Paradox Interactive Forums Hit 500,000 Subscribers

Paradox Interactive has announced that it has reached over 500,000 subscribers worldwide to its official forums. To celebrate this milestone, five lucky forum subscribers will be awarded every game that Paradox publishes and will ever publish in the future, with every subscriber receiving a special thanks.

“Since the early years when our fans would get together and compare battle plans for our grand strategy games, our community has been defined by their passion,” said Fredrik Wester, CEO of Paradox Interactive. “We got our start in strategy and those games continue to drive forum conversations, whether they’re tearing us apart because of a few historical liberties taken in Crusader Kings, or telling us they can’t wait for some of our newer action titles like Dungeonland or The Showdown Effect. Our sincere thanks to all 500,000 of you loyal lunatics.”

Paradox is also launching an all-new web-based game store. As part of the launch of the new online storefront is a 55 percent discount on several selections from Paradox’s catalog.

Jason Rubin Reflects On THQ Auction

The THQ auction has happened, and many of the choice assets and studios of the company have been sold off to different parties. Reflecting on the event, THQ president Jason Rubin thinks that the company was a victim of larger market forces that made it difficult to pull up from its downward plunge.

“I believe that in the near future, digital distribution and alternate business models will bring a greater percentage of dollars spent on games back to the publisher/developer,” said Rubin. “Based on that change, in a few years, a THQ would be able to survive, and larger publishers will be even more profitable. But the next few years of transition are going to be incredibly challenging for all AAA game companies.”

Rubin also feels like the auction failed to reflect the true value of the IP and studios sold, and is particularly upset with the situation at Vigil. “The price that the teams and products ‘went for’ at auction seem to me to have no bearing on the underlying value,” Rubin said. “If someone tries to judge the quality of the products by the price paid for them they are doing themselves no favor.”

“I failed to find Vigil a home. Having just finished a product, Vigil was farthest from release of their next game, and we were not able to garner any interest from buyers, despite a herculean effort. Additionally, they were working on a new IP, which meant even more risk for a buyer,” added Rubin, noting that Vigil’s title was codenamed Crawler. “When the teams got together recently to show each other their titles, Crawler dropped the most jaws. It is a fantastic idea, and truly unique. The fact that nobody bid for the team and title is a travesty. It makes no sense to me. If I weren’t barred from bidding as an insider, I would have been there with my checkbook. I’m sure that’s little consolation to the team, but that’s a fact.”


Twitter Debuts A New Way To Share Video

Twitter has acquired mobile video app Vine and is now enabling users on iOS devices to capture and send short looping videos through their Twitter streams. Vine videos can be as long as six seconds, include audio, and have the same visual fidelity as the video camera on the iPhone and iPad. Users will be able to follow other Vine users’ clips and discover content from users independently from Twitter, similar to what Instagram is doing now that it’s part of Facebook.

Vine’s blog said of its integration into Twitter, “We want to make it easier for people to come together to share and discover what’s happening in the world. We also believe constraint inspires creativity, whether it’s through a 140-character tweet or a six-second video.”




Vine has potential to become a vital vehicle for marketers and brands, as a new way to share brand stories with consumers. It wouldn’t be surprising if the brief videos become a new video ad format, giving Twitter a visual vehicle to sell to advertisers and enhance its current offerings such as promoted tweets. That’s another similarity between what Vine brings Twitter and what Instagram has done for Facebook. The Vine app is currently in the App Store.

What do you think, will Vine give Twitter a marketing tool as impactful as what Instagram brought Facebook  We’d love to see your comments below. 

Sources: Twitter and Vine

Trion Publishing ArcheAge In The West

Trion Worlds has announced that it will publish the XLGames’ ArcheAge in the West. The game will be hosted on Trion’s Red Door platform in North America, Europe, Turkey, Australia and New Zealand.

“We’re thrilled to be working with Trion Worlds, a company who is setting a new standard for gaming by embracing original, high-quality IPs on a dynamic connected platform,” said Jake Song, CEO and founder of XLGames. “We are impressed with Trion’s track record as they have consistently delivered against an unwavering vision; we are confident partnering with Trion will help bring ArcheAge a successful game that satisfies audience both in East and West.”

