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.

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

Playfish Co-Founder Departs Electronic Arts

Kristian Segrestrale has left Electronic Arts. His position as head of EA’s digital publishing, marketing and Origin groups will be fulfilled by Peter Moore. Segrestrale co-founded Playfish and joined EA when the company acquired Playfish for $400 million in 2009.

“Kristian has elected to return to the world of start-ups where we first met him,” wrote CEO John Riccitiello in an internal memo. “I want to thank Kristian for the vision and tireless energy that he invested to help make EA Digital what it is today: a highly-efficient and digitally-tuned operation unlike anything else in the gaming industry. Kristian’s contributions strengthened EA and we wish him well in the future.

“With the move of the EA Digital teams under Peter’s direction, he will now have responsibility for all of EA’s revenues globally – packaged goods and digital. Aligning the EA Digital groups in Peter’s organization, which already includes Global Publishing, EA Global Media Solutions, Worldwide Customer Experience and Mobile and Social Publishing, gives us greater focus on how we can use digital tools to accelerate revenue growth and improve the customer journey across all of our business.”

Source: Techcrunch

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

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.

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.


Angry Birds Toons Coming March 16

Rovio has officially announced that they will be launching a new series of cartoons based around Angry Birds. Appropriately called Angry Birds Toons, the animated adventures of bellicose birds and mischievous pigs will debut March 16.

Angry Birds Toons is an all-new animated series that throws the doors to Piggy Island wide open!” announced Rovio. “For the first time ever, you can get up close and personal with your favorite characters. Join us every week starting the weekend of March 16th for a brand new episode featuring the latest adventures of the birds and pigs!”


HTC Shows Off The One

HTC has launched the new One brand of phones. While it will run using the Android OS, it will have its own custom home screen crafted by HTC that is similar to the look of Window’s Phone called BlinkFeed.

The new One phones will ship in march via partners AT&T, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile.  The HTC One has a 4.7-inch screen, making it larger than the iPhone but smaller than some other Android phones, including HTC’s own 5-inch Droid DNA, though it has the same screen resolution as the larger phone at 1920 x 1080 pixels.

HTC One features two speakers, at the top and bottom of the screen, producing a stereo effect when the phone is used for movie viewing. Another feature is an infrared diode that lets the phone serve as a universal remote for a TV or media center.


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.”


Mass Effect 3: Citadel Final Piece of DLC

Electronic Arts has announced Mass Effect 3: Citadel, which will be the final DLC for Mass Effect 3, taking place on the giant space station of the same name. The game will also see a free Reckoning multiplayer DLC release on February 26, introducing new maps, character kits, weapons and upgrades for the game’s online component.

“The team has poured heart and soul into Mass Effect 3: Reckoning and Mass Effect 3: Citadel. As the launch of these chapters near, the feeling around the studio is bittersweet,” said Mass Effect series executive producer Casey Hudson. “We have always been humbled and driven by the passion of our fans for the Mass Effect trilogy. We hope fans will enjoy spending more time with some of their favourite characters — we have certainly enjoyed spending time creating them. We’re excited to release this final send-off for the trilogy and move forward into the future of the Mass Effect universe.”

Mass Effect 3: Citadel will be $14.99 and will launch on March 5.