ESA Details 2012 Anti-Piracy Efforts

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) indicates that it sent 3.5 million takedown notices last year as part of its ongoing effort to stop copyright infringement. The organization says that its Anti-Piracy group was able to remove 96 percent of the 5.4 million infringing files found on host sites.

The Anti-Piracy group’s efforts also included working with Google to takedown more than 99,500 search engine links containing infringing game files. The Anti-Piracy group also led 32 training sessions for an estimated 1,250 international law enforcement officials during 2012.

While the ESA’s main remit is still North America, the organization also worked to stop piracy in Brazil, Singapore, Mexico, Hong Kong, and Korea.

L.A. Noire Developers Form Intuitive Game Studios

Former game developers at Team Bondi and KMM have formed a new company called Intuitive Game Studios. The founders for this new studio are L.A. Noire design lead Alex Carlyle and Kelly Baigent, who worked on the game’s storyboarding.

“I really do want to stay in Australia and try and overcome the drive which is leading everyone to Canada or the like,” said Carlyle. “I want to stay here and make games and hopefully be able to sustain a small studio, provide employment and jobs here.”

Source: MCV

Grand Theft Auto V Special Edition/Collector’s Edition Detailed

Rockstar Games has announced that Grand Theft Auto V will have a Special Edition and Collector’s Edition. Also, those who pre-order any version of the game will receive the Atomic Blimp in-game vehicle.

The Special Edition includes a copy of Grand Theft Auto V, a Collectible SteelBook with Exclusive Artwork and a Blueprint Map of Los Santos and Blaine County. For in game bonuses, there’s a boost for the special abilities of Michael, Franklin and Trevor, access to the Stunt Plane Trials aerial challenges, bonus outfits, tattoos and more ways to customize and the Pistol .50, Bullpup Shotgun and melee Hammer for free at weapon stores.

The Grand Theft Auto V Collector’s Edition includes everything in the Grand Theft Auto V Special Edition plus a Grand Theft Auto V Security Deposit Bag with Logo Key, a Grand Theft Auto V New Era 9FIFTY Snapback Cap. A digital bonus will be classic Grand Theft Auto characters to use within the Grand Theft Auto Online Character Creation System.

McDonald’s Does Right By Charles Ramsey

McDonald’s has announced that it will grant Charles Ramsey free food for the next year. The man has become something of a folk hero after helping to rescue the three Cleveland women held captive by Ariel Castro.

The good-will gesture follows after Ramsey mentioned in several interviews that he had previously gone to McDonald’s before rescuing the women and was carrying a half-eaten Big Mac at the time. The restaurant company will also donate $10,000 to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in the names of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michele Knight, the three women who were held hostage for years.

Twitter was lit up by requests for McDonald’s to respond after Ramsey namedropped the company in multiple interviews. McDonald’s spokeswoman Danya Proud indicated that they received so many suggestions that the company felt compelled to respond.

What’s more, 14 local Ohio restaurants announced they’ll also give him free burgers for life. Ramsey has been granted a ‘Chuck Card’ for the access at participating restaurants. The Hodges restaurant in downtown Cleveland that Ramsey works as a dishwasher is going even further. The establishment is now offering the Ramsey Burger, modeled after the Big Mac.

Hodges manager Nate Gosselin said they sold 50 Ramsey Burgers the first day they were offered two weeks ago; the restaurant usually sells 20 burgers a day, total. “It’s been wildly popular,” he said. “It’s even on our permanent new menu now.”

Gosselin said that partnering with the other restaurants to give Ramsey free burgers was an easy decision. “It was a really great gesture and something that we want to recognize him for,” he said.


PS4 Newspaper Ad Implies 2013 Europe Launch

A newspaper ad for PS4 suggests heavily that the system is launching in Europe. The region is very important for both Sony and Microsoft in the coming console war, and it seems likely Sony doesn’t want to give Microsoft a head start anywhere.

“We announced at the PlayStation Meeting event on Feb 20th that PS4 would be coming in 2013,” said a Sony Europe rep. “The adverts are simply re-stating that message. More information about PS4 and all PlayStation Platforms will be announced at E3.”

