Barmageddon Is Here!

Butterfinger has launched an online video contest searching for the “The Last Spokesperson on Earth”. Go to the official Facebook Page and hit “Like” and then allow the App and then follow the on-screen instructions to register. Entry to the contest requires you to upload a video pitching Butterfinger in a creative, original and funny way.

The Grand Prize winner will receive a trip for two to Las Vegas and $15,000 in cash!


Project Copernicus Would Have Been Free-To-Play

Back when Project Copernicus was first conceived, World of Warcraft made the subscription MMO business look like a good one to be getting into. However, 38 Studios founder Curt Schilling indicates that he changed his mind during the development and the plan became launching the game as a free-to-play title.

“We were going to be the first triple-A, hundred-million-dollar-plus, free-to-play, micro-transaction-based MMO. That was one of our big secrets,” said Schilling. “I think when we eventually showed off the game for the first time, the atom bomb was going to be free-to-play. When we announced that at the end, that was gonna be the thing that, I think, shocked the world.”

“You won’t find a more ardent opposition to free to play than me, and I went 180 degrees,” he said. “Most investors wanted nothing to do with subscription-based products, they were all on the social media, and free-to-play games as a means to revenue.”

Source: Boston Magazine

Sony: Don’t Read Too Much Into 3D Content Omission

Compared to conventions in past years, Sony has been mostly muted when it comes to talking about stereoscopic 3D in its games. PlayStation Europe CEO Jim Ryan has dismissed any significance of this move, however.

“I wouldn’t read too much into its omission,” said Ryan. “We spoke about it at E3 two years ago and everyone put their glasses on for the first time, and the next year we did the same and everyone did it again. Y’know, there comes a time when you don’t need to talk about it any more. Don’t read into the fact too much that we haven’t announced anything about 3D.”

Source: CVG {link no longer active}

OnLive Goes Bankrupt, Bought Out By Investor

OnLive has announced that it has entered “Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors,” (a form of bankruptcy) and that all of its employees have been laid off. This move was followed by an announcement that one of their major investors, Lauder Partners, has acquired all of OnLive’s assets, will form a new company with those assets called OnLive and that the cloud gaming service will continue unimpeded.

“Almost half of OnLive’s staff were offered employment at their current salaries in the new company immediately upon the transfer, and the non-hired staff will be given offers to do consulting in return for options in the new company,” said Lauder Partners in a statement. “Upon closing additional funding, the company plans to hire more staff, both former OnLive employees as well as new employees.”

The statement by Lauder Partners also made clear that whatever the terms of this agreement, it was not a reward for OnLive founder, president and CEO Steve Perlman and all of the stock in the old OnLive now has no value. “Like all shareholders, neither Steve nor any of his companies received any stock in the new company or compensation in this transaction at all,” detailed Lauder Partners. “Steve is receiving no compensation whatsoever and most execs are receiving reduced compensation to allow the company to hire as many employees as possible within the current budget.”

Perlman gave some insight into why OnLive may have failed in its first incarnation. “There’s no way to exactly estimate how many servers we’d need. So we literally bought thousands of them, and all the equipment and networks to go with it,” said Perlman to employees. “If you’ve got 8,000 servers and 1,600 users, how could we ever get to cash flow positive, right ”

“We made it through the whole recession without any disconnects, any layoffs, or any down rounds,” Perlman noted; this won’t be the case anymore as many former employees will not be offered a full time job in the new OnLive, with some being offered consulting positions and others stock options in the new venture.

For his part, Perlman offered regret and condolences during his speech to employees and accepted blame for the current situation OnLive is in. “I’m the one that brought you here. I’m the one that ultimately made decisions. And I’m the one that ultimately takes responsibility. So I am sorry, and it didn’t end up exactly as we’d hoped,” he said.

