The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Announced

CD Projekt Red has announced that they are working on The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, confirming rumors that the game was the next big title to be coming from the Polish developer. The company says this will be their final Witcher game and will combine “CD Projekt Red’s trademark decision-based storytelling flair with a living open world larger than any other in modern RPG history.”

“The captivating and non-linear story of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt takes place in a rich, truly open-world environment,” said Adam Badowski, head of the studio. “A world which is thrilling to explore, full of daring adventures, momentous quests, memorable characters, and unique monsters. Players will freely travel through woods, lakes, mountains, cities and villages. Each region is inhabited by distinct populations with their own customs, legends and problems.  The world of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is 30 times bigger than The Witcher 2.”

“Imagine playing a dark fantasy game with the same great non-linear story as in the previous Witcher titles, but now told in a world you can explore freely with no artificial boundaries. The war-ravaged world is so huge that to reach farther places you will need to ride a horse or sail a boat to get there. A world where your choices have truly epic consequences,” adds Badowski. “From the development side, this goal is extremely demanding. Our team had to make significant design changes and our tech had to be rebuilt. But we believe that this will lead to a completely new level of non-linearity and a whole new, richer gaming experience. As a gamer, I would love to play this kind of RPG, and I think this is what many players are waiting for. This is our dream come true at CD Projekt Red, and we hope it will be the same for you!” {video listed as “private”}

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will be an open world game built using the REDengine 4. It is planned for a 2014 release on “all high-end platforms.”

“People may ask if this is really going to be the last Witcher game. Yes, it is. Why? Because we believe that we should end the series on a high note. Technology has progressed to where we can finally tell the story the way we want, with the visuals we want, in the world we imagined. This will be the ultimate fantasy RPG experience, and while we’re hardly out of stories to tell, we believe it’s time for us to look to new worlds and new horizons to keep pushing the boundaries of what we can create,” Badowski continued. “For all of those who have never experienced the adventures of Geralt before, this will be their last chance. The game will be accessible all players–those who are fans of the series and those who just love RPGs–thanks to availability on all major high-end platforms and an introduction designed to smoothly introduce all those who visit the world of the Witcher for the first time.”


J.J. Abrams Working With Valve On A Movie

During the keynote for the 2013 DICE Summit, Valve president and co-founder Gabe Newell and Bad Robot Productions president and founder J.J. Abrams together delivered a presentation called “Storytelling Across Platforms: Who Benefits Most, the Audience or the Player?” The keynote demonstrated that both had mutual respect for their work in their own respective fields.

Most intriguingly Abrams announced he and Valve are working together to create either a Portal movie or a Half-Life movie. The prolific producer has a lot on his hands right now, with Star Trek Into Darkness coming out May 2013 and a Star Wars movie to concern himself with after that.


Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Footage In North Korean Video

According to reports, North Korea released a video on its official YouTube page depicting a “dream” of uniting Korea and destroying the U.S. Notable to the gaming sphere, the video includes images taken from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

The subtitles for the video read in part, “Somewhere in the United States, black clouds of smoke are billowing. It seems that the nest of wickedness is ablaze with the fire started by itself.”While the original video went offline after a complaint by Activision (and appears to have been removed completely by the North Korean government) there are still copies of the video on YouTube. Watch the above embedded video to see the whole bizarre display, which includes an instrumental version of the 1985 charity single We Are The World.


Samsung, Chillingo Found 100% Indie

Chillingo has announced a new partnership with Samsung in the form of a portal called 100% Indie. From the day the site launches on March 4, developers will receive 100 percent revenue until September 3, then 90 percent until March 3, 2014, 80 percent revenue until March 3, 2015, and after that receive 70 percent of the revenue.

“Among the exciting things that 100% Indie will offer is a brand new way to connect with industry leader Samsung and earn unparalleled revenue share opportunities,” wrote Chillingo founders Joe Wee and Chris Byatte. “100 percent Indie allows developers to tap into the phenomenal growth that Samsung is experiencing. Publishing games on Samsung Apps through this initiative will provide developers with the most competitive pre-negotiated revenue share in the industry. Developers who join the program in the first six months will receive 100 percent revenue for their title, and are guaranteed higher than standard revenue share rates until March 2015.”


Epic Music On Eight Floppy Drives

People have found ways to turn out music on all sorts of things, including floppy disc drives! Here are a few of the highlights for things like the themes to James Bond, Skyrim, and Game of Thrones but the musician who did this has done many more.


Super Bowl Blackout Had Advertisers Worried

Super Bowl XLVII will go down in history not just because it was an exciting game, but because of the blackout that halted play for over a half hour.  It also concerned executives at CBS who were worried that advertising commitments might not be met.

