Friendster Nuking Profile Content End Of May

Friendster was one of the top pioneering social network sites on the planet, but it’s fallen on tough times since launching in 2002. Now the site is recommending options for users to export profile information {link no longer active}, like photos, blogs, comments and groups uploaded or created by its users because they are deleting it all on May 31.

“Our improved site is designed to create new profiles that allow you to connect differently with people and do things differently than other networking sites,” says the site. “Basically, the new site will complement your existing online presence in other social networking sites.”

Malaysian payments company MOL Global acquired Friendster at the end of 2009. Their plan for the site seems seems to be a greater focus on games and a look and feel specifically designed to appeal to the Asian market.

Ganesh Kumar Bangah CEO of MOL Global/Friendster recently declared that social media sites are being increasingly overshadowed by Facebook. Because of that, Friendster will leverage be repositioned as a social entertainment site for people to play games and music, and that it will leverage Facebook Connect.

Source: Tech Crunch

Duke Nukem Gets Portrait Worthy Of A King

2K Games have announced that they have commissioned a oil-on-board portrait called Untitled: I’m So Awesome, I Don’t Even Need To Name It to celebrate the upcoming release of Duke Nukem Forever… and the Royal Wedding, they claim. Created by artist Frank Frid, they say the painting took 350 man hours to create and “was painted in a single sitting.”

“As usual, I look awesome,” said Duke of the 35″ x 23″ masterpiece. “I’m clearly the Royal story everyone should be talking about this week.”

Duke Nukem Forever will release June 14, 2011.

Warhammer 40,000 Gets Locked In For THQ

THQ and Games Workshop have announced that they have extended their game license agreement for the Warhammer 40,000 universe. THQ is currently developing the third-person shooter Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine and the MMO Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millennium Online.

“The complex, futuristic war-torn universe created by Games Workshop equipped THQ s award-winning development teams with the material to create one of the most loved PC franchises Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War,” said Brian Farrell, THQ President and CEO. “Our envisioning of the Warhammer 40,000 universe will continue to grow with top quality games across all platforms, including the upcoming launches of Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine and Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millennium Online.”

“The impressive translation of the Warhammer 40,000 universe from the tabletop to the video game space by THQ certainly highlights the potential of our most successful intellectual property in the right hands,” said Mark Wells, “Games Workshop CEO. We know that the depth of the storylines, characters and imagery of the Warhammer 40,000 universe positions the IP to excel across many media platforms – and extending our agreement with THQ will help ensure that Warhammer 40,000 maintains a strong and growing presence in the video game space.”

Find out more about THQ’s marketing for Warhammer 40,000 products in this feature.

Zynga Poaches EA Executive

Zynga has hired John Schappert, who will head up Zynga’s game division. This is a rather major coup for the company, as Schappert was formerly the COO of EA where he helped lead the effort to boost the company’s digital business through games for mobile devices and Facebook.

Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter thinks this might be a step towards an IPO for Zynga. “If Zynga is serious about going public, they need someone who knows how to do it, said Pachter. They just grabbed a guy to give them what they were missing — public management experience.

Source: Reuters {link no longer active}

Portal 2 Valve’s Last ‘Isolated Single-Player Experience’

Geoff Keighly’s App Store book The Final Hours of Portal 2 includes some interesting tidbits, including the fact that it was originally a prequel set in the 50s that included none of the familiar characters people have come to love, or portals. What’s most fascinating, however, is the revelation of its single-player nature.

Portal 2 will probably be Valve’s last game with an isolated single-player experience,” wrote Keighly, relating a comment made by Valve founder Gabe Newell. “What this all means is something Newell is still trying to figure out.”

Whether this means more cooperative play or a greater focus on multiplayer titles like Left 4 Dead and Team Fortress 2 remains to be seen.

Android Interest Tops iOS

According to Nielsen, interest in Android powered phones has increased from 26 percent late in 2010 to 31 percent for the first quarter of 2011. Apple iOS devices, however, saw a slight dip from 33 percent to 30 percent.

Windows Phone demand was flat (from 7 percent to 6 percent) while interest in Nokia Symbian wasn’t high enough to be measured. Demand for Blackberry was down from 13 percent to 11 percent, with roughly 20 percent of consumers unsure of what to get next.

Source: Tech Crunch

Sony Enters Tablet War

Sony has announced that they are looking to enter the tablet market. They are planning two devices, both of which run Android 3.0 and are Wi-Fi and 3G/4G compatible.

The more conventional tablet has 9.5″ screen and a wedge shape, while the other model as two 5.5″ screens in a clamshell design. The second design might not be final, and the unusually design might result in compatibility issues.

Electronic Arts Gains WildTangent Veteran

Dave Madden has joined Electronic Arts global media sales group as its leader, replacing Elizabeth Harz, who had been SVP of global media sales at Electronic Arts for three years. He will lead ad sales at Electronic Arts various businesses for console, mobile and social games, and will look to make it easier to buy and sell media on the company s plethora of titles.

Madden’s previous experience as 11 years as an executive with WildTangent leading their advertising sales, marketing and business development activities as EVP. WildTangent is responsible for RuneScape, and is a major player for online game ads, recently moving into social game ads.

Source: {link no longer active}