Uncharted: Golden Abyss Gets Treasure DLC

Uncharted: Golden Abyss has hundreds of treasures and artifacts that help tell the backstories of the game’s locations and characters, and all are tied to Trophies. Because looking up FAQs with the PS Vita is not always easy, Sony is offering a DLC that integrates the Treasure Maps directly into Drake’s Journal.

“When you buy and install the maps, a new Treasure Map Icon appears on the Chapter page for each level. Tap the icon to bring up the map,” said John Garvin, Creative Director of Bend Studios. “You’ll be greeted with a full-screen image of the level showing all of its major landmarks and the locations of rubbings, photos, artifacts, treasures and Mysteries. And in case you were wondering, there are 34 maps — one for each level in the game.”

Source: blog.us.playstation.com

Mapstalgia: Recreating Game Maps From Your Childhood

Because of the way games are structured, particularly old school games, they lend themselves to recalling intimate spatial details. This observation has led Josh Millard to found Mapstalgia for people to recreate maps from memory of various videogames.

“It occurred to me that there’s millions of people walking around with potent memories of common fictional game worlds. I asked a few friends to draw some maps, started up a simple blog for it, and here we are,” described Millard. “I was banking on a few dozen [submissions] by the end of the first month. Instead, I’ve received more than three hundred so far and they’re still coming in. Folks [realize] this is not just neat to look at, but something they can actively participate in. Total light switch moment: ‘Oh, hey, wow, I bet I could do a map of Mario/Zelda/Doom/Zork…'”


Source: Mashable.com

Halfbrick Announces Merchandising Bonanza

Halfbrick announced today that they will be teaming up with a variety of companies to bring Fruit Ninja licensed products to fans worldwide. There will be toys from Basic Fun, Jazwares, Mattel and Nanco-Nancy Sales, clothing from Bioworld Merchandising, Hybrid and MjC and various other products from Coveroo, Calendar Holdings, Healthy Food Brands, SmileMakers and Trends International.

Fruit Ninja continues to be one of the most popular apps in the world, with a nearly two-year run on the Top 10 Paid App lists worldwide. Working with partners to create Fruit Ninja products has always been part of our long-term plan, but we have been very selective, both in choosing our partners and in approving their products. The end result is a strong coordinated product line-up that will start hitting shelves this week and later this and next year,” said Shainiel Deo, Halfbrick’s CEO. “For the first time, we’re creating characters and personalities around the fruit that players slice through. I’m confident that the Fruit Ninja community will love these products.”

Metal Gear Solid Project Hiring Causes Stir

Kojima Productions today revealed that they were looking to hire people in both Japan and California for the next Metal Gear Solid project. This game will come to “high-end consoles and PC” ostensibly meaning that Metal Gear Solid 5 will release on PS3 and Xbox 360.

The next Metal Gear Solid will be developed using the Fox Engine, a cross-platform engine designed by Kojima Productions. The images imply that the next Metal Gear Solid will be another game focusing on the adventures of Big Boss rather than Solid Snake.

Source: Konami {link no longer active}

Control Your Dreams

A Japanese smartphone app, the Yumemiru, lets you maximize the time you spend every night just sleeping. Yumemiru takes the self-help craze of the nineties to new scientific heights by leveraging the bundle of sensors in your smartphone. The app utilizes microphones to detect when the user is in REM sleep, the point in the night when you begin dreaming and also the moment when you are most susceptible to suggestion. The free app has 8 different scenarios to choose from including a walk in the forest, getting rich, flying and for those romantically disposed, a scenario that stimulates dreams of love tailored for both men and women. After selecting the type of dream you want to drift off into the app runs in the background and detects the time passed before you go into REM sleep. Once you’ve entered REM sleep the soundtrack begins to stimulate your dreams.

Feature: Michael Pachter Has Nothing But Love For The [a]list Summit

Social gaming is the fastest growing sector of the video gaming industry right now, having grown from essentially nothing a few years ago to what is a multi-billion dollar industry worldwide. The Ayzenberg Group is seeking to highlight this vital sector at the [a]list summit 2012 San Francisco, highlighted by a keynote from the Michael Pachter. We caught up with the Managing Director of Equity Research at Wedbush Securities and discussed his general thoughts on social games on the eve of his keynote.

[a]list: Which do you think will have to change more — the AAA gaming industry to how social games are being made or vice versa?

Michael Pachter: I think social gaming models will continue to evolve far more than AAA models. The key drawback to social games is that they are free, and I think ad-supported models will be developed to ensure that there is monetization of all people playing. I don’t see AAA having to “adapt”, per se, as I don’t see social games as a threat to AAA games.

Michael Pachter

[a]list: Do you think console holders will have to become more like social gaming in certain ways? (Sony is already dipping its toe into free-to-play and has a social gaming platform in Home already).

Michael Pachter: If console manufacturers want to participate in the market expansion we’re seeing on the social side, they will dip their toes in. It appears to me that Nintendo is completely unconcerned, Microsoft more interested in $10 – 15 downloads, and only Sony experimenting with free-to-play. I don’t think any of them see social gaming as a threat, and it largely is additive to the console experience. However, a portion of the console market is casual (think Wii Fit), and social games has cannibalized that segment.

[a]list: Has your opinion on the social gaming industry altered as time as gone on, and if yes then how so?

Michael Pachter: Yes, I take it more seriously now. I initially thought it was a very small market and thought the games were silly. Zynga is showing me that the games are actually games, are quite addictive and fun, and I can see how it will grow into a big business.

[a]list: Some people think that the social gaming industry is a bubble ready to burst. Do you think there’s going to be a regression, or something less drastic like a change in the way such games are developed and virally marketed on platforms like Facebook?

Michael Pachter: I don’t think it’s a bubble at all. To the contrary, I think the late adopters of Facebook are the sweet spot that social games targets. I do think there is opportunity to monetize better, and am interested in hearing what Jeff Karp has to say about this.

[a]list: Could you give us a small preview of what you’re hoping to talk about during your the [a]list summit 2012: The Consumer Courtship keynote?

Michael Pachter: My keynote is really focused on defining the market. It’s entitled “The Casino is Open”, and I will draw an analogy between interactive games and casino games. I plan to expose the audience to my views of how the industry is evolving, and am hopeful one or more of them will make better decisions as a result. My media appearances are nothing more than marketing. *laughs*

[a]list: Ha ha ha, thanks Michael.

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