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.”

Roadhouse Interactive Acquires Embassy Interactive

Roadhouse Interactive announced that it has acquired The Embassy Interactive. The Embassy Interactive was founded in 2008 and has developed several social games including UFC Undisputed Fight Nation for Facebook and Tangram Puzzle Pro for iPhone.

“The acquisition of Embassy is a strategic fit for us and a critical step in our growth,” said James Hursthouse, Roadhouse CEO. “Roadhouse continues to grow as an end-to-end solution provider for the development, production, and live game operations of Triple A online and social games. This acquisition opens a new chapter in the Roadhouse story, enabling us to move forward with an expanded slate of innovative projects in the future.”

The Embassy Interactive will become Roadhouse Game Studios and will focus on new product development for Facebook, smartphones and tablets, effective immediately. They will continue to work with third-party studios in addition to internal development.

“Roadhouse is a proven Triple A online games company, and we are excited about what we will be able to achieve together and to help accelerate Roadhouse’s business” said Gary Kanazawa, Embassy Interactive CEO. “Joining Roadhouse allows our talented team to focus exclusively on what they do best – create great interactive entertainment!”

Tarrnie Williams, Roadhouse Interactive President, will be acting studio head until further notice, Embassy Interactive founder Sebastiaan Reinarz will continue on as Creative Director at the new studio, while founder Ryan Donaldson will serve as an external design adviser for Roadhouse Interactive. Roadhouse Game Studios operate as a separate entity from Roadhouse Interactive.

Assassin’s Creed On Mobile Addressing A Consumer Need

Ubisoft and Gree’s Assassin’s Creed: Utopia will not have the ability to unlock content in Assassin’s Creed III. The benefit of tying into the greater storyline is that the appeal of the fight between Assassins and Templars goes beyond people who play the games.

“There are no links between the games,” said Andreane Meunier. “But the narrative will lead into the ACIII narrative, since it’s a kind of pre-era to the Assassin’s Creed III era.”

“You’d be surprised to hear that some consumers of the Assassin’s Creed brand have never touched the HD game. We actually have a lot of people who are mostly into the narrative that have read the novels and things like that,” said Meunier. “We do feel like the product we’re offering actually answers a need that the community has expressed. Often we hear, ‘Oh, I’ve never played an Assassin’s Creed game, but I’ve seen my boyfriend/friend/brother play it, and I’m super-interested in the narrative but the gameplay is maybe not for me.’ We’ve done stuff on Facebook and people respond very well to it. People that are really into the narrative will really enjoy this game. It’s going to appeal to a broader audience than if it’s just the HD games.”

Source: Eurogamer

Family Guy Online Gets Ted

Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products announced that they are launching a digital partnership between Universal Pictures’ upcoming comedy movie Ted and Fox’s free-to-play title Family Guy Online. Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane is the director, voice star and co-writer of Ted, so integrating the talking bear from the movie within the virtual Quahog was an easy fit.

“Outrageous humor and cutting-edge entertainment are central to Family Guy Online, so we are able to work with our partners to develop creative, fun and relevant integrations that cannot be found anywhere else,” said Gary Rosenfeld, senior vice president, Interactive Games, Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products. “With the upcoming release of Ted, Family Guy Online players will get their first chance to interact with this new and hilarious character.”

Ted will be in the game, and interacting with him and watching various movie clips will ear an achievement and a virtual item. Other recent integrations into Family Guy Online include Unilever’s Axe and Klondike Choco Taco and Sony Pictures’ 21 Jump Street.

Source: FamilyGuyOnline.com

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.

Zynga Brings Top Titles To Windows Phone

Zynga announced its intention to bring Words With Friends and Draw Something to Windows Phone this Fall. The titles will be exclusive to Nokia customers for the first two months before coming to all Windows Phone users.

Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform recently reached the milestone of 100,000 published apps. The number of new Windows Phone project starts registered with Flurry has grown 600 percent, greater than the average growth rate across all platforms by 50 percent.