Darksiders II’s Death Appearing In Metalocalypse

Adult Swim on Cartoon Network will run a two minute promo Friday night for Darksiders II. It will appear during a Metalocalypse marathon running from 11:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Adult Swim.

This isn’t the first time that Metalocalypse has done a promo for a video game. Back in 2009, Eddie Riggs from the heavy metal influenced game Brutal Legend made an appearance in the show, and a song from Dethklok (the band that Metalocalypse is based around) was included in the game’s soundtrack.

Source: MTV Multiplayer

Beyond: Two Souls Developer Thinks Industry Suffers ‘Peter Pan Syndrome’

Many lament the fact that much of AAA gaming is composed of violent shooters that haven’t evolved thematically in a very long time. This trend is something that David Cage, director on Quantic Dream’s Beyond: Two Souls, is particularly dismayed by.

“I think we should have more courage in our industry and take more risks, because I think this is what the industry needs now,” he said. “I mean, how many first person shooters can you make? How many monsters/aliens/zombies can you kill in games? … We need to grow up.”

“I often think that the industry suffers of the Peter Pan syndrome. It’s the fact that we don’t want to grow up, so we stay kids,” added Cage. “But there is a moment where you need to grow up as an industry. And you cannot keep up with the Peter Pan syndrome. You need to grow. And I think this is the right time.”

Source: Gamasutra

League Of Legends Wants To See Companies Grow e-Sports

E-sports, after many fits and starts over the years, has finally started to take off thanks to the popularity of games like League of Legends and StarCraft II. Riot Games has established a “Championship Series” of e-sports events, with prizes in the millions of dollars that they hope will create an ecosystem where gamers can attempt to go pro.

“We don’t have our sights set on replacing soccer right now, but we definitely think that e-sports has a place as a large, important, mainstream competitive activity,” said Riot Games co-founder Brandon Beck. “I fundamentally believe that e-sports will be an Olympic event in my lifetime.”

“It’s important for companies to not just say they’re excited about e-sports, but to actually make commitments: from a development standpoint and from a financial standpoint,” he said. “These players have to make a massive commitment to become pro-athletes, so there has to be a viable career path for that to grow into anything.”

Find out more about Riot Games and League of Legends in this exclusive [a]list interview.

Source: GamesIndustry International

Ubisoft Uplay Becomes Company’s Digital Distribution Platform

Ubisoft announced that they have launched the Uplay PC application as a digital distribution platform, replacing the individual game launchers for Ubisoft PC titles and expanding on Ubisoft’s existing 35-million member Uplay platform. Uplay PC will be the company’s community and online retail platform with friends lists, an integrated store and a chat system similar to Valve’s Steam and EA’s Origin.

“Uplay PC is a great way for customers to discover Ubisoft’s games, connect with their friends and gaming communities, and win achievements and content that’s not available anywhere else.” said Stephanie Perotti, Worldwide Director for Online Games, Ubisoft. “For PC gamers that are already fans of Ubisoft’s titles or have been considering trying some of our classics, this promotion is a great deal, and our way of saying thank you for their support.”

ResidentEvil.net Adds Community Features To Resident Evil 6

Capcom has announced that they are launching ResidentEvil.net, a free service offering in-game stat tracking and community features. Designed to compliment Resident Evil 6 with stat tracking and community features similar to Battlefield 3‘s Battlelog and Call of Duty‘s Elite service, it will add community challenges and unlockable in-game items and is also planned for smartphones and tablets.

“The impetus for ResidentEvil.Net is that we realized a lot of people purchase games and never complete them,” said Resident Evil 6 director Eiichiro Sasaki. “We were trying to figure out how we could get people to enjoy the game from start to finish.”

“I can’t get into specifics on actual numbers for Resident Evil 5 completion,” he said. “We did research and it was less than we expected, which was surprising to us. Sometimes people get stuck in the game and tend to give up. RE.Net is the solution to that. If we notice that people are stopping at a certain time we can create awards or some motivation to move them beyond that point of the game.”

Source: Polygon

Dust 514 Special Beta Event For PlayStation Plus Members

CCP Games has announced that it is launching a special closed beta event for Sony PlayStation Plus subscribers for Dust 514. From August 21 to September 4, Sony PlayStation Plus subscribers will receive exclusive access to the Dust 514 closed beta, along with those who have purchased a Mercenary Pack and those who already have All-Access Passes.

“August 21 marks an important milestone in the Dust 514 beta as it ushers in the ‘Precursor’ release. This update includes the first live Dust/Eve Online integration, Orbital Strike framework, instant battle matchmaking, new environments, keyboard and mouse support, and tons of other enhancements,” said CCP. “As a bonus, PlayStation Plus subscribers will receive a 50 percent discount on the Mercenary Pack for Dust 514 during the beta event. The Mercenary Pack gives players unlimited beta access, as well as in-game currency, skill boosts, and exclusive gear. Those interested can learn more about the Mercenary Pack by visiting www.dust514.com/mercpack” {link no longer active}.

