Tiny Wings 2.0 – Free For Owners Of The Original Game

Andreas Illiger has announced that the sequel to Tiny Wings will be free to everyone who buys the original game. Version 2.0 will be the latest and largest addition to the game from German developer Andreas Illiger.

In Tiny Wings 2.0, there will be a new game mode called “Flight School”, a multiplayer mode, fifteen new levels, retina display support, new characters, enhanced language support and various menu and interface tweaks. There also an iPad specific edition, called Tiny Wings HD.

Transformers Coming To DeNA’s Mobage Network

DeNA and Hasbro announced that they have signed a three-year agreement to publish mobile games based on Transformers that includes all areas of the world except Japan. The first title as part of the deal will release on DeNA’s Mobage network on Android and iOS later this year.

“Our global platform has continued to thrive and grow, and we’re now investing in major entertainment IP,” said Neil Young, Director of DeNA and CEO of DeNA’s U.S. subsidiary ngmoco. “Transformers is a highly beloved brand, with dynamic characters that are universally cherished by fans. We are excited to bring the Transformers world to life for mobile gamers.”

“DeNA is a proven global leader in mobile social games,” said Mark Blecher, GM and SVP, Hasbro Digital Media and Marketing. “We’re delighted to team-up with DeNA to offer a compelling Transformers experience on the leading mobile platforms. DeNA’s innovative approach to mobile gaming is a great fit with the Transformers brand.”

Epic-Scents Launches Unique Partnership With Capcom

 

Epic-Scents announced that they have signed a licensing agreement with Capcom. They will work with Capcom to create fragrance products based around franchises like Mega Man, Street Fighter, Resident Evil and Devil May Cry.

“While the exact details of this project remain closely guarded, this exciting new product line will complement and add a new dimension to the selected franchise’s characters,” wrote Jim Kavanaugh, Project Director. “Each product designed by Epic-Scents includes a specially formulated fragrance that can be used in the development of personal care, household, and promotional products, as well as other fine fragrance. Expected launch date is Fall 2012.”

Temple Run Gets Comic Fun

Imangi Studios signed a deal with Ape Entertainment to do a Temple Run comic series. The comic will go into the backstory of the game’s various characters and the mysteries of the temple.

“The Temple Run game left a lot to the imagination, with more questions than answers,” said Keith Shepherd, CEO of Imangi Studios. “We look forward to exploring the world of Temple Run and the adventures of Guy Dangerous in more detail with Ape Entertainment and the comic series.”

Temple Run is by far one of my favorite adventure games on the App Store,” said David Hedgecock, CEO of Ape Entertainment. “The thrilling gameplay plays into our plans very nicely for an extraordinary storyline that we know fans will enjoy.”

The comics will release digitally for iOS and will also come in printed form – no word yet on an Android version.

Witcher Developer Warns About Exploiting Gamers With DLC

DLC for AAA games is often expensive, and is an added expense with retail games that release at $60. CD Projekt RED’s Marcin Iwinski thinks that this could lead to a negative backlash, noting that releasing free content for Witcher 2 actually helped sales.

“When we put it out for free, we saw a boost in the sales with the Enhanced Edition because it just created good will, and it refreshes the product,” noted Iwinski. “You can always do it from two angles, and sadly I see the industry trending toward over-exploiting the gamer, and I think this will come back to the publishers that are doing that, and eventually, people will stop buying their stuff. That’s just not the way things work.”

“When we had that publishing deal, we went to the publisher, and said, ‘So we have this idea where we make all this stuff, all this new content, and you don’t pay anything for it, we give it away for free. How about that ‘ The publisher went all big-eyed and said, ‘Whoa! Let’s charge 10 dollars! 10 Euro!’ But we believed that we would sell more units if we put it out for free.”

Source: Gamasutra

RIM Navigating Stormy Waters

Research in Motion had a relatively calm presentation to shareholders, despite the company’s huge financial losses, its planned massive layoffs, the diminishing stock price, or planned delay of BlackBerry 10 phone until next year. There’s also growing discontent with the fact that corporate customers are contemplating what they will do if BlackBerry goes bankrupt or simply isn’t viable.

