Sonic 4: Episode 3 May Never Come

The delay between Sonic 4: Episode 1 and Episode 2 has been extended, and it was something of a surprise that the second entry is coming at all. However, taking a page out of the episodic series of Half-Life 2, it doesn’t seem like a trilogy of episodes is confirmed.

“We are looking forward to hearing the feedback from the users for Episode 2, but we are currently not planning to release another episode,” said Sonic Team producer Takashi Iizuka. “We just want to see how the users accept this episode.”

Source: Digital Spy

Ninja Gaiden 3 — Get A Move Dragon Sword

A special edition of Ninja Gaiden 3 has been outed on a Canadian retailer’s listing. This bundle, while given approval by Koei Tecmo is not something they created, features a PS3 copy of the game and a special “Dragon Sword” accessory for PlayStation Move.

Source: Joystiq

The New Kind — A Work Of Passion

The New Kind project is being spearheaded by visual effects workers whose resumes include Star Wars, Avatar and Hugo. Creator Peter Hyoguchi plans to release the series for free, supported by merchandising and $1 for a sneak preview of the following week’s episode; check out the first trailer below.

Sleeping Dogs – Undercover: Hong Kong

Hong Kong is most of the most diverse and interesting cities in the world, containing layers of society between the rich financial sector, crowded slums and varied trading sections. This video shows the unique experience the developers of Sleeping Dogs had when they visited Hong Kong, seeing all of the elements work together.

Dressing Room For A Princess

On the official website for Mirror, Mirror fans can participate in a lite engagement that allows them to customize a princess. Choose hairstyles and one of a wide variety of dresses and share the creation with friends on Facebook or Twitter. Stay tuned for additional playroom engagements.

Call Of Duty Elite Sees Heavy Activity Early On

Call of Duty Elite has seen 670,000 clans registered with 26,000 clans participating in the first clan operation, while over 200,000 players enlisted for the first (three-hour) operation. Activision has also been running “100K” days each month, giving away $100,000 in prizes to winners of competitions, with prizes including swag, Jeeps, ATVs, and scuba diving trips.

The company also announced that it’s increasing the this year’s DLC from 20 pieces of content to 24 for all Elite subscribers, with more than just map packs. Elite is also approaching 2 million downloads on iOS and Android, while a tablet app for Elite is still being worked on.


Artix Sees 150 Million Registered Users

Artix Entertainment announced that the company has reached over 150 million registered players across all its titles. The publisher of AdventureQuest, MechQuest, and HeroSmash was founded in 2002, and averages 70,000 new players every day.

“When they ran the database query and gave me the number, I was shocked,” said Adam Bohn, CEO and founder of Artix Entertainment. “I’m really proud of the teams and grateful that so many players are enjoying our games.”

Amazon Appstore: 31,000 Apps In One Year

The Amazon Appstore is celebrating its first anniversary, and the company has revealed that the store has over 31,000 apps. The Kindle Fire was pointed out as being a major contributor to the success of the Android store.

“It’s been an exciting first year in the Amazon Appstore and we look forward to many more,” said Andrew Stein, director of Global Mobile Business and Products at PopCap Games. “All of our games, including the mega hit Plants vs. Zombies, have done extremely well in the Amazon Appstore, for both Kindle Fire and other Android devices; it’s a testament to the great Amazon Appstore shopping experience resulting from its user-friendly design and comprehensive catalog.”

“We expected that the Amazon Appstore would be a success and it’s been evidenced in the growth of the revenues since the launch,” said Adam Flanders, senior vice president of Sales & Marketing at Glu Mobile. “We have seen revenues from Amazon grow by over 1,000 percent in the four months since the Kindle Fire launched alone, and Blood and Glory recently reached the #2 spot in Top Selling Games. Glu is thrilled with the momentum behind Kindle Fire and the Amazon Appstore’s strong platform, global customer base, and exceptional merchandising capabilities.”

The top ten paid apps on the Amazon Appstore were all games, led by Cut the Rope and followed by numerous versions of Angry Birds, Plants vs. Zombies, Fruit Ninja and classic games Scrabble, Uno and Tetris. The top free apps were a little more diverse, but still led by the free version Angry Birds with Fruit Ninja Free also appearing.

Call Of Duty Elite Might Lead To Similar Battlefield Service

Call of Duty Elite has managed to attract a lot of attention, and that has not gone unnoticed by Electronic Arts. The publisher of Battlefield would consider a subscription service of their own for their premier shooter franchise.

“I think it’s fair to say that we’re looking at that,” said EA Games label head Patrick Soderlund. “Like all other companies, we’re looking at how we can maximize our investment in this and get the most out of our investment and get more people playing this product. That may take us to different places, but we’re not really talking about where that is yet.”

“When it comes to taking Call of Duty down, you know what I don’t look at it like that. We are in this business because we want to make the best possible products. Call of Duty is a shooter, but it’s a different shooter. And I think they have a market; we have a market. I’m fine with what I’m doing,” he continued. “I’m going to continue innovating and doing as best as I can with my teams. Hopefully that’s going to lead us to more units [sold] and more happy consumers.”

This move signals a general change in games towards a service model. “We look at it as a 24/7 service. We have people in Stockholm and North America and other parts of the world that are on this every single hour of every single day. 365 days a year,” Soderlund said. “We have an operations team at DICE to look at telemetry data. How are people playing the game, how can we improve the experience Are they having problems Are servers down Are they up All that stuff.”

When asked about how the franchise experience was improved for Battlefield 3, Soderlund said, “Quality will come from many things, in many ways. A lot of people point to Battlefield 3, and they talk about the Frostbite technology. We made a conscious decision to invest in new technology. We realized that technology is going to be the enabler that gets us over the hump, so to speak, into this next generation of products. We didn’t build tech for the sake of building tech. We looked at it and said, ‘We need to provide the consumer with a different kind of teamwork experience and to do so we need new technology.’ We identified certain areas; we looked at things that break the illusion of reality. For us it was animation. We needed to take a giant leap in animation, and we did that.”

“We looked at something that a lot of people tend to forget, which is audio. We said, ‘We need to do a lot better at audio than we have,’ he detailed. “We invented what we call the High Dynamic Range audio, which is what you hear in the Frostbite engine. And lastly, we also said, ‘We need a much higher-fidelity rendering engine and a much better destruction system.’ ”

Source: VentureBeat