Gree Signs Four Indie American Developers

Gree has announced partnerships with Gamenauts, InfiniDy, Oceanside Interactive, and SkyVu Entertainment. This will bring BattleBears Zero, Happy Zoo Park, MyDinos and Ninja Fishing to Gree’s mobile platform.

“As a distribution partner, Gree is committed to maximizing our developers’ opportunities for success through our platform technology and best practices knowledge sharing, while ensuring independence and ownership of their intellectual property,” says Ben Chen, Senior Director of Developer Relations at Gree International. “There is no doubt that the indie community is responsible for pushing innovation in our industry, and we’re incredibly excited to see our new partners excel.”

Kixeye Recruits Former CityVille GM

Kixeye has hired Alan Patmore, former GM on Zynga’s CityVille, to be vice president of product. Now, Patmore will oversee Kixeye’s development and strategy plans for Facebook games like Battle Pirates and War Commander.

“We wanted to pry people out of roles where their visions didn’t match where their company was going,” said Will Harbin, CEO of Kixeye. “Zynga is about making games for grandmothers. There are a lot of talented game developers at Zynga working on games they don’t really care about. Alan only had a brief journey into the dark side at Zynga. He developed valuable skills there. We were looking for people who had AAA game experience and had made the transition to free-to-play social games. Now Alan will come back to the light side.”

“I’m a big fan of Kixeye and what they’ve been able to accomplish over the last couple of years,” Patmore added. “I believe that there’s a massive opportunity to bring AAA production value to core, free-to-play games, and Kixeye is perfectly positioned to lead that charge. I couldn’t be more excited about the team, strategy, and product road map. There are some launches coming later this year that are going to set the industry on fire.”

Source: VentureBeat

Microsoft Unveils New Logo

Microsoft today unveiled the new company logo, the first major change in 25 years. This major change significantly happens right before Microsoft launches the newest version of its home and mobile OS platform, Windows 8.

“It’s been 25 years since we’ve updated the Microsoft logo and now is the perfect time for a change,” says Jeff Hansen General Manager of Brand Strategy at Microsoft. “This is an incredibly exciting year for Microsoft as we prepare to release new versions of nearly all of our products. From Windows 8 to Windows Phone 8 to Xbox services to the next version of Office, you will see a common look and feel across these products providing a familiar and seamless experience on PCs, phones, tablets and TVs. This wave of new releases is not only a re-imagining of our most popular products, but also represents a new era for Microsoft, so our logo should evolve to visually accentuate this new beginning.”

Microsoft logos in the ’70s and more recently.

“The Microsoft brand is about much more than logos or product names,” he added. “We are lucky to play a role in the lives of more than a billion people every day. The ways people experience our products are our most important ‘brand impressions’. That’s why the new Microsoft logo takes its inspiration from our product design principles while drawing upon the heritage of our brand values, fonts and colors.”

The logo is a composite of logotype and the symbol. The logotype uses the Segoe font, the same font Microsoft uses in their products as well as their marketing communications, while the squares of color in the symbol “are intended to express the company’s diverse portfolio of products.”

“Starting today, you’ll see the new Microsoft logo being used prominently,” said Hansen. “It will be used on Microsoft.com — the 10th most visited website in the world. It is in three of our Microsoft retail stores today (Boston, Seattle’s University Village and Bellevue, Wash.) and will shine brightly in all our stores over the next few months. It will sign off all of our television ads globally. And it will support our products across various forms of marketing. Fully implementing a change like this takes time, so there may be other instances where you will see the old logo being used for some time.”

“We’re excited about the new logo, but more importantly about this new era in which we’re re-imagining how our products can help people and businesses throughout the world realize their full potential,” he concluded.

 

Source: The Official Microsoft Blog

Facebook Developers Being Driven To Mobile By Costs, Says Consultant

Recent trends have seen developers like Crowdstar, who made 90 percent of their revenue from Facebook a year ago compared to 10 percent today, shifting from social to mobile. Benchmark Capital’s Mitch Lasky believes that costs are driving developers from social to mobile.

“Facebook is still a viable platform for independent developers looking to make money on a game,” said Lasky. “However, companies with aspirations to be larger publishers – Kabam, Kixeye, even Zynga – are moving aggressively off the Facebook platform to mobile and the open Web. Publishers aren’t convinced that the costs of being on Facebook are worth it.”

Source: L.A. Times

Press Reset: The Story Of Polygon Trailer

The new website Polygon is launching soon and they filmed a documentary called Press Reset on the creation of the new site. In case it’s a little too much for you, check out the fan made parody about the much more humble origins of Giant Bomb.

{the link for the parody video is listed as “private”}
https://youtube.com/watch?v=Y3QAh_x_eW0

 

Alan Wake Developer Says Next-Gen Consoles ‘A Quantum Leap’

Sony and Microsoft are still staying relatively mum on of whatever their next PlayStation and Xbox platforms will be for the moment. However, Remedy head of franchise development Oskari Hakkinen comments that they’re working on future generation consoles and he claims the new hardware will be much more powerful than current offerings.

“Currently, we are working with a relatively small team on a next-gen project,” said Hakkinen. “One question you always ask yourself in this phase is: can the upcoming consoles really be so much better compared to the current gen I can rest assure you, they are. It’s a quantum leap.”

Source: de.Gamesindustry.biz {link no longer active}

 

Blizzard Not Looking To Expand World Of WarCraft Free-To-Play Beyond Level 20

One year ago Blizzard rolled out a free-to-play option for World of Warcraft called Starter Edition. While some think that Blizzard would do well to expand the level range given the fact that Star Wars: The Old Republic will open up to players to level 50, Blizzard lead game producer John Lagrave doesn’t think the Starter Edition of World of Warcraft has to be revised.

“You know, we looked at it lots, we looked at whether Level 20 would give you a good sense of what our game is, and we think it does. We’ve definitely slid some of the pay-for features into the first 20 Levels,” said Lagrave. “But there’s also a lot of things in the game that are special that we want to reserve for our paying customers.”

Source: CVG

Inside Assassin’s Creed III – Episode One

The creators of Assassin’s Creed III shed some light on what it takes to redesign one of gaming’s most iconic franchises from the ground up. Part one in a four-part documentary series, “Inside Assassin’s Creed III: Episode One” gives looks at some of the game’s key pillars through the eyes of its developers and outside experts.

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