CBS chose to run promos for their own shows during the break and reran a commercial break containing ads from Bud Light and Subway once play resumed. There was concern that ratings for the back half of the game could be threatened, and if so, push some advertisers to seek compensation.

Worries likely lessened, since the game became close and finished 34-31 with the Ravens coming out on top. Still, the interruption disrupted the momentum of sponsors like Coca-Cola, which was airing the second part of an ad first shown in the second quarter during the post game.

Some of the more clever advertisers took advantage of the blackout on social media, where there was plenty of chatter. Audi tweeted that it was “sending some LEDS to the @MBUSA Superdome right now” while Oreo posted a picture on Twitter telling users how the cookie was fun to dunk in the dark and Procter & Gamble’s Tide tweeted, “We can’t get your #blackout, but we can get your stains out.”

It isn’t immediately clear what recourse advertisers might have, if any. CBS is likely contractually obligated to air their commercials at a specific point in the game — and it continued to do just that as game play resumed. What’s more, a network doesn’t have an easy way to provide a “make good,” or extra ad inventory provided to make up for a ratings shortfall, simply because the ratings for the Super Bowl are so outsize that the network would have to run a sponsor’s ads again and again across its regular schedule to cobble together a similar viewership.

“Immediately after the power failure in the Superdome, we lost numerous cameras and some audio powered by sources in the Superdome,” said CBS Sports spokeswoman Jen Sabatelle. “We utilized CBS’s back-up power and at no time did we leave the air. During the interruption, CBS Sports’ Steve Tasker, Solomon Wilcots and our studio team reported on the situation as a breaking news story, providing updates and reports while full power was being restored to the dome including our sets and broadcast booth.”

Coca-Cola was more worried that #CokeChase tied into their was trending nationally before the blackout, but fell off afterwards. “The blackout is not our conversation to have,” said Laura Houghton, senior social-media manager at Coca-Cola.

However, things looked up for Coca-Cola as ratings soared late. By the beginning of the fourth quarter, the brand had reached 7.5 million interactions.


Borderlands 2 Sells Almost 6 Million Units

Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick revealed that Borderlands 2 has sold almost 6 million units. The company’s digital revenue in the third fiscal quarter (led by Borderlands 2) was up 244 percent year-on-year, accounting for 23 percent of the company’s total revenue.

Borderlands 2 continues to expand its audience and remains on pace to become the highest selling title in 2K’s history,” Zelnick said. “It has also been the largest contributor to our digitally delivered revenue this year, driven both by strong sales of full-game downloads and high attach rates for the titles out on content, especially the Borderlands 2 season pass.”

“Does that mean that these games will transition into a situation where you are constantly putting out new episodes and that bridges you from release to release?” he added. “We don’t see the business shaping up that way, but it does mean that the life cycle is extended greatly and we’ll continue to experiment with what this means creatively for consumers.”

Zynga Halves Losses In 2012 Compared To 2011

Zynga has announced that it’s full year revenue was up 12 percent to $1.28 billion with a net loss of $209 million, still only about half of 2011’s net loss of $404 million. The number of daily active users and monthly active users increased year-over-year to 56 million and 298 million respectively during the fourth quarter, but were ultimately down compared to Q3 2012.

“The biggest highlight of the quarter was seeing our team deliver a successful sequel in FarmVille 2, a next generation social game that offers cutting edge 3-D experiences loved by millions of FarmVille fans,” said Zynga CEO Mark Pincus. “In 2013 we’re excited to bring this new class of social games to mobile phones and tablets and build a network that offers an easier, better way for people to play together.”

The company also announced plans to shut down CityVille 2, The Friend Game, and the mobile game Party Place. Zynga chief operating officer David Ko says that the company is establishing new parameters to allow managers to shut-down under-performing titles earlier than was previously possible.

Source: {link no longer active}

Dell Bought Out For $24.4 Billion

Dell has been bought out for $24.4 billion by a group that includes Silver Lake, Microsoft and founder Michael Dell. With the PC market shrinking in recent months, this new effort to make Dell private will likely precede efforts to focus on tablets and other segments of the market which are growing.

“Microsoft has provided a $2 billion loan to the group that has proposed to take Dell private,” said Microsoft in a statement. “Microsoft is committed to the long term success of the entire PC ecosystem and invests heavily in a variety of ways to build that ecosystem for the future. We’re in an industry that is constantly evolving. As always, we will continue to look for opportunities to support partners who are committed to innovating and driving business for their devices and services built on the Microsoft platform.”