Sid Meier: Industry Still Playing Catch Up With Mobile

In a recent interview, veteran designer and creator of Civilization Sid Meier talked a bit about how the games industry is still trying to figure out how to best leverage the mobile platforms, including smartphones and tablets.

“Mobile is probably a technology we haven’t gotten the most out of,” he noted. “Mobile games now are five minute quick gaming fixes. When you look at all the technology in a smartphone, the connectivity, the GPS, the camera, there are all sorts of things that could be integrated into a gaming experience that we haven’t thought of yet. I have a feeling that we will start to explore more of what’s possible in the whole space. Who knows what the technology will be. The iPad is a beautiful piece of hardware that does really cool stuff. We’re still trying to catch up in terms of game design and how to take advantage of it.”

Check out the full interview about game design, psychology and more at GamesIndustry International.

Hitman Trailer Not Supposed To Be Sexist

Hitman: Absolution director Tore Blystad told Kotaku at E3 that “[The controversy] was a big surprise to us. [The trailer] was not meant to be offensive at all.” The Internet firestorm apparently caught them off guard, according to Blystad.

Blysad said it was meant to be “outlandish,” much like previous games in the Hitman series.

“It was never supposed to be offensive in that way,” he said. “The Hitman games always come from this kind of cartoony, dark universe… This is no different from those. It wasn’t supposed to be a sexist trailer.”

Source: Kotaku

Lord Of The Rings Online: Behind The Live Action Teaser

While it’s always nice to feature gameplay in videos, some companies have effectively turned to live action to help promote their games. Here’s a look at the live action video Turbine created for Lord of the Rings Online: Riders of Rohan, an expansion to the MMO, slated for this fall.

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New Web Domains Sought By Apple, Google And Others

The list of new Internet address endings being applied for was unveiled today, and the days of mostly .com and two-letter country codes are nearly over. “This is an historic day for the Internet and the more than 2 billion people around the world who depend on it. The Internet is about to change forever,” said Rod Beckstrom, President and CEO of Icann. “If even three-quarters of these applications are approved, the number of top-level domains will expand four-fold.”

Applications range from .aaa to .zulu, with other names like .porn and .sex as well as .love and .lol. Many applicants tried for the same domains, like .app (sought by 13 companies) and .home (sought by 11 companies). Tech companies including Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp., Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc. all applied to run their own registries. Amazon was among the most voracious, submitting 75 applications including .author, .book, .circle, .like, .news and .shop.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Cygames’ Rage Of Bahamut Is #1 Top-Grossing Title In App Store

Cygames, Inc. and DeNA Co., Ltd. have announced today that the iOS version of Cygames’ popular social card battle game Rage of Bahamut provided on DeNA Group’s Mobage network, has achieved the number-one ranking on the App Store’s Top Grossing chart in the U.S. The Android version of the title has also ranked number one on Google Play’s top grossing chart for more than six consecutive weeks in the U.S., making the title a cross-platform blockbuster.

Rage of Bahamut, developed originally as a browser-based title by Cygames and offered on DeNA’s Mobage network in Japan as Shingeki-No-Bahamut, is a fantasy adventure game in which players roam the world by collecting, synthesizing and evolving a variety of unique cards with intricate, fantasy-themed artwork. The title was recently localized into English and released in February as an Android app for Mobage’s worldwide network, operated by DeNA’s U.S. subsidiary ngmoco, LLC. The iOS version of the title was released on May 15 on Mobage as well, and has been steadily climbing the App Store’s top grossing chart. In addition to the access to Mobage’s user network, ngmoco has provided user-acquisition support for the title. Rage of Bahamut currently has more than one million registered users across Android and iOS.

Google Exec Talks Mobile Ads

Google’s head of Mobile Ad Marketing, Jesse Haines, told attendees at the Mobile Marketing Association forum that more companies are looking to invest in mobile ad. She offered some advice taken from the Mobile Playbook that Google has put together based on their facts and findings.

When it comes to mobile, timing is everything, Haines noted. Consumers are always connected to a brand regardless of where and when they are, which completely changes the value proposition for brands. As an example, she cited, which highlighted the speed of its mobile web site with a video showing a skydiver using the site to make a hotel reservation.

Another trend Haines talked about is showrooming, where consumers go into a retail store and shop elsewhere using their mobile devices. Amazon has even been promoting the practice by giving customers discounts for doing it. “Showrooming isn’t going away, and it’s the innovative retailers who are thinking about how to transform their value proposition that win,” noted Haines.

Mobile use is particularly important for businesses like restaurants and movies, where more than 25 percent of queries are made on mobile devices. If your mobile web site isn’t good, research from Compuware found that 57 percent of consumers will not recommend your business.

Tablets are also playing an increasingly large role in the ways that brands tackle mobile with the devices increasingly being seen as separate from smartphones, according to Haines. “One thing that has bowled us over at Google is how people are using the tablet for shopping,” Haines noted. “Tablets are amazing when it comes to shopping and an amazing platform for brand-building. The reach might be small now, but the consumer is valuable and it’s worth paying attention to the tablet.”


Source: Mobile Marketer

GameStop Kicks Off First-To-Play Events With LEGO Batman 2

Leading video games retailer GameStop has announced that it’s holding a first-to-play event to promote the upcoming launch of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment’s LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes. The game is set to release on June 19, but fans will be able to play it on Saturday, June 16 in more than 4,000 GameStop locations.

The retailer also noted that PowerUp Rewards members that trade any games toward the pre-order or purchase of Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes, will receive a 30 percent trade bonus.

Diablo III’s Real-Money Auction House Is Live

Blizzard has announced that the real-money auction house (RMAH) for Diablo III has launched in North America. The U.S. dollar, Mexican peso, and Australian dollar are all currently supported, with support for the EU region coming soon.

Using the RMAH requires that a player has an authenticator attached to their account. In addition, if a player decides to use PayPal, then they must also activate the Battle.Net SMS Protection feature.

Only weapons and armor are available on the RMAH at this time, with commodities being added later. Further information about Diablo III’s new system can be found here.