Zynga Gets A Bit Lucky

Zynga announced that it has acquired developer A Bit Lucky. The San Mateo, California developer is responsible for the mid-core titles Lucky Space and Lucky Train, which will be indicative of the social games that Zynga will be looking to produce.

“Today, we’re very excited to announce the very beginnings of our efforts to expand into a category that we’ve talked about before, which is mid-core multi-platform games. To bolster those efforts I want to make an announcement about a small acquisition today: The talented team of A Bit Lucky, which is a studio focused on creating mid-core multi-platform games. They’re going to be joining Zynga as part of Zynga San Francisco.” said Zynga VP Bill Jackson. “That team is made up of veterans from the game industry, companies like Trion Worlds and Xfire, as well as other companies. All 20 of A Bit Lucky’s employees, including my friends and veterans, Fredric Descamps and Jordan Maynard, are going to become part of Zynga San Francisco with their team.”

“We started almost three years ago and managed to get some pretty impressive investors behind us. A few months ago we started working on Solstice Arena,” said Fredric Descamps, co-founder and CEO of A Bit Lucky. “The main reason why we chose to work with Zynga is pretty simple: It’s really all about the people. It was a meeting of the minds when we started talking with Zynga. We really found here with Bill Jackson, Steven Chiang, Mark Skaggs, and Mark Pincus, people who are extremely passionate about making great games, people who are very entrepreneurial, who are quick-moving, which is all the things we like as gaming entrepreneurs. Meeting with Bill Jackson and Mark Pincus was the turning point for us in making the decision to join forces with Zynga.”

Find out more about A Bit Lucky in this two part [a]list interview.

Source: GamesIndustry International


Wii U To Wii Transfers Detailed

Nintendo of America’s product marketing manager Bill Trinen says that in order to transfer an account and associated purchases from a Wii to a Wii U, both machines will have to be connected to the Internet. The process is not unlike to 3DS-to-3DS XL transfers.

“Essentially you’ll have your Wii and you’ll have your Wii U,” said Trinen. “Those two will connect and the data transfer will happen and you’ll transfer the SD card over. Then you’ll have access to the digital content that you downloaded for Wii and you can play that on Wii U.”

Also, while the Wii U does support NFC technology, no launch games will make use of it. While Skylanders Giants uses a type of NFC, it was found impracticable to use with the GamePad.

Source: 1UP


Platinum Games Explains Bayonetta 2 Move To Wii U

One of the biggest surprises from the Nintendo press conference this past week was the revelation that Bayonetta 2 will be a Wii U exclusive published by Nintendo. Members of Platinum Games took to their website to comment on the move.

“The console games market is in a state of upheaval, so establishing a new game franchise requires a considerable amount of will, determination, and love. Bayonetta is a brand that we want to see become stronger, reaching the hands of more and more gamers, so we have continued to consult with Sega, the previous game’s publisher, on how we can make sure this takes place. Our answer was a new partnership with Nintendo,” Tatsuya Minami President & CEO, Platinum Games. “Alongside Nintendo, we hope to grow the Bayonetta brand beyond where it stands today, allowing even more gamers around the world to experience the action of our beloved witch. As developers, we are working hard to make this a reality. We hope that you will look forward to what we have in store.”

“Even though there has been a bit of a gap since the release of the last game, but I still got lots of request for a sequel from gamers,” said Tatsuya Minami President & CEO, Platinum Games. “We were secretly making one the entire time. While I am not the director of this game, I am still supervising the world, story, characters, etc. in close coordination with Hashimoto, and I have been from the very beginning. You have nothing to work about on that end. And of course, plenty of members from the first Bayonetta are on-board and working hard under the direction of Hashimoto, so I look forward to work every day, coming in and seeing all the progress they have made on the game. With new hardware, we look forward to expanding on the Climax Action of Bayonetta, so sit tight and get ready!”

Source: PlatinumGames.com


Fuse Goes Off For Overstrike

Last year, the revelation for Insomniac’s first multi-platform product with EA was announced with Overstrike, a multiplayer focused shooter with a lighthearted tone. The game has been reintroduced as Fuse and the light humor is gone, but all the crazy varied shooter combat is still there and is looking great!


Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Wii U Edition With Mario And Link

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Wii U Edition has everything that the original release of the game has… and a little bit more. Along with the ability to duke it out wearing Mario, Luigi, Bowser, Link and Zelda outfits, power-ups such as mushrooms are littered around each arena and can be used in battle.

Inside The Clubhouse

Available on iTunes and Google Play, the Sons of Anarchy App is an immersive, interactive experience that brings never before seen content exploration, shop-able gear from the show, and introducing ‘Perspective’ — a feature rich, virtual view of the SOA clubhouse, use the app when watching Season 4 on Blu-Ray/DVD or Season 5 live, which debuts this week.


