Peter Molyneux Definitively Not Retiring

Peter Molyneux recently said that he was “going to make one more game” which would seem to indicate a retirement of some sort. He is now backing off of that claim now, and doesn’t sound like a man approaching retirement at all.

“I wasn’t in any way announcing my retirement or saying I’m going to throw myself off the nearest bridge after my next game,” said Molyneux. “I’m either going to stop making games when everyone in the world just hates the games I make or the day when I die. I feel more passionate, more engaged, more energetic about making games now than I ever have. The thought of retirement is abhorrent to me. I would have to be in some vegetative state to consider retirement.”

He added about Project Godus, his Kickstarter which is halfway funded with more than two weeks to go, that there are alternatives in case crowdfunding doesn’t work. “We’d have to look at some of the more traditional routes,” Molyneux explained. “I think it would be a tough world to be in if we weren’t funded, that’s for sure. Everyone kind of thinks I’m loaded with money and live in Versailles or something, and drive around in a gold Rolls Royce. None of that is true. I’m not starving by any means, but I haven’t got unlimited wealth. I used a lot of money to found 22 Cans, to release Curiosity, and to build a team of 20 people.”

Source: GamesIndustry International

Ouya Dev Consoles Coming December 28

It’s been confirmed that the Ouya development consoles will ship out on December 28. The dev Ouya consoles will go to those that invested $700 in the console’s Kickstarter.

“The dev consoles are an early version of the Ouya console and controller designed for developers to test their games on Ouya. Our Kickstarter developers are the first to get a crack at ’em! We’re psyched to have you on board, and we can’t wait to see what pours from your brain!” wrote Jules Kane of Ouya. “Of course, when the final consoles ship, EVERY Ouya will be a dev console. We told you that already. What we didn’t tell you was that the advance dev consoles you ordered are pretty special — you’ll know what I mean when you open yours. They’re rare drops.”

It was also announced that emails will be sent out on December 25 to confirm users preference for Ouya usernames.


Steam Big Picture Officially Launches

Valve has announced that Big Picture has seen a full and official release. This new mode is designed to allow users to play Steam games in a living room environment using a gamepad.

“To celebrate the public launch of Big Picture, over thirty controller-friendly games will be on sale from now until December 10, with savings up to 75 percent off,” announced Valve. “Access to the complete Steam store is included, as is the Steam Community. Big Picture is available worldwide in over twenty languages, including German, French, Russian, Korean, and Portuguese.”

“Gamers’ existing games are all available in Big Picture. In addition to having the complete library of Steam games, each user’s cloud files, Steam Workshop content, account information and preferences will be accessible automatically in the new mode,” Valve added. “Steam gamers may easily experience Big Picture on their televisions by connecting their PC or Mac, typically with a single HDMI cable. Big Picture also includes a new web browser designed for televisions and game controllers. It is accessible from anywhere within the Big Picture UI, and even while playing Steam games on a TV. It supports Big Picture’s new method of typing with a gamepad, which is useful for entering URLs, filling out forms, chatting, and other functions.”


Wooga CEO Talks Shifting From Facebook Mobile

While Wooga is the number three publisher on Facebook, it’s nonetheless looking to refocus on mobile. Wooga CEO Jens Begemann sees people shifting away from desktops in favor of smartphones and tablets.

“We have roughly 60 percent of our employees working on mobile, 40 percent on Canvas,” said Begemann. “We made this decision a year ago. A year ago we only had 10 people working on mobile. Now it’s over half of the 250-people company. We still see growth on Canvas and obviously it’s still bigger, but the growth on mobile is extremely fast. The PC will become less important, and with that the browser, and with that Canvas. But that’s really mid-term.”

“I think that people who are buying a tablet now, as a private person, won’t replace their laptop,” he added. “They will phase out their existing laptop and they will maybe upgrade in two years to the next generations of tablets. I think that’s what’s happening.”

Source: Gamasutra

Kickstarter Reports On First Month In The U.K.

Kickstarter released a report on the one month since it opened its projects to U.K. creators. The total pledges have exceeded £2 million ($3.3 million) from over 45,000 backers

“Of the 400 projects that have launched, 30 have already been successfully funded and many more are on their way. A public art project called the Chime Pavilion was the first successfully funded project, with triple its funding goal. The very first project to launch, a hardware project called Picade, was successfully funded with £74,000 pledged — double its funding goal,” posted Yancey Strickler and Fred Benenson. “Projects have launched from creators all across the UK, including Belfast, Brighton, Cambridge, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Hull, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Nottingham, York, and other places in between.”


Zynga Signs Deal With Web TV Company

Zynga has signed a deal with the cloud TV company Synacor. This agreement will make Zynga’s games available to as many as 24 million U.S. households with web-based TVs from next year.

“Starting next year, Synacor’s customers will be able to offer their subscribers access to games from their homepages. Additionally, those providers will be able to include Zynga’s in-game currency as part of their subscription offerings. In other words, they can now bundle together TV + telephone + Internet + FarmVille Cash,” wrote Tricia Duryee. “Senator’s customers include a variety of providers, such as Verizon, CenturyLink, Broadstripe, Charter and US Cable, and claims to reach 24 million households in the U.S.”

