Activision Launches Mobile Publishing Brand With Flurry

Activision is jumping into mobile game publishing full force with a new Mobile Publishing brand and a partnership with analytics firm Flurry. The goal is to “identify and assist third-party developers in the development, publishing, distribution and promotion of independent titles on iOS and Android platforms.”

Games will be published under the new Mobile Publishing brand and developers will benefit from Flurry’s mobile analytics and advertising platform as well as Activision’s scale in the industry. Importantly, developers will retain full control of their intellectual property.

“A world class partner such as Flurry will position Activision for mobile growth in the future and we are confident our relationship will yield significant insight into mobile development and distribution,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing.

“I think you will find that, as you probably know, Activision is not a company that makes a big hullaballoo and then chases after it trying to deliver. We’re trying to be more thoughtful about our announcements and our strategies. We want to ‘do’ and then talk about it once we’ve done it. This is an example. Our partnership with Flurry and our creation with the Activision Mobile publishing group is a significant new initiative for us,” Greg Canessa, VP of Activision mobile stated.

“We’re here to talk about our partnering with indie and smaller developers, developers of all sorts, to bring those products to bear in the mobile space. We also have other mobile initiatives under way. I point you to Skylanders Cloud Patrol as an example and our Call of Duty Black Ops Zombie game, our Elite mobile app. You’re seeing more and more mobile games coming out. We actually do have a number of first party initiatives that we are pursuing in parallel to this relationship.”

For Simon Khalaf, CEO of Flurry, the partnership is about enabling developers to leverage metrics, similar to how games in the social space are heavily driven by a metrics approach. Khalaf remarked, “Looking at this market, we decided that we can assist indies in building better franchises. They are very good at building the game, but they are not so good at building an audience, growing an audience and managing it. So we felt that between the services that Flurry offers and what Activision offers, we can put together a value proposition in front of indie developers.”

He continued, “The market has changed from shipping a game to managing an audience. Yes, social gets some credit that it is metrics driven, but those who have been successful from the start have been very metrics driven. We work with them on a day-to-day basis, more an hourly basis. From user-acquisition to improving the dialog to responding to the community and responding to the game 24/7; that’s exactly the kind of culture we want to inject in the game for them. We want to get to the point of doing this work for them.”

The companies would not say how revenues would be split, but they did say that developers would get the “majority” of money generated by micro-transactions in games.

Source: GamesIndustry International

Miniclip In National Promotion With Del Taco

Online games website Miniclip, which already has over 70 million players per month, is now launching its first national promotion with Del Taco Restaurants this month. The company is looking at an eight-week kids meal promotion as just the start of an overall global brand extension campaign.

More than 525 restaurants in 17 states will offer an exclusive Miniclip decoder toy with purchase.  The toy will reveal a special code for access to a secret area on to play exclusive games. There will be special trophies for the Del Taco audience. The promotion will also be supported by Del Taco through in-store POP.

“This is the first step in a brand strategy that will bring the excitement of the Miniclip online brand to consumers in new and engaging ways,” said Chris Bergstresser, VP & Commercial Director of Miniclip.  “We’re a family friendly brand first, and have chosen Del Taco to partner with because of their commitment to fresh food.  Del Taco has created the perfect environment for us to reach out to our core audience in a new format that we know they will love.”

Watch The Trailer, Play A Game On YouTube

On the official YouTube channel for That’s My Boy, fans can play a quick, fun interactive game where they have to reunite with their son Donny. Fans must walk and avoid obstacles and be careful not to spill their beer. Along the way they can pick up power ups and replenish their drink. Also, at a destination site fans can create their own mix track using pre-programmed beats and samples from the movie. When the beat is complete, fans can share on Facebook.


Dishonored: Revenge Solves Everything

Bethesda may be known for its Elder Scrolls RPG franchise, but this fall the company is publishing a new title from Harvey Smith and Arkane Studios, called Dishonored, which clearly draws on Smith’s past experience with Deus Ex and other titles. In the game, players creatively eliminate targets with a flexible combat system involving supernatural abilities, weapons and gadgets.


Facebook Leveraging Notifications For Game Promotion

Making your social game sticky and viral so that users keep coming back and the game spreads to their friends is key to creating a successful social title. Facebook is now attempting to help developers get more traction with users by sending them a new type of notification. The notifications come from Facebook, not the game itself, and include things like a “Play now” call to action, and “Games You May Like.”

“We are testing this feature as part of ongoing tests to help people discover and reengage with apps and games and drive meaningful traffic to developers,” a Facebook rep stated.

It’ll be interesting to see if this becomes a fully widespread feature. It could be a good way to get more users back into games than sidebar modules, as they’ll see a red notification icon at the top of all Facebook pages in addition to a pop-up in the bottom left corner of the page.

Source: Inside Facebook

Peter Molyneux ‘Shocked’ By Microsoft’s Lack Of Attention To Windows

Looking back at last week’s E3 2012 press conference from Microsoft, ex-Microsoft executive and former Lionhead boss Peter Molyneux weighed in on the company’s performance. One thing that stood out to him was Microsoft’s continued pattern of ignoring Windows gaming.

“I would hope the next generation would bring about a new wave of innovation. If we don’t do that in consoles, then you will find that those people that want innovation will start retreating to other formats. Look at the PC. It’s incredible to me how there’s been a resurgence in PC gaming. There’s a lot more innovation now… I think that’s the other thing about the Microsoft press conference. It’s always shocked me about how little Microsoft cared about the Windows platform,” he noted. “There was hardly a single talk about Windows 8 at all. You would’ve thought, with a billion installed machines, there would be at least some play. And the whole metro interface is much more gamified, but there was no talk about it at all.”

Source: GamesIndustry International

Metal Gear Solid Collection Hits PS Vita

Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. today announced that Metal Gear Solid HD Collection is now available for the PlayStation Vita. Hideo Kojima’s classic Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater titles feature vast upgrades, including remastered graphics from the original releases on the PlayStation 2 system, and optimized controls designed to take full advantage of the PlayStation Vita touchscreen capabilities.

“With Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, gamers will be impressed with the updated graphics and the ability to zoom and perform attacks by using just their fingers on the touch screen of the PlayStation Vita system,” said Tomoyuki Tsuboi, President of Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. It’s an exciting new way to experience the games Metal Gear Solid fans have known and loved for years.”

In addition to the visual upgrades, both titles include Transfarring, where players can start the action right where they left off as they transfer saved-data back and forth from their PlayStation3 system version of Metal Gear Solid HD Collection to their PlayStationVita system.

Funcom Invites You To Go To Hell

Funcom is inviting thousands of gamers from all over the world into the bowels of hell itself, in the third Beta Weekend for the company’s highly anticipated modern-day massively multiplayer online game ‘The Secret World’. Starting on June 15 at 9 a.m. PDT and ending on June 17 at 11.59 p.m. PDT, gamers will be able to explore a wealth of new content that was not available in the two previous Beta Weekends, including the Dragon and Illuminati starter experiences.

This weekend the game will be opened up to include the massive region known as The Savage Coast, as well as two epic dungeons: The Polaris and Hell Rising. This represents only a fraction of the content available at launch, but still spans over dozens upon dozens of hours of pure gameplay. The best way to gain access to the Beta Weekend is to pre-order ‘The Secret World’. This grants access to all Beta Weekends leading up to launch. Funcom is also teaming up with major partners all over the world this week, including world-leading hardware manufacturer NVIDIA, to conduct a massive giveaway of keys that will enable play for this weekend only.