Modern Warfare 3 Hits The Road In Wrangler

Jeep has announced for the second straight year it will be the “exclusive automotive partner” for Call of Duty. As such they will release a the 2012 Jeep Wrangler Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Special Edition, available in four or two-doors in silver or black, “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Special Edition” graphics on the front fenders and spare tire cover and plenty of things to accentuate it’s outdoor flavor including rock rails, taillight guards, a fuel-filler door, off-road tires, live axles with locking differentials in the front and rear, and a two-speed transfer case.

“This opportunity enables us to demonstrate Jeep Wrangler’s unique combination of fun, capability and performance to a broad and growing group of consumers,” says Mike Manley, CEO of Chrysler’s Jeep brand.

Digital Revolution ‘Can’t Come Soon Enough’ Says Ninja Theory

AAA games can be profitable, but they also often come with a huge risk. Ninja Theory’s chief creative officer Tameem Antoniades indicates despite his company’s critical success with original games like Heavenly Sword and Enslaved: Journey to the West, the current retail model runs counter to innovation.

“We’re in this kind of AAA bracket, I guess you could call it,” said Antoniades. “The high budget, high stakes retail model – the barriers to entry for that are so high, so difficult, that we seem to be getting, being offered, decent work in that area. It’s hard to say no when you’ve got a team of 100 and you have to keep the payroll going. Another big project comes along, you tend to go for it.”

“There’s always an opportunity between projects to explore things, a lot of team members are hobbyists, they create their own iPhone games and things like that so I can see us kind of taking a punt with that. It can’t come soon enough. The whole digital revolution is happening now and it can’t come soon enough. The model we’re under, the big retail model, is creaking,” he continued. “It’s such an opportunity for fun creative games to reach a target audience, there’s this stranglehold that the AAA retail model has which I think is just crushing innovation and access to creative content. If you’re paying that much for a game, you don’t want to take chances. You want everything to be there, all the feature sets. You want it to be a known experience, guaranteed fun. That’s not healthy.”

Source: GamesIndustry.biz

Superheroes, 3D Can’t Hide Summer Of Discontent For Hollywood

As the U.S. economy struggles, so to has the Hollywood box-office, with a Summer total of $4.38 billion an increase of less than 1 percent over last year. The worst news is that most of that is made up by more expensive tickets (usually in 3D); raw attendance is projected at 543 million, the lowest since Summer 1997, when 540 million people came to the theater.

“In an economy that has been unfortunately pretty depressing, the marketplace expanded to accommodate big pictures stacked back to back to back,” said Dan Fellman, president for domestic distribution at Warner Brothers.

While Harry Potter: Deathly Hallows — Part 2, Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides took in over a billion worldwide, other anticipated films like Larry Crowne, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Mars Needs Moms, Cowboys & Aliens, Zookeeper and Green Lantern underperformed. However, Hollywood did have some good hits that will produce sequels, like Thor, Captain America, The Smurfs, X-Men: First Class and Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

“The lesson for us is that different and original is always hard and always a risk but has great upside,” said Tom Rothman, co-chairman of Fox Filmed Entertainment said of the X-Men and Planet of the Apes films. “While both of those films had genetic material in common with their original franchises, both were very, very original pieces.”

The Summer also revealed the importance of international audiences; sequel fatigue comes on slower in China and Russia, with Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Kung Fu Panda 2 and Cars 2 all performing well, with the fourth Pirates film in particular taking in $70 million less in North America than its predecessor, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, but grossing $145 million more than At World’s End overseas.

“America used to set the course — if a movie disappointed here, then it was done,” said Phil Contrino, editor of BoxOffice.com. “That’s simply not the case anymore. America is just another territory now.”

Crude comedies ruled, with The Hangover Part II drawing over $254 million in the U.S. and Bridesmaids being a surprising hit with $281 million worldwide; Bad Teacher and Horrible Bosses also performed respectably. Then again, The Change-Up with Jason Bateman’s cost $52 million to make with significant marketing and managed only about $40 million in tickets worldwide.

