the May release. Fans of Spartacus will find Dungeon Siege III a fantastic experience either alone or with friends.”

“The Dungeon Siege brand has a tremendous pedigree spanning nearly 10 years, gathering loyal fans and a solid brand recognition,” he added. “This is the first game from the series to be published by Square Enix and as such it s an incredibly important release for us, as is evidenced by our marketing support for the new title.”

Source: MCV

Warcraft Jabbing Tagline ‘Well-Intended Humor’ Says Trion

Trion’s Rift launched with an ad campaign tagline of “We’re not in Azeroth anymore.” While this might sound standoffish, Trion’s Scott Hartsman claims it mostly designed for a good laugh.

“For starters, I loved the campaign. When I first saw the campaign pitch I laughed my ass off. Very bluntly. We saw it and went, ‘Wow there’s no way we can do that. That means we have to do that’,” said Hartsman. “If people take it too literally and don’t take it as the well-intended humor it really is, it does invite people to go, ‘Oh well, if they re going to say that, then I’m going to make a checklist, and I’m going to go ding ding ding ding.”

For any company that’s starting out, trying to get attention in a very crowded marketplace, you have to do something to get attention and I think that campaign really helped us stand out,” he added. “And that’s really what we needed. So in that regard, I think it did its job phenomenally.”

Read more about the Rift campaign in the feature here.

Source: IndustryGamers {link no longer active}

Top Spin 4 Gets 2K Open Contest

2K Sports has announced a their 2K Open Contest for Top Spin 4. This contest will allow users to compete for a chance to win a fully paid trip to the 2011 U.S. Open at Flushing Meadows, New York.

To participate, players must compete in online matches in Top Spin 4‘s ranked 2K Open mode. At the end of the day on April 30, the two users with the highest ranking on the 2K Open Leaderboard {link no longer active} will be deemed the 2K Open Contest’s semi-finalists and awarded a fully paid trip to the 2011 U.S. Open; the two will then play a Final Match and the winner will be crowned the 2K Open Champion.