Diablo III Digital Purchasers Restricted To ‘Starter Edition’

Blizzard has revealed that those that buy a digital version of Diablo III will only have access to the Starter Edition for 72 hours as part of the company’s efforts to crack down on credit card fraud. This means that players will have their level capped at 13, will only be able to play up to Act I, will not be able to play with anyone other than Starter Edition players and will have no Auction House access.

“Outside of the issue that we fixed, digital purchases do require a review period before they kick over from Starter to Full editions. We apologize for the inconvenience, but it is a necessary step to combat fraud and other malicious activities that can weaken everyone’s play experience,” said Blizzard on the issue. “The delay is no longer than three days, and is often much quicker than that. Hang tight.”

Gaikai Might Sell Itself For $500 Million

Reports are that Gaikai is looking to sell itself to the highest bidder. The Aliso Viejo, California company has raised around $45 million in VC funding over the past few years, and they have teamed up with Walmart, YouTube and Electronic Arts.

The offering, which could exceed $500 million, could receive offers from platform holders like Sony and Microsoft or service providers like AT&T or Comcast. Gaikai is not commenting on the matter for the moment.

Source: Fortune {link no longer active}

Kickstarter Game Projects Have 33 Percent Success Rate

Kickstarter revealed that they will be releasing daily updated statistics for its various projects. This is a change from the site’s previous policy of releasing stats occasionally after major milestones.

Over $262 million has been pledged to more than 60,000 launched projects, with a success rate of roughly 44 percent and $219 million given to successful projects. Gaming has see $31 million pledged to 2,302 projects and a success rate of 33.8 percent with $26.5 million going to successful projects.

Despite a funding success rate below the average, gaming has also generated the the biggest success stories, with three projects bringing in more than $1 million. Nine out of the 13 total categories don’t have a single project exceeding $1 million.

Find out more at Kickstarter.com/help/stats.

Game Accelerator GameFounders Launches

GameFounders, a gaming accelerator, has launched in Estonia. They are offering a 10,000 Euro investment and three months of development support for a 9 percent stake in companies they work with.

“GameFounders is the ‘magic potion’ for game developers. We provide you with the help, knowledge and contacts to let your game take off,” says the company. “We have investors and mentors who count the value of their businesses in billions and active players in tens and hundreds of millions. They know how to get there. They know how to make a game addictive, how to publish and market and most importantly, how to monetize it. And they are glad to share their knowledge with you.”

GameFounders is looking to work with 10 start-ups and have already received applications from 10 countries. Deadline for submission is July 10.

Source: GameFounders.com

Rockstar Marketing Executive Departs

Head of marketing for Rockstar Games Alex Moulle-Berteaux has departed the company. He held the position for five years, and despite the under performance of Max Payne 3, Rockstar indicates the split is amicable and not tied to sales.

“After five years with Rockstar Games, Alex Moulle-Berteaux has resigned in order to pursue his own personal projects,” a spokesperson said. “Alex was a highly valued member of the Rockstar family, and we wish him all the best in future endeavors.”

Source: Kotaku

Yahtzee Talks Up E3 2012

Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw typically does an E3 video every year, but this year he took particular time to examine the trailers that came out. He does a great job sending up some of the more notable moments in his own imitable style.

{video link no longer active}



Starhawk Uplink Now Online

The official companion mobile application for Starhawk is now available on iOS and Android devices. With the Starhawk Uplink app you can easily check out detailed player and clan stats, while staying current on the all of the latest Starhawk announcements and community news/events, all on the go, anytime, anywhere. To download the app, use the following links: Android devices / iOS devices {links no longer active}.

Once you’ve downloaded the Starhawk Uplink to your mobile device, you’ll find a wealth of information available on all of the player weapons, Hawk weapons, and Build & Battle structures.

The Starhawk Uplink app is totally free, and it’s a way for diehard players to always stay in touch with Starhawk. And for those of you who haven’t picked up a copy of Starhawk yet, you can still pull down this app and learn more about the game and the exciting community of Starhawk followers.

App features include:

  • Access to clan information: You can view your clan invitations, clan leaderboards and statistics, and search for new clans to join or challenge.
  • View player and weapon stats: You can view your player and weapon stats from all of your online action in Starhawk.
  • Track other players: Want to see how your stats compare Look at stats for your PSN friends, clanmates, and other players you meet online.
  • View the Starhawk leaderboards: See how you rank against your friends, clanmates, and the rest of the Starhawk community.
  • Access Starhawk community strongholds: You can link to various Starhawk social sites, as well as directly link to gameplay videos and other Starhawk community-driven sites.
  • Browse The Armory: An encyclopedia of information on all troop and Hawk weapons and Build & Battle structures.
  • Stay up to date: Our news ticker and game announcements section ensure that you are completely up to date on all the latest and greatest Starhawk news.
  • The Starhawk Uplink runs on the following devices: iTouch, iPhone 3G/3GS/4/4S, as well as all versions of iPad and Android devices, including the Sony Tablet S and Sony Xperia Play mobile phone and all Gingerbread Android devices. Kindle Fire support is coming soon.

EA’s Moore Says All Games Will Be Free-To-Play

Right now, offering games for $60 at retail is appearing to be a diminishing part of the gaming industry. To Peter Moore, COO of Electronic Arts, he thinks that the F2P switchover is coming where every game will be free to some extent.

“I think, ultimately, those microtransactions will be in every game, but the game itself or the access to the game will be free,” said Moore. “Ultimately, my goal is… I measure our business in millions of people have bought our game. Maybe when I’m retired, as this industry progresses, hundreds of millions are playing the games. Zero bought it. Hundreds of millions are playing. We’re getting 5 cents, 6 cents ARPU [average revenue per user] a day out of these people. The great majority will never pay us a penny which is perfectly fine with us, but they add to the eco-system and the people who do pay money—the whales as they are affectionately referred to—to use a Las Vegas term, love it because to be number one of a game that like 55 million people playing is a big deal.”

“I think there’s an inevitability that happens five years from now, 10 years from now, that, let’s call it the client, to use the term, [is free.] It is no different than… it’s free to me to walk into The Gap in my local shopping mall. They don’t charge me to walk in there. I can walk into The Gap, enjoy the music, look at the jeans and what have you, but if I want to buy something I have to pay for it.”

The question was raised how do massive storyline driven games get supported by free-to-play and Moore qualified his response a bit. “That’s the point. If the business model… what do you do It may well be that there will be games that survive and they are the $60 games, but I believe that the real growth is bringing billions of people into the industry and calling them gamers. Hardcore gamers won’t like to hear this. They like to circle the wagons around what they believe is something they feel they have helped build—and rightly so. But we have seen, whether it was with the Wii getting mom off the couch to do Wii Sports or whether it was, more recently EA Sports Active, where we get females who love to work out, all the things that social gaming did—Rock Band did it, Guitar Hero did it—all of the things that elevated it from being a dark art of teenage boys usually sequestered in the bedroom—that it was testosterone-filled content that everybody railed against—to where everybody is a gamer…if you can move your index finger and swipe it this way, you’re a gamer. And that has got to be the way it goes.”

Source: Kotaku