Telltale Games’ Poker Night 2 — Launch Trailer

Meet the cast from Poker Night 2: Claptrap from Borderlands, Sam from Sam & Max, Ash Williams from the Evil Dead franchise, and Brock Samson from Venture Bros. Compete to win the items like exclusive skins and heads for use in Borderlands 2, character accessories for the Steam version of Team Fortress 2, Xbox 360 Avatar items, and Premium Themes for PS3.

 

Microsoft Rolling Out ‘Big Sports Weekend’ On Xbox Live

Microsoft announced that it will be holding a “Big Sports Weekend” event for all Xbox Live members. This will grant access to a number of sports apps during until the end of Sunday, April 28.

The ESPN app will grant full coverage of the NFL draft, the MLB.TV app will offer over 50 free MLB games, and NHL GameCenter will offer highlights, recaps, and clips of the latest hockey action. NBA Game Time will have highlights and recaps of first round coverage of the NBA Playoffs throughout the weekend and the UFC app has seven fight stories for UFC 159 and the matchup of Jones vs. Sonnen for free (though the match itself will not be free).

Grim Reaper Comes For Death Inc. Developer

Ambient Studios has announced that it will be closing its doors. The company had been trying to raise money via a paid alpha for its game Death Inc. after missing its Kickstarter goals.

“Hi all. It’s time for a sad announcement: Ambient is shutting its doors. It’s been an amazing ride and we’ve produced some amazing products like Monster Meltdown and Death Inc,” reads the statement. “We’re super proud of what we achieved, but ultimately we didn’t manage to make enough money to keep the wolves from the door. And so we had to make the difficult decision that it is no longer feasible for Ambient to continue operating. Thank you so much for all your support and encouragement along the way, we’ve got no regrets and have loved every minute of it.”

“Obviously we cannot deliver on the commitments we made in the various Death Inc. alpha tiers. If you’re one of the alpha backers, don’t worry – we will be issuing full refunds so you will not be in any way out of pocket,” the company adds.

Source: AmbientStudios.co.uk {link no longer active}

Barry Sanders Wins Madden Cover Draft

The conclusion of this year’s Madden cover vote was recently covered on SportsNation on ESPN2. In the finale, Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders beat out current NFL MVP Adrian Peterson.

Sanders won by netting 58 percent of the more than 700,000 votes cast on the final matchup. There were 40 million votes tallied throughout the entire competition.

“Congrats to my guy Barry Sanders for winning the 2013 Madden Cover! Any other guy to take me down… it would’ve been a problem! Salute,” tweeted Peterson.

This year marks the 25th edition Madden, so EA wanted users to vote on both legends of the past and current players.  During the voting Sanders had victories over newly retired Ray Lewis and fellow Hall of Famers Joe Montana and Jerry Rice.

This marks the second straight year with a Detroit Lion on the cover, after wide receiver Calvin Johnson won last year’s competition. Sanders previously appeared on the Madden NFL 2000 cover.

Source: ESPN.com

Easter Eggs In Facebook Photos

By Elena Zanone

Marketers just scored a powerful new way to engage their Facebook audiences through interactive images. The free interactive tech is courtesy of ThingLink, which integrated with Twitter earlier this year.

ThingLink’s platform allows publishers to embed content such as music, video, sound, site links and text inside Facebook images. The aesthetic and functionality is similar to YouTube video annotations.

When users hover over an image they can experience a menu of content. It’s an appealing draw for brands and advertisers on Facebook, where they can add loads of content that can be consumed without ever having to leave Facebook Timeline. It can certainly help a brand cram a lot of information into a single impression.

“Images are becoming forums for conversation and discovery that include sharing, touching, commenting, and remixing rich media content created by others,” said ThingLink CEO Ulla Engeström. “ThingLink is now enabling a new kind of discovery experience on Facebook Timeline that evokes emotion and brings moments to life in ways that drive higher engagement.”

According to Twitter representatives, measurement of branded content on the network last November showed ThingLink drove five times more engagement for brands that used it. It will be interesting to see how it plays out on Facebook, currently the most rich media friendly social network.

Los Angeles Times, Hyundai and Ikea and are among brands taking advantage of the new tech. Los Angeles Times’ creative approach has been to upload a virtual photo of their hardcopy newspaper packed with links to top stories on their website.

ThingLink isn’t the first interactive-image service to hit Facebook. Stipple did so in January.

“ThingLink allows content producers to better understand how their images are being used by consumers on the different social media platforms, both in terms of interactions with the image as well as a wide range of social behaviors.”  said ThingLink in their blog.

The technology is available for users now. What are creative ways you can see brands or even users taking advantage of ThingLink powered photos?

Source ThingLink

Saints Row 4 Commander In Chief Edition Revealed

Deep Silver has announced that they will be releasing a Commander in Chief Edition for everyone who pre-orders Saints Row 4. Prominent among the bonuses is an in-game Screaming Eagle Jet that “fires rockets out of its talons and can invoke the ‘Sonic Scream’ attack, leaving your enemies dazed, confused and likely scarred for life.”

Also included is a Uncle Sam costume as well as the ‘Merica Weapon, a ridiculous death-dealing machine “full of incredibly astonishing firepower: flamethrowers, ultra-powered dub step guns and rocket launchers.”

Order the Saints Row 4 Commander in Chief Edition today for $59.99 on console and $49.99 on PC before the game’s launch August 20.

PS4 Launch Lineup Strongest In PlayStation’s History, Says Mark Cerny

The PS4 launch will be a huge investment for Sony this year, but the system’s lead architect Mark Cerny thinks that it’s set up to do well. In fact, he asserts that it will launch with a stronger lineup than any PlayStation device previously launched.

“The launch lineup for PlayStation 4–though I unfortunately can’t give the title count–is going to be stronger than any prior PlayStation hardware,” said Cerny.

Cerny says that a key part of that software support is giving the system a simpler hardware architecture, noting that porting PC titles to PS4 will take weeks instead of months. “The biggest thing is we didn’t want the hardware to be a puzzle that programmers would be needing to solve in order to make quality titles,” Cerny explained.

Source: Gamasutra

Electronic Arts Streamlines Marketing Team

Electronic Arts has announced that they will be streamlining their marketing team. In particular, the core marketing functions have been consolidated under COO Peter Moore.

“The combined group will bring together our Label marketing teams, Global Acquisition Marketing and Marketing Analytics into one multi-talented team under Todd Sitrin’s leadership,” wrote Electronic Arts executive chairman Larry Probst. “The development and marketing teams will continue to work as cohesive units, driving clear and consistent messaging and consumer engagement for each of our franchises.”

Source: TechCrunch