Nexon Bringing Dota 2 To Japan, Korea

Valve has announced that it has teamed up with Nexon to publish Dota 2 in Korea and Japan. The two companies also teamed up to bring Counter-Strike Online 2 to the Asian market.

“We are very excited about working with Valve to publish Dota 2 and build on the worldwide momentum of the highly successful franchise,” said Nexon Korea CEO Min Seo. “We look forward to providing players in Japan and Korea the opportunity to experience this exciting new game.”

MIT Predicts The Future — On Twitter

With brands currently willing to purchase “trending topics” on Twitter at a premium, how much more valuable would it be to know what’s trending even before Twitter does

MIT professor Professor Devavrat Shah and student Stanislav Nikolov have developed an algorithm that can do exactly that, and they claim it has 95 percent accuracy and can make predictions up to five hours in advance. The program doesn’t use pattern recognition because, according to Shah, there’s no set pattern to how things trend on Twitter.

“You [could] try to train for when the jump happens, and how much of a jump happens,” says Shah. “The problem with this is, I don’t know that things that trend have a step function. There are a thousand things that could happen.”

Instead, their algorithm uses sample sets against real-time activity. Once a topic begins to resemble one of the sample sets, it’s given a “vote” on whether it could trend. More votes points to more of a chance it will trend.

Shah and Nikolov’s ability to see into the future seems sci-fi, but the bottom line for their creation is what it could mean for Twitter’s advertising prospects. With the current price for a trending promo spot falling around $150K (with a bidding element), Twitter could be looking at this new algorithm as a major commercial selling point. There is also talk of using the formula in situations to predict stock prices, ticket sales, and more.

The MIT duo will present the concept at the Interdisciplinary Workshop on Information and Decision in Social Networks at MIT in November 8 and 9.

Learn more at Wired.

Pop-Up Toy Store

Walmart is testing an idea in partnership with Mattel in Toronto where shoppers will encounter a virtual store in a subway station.

The event is being described as Canada’s first pop-up virtual toy store, enabling QR code-based shopping of Mattel brands — including hot toys from Barbie, Hot Wheels, Fisher-Price and Thomas & Friends brands — to holiday shoppers.

The pop-up is located in the city’s massive PATH underground walkway, a retail concourse that connects downtown buildings and and an array of businesses to Toronto’s Union Station rail commuter hub. It may find a ready pool of virtual shoppers, as it will run for four weeks in the same location where Wells.ca tested a QR-enabled store in April.

The virtual toy store “features two walls of three-dimensional toy images,” according to a press release. Shoppers simply scan a QR code with their smartphone to purchase the hottest Mattel holiday toys from Walmart Canada, who also provides free shipping. While traditional gift-givers can still purchase toys online or in-store, the virtual toy store aims to revolutionize what it means to window shop.

How Social Media Impacted Voting

According to a Pew Internet & American Life Project, 22 percent of registered voters have let others know how they voted on a social networking site such as Facebook or Twitter. Before the election, some 25 percent of the supporters of Barack Obama have posted their presidential preference and 20 percent of backers of Mitt Romney have done so.

The study found that 30 percent of registered voters have been encouraged to vote for Democrat Barack Obama or Republican Mitt Romney by family and friends via posts on social media such as Facebook or Twitter. Also, 20 percent of registered voters have encouraged others to vote by posting on a social networking site such as Facebook or Twitter.

“More broadly, registered voters have used a variety of methods to talk to others about voting. Below are the ways that people are hearing from their family and friends, encouraging them to vote,” posts Pew’s Lee Rainie. “There is no overall partisan tilt to one candidate or the other when it comes to the ‘go vote’ messages people are getting from their friends and family through various channels. Equal shares of registered voters were encouraged by their friends to vote for each candidate in each kind of communication.”

Other revelations show that nearly half have heard from family and friends in face-to-face conversations in the last 30 days that they should vote for either candidate, while younger voters ages 18-29 were considerably more likely than others to have heard in face-to-face conversations from others in their circles about voting for Obama.

Other channels include postings on social networking sites, where 30 percent heard from family and friends to vote either way, while 29 percent have heard from family and friends in phone conversations in the last 30 days that they should vote for either candidate. 21 percent had heard from family and friends in emails in the last 30 days that they should vote for either candidate and 11 percent have heard from family and friends in text messages that they should vote for either candidate.

