Modern Warfare 3 Dev Says Shock Scenes Need To Be ‘Authentic’

The attention given to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare series for it’s various controversial elements has no doubt helped bring more attention to the series. According to Sledgehammer Games creative director Bret Robbins, the key is to not try to purposefully out do themselves.

“It needs to be something that’s authentic, that actually moves the plot forward,” said Robbins. “We have some moments in the game that I think are pretty shocking, that push the envelope a little bit. But like I said before, it’s not a matter of trying to be gratuitous about it, doing shocks for shock value. You always want to push yourself and see if you can push the limits of the medium, and storytelling. We’ve got such a big audience for this game that we want to deliver something that’s memorable. Experiences that people are going to be talking about the next day after they played it, talking about with their friends. It’s really a matter of creating something unique.”

“We wanted to show, certainly in some particular cases, we wanted to show the effect of war,” noted Robbins. “What happens if a modern American city gets attacked What would that be like, what would you see If you were walking down the street, what would happen Civilians are part of that, innocent people are part of it unfortunately. But at the same time, it’s really a soldier’s story, it’s about how the soldiers, how the professionals, the elite professionals would react to that kind of situation. What they would do, believably. We worked with a lot of military consultants, guys that really know what they’re doing and how they would respond to these crazy situations. We just do it as realistically as we can, based on what they would do.”


Cross-Platform Future Of Games Discussed By Funzio Executive

Many in the sphere of traditional gaming have been switching over to social and mobile games. One such person is Jamil Moledina, who moved from EA Partners to Funzio because he felt like it reflected the future of the industry.

“One of the things going through my mind lately is, ‘What really is the future of games ‘ The successful game companies of the next five years will be those that have figured out how to provide compelling game experiences to everyone, no matter what device they’re using, no matter what platform or what technology,” said Moledina. “It’s as much a business challenge as it is a technology challenge,”

“You have different visions of the future. Some companies think it’s primarily browser-based and mobile is kind of an afterthought,” he continued. “Then you have other companies that are more in the social/mobile space and they say mobile is the future. From my point of view, I think Funzio has placed the bet correctly in that they are focusing on a cross-platform approach. They are bringing great entertainment out with a view to removing the barriers of platform and technology. If you look at Crime City, it’s a game that works perfectly well on both Facebook and Google+ as well as iOS. And by approaching it that way, by focusing on great entertainment, you’re able to be much more flexible as platforms rise and fall.”

While social games are sometimes seen as low quality experiences, Funzio is looking to help change that. “One of the things Funzio is incredibly excited about, and something that maps very well to where I see the future of games going, is that they are very much focused on triple-A action games that have much higher visual fidelity and deeper gameplay,” said Moledina. “In fact, one of the terms that we use is RPG Plus, where the games have an added layer of depth to them; for example, Crime City features boss battles. There’s also PvE and PvP multiplayer capabilities… so if you combine the gritty visual look and high quality design, there’s definitely a vision at Funzio to bring the sophistication of traditional games to the social market.”

“I’m not sure we need to bypass consoles to get there,” he added. “For example, look at Netflix – this is a great example of a company building a bridge to a cross-platform future. For me, it’s companies like EA, Netflix, Zynga, PopCap (before EA acquired them). With Netflix you’re accessing entertainment on any device wherever you are. You can get it on your iPad, on your 360 and PS3, on your PC, on your iPhone, etc. In this way, the consoles remain current and vital and relevant because they offer the service, plus they offer a unique way of accessing this service.”

Source: IndustryGamers


Lego Universe Collapses

The Lego Group has announced that Lego Universe will shut down on January 31, 2012. This signals the end of another MMO that was reliant upon subscription revenue; while there was a popular free play zone, it was never properly monetized.

“The Lego Universe team can take pride in having developed and launched a great Lego experience that many players will miss,” said Jesper Vilstrup, Vice President, Lego Universe. “Right now, we have almost 2 million players in Lego Universe, and we get extremely positive feedback from players. Unfortunately, we have not been able to build a satisfactory revenue model in our target group, and therefore, have decided to close the game.”

“The development of our digital offerings continues to be a very important element in our strategy,” said Mads Nipper, Executive Vice President, Lego Group. “We have more than 20 million visitors on every month, and Lego video games are among the bestselling children’s video games with sales of more than 60 million units in the last five years. Through our experience developing and running Lego Universe, we have gained a lot of valuable insights, and we have a very strong foundation for future development in the digital area.”

