Join Madea’s Big Happy Family!

On the official Facebook fan hub for the latest installment in Tyler Perry’s epic Madea series, fans can join the family and take their rightful seat at the table alongside the cast from the film. Access the Join Madea’s Family app to upload an image of yourself and insert yourself as a character in the film. Fans first must choose the character that they want to replace (is it Ben Calvin The Browns ) and then upload and image from Facebook or their computer to replace their face. Fans are given a set of tools to scale and rotate the image to create a realistic composite. The image is a neatly compiled image of each family member in light blue boxes resembling the poster for the film which is based on the classic Brady Bunch design. Individuals can share themselves as part of Madea’s family to friends and followers on Facebook, Twitter and beyond.

Dance Central Wants You To Step It Up

Fans of Dance Central on Facebook can access the Step It Up app {app no longer active} and record and upload a video of your Dance Central routine to be eligible to become the Dance Central King or Queen! Fans can vote or like their favorite video entry and vote as often as they d like. Winners will be eligible to win a trip to show off their style alongside a celebrity in a Dance Central dance-off and win $500 cash and prizes including an Xbox 360, Kinect and more!

Mafia Wars Rubbed Out On MySpace

Rather unceremoniously, Zynga has discontinued their popular game Mafia Wars on MySpace. Attempts to connect to the game on the service results in a curt message saying that the service has ended and redirecting them to the Mafia Wars homepage.

This latest development shows just how badly Facebook has lapped MySpace in the social gaming realm. Zynga only maintains a handful of titles like FarmVille on the site, Playdom has closed two of its games and RockYou has shifted completely over to Facebook.

Ico Collection And Last Guardian Lose Grip On Release Dates

Sony has confirmed that the release of the Ico/Shadow of the Colossus Collection and The Last Guardian have both been delayed from their Spring 2011 and Holiday 2011 release dates, respectively. Information on a new release date will come at a later time.

I announced at last year s Tokyo Game Show that the release timing of The Last Guardian which is currently being developed would be holiday 2011, wrote Team Ico Director/Game Designer Fumito Ueda. However, to provide more challenging and better quality of content to users and to fulfill First Party Studio s obligations, I decided to postpone its release timing.

All the members of my production team are working together at a fast pace to develop and release the game in First Party Studio quality, he added. I sincerely apologize to all the customers who have been waiting for The Last Guardian for so long, but I beg for your patience. I will also announce the new release timing at a later time.

Source: PlayStation Blog

Virtua Tennis 4 Getting Push During Royal Wedding, Wimbledon

Sega is pushing Virtua Tennis 4 hard in the U.K. with $1.6 million in marketing spending. The publisher will have a series of online, print and TV advertisements running on Channel 4, Sky Sports, ITV, and more starting on April 25.

“With over a million pounds invested in marketing, this is our biggest spend on a Virtua Tennis title to date,” said Sega’s senior product manager Anna Downing. “Activity will create awareness at release, with a second execution to capitalize on grand slam fever during Wimbledon.”

“The No.1 tennis series is releasing on what is a pretty significant date,” added Downing. “For many, that will be the Royal Wedding, but for gamers it signifies the start of the gaming tennis season, and with the bank holiday a few extra hours of play. Virtua Tennis 4 is the only tennis game to include motion control functionality across all platforms.”

Source: MCV

iPhone 5 Rumored For September Release

According to reports, Apple will begin production of the iPhone 5 in July or August of 2011 with a ship date sometime in September. The iPhone 5 is said to look much like the iPhone 4, which is expected to be refreshed sometime this year.

Many Taiwanese suppliers would benefit from this news. “For some suppliers, Apple is their cash cow, or their bread and butter,” said Vincent Chen, an analyst at Yuanta Securities. “With all these versions being launched so frequently, it will be the so-called low-margin suppliers, such as those that assemble the phones, who will benefit the most.”

Source: Reuters {link no longer active}

Mind Candy Setting Up Shop In U.S.

Mind Candy has announced that it will open a U.S. office in New York soon with Eric Karp as North American licensing director. The company’s Moshi Monsters browser-based game is well-established with over 38 million registered users in over 150 worldwide territories.

“The merchandising side of Moshi Monsters is opening up a lot of markets for us. We’ll be opening a U.S. office in the next couple of months, which will be put in place to drive our U.S. licensing and merchandise program,” said Mind Candy’s head of licensing Darran Garnham. “Most excitingly, I think we ll see a closing gap between virtual and real world goods. You ll be able to get plush of your personalized monster, a poster of your avatar or a book based on your social network. It s currently too expensive but the technology is on the way.”

Mind Candy expects to generate $100 million in retail sales from Moshi Monsters in 2011.

Source: MCV {link no longer active}