Harrison Ford Returns As Han Solo In Star Wars: Episode VII

Reports are that Harrison Ford has signed on for Star Wars: Episode VII. He will reprise his role as Han Solo, which despite some rumors, he was actually open to revisiting.

While Ford is now 70 years-old, he recently starred in the action film Cowboys & Aliens. 2013 will be a busy year for Ford, as he’s set to appear Ender’s Game, 42 and Paranoia.

Star Wars: Episode VII is scheduled for release in 2015. J.J. Abrams will direct the film, and the screenplay will be done by Michael Arndt.

Source: Latino Review

Sandy Hook Arcade Center Opening In Newtown

Andrew Clure and Scott Ciccari of Newtown are opening the Sandy Hook Arcade Center to help bring families together in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting during December 2012. The venture is a non-profit supported by donations and the efforts of volunteers, with entrance fees covered between operating the arcade and the Newtown community.

“The core value of Newtown has always been family and in this time we find comfort in being together, neighbor to neighbor,” a statement on the arcade’s website reads. “With that thought in mind we want to draw on our passion and experience to build the Sandy Hook Arcade Center for the children and families.”

The arcade also serves to put a positive face on a situation where many accused violent video games of sharing some of the blame for the shooting. The investigation into the incident is still ongoing by law enforcement.

Source: Polygon

President Obama Wants Educators To Engage Kids With Video Games

President Barrack Obama recently said that video games and the Internet are important to popular culture, and therefore should be integrated into high-school education more. He wants more computer programming courses where children create programs, apps and games.

“Part of what I’m trying to do here is make sure that we’re working with high schools and school districts all across the country to make the high school experience relevant for young people, not all of whom are going to get four year college degree or advanced degree,” said President Obama. “Given how pervasive computers and the Internet is now and how integral it is in our economy and how fascinated kids are with it, I want to make sure that they know how to actually produce stuff using computers and not simply consume stuff.”

“And there are a whole bunch of young people out there I suspect who, if in high school are given the opportunity to figure out ‘here’s how you can design your own games’, but it requires you to know math, and it requires you to know science, or ‘here’s what a career in graphic design looks like’. We’re going to start setting those programs in our high schools, not waiting to go to community college,” he added.

Source: Google+ Hangout

Exclusive: Marketing Award Jury Announced

The jury has been announced for the upcoming Game Connection Marketing Awards sponsored by [a]list.  The lineup of judges represents a cross-section of the industry, bringing together senior folks from publishers, first-party, game press, indie development and digital games.

As one of the judges, Richard Iggo has been more accustomed to receiving awards this year than helping dish them out.  Iggo heads marketing on Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead, a multiple award winner that took home game of the year at Spike VGA and downloadable game of the year at the DICE awards. Other members of the jury are no stranger to awards.  The judging process shields all members from voting on any submissions from their own organizations.

“Videogame marketers are behind the most effective and innovative campaigns in the entertainment industry, often driven to incredible feats of creative ingenuity by unparalleled competition,” said Iggo after joining the jury. “These awards recognize the talent behind the campaigns we see that continually drive our craft to new heights.”

Stephanie Johnson has been heading marketing on hugely popular franchises for Warner Bros., including Harry Potter and LEGO Batman.  On being selected, Johnson said, “Recognizing the first-class campaigns that the game industry creates is something that I not only look forward to supporting as a judge, but just viewing as a gaming enthusiast.”

Microsoft’s Taylor Smith channeled his passion for Xbox, giving this statement on his selection to the jury: “It takes a gamer and a marketer to pull the cheevos out of the games themselves, and pull them into the marketing.”

Game Connection is accepting submissions now through February 22.  There is no fee to enter or accept trophies, meaning game publishers and developers of all stripes have an opportunity for marketing “cheevos” (a.k.a. achievements) without having to put up hundreds of dollars.

The Game Connection Marketing Awards 2013 jury is made up of the following members:

Carlson Choi, VP Marketing, Namco Bandai

Colin Cupp, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Mochi Media

Richard Iggo, Senior Director of Marketing, Telltale Games

Stephanie Johnson, Director of Marketing, Warner Bros.

Rupert Loman, Founder, Eurogamer

Tim Pivnicny, VP Sales and Marketing, ATLUS Games

Alexandre Scriabine, Acquisition Manager, EA

Taylor Smith, Senior Director, Xbox Global Marketing Communications, Microsoft

Source: Game Connection Marketing Awards

Die, Drive And Play Hard

Two games have been released to help promote A Good Day to Die Hard.  The first is a mobile game for iOS, Google Play and soon-to-be Kindle Fire.

Yippee-ki-yay! Welcome to Russia: are you ready to battle ruthless mobsters, elite commandos and shadowy politicians

Play as Jack McClane, the son of New York City’s most famous cop, legendary John McClane. Prove that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree — blast your way out of Moscow’s mean streets and travel to the radioactive wasteland of Chernobyl, where you’ll have to overcome incredible odds to save the world from nuclear terrorism.

Combining the best of the “endless runner” genre with non-stop first-person shooter action, you now have the ability to play through one of the most popular action-movie franchises in film history! Keep moving and stay alive as long as you can!

In the film, over 132 cars were destroyed in one epic car chase which has Bruce Willis in Russia riding a Mercedes G Class SUV roughshod over cars in traffic chasing Russian bad guys.  Sponsored by Mercedes-Benz, you can Drive Hard and help find the codes to disarm a nuclear missle.




Next-Gen PlayStation Controller Pics Posted

A pair of pictures from dev kit for the new PlayStation have been posted online, with unnamed sources confirming their genuine nature. The biggest difference between these controllers and the DualShock 3 is a touchpad in the center.

It is also believed that there is a panel above the touch pad which lights up, giving the controller motion-sensing abilities like the Move. Other differences include an embedded speaker, a headset jack, and a contoured top for both analog sticks.

Source: Destructoid.com

Aquaman Rises

Warner Bros. lifted the lid off of another superhero in Injustice: Gods Among Us, revealing Aquaman in this trailer produced by Ayzenberg.

The backdrop for the fighting game is a dystopian vision of DC Comics’ universe, and it looks like Aquaman falls among the ranks of disillusioned superheroes.  But he can still call in sharks against foes, and apparently he can summon perfect head high waves on demand.  Life can’t be all that bad.

Now that he’s surfaced as a hero in the game, Aquaman joins Warner Bros. and Ayzneberg’s “Injustice Battle Arena” [link inactive] tournament. Aquaman faces Cyborg in one of the Super Fight 3 matches [link inactive] being decided by fans now through February 22.  Green Lantern takes on Solomon Grundy in the second match.Results are out for Super Fight 1 [link inactive] matches featuring Batman vs. Bane and Wonder Woman vs. Harley Quinn, and Super Fight 2 [link inactive] matches with Flash vs. Shazam and Joker vs. Lex Luthor.

Marketing Awards Deadline Extended

The Game Connection Marketing Awards have extended the deadline for entries to February 22.

Submissions are entirely digital and free to enter, requiring short campaign descriptions and uploaded assets.  As the organizers spelled out in a recent interview with [a]list, which is sponsoring the awards, the decision to forego fees is to encourage submissions from independent developers and self-publishers.

So what are you waiting for?  Enter now!



The Turret Anthem

Zachariah Scott spent six months toiling in Source Filmmaker and produced this magnificent music video. It’s wonderfully orchestrated and matches the tune of the voice of GlaDOS.