“We’re very impressed with ArcheAge, and the level of anticipation for the game is absolutely astonishing,” said Dr. Lars Buttler, CEO and founder of Trion Worlds. “We are very proud of the catalog of world-class games we will be offering through Red Door. Now, with ArcheAge, we are bringing the best in Asia onto our platform.”

For more information on ArcheAge, please visit

Sony Network Entertainment Web Store Launches In U.S.

Sony Network Entertainment and Sony Computer Entertainment America announced the launch of the new online store outside of Europe. This new online storefront lets users in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Brazil purchase content for the PS3 and PS Vita from the web.

“The new online store features rich product pages that offer an easy way to browse the store’s integrated catalog, which offers millions of pieces of game-related content — including downloadable games, add-ons and themes, as well as movies and TV shows,” reads the official announcement. “With an unprecedented amount of content now available in the PS Store, the online store delivers a convenient and visually compelling destination for users to access, discover and enjoy digital entertainment.”

“The launch of the online store follows the recent release of the new PS Store for the PS3 system and is part of an on-going initiative of redesigning the various device user experiences,” continued the release. “Sony Entertainment Network will continue to update the PlayStation Store and online store with new features that improve usability and convenience for finding, purchasing and accessing content. For example, users of the new online store can look forward to the future addition of advanced recommendation functionality and automatic remote download of purchased content, as well as mobile phone and tablet browsing.”

Check out the new online store at

Journey Receives Most Game Developers Choice Award Nominations

The finalists for the 13th annual Game Developers Choice Awards have been announced. Thatgamecompany’s Journey has the most nominations at six, followed by Arkane Studios’ Dishonored with four.

The full list of nominees is below:

Best Audio

Journey (Thatgamecompany/Sony Computer Entertainment)

Hotline Miami (Dennaton Games/Devolver Digital)

Sound Shapes (Queasy Games/Sony Computer Entertainment)

Assassin’s Creed III (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)

Halo 4 (343 Industries/Microsoft Studios)


Best Debut

Humble Hearts (Dust: An Elysian Tail)

Polytron Corporation (Fez)

Giant Sparrow (The Unfinished Swan)

Subset Games (FTL: Faster Than Light)

Fireproof Games (The Room)


Best Game Design

Dishonored (Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks)

Mark Of The Ninja (Klei Entertainment/Microsoft Studios)

Spelunky (Derek Yu/Andy Hull)

Journey (Thatgamecompany/Sony Computer Entertainment)

XCOM: Enemy Unknown (Firaxis Games/2K Games)


Best Downloadable Game

The Walking Dead (Telltale Games)

Spelunky (Derek Yu/Andy Hull)

Trials: Evolution (RedLynx/Microsoft Studios)

Mark Of The Ninja (Klei Entertainment/Microsoft Studios)

Journey (Thatgamecompany/Sony Computer Entertainment)


Best Technology

Far Cry 3 (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)

PlanetSide 2 (Sony Online Entertainment)

Halo 4 (343 Industries/Microsoft Studios)

Call of Duty: Black Ops II (Treyarch/Activision)

Assassin’s Creed III (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)


Best Handheld/Mobile Game

Gravity Rush (SCE Japan Studio/Sony Computer Entertainment)

Hero Academy (Robot Entertainment)

Sound Shapes (Queasy Games/Sony Computer Entertainment)

The Room (Fireproof Games)

Kid Icarus: Uprising (Sora/Nintendo)


Best Narrative

Spec Ops: The Line (Yager Entertainment/2K Games)

Mass Effect 3 (BioWare/Electronic Arts)

Dishonored (Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks)

The Walking Dead (Telltale Games)

Virtue’s Last Reward (Chunsoft/Aksys Games)


Best Visual Arts

Borderlands 2 (Gearbox Software/2K Games)

Journey (Thatgamecompany/Sony Computer Entertainment)

Far Cry 3 (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)

Dishonored (Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks)

Halo 4 (343 Industries/Microsoft Studios)



Mark of the Ninja (Klei Entertainment/Microsoft Studios)

Journey (Thatgamecompany/Sony Computer Entertainment)

