Disney Admits It Looked At Games ‘As A Marketing Extension’

Speaking at GamesBeat 2012, Disney senior vice president of social games John Spinale admitted that the company hasn’t always done a great job with games. He thinks that the company is doing a better job now with its focus on social rather than AAA games.

“Historically, at Disney, we probably haven’t done the absolute best job of being a games company. We’ve started off as a film company, then television, parks, and continuing to broaden out the portfolio of things that we did. But I think games, until pretty recently, was more of an afterthought. It was viewed as a marketing extension of what we did. So, “Hey, here’s a movie, how do we make the game” said Spinale. “That worked okay for the company, but I think when you look at the growth in the entire games business, it’s pretty obvious this is a big piece of the media pie that’s just going in the right direction. Disney made a decision a couple of years ago to treat games as a first-class citizen. It really is quality first, consumer experience, what do people want And then we’ll worry about how the details play out later.”

“That was the mandate given to us in the games group a little while ago, and I think you’re starting to see the by-products of that just now come out in the marketplace. If you look at us in any channel right now, Disney went from ‘who are they ‘ in the games space to stealthily owning the top spot or, at least depending on what cycle we’re talking about, getting into a top 10 spot,” he added.

Source: VentureBeat.com

Mario – Post It Life

YouTube users FinalCutKing has brought Mario to life with with thousands of Post It Notes in this stop motion animation. Pac-Man even makes a brief appearances, but it’s mostly about Mario, and an animation that doubtless took many hours to put together.

Darksiders II: Behind The Mask – Your Death

Check out the final installment of the Darksiders II “Behind the Mask” series. Vigil discusses skill trees, magic, and nearly limitless loot, mixed with fast-paced combat allowing you to create and play “Your Death” this August.

Gree Opens Vancouver Studio

Gree announced that they are planning to open a new studio in Vancouver, complementing their push into North America which includes a new studio in San Francisco. This will be Gree’s seventh studio, and the company hopes it will release its first game in the next six to eight months.

“The goal for the Canadian studio is to merge the knowledge we gained from our recent successes with more experimental approaches,”  said Steve Lin, who will head up the studio. “We want to take some risks and come up with new games and ideas that will contribute to the ongoing evolution of the mobile game space.”

“The creative community in Vancouver has made tremendous contributions to the mobile and video game industry and we are looking forward to tapping into that talent pool and building a team of passionate innovators,” added Lin.

Find out more about Gree expanding into North America in this [a]list interview.

Source: Develop

Google Launches This Exquisite Forest

This Exquisite Forest is an online collaborative art experiment presented by Google and Tate Modern; one person creates the “seed” animation and others build off of it. Find out more in this introduction and “making of” video.

Kinect Sesame Street TV Coming Soon

Microsoft announced that they are working on Kinect Sesame Street TV, an interactive version of the TV series. While it’s been, confirmed for the Xbox 360 for Kinect, Microsoft Soho Studios’ director of game design Josh Atkins hints that they might be pushing it out to other platforms and noted it is “not exclusive to retail.”

“It’s coming out this Fall, we haven’t announced a specific date yet but it will be coming out on Xbox and in a multitude of different ways,” said Atkins. “When I get asked how it’s being released I can’t answer that question in great detail, other than say that any way that you can get TV, this product will be released.”

Source: CVG

Valve Says Steam Sales Don’t Hurt Games

Steam’s sales have become somewhat controversial lately, with some asserting that they devalue the games they offer too greatly. Valve’s director of business management Jason Holtman has a counterpoint to that line of thinking.

“If that’s what we thought was happening, or that’s what we saw happening, we wouldn’t do it,” said Holtman. “Actually, all the data is contrary to that. A promotion is not a policy; a promotion is just a feature to give people more value. It’s not as if a 75 percent offer or a 50 percent off sale at some point in time cannibalizes a sale that would have happened earlier, it’s just not true. We’re actually seeing both of them growing. We don’t see one cannibalizing the other. If we did, we wouldn’t do it.”

