Exclusive: Sega’s Controlled Chaos With Anarchy Reigns

Anarchy Reigns has had an interesting existence, being conceived as a title designed to fill a gap not really fulfilled in the current market as a multiplayer brawler. All things were set for the game to have a simultaneously worldwide release . . . but Sega decided to push back the release outside of Japan. It was a long wait, but Sega attempted to soothe over hard feelings with a $29.99 price point along with some pre-order bonuses. We talked with Aaron Webber, Associate Brand Manager on Anarchy Reigns, who gave us the details in promoting Anarchy Reigns.

What’s the feedback you’ve gotten to the $29.99 price point of Anarchy Reigns?

The feedback has been great. For a game like Anarchy Reigns, which focuses on quick, enjoyable brawler combat mixed with Platinum Games’ talent, there’s huge value in a $29.99 price point. We’ve seen great reaction to it from both consumers and reviewers alike.

What was the strategic decision for releasing Anarchy Reigns in early 2013 instead of Summer of 2012?

We determined that early 2013 would be our ideal launch window, similar to the release timing of Bayonetta back in 2010. Of course, while this made business sense, it wasn’t all roses; it meant fans would have to wait longer than their Japanese counterparts to enjoy the game. We decided that given the wait, a $30 price point made even more sense, as we really did want to thank fans for their patience.

So far, we’re off to a great start. It’s been a relatively quiet start to the new year for gaming, which means a lot of room for us to make some noise with Anarchy Reigns!

Did Sega get a good response from GameStop pre-order bonus for the game?

Yes, we got a great response: Bayonetta proved to be a very popular witch! Pre-order sales were above expectations. Special thanks to all the fans out there who went out to pre-order!

Is it the hope that Anarchy Reigns will fill a niche in online multiplayer that isn’t fulfilled by any other game?

In many ways, Anarchy Reigns carves out its own respective space in the world of online brawlers. I think it definitely fulfills a certain place in the hearts of fighting gamers worldwide. Whether your thing is the rather chaotic (hence “Anarchy”) 16-player Battle Royale, or some of the more traditional modes like Team Death match and Capture the Flag, there’s a little something in there for everyone. We’ve even got a nice “Football meets fighting” setting called “Death Ball” mode for the sports fans.

There were a lot of character trailers for the game, demonstrating not only the characters but also some of the game’s unique soundtrack. Do you think these helped create excitement for the game over the past year?

Absolutely. Strong characters are part of what makes any good fighting game shine, and Platinum Games did a great job in making each character in Anarchy Reigns varied, unique, and entertaining. Seeing characters like Jack and Blacker Baron from MadWorld make their returns was also very exciting.

I know Sega wasn’t responsible for these, but do you think the videos that Platinum Games ran on their own website for the game helped keep gamers informed for Anarchy Reigns?

Everything helps. From videos like the ones Platinum Games posted to being involved in forum threads discussing the game, all these pieces of the puzzle are what come together to form a greater success for the title.

With the presence of Bayonetta, Jack and other characters from Platinum titles, do you think that helped create awareness and bring people to the game who may not of been interested in it?

Most definitely. Jack and his crew garnered the attention of many MadWorld fans, and Bayonetta’s inclusion as a pre-order bonus went swimmingly. Having well-known characters like these really helped get Anarchy Reigns on the radar, and that means a lot for a new game that consumers aren’t yet familiar with.

Aaron, thanks.

Wargaming.net Opens New Front On Consoles

Wargaming.net has acquired Day 1 Studios for $20 million. The developer of MechAssault, F.E.A.R. 3, and Fracture has been renamed Wargaming West and will focus on making console titles of some sort, and will get started on an unannounced game.

“The move into console game development is a huge step for Wargaming, as we begin to expand our presence into new platforms,” said Victor Kislyi, CEO of Wargaming. “We are looking forward to sharing the fruits of our labor soon.”

“Wargaming is a clear leader in the free-to-play space and helps set the standard on which all other games in the genre strive for,” head of Wargaming West Denny Thorley. “Our team is extremely excited to start the first console project for Wargaming.”

BioWare Co-Founder Talks Reason For Departure

BioWare co-founder Greg Zeschuk surprised the industry when he announced his intention to leave the company he’d nurtured from its infancy into a powerhouse. He noted that the simultaneous departure of his fellow co-founder Ray Muzyka was not really planned and that it seemed like a nature decision to him.

“I just felt like my passion was waning,” he said. “It’s one of those things that’s always really funny because, if you’re really grumpy, you know you go, ‘Ah, I’m just going to leave,’ and then you’re, ‘No, no, no.’ And then finally there’s this point where you know you go, ‘Hey, you know, I think it’s time to go.'”

