Use Your Brisksaber Wisely

Courtesy of PepsiCo, the drink maker has kicked off another videogame promotion with its Brisk Iced Tea. Gamers will get an exclusive new lightsaber game featuring characters from the upcoming February 10th 3D release of George Lucas’ Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Gamers can download a new free Star Wars game from Brisk on Google Android and Apple iOS devices. The mobile game app, Brisksaber, brings the iconic Star Wars lightsaber battles to smartphones. The new app will feature a progression of content that allows fans to incrementally unlock new characters and objects based on the nationwide redemption of codes found on specially-marked packages of one-liter Brisk Iced Tea.

The game features a blend of 2D and 3D elements and invites players to choose their side—The Light Side or The Dark Side—then their mode—Time Trial or Survival—before they battle foes that vary depending on the allegiance they have chosen. Players can opt to share their scores on Facebook and Twitter and top scoring players will be shown on a leaderboard on Brisksaber can be downloaded via, or in the iTunes Store or Android Market.

In addition to the interactive game, the campaign features a 30-second TV spot in which Briskified versions of two iconic Star Wars characters, Darth Maul and Yoda, face off for the first time. It’s a bold take on an improbable fight which could only happen in the universe of Brisk, delivered through the next generation stop-motion animation the brand revitalized last year.


Minecraft Developer Admits Mistakes With Pocket Edition

The mobile version of Minecraft called Minecraft — Pocket Edition released in November for iOS and Android and many new smartphone/tablet owners picked up the game over the Holidays. However, people didn’t like the game being more like Minecraft Creative and Mojang business developer Daniel Kaplan has promised that a new version of the game will be submitted to Android Market and the iOS AppStore for approval February 8.

“We have read tons of comments and feedback and it seems like we made a huge mistake,” wrote Kaplan. “You wanted monsters, resources, animals and more different blocks. This means that the initial code we had written didn’t exactly fit with the new plan where we wanted to add all the stuff you have been asking for. So we have been reorganizing, rewritten and changed the whole plan for Minecraft — Pocket Edition.”

“In the background a lot of stuff has changed to support the survival aspects of the game. You will see some neat looking animals and new blocks,” he added. “Crafting won’t be in this update since we need to redesign the GUI for it and it will need some iteration and thinking. But the great part is that the foundation for survival will be mostly done and we can throw out much more fun updates! Yay! 😀 And hopefully the progress of the updates will be much more faster. Oh, and of course some bug-fixing have been done too. Doors and fences will be in there it too!”


Call Of Duty Elite Comes To IPhone

Call of Duty Elite‘s iPhone app is releasing on the App Store. The free app is compatible with the iPad and will come to Android very soon.

“We’ve always viewed mobile as a big part of the mission of Call of Duty Elite,” said Beachhead Studios head Chacko Sonny, adding, “The issues associated with the heavy load are behind us. The service is operational and lots of people are using it every day.”

Source: Venturebeat

Jagex Gets Insight Into U.S. Ownership

Reports are that Insight Venture Partners has acquired an extra 20 percent of Jagex. This gives the company a 55 percent stake in the online developer and essentially shifts its control from the U.K. to the U.S.

Part of this agreement will see 2.5 million British Pounds ($3.86 million) in expenses paid off. Jeff Horing, managing director at Insight along with Insight partner Alex Crisses, now both have seats on the Jagex board of directors, in addition to with Jagex CEO Mark Gerhard and two other VC firms.

Jagex now has the luxury of significant cash reserves for multiple projects. Right now, the online game developer is believed to have well over 400 employees.

Source: Develop

Acer Enters The Cloud

Acer has announced a new service evocative of iCloud called AcerCloud. This will provide on-the-go access to files from any device using Acer Always Connect, PicStream for photos, AcerCloud Docs for and Media for music.

“Acer Always Connect gets users online faster than conventional connections for better productivity and infotainment enjoyment. With their Facebook, Twitter and Outlook email accounts open, users can see updates instantly upon resuming,” Acer said in a statement. “Furthermore, Acer Always Connect can wake up the Timeline Ultra from a remote device like a smartphone.”

AcerCloud will come to all of the company’s PCs starting in Q2 2010, including the new Aspire Timeline Ultra and Aspire S5 with support for Android devices and Windows-based devices down the road.

Source: PC Mag

HTML5 Tech Developer Moblyng Shuts Down

Moblyng, a developer focused on cross-platform HTML5 development technology, has shut its doors despite over $10 million in funding and work with Playdom and Lolapps. Despite this setback, Moblyng CEO Stewart Putney thinks that HTML5 will remain vital to future game development on several platforms.

“I am very proud of the work we did, the HTML5 games are still live and we have a growing base of active users,” said Putney. “I remain very confident HTML5 will be a great platform for social games and media, it is simply a question of when.”

Source: VentureBeat

Millennial Media Wants $75 Million IPO

Mobile ad network Millennial Media has filed for an IPO of up to $75 million. This comes after certain competitors in the space were bought, including Google’s acquiring Admob and Apple’s turning Quattro into iAd.

Millennial says that it is the leading independent mobile advertising platform company with a network reaches 200 million unique users, with 40 billion ads processed in December. It is believed that has 17 percent of the market, making it second only to Admob and unlike Admob or iAd, Millennial isn’t affiliated with a specific operating system or device.

Millennial’s revenue has grown from $6 million in 2008 to $16 million in 2009 and $48 million in 2010, with $69 million during the first nine months. However, the company has never posted an annual profit and expects its expenses to continue to go up.

Worries for potential investors include whether they can take on larger competitors, when and if data collection will be quashed by government regulation or industry standards and a general malaise surrounding tech stocks since LinkedIn went public last year.

Millennial argues that they have a grown collection of anonymized user data and its ability to target specific audiences. The company also argues that its technology platform is “architected to deliver mobile advertising at scale, rather than applying traditional online advertising technology or focusing on a particular mobile operating system.”

Source: AdWeek

Google Makes Searches Personal

Google will be rolling out a new sort of search engine, this one personal to you. Now, search results will combine things generally for the web and relevant to the person searching.

“Your world was missing from search until now,” said Google Fellow Amit Singhal. “We are bringing your world into search.”

This move is a significant one against Facebook for both clicks and ad dollars. It will combine their successful search engine with the social network Google+.

“It’s one of the most significant things Google has ever done in search,” said longtime Google observer Danny Sullivan, editor of

Google says that this is a demonstration on how they relate to people not just with content but their relationships as well. This is done by including photos you have shared privately, it will suggest people you may know when searching and is guiding users to profiles and Google+ pages related to the topic of interest.

When asked how users will react, Sullivan said, “Until now we have not had the mixture of our personal information with our Web search results, and that makes even me a bit nervous.”

This will become a feature that users have to actively turn off if they want to. It also slants searches towards Google+, giving the site an advantage over a Facebook page, Twitter account, or official website.

“It makes you question if Google is doing the best thing for the searcher or the best thing for Google,” Sullivan said.

Of course, Facebook keeps its information from Google searches. “We want users to have control over what personal content they can search for at Google. We don’t want third parties dictating to users what they can or can’t search for in Google,” Singhal said. “Based on the current policies at many social networks, users don’t have that control.”

“This is a really big gun pointed back at Facebook,” said Sullivan. “This may cause Facebook to say that now that Google has merged social and search, that’s what it needs to do as well.”

There’s also the collective issue of search that has existed. “Until now, search has largely been a common experience,” said Sullivan, noting Jon Stewart harping Rick Santorum’s ‘Google problem’, but if searches become more tailored and personal, “We might not actually see the same thing Jon Stewart sees anymore.”

Source: L.A. Times