Bungie Talks Experience Necessary For Mobile Development

Mobile gaming is quickly becoming something that AAA experience helps in designing the best games. Bungie Aerospace Portfolio Manager Bernie Yee says that the company’s experience with independence from Microsoft helped them bring a new prerogative to mobile.

“We look at the hardware platforms, and they’re becoming more powerful and relevant. So I can’t speak for other studios, but for us, the values Bungie brings to game development are applicable to iOS,” said Yee. “So remember five years ago when it was the original iPhone The mobile scene was very different. The palette was so limited. What would our guys do to a mobile game dev back then We’d have nothing to contribute. But now the things we have are really useful.”

While the company’s first game Crimson: Steam Pirates was an iOS title, Yee indicates that they’re looking at other platforms. “You’ll see us on the PC,” said Yee. “You’ll see us on other handheld devices. We obviously like Android quite a bit. We have a lot of people in the office with Android phones. Certainly different means of digital distribution are really interesting to us. I wouldn’t even rule out XBLA or PSN.”

Source: GamesIndustry.biz

Zynga’s Russian Counterpart, Pixonic, Opens San Fran Office

Pixonic has opened a new office in the San Francisco area. The social gaming company from Russia that calls itself “little Zynga” has launched 40 games and also offers PixAPI, an analytics platform.

“We look forward to working with the best U.S. social gaming developers to help them more successfully bring their games to market,” said CEO Elena Masolova. “We offer selected developers the opportunity to port their social games to iOS and Android totally at our expense. The porting is performed by our in-house mobile team to help developers enter the booming mobile market without distracting their social team.”

“PixAPI allows us to track thousands of in-game events in real-time, analyze game performance and improve it within a few hours,” added CTO Michael Chernetsov. “Competing solutions from Kontagent and Mixpanel carry a substantial cost for developers while PixAPI is free to use. Today, PixAPI statistics are in closed alpha with plans to launch the beta version by early November 2011.”

Angry Birds Marketing Genius: Peter Vesterbacka

Peter Vesterbacka is one of the most important marketers in video games, but he only works on one game property. Still, when that game property is Angry Birds, it’s certainly more than enough.

“As the game was gathering momentum, we started to see a whole phenomenon unfolding,” says Vesterbacka. “People were literally demanding merchandise, and everything started to evolve naturally.”

Indeed it helps to have a game property that 400 million people have downloaded, 30 million who play daily, with another 130 million every month to add to the 1.8 billion hours total that have been spent on the game. Of course, he has ambitiously put the franchise everywhere, merchandising it like a franchise from Disney with t-shirts, plush toys, Silly Bandz, puzzles, party kits, Halloween costumes, card games, key chains, flip-flops, lunch boxes, neckties, a board game, and a cake decorating kit.

“We see a whole world of opportunity in bridging the gap between our digital services and the physical products,” he says. “Things will get very interesting in this area in the near future.”

Sometimes the best marketing lays outside of what is obvious. Adding to the brand is a stadium-crowd game, a Finnair promotion and a likely TV show and movie to follow.

Source: AdWeek

Rift Publisher Trion Eyes IPO

Trion Worlds has managed to make a hit out of their first title Rift, built on investments from Time Warner, Comcast, Fidelity Investments and ACT II Capital. However, now that they have a steady cash flow, they’re considering an IPO at some unspecified date in the future.

“As we build scale and become more profitable, (an IPO) is clearly on our horizon at some point,” said CEO Lars Buttler. “We’ve had a lot of bankers coming to us recently. We keep all of our options open at this point. We definitely have enough substance and enough skill to be a public company at the right time.”

Rift has sold well over a million copies and also generates money from monthly subscription fees, though the current number of subscribers is a secret right now. “Rift is vastly profitable. It is profitable every single week and every single month,” said Buttler.

Not only do they have the hit game, but they recently announced their Red Door publishing platform for online games. “It’s a software platform and it evolves and gets better all the time. It’s a huge revenue opportunity,” said Buttler.

Of course, long term prospects for the company will be tied to the platform along with Defiance, a game ties to release with the TV show of the same name on the Syfy Channel. “If you have a game in that level and it doesn’t do well, you stand to lose a lot of money. The stakes are much higher with failure,” said Billy Pidgeon, an analyst for M2 Research.

Source: Reuters

Diablo III Console Work Confirmed

Diablo III for consoles has been rumored almost as long as there has been a Diablo III in development. However, director Jay Wilson has confirmed that a three man team is working on the conversion right now to see what is possible.

There’s no official announcement yet because “if it goes on a console, it doesn’t compromise the PC game in any way, and it feels like it was built for the console,” said Wilson. “We don’t want to announce something until we’re sure.”

The main design difference is the fact that the console versions will not have a targeting reticule on screen. “The movement actually feels better on the controller,” said Wilson. “Targeting is the issue. Monster distribution and AI also feels a little bit different than it does on the PC version.”

Source: BeefJack {link no longer active}

Soulcalibur V Collector’s Edition Comes In A Neat Book Box

Namco Bandai have announced the details of the Collector’s Edition of Soulcalibur V. Pricing is currently unknown, but it will be available when the full game releases on January 21.

The Collector’s Edition of Soulcalibur V will come in a detailed book box case. Inside there will be a copy of Soulcalibur V, an art book, the original soundtrack CD, a full DVD detailing the making-of Soulcalibur V, a letter on imitation parchment paper signed by Team Soul, and a DLC card for the Black Knight and Paladin armor sets.

Three Musketeers: Combat Ops

Now’s your chance to become a legendary Musketeer and uphold the name of justice and honor! Take on the role of D’Artagnan and train with the Three Musketeers – Athos, Porthos and Aramis. Learn secret fight tactics you can use in combat against the treacherous Cardinal Richelieu, the alluring and deceptive Milady, and the dastardly Duke of Buckingham. Available now for iPad, iPod Touch & iPhone and Android {links no longer active}, for optimal game play the game has been engineered for iPad 2.