Tablet Usage Increasing For Kids, Says NPD

The NPD Group says in their latest report that portable and console video game systems continue to have the highest usage levels among kids ages 4-14. However, the Kids and Consumer Electronics: 2012 Edition report noted that media tablets experienced the highest increase in usage at 13 percent in 2012 compared to only 3 percent in 2011.

The study noted that while usage of the more sophisticated devices such as computers and game devices tend to increase as kids get older, tablet usage is highest among younger children, emphasizing the importance of manufacturers to making their devices easy to use. Households with kids ages 4 – 14 own an average of 10 different devices, with kids using an average of five of those devices.

“Kids are using tablets to game, watch movies and TV shows, read books and listen to music-even occasionally for taking pictures- so they have embraced the utility of these devices quite rapidly,” said Russ Crupnick, senior vice president, industry analysis for The NPD Group. “Older kids also use the tablets for social media and communication, which squarely places these devices at the center for discovery and evangelism of new services and applications, as well as for brands and entertainment of all sorts.”

Televisions, computers and cell/smartphones have the highest household ownership, while PDMPs saw the largest drop in household ownership with just 35 percent owning these devices in 2012 compared to 48 percent in 2011. Household ownership of console and portable console systems, media tablets, and digital video cameras saw the most significant increases.

Portable console systems are the most popular devices owned by kids ages 4-14, with six years-old being the average age of adoption, slightly younger than 2011 where the average age was 6.4. Gaming systems and portable entertainment devices remain on top the list of devices for which kids will have the most influence on future device selection, where the type of technology and features offered by a new device is nearly as important as low price and good value; parents tend to be influenced more often by brand reputation, low price, safety aspect and educational value, whereas children are more focused on aesthetics, popularity and entertainment value.

Penny Arcade Kickstarter Ends At Over $500,000

The Penny Arcade Kickstarter has concluded and the final total is $528,144 or enough to remove front page advertising from the site. The project was launched as an alternative for the site as a means to support themselves other than merchandise sales and advertising .

While the front page leaderboard and banner advertising will be removed, ads on other parts of the site will remain as the goal of $1 million was not reached. Other goals unlocked by the amount raised was a six page strip of something they’re calling Automata: Silverside, Jerry Holkins will cosplay as a character of the community’s choice (by vote) for one day at both PAX East 2013 and PAX Prime 2013, and Penny Arcade: The Series Season 4 will be called “Strip Search” and be a reality show looking for the next big web-comic.

Source: Kickstarter.com

Yammer Rolls Out Major Update Post Microsoft Purchase

Yammer has released the largest update to its service since Microsoft acquired it for $1.2 billion. Users can now see updates and comments from colleagues on the home page, which can be adorned with company logos and designs.

There are now file-sharing features, Trending Files and Company Resources, allowing users to see the most viewed and newest files and story important or frequently requested files. The site is also adding @ mentions a la Twitter, conversation replies, group announcements and (taking cues from Google) Yammer’s inbox includes a priority inbox and a search box to find old messages.

Yammer is also adding new app integrations such as social media dashboard HootSuite, first among its business social networking competitors. It’s also added Bevalley, FuzeBox, Get Satisfaction, IFTTT, Kanjoya, Mindflash, Mindjet, and Zapier to its app library.

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

EA Changing Tact With Medal Of Honor Charity

Electronic Arts has removed all blog posts relating to the the Voodoo Tomahawk and Project Honor charity from its Medal of Honor website after articles by Eurogamer and The Gameological Society raised concerns about the promotion, causing an outcry. EA indicates that the other promotions for Project Honor are still going ahead with items that include gun modifications, flashlights and nylon patches.

“The Voodoo Tomahawk has since been removed from our website because of the article,” said Danger Close executive producer Greg Goodrich. “That was an effort to raise a lot of money for charity, and we were well on our way to raising a lot of money with that tomahawk, but I don’t know what will happen with that now. That whole effort, we’ve been working with those partners because we wanted to be authentic, and we wanted to give back to the communities. Every one of those partners, none of them paid a dime for product placement – all the money generated went to Project Honor.”

“It’s an experience, and it’s a video game, and they’re going on that journey and learning about these group of people. It doesn’t mean that they have any less respect for these. Maybe it’s a cultural thing,” added Goodrich. “If I played Need for Speed, and I’m handed the key to a Porsche, does that make me want to get in it and drive like a maniac and run people over No, I played a game, and now I’m driving a car in real life but I’m not going to go crazy with it because I played a video game. In a first-person shooter we’re not teaching someone how to shoot better or be a better operator just by playing a game. It doesn’t compute, just like when I play Madden NFL football I can’t expect win the Super Bowl just because I played a video game.”

Source: Eurogamer.net