Prepare Your Quest On The Official Site For Dungeon Siege III

The official website for Dungeon Siege III opens the door to the kingdom of Ehb where players assume the role of one of four heroes and must fight for the sake of their fallen comrades to restore balance and survive. Conflict is constant in their action-RPG and each decisions has lasting consequences which allows the players to alter the epic storyline. Developed by Obsdian Enitertainment, Dungeon Siege III is the next chapter in the franchise for anyone that enjoys dungeon-crawling and loot-hoarding. An online comic available from Dark Horse reveals an essential piece of the story about the fall of the Tenth legion written by Jeremy Barlow (Star Wars: Rebellion) and artists Iban Coello (Iron Man: Iron Protocols) and Sergio Abad (The Transformers: Prime) and a village already in the group of the Azunite faction. Official website updates have been occurring in Odo s Journal which provides a first hand account from one of the last surviving legionnaires. A live action trailer tells the story of two best friends out for a playful day couch co-op of questing, killing and gathering gold.

iPad Games Could Support ‘Robust Price Point’ Says Take-Two CEO

Pricing for mobile and smartphones games has generally stayed around $1, with few even reaching the level of $10. However, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick thinks that tablet games can eventually reach the traditional portable game price range of $30 or $40.

“Tablets are ubiquitous. And tablets are a great game platform. And it s the right sized screen. And you use the tablet to have an engaging experience,” said Zelnick. “So if all of that s true, I don’t see why we wouldn’t be able to sell a robust product for the same price point. The reason the price point is currently lower for an iPhone app is it is used for five minutes, and not for a hundred hours.”

“My take is that small screens will be used for a quick but interactive entertainment experience,” he added. “Mid and large screens can be a robust and engaging entertainment experience. That’s how my kids play games. When they’re at home, they don’t really play games on their desktops or tablets. They play games on the projection TV.”

Source: Forbes

TV And Movie Production Less Risky Than Games, Says Ubisoft CEO

Ubisoft has been working on initiatives for non-interactive media and has been working on establishing Ubisoft Motion Pictures since May. According to CEO Yves Guillemot, its a less risky business than games and the creation of assets can be reused in their own games.

“The TV business is an interesting business because everything is pre-sold before you start creating the project, so it’s not that risky,” said Guillemot. “Because its an industry where you can recruit people for a short time to come to you to help, you can quickly get the talent, the financing, it’s a way to expand your brand without taking too much risk.”

“It gives you the possibility to reuse the content for your games, so its really complementary to the games. And if you can have 20 percent or 30 percent of your content that is created for the TV series that you can reuse in your game it’s a way to reduce the cost of the game or to do a better game,” he added.


Social Networks For Kids Mostly Ad Free

Today’s young web user is tomorrow’s consumer, so it should come as no surprise that investors and large corporations are seeking to invest in social networks and games targeted at pre-teens. Everloop just raised $3.1 million this year and Togetherville was acquired by the Disney Co. all looking to reach the mark that Moshi Monsters has with $100 million in revenue this year, though none of it was from advertising.

“Believe me, we get asked to incorporate branding and advertising all the time,” said Rebecca Newton, chief community and safety officer at Moshi Monsters, which expects to have 70 to 80 million members in 200 countries by the end of this year. “But it’s complicated. When kids tell their friends they just had a mocha latte at Starbucks, they don’t understand that now Starbucks has their name and knows that they went to a Starbucks in Des Moines on Third Street on Thursday and had a mocha latte and they start getting coupons for 20 mocha lattes.”

Along with understanding of ads, there’s also issues parents, law makers and doctors bring up about the social and medical issues dealing with spending so much time online, along with concerns of exposure to advertising. Because of these concerns, Moshi Monsters avoids the issue altogether, focusing instead on sales of toys, cards and magazines. “[Advertising is] exploitative on a high level — getting information from a kid who doesn’t know what they’re doing,” said Newton.

Everloop, by contrast, has sponsored loops built around specific products and not brands. “Our philosophy is to socialize kids to brands and not commercialize them,” said Everloop CEO and co-founder Hilary DeCesare. “Kids will face ads their whole life online, but our goal is to let them find brands they are interested in.”

