Street Fighter Gets Live Action Series

 

Street Fighter producer Yoshinori Ono announced at Comic-Con that they will work with Content Media Corporation to create Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist. The prequel series will show the formative years of the iconic characters Ryu and Ken as they learn Ansatsuken (Assassin’s Fist) and will be developed by the team behind fan movie Street Fighter: Legacy.

“This takes the story right back to the start – the origins and motivations of Ryu, Ken, Gouken and Akuma,” said director Joey Ansah, who has starred The Bourne Ultimatum and Snow White and the Huntsman.”This will become the definitive back-story from which further epic adventures will follow.”

BBC Sees Digital Revenue Climb Over 50 Percent

BBC Worldwide announced that their digital revenue has increased 58 percent over last year, led by games. Digital revenue, composed of iPlayer, apps and games comprised 12.8 percent of the company’s total revenue.

BBC Worldwide launched 11 games over the past year year, with a dozen more currently in development. It saw 3.5 million game downloads, not including Top Gear’s Stunt School Revolution, which is BBC Worldwide’s fastest downloaded game to date with 2 million downloads in its first month.

“BBC Worldwide has proven itself to be a leader in the digital sphere this year,” said John Smith, CEO, BBC Worldwide. “Through embracing advances in technology and striking strategic partnerships with emerging companies, our brands have evolved across a host of platforms. We have also ensured that more audiences get to experience the wealth of content from both from the BBC and UK creative industry, through placing ourselves at the heart of the digital revolution.”

Verizon GameTanium Service Launches For Android

=Verizon Wireless has launched Exent’s GameTanium, a $5.99 a month subscription service exclusive to Android devices on Verizon’s network. The service, which can be downloaded from Verizon Apps and has an available free three-day trial, grants access to over 100 smartphone titles and 50 tablet-enabled games, including Fruit Ninja and World of Goo.

“GameTanium provides our Android customers with unlimited access to more than 100 games at a great value,” said Kristi Crum, executive director of marketing, Verizon Wireless. “Working with Exent has enabled us to immerse customers into the mobile gaming frontier and ultimately bring high-quality gaming options powered by 4G LTE.”

“We are excited to bring the launch of the GameTanium smartphone and tablet service to Verizon Wireless’ customer base,” says Zvi Levgoren, founder and CEO, Exent. “The speed and power of Verizon Wireless’ network allows for a rich mobile gaming experience for Verizon Wireless customers to enjoy.”

GameStop Talks Importance Of Retail To Digital Sales

Chris Petrovic, GM of GameStop Digital Ventures, talked during the GamesBeat conference about the difference between Silicon Valley in attitude towards games and places like midwest and southeast America. Also, while his company has made a lot off the used game trade over the years, he argues that retail also serves an important function with digital sales as well.

“There’s a huge delta between early adopters and the mass market. I think it’s much larger than any of us are willing to acknowledge sometimes, because it just isn’t a fun story,” he said. “You think about how much longer people hold on to their stuff that they’ve invested a lot of money in. You realize that folks are value-oriented, folks are not like us, necessarily, the ones waiting in line to get things on day one. They have kids at home, they don’t want to spend as much money as a new product would cost.”

“Even though there may be an assumption that more games will be delivered digitally, you still need an endpoint device,” he said. “The other thing that we realize, too, is that 70 percent of purchases of digital product that are made in our stores involve some other form of payment besides a credit card. So when you think about all of the other ways that you could pay for stuff, when the purely digital platforms are limited to a credit card as the primary means . . . We have an ecosystem that’s very unique in terms of unlocking value that others can’t, and we do that with and for our partners as well as for our own digital platforms.”

Source: GamesBeat

Warner Picks Up Hawken For Web Series

Adhesive Games announced that their free-to-play game Hawken is turning into a new web series. The series will come out under the Warner Premiere label and will be produced with Copper Media, DJ2 Entertainment and Warner Bros. Digital Distribution.

“We believe Hawken is a cutting-edge gaming franchise that lends itself to multiple platforms and we’re very excited to work with Copper Media and DJ2 to develop it into a top-flight digital series,” said Eva Davis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Warner Premiere. “Warner Bros. Digital Distribution proved there is a way to reach a sizable and passionate audience with this type of property, as we have seen with Mortal Kombat: Legacy which has reached over 70 million views since its debut.”

“We’re thrilled to be working with forward thinking partners like Warner Premiere, Warner Bros. Digital Distribution, Copper Media and Meteor Entertainment’s CEO Mark Long on such a cutting-edge creative venture,” said Dmitri Johnson, CEO/Partner of DJ2 Entertainment.

Smartphone Users Polled On Political Preferences

A recent study of cell phone users Harris Interactive and mobile advertising firm Velti shows a preference for President Obama over challenger Mitt Romney. However, retired owners have a preference for Romney, showing the disparity between young and old in general preferences for the candidates.

“Although current polls show Romney pulling slightly ahead in the race, these results show that the smartphone market is becoming a whole new demographic that candidates should consider when building campaign strategy — and across any number of markets and applications,” writes Barbara, Social Media Manager for Velti.

Source: Blog.Velti.com

Marketers Plan Increased Mobile Budgets

Mobile gaming is growing rapidly, so it’s no surprise that marketing dollars are following the money. A new study found 70 percent of marketers plan to increase budgets for mobile in 2013. Mobile ad spending in the U.S. is expected to reach $2.6 billion this year, including spending on display, search and messaging-based formats. Mobile advertising on smartphones is projected to be a $5.04 billion industry by 2015.

“A lot of brands have spent far too much money on mobile applications,” said Scott Forshay, a mobile and emerging technology strategist for emarketing company Acquity Group. He’s not a fan of that spending, though., saying, “Of that $2.6 billion spent, $2.5 [billion] of that was probably wasted.”