Nexon Targeting $1.3 Billion IPO Valuation

Nexon is planning an IPO for the Tokyo Stock Exchange in December. The Korean online gaming company is reportedly targeting a $1.3 billion valuation, which would make it the most valuable IPO in Japan this year.

Nexon’s IPO will be handled by Nomura Securities, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, with approval for the list expected by the end of the week. Nexon hopes to reach a market cap of $7.7 to $9 billion, which would compare favorably to the two biggest listed domestic online/social gaming companies in Japan with GREE at $8.3 billion and DeNA at $5.4 billion.

Source: TechCrunch

Mobile Numbers Suggest Android Purchases, IOS Use On Rise

comScore has released it’s latest mobile numbers for the quarter ending September 2011, showing Android increasing its share nearly 5 percent to 44.8 percent market share. Meanwhile, Apple was up slightly to 27.4 percent RIM’s Blackberry slid down to 18.9 percent market share while Microsoft’s Windows Phone remained in fourth place with 5.6 percent.

Furthermore, comScore indicated that Smartphones make up 37 percent of the total 234 million mobile phones in the U.S. 28.8 percent of all phone owners played games on their devices.

For its part, the Nielsen Company estimated that 43 percent of all mobile customers owned a smartphone, with comparable market share numbers for the major mobile OS companies to comScore. As far as demographics go, 62 percent of mobile adults between the ages of 25-34 were found to own a smartphone, and penetration is around 54 percent among 18-24 and 35-44 year-olds.


Meanwhile, Net Applications (which measures based upon mobile web site and browser usage, key to mobile advertisers) saw iOS surge by 7 percent to nearly 62 percent. Android increased by a marginal 2.6 percent to roughly 19 percent, while everything else barely registered.

BioWare’s New Game — First Image

The first image of BioWare’s new project has been unveiled and it is most definitely a new and unique project. Sure enough, like rumored the image has a passing resemblance to the Uncharted series.

Everyone will have to check out Spike’s Video Game Awards show on Saturday, December 10 on Spike TV, MTV2 And at 8:00 PM ET to see this and other new games for the first time.


Nook Tablet Takes A Bow

Barnes & Noble has officially unveiled its Nook Tablet. Priced at $249, it costs more that Amazon’s competing Kindle Fire, but also has a longer battery life and has more memory.

The Nook Tablet will be available on November 17 with a 7-inch color touchscreen and preloaded apps from Netflix and Hulu. The Nook will have free customer service in over 700 Barnes & Noble stores.

Source: AP

Justin Verlander Covering MLB 2K12

2K Sports has announced that Justin Verlander will cover Major League Baseball 2K12. The star pitcher is an American League Cy Young Award candidate, with over 20 wins and multiple no-hitters under his belt and has already received the player elected awards for Player of the Year and American League Outstanding Pitcher.

“It’s a dream come true to be on the cover of Major League Baseball 2K12,” said Verlander, who pitched the second no-hitter of his career this season. “I’ve worked closely with 2K Sports on the MLB 2K series since 2007, and I couldn’t be more excited to continue my relationship with such a great baseball game.”

“Justin’s amazing performance this season speaks for itself,” added Jason Argent, vice president of marketing for 2K Sports. “Between his second career no-hitter and leading the league in virtually every pitching category, I can’t think of  anyone else but Justin Verlander to serve as the face of Major League Baseball 2K12.”

Alan Wake Xbox Live Exclusive, Remedy Defends Decision

Microsoft has confirmed that the next Alan Wake game will not come to retail and instead be a “fully standalone experience released on Xbox Live.” This hasn’t sat well with some fans, but Remedy has sought to reassure them and remind them to not pass judgment until they get more information.

“You’re assuming a lot by the platform it is on,” said Remedy’s community manager. “All I can say is wait for the official announcement before making up your mind. We’ll have an official announcement up in a moment but let me clarify that you guys shouldn’t feel disheartened that it’s coming to XBLA.

“It’s structured like a full release complete with a pretty damn impressive storyline that expands the originals in some interesting ways,” he added. “I really enjoyed it so I’m sure you all will too!”