Source: Edge

Microsoft Putting $1 Billion into Xbox One Games

The heavy entertainment focus of the Xbox One reveal event led to some backlash from gamers. However, President of Microsoft Interactive Entertainment Business Don Mattrick noted that the company is investing $1 billion in the development of exclusive games for the Xbox One, with 15 exclusive games ready for the Xbox One’s first year.

“We just ran through our [release slate] and counted the number of exclusives, and looked at the amount of money that we’re spending and the deals that we have, exclusive windows and [things to create differentiation],” Mattrick said. “I think, candidly, people are way, way under-indexing how hard we’re punching.”

“There are great hits, there’s innovation, and there are world class creators plugged in,” Mattrick added. “You know, I keep track of it all, and I hope everyone here does – we kind of look back at all the different years and at what we shipped, how many units have sold. There’s a lot of hyperbole about things, but I think we’re going to deliver.”


Wargaming Expands Into Japan

Wargaming has announced that it has opened its newest publishing office in Tokyo, Japan for the purposes of local marketing, PR and customer support for World of Tanks. This is the company’s 15th office around the world, taking place during Wargaming’s 15th anniversary.

“As Wargaming continues its global expansion, there’s no possible way we can ignore the importance of the Japanese market,” said Victor Kislyi, CEO of Wargaming. “Besides being one of the major video games markets in the world, it’s also a place where free-to-play gaming is growing by leaps and bounds. We’ll be staffing our new Tokyo office with the best and brightest from the country, all with the goal of providing our players there with an incomparable customer experience.”

“Being part of the Wargaming family, as they continue their dominance of the free-to-play market, is truly exciting,” said Yasuhiro Kawashima, General Manager of Wargaming Japan. “We look forward to helping expand Wargaming’s presence in Japan now and in the future.”

Facebook Usage Waning, Twitter Usage Winning Among Teens

By Elena Zanone

A recent Pew Research study revealed that America teens are showing a “waning enthusiasm” for the social network giant Facebook. In a study that observed over 800 teens and their social media behaviors, the decrease desire for Facebook and the increase interest for Twitter seemed to capture the most headlines.

What teens seem to dislike about Facebook most is the fact that their parents, grandparents and other adults are also there, diffusing Facebook’s “cool” factor. Additionally, teens complain that their friends often overshare and post too much “drama” on the site.

“The stress of needing to manage their reputation on Facebook also contributes to the lack of enthusiasm,” the survey said.

Because of that, teens are increasingly migrating to other social platforms, especially Twitter because of the freedom and ambiguity the site offers.The Pew survey found that 24 percent of online teens now use Twitter, up a dramatic 16 percent since 2011. The increase in teen Tweeters has even outpaced adults on the platform – a major leap from Twitter’s first year where only 9 percent of teens were reported using the 140-character social site. Some 64 percent of teens have Twitter accounts set to public so anyone can read their tweets, with 24 percent setting their accounts to private. Perhaps the most interesting, 12 percent reported they didn’t know whether their tweets were even public or private. Much different from how users fix their privacy settings on Facebook.

Other social platforms such as Tumblr, Instagram (which is owned by Facebook), YouTube and Snapchat have also seen major growth among young users in the past year.

Those teens who used sites like Twitter and Instagram reported feeling like they could better express themselves on these platforms, where they felt “liberated from the social expectations and constraints of Facebook,” the Pew survey said. “Nevertheless, the site is still where a large amount of socializing takes place, and teens still feel they need to maintain their Facebook profile in order to not “miss out,” the report confirmed.

These findings are based on a nationally representative phone survey run by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project of exactly 802 parents and their 802 teens ages 12-17. It was conducted between July 26 and September 30, 2012. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish and on landline and cell phones.

Where do you predict a majority of teens will be next year Do you think overall teens on Twitter can ever surpass Facebook usage entirely Let us know what you think in the comments below! 

Source: Gigaom

This Week’s [a]list Jobs – May 29

[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:

  • Starz Entertainment, Digital Marketing Project Manager (Greater Denver Area)
  • Yahoo!, Director of Project Marketing – Flickr (San Francisco Bay Area)
  • PlaySpan, Business Leader, Product Marketing – Video Games (San Francisco Bay Area)
  • Ayzenberg Group, New Business Development Executive (Greater Los Angeles Area)
  • Ayzenberg Group, Creative Director, Digital Group (Greater Los Angeles Area)