Zynga And Slingo – Together At Last

Zynga announced that they are partnering with Slingo, Inc., marking the company’s first licensed partnership. They will launch the classic game on Facebook as Zynga Slingo in 14 languages today.

“With Zynga Slingo, as well our recent games like Zynga Bingo and Hidden Chronicles, we’re introducing fun and social twists on familiar favorites,” said Rich Sawel, product manager of Zynga Slingo. “Slingo is one of the earliest and most cherished games of the Internet, and we’re proud to bring it to our players and make it even more fun and social than ever before.”

Slingo has been a leader in the casual game space for over 15 years, and our partnership with Zynga will bring the Slingo brand to a whole new audience in a fresh, new way,” said Rich Roberts, CEO of Slingo, Inc.  “We are excited to partner with the world’s leading social game developer to deliver the social experience Slingo fans across the world have asked for.”

Unity Version 3.5 Launches

Unity Technologies has announced that their Unity technology platform has advanced to version 3.5. Said to be one of the largest updates ever for Unity, it includes a new particle system, AI improvements, better lighting and improved developmental control.

“This is one of the most spectacular additions we’ve ever made to Unity,” said David Helgason, CEO, Unity Technologies. “Recognizing that Unity was being pushed harder and harder, we launched our initiative to upgrade Unity with high-end capabilities that larger studios are accustomed to and smaller studios usually don’t have access to. We want to make Unity the best choice for everyone and Unity 3.5 is a massive demonstration of our commitment to that goal.”

“We are incredibly proud of this release and I think it’s our strongest yet,” said Nicholas Francis, chief creative officer, Unity Technologies. “A year ago, we took a deep dive and began working on developing features for more complex projects and larger teams. It took hard work to do this while preserving the intuitive and usable design that makes Unity so popular, but we are sure that developers using Unity will be as happy with the improvements as we are.”

Skyrim Sees 2 Million Downloads Since Creation Kit Released

ZeniMax Media has confirmed that the The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Creation Kit pushed out over 2 million mods downloaded via the Skryim Workshop. This mark comes only three days after the game launched.

“More than 2,500 mods have been published by the gaming community, all of which are available for free. Worldwide revenues generated by Skyrim have placed it among the industry’s most successful titles, and demand for the title shows no signs of slowing,” announced ZeniMax. “Measured by revenue, Skyrim was the second best selling game of 2011, and 2012 sales remain strong, with continuing digital downloads and large shipments of units to retail. Within the first month following its release in November, Bethesda Softworks reported it had shipped over 10 million units of Skyrim across all platforms, representing approximately $650 million in retail sales, and those results have since increased substantially. Data from Steam, the digital download service, reveal that the average number of hours that a gamer plays Skyrim exceeds 75 hours, underscoring fan devotion to the game. The PC version of Skyrim in North America outsold all other PC games by a factor of over three to one in the month of its release, and Skyrim is the fastest selling title in Steam’s history.”

It’s Time To Harvest Souls

It’s time for Ghost Rider to harvest the souls of the men who side with his evil nemesis, Carrigan. Play the game {link no longer active} in your browser and start by choosing your ride: the Hellcycle, Helltruck or Hellbagger. Use your chain to help the rider collect 15 souls and get his vengeance. Destroy whoever has it coming. Monitor your kill count and kill meter and use the arrows on your keyboard to control the Rider. Initiate a chain attack, chain grapple or unleash a hellfire (one per level) to get your vengeance. Connect via Facebook to collect badges and share your score.

Sims Social Coming To China

Electronic Arts announced that The Sims Social will be available in China soon. The game will come to Tencent’s social gaming network Qzone under the name Mo Ni Shi Guang.

“The new offering from EA and Tencent now brings the fun and humor of playing with life and interacting with friends to Chinese players. Mo Ni Shi Guang combines the best of The Sims gameplay from its creators at The Sims Studio with innovative social gaming features developed by Playfish for Tencent’s social game platform. Mo Ni Shi Guang expands the award winning Sims universe to China, and leverages the techniques and service resources from Tencent’s open platform to localize the game both in its art and game design,” reads the release by EA. “The Tencent Open Platform is capable of providing high quality products and services to its users, and has now become China’s leading open platform. With Mo Ni Shi Guang, Tencent Open Platform is set to provide a greater experience to users. Closed Beta testing of The Sims Social is underway, and Open Beta is expected to begin in the coming months.”

PS Vita Pricing Explained

PS Vita games will run the gamut of games costing $10 for the downloadable titles to $40 for retail games. While some think that isn’t necessarily the best course of action in an age where people are paying little to nothing for games on their smartphones, Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida thinks it’s all about value.

“We have a theory that if we create really compelling, engaging experiences that you can spend hours with, you’ll see the value of spending $40 against $1,” said Yoshida. “The good thing about $1 games is that people are not spending too much money on them. If you buy 40 of those, you might be spending $40, but still… Or many games are free Gamers love all kinds of games. I totally understand people who like games like Angry Birds, but if you’re a gamer, you’re also interested in trying different kinds of experiences, bigger games.”

“You saw Nintendo’s 3DS, it had many software hits last December, like Mario Kart,” Yoshida said. “That’s the theory. That’s what I’d like to see proven, after the launch of PS Vita. I can see, looking at the games in game stores, when you see games that you feel you can find on the iPod or iPad for five dollars, why should you spend $40 So software publishers will really have to think hard when they approach pricing their software. Is this the experience that will compel people to spend that much Or is this something they should provide for more accessible prices, so that people will try it ”

“For the past consoles, we had a pretty rigid price range we kept to. This is a full-price game, $60, this is a Greatest Hits, $30. Like that,” he continued. “But for PS Vita, you’ll see games that sell for $50, $40, $30. And on the digital, $45, $35, $23, $15, $10 and $5. A very wide variety of pricing. We’re looking at each title and the value and scope of the content, and trying to match people’s value perception with the pricing. We are not just focused on big-budget, triple-A, $40 titles. We’re big fans of the smaller experience as well.”

Sony is teaming up with cellphone carriers to provide bonuses in the West in order to push the 3G version of the PS Vita. “But we are coming to see more of a one-to-one kind of sell-through in Japan,” Yoshida revealed. “That’s how, in the U.S. and Europe, we’ve tweaked it a little bit to sweeten the deal for the 3G SKU. Instead of keeping on saying that 3G is good for you, we added some content that people can immediately see the value of, like adding the memory card, adding free game content to download. The hardware is a bit lower now, so they’re willing to try it.”

Source: VentureBeat

Obsidian Looks To Player-Supported Funding

Obsidian Entertainment, inspired by the success that Double Fine had in raising $1 million in less than 24 hours, is considering crowd sourcing a new game. Obsidian creative director Chris Avellone, who just happened to work on the cult hit RPG Planetscape: Torment, has asked fans for different Kickstarter ideas.

“The idea of player-supported funding is… well, it’s proof certain genres aren’t dead and sequels may have more legs than they seem,” said Avellone. “And the idea of not having to argue that with a publisher is appealing.”

“All of Double Fine’s success from Kickstarter has been inspiring,” he continued. “I admit, I’ve got Kickstarter fever now. I feel like a bunch of doors suddenly appeared in game development.”

Source: forums.obsidian.net