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Source: Gizmodo {link no longer active}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

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.”

Technorati Teams With AppNexus

Technorati Media has announced a partnership with AppNexus to create their own ad exchange. This follows the path of NBC, CBS and IDG who want ads appropriate to their audience served in real time but want to retain their own pricing and data.

“The entire ecosystem is changing,” explained Technorati CEO Richard Jalichandra. “There is a desire among clients to buy quality inventory in an automated way.”

AppNexus will provide ad serving, analytics and yield management and lets Technorati dodge having to share as much of 20 percent of their revenue with a company like like Google or Microsoft. There is a strong case to be made that publishers don t need middle man, said AppNexus CEO Brian O’Kelley. We re just the technology layer. It s truly Technorati s exchange.

Source: AdWeek {link no longer active}

Sony NGP ‘Perfect Machine For MMOs’ Says SOE President

Traditional MMORPG games have had a mixed history on consoles, but the PSP has had some success (particularly in Japan) with online titles like Monster Hunter. Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley thinks that the NGP could take portable MMOs to the next level, hinting at FreeRealms coming.

“With the console, we’re selling to an audience that already has the PS3 obviously – and by the way not just the PS3, but in the future I can see other devices. Sony’s announced the NGP, and if that isn’t a perfect machine for doing MMOs on, then I don’t know what is,” he said. “So it’s too soon to tell for sure but I think you’re going to start seeing free-to-play gaming on console as well. People will realize that getting a lot more folk to try their games using that kind of business model will help; it’ll just be in addition to the Blu-ray business model.”

Speaking of FreeRealms, Smedley sees its growth as only just beginning from the 17 million mark it is at now. “I don’t see this thing stopping until it hits 100 million. I think it could take five or six years – that should give you some idea [of the time frame we’re looking at], said Smedley. But I don’t see any reason why it can’t go to 100 million, because there are so many kids out there. And the great thing about a kids’ game, and this is different for an adult audience and people don’t think about this, is that there are always more kids.”

“That endless supply of children that have a hunger for gaming, as long as we keep improving it and make sure it’s still relevant – which we do every month with patches – means that we expect the game to have a long life, he added. One of our other games, Everquest, has just hit its twelfth birthday – and I can definitely see FreeRealms doing that.”

Source: IndustryGamers {link no longer active}

Metal Gear Solid Gets Clothing Line

Konami has announced that they have signed a partnership with musterbrand to create a clothing collection for Metal Gear Solid. The clothing line will be specifically based around Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, the PSP game that released in 2010.

“Our partnership will give fans the opportunity to ‘suit up’ for one of the most successful video game franchises of all time, specifically for Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker,” said Careen Yapp, Vice President of Acquisitions and Franchise Development of Konami Digital Entertainment Inc. “The mass success and support for our latest Metal Gear Solid hit has allowed us to expand beyond what we’ve done in the past with the series, and we are very much looking forward to offering this new line to a global community of fans.”

Metal Gear Solid is one of the longest running video game franchises with an incredibly dedicated fan base, making Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker and Konami the perfect choice to partner with for a new collection,” said Knut Bergel president and chief executive officer of musterbrand LLC. “The new clothing line allows fans to extend their experience with the franchise even further through a unique and fashionable style.”

Mass Effect: Deception Coming Fall 2011

Del Rey Books has confirmed that Mass Effect: Deception will release in Fall 2011. The novel will be handled by William C. Dietz who also wrote Resistance: Gathering Storm.

The new book will continue the story from the previous trilogy of novels, Revelation, Ascension, and Retribution, which were written by Drew Karpyshyn. The release of Deception should help build the hype for Mass Effect 3 which is releasing later in 2011.

Source: Kotaku

Sony NGP May Launch In Only One Market

The massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami that damaged Japan’s infrastructure may have consequences for Sony’s NGP. With factories still under repair and lack of component parts, the worldwide roll-out of the NGP may be staggered.

“It raises the bar on the competitive issues that Sony is going to have to hurdle,” said Edward Woo, video-games analyst at Wedbush Securities. “As it is now, it s already going to be almost eight months behind Nintendo, and a delay could push that to a year.”

“It may be the straw that says maybe we get to just one market by the end of the year,” said Jack Tretton, president of Sony Computer Entertainment of America.

Source: Bloomberg