Shadowrun Online Offering Free-To-Play Alternative

Cliffhanger Productions, makers of the Shadowrun Online Kickstarter project, announced a new business model for their game. While they are planning the game to be free-to-play, there will also be a special Campaign Server.

Those who pledge over $25 during the Kickstarter drive (or for $39.99 afterward) will be able to play the game with no additional charges and all items in the game can be purchased with in-game cash. The Free-to-Play server will have premium items available for real money and an additional premium subscription will offer booster packs and special shops and major content updates will be sold separately every three or four months for both servers.

The Kickstarter has also been updated with new backer rewards, including t-shirts, hoodies, and a boxed copy of the game — find out more at

Puzzle Quest Developer Asserts Independence

While Firemint and IronMonkey have merged to form Firemonkeys, Infinite Interactive will separate from the merger agreement it made with Firemint last year. The company will separate from the Electronic Arts’ owned entity and retain control of the Puzzle Quest IP.

“There was never an actual acquisition of Infinite, it was more of a merger,” said studio founder and creative lead Steve Fawkner. “It was all amicable stuff – as much as it would be fun to have a bit of a scandal. Unfortunately there isn’t one. I think everybody agreed that Infinite does its best work when it’s independent, and so we headed back out into the wilderness to work on our own stuff again.”

When asked what the company will do next, Fawkner said, “While I don’t have a specific announcement that I can make at the moment, if you shook a Magic 8-Ball and asked it ‘Will Infinite’s next game be a Puzzle Quest title ‘, then it would quite probably say ‘All signs point to yes!'”

Source: Joystiq

Activision Taps Swrve For Mobile Push

Activision Blizzard has announced their intention to work with Swrve New Media, which has expertise with in-game behavioral analytics and A/B testing in mobile applications, to enhance its first-party mobile offerings. The publisher will utilize Swrve’s proprietary testing platform in the company’s mobile games in order to test, tune and optimize its games in real-time; the company already uses it in the popular iOS title Skylanders Cloud Patrol.

“You are seeing this announcement as well as a few others of late really focus on our serious intention to get into mobile in a fairly significant way,” said Greg Canessa, vice president of Mobile at Activision Publishing. “When you take a look at our Activision Mobile publishing announcements, we look at our first-party stuff and then at our Swerve relationship, you see us taking the steps to bolster our internal platform capabilities around mobile, our data analytics capabilities and of course launching Skylanders Cloud Patrol as our first effort. This is the beginning of a lot more you are going to see from us in the mobile space.”

“We have a wide variety of IP and the market for iOS and Android is very broad,” he added. “There is lighter touch and then there are more and more immersive experiences. All of those are interesting to us. Without going into specifics, you can see Skylanders is more light hearted which appeals to a broader audience. I think you are going to see us do more of that. To a point, we have more core games on different platforms and we can go into that as well. I think we’re interested in all sorts of entertainment experiences.”

Source: GamesIndustry International

Magic: Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013 – Know Your Magic

Magic The Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013 is the latest incarnation of the successful video game series. Watch the dynamic live-action trailer produced by the Ayzenberg Group and join the adventure today!

Twitter Targeted Tweets Take-Off

Twitter on Thursday introduced an enhancement that allows advertisers to target Promoted Tweets to specific users according to location, devices and platforms. While that type of segmenting has already been available, the difference now is that a brand doesn’t have to first send a tweet to all followers.

“Now global brands that have different launch dates for several countries can send tailored messages at different times, customized for the users in each country,” stated a Twitter blog post. “Mobile app providers who only want to reach customers on one device can do so without also sending the message to desktop users.”

Find out the full story on Targeted tweets here.


Mobile Commerce Beats Retail Commerce

Mobile shopping continued to climb in the second quarter, while retail sales via social media dropped according to a new report from IBM. The share of online sales from mobile devices increased to 15.1 percent from 13.3 percent in the first quarter as sales from social media fell from 2.4 percent to 1.9 , underscoring marketers have yet to crack the code on social commerce.

Get the full report on sales here.