Some more old-fashioned, mature films managed to do well for themselves as well; The Help has benefited from strong reviews to take in $122 million, while Woody Allen’s sleeper Midnight in Paris has managed $53 million in tickets. “It’s always kind of funny to see Hollywood surprised that movies aimed at adults succeed in the Summer,” said Contrino. “If you don’t feed them garbage — surprise — they buy tickets.”

Source: New York Times

Dark Souls — Prologue Part 2

The prologue to the dark fantasy continues. The official description describes them as: “Nit, the first of the dead, the witch of Izarith and her evil daughters, the Lord Gwen and his knights.”

Team iLuminate Has Talent

Team iLuminate has been tearing it up on America’s Got Talent and it’s easy to see why! Check out the clips, one of which includes a great fighting game interpretation!

Madden Smack Shack Is Open!

On Facebook, EA has launched a Facebook engagement destination for Madden 12 that allows fans to get deep inside the head of their opponent. Fans can send a smack video to a friend featuring NFL players like Arian Foster, Ray Lewis, Mark Sanchez and Ladanian Tomlinson. With each engagement, the smacks get harder and more vicious. Tag a photo or “check in” with one of your friend’s ladies (mom, sister, wifey, etc.) to up the ante and increase the smack. The smack downs get intense letting fans make a date for victory and even fake a relationship status with one of their friend’s significant others. Don’t’ forget to pre-order now and watch the trailer and get ready for the real trash talking to begin.

Dragon Quest X MMO Announcement Leads To Stock Woes

Dragon Quest X was recently announced as a subscription-based MMORPG that will be available for Wii and Wii U. This announcement has led to what is being called “Dragon Quest Shock” by investors in Japan, leading to a drop in stock for not only Square Enix, but also Sony and Nintendo.

The Square Enix reaction is the easiest to detail, since investors clearly don’t have much confidence in a new online game from the company after the disastrous launch of Final Fantasy XIV. For Sony, the confirmation that they would not have the Dragon Quest franchise was compounded by woes in their electronics business – with Nintendo, the reason appears to be a lack of faith in their online capabilities and general doubt with the Wii and Wii U systems.

Source: Andriasang.com

Xbox 360 Getting 3D Update – Report

According to reports, the Xbox 360 will be getting a 3D update in the near future. This would come ahead of the release of the 3D Xbox 360 titles Gears of War 3, Batman: Arkham City and Halo CE: Anniversary.

“The new update allows users to enabled 3D for use with 3D TV sets,” writes Lee Nomas. “The text reads ‘Enable 3D to use stereoscopic 3D in games and experiences that support it.’ The option also has a setting which will detect TV size and also allow users to input the size manually.”

Source: msxbox-world.com

Violence May Impair In-Game Advertisement Messaging

The University of Texas at Austin have released the results of a study on the presence of in-game ads in violent games. The finding suggested that violence in games leads to lower brand recall and negative brand attitudes, especially among women.

“Although violent video games are very popular and can reach a young, highly engaged audience, their effectiveness as an advertising medium is questionable,” said Jorge Peña, assistant professor in the Department of Communication Studies. “Our study demonstrates that featured violence diminishes brand memory and primes more negative attitudes toward the brand.”

After playing two similar games, save that one had NPCs with guns and blood-soaked rooms, brand recall and recognition were lower for everyone in the violent one. Women in particular displayed a 11.29 percent decrease in brand liking for the violent shooter game, which the study things might be a result of lack of familiarity with these games and men perhaps being more desensitized to violence.

“Advertising campaign planners would do better to spend their budget on ads embedded in nonviolent video games than in ads placed within violent video games; particularly if they are trying to reach women,” said Seung-Chul Yoo, doctoral candidate in the Department of Advertising.

Yoo and Peña believe violent content in video games divert attention from other sources of information in the game, thus distracting from in-game ads. There’s also the suggestion that violent materials leave a negative impact for the player, similar to the way violent TV programs hamper ad recall relative to nonviolent TV programs, according to other studies.

Source: utexas.edu