Need For Speed World Speeds To Five Million Users

Electronic Arts has announced that Need for Speed World has reached five million registered users. The Play4Free-branded game originally launched in July 2010.

EA is honoring this milestone along with the Worthersee GTI by offering a rental of the Audi A1 Clubsport Quattro in game. The show car at the Austrian event will only be available for free from June 1 – 4.


Skyrim Adorns Figueroa Hotel

The Figueroa Hotel in Los Angeles is famous for its segmented billboard ads and Bethsoft has ponied up for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Located near the Staples Center and Los Angeles Convention Center, it will be visible to many during E3.

The Dragonborn stands above everyone!

The picture was posted by Bethsoft marketing manager Pete Hines on Twitter. When pinged about how much such an ad costs, he replied, “It ain’t cheap. :-)”.


Dirt 3 DLC Goes To Charity

Codemasters has announced the first of their weekly DLC offerings for Dirt 3. The first one will be called the Colin McRae Vision Charity Pack, honoring the man who lent his name to rally games for Codemasters in the past.

The Colin McRae Vision Charity Pack will feature the Ford Escort Mk II, the 1970s Rally car used by the race car driver, plus five liveries. The pack will cost $2 and all of the money will go to charity.

Gameloft Lifted By Order & Chaos

Gameloft has announced that their mobile title Order & Chaos has generated over $1 million in revenue in just three weeks on the market. While the fantasy-themed iOS MMORPG is often pejoratively compared to World of Warcraft, the price of $6.99 for an initial three month subscription has proven successful.

“We knew that this first real MMORPG experience for iPhone and iPad would meet the quality standards our customers want,” Gameloft senior VP of publishing Gonzague de Vallois said. “We are pleased to know that our customers have embraced our innovative business model, and we are anxious to further enrich the gaming experience with this first update, which is eagerly anticipated by our fans.”

Call Of Duty Elite Gets Web Series

Activision’s Call of Duty Elite service will have an addition of a new web TV series for subscribers. Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg thinks the linear content will help players stay more connected to the Call of Duty brand in the future.

“We have engaged some top Hollywood talent to create linear video content that will be exclusive to Elite members. That content is inspired by Call of Duty,” said Hirshberg. “If you’re a sports fan, there are lots of ways for you to connect with that hobby, that passion, not just on the day that the games are played, but throughout the week, and we wanted to give [Call of Duty players] real entertainment value.”

Source: The Guardian

Sega Applauds Sony’s PSN Efforts

After the attacks on PSN, Sony made the painful decision to take its servers offline for four long weeks. While Sony has taken flack for this from financial analysts, Sega West president Mike Hayes thinks they did the right thing.

It’s a practice that we certainly don’t condone and we have nothing but sympathy for Sony,” said Hayes. “It could happen to anyone. We support Sony 100 percent through the difficult time, which they’ve handled very well. Sony have communicated extremely well with its publishers, they’ve taken action and they’ve led us along each path they’ve chosen. I don’t think they could have done any more.

“We’ve experienced those kind of attacks ourselves on a much lesser scale, particularly for Football Manager a few years ago,” he added. “We constantly get them and know it severely damages our business. We won’t go into the whys and wherefores, but we know that can happen to anyone in the legitimate sale of intellectual property. Sony get nothing other than our full backing.”

Source: CVG

Apple Pay-Per-Install Puts Off iOS Developers

Apple has maintained a pay-per-install ban on its apps for a number of weeks over concerns that it violated rules of the App Store by manipulating the top 25 app rankings. According to Mihir Shah, CEO of Tapjoy, this is starting to negatively affect numerous developers.

A survey Tapjoy did a survey of nearly 500 iOS developers using their service and over half said they were receiving more complaints for the removal of pay-per-install. The number of developers who saw their game usage diminish was eight times higher than those that saw it increase, while it was a 15 to 1 ration of those who saw their revenue decline as opposed to increase.

This might affect the iOS development community in the end since pay-per-install (which is like advertising in that it incentivizes players to install an app for in game currency) makes up at least 20 percent of revenue from most developers that use it and they may move over to Android as a result.

Source: VentureBeat

Microsoft Talks Xbox And Entertainment

It might not seem like it, but it has been ten years since Microsoft launched their console endeavor in the Xbox. While that system was aimed at hard core gamers, the use of the Xbox platform has evolved over the years.

“Just for starters, we ve sold more than 53 million Xbox 360 consoles, and Xbox has been the top-selling console in the last year,” writes Frank X. Shaw Corporate Vice President, Corporate Communications, Microsoft. “There are more than 30 million Xbox LIVE members. And more than 10 million Kinects have sold to date. Those are pretty big numbers for a device that, until recently, had primarily been purchased by hardcore gamers. But something interesting has happened in the last few years. While people are still playing a ton of video games, 40 percent of all Xbox activity now is non-game. Put another way, we re seeing an average of 30 hours of video consumption per month per Xbox, a number that is growing fast. And people are expecting more more options, more games, more videos, more entertainment.”

Shaw promises that the Xbox platform is at the core of Microsoft’s entertainment strategy. He promised that more revelations will be coming to that effect at E3 2011.

“The vision for Xbox is straightforward: All of the entertainment you want. With the people you care about. Made easy,” said Shaw. “That is why you ve seen us invest in partnerships with ESPN, Netflix and Hulu. That is why we ve baked social directly into the experience with Xbox Live connecting gamers, friends and families across the globe. That is why you ll see Xbox marketed more as an entertainment brand this year. And that is why we’re investing so much in Natural User Interface technologies (speech, touch, gestures) to make the entertainment experience that much easier and more fun. With Kinect, we ve made NUI real for millions of people, and we ve only begun to scratch the surface of what’s possible.”

Source: Microsoft Blog

Apple Has iOS 5 Plans For WWDC 2011

Apple has announced that a team of Apple executives led by CEO Steve Jobs will lead off the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) with a keynote address on Monday, June 6 at 10:00 a.m. Lion, the eighth major release of Mac OS X, will be unveiled as will iOS 5, the next version of Apple s mobile operating system for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch in addition to Apple s upcoming cloud services offering iCloud.

WWDC will feature more than 100 technical sessions presented by Apple engineers, reads the release by Apple. Mac developers will see and learn how to develop world-class Mac OS X Lion applications using its latest technologies and capabilities. Mobile developers will be able to explore the latest innovations and capabilities of iOS and learn how to greatly enhance the functionality, performance and design of their apps. All developers can bring their code to the labs and work with Apple engineers.

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