Mass Effect 3 Preorders Leading Mass Effect 2 Preorders

Electronic Arts has confirmed that Mass Effect 3 seems to be making a positive impression when looking at sales figures for pre-orders.  Despite major complaints from core fans of the franchise, and even the game’s story being leaked, gamers are still clamoring for a shot at rounding out the Commander Shepard trilogy.

EA has said that Mass Effect 3 pre-orders are “well ahead” of Mass Effect 2, when measured at the same point of time before launch.  Mass Effect 3 will launch on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC on March 6, giving gamers just a week more to wait now.

The publisher is also preparing for a huge marketing campaign to kick in, saying that gamers should expect major TV, film, online and billboard advertising in the coming week.

[Thanks Gamespot] {link no longer active}

Journey Dev Looks Beyond PlayStation

Thatgamecompany has made it clear that the studio is looking to push past the PlayStation for potential releases down the road, says co-founder Jenova Chen. The studio hopes to explore other devices, perhaps even mobile devices, now that their three-game contract with Sony is up.

“Thatgamecompany had a three game contract with Sony,” said Chen to PushSquare. “So the past three games had to be Sony exclusive. Right now we are very much exploring ways to bring our games to a bigger audience, beyond just PlayStation.

“We are still in the process of negotiating, but I hope that we can announce it [soon]. But right now it’s still in the process.”

Amazon Appstore Better For Devs Than Android Market

The developers who decided to take a chance on Amazon’s version of the Android Market are generally doing pretty well. Many of them are pulling in more money than from the Android Market, according to a study by research firm Distimo. Of the top 110 apps that appear in both the Amazon Appstore and the Android Market, 42 of them make more money from Amazon. Paid apps in the Amazon Appstore make up 65 percent of all apps, while paid apps in the Android Market only comprise 32 percent of the apps (having dropped from 38 percent over the last seven months).

The Amazon Appstore has, of course, benefited tremendously from the remarkable sales of the Kindle Fire, which is now the #1 Android tablet in market share. An interesting fact about the Amazon Appstore is that some 50 percent of those apps don’t even appear in the Android Market, suggesting that some developers at least are bypassing the Android Market all together.

Thanks to GigaOm.

Social Web In Asia Is Booming

It may seem like Facebook and Twitter everywhere in the U.S., but they aren’t even in the running compared with the popularity of social media in Indonesia, according to an article from the BBC. There, some 80 percent of Internet users are engaged in social activities online, compared to only 55 percent in the U.S. Other Asian countries aren’t far behind Indonesia, with the Philippines at almost 79 percent, Malaysia at 73 percent, and India at 68 percent. China is at over 67 percent, even though the country blocks Facebook.

Users are engaging in a variety of ways, including managing a social network profile, writing a blog, or using a microblogging service like Twitter. Asian countries often have their own home-grown social networking tools, like QQ in China or Cyworld in South Korea. “Indonesians like to chat, they like to express their opinions but in a shy way,” says Danny Wirianto, chief marketing officer at Kaskus. “Sometimes they don’t dare say things in front of people, but in a chatting forum they will.”

Oscar Ratings Up With Billy Crystal Hosting

According to Nielsen data, ABC’s presentation of the Oscars averaged 39.3 million total viewers, a 4 percent improvement from last year’s 37.9 million. The 2010 version, which had the appeal of Avatar, had 41.7 million viewers, while the all-time low was reached in 2008, when the Coen Brothers’ No Country for Old Men was crowned Best Picture with a national TV audience of 32 million viewers; the Oscar’s halcyon days were in 1998, when James Cameron’s Titanic ran the table and attracted 55.2 million viewers.

“In handing the hosting duties to Billy Crystal and his Borscht Belt shtick and dispensing with the traditionally bloated musical performances, ABC doled out a familiar, if less than bracing, Oscars brew,” wrote Anthony Crupi. “Pinch-hitting for Eddie Murphy—the comedian resigned his commission in November, shortly after the Academy fired producer Brett Ratner—Crystal delivered an uninspired performance, trotting out his familiar song-and-dance opener before easing into a steady stream of Catskills-friendly gags.”

Despite the improved numbers overall, the ratings in the 18-to-49 demographic were 11.7 compared to 11.8 in 2011. A 30-second spot for the 2011 Oscars was $1.7 million, roughly equal with last year’s going rate, while the record remains 2008, when ABC saw as much as $1.82 million for a single spot.

“On the social media front, two on-air events quickly gave rise to dedicated Twitter accounts. Angelina Jolie’s onstage vamping inspired some wag to register @AngiesRightLeg; by Monday afternoon, the feed had exactly 18,000 followers,” noted Crupi. “Later in the broadcast, Jennifer Lopez’ wardrobe malfunction was followed in short order by the birth of the @JLosNipple feed. That account has attracted nearly 2,900 followers.”

Source: AdWeek

Double Fine’s Kickstarter: Kicking iOS Development

Double Fine Productions, a San Francisco based developer, decided to use Kickstarter to raise money for an old-school adventure game project (headed by old-school adventure game developers Tim Schafer and Ron Gilbert of Monkey Island and many other LucasArts adventure games fame). They were shooting for a mere $400,000, and hoped to reach that in 30 days. Instead, they hit that in 8 hours, and the money continued to pour in. With weeks left to go, they’re already over $2 million in pledges and counting, and the money is still rolling in.

This kind of success does not go unnoticed, particularly in the world of iOS development where a few hundred thousand is a very respectable game development budget. “The Kickstarter ecosystem requires that inventors create a good pitch and hone their ideas into a form that potential customers can easily understand, and that can only be a good thing,” said Paul O’Connor, brand director at Appy Entertainment. “Even if your idea doesn’t get traction, your project will be better for going through the process.”

“It’s great for the industry,” said Dave Castelnuovo, co-founder of Bolt Creative. “A lot of these big name developers are between a rock and a hard place. They see all the fun that’s being had in the app space with people creating their dream projects without interference from a publisher.”

Beyond that, The Game Baker’s Emeric Thoa feels Double Fine’s use of Kickstarter will encourage more developers to use it, and more players to get involved.

“Maybe an indie dev will have a better chance to reach $50k now that everyone has heard about Kickstarter,” said Thoa.

“It would be quite a gamble to give up working on AAA titles and start a game for the iPhone,” said Castelnuovo. “I’m sure that we will see more of this as time goes on, but I can’t quite predict if this will change the way games are made for everyone. Big name game designers can probably use Kickstarter to get a couple million to develop a project, which I feel is a fair amount for the types of games they are looking to create. But for inexperienced devs, I have a feeling they probably won’t be able to get nearly as much money, and even if they do, I’m sure you will see many of them fail to finish their ambitious projects with the funds they raised.”

With this in mind, the companies that may succeed the most are the ones that excelled long before Kickstarter existed.

“Double Fine’s Kickstarter success will change the content creation/distribution model only for a minority of developers who are already successful without Kickstarter,” said Ernest Woo, founder and CEO of Woo Games.

Real Life Goldeneye 64

Goldeneye 64 is a classic game and a seminal title in the history of FPS titles, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t without its idiosyncrasies. Here, a parody video gives an amusing and fairly accurate portrayal of escorting Natalya in the game.


Own The Screen

Clik is a new app {link no longer active} that acts like a YouTube remote allowing anyone to walk up to any screen with a browser, point your phone at it, and instantly take control. Friends can each connect to and control the same screen, at the same time. There is no better way to DJ videos at a party!