Online Warmongers 50 Percent Acquired By Cybergun

Cybergun has acquired half of Online Warmongers. The French company is making a strategic investment in the free-to-play developer that is responsible for the online shooter title War Inc. Battlezone.

“This strategic investment is a great opportunity not only for the activity of Cybergun Video Games, but also for the sale of retail products,” said Cybergun in a statement.

[a]list games recently agreed to promote War Inc. Battlezone in North America, Europe and Australia.

Electronic Arts Calling Out Call Of Duty ‘Clever Ploy’

Electronics Arts has engaged in some high level mudslinging with Activision over Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3. Scott Steinberg of TechSavvy Global, however, thinks it’s a “clever ploy” by those at EA.

“It reflects just how seriously Electronic Arts and Activision take the coming clash of the titans – and how much each side has invested in the conflict’s outcome. Modern Warfare 3 enjoys tremendous brand recognition and a massive fan following, giving it a marked advantage over Battlefield 3 at the cash register… but Battlefield 3 may very well be the more ambitious, polished and critically-acclaimed of the two titles,” said Steinberg. “Moreover, each side plans to spend well into the eight or nine figures promoting the titles, reinforcing just how high the stakes are they’re playing for.”

“From a broader perspective, tasteful or no, the mudslinging means little from the perspective of semantics – subtlety’s never been an industry strong suit, as gaming rivals have been hurling insults since the days of ‘Genesis does what Nintendon’t.’ But what such smack-talk does do is galvanize attention around the coming showdown: A win-win for both sides from the perspective of pure publicity,” he continued. “Whether or not that’s by design, or simply a natural outpouring of the enthusiasm and emotional investment each publisher has invested in the projects is largely irrelevant. Regardless of your appetite for name-calling, there’s no denying the clear upsides gained via such scuffles, as these heated exchanges help keep both games in the headlines, and top of mind.”

Source: IndustryGamers {link no longer active}

iSwifter Looking To Broaden Market

iSwifter has announced that it should generate $10 million revenue during its first year of operation. The company, which helps stream Flash content to iOS devices via bespoke apps, has also hired former senior director of engineering at VMWare Ajit Mayya to lead a team of engineers, that includes new hires Lucian Masalar, and Pankaj Kumar, in projects designed to expand the company’s remit and market reach.

“Ajit has been a key executive at multiple start-ups and his experience at VMware, the technology leader in systems virtualization with a $40 billion market cap, is going to be totally awesome for us,” said Gupta and fellow co-founder Rohan Relan. “With Ajit on board, we are building a world-class engineering team and will broaden the company’s streaming offerings beyond Flash applications to become the ‘Netflix of Applications.'”

“Streaming Flash applications for mobile is just the beginning for iSwifter,” said Mayya. “Users want instant access to their content and applications regardless of the device they are using: be it music, video or iSwifter based applications streamed over WiFi and 3G/4G networks.”

iPhone 4 Getting Cheaper, While iPhone 5 Gets Prepped

Reports from Asian suppliers are that Apple has begun manufacturing a lower-priced version of its hot-selling iPhone 4. The new version will have a smaller 8 gigabyte flash drive and is expected to launch within weeks.

“Apple may want to push into the emerging market segment where customers want to switch to low- to mid-end smartphones from high-end feature phones, which usually cost $150-200,” said Yuanta Securities analyst Bonnie Chang. “But I think for an 8GB iPhone 4 the price is hard to go below $200, so Apple will still need a completely new phone with low specifications for the emerging markets.”

Additionally, reports are that Apple is looking to launch the iPhone 5 by the end of September. Reportedly featuring a bigger touch screen, better antenna and an 8-megapixel camera, 45 million such devices are said to be in the queue for Hon Hai and Pegatron.

Source: Reuters {link no longer active}

Nintendo Revising 3DS Hardware – Report

Rumors are floating around the Internet that Nintendo is working on a new version of the 3DS. Nintendo is apparently aware of the push back consumers are having on 3D; combined with the skepticism that the 3D doesn’t damage eyes, they are considering toning down the 3D effect and might even slap a new name on the portable.

