ArenaNet Celebrates 1 Million Guild Wars 2 Beta Sign Ups

ArenaNet recently let their 48 hour beta period run a little bit longer in order to reach their mark of 1 million beta sign ups. Not soon after, the mark was reached and there were celebrations at the developer.

“As a tribute to this fantastic moment and the amazing community that made this possible, we recorded the moment when the studio watched the counter go over a million Guild Wars 2 beta sign up,” posted the company on Facebook.

The video of the moment can be watched at www.Facebook.com {page no longer active}.

Doctor Who Game First Unreal Title On PS Vita

Epic Games has confirmed that Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock will be the first PS Vita game developed using the Unreal Engine. Supermassive Games is developing the game exclusively for PlayStation systems.

“At Supermassive, we always try to be very pragmatic about our choice of technology and choose the right tool for the job at hand,” said chief technology officer at Supermassive Games, Jonathan Amor. “Our aim for Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock is to match it as closely as possible in aesthetics, tone and sound to the television series, and also to achieve a new level of quality on Sony’s outstanding platforms. Critical factors in our decision to license Unreal Engine 3 include the capability and maturity of the Unreal Editor and tool chain, and we required an engine that has proven success in the marketplace.”

“We are big Doctor Who fans here at Epic,” added Epic European territory manager Mike Gamble. “It’s brilliant to see the world of Doctor Who brought to life by the team at Supermassive and especially to see Unreal Engine 3 powering the game that’s bringing this universe to a whole new platform and an entirely new generation of gamers and Doctor Who fans.”

Mass Effect 3 Promotion Ends Up A Tree

Recently, Electronic Arts announced a promotional plan to launch copies of Mass Effect 3 into the sky using weather balloons. While it was designed to be a neat way to give out copies of the game, one copy near San Francisco has ended up a 150 ft. tree, leaving the onlookers to try and bring it down, first with a baseball tied to a rope and later using a slingshot.

Source: facebook.com/masseffect {page no longer active}

Google Hires D.C. Veteran To Head Washington Office

Former congresswoman Susan Molinari has been named head of Google’s Washington office as vice president of public policy and government relations for the Americas during a time period when the search giant is facing increasing scrutiny from the federal government on issues like privacy and antitrust. Molinari represented Staten Island in Congress from 1990 to 1997, when she was elected to the House GOP majority leadership, making her the highest ranking Republican woman in Congress.

“The Google office in Washington has not had someone with the visibility of a former member of Congress, and with her understanding of the complexities of the legislative process,” said Former Sen. John Sununu. “Google is receiving a higher level of scrutiny. … When you’re such a large and growing company, you have to have a strong, visible, capable leader in Washington.”

“She’s a true trailblazer and her enthusiasm for our technology and its potential to change lives will be a real asset to our team in the Americas,” said David Drummond, Google’s senior vice president of corporate development and chief legal officer.

Source: Politico.com

Binary Domain Creator Sees Console Market Shrinking

Sega’s Toshihiro Nagoshi has helped create Yakuza and Binary Domain, so he knows all about AAA development on consoles. However, his expectations of where he’s expecting the industry to go is in the direction of mobile phones, if only because of simplicity in the controls.

“Well, the first thing is that consoles – PS3, PS4, Xbox 360-2 – the market for those will get smaller, and the main market will become portable games,” said Nagoshi. “I don’t think consoles will disappear, but more and more people will use home PCs for gaming, and a long time in the future it will just be PCs and mobile phones, and eventually mobiles will become just as powerful as games consoles.”

“The most important and unavoidable thing is the interface. Right now, that means either buttons or touchscreens,” he added. “Those are the only two interfaces we have. I think it’s strange the number of buttons has increased and never decreased. So that means we need to reset things, somehow. Like I was saying earlier, I think the answer lies in some as-yet unknown third type of interface.”

Source: PSM3 {link no longer active}

 

HP Sees Diminishing Returns On Decreased PC Sales

Hewlett-Packard announced that their second-quarter earnings report has missed estimates, as sales in the PC group dropped 15 percent to $8.87 billion in the period that ended in January. This is a reflection of consumer trends heading in the direction of smartphones and tablets that competitors make.

Revenue from servers, printers and storage gear also declined. “All these segments are going to have headwinds,” said Abhey Lamba, an analyst at Mizuho Securities USA Inc.

“U.S. PC shipments declined last year for the first time in a decade and the industry is wrestling with a shortage of hard drives after flooding crippled factories in Thailand last year. Meanwhile, Apple Inc.’s iPad is cutting into PC sales, and Lenovo Group Inc. is gaining market share,” writes Aaron Ricadela. “Hewlett-Packard, Dell and other PC makers are counting on a new crop of thin-and-light laptops called ultrabooks to spur sales.”

Source: Business Week {link no longer active}

T-Mobile Protests Verizon’s Spectrum Acquisition

T-Mobile USA is requesting that the federal government block the purchase of wireless spectrum from cable companies that Verizon Wireless has proposed. They believe that the spectrum deal involving Comcast, Time Warner, Bright House Networks and Cox Communications, will grant too much power to the number one carrier in the U.S.

“[The spectrum in question] is unlikely to provide any near-term benefits to Verizon Wireless customers,” T-Mobile said in its filing. “Rather, the principal impact of the acquisition would be to foreclose the possibility that this spectrum could be acquired by smaller competitors — such as T-Mobile — who would use it more quickly, more intensively, and more efficiently than Verizon Wireless.”

These agreements have already raised concerns among some politicians, noting that Verizon and Comcast, in particular, would essentially be on the same team. “These joint-marketing agreements will turn these rival companies into partners, rather than competitors,” wrote Senator Al Franken, Democrat of Minnesota, in a letter to the commission this month. “I fear this will ultimately mean less competition, less choice, and higher prices for consumers.”

T-Mobile says that the spectrum transfer would limit the ability for competitors to build so-called fourth-generation LTE networks. At the same time, the mobile company announced that it would spend $4 billion on its network over the coming years, including $1.4 billion in incremental network investment in the next two years, to deploy LTE and expand the coverage of its HSPA+ network, partially using spectrum gained from the failed merger with AT&T.

Source: New York Times

Tiburon Veterans Found Studio For Mobile/Social/PC Titles

PixelFoundry has been founded by technical lead Volga Aksoy and creative lead Jerry Phaneuf. The ex-EA Tiburon staffers will work on a PC real-time strategy called BlackSpace, and will also release social and mobile titles in the future.

“In line with some of the forward thinking independent developers out there, we really want to get the community involved with the game, incrementally releasing features and enhancements, while getting reactions and suggestions,” explained Phaneuf.

Source: Gamasutra