Angry Birds Developer Acquires Futuremark Games Studio

Rovio has acquired developer Futuremark Games Studio. The studio developed Shattered Horizon, Hungribles and Unstoppable Gorg and is the development arm of the benchmarking software company that makes 3DMark, PCMark and Peacekeeper.

“They are an incredibly talented and experienced team, and we are thrilled to have them on board,” said Mikael Hed, Rovio Entertainment’s CEO. “Rovio’s success is founded on the excellence of our team, and Futuremark Games Studio is going to be a superb addition.”

“I am proud to see the potential of our talented games team recognized by Rovio,” offered Jukka Mäkinen, Futuremark CEO. “Futuremark will now focus on supporting gamers and industry with 3DMark, our professional grade benchmark which, in a new version to be released later this year, will allow unified gaming performance comparison across operating systems and form factors for the first time.”

Rockstar Announces Max Payne 3 ‘Get Caught Dead’ Winners

Rockstar has revealed the three Social Club members who will see their names on a tombstone on the Max Payne 3 Cemetery multiplayer map. Lee Merryman, Raymond Lum and Vincenzo D’Agostino won the Get Caught Dead in the Max Payne 3 Cemetery online event.

“We’re especially happy to see good old Vinny (aka @VinnyNasty on Twitter) getting a chance to be represented in the game as he was a very active participant and strong contender in the #MaxPayne3 casting event we held earlier this year. Having been chosen at random amongst thousands of entrants, we’re glad to see the luck of the draw on the side of one of our most long-time Social Club members and hardcore Max Payne fans,” said Rockstar. “Speaking of the #MaxPayne3 Twitter gang cast of characters – stay tuned as we should be revealing how they look in the game within the next week . . .”

Source: Rockstar Games

Mass Effect Charity Campaign Closes, Declares Victory

The Retake Mass Effect campaign raised $80,000 for Child’s Play, with 4,116 people contributing to the Mass Effect 3 charity drive seeking more details to the ending. However, the drive has closed at the request of Child’s Play to avoid any confusion over any connection between the petition and charity, but with BioWare CEO Ray Muzyka promising that future content will provide more clarity to the game’s ending, organizers believe the movement has succeeded.

“Make no mistake. This effort has been victorious. I have been provided many eloquent arguments against winding down the drive and I appreciate them. In the end, however, I believe that now is the time for this phase of the process to come to a close,” wrote organizer Robb. “Retake Mass Effect is not over by any means; Dr. Muzyka’s statement was welcome, but did not directly address our concerns. You have been heard. Now it is time to make sure they get the details right. My sincerest thanks to everyone who has supported this effort whether through donations, publicity, or kind words.”


Devil May Cry Designer Talks Female Attraction Beyond Anatomy

Video games have had a history of fetishistically sexualizing female characters. However, with most core gamers well past their teenage years, Ninja Theory Design Boss Tameem Antoniades thinks that women in games need to be better humanized.

“If it’s true that the average console gamer is over 30 – which I totally believe – then you can’t use those cheap tricks to titillate people into wanting to buy your game,” said Antoniades. “I’ve nothing against big tits – I’d rather have my head resting on a pair right now – but if you’re going to try and stimulate someone on different levels, there’s better ways to do it. If you look at the stars in movies, the women people find really attractive are often not the ones with the biggest tits. You’ve got to be attractive on a different level.”

“We did that in Enslaved with Trip. People loved her, not because she had big breasts and high heels, but because she felt like someone who could be your girlfriend,” he added. “That to me is more attractive than a prostitute walking around with a big gun. Not to demean prostitutes – it’s a valid form of commerce.”

Source: PSM3

Resistance: Burning Skies Story Panels

Resistance: Burning Skies is the anticipated PS Vita game that tells the story of the Chimera invading the U.S. from a whole new angle. As New Jersey fire fighter and National Guardsman Tom Riley, your goal is to find your family at any cost.

The Witcher 2 — All About Cinematics

The Witcher 2: Assassins Of Kings Enhanced Edition will feature all new cinematics added to the game. Here, the development team talks about the process of adding them to the game, and particularly what went into the breathtaking new intro.

Meet Up In The Lodge!

Welcome to the SSX RiderNet Lodge! You can find SSX riders from around the world to race, trick and survive with. Add your info to see the gamertags/PSN IDs of your fellow SSX fans, friend them, then hit the mountain together!

Wasteland 2 Asynchronous Social Features Floated

With the Wasteland 2 Kickstarter now at $1.5 million, the questions now becomes what happens at the next major milestone. While a Mac and Linux version are already guaranteed, a social aspect was floated.

“The most common question now is what happens when we hit $2 million and above. First and foremost we hang our hat on the density of the experience the gamers get with a great RPG, and these monies continue to insure that happens.  At $2 million we will increase the staff to make the game more social so that it can become a more shared experience. We like the concepts of dropping notes into the world for your friends who are playing the game, or perhaps we may allow you to send an item their way from Ranger center to help them out. We are fleshing out the ideas but  intend to increase the social aspects of the game without diverting it from being an old school RPG and without hurting the balance.“

The idea of implementing such a change immediately caused concerned messages to be posted, to which Fargo responded, “There has been a lot of panic that any kind of element of sharing will ruin the classic old school RPG. I think some people are overreacting to the word ‘social’ which I can kind of understand. But here is the bottom line. We will post a description of our thoughts in the forums and if YOU the fans still don’t want it then we will not fight the majority. We can now get back to our normal shouting.”

“More important than multi-player I would prefer to have a robust set of tools so the community can create mods and make the Wasteland world bigger than any one company ever could,” Fargo said. “Rest assured we are spending our efforts to determine at what tier we can have a team work on this. But keep in mind that making Wasteland 2 a deep RPG experience is mission critical, so even if we make the mod tools they are likely to come out after our ship date.”

“We wanted to have a little fun and make another comical video so I hope you enjoy it,” he added. “The next video I put up will also be more informative as I will answer some of the more common questions from the forums. We are still deciding on the tech, and we don’t know what the final budget is, so it can be difficult to have answers for everything right now.”


Angry Birds Space Not In Orbit Of Windows Phone Yet

Angry Birds is a hit on all mobile platforms that it’s available on, and Angry Birds Space is already a rousing success on Android and iOS. However, the newest version of Angry Birds isn’t on Windows Phone now and Rovio explained why.

“We’re the No. 1 app in the Windows Phone app store, but it’s a big undertaking to support it, and you have to completely rewrite the application,” said Peter Vesterbacka, Rovio’s chief marketing officer. “If you look at activations, Apple’s iOS and Android are clearly bigger than any other platform. We want to be on all screens, but we have to consider the cost of supplying the smaller platforms. With Windows Phone it’s a lot of work to technically support it.”

Rovio later said that Angry Birds Space will be coming to Windows Phone eventually.

Source: Bloomberg