Windows 8 Is Going To Do Great, Says Microsoft CEO

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has always had a firm belief in what his company is doing. Despite some critiques over what Windows 8 is doing, revising its UI to better suit touchscreen hardware, Ballmer expects the OS to be big for the company.

“Windows 8 is going to do great,” said Ballmer. “I’m not paid to have doubts. I don’t have any. It’s a fantastic product . . . People talk about: “How healthy is the PC market ” There’s going to be close to 400 million PCs sold in the next year, which makes it a big market. And whether it’s 405 million or 395 million, it’s a big market, and Windows 8 will propel that volume.”

“A lot of what we spend [on], and [where] we have a big business, [is] selling to enterprise customers. It’s never going to be sexy,” he admitted. “Certainly on the consumer side, our R&D has really paid off in some ways. Kinect is a good example; what we’ve done with Xbox is a good example. Some of the innovations we see – certainly Windows 8, I think, is going to be a very, very good example… At the end of the day, I feel pretty good about our R&D and its return. Some of these things we signed up for, we knew there were long-term battles.”

Source: Seattle Times


Zynga Strikes Back Against EA Suit

Zynga recently announced that they are asking a judge to strike parts of EA’s copyright infringement lawsuit relating to The Sims Social and The Ville, answering EA’s complaint and demanding a jury trial. They also filed a counterclaim against EA, alleging breach of contract and violation of California law.

“Today we responded to EA’s claims which we believe have no merit. We also filed a counterclaim which addresses actions by EA we believe to be anti-competitive and unlawful business practices, including legal threats and demands for no-hire agreements,” said Reggie Davis, Zynga general counsel in a statement. “We look forward to getting back to focusing all our efforts on delighting our players.”

“This is a predictable subterfuge aimed at diverting attention from Zynga’s persistent plagiarism of other artists and studios,” said EA spokesman John Reseburg in response. “Zynga would be better served trying to hold onto the shrinking number of employees they’ve got, rather than suing to acquire more.”

Zynga says parts of the EA lawsuit serve no purpose and should be struck, often speaking in highly critical terms of EA. “In sharp contrast to the confined inquiry that single claim requires, EA’s Complaint is an unrestrained ramble of immaterial, inflammatory, and prejudicial allegations that have no bearing on the issue at hand. These allegations are so patently irrelevant to the case that they appear geared more towards inciting the press coverage they generated than contributing to legal analysis. Zynga therefore moves to strike them.”

The suit itself names several titles, including some of Zynga’s, that the company asserts as the base of game The Sims Social, ridiculing EA’s game in the process. “EA’s lawsuit ultimately rests on the implausible assumption that Zynga would launch a ‘copy’ of a game that had failed months before Zynga released its own game. By the time Zynga launched The Ville, the user base for EA’s The Sims Social had plummeted, and Zynga is informed and believes that EA already had relegated the game to its India Studio where EA games in decline are sent to be inexpensively maintained and ultimately discontinued.”

Zynga also asserted that EA violated California law concerning hiring and brought counterclaim, saying, “EA knows that none of the former EA executives it names in its lawsuit – John Schappert, Jeff Karp, and Barry Cottle – transmitted any EA confidential information to Zynga because EA itself was involved in, and approved of, the exhaustive measures undertaken to ensure that did not happen.”

“The truth is that despite years of trying to compete, and spending more than a billion dollars on acquisitions, EA has not been able to successfully compete in the social gaming space and was losing talent, particularly to social gaming leader Zynga. Desperate to stem this exodus, EA undertook an anti-competitive and unlawful scheme to stop Zynga from hiring its employees and to restrain the mobility of EA employees in violation of the spirit of the antitrust laws and California public policy. EA sought, by threat of objectively and subjectively baseless sham litigation, what it could never lawfully obtain from Zynga – a no-hire agreement that would bar Zynga’s hiring of EA employees,” concluded Zynga.


iPhone 5 Sells Out In A Hurry

Apple effectively sold out of its online stock of the iPhone 5 on Friday and the company’s stock climbed 1.2 percent to close at $691.28. The new phone is expected to begin shipping September 28.

“The initial batch is sold out,” said Shaw Wu, an analyst at Sterne Agee & Leach, raising his sales estimate for the quarter ending in September to 26 million from 23 million, adding: “We think that could turn out to be conservative.”

Analysts estimate that as many as 58 million of the latest iPhone could be sold by the end of the year. That could generate as much as $36.2 billion in sales for Apple.

Source: SFgate.com