New York Times Rechristening Its European Paper

The New York Times Company announced that it is renaming The International Herald Tribune, its 125-year-old newspaper based in Paris. This fall, it will be rechristened The International New York Times, accompanied by a redesigned web site for international audiences, showing a focus on the brand of its New York Times newspaper.

“This recognizes our global reach and is an exciting and logical move,” said Jill Abramson, the executive editor of The New York Times.

“The digital revolution has turned The New York Times from being a great American newspaper to becoming one of the world’s best-known news providers,” added Mark Thompson, president and chief executive of The New York Times Company. “We want to exploit that opportunity.”

Source: New York Times

BioShock Infinite Gets Season Pass

2K Games and Irrational Games have announced that there will be a Season Pass for BioShock Infinite. Buying the pass will secure $30.00 worth of add-on content for $19.99.

The season pass will incorporate three all-new add-on packs with hours of additional content, featuring “new stories, characters, abilities and weapons.” Those who purchase the BioShock Infinite Season Pass will also receive the Early Bird Special Pack featuring four pieces of exclusive gear, a Machine Gun Damage Upgrade, a Pistol Damage Upgrade, a gold skin for both weapons and five Infusion bottles to improve their health, shield durability or their ability to use Vigors.

Those who pre-order BioShock Infinite will receive the Industrial Revolution Pack for free. Along with three pieces of in-game gear $500 bonus to in-game currency, and five lock picks, players will also have access to the Industrial Revolution puzzle game, which unlocks stories of Columbia and allows players to pledge their allegiance to the Vox Populi or Founders through Facebook.

Superman Is Fighting

The fan-driven fight tournament for Injustice: Gods Among Us has moved into round 4, with Superman fighting Sinestro and Green Arrow taking on Hawkgirl.  The campaign dubbed “Injustice Battle Arena” is developed by Warner Bros. and Ayzenberg.  It asks fans to vote on the outcome of fights in a bracket tournament pitting superheroes and super villains against one another.  The champion will be decided in April.

For each round, celebrities with comic cred weigh in on who should win.  Here George Newbern, voice of Cartoon Network’s Superman, picks his fight favorite.  It’s Superman.


Need For Speed Most Wanted – Deluxe DLC Bundle

The acclaimed Need for Speed Most Wanted is seeing three unique downloadable content (DLC) packs. This includes the “Terminal Velocity” world expansion with Hughes International Airport, “Movie Legends” featuring legendary classics from action movies, and “NFS Heroes” featuring the most heroic rides from Need for Speed franchise history.


Gowe — Aurora Music Video

Rapper Gowe (GiftedOnWestEast) mixed in elements of his youth with his approach to music for this epic game and anime themed music video! Along with references to games like Space Invaders, Xenoblade, Metal Slug and Double Dragon, there’s also nods to anime like Cowboy Bebop and Neon Genesis Evangelion.


Zynga Boston Vets Form Proletariat Inc.

Proletariat Inc. has been founded by Zynga Boston veterans, a studio that was was closed in October 2012 with the game Indiana Jones Adventure World following shortly thereafter. The studio will be headed up by CEO Seth Sivak, art director Damon Iannuzzelli, chief technology officer Dan Ogles, chief creative officer Jesse Kurlancheek and director of engineering Joe Mukai.

“We have all known each other and worked with one another for so long that we’ve developed an organic way of making games together,” said Sivak. “We all want to make successful games, both creatively and as a business. This team has been on both sides and knows how to find that balance. Building games is all about navigating the chaotic process of discovering ‘The Fun’ and then performing a disciplined march to a polished, final product. That process is important to us.”

The studio’s first game will be Letter Rush for iOS, described as being a fast-paced word-find game.

Uncharted 3 Multiplayer Goes Free-To-Play

Sony announced that it is making the multiplayer for Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception free-to-play. It will be free up until Level 15, at which time your save experience will accrue until you raise the Level Cap to 25 for $4.99 or remove the Level Cap restrictions for $19.99; the Co-op Arena will be $9.99 and Co-op Adventure will be $11.99.

“To date, more than 3.5 million people have played in over 37 million matches of Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception Multiplayer,” writes Eric Monacelli, Community Strategist at Naughty Dog. “All Free-to-Play players will become a part of this same player pool of over a half a million passionate players actively playing our game every month. So if you haven’t tried yet, you have no excuse to not be playing one of the most exciting multiplayer experiences on the PS3 — it’s free! Join the adventure starting today.”


An Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception Deception Game of the Year Edition will also launch for $39.99 in the in-game store, that includes the single player with all 12 DLC maps, all Co-Op multiplayer modes, and over 40 character skins. Long time players will receive a custom Naughty Dog Paw on their rank icon and get the Naughty Dog Paw shirt for custom characters.Source: PlayStation Blog

EA Looks To Microtransactions Moving Forward

Dead Space 3 had microtransactions built in for its crafting system in the game’s single-player mode. The addition was somewhat unprecedented, and hints at what the company will seek to do going forward, according to CFO Blake Jorgensen.

“The next and much bigger piece [of the business] is microtransactions within games,” he revealed. “We’re building into all of our games the ability to pay for things along the way, either to get to a higher level to buy a new character, to buy a truck, a gun, whatever it might be, and consumers are enjoying and embracing that way of the business.”

“We’ve got to have a very strong back-end to make sure that we can operate a business like that. If you’re doing microtransactions and you’re processing credit cards for every one of those microtransactions, you’ll get eaten alive,” he added. “And so Rajat’s [Taneja, EA Global CTO] team has built an amazing back-end to be able to manage that and manage it much more profitably. We’ve outsourced a lot of that stuff, historically. We’re bringing that all in-house now.”

Jorgensen also spoke to the theory that the company wasn’t as interested in the PS4. “At the end of the day, we’re very excited about Sony’s platform. We think there’s a huge opportunity. It’s great, as Rajat said, the technical power on the platform is going to allow us to do a substantial amount of things that we’ve never done before. I’ve seen the new Battlefield and it is stunning.”

Additionally, Jorgensen denied that EA was down on Sony’s heavy focus on downloads. “At the end of the day, we do think there’s going to be more digital business and digital download business. But a lot of it will depend on when we release titles, when Sony and Microsoft choose to release titles. And in no way do we want to see the retail channel disappear. We think that’s an important part of the overall industry and we want to keep that a vibrant channel for us long term as well. So it’s balancing all of those. But without a doubt, you’re going to see more digital business and particularly more digital components of the gameplay allowed because the ease of it will be much better and the storage capability better.”


Oreo Dunks Into YouTube

As part of Oreo’s Cookie vs. Creme campaign, {link no longer active} Nabisco is expanding its cookie line’s social media presence with a high profile effort on YouTube.

The brand deemed the “darling of social media” after recent successes, including a winning Super Bowl effort, has shown its marketing team understands social and how to keep consumers engaged online. Oreo has an impressive 32 million fans on Facebook spanning across 200 countries, and more than 76,000 Twitter followers.

Even more impressive is Oreo’s Instagram presence.  It launched a brand page on the photo sharing site less than a month ago with the campaign, Are you cookie? Or are you creme?”, asking people to vote their favorite by Super Bowl Sunday.  The campaign, along with a quick-witted, agile approach to posts relevant to real-time events at the Super Bowl, spiked its Instagram followers from 2,200 to 87,000 people.  Now it’s using that same cookie or creme theme to spearhead a new YouTube video series.

Oreo will feature videos on YouTube over the next two weeks showing different ways to snack on the cookies. The first video {link no longer active} sets a high bar.  Physicist David Neevel, who apparently prefers the cookie to the creme, highlights how he has a motorized wood-and-aluminum robot that can use a hatchet blade to slices off his least favorite part.

Speaking to Mashable, Oreo Brand Director Janda Lukin commented on the campaign, “We know Oreo fans use their hands to separate the cookie from the creme, but wanted to take this ritual one step further by creating a device that does it for you.”

Is Oreo poised for another social media win with this YouTube campaign  Share your comments below!

Source: Mashable

Samsung Galaxy S IV Launching On March 14

Samsung Electronics has announced that it will launch the Galaxy S IV on March 14 in New York. The company will have a heavy amount of advertisements for the device and plenty of knocks on Apple and its fandom.

“We introduced the Galaxy S III in London last year, and this time we changed the venue (to New York)… as we were bombarded with requests from U.S. mobile carriers to unveil the Galaxy S IV in the country,” Samsung Electronics’ mobile division chief JK Shin was quoted as saying on the Edaily news website.

Samsung Electronics unveiled its first Galaxy S during the CTIA mobile trade show in the United States in 2010, followed by the Galaxy S II at the MWC fair in Spain in 2011 and the Galaxy S III in London last year.