Capcom Introduces Monster Hunter Mobile Social Game


Capcom has revealed a new mobile version of Monster Hunter. Titled something to the effect of Monster Hunter Exploration Journal: Phantom Island, they’re taking per-registrations for the Gree mobile platform now.

The game will be based off of the Monster Hunter Frontier Online franchise and be set on the titular Phantom Island. There, players get embroiled in a quest to train and fight monsters with one another.


Star Trek Warps For Free On January 17, 2012

Cryptic has confirmed that Star Trek Online will be going free-to-play on January 17, 2011. “We’ve always wanted the game to be free-to-play, in fact we tried to make it free-to-play at the original launch, but our publisher [Atari] didn’t want us doing that so we didn’t do that,” said Stephen D’Angelo, Executive Producer on Star Trek Online and Chief Technical Officer.

The developer learned from the rough transition of Champions Online to make sure that beginning loot is easy to acquire and later loot is satisfyingly difficult. “A lot of the things people acquired weren’t worth very much to them,” D’Angelo says. “[So we’re] revisiting the game’s economy.”

One big change is going to be switching over the myriad means of acquiring items with Dilithium. This material can also be exchanged for Cryptic Points, which grants access to things like certain starships, pets and consumables.

“Dilithium buys you the cool gear. People who buy Cryptic Points can go to our store and can buy the cool ships, but they can’t get the cool gear. We’re going to let people sell their Dilithium to other players for Cryptic Points,” noted D’Angelo, “if you have no money and want to spend no money you can literally get everything available in our store.”

Source: IGN

PopCap: 118.5 Million Weekly Social Game Players

PopCap today revealed that 118.5 million people now play social games at least once a week, up 71 percent over last year. People are also more willing to spend money, with 31 million players having purchased in-game currency, up 86 percent.

“The survey found that 30 percent, or 35 million people who now play social games are new to the category since February 2010, and that 17 percent of people who play social games regularly are new to gaming altogether, having never previously played a video game, representing 20 million new gaming consumers,” notes PopCap. “And while the average age of social gamers has gone down from 43 to 39, the average first time new social gamer is a 50+ year-old woman.”

PopCap also said 81 million people, or 68 percent of social gamers, play social games at least once a day, and that 49 million people, or 41 percent of social gamers, play social games multiple times a day. Demographic stats showed that the percentage of social gamers under 30 years old increased from 19 percent to 30 percent, that women comprise 55 percent of social gamers, and that 20 percent of all social gamers in the U.S. are over 60, compared to only 7 percent in the U.K.

Source: 2011 PopCap Social Gaming Research

Fiesta Online Developer Sees Gamigo Investment

Gamigo has announced that it has bought 20.1 percent of developer OnsOn Soft. The German publisher has made the investment in the Korean free-to-play developer in order to gain the European and U.S. publishing rights for OnsOn Soft’s next game.

“We’ve had a close business relationship with OnsOn Soft for years; this step will cement that further,” commented Patrick Streppel, one of Gamigo’s board members. “With this strategic investment we are securing the future of Fiesta Online in Europe and will be able to make other projects a reality with their team.”

Gamigo previously published OnsOn Soft’s popular MMO Fiesta Online.

GTA Publisher May Be Looking Towards Social Acquisitions, Says Pachter

Publisher Take-Two has issued $200 million worth of senior convertible notes for purchase. Given that the company will likely receive a large influx of cash with the release of Grand Theft Auto V next year, Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter thinks the reason for the move is to acquire a company in the social or mobile space.

“We cannot envision any scenario where the company would run out of cash at any time in 2012,” reads Pachter’s investment note, “particularly taking into consideration that management has repeatedly stated it expects the company to earn ‘in excess of $2.00 per share’ in FY:13. A review of Take-Two’s line-up in 2012 reinforces our view that the company will generate even more cash in FY:13, and leads us to conclude that the proceeds can only be intended for acquisitions or strategic investments.”

“Take-Two is likely exploring an investment in the mobile or social games space,” claims Pachter. “We note that digitally delivered content accounted for 25 per cent of net revenue in Q2:12, and management consistently lists digital as a component of the company’s growth strategy.”

Steam Suffers Breach, Information Stolen

Valve founder Gabe Newell has issued a statement confirming that Valve’s Steam was hacked in a November 6 raid that resulted in the Steam forums being defaced. User information was obtained and the system’s entire database has maybe been exposed.

“We learned that intruders obtained access to a Steam database in addition to the forums,” stated Newell. “This database contained information including user names, hashed and salted passwords, game purchases, email addresses, billing addresses and encrypted credit card information. We do not have evidence that encrypted credit card numbers or personally identifying information were taken by the intruders, or that the protection on credit card numbers or passwords was cracked. We are still investigating.”

“We don’t have evidence of credit card misuse at this time. Nonetheless you should watch your credit card activity and statements closely,” added Newell. “While we only know of a few forum accounts that have been compromised, all forum users will be required to change their passwords the next time they login. If you have used your Steam forum password on other accounts you should change those passwords as well. We do not know of any compromised Steam accounts, so we are not planning to force a change of Steam account passwords (which are separate from forum passwords). However, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to change that as well, especially if it is the same as your Steam forum account password.”

L.A. Noire Creator Talks Pressured Development, Why The Studio Closed

L.A. Noire released to critical praise earlier this year, but it was followed by a dark cloud of controversy due to working conditions in the weeks that followed. Brendan McNamara, who was head of the now dissolved Team Bondi, indicates that the post-release controversy prevented the studio from signing a new contract.

“Mainly, I’d say because we got a lot of bad press about what it was like to work with us and our conditions,” said McNamara. “That, obviously, didn’t come at the right time. To do a deal for a major video game probably takes about a year. We didn’t start running around doing that stuff until well after the game was finished. That’s the problem when a game is all consuming and you need to get out there and do whatever you need to do to get people to know it and interested.”

Rumors floated about that Team Bondi existed in a state of extreme “crunch mode” all of the time. With 110 hour work weeks, unpaid overtime and enmity between the staff and the management. For his part, McNamara defended the development process.

“Yeah, 110 hour weeks are tough,” said McNamara. “But not many people worked 110 hour weeks making L.A. Noire, I can tell you that. And it wasn’t mandatory. It was just, yeah, it was hard, and it was brutal, but I would say, most of those triple-A games, when you aren’t sure of what the technology is, and you aren’t sure what the process is, it’s going to be pretty difficult. Time’s a finite thing. You can’t extend it forever. We certainly had plenty of time.”

As for what he and former members of Team Bondi are doing, McNamara said, “A lot of people who were working on L.A. Noire have gone across to KMM, some of them to be working on some of the film projects. A lot of the art and animation guys went across. Some of the people have gone to work in different Rockstar studios. I’m personally just writing some new stuff now, which I’ve been pitching around for the last couple of weeks. Hopefully I’ll have something to announce on that pretty soon.”

Source: Eurogamer

Legend of Zelda: Link To The Past May Go 3D

There’s a lot on the table for Nintendo and the Legend of Zelda series, with releases on 3DS and Wii this year. While a brand new game seems to be in the works for 3DS, a remake of a classic 2D title might come out as well.

“Well actually, even Mr. Miyamoto himself has been talking recently about going back to the 2D Zelda games,” said Skyward Sword producer Eiji Aonuma, “in particular the ones that were designed with multiple levels to the world like A Link to the Past, and taking those 2D graphics and recreating them in 3D so that you could get a sense for the depth of those worlds. That’s something that might be interesting to do, so I would say there might be a possibility of something like that in the future.”

Source: GamesRadar