‘Like’ The Lorax

A new Facebook App called “60 Days of Seuss” has launched bringing daily content updates to Facebook fans feeds. From wishing a Happy Birthday to Betty White to putting the Lorax ‘stache on George Washington, postcard-like image fill up the entire Facebook preview image window with a countdown in the top right until the release of the movie.

Telltale Signs Of Success In Revenue, Not Traffic

It’s an increasing trend within the industry to make games available for a small fee or even for free. However, Telltale CEO Dan Connors asserts that the constant banging on about volume for the digital market tends to obfuscate the metric that release matters: revenue.

“Daily average users, monthly average users, number of install, it’s all very sexy,” said Connors, “But the amount of dollars attached to the user is where, from a business standpoint, the rubber meets the road.”

In particular, he called out the tendency to slash prices on the App Store. “There’ll be a giant sale on iOS where a major company may offer up its entire library for 99¢ and some of that includes $59.99 retail products at console,” said Connors. “So someone just sold $600 million dollars worth of content for $7 million, and considers it a success.”

While the so-called episodic model has gone out of fashion, Connors notes that modern digital offerings are an evolution of different “episodes” worth of content. “They’re just calling it different names, there’s a DLC campaign for everything and there’s multiple DLC campaigns for everything so they’re just installing a bigger initial chunk and then building off of it. Free-to-play with microtransactions is in a way episodic as well, it’s just additional content to keep the player engaged,” he said, noting, “We’re the only ones who still call it episodic, but I think it is what everyone’s doing.”

Source: GamesIndustry.biz

Yahtzee Croshaw Teases New Game: Poacher

One of the world’s most popular video reviewers, Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw, also likes to make games on occasion and is putting together a freeware title in Game Maker. As something of a send up of trailers in general in games, he made a trailer for it with Virtualdub using the songs Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9  and Lux Aeterna from the Requiem for a Dream soundtrack – check it out!

MLG 2012 Season Winter Plans

MLG has announced that their ninth annual Pro Circuit for 2012 which will be divided into four seasons – Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. The Winter season will run January 31-February 8 with some invitation-only StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty tournaments, with the eight finishers from the MLG Pro Circuit 2011 National Championships held last November will be invited to join the top eight finishers from the MLG Winter Regional Online Qualifiers for the first ever MLG Winter Arena in New York City running February 24-26.

“Our 2012 MLG Pro Circuit season is poised to be our most robust to date – with even more competition online and in person, more broadcasts and more of the world’s best players,” said MLG CEO Sundance DiGiovanni. “We listened to our community and players to update our Pro Circuit format and ensure that placement in tournaments was a direct result of player performance. Our new Pro Circuit structure is designed to further the world of e-sports and take competitive gaming to a new level.”

The Winter season will conclude with the MLG Winter Championship, a spectator event in Columbus, Ohio running from March 23-25 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. The event will be viewable for local fans in-person and via live streaming.

Yahoo Co-Founder Jerry Yang Departs

Yahoo Inc co-founder Jerry Yang has announced his sudden departure from the company, following the recent appointment of Scott Thompson as Yahoo CEO. Yang is severing all formal ties with the company and resigning all positions in the wake of criticism for his handling of company affairs dating back to an failed sale to Microsoft in 2008.

“Everyone is going to assume this means a deal is more likely with the Asia-counterparts,” said Macquarie analyst Ben Schacter. “The perception among shareholders was Jerry was more focused on trying to rebuild Yahoo than necessarily on maximizing near-term shareholder value. It certainly seems things are coming to a head as far as realizing the value of these assets.”

Source: csmonitor.com

Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning Steam Pre-Order Bonus

Steam has announced the availability of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning for pre-purchase. Those interested to check out the game can play the demo on Steam right now.

Also those that pre-purchase on Steam before the release date can receive three exclusive items. The Warsworn Helmet, Bolgan Helmet, and Bolgan Family Crest in Team Fortress 2 will be available to everyone that purchases the game early.

Source: store.steampowered.com

6waves Lolapps Escalates Mobile Development

6waves Lolapps has announced that it has acquired Escalation Studios. This will add a Dallas studio to the expanding empire of 6waves Lolapps, gives them more leverage in the mobile market, and adds Escalation Studios’ co-founder Tom Mustaine and Marc Tardiff as Design Directors and co-founder Shawn Green as Director of Engineering.

“We will double our business in 2012 and mobile will play a significant role in our growth on both the publishing and development sides of our business,” said Rex Ng, CEO of 6L. “This addition to our team brings some of the mobile gaming industry’s most impressive talent into our fold and sends a clear signal that we are as serious about innovation in mobile as we have been in social.”

“We were initially interested in Escalation Studios because of their reputation within the industry,” said Arjun Sethi, Chief Product Officer of 6L. “When we sat down and saw their roadmap we recognized immediately how deeply their goals and capabilities align with our own. Their addition to our team will enable us to launch some of 2012’s most innovative mobile games.”

Xbox Live Apps See Higher Usage After Dashboard Update

Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb recently released some stats about Xbox Live that hours of video consumed globally on Xbox Live increased 140 percent from 2010 to 2011. Not only that, but the new Metro-style dashboard saw a 60 percent increase in app usage and a 50 percent increase in users using those apps.

“We are committed to enhancing and expanding our global entertainment offerings on Xbox Live in 2012,” wrote Hryb. “Moving forward, you can expect to see more of the world’s leading entertainment providers coming to Xbox and a continued roll out of additional entertainment apps.”

Source: majornelson.com

Namco Bandai VP Rips Free-To-Play Games

Free-to-play is an increasing trend in the video gaming industry, though game consoles have been slow to adopt the business model. Namco Bandai senior VP for Europe Olivier Comte said at Cloud Gaming Europe that F2P titles are setting standards low for games and are whittling away at AAA gaming as a whole.

“Free-to-play games can’t be high quality,” said Comte. “We need to put certain value on certain work. When you’re a big company… you can’t take risks too quickly, you can’t make a change just because there’s a fashion for a couple of years; you want to be there in 20 or 30 years.”

Source: IndustryGamers

Star Trek Online Floats Free In Space

Cryptic Studios has announced that Star Trek Online is now officially available as a free-to-play product. There is still a $15 subscription available, which grants additional character and item slots, unlimited access to in game communications and a monthly stipend of “promotional points” that can be used for in-game purchases.

“We couldn’t be more excited,” said Cryptic CEO Jack Emmert. “Anyone can download and play Star Trek Online at no cost. There’s no better way to see how sitting in the captain’s chair feels.”