The reason it’s wasted Marketers are just taking what they do on other platforms and shrinking it down for smartphones, ignoring the differences in how people use their smartphones.

“Probably the biggest error brands have made as they venture into mobile is that they think mobile is the same thing they’re doing for the website, just down to a 4-inch form,” he said. Marketing on mobile devices will need to be timely, personal and contextually relevant (people expect their phone to be customized to who they are), in order to work.

Brands that understand who is shopping and what problems they can address for the consumer are successful, Forshay added. He suggests brands take a step back to find out who their consumers are, if they’re using smartphones, and if the majority are using iOS or Android.

He also didn’t see much value in banner ads on things like Zynga games and some apps, citing the “fat finger principal.” In some studies, he says, it’s been shown that up to 76 percent of clicks on mobile banner ads are caused by an accidental touch.

Read more about Forshay’s thoughts at Mashable.com.

Marvel Shows Off Iron Man 3 At Comic-Con

Marvel revealed during their panel at the San Diego Comic Con more details for Iron Man 3, showing a suit that would fly and attach itself piece by piece to Tony Stark. They also showed off footage of Sir Ben Kingsley as the villain Mandarin and Gwyneth Paltrow’s Pepper Potts, Don Cheadle’s James Rhodes and Jon Favreau’s Happy Hogan.

Favreau, who directed the first two Iron Man films, plays a role in the movie; he executive produced the third installment and did not direct. “I feel like a proud grandfather who doesn’t have to change the diapers but gets to play with the baby,” Favreau said, appearing on the Marvel panel with Iron Man 3 director Shane Black.

Iron Man 3 will look into the roots of the Iron Man mythology and is said to be something of a culmination to the trilogy, putting more movies in the series in question. When asked about doing more Iron Man movies, Robert Downey Jr. said, “The future is uncertain. I’m super happy and this has been just an amazing journey.”

Marvel Studios CEO Kevin Feige gave titles to the Thor and Captain America sequels as Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier and confirmed that Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man are in development. The director of Ant-Man Edgar Wright made an appearance at the panel and showed his test shots for the big-screen adaptation.

“I can reveal that Ant-Man has been here the whole day. In fact, he was here to spy on the Pacific Rim panel,” Wright joked, referring to Guillermo del Toro’s giant-robot-versus-massive-monsters movie also at Comic Con.

Source: AP

Amazon Enhances MMO Offerings With Game Connect

Amazon has launched Game Connect, designed to offer not only free-to-play and pay-to-play MMO downloads, but also a means by which to purchase virtual items and other content in those games. The store features a unified payment system for developers to integrate, making payment easier and even potentially unlocking exclusive in-game content in certain titles.

“Customers can now discover a new category of free-to-play games and can experience the convenience of having virtual items purchased with their Amazon account delivered directly to their game accounts,” says Mike Frazzini, director, Amazon Games. “Game Connect helps game developers reach more customers, move more quickly and grow their business by simplifying the purchase process for customers. This is an exciting next step for the Digital Games Store and we have even more to come.”

“We think that Game Connect is a fantastic new program that directly benefits our Tera fans and we are very excited to be involved as we continue to build out and expand our offerings,” said Chris Lee, Vice President of Publishing at En Masse Entertainment.

Source: Amazon.com

Global MMO Games Spending Over $12 Billion: Report

SuperData Research and Newzoo released a study on the growth of the MMO market, finding that the global market will rise above $12 billion in 2012, and is set to reach $17.5 billion in 2015. The year-on-year growth in the West ranges from 14 percent in the U.S. to 24 percent in Germany, totaling $2.9 billion and $700 million, respectively.

Despite this growth, individual MMO game revenues are sometimes struggling as the number of available MMO games has almost doubled since the beginning of 2011. The analysis shows that in Germany, with a stable monthly ARPPU, the growing share of paying players is the main driver, while in the U.S., ARPPU figures for individual titles in a single month are down, but higher annual spend per paying gamer pushes the market upwards.

For the 50 million MMO gamers in the U.S., 23 million spend money on free-to-play or subscription MMOs, a 3 percent increase from last year, and will spend $127 for the full year, 11 percent more than in 2011. The ARPPU for individual titles in May 2012 was $17 compared to $27 in October 2011, which can be explained by an increase in purchase frequency, a lower average transaction size and spending on a number of different games.

In Germany, a larger share of MMO gamers spends money than in the U.S. (59 percent versus 46 percent) and the number of paying MMO gamers has jumped an impressive 37 percent year on year. With so many new paying players, the average annual spend has dropped slightly with 9 percent to a total of $100 expected for 2012, while the ARPPU in May 2012 was stable at $25 compared to the $26 in October, indicating higher transaction size, lower purchase frequency and more paying players.

“The current market saturation forces MMO publishers to compete over a finite gamer population,” comments Joost van Dreunen, CEO of SuperData. “This makes it of critical importance to closely monitor conversion rates and ARPPUs on an ongoing basis well as keep track of changing consumer behavior. Together with Newzoo, we are able to provide better insight into the mechanics of this growth market.”

The share of revenues coming from free-to-play MMO games continues to rise, increasing to 50 percent this year, up from 39 percent in 2010, while German free-to-play spending already passed the 50 percent mark in 2010 and is expected to grow above 60 percent in 2015. Increasingly, companies are putting free trials and in-game purchases into pay-to-play games, blurring the lines between MMO business models.

“MMO players are very dedicated gamers,” adds Peter Warman, CEO of Newzoo. “As the majority already plays games on other screens, it will be interesting to see if publishers succeed in extending and monetizing their MMO experience across all screens. Working together with SuperData adds enormous value to both our own insights as well as those of our clients.”