FTL: Faster Than Light (Subset Games)

The Unfinished Swan (Giant Sparrow/Sony Computer Entertainment)

ZombiU (Ubisoft Montpellier/Ubisoft)


Game of the Year

Dishonored (Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks)

The Walking Dead (Telltale Games)

Mass Effect 3 (BioWare/Electronic Arts)

XCOM: Enemy Unknown (Firaxis Games/2K Games)

Journey (Thatgamecompany/Sony Computer Entertainment)


The winners of the Pioneer, Ambassador and Lifetime Achievement awards will be announced in the future, while the Audience Award will open to an online vote in February. The winners for the awards will be revealed at the award ceremony on March 27 at the Moscone Convention Center during the 2013 Game Developers Conference.

Bing Boosts Facebook Content

Bing revealed new social functionalities to its search engine last week that continue the saga of social to search integration, and vice versa. Following Facebook’s rollout of Graph Search, five times more of users’ Facebook friend information is now searchable on Microsoft’s search engine. In addition to the photos users could already see in previous versions, Bing will now show results that include status updates, shared links, and comments from users’ Facebook friends.

Whenever Bing’s algorithms detect a query where a Facebook update or a shared link could be useful, it will retrieve the content and put it into the sidebar. It’s a personal touch, and the experience can enrich what might otherwise be a mundane search and retrieve exercise.

Bing said in a statement, “Search is great at retrieving information from across the web to help you find what you’re looking for and get more done. But, more often than not, we look to the people we trust to help us make decisions and get stuff done.”

The announcement came two days after Facebook announced Graph Search, a product that in essence is still being tested. For now it seems that Graph Search is generating more humor than real life application. But Bing’s social integration is not in beta, already available in the US.

With the increase of personal content from Facebook, Microsoft assured users.

“Bing also puts you in control of your search experience,” it said in a statement. “We honor all of your existing Facebook privacy settings, nothing is shared automatically, and you only see what your friends give you permission to see so you only share what you want to share.”

Bing will continue to highlight content from Twitter, Quora, foursquare and other social networks, but for now its main focus seems to be Facebook.

Source: Bing

Exclusive: Players First In PlanetSide 2

Sony Online Entertainment is out to make PlanetSide 2 their next big MMO, and the mindset for the way the company is marketing the free-to-play shooter is emblematic of the game itself. In the game, three empires battle it out for domination of a planet. That kind of undertaking needs bodies, lots of them. It’s why Sony Online is laser focused on nurturing its community. It wants to encourage players to share their experiences, build loyalties, and be vigilant about luring in new people.

“Our marketing strategy from day one, the tenet for the whole things was the player is the advocate,” says Laura Naviaux, Sony Online’s senior VP of sales and marketing.

An example of that thinking is the Ultimate Empire Showdown, Sony Online’s biggest post launch effort to-date. The company worked with Ayzenberg to enlist popular YouTube stars SeaNanners, TotalBiscuit and LevelCap to each represent an empire in the game. They then launched a campaign geared to both new and existing players, recruiting people to fight for their side through their YouTube channels and social communities.

In a series of exclusive interviews for [a]list daily, Naviaux talks about the marketing strategy behind PlanetSide 2. In part 1, she highlights the Ultimate Empire Showdown and how development and marketing teams came together to carry out the player-centric campaign.

The Ultimate Empire Showdown culminates with a live event bringing together the YouTube stars and their online mercenaries.  It takes place in Los Angeles tomorrow night, with a limited number of tickets available onsite. It will also be live-streamed on TwitchTV.

Clive Owen For Three Olives: The London Vodka

The ad for Three Olives is evocative of a new generation of ads for spirits. It’s about image, with Clive Owen being as much a prop as an actor in the dialog-free piece, and there’s an atmosphere evocative of something like a James Bond film (though there’s enough differences that Three Olives is free from any litigation).

Gears Of War: Judgment – The Guts Of Gears

Gears of War: Judgment has a variety of new campaign features including a Smart Spawn System, new weapons, dynamic defense scenarios, Declassified Missions, and new player rewards. Leading us through these features is none other than Lt. Baird himself.