“There was no mention of a sale of the company, no mention of a breakup of the company, and again, our big, big concern is if the BB10s are a dud,” said Jaguar Financial CEO Vic Alboini.

Despite all of the lingering issues, RIM’s current slate of directors were re-elected with little muss. However, much of the support for ex-CEO Mike Lazaridis, who helped put the company in its current position, eroded from shareholders in the support for his re-election as a director.

RIM CEO Thorsten Heins emphasized that success of BlackBerry will rely on its loyal business users, its various mobile-computing apps and BlackBerry 10 when it releases. “I have assembled a leadership team for RIM that’s truly capable of taking us into the future,” he told shareholders.

“We’re very focused on what we have to do both in the short term and long term,” said Richard Piasaentin, a RIM executive member. “And very explicitly, in the context of a solid foundation, we’re here for the long haul.”

Source: Brand Channel

Zynga Developers Help With Charity Game

Zynga developers have donated their time to help develop the charity Facebook title Half The Sky, based on a book of the same name. Set for release in November, the game will serve as part of a media campaign alongside a television series designed to raise awareness about female oppression.

“Zynga’s role in bringing this game to life is particularly special to us,” said Half the Sky authors Sheryl WuDunn and Nicholas Kristof. “Using a game to potentially reach great numbers of people helps send a message not only that there are challenges women face around the world but also that they bring great spirit and joy to their communities when they can live safe, normal lives.”

“The mission of Zynga.org is to help make the world a better place through games,” added Zynga’s Ken Weber. “Zynga’s employees are eager to leverage social games for good, and we are honored to be collaborating with Games for Change and Frima on this important initiative.”

Mobile Game Discovery Beyond Ads

Ampulum recently ran a survey of people from social networks, gamer forums, and industry mailing lists for their mobile gaming habits. The results showed that overwhelmingly, the discovery of their favorite mobile games were coming from friends’ word of mouth recommendations, and app store searches and features were primary drivers of sales.

“The study showed that game reviews, discussion forums, and even Google web search all ranked ahead of discovery via in-game ads within another mobile game,” writes ‘Steve’ at Ampulum. “This was self-reported data, so perhaps it’s not surprising if people underestimated how much they’re influenced by ads. The size of the gap vs. other discovery methods is hard to ignore, however. When asked directly what fraction of their favorite mobile games were discovered that way, 70 percent of respondents denied discovering any of their favorites via in-game ads.”

Facebook and Twitter were also recognized discovery methods. An interesting finding by looking at the ages of respondents, it showed that discussion forums are a young person’s venue, with those aged 20-29 more than 3x more likely to report forums among the ways they discovered their favorite mobile games.

“If you’re a new developer with a quality game that you hope will become someone’s favorite, but don’t have a multi-million dollar budget for in-game ad spending, take heart,” noted ‘Steve’. “Your target audience is more likely to discover your game through other less expensive channels anyway. So polish that icon until it shines and hone your description text to perfection, to ensure your game stands out in app store search results. Leverage social media, forums, and any other tool you can find to get your existing players talking about the game with their friends. Cultivate relationships with the gaming press, and do everything in your power to make sure your game is reviewed well. Once you’ve optimized all those channels, then you can start to ramp up in-game ad spending to drive further growth.”

 

Source: Ampulum.com

Microsoft Splits From MSNBC Collaboration

MSNBC.com’s website has been rebranded NBCNews.com. This follows NBCUniversal purchase of Microsoft’s 50 percent share of the joint venture on July 13.

NBC News now has complete control over the MSNBC Digital Network, which includes MSNBC.com, Today.com, NightlyNews.com, BreakingNews.com and other sites. Microsoft’s MSN , which competes with other web portals like Yahoo! and AOL, will remain a distribution site for NBC News.

Microsoft and NBC teamed up to form MSNBC in 1996, designed to be a 24-hour news channel with a companion website. NBC agreed to acquire the news channel in 2005, leaving the Internet portion as a joint venture, while Comcast, the largest U.S. cable- television provider, purchased NBC Universal last year.

Source: BusinessWeek