The Rumble 2012

Jon Stewart and Bill O’Reilly have agreed to participate what is being called “O’Reilly v Stewart 2012: The Rumble in the Air-Conditioned Auditorium”. Look forward to the comedic approach to politics in 2012 when it is streamed live on Saturday, October 6 at 8pm ET from Lisner Auditorium at The George Washington University.

Facebook Toes Towards Ad Network Status In Mobile

Facebook is testing in-app mobile ads that look nothing like Facebook ads, using an undisclosed number of ad networks to serve banners and interstitials. It takes the company and its trove of personal information one step closer to forming an ad network of its own. Facebook said the ad exchanges won’t be able to access its users’ personal information. The move in mobile is in line with recent comments by Zuckerberg, who said at TechCrunch Disrupt, “We’ve transitioned now and we are a mobile company.”

Find out more at Ad Age.


Rule The Realm

Enter to win a trip to Dublin Ireland in the Snow White and the Huntsman Conquer The Kingdom Instant Win Game. Win instant daily prizes day like a box of Balance bars or Target and Best Buy gift cards.

To win, players must create an account and explore the Kingdom and complete four challenges (at the Queen’s Lair, Dark Forest, Sanctuary and Castle ) to earn spells for your spell book.

Watch videos and explore the Huntsman’s Allies to uncover bonus spells. The spells you earn will be inscribed in your spell book. Visit the mirror daily to submit your spells for more chances to win the grand prize trip to Ireland and to discover if you’ve won an instant prize.

Different mini-games like a photo hunt to find a raven, pledging your allegiance by sharing to either the Dark Army of the Queen or the Rebellion, or answering trivia will unlock spells.

Unlock additional spells and chances to win by visiting partner sites that will be distributing codes on Facebook and Twitter.


Twitch Raises $15 Million

Twitch announced that it has secured $15 million in funding led by venture capital firm Bessemer Venture Partners with Alsop Louie Partners and Draper Associates also participating. Twitch will use the investment to enhance its core product of streaming video content experienced by over 20 million people.

“We launched Twitch a little over a year ago, and already we have more than 20 million unique viewers per month. We have also partnered with more than 2,000 incredible broadcasters and have integrated our product with leading game publishers,” said Emmett Shear, CEO of Twitch. “I’m very proud of our accomplishments, but there’s so much more to do. Our current team has put us at the forefront of the live video game streaming movement, and we can now invest aggressively to support our growing community with new ways to stream, watch, and chat.”

“Twitch is exactly the kind of company that we seek for investment,” said Ethan Kurzweil, vice president at Bessemer Venture Partners. “Twitch is not just a game changer: they created the game and are creating new experiences for their community. We’re looking forward to them accelerating their lead, and continuing to change the rules as they go.”

iOS 6 Replaces Google Maps

Apple has released iOS 6 and by far the largest difference in the experience for many is the fact that Google Maps has been replaced by Apple’s own map service. Previously, the mapping app from Apple was powered by Google since 2007, but that has been dropped as acrimony grows between the two companies.

Many early adoptors say the app is attractive but it has some issues. Some have found that searches for an in-town destination can pull up an entirely different city, and there is no built-in information about public transportation.

This move has been a long time coming, as Apple has purchased three mapping companies and Google doubles down on its own mobile OS. There are some new additions to the Apple-powered Maps app including spoken turn-by-turn directions and Flyover, a feature that shows 3-D models of buildings in major cities.

Google Maps is currently available for consumers that don’t upgrade their iPhones and those with iOS 6 will still be able to access it from a web browser. Apple’s maps should become as good as Google’s for most people, said Scott Rafer, chief executive of Lumatic, a company that has developed a transit app for iPhones. “What no one’s talking about is map usage is a lot more important than any of this crazy software [that Google’s maps may have],” Rafer said.

Gartner analyst Michael Gartenberg said Apple was clearly not the market leader in maps, lagging both Google and Nokia, but that most consumers would not be bothered by what was missing in Apple’s maps and that, on the whole, they would be more pleased by the addition of turn-by-turn navigation. “The granularity of how good mapping is on one platform versus another doesn’t seem like it’s going to matter a lot to consumers,” he said.

Source: New York Times


Idle Games Lays Off 25

Idle Games has let 25 employees go, roughly a third of its overall workforce. The social game company still has 40 employees working at the company, including its founding members and senior engineers.

Many of those laid off were working on the developer’s massively multiplayer Facebook game Idle Worship. The game dropped from 30,000 daily active users five weeks after its launch to its current 10,000.

“You either needed medication because you loved it so much or you just didn’t play it,” says Idle Games founder and CEO Jeffy Hyman. “There was no happy medium.”

While Idle Worship was positively received and is currently nominated for a GDC Online Award (under the “Online Innovation” category), it wasn’t enough to make the game a success. “There’s a good life lesson there that you don’t need to innovate on every single vector,” he says.”In order to be successful you don’t want the press, reviews and accolades. You want bucket loads of money.”

For the time being, Idle Worship now pays for itself with $0.12 to $0.13 per daily user. Currently, the company is focused on Fresh Deck Poker, which has 20,000 daily active users before its official launch and will probably grow even more with its cross-platform gameplay and real-money prizes.

Find out more about Idle Worship in this [a]list feature.

Source: Inside Social Games


Obsidian Says Publishers Looking To Abuse Kickstarter Model

Obsidian right now is reveling in its Kickstarter success, having drawn in over $1.7 million over less than a week for its new RPG, Project Eternity. That’s been great for the developer, since they’ll own the game outright and retain all the profits, but Obsidian CEO Feargus Urquhart indicates that some game publishers are trying to “game the system” when it comes to Kickstarter.

“We were actually contacted by some publishers over the last few months that wanted to use us to do a Kickstarter,”he said. “I said to them ‘So, you want us to do a Kickstarter for you, using our name, we then get the Kickstarter money to make the game, you then publish the game, but we then don’t get to keep the brand we make and we only get a portion of the profits’ They said, ‘Yes’.”

Source: Develop

Stan Lee’s Verticus Drops

Moonshark recently announced their collaboration with Stan Lee on a new iOS game titled Verticus. Featuring original characters, story, and voiceover by Lee, Verticus has players falling literally into the Earth while they avoid obstacles and attack the evil alien race known as The Obliterators.

Verticus, developed by Dallas-based Controlled Chaos Media, will be available fall of 2012. Publisher Moonshark is a new startup focused on bringing to market original mobile entertainment properties by pairing the most creative minds in Hollywood with the world’s best mobile developers.

Find out more at

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