Take A Tour Around Old Hollywood

TCM (Turner Classic Movies) wants to take you on a unique journey with our new Hollywood Tour app {link no longer active}. Visit over 100 classic film locations and celebrity homes in the Hollywood area each with extensive background information, photos and more. Loaded with fascinating content on the homes of celebrated classic film stars and film locations, use the app to visit the homes of great stars of yesteryear as Gene Kelly, Kirk Douglas, Bette Davis, and many more. See historic film locations like Schwab’s Pharmacy, The Hollywood Bowl, and many of the major Studios. The TCM Hollywood Tour app is your special tour guide to the very best in classic film locations to visit in Hollywood.

Not in Hollywood? No problem, use the app’s “Self-Guided” tour to visit each location and view photos, video, and background history on each location.

Special features include geo-location services to guide you to each destination and a “warm” finder to assist you in nearby locations. Use a special Augmented Reality View Finder using your camera phone to pinpoint locations. Earn badge rewards for each location and enjoy the special Introduction by TCM host Robert Osborne.

 

Epic Games Founds Impossible Studios

Epic Games announced that they have officially founded Impossible Studios, lead by Sean Dunn who will lead the new outfit as Studio Director and head development on Infinity Blade: Dungeons. The Maryland studio is comprised of ex-employees of the now defunct Big Huge Games, developers of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning.

“Epic Games has truly embraced this stellar collection of developers who were displaced by the closing of Big Huge Games,” said Dunn. “They have looked after us with complete care, giving us all the tools and resources we need to make a lot of gamers happy.”

“We were so glad we could help keep this great team together, and we’re lucky to have them,” added Epic’s Mike Capps. “At the time, I said that finding a full team of superstars was ‘impossible’ and apparently the name stuck! Pairing the imagination and experience of Impossible with Epic’s technology, IP and resources makes for a business greater than the sum of its parts.”

Zynga Reportedly Handing Out Stock Options To All Employees

Reports are that Zynga has handed out stock options to employees after the recent disappointing fiscal report. This would mark the first time all employees received equity awards and is clearly a preventive measure against more people from leaving the company

“It’s a proactive move to prevent mass exodus,” said Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia. “It’s positive for morale and I think it’s the fair thing to do.”

The company’s stock has dropped from an IPO price of $10 to around $3 now. Chief operating officer John Schappert resigned from the company after he was stripped of control of the gaming part of Zynga’s business.

Source: Bloomberg

King.com Considers Branded Boosts

King.com is readying a new advertising format that will allow brands to pay for in-game enhancements. A majority of the second most popular developer of Facebook’s ad revenue currently comes from pre-roll video spots.

King.com’s chief marketing officer Alex Dale says the site wants to offer these in-game items from sponsors as things players could either earn through gameplay or buy as virtual goods. Having a positive connotation for brands could be a seen as a bonus, and Dale noted that advertising in such a way is likely to get brands noticed.

“If you look at the level of media meshing and distractibility when people are consuming games, you’re not easily distracted because you’re in the flow, compared with TV that is on the other side [of the spectrum],” he says.

The Internet Advertising Bureau says that 79 percent of gamers in the U.K. respond positively to in game advertising, saying it makes them more realistic. The move could give King.com a boost before it goes public on the Nasdaq next year, which many expect it to do.

Source: MarketingWeek.co.uk

Avengers 2: Joss Whedon On-Board To Direct, Write

Disney CEO and Chairman Bob Iger told analysts during an earnings conference call today that Joss Whedon has been signed to direct and write Avengers 2 and work on an ABC TV series. Whedon said during a Firefly panel at Comic-Con 2012 that he had not yet signed, but that Disney would probably make it worth his while considering Avengers saw a $1.4 billion box office bow.

“Joss Whedon has signed an exclusive deal with Marvel Studios for film and television through the end of June 2015,”said Marvel in a statement. “As part of that deal, Whedon will write and direct Marvel’s The Avengers 2 as well as help develop a new live action series for Marvel Television at ABC.  He will also contribute creatively to the next phase of Marvel’s cinematic universe.”

 

Whedon will likely not take full reins of a future ABC series, but instead assist in production. ABC has been developing a new Incredible Hulk series with Guillermo del Toro and Marvel.

Source: HitFix.com

Gaming On Smart TVs Estimated At $1.6 Billion In 2016

IHS estimates that gaming through connected TVs will hit $1.6 billion in 2016 via 800 million smart TVs, up from $88 million this year where there are only about 100 million such devices. The analyst firm sees growing adoption of internet-enabled TVs (particularly from Samsung and LG) and the proliferation of free-to-play games will result in huge sales growth over the next few years.

“The sheer volume of addressable connected devices means this sector will be hard to ignore for content owners,” said Piers Harding-Rolls, head of games research at IHS. “There remain hurdles to overcome, of course, not least of which is user monetization. However, IHS expects an acceleration in spending during the next five years as these hurdles are dismantled by leading industry players.”

“Based on the quick evolution of previous digital games markets and the time it takes to develop the necessary relationships to get content published across devices, gaining first-mover advantage is likely to be key to the connected TV games sector,” Harding-Rolls added.

Call Of Duty: Black Ops Zombies Invades Xperia Play

Activision and Treyarch announced that they are bringing the popular Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies to Android. Ideaworks Game Studio will port the maps Kino Der Toten, Ascension, and Call of the Dead: Director’s Cut, as well as Dead-Ops Arcade exclusive to Sony Xperia smartphones as well as Sony’s Xperia Play Optimized devices.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Glu Mobile and Ideaworks to bring the Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies mobile experience to Android, and we couldn’t be more excited to launch first on Sony’s critically acclaimed line-up of Xperia devices,” says Greg Canessa, Vice President of Mobile Development, Activision Publishing.

“We’re delighted to bring the blockbuster Call of Duty franchise to Android smartphones and Xperia for the first time. And what better way to make this introduction than with the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies,” said Tim Harrison, Head of Content Marketing and Strategy at Sony Mobile. “There’s nothing else in this world or the underworld like Call of Duty. We can’t wait to unleash Zombies to our fans.”

CCP Raises $20 Million To Market Dust 514

CCP Games has raised $20 million in new funding to promote the release of Dust 514 on the PS3. The plan is to not try and take on franchises like Call of Duty and Battlefield directly, instead taking a long-term approach to its marketing campaign.

CCP noted that both Dust and Eve Online fit with the company’s strategy of building games where “the players become the content in the end” instead of some finite amount of story content. The company doesn’t have any immediate plans to go public, but CMO David Reid says the money “allows us is to do some of the things you need to do for IPO preparedness,” such as building greater redundancy into its computer systems, so that it’s ready to go public when and if the time is right.

Source: Techcrunch

TERA Lawsuit Settled

En Masse Entertainment has settled with NCsoft over that company’s lawsuit relating to TERA. Originally brought about when some NCsoft employees left for TERA developer Bluehole, the ex-employees were found guilty of wrongdoing but Bluehole was acquitted of any charges.

“We are happy to have this distraction behind us,” said Yong Taek Bae, Corporate Development Director for En Masse. “We appreciate the support from all those who have believed in us. Our priority has been and always will be our fans and community. TERA will continue to thrive and provide a great player experience and value to existing and new gamers alike.”

Find out more about the TERA marketing campaign in this interview.