Blockbuster Offers Free Rentals With Gears Of War 3 Purchase

Those that purchase Gears of War 3 at a Blockbuster store will receive free game and movie rentals for a month. The promotion is available at Blockbuster’s over 1,500 locations nationwide from now until October 7, 2011.

“We want to get back on gamers’ radars with a promo that packs a punch,” said Randall Baker, Blockbuster’s Senior Buyer of Video Games. “Gears of War 3 is certainly one of the biggest games of the year, but players may want to take a breather from fighting alongside Delta Squad every now and then. We’re giving them nearly unlimited entertainment options for those spare minutes.”

Rovio Reportedly Forming Indie Label

Reports are that Rovio is looking to set up an indie mobile publishers label. Executives at the Finnish company have approached several mobile games studios to set up the new business.

“We have some plans for this area, but not ready to announce yet,” said Rovio ‘Mighty Eagle’ Peter Vesterbacka. “If we do something in the publishing area, you can expect it to be a bit different.”


Uncharted 3 Book-Ended By Novel, Comic Releases

Today it was revealed that the book Uncharted: The Fourth Labyrinth will release on October 4. The book details Nathan Drake tracking down a friend of Sully’s only to find him dead, and having to unravel a mystery with the help of the friend’s daughter and uncover an ancient treasure.

Further more, the Uncharted comic series penned by Joshua Williamson will start November 30 and run for six issues. The anticipated Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception on PS3 will release November 11.

Mafia Wars 2 Prepares For War

Zynga has announced that Mafia Wars 2 will be coming to Facebook soon. It’s one of the more elaborate trailers the company has ever produced, featuring the Mountain Song by Jane’s Addiction.

Like, Share And Unlock Items At Launch

A new trailer and Facebook page for Mafia Wars 2 has been launched challenging fans to “like” the page and “share” to earn exclusive in-game rewards at launch. At the time of publication, 52,277 fans had already “liked” the app and had a chance to earn rewards like black mohawk hair (20,000 likes required), a casino row t-shirt (50,000 likes required) or a graffiti wall (100,000 likes required). Zynga knows how to keep it interesting, at 500,000 likes everyone gets their own animated lion.

Battlefield 3 Pre-Orders Rise To 1.5 Million

EA Has confirmed that Battlefield 3 has reached pre-order numbers of 1.5 million, increasing a quarter of a million in two weeks. Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia thinks the map pack was a good incentive for players to pick up the game early

“Management remains optimistic that the title has potential to exceed sales of its predecessor (Battlefield Bad Company 2), which has sold through 9.5 million units life-to-date. Critical ratings for BF3 should be at least 80,” added. Bhatia. “The combined marketing dollars for BF3 and Call of Duty: MW 3 could reach $100 million this year. The two week head start for BF3 versus CoD will facilitate a big launch for BF3. Once CoD launches, there would be a natural slowdown in sales of BF3. Then, at holiday, momentum for BF3 should rebuild. BF3 is expected to have a long tail as more digital content is introduced over time. At peak, BF3 had more than 100 developers. Note that BF3 will include a map pack if the game is pre-ordered. This $15 to $20 value should be a big incentive for customers to pre-order BF3. The mix of BF3 should be 60 percent US and 40 percent international.”

Source: IndustryGamers

Duke Nukem Asks Fans For Feedback

The professional reviews of Duke Nukem Forever were not kind to the game, but it still ended up selling well over a million copies in a short period of time. In what appears to be an attempt to assess the status of the Duke Nukem brand, Gearbox has launched a survey asking people who both played Duke Nukem Forever and didn’t what they thought of the game.

“Gearbox prides itself in listening to the community, and this is your chance to tell us how you feel about Duke Nukem Forever,” says the survey. “You may participate in this survey if you have played or have not played Duke Nukem Forever.”

To participate, visit

Sims Social Can Be Number One, Says EA Playfish

The Sims Social has quickly achieved the mark of 51 million monthly active users and nearly 11 million daily active users. While this puts the game in the second place slot among Facebook games GM of Playfish London John Earner feels confident The Sims Social will eventually be number one.

“It is growing extremely quickly. I think more interestingly than that and a story that I haven’t heard really read clearly enough yet . . . is that this game got over 7 million daily active users without any marketing stunts. Again, we were spending a few dollars here and there just to calibrate, but there was no main full spend in the game. No one has seen that kind of growth ever,” he said. “I have been at Playfish for over 3 years. I was the product manager on our first hit, Pet Society. I was producer on Restaurant City. So I’ve seen the growth of our early games back when Facebook was a relatively high viral environment. Even in those days and even with FarmVille, the growth wasn’t quite like what we’ve seen this time around.”

“On top of the 7 and a half million, we then got to where we’re at right now, which is somewhere between 10.5 and 11 million, depending on your counting. And we got that largely through cross promotion of our Sims title, via our other legacy titles, our Pop Cap titles or the broader Sims community,” he added. “And we’ve begun spending quite a bit of money. But basically, we’ve just hardly burned any of our marketing powder and we’re already sitting about 2 million daily users shy of CityVille.”

When asked about growth, Earner said, “In terms of what’s driving that growth, I think it’s a combination of two basic things. I think the first is it’s an extremely well designed social game that did a good job of finding the balance between what works on Facebook as a platform and what has historically worked for a long storied proud franchise of The Sims, which has had over 100 million installs,” he said. “It’s really easy to have veered in either direction from that path. It would have been very easy for us to make exactly the game that we knew worked on Facebook and in doing so betrayed what the brand is about and what people who have played The Sims the last decade have come to love. And it would have been equally easy for us to have just literally ported what has made The Sims successful onto Facebook. And I think, on our end, as Playfish, there were temptations to do the former. I think, on EA Play’s end, the guys who made the original Sims games, there’s always been temptation to do the latter. And what made this work is both of us working together, teaching one another about our respective strengths, tempering one another’s weaknesses also and becoming better for it. I think this game fairly well navigates those two spectrums of being a good Facebook game and being a good Sims game.”

There is also the strength of the brand name. “We are seeing strong qualitative evidence that we are attracting former Sims players – folks who played Sims 1 and graduated from college and didn’t have time any more, folks who played Sims 2, but maybe that game had gotten too complex for them. We’re seeing a lot of those people showing up,” he noted. “It’s harder to track in the data because that data doesn’t exist within the social graph in the way that perhaps, saying, did you ever play Pet Society We know that number cold. We’ve got over half the people who have played another Playfish game to try The Sims. With the brand stuff, it’s a little bit more qualitative. We’re doing consumer research. But yes, it would appear that we’re seeing a heavy dose of people who were from the franchise coming over.”

“So I think we’re extremely proud. We’re very optimistic. At the same time, we, more than anyone, have learned how to be humble in the last two years. We had to relearn a lot of things. Zynga’s enjoyed great success in a lot of ways, but we have not been sitting on our thumbs. We’ve been learning. We’ve been growing. And the last year has been spent focused on this game and I think we’ve now proven to the market that we’ve learned what we need to learn to take on Zynga,” concluded Earner.

Source: IndustryGamers

BioShock Infinite Turning Japanese

BioShock Infinite, a game about American exceptionalism during the early 20th century, doesn’t seem like a natural place for Japanese voices, but the actors make it work. More excitingly, more of Columbia and the Songbird are shown!