Xbox One Doesn’t Require ‘Always Online’

Microsoft confirmed that the Xbox One will not require an Internet connection for basic functions like watching downloaded videos, using Blu-ray movies and playing games offline. However, much of the console’s functionality is designed specifically for the Internet and the cloud.

“Xbox One is designed to always be connected to the internet,” said Xbox U.K. marketing director Harvey Eagle.

In the realm of used games, Microsoft confirmed that it will be able to play second-hand software. However, the caveat was added that policies over how that occurs and whether that will require an additional fee for users to activate are still being formulated.

On backwards compatibility, Microsoft said that the architecture of the Xbox One will preclude either disc or downloadable Xbox 360 games from being played on the system. All music and movies will be available to download through Xbox Live, but Xbox 360 game software is not compatible with the Xbox One.

Source: GamesIndustry International

Assassin’s Creed Movie Pegged Memorial Day 2015

The planned Assassin’s Creed film now has a release date of May 22, 2015. 20th Century Fox will distribute and co-produce with New Regency Pictures.

Michael Fassbender (X-Men: First Class, Prometheus) is set to star in the film and Michael Lesslie is currently working on the script. No director or supporting cast has been named.

Summer 2015 might be a big one for big tentpole films from Hollywood. Along with Assassin’s Creed, The Avengers 2 is expected to release earlier in May, with Star Wars: Episode VII likely to follow later that Summer.


Happy Cloud Raises $4.25 Million

Happy Cloud announced that it has raised $4.25 million in series A funding led by Avalon ventures, with Jesselson Capital and Shaman Ventures contributing. Tamir Buchler, who recently was COO and CRO of the shopping network, was also named CEO of the on-demand cloud gaming service.

“Happy Cloud adds unparalleled value to the gaming ecosystem by eliminating barriers to entry and giving users what they want,” said Buchler. “By offering free on-demand access to the best high-end games, we can bring new gamers on board, increase conversions and keep gamers engaged.”

“Game quality and capacity continue to reach new heights, and as the gaming industry evolves, the need for a scalable on-demand technology becomes even more relevant,” added Avalon Ventures managing director Rich Levandov. “We’ve seen many solutions raise lots of capital and fail because they don’t scale. Happy Cloud is the only scalable technology of its kind and will dramatically disrupt the industry while creating value for the entire gaming world.”

Hasbro Moves To Prevent Dungeons & Dragons Movie

While it was recently announced that a Dungeons & Dragons movie project called Chainmail was being set up by producer Courtney Solomon at Warner Bros. it may not be in motion for very long. Hasbro is asserting that they own the rights to any new Dungeons & Dragons movie and they are filing copyright and trademark infringement complaint against Solomon’s Sweetpea Entertainment to stop the announced project.

According to Hasbro, it did grant Sweetpea the right back in the 1990s to make one D&D movie, but they say that the feature rights went back to them once the titular film came out in 2000. The complaint goes on to say that two TV movies that played on the Sci-Fi Channel/Syfy in 2005 and 2012 were not connected at all to an exercise of feature sequel rights.


Dark Souls 2: Namco Treating Game ‘As A Massive, Massive Triple-A Title’

The Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls releases saw somewhat muted advertising and PR campaigns in the West. By contrast, Namco PR director Lee Kirton says they are going all in for promotional efforts of Dark Souls 2.

“The good thing this time around is we’re investing more in it from a marketing perspective,” he said at a media preview event. “With Dark Souls and Demon’s Souls it was very focused, small-scale. We’re treating this as a massive, massive triple-A title.”


This Week’s [a]list Jobs – May 22

[a]list daily is now your source for the hottest job openings for senior management and marketing in games, entertainment and social media. Check here every Wednesday for the latest openings. To see last week’s [a]list jobs click here.

Here are this week’s [a]list jobs:

  • Riot Games, eSports Marketing Manager (Greater Los Angeles Area)
  • Hulu, Content Marketing Manager (Greater Los Angeles Area)
  • Facebook, Lead of Global Marketing Solutions – Entertainment (Austin, Texas Area)
  • Live Nation Entertainment, Sales Director of Sponsorships – Venue Network (Phoenix, Arizona Area)




Ayzenberg Group, one of the largest independent ad firms on the West Coast, is hiring. We’re currently looking to fill these positions: Creative Lead: Visual Design, Game Capture Artist, Lead Web/UI Software Engineer and more. Check out our Careers page to apply.

Google Play In-App Revenues Up 700 Percent

Google Play product manager for commerce and monetization Ibrahim Elbouchikhi indicated that in-app revenues for the mobile store grew 700 percent in the last year. Games are leading the free-to-play charge and comprise the majority of the top grossing apps, with Minecraft: Pocket Edition being a notable exception.

“We’re not saying you need to push everything free-to-play, however also recognize the dominant trend toward free-to-play,” said Google Play games business development head Bob Meese.

Pandora implemented a way for users to subscribe from within the Android app and saw revenues on Google Play jump nearly 400 percent month-over-month, showing that non-games are also benefitting from in-app-purchase models.

Google Launches Hangouts App

Google announced a new Hangouts app. With the tagline “Conversations that last, with people that you love”, it combines typed conversations, images and video conferencing into a single experience.

All parts of the experience, from the chatting to the photos and the multi-person video hangout can be saved for posterity. The interface and experience of Hangouts is designed to make chatting more organized and more efficient and is available on iOS, Android and the web right now.


Simpsons, The Office Writer Working On Angry Birds Film

Rovio Entertainment has announced that it has named Jon Vitti (The Simpsons, The Office, King of the Hill, Saturday Night Live) as the screenplay writer for the Angry Birds film. Catherine Winder has been hired as a producer of the film which is set to release July 1, 2016.

“I’m thrilled to have Jon and Catherine joining the project,” said producer John Cohen. “Jon is one of the funniest writers I know, and we’re looking forward to working with him to bring the birds and pigs to life on the big screen. Catherine is a fantastic producer, with over 20 years of film and television experience, and I’m very excited to have her as a part of our filmmaking team.”

“I’m very excited that Jon and Catherine have joined us, bringing with them their vast expertise,” added Rovio CEO Mikael Hed. “I’m confident we are building the right team to deliver an amazing movie experience to our fans.”

Madden NFL 25 Anniversary Edition Including DirecTV Bonus

Electronic Arts has announced the Madden NFL 25 Anniversary Edition, which will be available exclusively at at Amazon for $99.99 on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. This special edition will include a copy of the game as well as 17 special Ultimate Team packs of cards, one for every week of the 2013 NFL season, with each pack containing two rare players, four silver players and four bronze players.

The biggest addition to the Anniversary Edition are for DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket service. This will allow users to sign up with a promo code for $10 off each month of service for their first year, as well as a free full-season subscription to NFL Sunday Ticket Max, which usually costs $299.95 for the five-month NFL season and also enables access through the NFL Sunday Ticket app on PS3.

Those who can’t get DirecTV service will be entitled to a free trial of NFL Sunday Ticket for the full 2013 season on their PCs, tablets and mobile devices, including the Red Zone Channel showing all plays within 20 yards of the end zone. Both the Red Zone Channel and non-TV access are usually limited to Sunday Ticket Max holders.