Source: AllThingsD

Kabam Expands In China With Balanced Worlds

Kabam has announced that it has acquired Balanced Worlds. The Beijing company was founded by three Americans in 2006 and will see its 17 current employees relocated to Kabam’s Chinese facilities in Beijing’s Central Business District.

“The Balanced Worlds team brings a strong discipline and creative flare in 3D game development that will complement Kabam’s expanding portfolio of games,” said Kabam Studios president Andrew Sheppard.

“Our shared vision of high-quality core 3D mobile games is perfectly aligned,” added Pfeiffer. “The Balanced Worlds team is proud to become a highly productive part of Kabam’s amazingly successful mobile-focused studio in Beijing.”

EA’s Digital Economy

Retail sales are a clearly diminishing part of the industry as parts of it shift to digital download. Electronic Arts, the biggest traditional games publisher in the world, is a great indicator for the way companies are changing to adapt to the increasingly digital world.

“Electronic Arts is now tied with Activision-Blizzard as the #1 western digital gaming company, in terms of digital revenue,” writes Bryan Cashman. “And while Activision-Blizzard’s digital revenue is still driven largely by monthly subscriptions for World of Warcraft, EA’s more diversified portfolio of digital titles may give a stronger indication of how the broader digital ecosystem is performing for games.”

Digital has grown for Electronic Arts by 40 percent every year over the past five years. Meanwhile, smartphone and tablet game revenue has increased 120 percent year-over-year.


Digital revenue is primarily driven by add-on content for games, in-game advertisements and mobile and tablet software. Meanwhile, full game downloads are only a small portion of their digital revenue, though they are pushing that more with their Origin service — it’s telling the number that access Origin via mobile.

“The digital world, according to EA, is one supporting multiple business models and multiple devices. The days of creating a packaged good, shipping it, and moving onto creating another game, are gone. As indicated by EA’s digital revenue sources, games are now services — services to deliver ads, to sell updates, or to connect to for online interaction on mobile or tablets. Perhaps the next “cycle of gaming” will not be found in new consoles, but instead, in new ways to deliver and please consumers in a digital world,” concluded Cashman.


Calling All Bounty Hunters

Jump into the bounty hunting business in the the latest mini game {link no longer active} (also available as an app for iOS devices {link no longer active}) for Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained and play as one of the characters in the film.

Play as Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz), a bounty hunter on the trails to collect his next bounty. You’ll be shooting bounties dead in their tracks. There are five bounties in total and with each bounty you kill you’ll reveal a new higher-priced bounty and new locations.
After you have freed Django (Jamie Foxx) from slavery, you’ll receive a letter from a townsman desperate to rid themselves of the filth that consumes his town.
The town is not too far from Candieland, the plantation owned by the sadistic proprieter Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio) and where Django’s wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) is possibly being kept against her will.

If you feel that you are not up the to challenge, you will have an opportunity to train your slick hands at a training ground not to far from town. In training, shoot five bottles and be timed.

It helps to have quick hands, so take the challenge, kill your bounties, and share your scores with your friends on Facebook. Show them why you have the fastest guns in the west.


GameStop Seeing Rise In DLC Sales

DLC is content that is often designed, in part, to help monetize a used game market that doesn’t directly give publishers and developers any money. The irony is that GameStop has managed to monetize this burgeoning market quite successfully.

“DLC as a business was created largely not to include a retail partner,” said Brad Schliesser, GameStop’s director of retail digital distribution. “Since we’ve been in the business, [we’ve found that] nearly 50 percent of customers who are purchasing digital content have never bought it anywhere before. They never bought it directly from Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo. They never bought a gift card to redeem on those platforms. There’s a whole other market of people who we’re able to sell this content to.”

A key part of GameStop’s success in selling DLC codes is the ability for them to use PowerUp Reward points and cash to purchase DLC. Roughly 70 percent of GameStop’s digital sales come from non-credit card transactions.

“When we first started [selling downloadable content] in 2010, we had less than a 2 percent attach rate for DLC to a physical game,” said Schliesser.”That started changing in holiday 2011, and what changed is publishers decided to start marketing digital content to customers when the game released rather than waiting three, six, or 12 months afterward.

“We kind of knew at that point that this is the right formula: You have to have a really good game, a game that has a history of good content, and you have to market it at launch. It also helps to have a sales person because that’s one thing that a digital platform [like the Xbox Live Marketplace or the PlayStation Store] really can’t do. You can’t have a customized interaction with someone who knows you and what your gaming habits are.”

The most popular piece of DLC was the “From Dust” pack for Mass Effect 3, which had a 50 percent attach rate at GameStop. The day one DLC, while controversial, was also considered somewhat vital to the experience and such is why many of the knowledgeable employees at GameStop were able to sell “From Dust” to customers so effectively.

“The most important thing that we found is the associates in the store drive the business. They understand what content is,” said Schliesser. “It’s easy for them to sell content to a customer when that customer is buying a copy of the game. DLC for us attaches better to a physical game than any other accessory or add-on that we have in our company — whether it’s a headset, a controller, or strategy guide — because it’s so easy for the consumer to understand what it is they’re getting. From very early on, we understood that we had to do a good job of not only educating the consumer but also educating the person behind the counter.”