Katy Perry’s Showtime With The Sims

Electronic Arts has announced today that they have started a collaboration with Katy Perry. The pop superstar will be featured extensively in TV spots, online ads and retail marketing around the world.

“The creative collaboration kicks off with a Katy Perry-themed Collector’s Edition for The Sims 3 Showtime Expansion pack launching n March 2012,” wrote Nicole Morrison PR Specialist for EA. “The Collector’s Edition is available for pre-order today and will feature Katy Perry-themed, iconic content that celebrates the star’s personality, style and humor.”

Prototype 2 Comic Series Planned

Radical Entertainment has announced that they have teamed up with Dark Horse Comics to create a new comic set in the Prototype universe. The three part digital comic series will tell original stories furthering the story of Alex Mercer, talking about survivors trying to escape New York, and giving background on Prototype 2‘s new protagonist Sgt. James Heller and will release at Digital.Darkhorse.com every other week beginning February 15, 2012.

“We’re always looking for meaningful ways to expand the Prototype universe, and Dark Horse Comics is an industry-leading creative powerhouse delivering best-in-class graphic storytelling that integrates deeply to the core of our IP,” said Ken Rosman, Studio Head, Radical Entertainment.  “With this partnership, our fans will finally be given answers to some dramatic loose ends from the first Prototype game, as well as the truth behind Alex Mercer’s descent and evolution into a twisted shadow of his former self for Prototype 2.”

“Sgt. James Heller’s heart wrenching backstory meshed with the sheer amount of over-the-top shape-shifting action in Prototype 2 lend themselves perfectly to a comic book series,” said Dave Marshall, Editor, Dark Horse Comics.  “We worked extremely close with Radical Entertainment’s story team for Prototype 2, and can’t wait to visually walk fans through the many dark secrets strewn throughout the tattered world of New York Zero!”

Facebook Getting Streaming Games From Gaikai

David Perry, founder of streaming service Gaikai, talked about the importance of Facebook to his business at Cloud Gaming Europe. He confirmed that a deal is done with Facebook, which will put streaming PC game demos on the social network soon.

“Our next big launch is on Facebook and we’ve been working with them for some time,” confirmed Perry, who demonstrated World of Warcraft running on the service. “Facebook already owns the category of casual gaming, we’re going to help them own core games. A click and boom, you’re playing World of Warcraft.”

Perry noted that friction was a large impediment to consumers online. He gave an example of Steam, where he said that there were several hoops to jump through including answering questions about internet speed, signing terms of service and so on.

“Bring the game to the gamer, don’t move people, move games,” he noted. “Zynga has figured out that you put the customer first, very aggressively. You click once and you get to play for free, you share it with your friends and then you pay Zynga if you love it. It’s a pro-consumer as you can get and that why their valuation has skyrocketed. Some of the traditional publishers who have ignored all of this are falling off a cliff. Look at their stock prices, it’s not good.”

As for games consoles, he thinks that the smarter that TVs get and the more diversified game systems get with their abilities, their downfall may be inevitable. “Consoles are in an interesting place right now. If you look at Sony it has a saying that ‘It Only Does Everything’. I think that one statement says that consoles are going to go away,” said Perry. “This next cycle you’re going to see them turn into media devices, media boxes, I don’t even think they’re going to be called consoles. They won’t want to be associated with that word because it just means games. ”

“Steve Jobs showed that the trick is not to make money of the hardware but to monetize the devices. Everyone that pays for stuff on their iPhone makes more and more money for Apple. Why should I buy a $1000 TV and then a $500 box when all I need is a TV By revealing what their goals are they’re basically setting the end game for consoles as we know it,” he added.

Source: GamesIndustry.biz

The Last Story Gets Collectable

A collector’s edition for The Last Story has been confirmed for Europe. This is notable for the U.S. especially since the game has not been confirmed for North America, the European release is February 24.

