Wanted: Supernatural Assassins

Bethesda has released “The Drunken Whaler,” the song backing Dishonored‘s excellent E3 trailer from this year, as a free download.

Not only can you download the song, but you can also grab the stems and submit your own remix to Bethesda’s official Remix Competition. Place in the top ten, and you’ll win a free copy of the game, a T-shirt, and a poster. The grand prize winner will be featured in an interview on the official Bethesda blog.

Sharpen your skills with Dishonored – Rat Assassin for iPhone and iPad. In a cut throat world, the boldest measures are the safest. Help rid the Dunwall streets of plagued rats, one slice, dice, and crossbow shot at a time. The perfect training for a supernatural assassin.




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


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


Free Games See Rise In European Game Time

GameTrack and Interactive Software Federation of Europe is reporting that the games market is still driven by boxed sales in western Europe. For the second quarter of 2012, the games market for four regions totaled just over $1 billion, with $351 million in Germany, $291 million in the UK, $256 million in France and ‚$107 million in Spain.

Free games were nearly half of all games acquired, with most of those free games being mobile apps. The study found that while online games ARE popular, it does not necessarily drive the market as far as revenue; overall, 51 percent of the French population have played games in the past 12 months, ahead of the UK with 37 percent, 35 percent in Germany and 31 percent in Spain.

“This data proves that GameTrack provides an unparalleled view on the market, but it will really start to show its true potential once we can compare year-on-year quarters and see trends emerge,” commented Simon Little, MD of ISFE


Valve Talks MMO Experiments With Team Fortress 2

Valve’s Robin Walker says that Team Fortress 2 was a way for the company to explore MMO business. When free-to-play became a trend, they were able to experiment again in Team Fortress 2 and apply those lessons to Dota 2.

“We were starting to feel the same way about micro-transactions as we did initially about MMOs: that our company was at risk if we didn’t have internal experience and hard data on them,” he continued. “In the end, TF2 has been ended up being one of the most useful tools we’ve ever built to reduce risk in our company’s future. The thought that if we hadn’t done it, we’d be here today without any data or experience with service based monetization strategies is quite terrifying.”

Source: Gamasutra

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.


Obsidian Details Project Eternity

Obsidian Entertainment revealed that Project X is Project Eternity. Under the supervision of game designers Chris Avellone, Tim Cain, and Josh Sawyer, the Kickstarter project is being made in the image of classic RPGS like Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale, and Planescape: Torment.

Project Eternity aims to recapture the magic, imagination, depth, and nostalgia of classic RPGs that we enjoyed making – and playing,” reads the description. “At Obsidian, we have the people responsible for many of those classic games and we want to bring those games back . . . and that’s why we’re here – we need your help to make it a reality!”

The game will focus on a central hero that the player will create, which Obsidian implies they want to take through multiple adventures. The story promises depth and complexity with mature themes and sharp writing.

“We have wanted to go back to our roots and create an epic PC role-playing game adventure for years. But, it’s been almost impossible to get funding through traditional methods for a game like this. The great thing about Kickstarter is that we can go directly to the people who love to play RPGs as much as we love to make them. Plus, we don’t have to make compromises with a publisher. We make the development decisions, we market the game, and we don’t have to answer to anyone but you — our fans,” says Obsidian. “Our relationship with you can be even closer with Kickstarter. We can be more transparent with development and give you an inside look to what goes on day-to-day with the programmers, artists, and designers of Project Eternity. We want to give you a behind the scenes look at the game’s development, and we have fun stuff planned like developer blogs, web broadcasts, dev chats, and much, much more.”

“We need to raise $1.1 million to fund an experienced team to do this right. We are asking for more than a lot of the other Kickstarter projects and that’s because we are not only making a game, we are creating a whole new world. That means a new RPG system, entirely new art, new characters and animation and whole lot of lore and dialogue. We’ve also designed the game to have a flexible budget and scope, so if we reach our target budget goal, we have a list great stuff we can add into the mix through stretch goals. And, additional money we raise will go straight into the game to add new levels, companions, NPCs, features, and even entirely new parts of the world which will add hours and hours to the adventure,” concluded the pitch.

The company shot past its $1.1 million goal in 24 hours and is sitting at over $1.4 million after just a few days post-launch.

Source: Kickstarter.com


Facebook ‘Poked’ Users To Vote In 2010

During the 2010 election, Facebook posted a “Today is Election Day” prompt to certain users and not as part of a social study. It was found that those exposed to the message were 0.39 percent likelier to cast their vote than the other groups, amounting to an extra 60,000 votes cast by the “social message” recipients and possibly pushing as many as 340,000 people to vote because of the poke.

“Social influence made all the difference in political mobilisation,” said James Fowler, a professor of political science at the University of California at San Diego who led the experiment. “It’s not the ‘I voted’ button or the lapel sticker we’ve all seen that gets out the vote. It’s the person attached to it.”

“Such interventions also have the potential to promote positive social changes, such as increasing the rate of HIV testing, reducing violence, improving adherence to exercise, or increasing political mobilization and awareness,” said New York University academic Sinan Aral. “In this way, the science of social influence may have dramatic implications for products, politics and public health.”

Source: EconomicTimes.com


MvP Invitational Announced By MLG, IEG

MLG, International eSports Group (IEG), and the Korean eSports Association (KeSPA), today announced the MvP (MLG vs. Proleague) Invitational. The event will feature 48 of the world’s best StarCraft II players including the top 24 ranked StarCraft II Players in KeSPA’s Proleague, 12 players from North America, six players from Europe and six players from Korea /Taiwan.

“We are excited to unveil the MvP Invitational as the next step in our multi-year global partnership with KeSPA, a collaboration that aims to further bridge the Western and Korean StarCraft worlds,” said Sundance DiGiovanni, CEO of Major League Gaming. “This flagship competitive program guarantees that top StarCraft II players from KeSPA’s Proleague will compete LIVE at the MLG Fall Championship in Dallas. We plan to expand MvP and roll out new programs in 2013.”

“IEG will continue to contribute to various events between KeSPA players and international players,” said Jae Myung Lee, President of IEG. “With the successful launch of the MvP Invitational, we will make an effort to provide high-quality content around the world.”

Broadcasts of the competition begin September 24 at www.majorleaguegaming.com with matches airing weekly.