PSN Exclusive Program Pushed By Sony

Sony has announced that it is launching a “Only On PlayStation Network” program starting October 4, while will highlight games and downloads like Eufloria, Okabu,  InFamous: Festival of Blood and PixelJunk Sidescroller. Also included in the program will be rare PS2 games like God Hand, GrimGrimoire, Maximo: Ghosts to Glory, Odin Sphere and Ring of Red. 

“‘Only On PlayStation Network’ is our line of great exclusive games that users can count on to deliver exciting game experiences that can’t be found anywhere else,” said Susan Panico, senior director of PlayStation Network, SCEA.  “This strong initial content offering, combined with the day one discounts for PlayStation Plus subscribers and the ‘Spend $60, Get $10 Back’ promotion, makes PlayStation Network the premier destination for digital content.”

Also, those who are PlayStation Plus subscribers will receive a 20 percent discount during the launch week of each “Only On PSN” game.

Social Game Developer Formed By Mythic Founder

Mark Jacobs has announced that he has founded City State Entertainment. While he was formerly the boss of Mythic Entertainment, he will now work in the mobile, tablet and social networking space.

“I’m tired of strings and being told what to do by other people,” said Jacobs. “[At City State], we’re a very collaborative group where we talk about everything, and that’s what you need if you really want to be successful.”

“Social games are certainly a lot easier to develop than a traditional game, let alone an MMO,” he explained. “And because of the faster development cycle and the lower costs, we have a lot more freedom in what we want to do. We don’t have to worry if the hardcore gamers are going to get incredibly upset because we’re doing something a certain way. We don’t have to worry if our game is going to sell another 20 copies. We’re just looking to make fun, enjoyable games.”

Jacobs is running City State with his own money; he sold Mythic to Electronic Arts in 2006 for an unspecified amount of money. “At the end of the day, when you take other people’s money, you have to do what they tell you to do; I’ve done that before, and a lot of times it’s cost me,” Jacobs said, not talking about the details of his departure from EA and Mythic.

While Mythic veterans joined Jacobs at City State, he brought in a diverse set of personalities. “I didn’t want this studio to be the old boys’ club,” he said. “I was looking for, and continue to look for, a mix of people that represent a much more diverse segment of the gaming population — whether that’s women, young people, whoever — and, to be very blunt, not just ‘old white guys.’ I want people who can come in and bring in their different perspectives, and their ideas for new games and features.”

Three City State employees had never played a video game before coming onto the company. “They’ve never played an MMO, and they don’t know hardcore games, but what they do know are the platforms we’re going for,” he said. “They know what they like. They can give us opinions that are much more diverse, and that’s what I want. We have a great bunch of guys and gals who are willing to speak their minds. This is the kind of environment that we had at the beginning at old Mythic, and the kind of place that I always wanted Mythic to be. We have a very collaborative environment; we talk about everything. I’ve got a great mix of people here.”

Jacobs insists there’s more room for developers to exist. “The market hasn’t saturated yet because the number of devices hasn’t peaked,” he said. “There are a lot of games out there that are nothing more than clones, and that’s not good. It’s not good for Apple, it’s not good for the consumer, it’s not good for anyone. And that is what’s going to change. The mobile and social space hasn’t matured enough, where the developers have really hit their stride on these devices.”

“We’re hoping to carve our own niche,” Jacobs said, “but at the end of the day, what we really want to do is just make great, fun games for everyone.”

Look for City State’s first game in late 2011.


Facebook/iPad Announcements Expected Soon

It is believed that Facebook’s long awaited “Project Spartan” HTML5 mobile platform and iPad app have been completed and could launch early this week. Reports are that the iPad app was completed a while ago and was pending the negotiations between Apple and Facebook.

It is believed that the Facebook app will launch during Apple’s big announcements during the week. The Facebook tablet platform is also expected to release, whether or not Apple is ready.


3D TVs: 77 Percent Of Gamers Not Interested

A recent study of 1,001 respondents suggests that gamers just aren’t that enthusiastic about 3D, with 51 percent saying they were not happy with 3D consoles. 44 percent of gamers believe that 3D gaming is just ‘unnecessary,’ 28 percent of them were ‘unimpressed’ while playing the 3DS, 22 percent stated that 3D was simply ‘[impairing] the gaming experience;’ what’s more, 77 percent noted that 3DTVs were not something they’d want and 65 percent stated that 3D was not a major issue in the purchase of a next-generation Xbox.