This collector’s edition will feature a copy of the game a premium steelbook and a soundtrack CD consisting of 7 tracks. The packaging for this and the regular edition, notably, call out the game’s creator Hironobu Sakaguchi and composer Nobuo Uematsu, both of whom collaborated on the Final Fantasy series as well.

Ninja Gaiden 3 Collector’s Edition Slices, Dices

The Ninja Gaiden 3 Collector’s Edition has been unveiled. The limited edition version of the game will retail for $99.99 exclusively at GameStop and will ship March 20, 2012.

Ninja Gaiden 3 Collector’s Edition will feature a four-character demo of the anticipated Dead or Alive 5. The physical bonuses in the special edition include an exclusive Ninja Gaiden 3 ‘Unmask’ game art book, a soundtrack CD, and a unique ‘Duel of the Masked’ figure.

Mass Effect 3 Coming To Origin, Not Steam

Electronic Arts has not released certain titles on Valve’s Steam service since launching their download service Origin. Not surprisingly, Mass Effect 3 is joining the ranks of Dragon Age II and Crysis 2 in games from EA that aren’t coming to Steam.

“During initial release Mass Effect 3 will be available on Origin and a number of other 3rd party digital retailers, but not on Steam at this time,” said BioWare. “Steam has adopted a set of restrictive terms of service which limit how developers interact with customers to deliver patches and other downloadable content. We are intent on providing Mass Effect to players with the best possible experience no matter where they purchase or play their game, and are happy to partner with any download service that does not restrict our ability to connect directly with our consumers.”

Source: social.bioware.com

EA Brings In $1 Billion Prompting Restructuring

Electronic Arts saw $1 billion in digital revenue for 2011, and as a result the company will be restructuring. With the departure of Barry Cottle from EA Interactive, the division will be split up among EA Labels president Frank Gibeau, COO Peter Moore, and CTO Rajat Taneja, and EVP of digital Kristian Segerstral.

Following the launch of Star Wars: The Old Republic, the Origin distribution platform and the online service FIFA Ultimate Team, EA wants to make digital sales a larger part of its overall strategy.  EA CEO John Riccitiello called the $1 billion in 2011 an “incredibly important milestone” for the company.

Source: Gamasutra

Street Fighter Turns 25

2012 marks the 25th anniversary of the Street Fighter franchise and Capcom is planning to celebrate throughout the year. While Street Fighter X Tekken is currently the biggest game in the franchise on the slate, and Capcom Community Manager Brett Elston hints that there’s more on the way before and after the series’ official birthday on August 30.

“Can you believe Ryu has been throwing fireballs and scarring chests for a quarter century” writes Elston. “For 25 years Street Fighter‘s iconic hero has wandered the globe in search of the perfect battle, and to commemorate his quest – not to mention the millions of fans who’ve followed him every step of the way – we’re preparing some big plans for 2012. The full details of this international celebration are still to come, but I can at least share the official logo that’ll emblazon all related products through the year.”

Source: capcom-unity.com

Google ‘Search Plus Your World’ May Draw SEC Complaint

Google recently unveiled the ‘Search Plus Your World’ option for their search engine. This more personal way to browse the web might bring up privacy and antitrust concerns.

Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said that they are considering filing a letter with the FTC. “We believe this is something that the FTC needs to look at,” Rotenberg said.

While this move by Google should help them better compete with Facebook and its more than 800 million users, some critics are saying that they’re using their leadership in Internet search to favor its own products and take on its main competitor.  “Google is an entrenched player trying to fight off its challenger Facebook by using its market dominance in a separate sector,” Rotenberg said. “I think that should trouble people.”

Microsoft has teamed up with Facebook for their Bing search engine, but this move by Google is attracting more attention because Google handles over 66 percent of the Internet searches in the U.S. Google Fellow Amit Singhal said the company has taken important steps to make its new feature private and secure, and noted they were open to including information from Facebook, Twitter and other social networks.

“However,” added Singhal. “It has to be done in a way that the user experience doesn’t deteriorate over time and that users are in control over what they see from whom and not some third party.”

Source: latimesblogs.com