“Everything’s a factor,” Zeschuk continued . “There’s nothing that’s not a factor, but there’s no single one thing. I think the best way I can describe [it] is: Do the same thing for twenty years and it’s very, very intense. It’s very high pressure. It’s very high stress. It’s challenging. It’s sometimes rewarding and sometimes it’s not. And you just get tired of it after awhile. That is probably the easiest way to for me to describe it. Sometimes you just need to change things.

“One of the few things I find kind of funny is the responses of the fans, because they sort of respond that they are kind of mad at us for leaving because they think we owe them more games. You know it’s sad, I wish I could deliver on that, but I don’t think I would be as good as I was in that space historically. Like I said, the fire wasn’t there.”

BioWare established itself with a number of hit licensed and original titles until it was purchased by EA in 2007. “I think one of the reasons that we survived and succeeded within EA was that our company was mature enough and there was enough good people throughout to handle the EA bear hug – something that is well meaning but vigorous,” said Zeschuk. “We needed to be strong to survive that and I think we did and you evolve from that as well.”

When asked if he would ever reconsider coming back to games, Zeschuk said, “Yeah, it’s probably not. I’m having fun doing what I’m doing, so probably not. We’ll see, but I’m not planning on it at this point for sure.”

Source: Polygon

iOS 6.1 Introduces LTE Support For New Carriers

Apple has unveiled iOS 6.1 for all iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch models featuring iOS 6.0. The main upgrade its that it allows LTE support for a brand new set of carriers for the iPhone 5.

iTunes will also now match compatibility with individual song downloads from iCloud. The 107 MB update will also include a button that will allow you to reset your Advertising Identifier and includes a set of bug fixes as well.

Source: SlashGear.com

Crytek Hires Vigil Veterans To Head Up Texas Studio

Crytek has announced that it has formed its latest studio Crytek USA Corp. in Austin, Texas. The core of the studio will be 36 former employees of Vigil Games, the studio that was not acquired in last week’s THQ auction (though Crytek did acquire the Homefront IP one of its own studios had been working on), and will be headed up by David Adams who was the Vigil general manager and is now the CEO of Crytek USA Corp.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of the newest Crytek studio, which will boast some of the brightest development talent in the industry. The studio’s launch represents Crytek’s commitment to delivering diverse and high quality content to players everywhere,” said Adams.

“Crytek has always enjoyed a special relationship with gamers and business partners in North America, so establishing a permanent presence in the US was a natural step,” said Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli. “We are extremely excited about the work that we will be undertaking from our strategic new location in Austin, with David Adams and his team of 35 experienced developers. We believe our CryEngine technology will enable the team we assemble to create unparalleled new gaming experiences.”

Kabam Revenue Grows With Shift From Social To Mobile

Kabam brought in $180 million in gross revenue in 2012, representing 70 percent year-on-year growth. This revenue is driven by hit titles like The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth and Kingdoms of Camelot and smartphone titles, which comprised over $100 million of the company’s revenue last year.

“Kabam blew past its plan in 2012,” said co-founder and CEO Kevin Chou. “At this time last year we forecast 2012 revenue to grow by 30 to 40 percent. Because of our team’s focus on strategic growth across diverse game genres and platforms, including mobile and the web, we exceeded our own expectations. We have built what is now well more than a $100 million-plus annualized mobile business in less than one year with a slate of exciting new games across multiple genres.”

Source: Gamesbeat

PS3 Instant Game Collection Bundle Out Now

Sony has announced the ‘Classic White PS3 Instant Game Collection Bundle’. Costing $299.99, it is available now with a ‘Classic White’ PS3 containing a 500GB hard drive.

The Instant Game Collection is a bundle of 12 full PS3 games and six Vita games made available to PS Plus subscribers at no further charge. These games include LittleBigPlanet 2, InFamous 2 and Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One for PS3, and Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Gravity Rush and WipeOut 2048 for PS Vita.

The Last Of Us Gets Special Editions

Sony announced two special editions for The Last of Us coming May 7, 2013. The first is the Survival Edition, featuring The Last of Us: American Dreams #1 prequel comic, The Art of The Last of Us, a full-sized hardcover art book by Dark Horse and a Steelbook edition of the game with the Sights & Sounds DLC.

The other The Last of Us special edition is the Post-Pandemic Edition. Also including the Steelbook, comic and Sights & Sounds DLC Pack of the Survival Edition, it features a 12″ Premium Statue of Joel and Ellie by Project Triforce along with the Survival DLC Pack.

The Survival Edition will retail for $79.99, the Post-Pandemic Edition will be exclusive to GameStop and be $159.99, while a standalone edition of Art of the Last of Us will go for $39.99.

Source: PlayStation Blog

Sip Statistics Infographic

Hotels.com and T.G.I.Friday’s compiled statistics on drinking in the U.S. As it turns out, the only city that doesn’t prefer a Long Island Iced Tea is the city of Austin, Texas, which likes the Margarita best.