“Rumors are constantly flying around about the next big console releases, so we wanted to see what gamers would think about the possibility of a 3D enabled console,” said Simon Kilby, founder of “It was surprising to see that the majority were against it, but many seemed to be disappointed by the technology on the Nintendo 3DS and wouldn’t like to see the technology spread to other consoles. 3D, given its current popularity in cinema and television, does seem to be the next logical step in gaming; but I think developers will have to be careful to tackle the issues that the Nintendo 3DS seemed to raise with motion sickness and the like. Our study proves that many think it to be unnecessary or even impairment on the gaming experience; so it will be interesting to see what happens when the consoles are finally released.”

Source: {link no longer active}

BioWare Would Consider Mass Effect MMO

Many have actively wondered if BioWare will pursue doing an MMO for Mass Effect after they launch the final game in the trilogy and officially release Star Wars: The Old Republic. BioWare c-founders Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk have nothing to announce, but they seem open to the idea.

“You never know,” Zeschuk replied to our Mass Effect MMO query.  “I think once The Old Republic is done, we’ll take a fresh look at the market. And we’ll have learned a lot. While making it, you learn an enormous amount. It’s one of the nice things about having these properties in our back pocket… If we want to use something we own as a source for a game, it’s easy to do. So yeah, you never know. We’ve got this giant product to launch, but once that’s done we’ll consider next steps.”

“We’re focused very much on The Old Republic, Mass Effect 3 and [our free-to-play game] Wrath of Heroes, and all the other things we’ve announced, and haven’t announced, but we also have the opportunity to look at our franchises in a way we haven’t ever before,” added Muzyka. There are lots of new platforms and lots of new business models.”

Source: IndustryGamers {link no longer active}

App Store: 20 Percent Of Developers Make 97 Percent Of Revenue

Canadian indie developer Owen Goss has done a study involving 252 iOS developers that says that the top 20 percent of iOS developers are earning approximately 97 percent of all the game revenue. The top one percent of earners on the App Store take in over a third of the revenue.

By contrast, the 80 percent of iOS devs are splitting a three percent of all App Store game revenue. 25 percent of iOS studios audited made more than $30,000 in lifetime revenue, while the bottom 20 percent have made less than $200; another 25 percent admitted to making between $1,000 and $10,000 overall.


Smurf Berries Pay For Capcom With Millions Of Downloads

Smurfs’ Village for iOS has reached 15 million downloads and is the top-grossing app of the Apple App Store in 69 countries, according to Capcom. The Android version of Smurfs’ Village will be released on September 28, 2011.

“The market for games used on mobile devices continues to grow rapidly primarily because of the increasing use of smartphones worldwide and the popularity of social games. Sales of Android devices are posting strong growth, ranking first in global sales volume due to the use of Android as a platform for smartphones,” wrote Capcom president Haruhiro Tsujimoto. “We here at Capcom are committed to the development of new and creative social games and plan to take the rapidly expanding mobile market by storm through our two-pronged strategy, one primary ‘Capcom’ brand and another second ‘Beeline’ brand. Our Capcom will continue to focus on home console systems, which will make synergy effects by both brands.”

Mortal Kombat Returns To Theaters

New Line Cinema (which is owned by Warner Bros.) has announced that it is making a new Mortal Kombat film. Production is expected to get underway next year, with a release for 2013.

“It’s really important that we show we can bring our game properties to movies instead of just the other way around,” said Warner home entertainment President Kevin Tsujihara.

Kevin Tancharoen has been tapped to direct the film, with his partner Oren Uziel writing. He created the nine-part Web series Mortal Kombat: Legacy for about $2 million.

“The new game and the online shorts prompted us to consider a reboot of a brand we hadn’t been actively thinking about,” said New Line president Toby Emmerich.

It is expected that the new Mortal Kombat movie will be released alongside the next game, or possibly come in a combo pack with the DVD and Blu-ray.


Kindle Fire: 15 Million Sales Expected By 2013, Says Analyst

Market research firm Strategy Analytics believes that Amazon’s new Kindle Fire tablet will sell over 15 million units by the end of 2013. They believe that the Kindle Fire will be released in regions like Western Europe and Japan before the end of 2013.

“Our first impression of the Amazon Kindle Fire is very positive,” said Peter King, Strategy Analytics director of touchscreen strategies at the analyst group. “Amazon has avoided what most of the earlier iPad competitors failed to avoid; a direct comparison on size, features, price and user experience.”

“Amazon will likely sell such high volumes of the Fire that Google’s Android OS will benefit from the increased scale of Apps developed with Android in mind in general, and Amazon specifically,” he said.