Ubisoft Touts Internally Developed Social Game Talent

Electronic Arts and Zynga have bought up a number of studios with the purposes of picking up the talent contained therein. Ubisoft’s vice president of digital publishing Chris Early takes pride that his company has taken the opposite route and promoted from within.

“We’ve taken a route with Ubisoft of building our talents from within. We haven’t gone out and spent hundreds of millions of dollars buying a company or something along those lines. We’ve used our 26 studios around the world that we have; we’ve found out who’s interested in making these kinds of games. Some were interested at one point but aren’t anymore because they realize it takes a different mentality making a console game than it is making a game that’s a service, like a Facebook game should be,” said Early. “Yet there are some studios that are doing it well – that like it. They’ve helped us move forward with that. It’s been a learning process for us, both from a development standpoint and from the operational side of things.”

“About half of the games we make are made internally and about half of them are made with external partners,” Early continued. “What that really brings us is the ability to develop the talents internally – from a development standpoint and certainly from an operational standpoint – and still get the freshest amount of influx that we can from people who are experts in the field. In the case of Loot Drop, I think we’re very fortunate because we have a company that has solid social gaming skills and has a deep background in hardcore games. For us, they were the perfect match.”

Source: Venturebeat

Sony’s Kevin Butler To Appear In PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale

An actor listing has outed actor Jerry Lambert as contributing to PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, meaning that his alter ego Kevin Butler might be in the game. He is listed beside Nolan North, voice Nathan Drake from the Uncharted series and David Hayter, the voice of Metal Gear star Solid Snake, which would make him the first third-party character confirmed for the game.

PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale will not be lacking for characters. Already confirmed are Kratos, Sly Cooper, Killzone‘s Mael Radec, Sweet Tooth, Fat Princess. Parappa and Cole McGrath.

Source: IMDB

Game Of Thrones Ascends To Facebook

Disruptor Beam has announced that they have licensed the TV series Game of Thrones to make a new social game. Called Game of Thrones Ascent, the story-driven game will let you control a lord or lady from one of seven noble families in the land of Westeros and develop lands, assign quests to men-at-arms and forge alliances with friends.

“Everyone at Disruptor Beam was a huge fan of Game of Thrones long before we began working on the game, so we recognize that other fans expect character-driven conflict and intrigue to take center stage in our new game. Westeros is the perfect setting to deliver on our vision of weaving stories through decisions and social interactions,” said Jon Radoff, CEO of Disruptor Beam. “Game of Thrones Ascent will bring the world of Westeros to the over 500 million social game players in the market today, featuring original artwork in a highly engaging game experience that is, most importantly, fun for fans and their friends!”

“We recognize that one of the reasons Game of Thrones has been so successful is because of its large and ever-supportive fan community,” said James Costos, VP of HBO Global Licensing. “For this reason, we are delighted to give our fans the opportunity to dive even further into the world of Westeros and live out tales of intrigue, sacrifice and deception inspired by the stories they love.”

Sims Social Veteran Joins King.com

King.com has announced that it has hired Catharina Mallet, who recently left EA’s Sims Social team, to be will be responsible for development of casual games. The European casual/social gaming publisher is the second largest mobile developer in the world, recently surpassing EA.

“We have the leading bubble shooter on Facebook. While there are a fair number of copycats popping up, we’re pleased with the continued audience engagement that we get with Bubble Witch Saga,” said King.com chief marketing officer Alex Dale. “We think that will improve further when we launch the game on mobile.”

Dragon Age Legends Execution Scheduled By EA

Electronic Arts has announced that Dragon Age Legends is shutting down June 18, 2012. Users can no longer purchase currency in the game, a downloadable version will be available at  www.dragonagelegends.com after this version shuts down and they are pushing users towards Age of Champions, where Dragon Age Legends users will featuring a DAL-inspired Champion weapon, a Viscount Ravi army unit, in-game currency, and an exclusive medal for a profile page.

“This is by no means a reflection on the quality of the game; the awesome team who created it; or the incredible, passionate community who has supported it,” read the game’s blog. “The unfortunate reality is that DAL doesn’t make enough revenue to sustain itself. This is by no means a reflection on the quality of the game; the awesome team who created it; or the incredible, passionate community who has supported it. The unfortunate reality is that DAL doesn’t make enough revenue to sustain itself.”

“Thank you to everyone who played Dragon Age Legends over the past year — in particular those of you who took part in the vibrant communities that sprung up around it on Facebook and the BioWare Social Network,” it continued. “We’ve learned so much over the past year, and most of it is due to you. We consider you all family.”

Source: dragonagelegends.com

Machinima Raises $35 Million

Machinima has received $35 million in funding from Google and existing venture partners. The video gaming content site will look to use the money to work better over multiple channels, to create more original content and to expand more internationally and across mobile.

“With this latest round of funding, Machinima is well-positioned to make the next evolutionary step in the world of multi-channel video programming and distribution by expanding into original content, international territories, and new platforms and devices,” said Machinima CEO Allen DeBevoise. “Our tremendous growth as one of the world’s largest online video communities, with innovative social metrics and attributes and massive mobile viewership, positions us well to lead the third wave of original video programing brands.”

“Machinima has built a brand and an audience that rivals some of the biggest channels on TV,” added David Lawee, Vice President of Corporate Development at Google. “The success and uniqueness of their business makes this a smart investment opportunity.”

ZZ Top & Jeremiah Weed

Jeremiah Weed filmed rockers ZZ Top hiding in a refrigerator and ambushing curious strangers with music. Watch as strangers get surprised and ZZ Top plays I Got to Get Paid!

Kids Access Free Apps 88 Percent Of The Time

The NPD Group released the results of Kids and Apps: A New Era of Play, showing that there are an average of 12 apps on mobile devices that kids have access to, with 88 percent of those apps being acquired for free. Additionally, children spend approximately five days a week using mobile devices such as a smartphone, tablet or iPod Touch, with an average session generally lasting just under one hour.

There are an average of 6.5 gaming applications on a device, making gaming the most popular type of app used by children, followed by listening to or downloading music and taking pictures. Gender also plays a role in app usage, with boys being significantly more likely to be game players than girls (87 percent vs.  80 percent), while girls are more diversified in the apps they use on a device and are likely to have more types of apps than boys.

“The wide variety and sheer volume of free entertainment content available for app devices is clearly having an impact on kids and the way they play,” said Anita Frazier, industry analyst, The NPD Group. “While there are a number of engaging and entertaining apps available to kids, many are used and abandoned after a short time, so it’s important to get a clear, factual picture of the role that apps are playing in kids’ lives.”

While gaming applications are paid for 35 percent of the time, making them the most frequently paid for, they are followed closely by educational game and movie apps. Most of the apps downloaded to devices are free and even those apps that are purchased are relatively inexpensive.

Those parents that let their child use a device are likely to be influenced by unlimited data from their carrier, the availability of more educational apps and, of course, the free games. As for those who already own a device but don’t let their child use it, they would allow their child to do so if more educational apps were available or if the devices were durable enough to withstand the child’s use.

Windows Phone Passes IPhone In China

According to Microsoft, Windows Phone has already picked up a market share of 7 percent in China, higher than the 6 percent share owned by Apple’s iPhone. The company employs around 2,500 people in its R&D department in China and plans to invest heavily in the country.

“We’ve only just begun,” said Michel van der Bel, Microsoft’s Chief Operating Officer for the Greater China Region.

Still, Microsoft is still far behind Google’s Android, which owns a 69 percent market share in China.

Cource: Cnet