Google Needs To Be More Controlling Of Android, Says Epic Founder

Android is quickly becoming a heavy hitter in the mobile gaming market alongside Apple iOS products. However, Epic founder Mark Rein thinks that hardware fragmentation is holding the mobile OS back for game makers.

“When a consumer gets the phone and they wanna play a game that uses our technology, it’s got to be a consistent experience, and we can’t guarantee that [on Android]. That’s what held us off of Android, said Rein. “If you took the underlying NGP hardware and shipped Android on it, you’d find far far less performance on Android. Let’s say you took an NGP phone and made four versions of it. Each one would give you a different amount of memory and performance based on the crap [the carriers] put on their phone.”

“Google needs to be a little more evil, he added. They need to be far more controlling.”

Source: Gizmodo {link no longer active}

EA Plans Massive Spending For Battlefield 3

EA has made it clear that Battlefield 3 and the next Call of Duty will be waging a war over who will be the number one shooter titles this Fall. Speaking during an Ad Age conference keynote, he said that both companies could end up spending over $100 million promoting their respective games.

Speaking broadly, he said the gaming industry now includes 1.5 billion players worldwide primarily with free-to-play online and smartphone titles. Riccitiello predicted that in three to four years, gaming could eclipse worldwide TV ownership with 3 billion players.

Riccitiello also noted that games present a captive audience the way other mediums don’t. “People don’t really do anything else when they’re playing games, they’re focused on it,” he said. “When people watch TV or use the internet, they’re usually doing something else.”

He also noted that EA can serve dynamic content to 233 million unique users each day. Riccitiello added that the company sees 15 million hours of online gameplay from 5 million of those unique users every day.

Riccitiello noted that in-game advertising can be obtrusive, and noted that players spend large amounts of times in online lobbies, and that’s where ads can naturally fit. He also advised advertisers to get into the game market now, before a bidding war he predicts will come in the new few years.

Source: AdAge

Zynga Expands Empire With MarketZero

Zynga recently acquired developer MarketZero, maker of PokerTableRatings. This purchase marks the 11th company purchase that Zynga has made over the past 11 months.

No purchase price was given for the acquisition, nor announcements over who would be hired from the company. Zynga is believed to have over 1,700 staff employed worldwide.

Source: VentureBeat

Where The Rubber Meets The In-Game Road

The Shift 2 Autolog Time Attack Challenge {link no longer available} is bringing together some healthy competition between real life drift champions and in-game players.  Leading up to launch, Autolog Challenge videos featuring 2010 Formula Drift Champion Vaughn Gittin Jr., Team Need for Speed driver Matt Powers, American Le Mans driver Tommy Milner and legendary drifter Darren McNamara have been posted to the official Shift 2 Unleashed Facebook destination {link no longer available} on the official Need for Speed Facebook page.  Each video hints at the Autolog Challenge beginning on April 4 when times and drift scores set by Team Need for Speed drivers will be posted to the NFS Facebook page.  To enter, entrants must take a picture of the post-race screen in SHIFT 2 Unleashed showing they beat the time and score and twitpic it to @NeedforSpeed with the hash tag #SHIFT2_AutologChallenge.  The player with the best time or score for the week’s challenge will win an Astro A40 Wireless Audio System with runners-up being eligible to win a sweet prize back.

Always In Crysis 2

The official Crysis 2 community site is active and bringing together fans of the sci-fi first-person shooter together with up to the minute updates on known issues and solutions like patch notes and beyond.  Login required, gamers can explore the site and jump into the forums to find the latest on how other gamers are plowing through New York in their nanosuit.  A direct NanoTweet feed connects the site to ongoing conversation on Twitter and a ticker keeps track of how many fans are currently on Facebook.  A hi-res media gallery exposes the mean streets of New York 2023 and an interactive module called the Nanosuit showroom lets you explore in-depth the armor enhancements for each different suit (armor, power, stealth, visor) used in both Campaign and Multiplayer Campaign modes.

Dragon Age II Owners Get Mass Effect 2 Free

BioWare has announced that Dragon Age II has sold one million copies, reaching the milestone two weeks faster than Dragon Age: Origins did in 2009. The company has announced that it will be giving away free copies of Mass Effect 2 for PC as part of a “Sequel Celebration.”

Those that purchase the game on any platform before the end of April 2011 can download the game if they activate an EA Account, enter their online pass code and use the EA Download Manager. To find out more, please visit {link no longer active}.

Activision Veteran Joins Jirbo

Jirbo has announced that it has hired Will Kassoy as CEO. He will overlook both the company’s gaming division (which has managed over 32 million downloads across 200 titles, with 48 titles in the top 1 percent of Apple s All Time Most Popular list) and video ad delivery service AdColony.

“Will brings his extensive experience from Activision Blizzard to the CEO position at Jirbo and will be invaluable in growing both our app development and AdColony business units,” said Jonathan Zweig, President of Jirbo Inc. We re confident that his skill set is exactly what we need to assume leadership in this thriving new market.

Kassoy was previously at Activision, where he was head of global marketing, media research, marketing communications, business development and setting long term business goals for emerging platforms. He managed brands like Call of Duty, Tony Hawk, Marvel and Guitar Hero during his 13 years at Activision.

“As the mobile and social games markets continue to explode, I m eager to jump in and take on this new challenge,” said Will Kassoy. “AdColony s innovative premium mobile ad technology will be a tremendous advantage for both advertisers and app publishers and I m confident we can turn it into the new gold standard for generating revenue in mobile social gaming.”