Ninja Gaiden 3 – ‘Weight Of The Sword’

The Ninja Gaiden series has always been known for its fast and heavy action, but the third game in the series looks to take it up a notch. Ninja Gaiden 3 will be a more personal game for Ryu Hayabusa and will also feature the most visceral sword-play in the series.


‘Dancify’ Yourself

A new app called Dance*Cam has been released to promote the sequel to the immensely popular Kinect game, Dance Central 2. The app lets you select a song (previews of dance tracks like Far East Movement’s Like a G6 and Sean Kingston’s Fire Burning are available) then record someone dancing. Then, the app works its magic, processing your uploaded video in about a minute and “dancifying” it, reversing moves, repeating certain steps, adding in some cool custom animation and so on, all in sync with the music. Upload the video to Facebook and challenge a friend to a battle, which joins two videos into one so other friends can vote on who can break it down the best.

Baking Life Overdone — EA Looks To Close

EA PopCap has announced that it will shut down ZipZapPlay’s The Baking Life on January 31. While the game once had 6.7 million monthly active users, that number dropped to 2.2 million around the time when EA acquired PopCap and is now sitting at around 760,000 MAUs.

“Unfortunately, we had to make a very difficult decision to shut down the game,” said PopCap VP Garth Chouteau. “The Baking Life player numbers have dropped in such a way that Baking Life is no longer performing well enough to justify continued support. As such, we are reallocating resources to games that we are developing for future release.”

Android Sees 250 Million Activations

Google has announced that 250 million Android devices have been activated, with 50 million of those activations happening since last November. This represents roughly 5.6 million new device activations per day over the last two months.

The company also revealed that there have also been over 11 billion downloads on the Android Market. This marks a significant increase from the 270 million a month download rate the Android Market saw during its first three years; the number is somewhere around 667 million.


Angry Birds Maker Not Seeking 2012 IPO

Rovio has announced that they will not seek an IPO this year. The company is valued at somewhere around $9 billion and is expected to finally go public in New York or Hong Kong.

“We are not in a rush. This year is way too early for an IPO, there are too many open things, and we are in a very early stage of the Angry Birds lifecycle,” said marketing chief Peter Vesterbacka. “Hong Kong is very interesting, absolutely, but again it is totally dependent on how markets develop. Asia is where all the people are, and future growth.”

Before the IPO, Rovio is expected to bring Angry Birds to more platforms with more new games. “We had a very successful Christmas — 6.5 million downloads just on Christmas Day,” added Vesterbacka.

Source: Reuters

Star Wars: The Old Republic Took 800 People Six Years And $200 Million

Star Wars: The Old Republic is one of the most expensive and expansive games ever made, with nearly $200 million spent on it, most of the resources going to 800 developers on four continents working six years. The whole of the gameplay is roughly 1,600 hours and involved nearly 1,000 actors recording dialogue for 4,000 characters in three languages.

“We want to do to other video games what talkies did to silent films,” said Rich Vogel, co-director of BioWare Austin, the studio that lead the game’s production.

“With each character class, you create and star in your own ‘Star Wars’ adventure,” noted head writer Daniel Erickson.


Original Series Communicator

New and more sound effects! Choose your favorite classic Star Trek lines while ‘communicating’ with your crew! Available now for iOS devices, download the official Star Trek Communicator as featured in the original Star Trek television series. This authentic communicator application replicates the personal communication device used by Starfleet personnel and features the actual voices of Captain Kirk, Spock, Dr. McCoy, Scotty, Sulu, Lieutenant Uhura. Sound effects, lights and motion replicate the actual prop from the series that started it all! The official Star Trek Communicator not only turns your iPhone into a Communicator replica, but it’s fully functional too! Access your contacts and call all your friends from your communicator. The App includes a paging function and full dialer page allowing access to all of your your personal contacts.

Starhawk Public Beta Welcomes You

Starhawk is going to be having a real beta for its multiplayer in the hopes of getting true users feedback and filling out the experience.  It looks like one of the most dynamic multiplayer games of the year.

Zynga Marketing Costs $300 Per New Customer, Says Analyst

According to an estimate by Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia, he thinks that Zynga loses $150 for every new paying customer it acquires. This educated guess is based on the social gaming company’s confirmed $120 million marketing budget for the first nine months of 2011.

“Almost all of that [total] is for acquiring customers,” said Bhatia. “We also know that they had 3.4 million unique payers in the September quarter, which is up from 3 million at the end of December 2010. In other words, they added 400,000 additional payers and they spent $120 million to acquire them.”

This estimate suggests that ever new customer brought in costs Zynga $300, but that those customers only spend about $150 over the 12 to 15 months that players stay with the company on average. “That math won’t work for very long,” Bhatia noted.

Crucially, the company’s recent Hidden Chronicles on Facebook and Scramble With Friends on iOS haven’t been as successful as past Zynga games, and have battered the company’s share price as a result. “When we say that traffic hasn’t gone up despite new introductions, that’s telling us that maybe people are moving from one game to another, but you’re not really getting a lot of incremental people trying them,” said Bhatia.

“The really hardcore are, perhaps, finding themselves trying FarmVille, CastleWorld and CityVille. The newer audiences are trying and finding that this is all the same and leaving,” he added. “Again, the fact that there is such a small base of people who actually pay says that your risk is tremendous. This is spread out over 20 million people. You could say, ‘Oh yeah, 5 percent could get bored.’ Although, you only have 2 percent of your people paying, and God forbid if those guys get bored.”

Sterne Agee believes that the next year or so will be key for Zynga, as they try and find the next hit title in order to satisfy investors. “That’s the bottom line. Until they can find that, if it’s all incremental stuff that people are not really crazy about, it’s gonna be tough to put up the kinds of growth numbers that the stock’s multiple is implying,” noted Bhatia.