Lego Enters Free-To-Play Universe

The Lego Group has announced that Lego Universe will be getting a free-to-play zone. Starting in August, the game will feature a free digital download option; the game will remain dependent on revenue through paid memberships and there are currently no plans for micro-transactions.

The Lego Group remains committed to success in the digital space and to Lego Universe, said Jesper Vilstrup, Vice President, the Lego Group. We see Lego Universe as a key element for our digital play division, and are adjusting the business model to make the game more accessible to players, without the immediate obligation to purchase or subscribe.

Wii U A Matter Of Balance Between Power And Cost, Says Miyamoto

It’s been both rumored that the Wii U hardware will be less powerful and more powerful than the Xbox 360/PS3 and the reality is that the final decision just hasn’t been made. Shigeru Miyamoto, however, hints that pricing concerns may end up deciding how powerful it is.

“When you look at what we’re trying to do this time, which is I think maybe to a certain degree somewhat reckless, because we’re trying to include this somewhat kind of tablet-like device – this controller with the screen,” said Miyamoto.”We’re trying to do that by finding the right balance between the CPU and the GPU, the graphics processor, and bringing all of that together with the ability to take advantage of the HD capabilities of the system, and wanting to do the most that we can on that front as well.”

“We’re very sensitive, of course, to trying to do all of this at an appropriate price, he added. So I don’t know that we would be able to sit here and say that it’s going to necessarily dramatically outperform the systems that are out now. It’s part of the balance that we strike in terms of trying to find entertainment that is new and unique.”


Tapjoy Establishes $5 Million Android Porting Fund

Tapjoy has announced that it has established a $5 million fund to port certain apps to the Android mobile OS. This is likely a response to Apple pay per install ban, which Tapjoy has complained to have negatively affected iOS developers.

“Tapjoy is in the business of democratizing the application ecosystem by bringing innovative content and targeted experiences to consumers while providing a level playing field for developers large and small to get their apps discovered,” said Mihir Shah, president and CEO of Tapjoy. “The openness and skyrocketing popularity of the Android platform makes it a perfect match for our long-term objectives. This new porting program will identify great apps and give them the opportunities they deserve.”

Via the service, Tapjoy will ensure compatibility with full porting and testing services. Their virtual monetization engine will also be offered, although its integration will not be mandatory.

Put On Your Mask And Get In The Ring!

Slang has launched an interactive website {link no longer active} for Lucha Libre: Heroes Del Ring that plunges the user into the gritty world of masked wrestling South of the border. Fans can explore and look at el reto (the challenge), el ritual (the ritual) and learn new technicos (techniques). Fans can browse the site in an interactivo (interactive) or panorama mode for the full, backbreaking experience.


Details Emerge On A New DLC Case In L.A. Noire

To coincide with the the first wave of DLC available for L.A. Noire, Rockstar Games has posted an article to their blog looking at the real case that inspired this new chapter. “The Nicholson Electroplating Disaster,” available today, adds intrigue, twists and turns to the real facts of the 1947 case. As you get your notebook ready, check out some historical photos from the disaster that which appear in the Los Angeles Fire Department Historical Society’s Flickr photostream slideshow.

Duke Nukem Ex-PR Man Agrees With 2K’s Decision

PR agency Redner Group lost its client 2K Games over some errand tweeting over Duke Nukem Forever reviews. The tweet was: “too many went too far with their reviews. We’re reviewing who gets games next time and who doesn’t based on today’s venom.”

“I used a public forum to voice my complaints and I know better, explained James Redner. I poured my soul into the project and when I read the review I felt like a father trying to protect his son. In hindsight, I should have approached the writer directly.”

After issuing the tweets, he was contacted by 2K who wanted the incident squashed. While Redner contracted media outlets, Wired ran the story and the rest of the net soon followed.

With the negative attention 2K Games tweeted this: “2K Games does not endorse or condone the comments made by @TheRednerGroup and confirm they no longer represent our products. We maintain a mutually respectful relationship with the press and will continue to do so. We don’t condone @TheRednerGroup’s actions at all.”

“We plan to sit down and re-evaluate where we are what our goals are and where we think we can thrive. In one form or another, [the firm] will survive, said Redner, who is the sole runner of his group and described the loss as ’emotional.’ “If I was in 2K’s shoes I would have done the same thing. That is not how 2K handles their reviews process.”

Source: AdAge