“We have found Facebook and other online outlets to be a successful tool when marketing to teens but to reach the tween market there are not as many vehicles,” said Lucille Rettino, director-marketing for the children’s publishing group at Simon & Schuster. “Everloop, with its community set-up, is a perfect place to have kids talk about books. Our goal is to create a book club where tweens are reading and discussing our books and talking about them to their friends.”

As for Togetherville, it has neither advertising or subscriptions, instead having parents pay for T-bills kids and spend on virtual items and games. Disney is being conservative about the social space, with CEO Bob Iger saying, “We have to be very very careful with our brand. Until we are certain that we can live up to our brand attributes within that space, we’re not going to do anything there.”

As for a Disney social network, Iger said, “We might do that, but not anytime soon.

Source: AdAge

Walmart Taps Gaikai For Game Center Streaming Demos

Gaikai has announced that it has partnered with Walmart. They will provide game streaming services to Walmart’s new Game Center website, letting users try out games like Dead Space 2 and Mass Effect 2 right in the browser without having to go to a new site or download a new program.

“Over the next 12 months, when people see a video game on TV and want to try it out, they can be sure the fastest way will be on Walmart’s website,” said Gaikai CEO David Perry. “It’s an exciting time and you’ll see more sites around the world doing these stealth launches with us.”

Source: VentureBeat

Brand Un-Tarnishing – Keeping Brands Clean Online

With the rise of the Internet and the use of search engines like Google, knowledge of persons and companies can be acquired within seconds and often not to the benefit of the search targets. It shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that dozens of companies have popped up with express purpose of protecting online reputations.

“The more that online becomes integrated in our lives, the more important it will be to have an integrated reputation,” adds Zeus Kerravala, a senior executive handling research at the Yankee Group. “There’s a need for these services now.”

A study by Oxford Metrica said that 90 percent of consumers trust what others have to say about a brand, with 83 percent of brands facing an image crisis of some kind in the next five years. Even if the quality of products and customer service is high, problems may still crop up.

“Sixty percent of the time, the attack is competitor-generated,” says Fionn Downhill, CEO of reputation management firm Elixir Interactive. “A [rival brand] decides to put you in Customers will attack you, too. Some have legitimate complaints but some are just shitheads.”

“Things never die on the net, whether its a false claim of a CEO being a sex offender or a real DUI arrest from 20 years ago, it can come back to haunt you. Court proceedings are posted online,” explains My Reputation Manager operations director Terry Boothman. “So say someone had a false accusation made against them. It s a little hiccup but that record is permanent, and too often it comes up.”

“Usually, these services will provide some sort of flattering original content, making sure the article sees a lot of links and add in social media. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube videos we’ll create all that, [then have] the brand do it for itself,” Boothman says, who says the entire process, he adds, “is like a a creative little spider web.”

“The point that mission accomplished can be declared once the negative posts are pushed beyond the first page of results. Still, a major scandal is not going to be so easily whitewashed. You have to create content that s more relevant than the negative story that s sensational and that s going to be tough,” says Trackur’s Beal. “Unless you ve created the cure for cancer, it s going to be hard to come up with something positive enough to move up in the Google search results”.

“With Google continuing to to refine its search algorithms, it may hamper the success of these sorts of companies in the long term. I don’t know how long-lived these tactics will be,” says Matt Zimmerman, senior staff attorney of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “There will be an arms race between people trying to game the search engines and the engines themselves.”

Source: AdWeek

Chinese MMO Title Approaches $80 Million In Dev Costs: Report

While many Chinese developed MMOs don’t have the development budgets of AAA titles developed in the West, The Duke of Mount Deer Online from ChangYou proves there are exceptions. Based around a novel by Louis Cha, the game has been developed by 400 Chinese developers over four years, later helped by 200 Korean developers over two years, in addition to 260 hours of in-game 3D animation, motion capture costs, voice over talent and theme songs, all of which really adds up.

The cost for developing Duke of Mount Deer Online stands roughly at $71.9 million now! Adding in various other miscellaneous cost factors, the total amount could rise up till $80 million, writes ‘Cinderboy.’ Some costs not added include the massive amount poured into marketing the game. An example includes the upcoming movie based on the game, Dreaming of Duke of Mount Deer where one of China’s biggest period actor, Hu Ge, is roped in to helm the titular character, Wei Xiaobao aka Duke of Mount Deer.

Source: MMO Culture