‘StarCraft II’ Out Of Next MLG Event

StarCraft II, Blizzard’s galactic real-time strategy sequel, has been a big hit on the professional gaming front for years. This year, however, Major League Gaming has no plans to revisit this universe.

Sundance DiGiovanni, chief of MLG, stated on Twitter, “Just so folks know – we are currently not planning to run SC2 at Cbus. Should that change we’ll let you know via official channels.”

“Folks who love (Starcraft II) have tons to watch. North American Star League is still there, (and the) WCS isn’t going anywhere,” DiGiovanni continued “(The game) just doesn’t fit into our Columbus plans.”

There’s no official word on why the decision was made, but it sounds like the game will still be part of the program…to some extent, anyway. Blizzard has made no statement on the matter so far.

Source: VentureBeat

A Boy And His Video

DDB has already taken part in a stirring ad campaign this year with the #FirstWorldProblems campaign, teaming up with WATERisLIFE to do so. Now, it has a more motivational story with its latest video, focusing on a 4-year old Maasai boy named Nkaitole who’s completing his “Kenya Bucket List”. It’s an emotional goal that game marketers might strive to reach.


PS3’s Music Visions

Q-Games, the company behind the amazing PixelJunk games on the PlayStation 3/PS Vita platforms, is working on a special new app, set for release early next week. You just need to make sure your music library is up to speed for it…

Called Visualizer, the app reads the library of music that’s on your hard drive, and then generates visuals automatically depending on what’s playing, using a handful of pre-set themes built into the app. The app arrives this Tuesday, August 13, for a discounted price of $2.99. However, that’s only being offered for a limited time, as it’ll go back up to $4.99 on August 27.


New Worlds, New Bosses For ‘Kingdom Hearts’

With Square Enix’s Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix set to hit PlayStation 3 next month, the company has begun a major push for the title’s U.S. release. It all begins with this new trailer, which features new worlds for Sora, Goofy and Donald Duck to explore, as well as dangerous new foes that stand in their way. Final Fantasy VII fans won’t want to miss this, as Cloud Strife makes a brief appearance in the trailer.

HD 1.5 Remix includes Kingdom Hearts Final Mix, Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories and cut-scenes from the Nintendo DS game 358/2 Days. The game releases on September 10.


Apple Launches Buyback Campaign In China

Following the death of a Chinese woman from electrocution using a faulty, possibly counterfeit iPhone charger, Apple has launched a new program that will help customers avoid a similar circumstance with their not-so-official equipment. Apple’s Chinese market has launched a “buy-back” initiative, where customers can take their fake chargers into locations and exchange it out for an officially compatible one straight from the company, for just ten dollars.

The program, which runs now through October 18, includes any iPhone, iPod or iPad chargers not made by Apple. Customers will also need to bring in their device with them, complete with serial number, to assure they’re getting the proper equipment at the time of sale.

No word yet if this program will launch in other markets.

Source: Quartz

YouTube Space L.A.

YouTube has managed to carve a niche in the online video business over the past few years, with hundreds of thousands of viewers sharing their two cents and some dedicated business partners, like Freddie Wong and Geek and Sundry, even creating some stellar channels in the process. Now, the company has launched a bold new initiative to help would-be digital pioneers – a creative space in Los Angeles.

YouTube Space L.A. is a 41,000 square foot facility where creators can visit to shoot, edit and screen their videos with other members of the online community. It’s a place where they can get together to discuss the aspects of production, trade business info and just plain get to know each other – which is quite a novel idea. Liam Collins, who heads up the space, explained that YouTube was looking for a place to gain great presence in L.A. years ago, and eventually settled on creating the kind of sound stage base – in a former helicopter factory, no less – to put it together.


‘Secrets Of Raetikon’ Revealed

If you own a Mac or PC, your gaming library is about to get a boost with a colorful new entry. Today, Broken Rules Games revealed a new teaser trailer for its latest project, Secrets of Raetikon. While it doesn’t include too much gameplay, it appears that it’ll focus on certain birds you’ll be able to fly through a lusciously designed world. You can watch the video and look for more information on the official Secrets of Raetikon website.


Each Wii U Sold Is Losing Money

Many in the games industry (and the gaming community) really want Nintendo to lower the price on the Wii U console to boost sales – but that may be easier said than done, considering the company is losing money on each one already.

The latest earnings report from the company indicates that Wii U hardware sales are a major factor in its most recent ¥36.4 billion yen ($387 million) operating loss. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata stated that the company will “strive to regain Nintendo-like profits” in the months ahead, with a slew of new software for both the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime noted back in November that “as soon as we get the consumer to buy one piece of software, then that entire transaction becomes profit positive.”

This follows reports of major retailers dropping the more basic 8 GB model of the Wii U in favor of the deluxe 32 GB edition, which sells for $349.99 in the United States. A price drop isn’t looking likely, but Nintendo may be looking at a repackaging of sorts, one that could include bundled games to help entice would-be system owners.

Source: GamesIndustry International

Carmack Joins Oculus VR

John Carmack, the brilliant co-founder behind the iconic Doom-creating team at id Software, just added another job to his resume.

Carmack has signed on as the chief technology officer for Oculus VR. He expressed interest in the virtual headset company last year when it first began its KickStarter for funding, fueled most of his decision.

“The dream of VR has been simmering in the background for decades, but now, the people and technologies are finally aligning to allow it to reach the potential we imagined,” Carmack said in a statement. “I’m extremely excited to make a mark in what I truly believe will be a transformative technology.”

However, don’t worry about his position at id Software. He’s staying with that company as well, serving double duty. A Bethesda representative stated, “John has long been interested in the work at Oculus VR and wishes to spend time on that project. The technical leadership he provides for games in development at id Software is unaffected.”

We certainly wish Carmack the best of luck with his new position.

Source: GamesIndustry International


Luigi On Chicago’s L Train

Mario seems to take the limelight with most of his games, but Nintendo wouldn’t dare forget about his brother, Luigi. He’s starred in a number of releases this year, including the upcoming Mario & Luigi: Dream Team and Luigi’s Mansion on the 3DS. To promote his latest appearance in the challenging platforming game New Super Luigi U, Nintendo has reached an agreement with the Chicago Transit Authority to feature the plumber on its L train.

On August 12, part of the Brown Line will be renamed the “Luigi Line,” and a special train with images of him appear on both the inside and outside of the train. It will run from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., and will also have Luigi appear in person on board. In addition, the upper platform of the lobby at the Clark/Lake station is set to have stations available, where people can try out New Super Luigi U.

The extra levels are available for download now on the Wii U eShop for $19.99, though you’ll need New Super Mario Bros. U to access them. A disc-based version is also coming on August 25 for $29.99.

Source: Polygon