Legendary Skyward Sword Poster

While Nintendo has produced some impressive pieces of art related to their Legend of Zelda franchise, sometimes fans make drawings more impressive still. For instance, one L-Dawb has produced a tribute to The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword that’s a wonderful collection of styles and should be an officially licensed poster.

Source: DeviantArt.com

Noobz Movie Trailer

noobz is a movie about gamer clan of four friends taking a road trip to Los Angeles in order to enter the CyberBowl Championships. Adam Sessler guest stars in this raunchy comedy about games, relationships and general immaturity.

Starhawk – ‘Build To Kill’

Starhawk is a combination of real-time strategy in base building with full-on shooter action with vehicles. Here some Rifters create a base to defend against an attacking Outcast war band and a spectacular battle ensues.

Zynga Rolling Out New Platform

Zynga has announced Zynga Platform, which is going into open beta this month at Zynga.com. This new platform is designed to provide a deeper gaming and social experience for players, both with Zynga and third-party games, and will be available on both Facebook Connect and Zynga.com.

“We built Zynga.com to give out players more ways to connect with each other and play great social games whether built by Zynga or other talented developers,” said Mark Pincus, founder and CEO, Zynga. “Together with our platform partners, we look forward to bringing more play to the world on our platform.”

“Publishing on the Zynga Platform will allow developers to tap into a captive audience of players who love to play social games,” said Rob Dyer, head of platform partners at Zynga and former senior vice president of Publisher Relations at Sony Computer Entertainment. “What’s more, we’re committed to creating an environment that’s a win, win for everyone involved. We know the challenges of being a game developer, and want to build the best destination for play – not just for players – but for the entire ecosystem as well.”

Facebook Timeline Pages Shake Up Brand Advertising

Facebook recently opened up its Timeline features to brands, which they see as a key part in transitioning from an advertising platform to a marketing platform. “We are evolving from ads to stories,” said Facebook’s director of global business marketing Mike Hoefflinger.

Facebook also showed off new ad units and tools designed to transition brands to engage with existing and new fans better. One of the enhancements is the Reach Generator product letting brands amplify content posted to pages, since only 16 percent of fans see a brand’s post on average, guaranteeing the tool will spread a post to 75 percent of a brand’s fans over the course of a month is a big deal.

Unfortunately, brands might not realize how large the reach gap is. “[Rather than focus primarily on engagement rates] people are worried about reaching quarterly or annual ‘like’ goals,” said Ian Schafer, CEO and founder of digital agency Deep Focus. “[Facebook’s push toward more content-oriented ads] might be the nail in the coffin with Facebook saying [acquiring fans is] not the most important thing.”

“[But for brands to succeed with a storytelling strategy] requires a completely new approach to content creation and media that is specific to Facebook and not likely to fit in an existing internal department or external agency very neatly,” said Jamie Tedford, CEO of social marketing firm Brand Networks.

This could potentially impact the cottage industry of companies built entirely to service Facebook advertising. However, there will still be a rejiggering required to migrate to the new layout. “The transition burden will fall most heavily on creative and user experience professionals,” said Sav Banerjee, executive strategy director at digital agency Rokkan.

Source: AdWeek


IOS TV Will ‘Hopefully Destroy’ Console Market, Says Making Fun CEO

Making Fun CEO John Welch and CTO Lee Crawford both believe that Apple will be getting into TVs very soon. Between that and the new Google TV, they think that the traditional console model will be destroyed.

Still, quantity is not a blessing in and off itself admits Welch: ”Nobody needs that either. You want some curation. Apple’s tried to get better at that over the years, and Facebook makes too much money on ads to care about it. Ultimately nobody needs millions of games competing for user’s attention and time. What we do need is millions of developers out there having the opportunity to succeed. That’s what’s cool.”

When asked if consoles could open up, Crawford responded, “I don’t think they’re going to open up their platform because they want to maintain a quality bar on those consoles, and I don’t think they’re going to partner with the conventional social networks.”