More startling, however, is the rumor that executives at Nintendo privately admit that not having a right circle pad was a mistake. The new model of 3DS will reportedly have dual analog inputs, while Nintendo will release a device that would add an analog pad to the existing 3DS for $10.

Nintendo is apparently reaching out to developers to ask them to develop titles that have the two analog sticks in mind. 3DS development kits are also reportedly on the rare side, with only 300 being produced every month, putting delays in the pipeline for developers to start making their games.

Adding fuel to this fire is confirmation that Nintendo will hold a pre-Tokyo Game Show briefing on September 13, 2011. The closed event, open to only media, investors and analysts, is believed to be the platform on which Nintendo will unveil the next version of the 3DS console.

Source: 01net

PAX Prime’s [a]list games Booth Featuring Nine Games

[a]list games has announced that it will be exhibiting at the upcoming PAX Prime show, with a total of nine games in their booth. These games will include APB Reloaded from GamersFirst and War Inc. Battlezone from Online Warmongers, both premium F2P online games that will see marketing campaigns from [a]list games; other games will include Bungie Aerospace’s iPad game Crimson: Steam Pirates, inXile Entertainment’s downloadable title Choplifter HD, Psyonix’s iOS game Whizzle: Accidental Hero, Motiga Games’ iOS title The Leftovers, and from Atlus’ the console title King of Fighters XIII and their downloadable titles Trine 2 and Rock of Ages.

“Collectively, our booth at PAX is a look at how digital platforms have transformed games,” said Steve Fowler, GM of [a]list games. “Visitors can give several stunning PC and iPad games a spin, or even just read about what we’re showing, then download and start playing them for free.  Or, like the old days, they can come and preview a few killer console titles and add them to their wish lists.  We have something for every type of gamer, and as a whole, we’ve ended up exhibiting a microcosm of where the game industry stands.”

“Given our approach to the games business, and quite evident with our efforts at PAX, we’re not afraid of breaking from convention to the point of doing something that is unprecedented,” added Fowler.  “We hope more game makers, whether indies and upstarts or established companies, recognize how [a]list games is addressing the shift in the game marketplace and the way games need to be marketed.”

For more information on [a]list games and PAX giveaways, and tofind out more about War Inc. Battlezone and APB Reloaded, please visit {link no longer active}.

Twitter Galleries May Be Golden Opportunity For Advertisers

Twitter recently launched a new “User Galleries” feature designed to aggregate the last 100 pictures uploaded by a user via tweet. It will then display those photos in chronological order.

This online photo album will be linked from each user’s Profile page, including photos shared through Twitter and third-party services such as Instagram, yFrog, and TwitPic. Pictures will be shared automatically, and removing a photo means deleting a whole tweet.

There are two ways to view the galleries: a grid view that shows thumbnails of the images and a detail view that shows the most recent image, along with the body of the tweet and thumbnails for other images. On the branding side, Twitter said that the new feature is a positive addition for marketers looking to associate their brands with a richer multi-media experience.

“We think the user galleries feature will be good for advertisers, who now have greater incentive to include cool pictures in their tweets,” said Matt Graves, director of communications for Twitter.

Source: AdWeek

PlayStation Home Evolving To Get More Game Elements

PlayStation Home originally launched as a virtual world in 2008, though the market for such software has cooled off since the project was conceived. However, Home has done well by offering multiple free games, and it is being remade with a central area called “The Hub” with MMO-style games and themed areas based around different genres, like Sportswalk, the Adventure District, and the Action District.

“This is a giant leap in the evolution of the platform,” said PlayStation Home director Jack Buser. “We are going to ‘up level’ games as the heart of PlayStation Home. This means that Home itself is going to become a game. The first things you see when you get into Home are games.”

According to Buser, 23 million PlayStation 3 owners are currently registered in Home, with the average visit lasting around 70 minutes.

Source: VentureBeat {link no longer active}