Call Of Duty Dethroning Target Of U4iA

U4iA founder Dusty Welch is very confident about the future possibilities of his free-to-play shooter company. In fact, he believes that one day they will compete with the largest FPS titles on the planet.

“I created Call of Duty to dethrone the established leaders back in the early 2000s, and you bet my goal at U4iA is to repeat that success again,” said Welch. “Providing a AAA, first person shooter experience in a browser is really what the end game is for us. And I think that’s going to help lead the new dynamic and a transition of gamers into the social.”

“I think you look at my track record of knocking off the established players and you can imagine that my goal for U4iA is to once again dethrone the established players, across the spectrum, across the space and allow gamers to again unite and experience the best consumer proposition that’s available, and usher in a new genre experience,” he added. “That’s what U4iA is going to provide.”


Analyzing Kinect’s First Year

Microsoft’s Kinect peripheral has certainly seemed like a boon for the company and its Xbox business, but what do people in the industry think about its performance and its future

“I think Kinect is now a part of the Microsoft ecosystem, and it’s an integral part,” said Arcadia analyst John Taylor.  “You’re doing this story at an interesting time because the new Dashboard and all the stuff they’re doing with Bing is just about to happen. I think that’s going to bring magic to this thing again. This isn’t gaming related. I don’t think Microsoft has to rely on games to drive demand for this. They’re hoping, and I think there’s a good chance that the voice interface, the entertainment search feature that’s going to be built into this thing is going to be a tie-breaker for an awful lot of people. I want to watch a movie but I don’t want to have to wade through 50 pages of menus. If Microsoft can get the thing right, in terms of allowing people access to all that stuff that’s out there, they can win on that basis without needing a game to drive the installed base.”

That’s all well and good, but third parties would like to see Microsoft pushing the Kinect a little harder with better first-party efforts too.

“It’s not healthy to just sell in the holiday, or 90 percent of your units in the holidays. We would really like to see them have some major launches during the non-holiday part of the year,” said Ubisoft’s VP of Marketing Tony Key. “That will help keep the visibility of the machine high and enable better catalog sales throughout the year, and also give us the opportunity to launch some things throughout the year. We put out Michael Jackson: The Experience in April and we would love to continue to have Kinect games come out all year long, but we need support from first-party [Microsoft] also on that front.”

Source: IndustryGamers

DC Universe Online Sees Huge Lift From Free-To-Play

Free-to-play is one of the biggest trends sweeping the industry right now – it seems like almost every major online title is offering some kind of free-to-play or “freemium” service and with good reason: it’s a business model that works. Sony Online Entertainment has revealed that its DC Universe Online has seen a staggering 700 percent revenue jump since making the switch to free-to-play.

Having already announced that one million new players had signed up since transitioning to the new business model, John Smedley, President of Sony Online Entertainment, announced the revenue jump and noted that 85 percent of daily log-ins are now by returning players, and the user base continues to grow at a rate of 6 percent per day. He also said that daily revenue is now mostly generated by players purchasing additional character slots and new skins for their in-game characters.

Activision CEO Believes Call Of Duty Deserves More Respect

Activision Publishing boss Eric Hirshberg thinks it’s unfair for games like his company’s Call of Duty to be blasted for glorification of violence when the same level of criticism doesn’t seem to apply to critically lauded movies like The Hurt Locker.

“There’s a sense that games are more exploitive in a way that The Hurt Locker—which also was designed as form of entertainment—isn’t . . . I think they are an art form. And I think that ‘too soon’ criteria is not applied to things like Green Zone. Or United 93. There will be a time when we look back and find it quaint that video games were so controversial. I think the active ingredient to changing that attitude is time,” he said.

Hirshberg continued, “The producers didn’t create The Hurt Locker as a public service; they did it to tell a story that they thought needed to be told. It was a piece of entertainment that they sold tickets to and sell DVDs with. And, yet, that’s not viewed as exploiting current events. It’s viewed as somehow artistically interpreting and commenting on current events. The creative process of making that movie and making our games is very similar, but they’re received differently.”

Source: Kotaku

Portal Themed Bedroom

Portal and Portal 2 are some of the most innovative and creative titles in this industry, and Valve’s legion of fans will do all sorts of things to express their adoration for the games. Take, for example, this unique bedroom (and bathroom) makeover a gamer dad put together for his lucky son.

Inside Infinity Blade II’s Amazing Visuals

Epic and Chair Entertainment are almost ready to release their follow-up to one of the most successful iOS titles to date. Infinity Blade II launches on December 1 and here’s a closer look at the visual masterpiece.

RedOctane On The Arduous Task Of Launching Guitar Hero

Guitar Hero is well past its prime and it’s unclear if Activision will bring the franchise back, but the brothers behind the game at RedOctane, Charles and Kai Huang, have learned a lot from the trials and tribulations of launching a mega blockbuster in this industry.

Explained Kai, “We almost went out of business three times from the beginning to when we were acquired. The first two times we said we’re never going to let this happen again, and of course it happened again. The last time was right in the middle of launching Guitar Hero. We decided we were going to launch originally with 50,000 units for that holiday season. It was 2005. We ended up signing a deal with MTV, for marketing, and when we did that we decided to bump our hardware production up to 150,000 units, which was huge for us. Very expensive. Just the hardware investment alone and the cost of goods was $3 million for a company that was doing a total of $6 million. We had tripled our production forecast, so we pretty much ran out of money. We went out to VCs and we tried to raise money and we couldn’t, and that was when Charles and I decided to mortgage our houses and borrowed as much money as we could. On top of that, we had to borrow another half a million dollars from a family friend, who happened to have the money lying around because they were remodeling their house. We used all of that to launch Guitar Hero.”

Kai also revealed that his next project will involve “figuring out ways to get people healthier — more active and fit, ultimately leading them to a healthier lifestyle by leveraging gaming some how.”

Source: Mashable


Apple Allows Game Subscriptions On IPad

App Store games so far have all been sold on a one-off basis, with many of them being quite cheap or even free. Could a subscription model work on iOS though We may soon find out, as Apple has allowed, for the first time, a game publisher to charge a subscription.

Big Fish Games has been approved to offer a monthly subscription of $6.99 to access its titles. The subscription model also means that players will be able to quickly switch from game to game without needing several downloads. “This is the first time that the technology has matched the business model,”said Big Fish Games founder Paul Thelen. “It took longer than usual to be approved. [Apple] needed to be convinced there’s a reason to charge customers every month.”

Interestingly, the experimentation with business models doesn’t stop there, as Big Fish will also be offering a free version of its service that only allows 30 minutes of playtime with ads.

Source: Bloomberg

YouTube Gains An Edge On Netflix With Disney And Pixar Rentals

Netflix has seen a lot of angry customers of late, mostly due to their new pricing plans, which separate the physical disc rentals from streaming video. Recently, Netflix also lost access to more than 1,000 Disney titles after failing to renew a deal with distributor Starz. Now Netflix is facing additional pressure from YouTube, which just signed a deal to offer Disney and Pixar rentals.

While the deal initially only providers YouTube with a few movies, like “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Cars 2”, Google has already promised that hundreds will be coming to the site in the near future. Additionally, YouTube will offer up “extras” from Disney like behind-the-scenes clips.

Disney and Pixar fans will be able to rent both on the Web and through the YouTube app on Google TV.

Amazing Skyrim Time-Lapse Video

Bethesda went to great lengths to craft a stunningly beautiful world in Skyrim with numerous environments to explore, and this well-produced time-lapse video shows off the game’s incredible details. Check it out.