“We put Left 4 Dead 2 and Portal 2 on sale. If we thought that was killing our franchise, or hurting the value of games, or hurting the revenue we could generate as a company, we wouldn’t do it,” he said. “We’ve even gone so far as to give away Portal for free a couple of times. Whole days where it’s not free for a day, it’s just free. We looked at this amazing data afterward. The day after the sales were exactly the same, if not more.”

Source: PC Gamer

WWE ’13 Gets Austin 3:16 Collector’s Edition

THQ today unveiled WWE ’13 Austin 3:16 Collector’s Edition for PS3 and Xbox 360. The game is scheduled for release on October 30 and will have Mike Tyson as a pre-order bonus.

The along with a copy of WWE ’13, the collector’s addition will feature an exclusive package with the Stone Cold Steve Austin skull, a collectible art card personally autographed by Stone Cold Steve Austin, and the DVD/Blu-ray of Stone Cold Steve Austin: The Bottom Line on the Most Popular Superstar of All Time. The digital additions to the package include the red skull t-shirt Stone Cold Steve Austin and an exclusive Stone Cold Steve Austin in-game ATV ring entrance.

Sony’s Purchase Of Gaikai ‘Opens Doors’ Says Perry

You don’t have to look any further for how seriously the AAA game industry is taking cloud gaming in than the fact that Sony purchased Gaikai. Gaikai creator David Perry believes that the new Sony-owned Gaikai will be good for the industry and open a lot of doors.

“It’s going to make the publishers very happy, because the publishers like PC, but they love console. The message I kept getting back was, PC is cool, but I wish you could do this with console. That’s the real meat in our business. That would be really good,” says Perry. “Of course, we had to go, look at this new PC stuff we have. We had to keep avoiding the console question. It’s a very difficult question. If you look at the P&Ls of the publishers, that’s such an important piece of their business. We were like, don’t look over there. Focus on the PC. But the console question never went away. I had a major publisher recently say to me: ‘David, just to be clear, the iPhone is interesting to us. Not as interesting as console. PC Not as interesting as console. Just to be clear.'”

“The second thing they said was, if we’re going to put our biggest games on your service, I’ve got to know you’re going to have the financial muscle to support it,” he noted. “When you’re a start-up, it’s harder to answer that question. But when you’ve got Sony behind you, it’s very easy to answer that question. There are multiple things that have been solved in a single deal. It’s quite surprising.”

Now that Gaikai is aligned with Sony, it solves problems related to the console and also having and controller on hand. It means that Perry will have to think about a new set of problems.

“We were doing it the way you do it if you’re a VC. I have to start thinking differently now because I have one of the biggest consumer electronics companies in the world in our corner. So you have to think differently,” said Perry. “It’s going to open a lot of doors that just weren’t open before.”

Source: Eurogamer

Mojang Sued Over Patent Infringement

Uniloc is suing Mojang for patent infringement for a “System And Method For Preventing Unauthorized Access To Electronic Data”. Allegations include, but aren’t limited to, Minecraft incorrectly identified as “Mindcraft” — for his part, Mojang founder Markus “Notch” Persson is approaching the issue with his usual outspoken nature.

“Step 1: Wake up. Step 2: Check email. Step 3: See we’re being sued for patent infringement. Step 4: Smile,” Persson tweeted. “If needed, I will throw piles of money at making sure they don’t get a cent,” he continued. “Software patents are just plain evil. Innovation within software is basically free, and it’s growing incredibly rapid. Patents only slow it down.”

“I am fine with the concept of ‘owning stuff’, so I’m against theft . . . I am mostly fine with the concept of ‘selling stuff you made’, so I’m also against copyright infringement . . . But there is no way in hell you can convince me that it’s beneficial for society to not share ideas,” Persson wrote later. “Ideas are free. They improve on old things, make them better, and this results in all of society being better. Sharing ideas is how we improve.”

Persson said that patents make sense in areas of science and medicine, but he called patents for software “counterproductive” among other descriptors.

“A common argument for patents is that inventors won’t invent unless they can protect their ideas. The problem with this argument is that patents apply even if the infringer came up with the idea independently,” said Persson. “If the idea is that easy to think of, why do we need to reward the person who happened to be first ”

“If you own a software patent, you should feel bad,” he added.

Source: Notch.Tumblr.com