Sony Mobile Relocates To Tokyo

Sony Mobile has announced that there will be over 1,000 jobs lost as a result of moving its headquarters from Lund, Sweden to Tokyo, Japan. This decision is part of the process that started when Sony bought out Ericsson from the business and Sony Mobile CEO Kunimasa Suzuki says that this does not undermine Sony’s efforts in the mobile arena.

“Sony has identified the mobile business as one of its core businesses and the Xperia smartphone portfolio continues to gain momentum with customers and consumers worldwide,” said Suzuki. “We are accelerating the integration and convergence with the wider Sony group to continue enhancing our offerings, and a more focused and efficient operational structure will help to reduce Sony Mobile’s costs, enhance time to market efficiency and bring the business back to a place of strength.”

Hideo Kojima, Jesper Kyd Holding Panels At PAX Prime 2012

The organizers for PAX Prime announced that Jesper Kyd will speak at the panel “Behind the Music of Blockbuster Video Games” at the Kraken Theatre at Grand Hyatt on September 1 from 10:30 a.m. — 11:30 a.m. The iconic composer has worked on the Assassin’s Creed and Hitman franchises and has most recently worked on Darksiders II and Borderlands 2.

Also, Konami Digital Entertainment revealed that game designer and director Hideo Kojima will participate in a discussion surrounding the past, present and future of Metal Gear during PAX Prime 2012 moderated by Geoff Keighley at the Paramount Theatre on September 1st at 1:00 p.m. To vote for a question that may be asked during the discussion via the MGS Facebook poll, visit www.facebook.com/mgs.

Source: Prime.PAXsite.com

PopCap Announces Layoffs In Seattle

PopCap has confirmed that it is laying off about 50 workers in North America and possibly looking to shut down its office in Dublin. PopCap co-founder John Vechey took to the company’s blog to put the layoffs in context.

“In the past year, we’ve seen a dramatic change in the way people play and pay for games. Free-to-play, social and mobile games have exploded in popularity. The change in consumer tastes requires us to reorganize our business and invest in new types of games on new platforms. It’s a completely different world from when we started,” he said. “We’re growing quickly into new areas of mobile and social, and are expanding in new markets like Japan and China. And there are many more great games to come from PopCap.”

“The decision to reorganize was 100 percent made by us, with no pressure from EA,” he noted.

Source: Blog.PopCap.com {link no longer active}

Dead Space 3 Limited Edition Suits Issac Up

Electronic Arts has announced that those who pre-order the Dead Space 3 Limited Edition before the launch on February 5, 2013 at certain retailers will receive two bonus suits and weapons. The Dead Space 3 Limited Edition provides first access to the game bundles “First Contact” and “Witness the Truth”.

First Contact Bundle

  • First Contact Suit: This unique EVA (Extra-Vehicular Activity) suit was built by the SCAF (Sovereign Colonies Armed Forces) for encounters with “foreign entities.” It sports a flamboyant golden finish to provide protection from long-term space exposure and thick armor for… unspecified reasons. The suit was given the nickname “First Contact” by the scientists who made it.
  • Negotiator Weapon: While technically classified by the SCAF as a “scientific instrument,” the gold-plated “Negotiator” is loaded with some surprisingly aggressive hardware. The overclocked, top-mounted Tesla Beam is capable of bursting a man-sized organism into several pieces with a single shot. The bottom-mounted Linegun appears to have been built with the sole purpose of cleanly dismembering organic tissue from a distance.

Witness the Truth Bundle

  • Witness Suit: These insulated suits were worn by a SCAF deep dig team assigned to exhume the darkest secrets of Tau Volantis. Whatever they found locked deep in the ice changed them forever. When they emerged weeks later, they were covered head to toe in strange graffiti and claimed to be “Witnesses to the Truth.”
  • Evangelizer Weapon: A modification of the standard AL-2 used by the Sovereign Colonies Legionaries, this version sports a souped-up AL-2g assault rifle on the top with an Emerson 2100 “Big Boy” tactical shotgun on the bottom. The surviving “Witnesses” of the SCAF deep dig team dubbed it the Evangelizer and decorated them top to bottom with strange symbols.

EA VP: Physical Game Sales Might Be Gone In 10 Years

Digital sales for games have increased from practically nothing a decade ago to making up a large part of the industry in 2012. Given that, it’s perhaps unsurprising that Electronic Arts executive vice president Patrick Soderlund thinks that retail might be an outdated way to sell games before 2022.

“I think it’s going to be sooner than people think. I think it’s going to be sooner than 10 years,” said Soderlund. “That’s my personal opinion, and might not be what EA thinks.”

“We know that packaged goods work, and the majority of our current revenue comes from that. That’s still a viable business model,” he added. “In the long term, we’ll see more and more people gravitate to downloaded content. I happen to think that there’s something about physical content, like books, that’s collectable and satisfying to own. I still want physical content but I’m not part of the new generation of gamers. I remember a time when I bought a cartridge and excitedly read the manual on my way home, imagining what the game was going to be like. Maybe kids don’t have that anymore.”

Source: CVG {link no longer active}

Ad Pitch From Facebook, Circa 2004

While Facebook was a far smaller and humbler site in 2004, it still had ambitions for what it wanted to do. While it’s said that Facebook still doesn’t know how to appeal to advertisers, this media kit by then Facebook CFO Eduardo Saverin reveals much about how the philosophy with personal data has stayed roughly the same.

Read the full story in DigiDay.com.

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Social Media Ads For Olympics Analyzed

According to the Kenshoo “2012 Social Media Advertising Games” report, Mexico, Turkey and Italy were among the leaders in ad impressions on Facebook. Forget the whole “medal count” thing that U.S., China, and Great Britain were competing for!

Read the full story at MediaPost.

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Facebook Visitors Decline In June Over Last Year

Facebook had fewer unique U.S. visitors in June 2012 than it did in June 2011 by comScore’s reconing. This is the first time that the world’s dominant social network has experienced a year-over-year decline.

While this could be due to comScore revising the way it compiles its numbers, it at least shows that growth in the U.S. has slowed. It’s worrisome for the company from a business perspective, as fewer people accessing it via desktop means fewer ad dollars

Read the full story on MediaPost.

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