Source: Joystiq

Gamescom Photo Among The Photos Of The Day

Among photos that related to the political jostling between Japan and China in the East China Sea, Elvis fans visiting Graceland, celebrations relating to the Eid-al-Fitr festival and Hubble images of Doradus Nebula… there was one from Gamescom 2012 fair in Cologne, Germany. The individuals below are playing a game of StarCraft II.

Ina Fassbender/Reuters


Asterix Browser Game Will Be Published By Deutsche Telekom

Deutsche Telekom has announced that they are publishing an Asterix online browser game in association with SEE Games. The game will be developed by Sproing in Vienna, creators of the management game SkyRama.

“To develop an interactive adventure with such a legendary brand is an exciting challenge for us,” explains Marko Hein, Vice President Games at Deutsche Telekom. “We are working hard so that we will soon be able to offer devoted fans a unique experience and breathe new ‘interactive’ life into Asterix. This game is definitely the flagship of a range of products which will get Deutsche Telekom started in the growing area of game publishing.”

“Working with Deutsche Telekom as the publisher of the browser game is particularly groundbreaking for us,” adds Martin Biallas, CEO of SEE Games. “Their coverage and marketing skills at a global level will guarantee that this new Asterix adventure will be a huge success for fans around the world. The Asterix online game is a flagship for SEE’s newest Hollywood-based product line, and we are proud to have Deutsche Telekom as a partner.”

Social Presence For Presidential Campaigns Analyzed

Pew recently studied studied the online activity of the two U.S. presidential campaigns, which includes a presence on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook and posts on their campaigns’ own websites. The Romney campaign is on seven different online platforms, while the Obama campaign is on nine different online platforms, including Pinterest, Instagram and Spotify.

During the two weeks of the study, the Obama campaign published 614 posts across all digital platforms, compared with the Romney campaign’s 168 posts. On Twitter, @BarackObama and @Obama2012 together tweeted an average of 29 times a day, while @MittRomney averaged just one tweet daily, though it was much more even on Facebook where Romney posted 34 times on Facebook compared with Obama’s 27 during the two weeks studied.

In terms of reaction, Obama generated more of it from his followers. He saw an average of 466 likes per video on YouTube compared with 253 likes for Romney, while on Facebook, Obama drew an average 2,938 comments per post compared with 1,941 for Romney.

The Romney campaign asserts @MittRomney tweets only what the governor would really say. “Our Twitter handle is in the guv’s voice from the guv, and he is aware of it,” digital strategist Zac Moffatt says.

Obama’s current number of Facebook likes, 27.8 million, dwarfs Romney’s 4.6 million. The Romney campaign points out that the former governor’s “likes” have been increasing faster than Obama’s and that Romney outscores Obama in Facebook’s tracking of “most talked about” pages, with 1.6 million people compared to 1.4 million.

Other interesting facts: 34 percent of Romney’s posts were about Obama, whereas Obama’s posts only mentioned Romney 14 percent of the time. Both campaigns rarely rely on independent sources to back up their sites, with just 5 percent of links going out to a mainstream news story.

Source: USA Today

Nexon: Console Owners Must Make ‘Leap of Faith’ To Free-To-Play

Free-to-play is one of the most significant business disruptions to ever hit interactive entertainment. Nexon America CEO Daniel Kim reckons that console makers need to adjust to the new free-to-play reality or face extinction.

“Console developers are starting to realize that as well, that unless they make accommodations or think about changing their own business model they’re going to quickly go the way of the dinosaurs,” said Kim. “It’s really hard to beat free-to-play as an offering. The console guys are starting to realize that, but they also have a challenge in that they have a vested interest in an existing business model of packages. I know it’s tough for them to just cut off hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue to say ‘OK, we’re going to go free-to-play and make our bed here’ because that’s going to piss off a lot of people who they already have an existing business relationship with.”

“I understand the challenge but unless they’re being aggressively proactive about making that leap – it’s kind of like the Indiana Jones, taking that leap of faith – unless you do it there’s no other way to continue to grow,” he added.

Source: GamesIndustry International