Rift Developer Opens Red Door

Trion has announced that they are launching a new development and publishing platform for online games codenamed Red Door. It is designed to help developers release their games more quickly, will help share content across multiple devices, support live patching/updates and will support multiple monetization solutions.

“Media and entertainment are transforming into connected services that evolve around the user,” said Trion CEO Lars Buttler. “Our goal is to revolutionize premium games and help the industry realize its potential in the connected era. Our first title Rift is just the tip of the iceberg; with Red Door we intend to catalyze significant change for the industry and unleash new creative possibilities. We want to hear from those with big bold ideas and dreams.”

Windows Phone Gets Xbox Live Marketplace App

Microsoft has announced that they are developing a Windows Phone app that lets users navigate and control content on the Xbox Live Marketplace. The Xbox Companion App will let users access the new TV services launching on Xbox Live this year and allows Windows Phone users to integrate their handsets with Xbox Live.

The app will let users browse the Xbox Live Marketplace, access information about a film, TV show or song, and link to related items. “It’s an infinite road of interactive content,” writes Ben Rudolph.

Source: windowsteamblog.com {link no longer active}

Halo Movie Filming Starting 2012: Rumor

Rumors are that work on a Halo movie is beginning to spin up again. The reports state that filming will begin in 2012 and be conducted by Steven Spielberg and his production company Dreamworks.

There have been reports circulating since 2009 that Spielberg was interested in making a Halo film based on the source material of the novels. The reasoning to use the novels instead of the games was to avoid playing production fees to Universal and Fox for their abortive attempt to make a Halo film.

Source: halo.bungie.org {link no longer active}

Indie Developer Dissects ‘Pay What You Want’ Model

Joost van Dongen, creator of the game Proun has discussed what he sees as the problems with the download for free business model. He made $20,000 on the game with purchasers paying an average of $5.23; including people who downloaded the game for free, the average price paid drops to $0.09.

47,379 people downloaded Proun for free, while roughly 200,000 people pirated the game via torrents. The problem, as Dongen sees it, is the friction caused by having to enter card details.

“People are lazy,” he writes. “Systems that remember your payment details and thus don’t require you to fill in anything each time you buy something are tremendously successful. Think Amazon, think Steam. So I think if I had set a minimum price of $1, way more people would have decided to pay a couple of dollars for Proun. Simply because they already had their Credit Card out for the $1 and figured the game was actually worth a bit more.”

“Fewer people would have played Proun, but I think more people would have paid, making Proun a bigger success financially,” he adds. “Note the emphasis on financially: my main goal was to get as many people as possible to play my game, and the scheme I used was definitely a good choice for that!”

Dongen notes that he will set the minimum price to $1, hoping that people will pay more after crossing the threshold of entering their credit card information.

Source: joostdevblog.blogspot.com

iPad Still Preferred By Consumers Over Kindle Fire

According to a survey by SodaHead, 61 percent of respondents believe the iPad will continue to maintain its grip over the tablet market compared to the Kindle Fire. 66 percent of those under the age of 45 prefer the iPad to the Kindle Fire, while 51 percent those over 45 believe the Kindle Fire is the device for them while the remaining 49 percent prefer the iPad.

The survey also suggests that the iPad is something of a luxury item, with those making over $100,000 a year preferring the iPad to the Kindle Fire by 94 percent. By contrast, those that make between $25,000 to $100,000 had only 54 percent of respondents wanting an iPad over the Kindle Fire, while those making under $25,000 prefer the iPad over the Kindle Fire at a ratio of 73 percent to 37 percent. College students hoping for iPad gifts are attributed to raising the under $25,000 market.


Xbox Live Gets Nearly 40 New Content Partners

Microsoft has announced that it has signed contracts with roughly 40 television and entertainment content providers to bring new services to Xbox Live. These partners include Verizon, Comcast, HBO Go, Syfy, TMZ, UFC, and Bravo joining services like Netflix, Hulu+, ESPN, YouTube and VEVO.

“Today’s announcement is a major step toward realizing our vision to bring you all the entertainment you want, shared with the people you care about, made easy,” said Don Mattrick, president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. “Combining the world’s leading TV and entertainment providers with the power of Kinect for Xbox 360 and the intelligence of Bing voice search will make TV and entertainment more personal, social and effortless.”

“FiOS TV on the Xbox 360 is an excellent example of how we’re working with market leaders to erase old technology borders to expand the FiOS TV experience and taking advantage of unique new features including voice- and gesture-control of live TV entertainment via Kinect,” said Eric Bruno, VP of consumer and mass business product management for Verizon. “This holiday, Verizon will bring a selection of popular live TV channels to Xbox 360 and will be a leader in delivering live, multichannel streaming HD TV, integrated with Kinect, via the Xbox.”

Team Bondi Shot Dead By Debts

A filing by the Australian Securities And Investments Commission confirms that developer Team Bondi will close their doors. Official form confirmed that a liquidator has been appointed to sell the remaining assets, and the company will be shuttered after creditors are met.

Despite the success of Team Bondi’s L.A. Noire, negative publicity over studio head Brendan McNamara’s management style and a cooling relationship with publisher Rockstar Games may have sunk the company. It is believed that at least some of Team Bondi’s assets and IP were sold to Australian film company KMM, with staff at Bondi told to accept a job with KMM or accept severance terms.

Source: Next Gen  {link no longer active}

QR Code Killers On The Horizon

Almost omnipresent QR codes used to share information with smartphone users might be outdated soon by fancier image-scanning technology. British company Aurasma has launched a new initiative for triggers for virtual content and has offered itself for free and racked up 2 million downloads.

Blippar, another image based company has done ad campaigns for Cadbury, Jack Daniels, and Tesco. Their main wag is using codes that are more aesthetically pleasing.

“We don’t want to be pigeonholed as a QR code killer,” says Jessica Butcher, Blippar’s marketing manager. “We really want to show that image recognition can do a lot more than that.”

Pepsi recently had a campaign where fans could snap photos of the X Factor logo on soda bottles for content and prizes. The promotion, powered by Pongr, doesn’t require an app but instead scans and filters the photos that users simply send to them.

“We particularly like the Pongr technology because it allows millions more of our consumers to engage via our products than if we were restricted to QR codes and QR readers,” says Shiv Singh, PepsiCo Beverages global head of digital.

Lauren Offers, Aurasma’s director of marketing, notes that despite these new changes, it was QR codes that have “gotten people comfortable with the idea of taking your phone and pointing it at some kind of image.”

Source: AdWeek