Surpasses EA, Eyes Zynga On Facebook has reported that it has 10.3 million daily active users on Facebook. That puts it ahead of rival Electronic Arts, but behind Microsoft with 20 million and far behind Zynga, which has 65.1 million.

“Our ultimate ambition is to be the leader in our segment of games for the casual social player, mainly female, social and mobile,” said CEO Riccardo Zacconi. “Our target is to reach Zynga.”

The company is considering an IPO in 2013. “We are preparing the company,” said Zacconi. “The market is changing very fast. There will be consolidation, and we want to have a war chest.”

Source: Reuters

Facebook IPO May Come May 17

Reports are that Facebook’s IPO will take place on May 17, assuming the SEC signs off on it. Valuation is expected to be around $100 billion, with Facebook aiming to raise around $10 billion from the stock sale, which would price the company at around $40 a share.

“Investors want as high a price as possible so that the secondary market won’t look like a problem,” said one of the sources.

Source: TechCrunch

Skyrim/Batman: Arkham City Marketing Details

Speaking at the Game Marketing Summit held in San Francisco, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing for Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Russel Arons said the goal for Batman: Arkham City was to make it a top-selling game, not just a top-selling superhero game. She made her point with humor, showing Activision CEO Bobby Kotick Photoshopped into The Joker’s body, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot as The Riddler, and EA CEO John Riccitiello as Catwoman.

“Batman’s greatest foes weren’t The Joker, The Riddler, or Catwoman,” said Arons. “They were Bobby Kotick, Yves Guillemot and John Riccitiello.”

In order to broaden the appeal of the game, they looked to capture the power of iconic black and white images, and the result were the promotional images with stark black/white contrasts with a smattering of red. The campaign hit 120 different magazine covers and 15 million targeted fans across a broad spectrum of social network pages hitting many different Warner Brothers properties. A viral campaign of videos created by different European units increased the impressions, with costumed actors appearing at press events and in the streets.

The three Batman: Arkham City gameplay trailers got over 6 million views, and their Facebook page had almost 850,000 fans. The exclusive DLC given to retailers enabled Warner to increase pre-orders by 200 percent over Batman: Arkham Asylum, resulting in over 6 million units sold worldwide.

As for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the game had to deal with the reality that it is a single-player fantasy RPG in an age when most of the biggest games have multiplayer. So in order to reach the mainstream audience, they concentrated on protagonist Dovahkiin’s heroic nature and the gritty, realistic tone underlying the story in an attempt to convey the game’s modern, cinematic take on fantasy.

For the marketers of Skyrim, they wanted the craftsmanship of the campaign to mirror the game, so even small details like the logo of the dragon took months of painstaking effort. The game also had a very restrained marketing campaign, with just three video assets released in the first eleven months of marketing.

It’s hard to argue with the results for the game: Skyrim sold ten million units in one month worldwide, and became the second top grossing title for 2011.



THQ Veterans Form Three Phase Interactive

Paul Baker, Chris Burns and Drew Morrow have announced that they have launched a new studio, Three Phase Interactive, concentrating on iOS games. All of the developers are veterans of THQ’s Blue Tongue Entertainment.

“All three of us got started in the industry by diving in and making stuff – games, mods, animation, artwork,” said Baker. “It’s so exciting that we can get back to those DIY roots and just focus on making a game together and bringing it to market without all the red tape and organisational overhead of a large studio.”

Silent Hill Movie Sequel Pegged For October 26

Open Road Films has announced its intentions to release Silent Hill: Revelation 3D on October 26, 2012 in the U.S., with Lionsgate handling international distribution. The move will star Sean Bean and Adelaide Clemens in a story about dark forces closing in on Heather Mason and her father.

Silent Hill has proven to be a powerhouse franchise,” said Tom Ortenberg, CEO of Open Road Films. “The fans have greeted each incarnation, including the original Silent Hill film, with great enthusiasm and we are confident that this latest project will be a strong addition to Open Road’s 2012 slate.”

“The film is a thrill ride that improves on the original in many ways,” added Producer Samuel Hadida. “We take all audiences, new and old, deep into the world of psychological horror that is Silent Hill, and advance the story for those familiar with the franchise. We are thrilled to have Tom and his terrific team at Open Road presenting our film to U.S. audiences.”

Xbox Live Gold Services Unlocked On April 19 – 23

Microsoft has announced that it will be running a promotion that will unlock some Xbox Live Gold features to all users. From April 19 to 23, non-subscribers will be able use a variety of music and video streaming apps usually limited to Xbox Live Gold subscribers only.

Those services that will be available to those without subscriptions includes ESPN, HBO GO, Syfy, TMZ, UFC, Verizon, Xfinity TV on Demand and YouTube. Additionally, streaming services Hulu Plus, Netflix and EPIX will also be running promotions to offer users 1 month of free trial service.

Max Payne 3 Comic Chambered

Rockstar Games has announced that they are teaming up with Marvel to produce a three-part original digital comic series based upon the upcoming Max Payne 3. The first issue, “After the Fall” will be released in the next few weeks for free, and the launch of the digital version will be accompany a limited edition print version.

“Written by Dan Houser and Remedy’s Sam Lake, and featuring cover art from Greg Horn and pencils/inks by Fernando Blanco, this original Max Payne 3 comic series will delve into Max’s troubled past – exploring the events that occurred in and around both Max Payne and Max Payne 2, leading up to Max Payne 3 while also shedding new light on Max’s early years,” reads the official release.