“They’ve got a massive innovator’s dilemma,” added Welch. “They’re going to destroy value if they keep up with the times; they’re hampered by their success. Embracing the models that are necessary and that will happen with other companies, would destroy a lot of the value that they already have built. Microsoft and Sony can keep optimizing their console experience, but its going to be a smaller and smaller piece of the overall entertainment pie.”

“The reason you had to hot-rod in the form of a console is because you needed the CPU capacity co-located with the television set to get high-quality graphics. That’s not the case any more,” explained Crawford. “An iPad graphics processor will give you Wii quality graphics. You can use services like OnLive or Gaikai or any cloud-based service to stream even higher fidelity experiences than you can produce locally. I think that’s going to result in a bifurcation of content from the hardware. It’s going to neuter the ability of the console manufacturers to stay the course with the business models they currently employ. I can enjoy a very high end graphic experience on a very low-end television set today if I have the network.”

“I don’t care about the Call of Duty market,” added Welch. “Let Activision and Sony have all the fun they want to have making Call of Duty and putting it on a console. What about tower defense games and card games and the stuff that’s generating billions of dollars online today that’s not on the television set Those consumers watch TV, they have TVs, they want to play games, clearly. So I’m happy to start with the “lower end” that’s still beautiful and rich that may not be as taxing of a CPU and a GPU, but it’s still beautiful and rich and it’s social. There’s a lot of room for innovation for with what’s there today and what will be there tomorrow.”

“What I’d like to see happen, and I think it will happen sooner or later, is that the console ceases to become the defining characteristic of the ecosystem,” concluded Welch.

Kingdom Age Debuts On Google+

Funzio confirmed that their newest game, Kingdom Age, has come out. The game is debuting exclusively on Google+, as well as the Chrome Web Store.

“Google+ is adding millions of new members to their social network and it’s key for our future growth as an entertainment company to be part of the developing gaming scene on this vital new social platform,” said Kenneth Chiu, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder, Funzio. “As a developer, we’ve also found it easy to work with Google; they’ve listened to our feedback and have been very collaborative on Kingdom Age. With this successful launch on Google+ and the Chrome Web Store, as well as our new projects beginning to arrive on Android, Funzio has again proven our multiplatform strategy.”

Kingdom Age marks the fifth exclusive game to launch on Google+,” said Punit Soni, Lead for Google+ Games. “We’re thrilled to see that our trusted partners, such as Funzio, are launching their games exclusively on the platform demonstrating their long term commitment to Google+ games. The Kingdom Age graphics are stunning, and the story is very action oriented and adventurous. We think our users will really enjoy playing Kingdom Age.”

Google Privacy Policy Breaks European Law, Says EU Justice Commissioner

Recent changes in Google’s privacy policy have received criticism from the U.S. Government. Now EU justice commissioner Viviane Reding has said that Google’s newly activated unified privacy policy is in breach of European privacy laws.

“They have come to the conclusion that they are deeply concerned, and that the new rules are not in accordance with the European law, and that the transparency rules have not been applied,” said Reding. “One is that nobody had been consulted, it is not in accordance with the law on transparency and it utilizes the data of private persons in order to hand it over to third parties, which is not what the users have agreed to. Protection of personal data is a basic rule of the European Union. It is inscribed in the treaties. It is not an if, it is a must.”

“Our privacy policy is now much easier to understand,” responded Google. “We’ve included the key parts from more than 60 product-specific notices into our main Google Privacy Policy – so there’s no longer any need to be your own mini search engine if you want to work out what’s going on.”

Source: GamesIndustry.biz

PS Vita Now Has Facebook App

Sony has released the Facebook app for the PlayStation Vita after a false start where the initially released version was criticized for being filled with bugs. Sony says that the issues were on Facebook’s side and have now been fixed.

“Facebook service for the PS Vita has been completely restored, and the Facebook app is now available for (free) download on the PS Store,” announced Sony.

Source: Twitter

3DS Dragon Quest Monsters Goes Slime Crazy

To support the 3D release of Dragon Quest Monsters, Square Enix has teamed with Nintendo to produce a special Ice White Nintendo 3DS. The 3DS bundle will retail for ¥20,490 ($255), so be sure to make arrangements to buy it now if you’re interested, since it will be sure to sell out quickly.

Source: Kotaku