“Finally, 22 percent of registered voters have announced on a social networking site or Twitter how they voted or planned to vote. Some 29 percent of those under age 50 have announced to their networks through social media how they voted or planned to vote, compared with 17 percent of those 50 and older who have revealed their vote by social media,” said Rainie. “In all, those who did any of these activities related to getting messages about voting, sending out such messages, or posting their presidential choice on a social media site are part of our calculation of the ‘social vote’ cohort. And that comes to 74 percent of registered voters.”

Source: PewInternet.org

Gears Of War Hits 19 Million Sold

The Gears of War franchise has sold over 19 million copies across all its titles. This number is up a million since July 2012, though it’s worth noting that no new Gears of War games have released since that last milestone.

Gears of War 3 surpassed 3 million sales its first week, and Epic has projected long term sales for the game at over 6 million. Since the first two Gears of War games have sold over 12 million, there’s a good chance that the final game in the trilogy is approaching its goal.

Source: Joystiq.com

Mortal Kombat Film In Development

 

Warner Bros. is preparing a return to the big screen for Mortal Kombat. WB executive Lance Sloan confirmed that the film is in development.

Speaking to Total Film, Sloan said, “We’re preparing right now for the film with Kevin Tancharoen, [who] directed the digital series for us. He’s at the helm of the forty, fifty million dollar film.”

Tancharoen is best known for his musicals, last year’s Glee: The 3D Concert Movie and 2009’s Fame.

Mortal Kombat first made the jump to movies in 1995 with a film directed by Paul Anderson, now best known for his Resident Evil films. Coming on the heels of forgettable films based on Super Mario Bros. and Street Fighter, it raised the bar for what to expect in a film based on a video game. The bar was quickly lowered two years later with the John Leonetti helmed sequel, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation.

Source: Total Film

Twitch.TV Streaming Coming To Origin

Electronic Arts has partnered with Twitch.TV to allow live-streaming of games on Origin. The update is expected to be available soon, with Origin beta users the first that will be able to access it.

“We’re proud to announce that Origin is partnering with Twitch, and today we’re launching phase one of this integration. With a few clicks of your mouse, you can now broadcast your gaming session live, directly to your Twitch channel, for gamers around the world to view. With the combined power of Origin and Twitch, it’s never been easier to take your own gameplay online, in real-time,” announced EA. “To start broadcasting, just start playing a game, then bring up Origin In Game by hitting Shift+F1 (or whatever keystroke you’ve chosen for your Origin In Game Hotkey). You’ll notice a camera icon has been added to the bottom of this screen.”

Source: Origin.com

President Obama Photo Sets Records On Facebook, Twitter

President Barack Obama’s connection to his constituency via social media was solidified when he announced victory via Facebook and Twitter with a photo of him embracing Michelle Obama simply titled “four more years.” This was retweeted over 700,000 times and is believed to be the most retweeted photo of all time.

On Facebook, the photo saw over 3.3 million ‘likes’. “This Barack Obama photo is the most-liked Facebook photo of all time,” the social network announced.

 

President Obama was much more active in his social media use that Romney, and even took to Reddit in the final hours to answer questions and remind people to vote. “It’s really about a connected relationship with him, it doesn’t feel like he’s just someone out there, there is connectedness,” said Zach Green, head of 140Elect. “It shows that the model of very active engagement, having a loud voice seems to be effective. But it’s hard to prove that he wouldn’t have won without this.”

Source: AFP

Call Of Duty: Black Ops II To Feature YouTube Live Streaming

Call of Duty: Black Ops II will let players live stream gameplay from their Xbox 360 or PS3 directly to YouTube. Additionally, players will be able to stream webcam footage and audio commentary, while Elite users will be able to see the player card of the person broadcasting the stream.

“With our competitive play and eSports initiatives, we wanted to deliver live streaming capabilities built right into Black Ops II, because Call of Duty is not only fun and exciting to play, but we believe it will be just as exciting to watch,” said Mark Lamia, studio head of Treyarch. “By making the capability of live streaming as accessible as possible to our fans, straight from a player’s console without the need for any additional hardware or sophisticated setups, we are empowering our fans to share their multiplayer experiences.”

BioWare Mythic Changes Back To Just Mythic

BioWare Mythic has announced that it will simply be known as Mythic from now on. The developer of Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes and Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar was renamed BioWare Mythic in 2009 after all MMORPG titles were put under the purview of the BioWare division.

“In the wake of a new focus our studio has recently changed its name from BioWare Mythic to Mythic,” said Kai Schober. “Everything else stays the same – our passionate teams will continue to support and develop our existing titles as well as working on some new and exciting projects.”

Source: WarhammerOnline.com