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!”

Source: Rovio.com

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.”

Source: SeekingAlpha.com

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

Deus Ex Movie Won’t Rehash The Game, Says Writer

Movies and video games have had a rather rocky relationship over the years, with most games based on movies and movies based on games being considered a poor combination. Deus Ex screenwriter C. Robert Cargill says he’s approaching his movie differently than many game movies have been thought of in the past.

“The chief philosophy is we’re not making a video game movie, we’re making a cyberpunk movie,” describes Cargill. “We’ve taken a look at what’s worked in video games and what hasn’t, and really what we’ve broken down is what we think the audience really wants, [what] the audience that loves Deus Ex is going to want to see out of a Deus Ex movie. And it’s not a rehashing of the game. What they want to see is, they want to see elements of the game that they love, but they want to see things that they hadn’t quite seen in the game, that the game didn’t allow them to see.”

“So it’s really allowed us to expand upon the things that happened in the game, and the game has such a great cinematic story to begin with that those elements are very easy to extract. But really, at its core, we just keep telling each other, ‘We’re not making a video game movie, we’re making a cyberpunk movie.’ And Scott and I are such big cyberpunk fans from way back in the day that that just really charges us up. Because that’s what’s so great about Deus Ex to begin with, is it really gets cyberpunk. Eidos Montreal really understood the nature of cyberpunk and made ‘the’ cyberpunk game, and it is just fantastic, and we’ve just had a great time adapting it.”

“We’re trying to break out, and really, the mold for the movies that we’re looking at… We’re looking at movies like District 9 and Looper, and Inception,” he added. “Those are the molds of what we’ve been doing. It’s… Let’s push this and do something new with concepts people love, but tell a story that they’ve never seen before, that just melts their brain. And that is just hyperkinetic and smart and just hits all the right buttons that genre audiences want to see. That’s what we’ve gunned for. We haven’t tried to build it around Johnny Mnemonic or New Rose Hotel…”

“Cyberpunk is difficult,” notes Deus Ex director Scott Derrickson. “There’s a reason we haven’t had a great cyberpunk movie yet. There’s a reason why a sci-fi movie as great as Neuromancer has never made it to the screen. I do think there’s a new wave coming, and not just because the technology and the effects are up to speed, but I think that there’s a sensibility to cyberpunk that the movies are catching up with. That’s kind of how we feel. We feel like the science fiction, the reason why we reference Inception, Looper and District 9 was that they were all movies that took certain familiar science fiction methodologies and turned them upside-down and brought a grounded realism to them. Time travel, aliens arriving on Earth, going into the dream world… Those are all things that you’ve seen a dozen bad versions of, and it dozen decent versions of that. But no one, until those three films, no one had gone into film-making from a grounded, realistic point of view and made something with a fresh aesthetic.”

“And I think that there was a little bit of the Blade Runner curse, a little bit of the Matrix curse, where you”ve got these movies that touch on cyberpunk elements that aren’t really cyberpunk films but they are so iconic, and so insurmountable. They’re perfect films in their own ways, [but] no one has been able to break free of that, or no one has broken free of that, and tried to go at it completely fresh. I think that we’re going to see a wave of them, I predict. I think that cyberpunk is going to break out. There’s going to be a new kind of science fiction film, and it will be cyberpunk, and it will be amazing.”

The Deus Ex games have been big, incorporating numerous locations, but Derrickson thinks it’s better to have touch-points rather than scene for scene recreations. “The thing about Deus Ex, the landscape is massive. I mean, it is a big, broad, sprawling game, and look, it’s impossible to get the aesthetic of that game into a single movie,” he said. “So the key is to take some of the elements of it that are original, and that feel fresh, and that feel like the things that we haven’t been looking at for a long time, and use those. What else you need, you invent. You adapt. That’s the nature of turning a video game into a movie, is keeping the elements that are iconic and important, [that] advance the game, but also recognizing that if that’s all you do, you’ll just make another bad video game movie.”

While Cargill was apparently very skeptical of the project at first, Derrickson pointed out to him that movies based on comics were mostly bad until relatively recently. “Cargill was really skeptical, I remember that. And Cargill said, ‘Oh no, video games movies always suck.’ And I said, ‘So did comic book movies, until they didn’t. You know?’ I’m a big believer and I think Cargill is now, as well, that video games,” detailed Derrickson. “Video games and cyberpunk, I’m hoping that there will be a new wave of both, because there’s amazing source material for great films there.”

Source: CraveOnline.com

VFX Artists Want A Piece Of The Pi

About 400 protestors gathered outside the Dolby Theatre on Hollywood’s biggest night in movies, to bring awareness to Rhythm & Hues’ financial woes, the digital effects company now best known for the impressive animated tiger in Life of Pi. The company has laid off 254 people despite its Academy Award winning work on the massively successful film, which has raked in more than $110 million at the box office to-date.

The onsite protest at the Oscars came from online act of unity on Facebook, where the page VFX Solidarity International was set up a couple of weeks before the show. Now, protest organizers are looking to use Facebook to further broaden support for a call for unionization of the visual effects industry. They’ve asked colleagues and other supporters to replace their profile photos with a solid bright green image. The image symbolizes what movies would look like without special effects by mimicking a green screen.

On Twitter, congratulatory tweets directed at Life of Pi’s visual effects award have been quickly met with acerbic messages about the protest, and spawning the hashtag #VFXprotest.

Even the Wall Street Journal has joined the ruckus, creating an interactive microsite depicting scenes from serveral films as they would appear without the work of visual effects by artists.

 

The movement may have received its best call to arms from the way the Academy Awards treated winning effects supervisor Bill Westenhofer.  His acceptance speech was cut short with the theme music from Jaws as soon as he attempted to remind the audience of Rhythm & Hues’ financial difficulties. Afterwards, cameras caught actress Nicole Kidman mouthing “poor thing.” Almost immediately, appalled users on Twitter took to the hashtag #VFXprotest to comment on the snub.

Source Thinking Animantion

Sony Hires New Firm For U.S. PlayStation Media Business

Sony Computer Entertainment America announced that it has hired Carat Global to head up the company’s media business. Carat replaces Deutsch L.A., which was also relieved of its duties as SCEA’s creative agency a few weeks ago.

“All of the participating agencies presented outstanding approaches during the selection process,” said SCEAs senior vice president of PlayStation brand marketing Guy Longworth. “Carat presented an innovative model that will drive significant marketing value to SCEA, and we look forward to partnering with them. Deutsch has been an excellent partner for SCEA over the last six years, and we would like to thank them for their dedicated service to our business.”