PlayStation 4 Launch Titles Revealed

Even though the PlayStation 4 launch had its fair share of delays – including DriveClub and Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs – there’s still an impressive amount of games just waiting to be played on the console in just a couple weeks’ time. Today, the company revealed its full line-up of titles that will be available, between retail and digital releases.

The following games will be released as Sony first-party titles:

Killzone: Shadow Fall
Flower (downloadable)
Resogun (downloadable)
Sound Shapes (downloadable)

Third-party games that will be available for the system’s launch include:

Angry Birds: Star Wars
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
Call of Duty: Ghosts
Battlefield 4
Just Dance 2014
Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition
Lego Marvel Super Heroes
Madden NFL 25
NBA 2K14
Contrast (downloadable)
The Pinball Arcade (downloadable)

Sony has also indicated that a number of games will be available during the system’s “launch window,” though specific titles haven’t been mentioned yet. Hits like Bungie’s Destiny and the upcoming Watch Dogs should definitely lead the charge next year.

Source: NBC News

Nintendo Loses Money

Even with a price drop on its troubled Wii U game console – which has led to an increase in sales – Nintendo has once again failed to show a profit.

The company has reported an operating loss of 18.4 billion yen ($187 million) on sales of 115 billion yen ($1.17 billion) for this current sales quarter. For the time frame between July and September, the company has only managed to sell 300,000 Wii U systems. Though that’s an increase over the previous quarter, it’s still generally losing money on the system. Net profit for the year only showed to be about 600 million yen, or $6 million.

Software showed better signs of life, with 5.27 million units sold over the previous quarter, an increase of 400 percent over the previous period. Titles such as Pikmin 3 and The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD have done quite well on the Wii U front.

Over on the 3DS, Nintendo shuffled 2.49 million systems out during the period, a small loss of about 20 percent. Game sales, however, are on the rise, with 16.37 million units sold, a 40 percent increase. One of the leading sellers is Animal Crossing: New Leaf, a town simulator featuring various animal characters.

Nintendo has several titles that are leading the charge with this quarter, including Pokemon X & Y and the forthcoming Super Mario 3D World, along with a promotional campaign for a free trial period of Wii Fit U. That may turn sales around sooner rather than later. The company still expects to sell nine million Wii U systems this fiscal year (ending March 30, 2014), though the current total sold is less than 500,000 for the fiscal year (3.91 million since the Wii U launch).

Source: The Verge

Titanfall PC-Xbox Lifetime Exclusive

Ever since its introduction at the Electronic Entertainment Expo this past summer, Respawn Entertainment’s multiplayer shooter Titanfall has been one hotly anticipated title. Unfortunately, it looks like PlayStation 4 owners won’t be getting a taste of it. Not yet, anyways.

Vince Zampella, head of Respawn, tweeted the following message today:

“Always MS exclusive at launch, great partner and focus is good for a startup. EA made a deal for the rest, we only found out recently”

What this essentially means is that the game won’t be headed to other platforms outside of the promised Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC ports – meaning that PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 owners are out of luck.

However, there’s always the possibility of follow-up games, as Zampella added via Tweet, “Of course we will (make PlayStation 4 games), just not the first Titanfall.” New projects, or sequels Only time will tell…

Titanfall arrives on store shelves on March 11.

Source: IGN

Majesco, Mobile As Ever

If Majesco has a knack for one thing, it’s reinventing itself to pursue potentially profitable niches in the game market.  Remember its line of Sega Genesis and Sega Game Gear hardware in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s?  At one point the company looked to be on track to become a publisher of big budget console games, putting stake in the ground with a pair of high-profile if not ultimately blockbuster franchises with BloodRayne and Advent Rising.  Today, it’s perhaps best known for a couple of hit game series under its belt with Cooking Mama and the Zumba line of fitness games.

It’s no surprise then that Majesco, with its opportunistic business philosophy, has turned focus to digital, mobile and social games.  Earlier this month, the company made a move towards entering social casino games by acquiring Pariplay, which has expertise in real money social games.  With mobile, Majesco has made fruitful first steps into the category. It seems to understand the mechanics of audience building for mobile games, where it’s all about player acquisition through the most efficient means possible then cross-pollination of that audience across other titles as a company grows its mobile game portfolio.

To that end, the way Majesco has approached mobile is to leverage popular licenses it controls, such as Zumba and Disney’s Phineas and Ferb.  At the same time, it’s partnering with outside developers on original IP, working on a series of free-to-play titles like tower defense game Romans from Mars and action-RPG Sci-Fi Heroes that have a cartoonish art style, but with game play aimed at core mobile gamers.

Vince Vanasin, head of marketing at Majesco’s mobile game division, talked with us about the company’s mobile strategy.  According to him, it started with building the right team.

“Majesco has been around for a long time, more than 20 years. When they decided they wanted to get in the mobile space, they started by building a team based out of L.A. from the ground up.  They felt there was a lot of talent in L.A. that could help them be successful in the mobile space,” Vanasin told us.

The company’s first foray into mobile was with its strongest property, the Zumba license.  Vanasin calls Majesco Zumba’s “shepherd” in games, having released a string of successful titles for console and handheld systems.  Zumba Dance was the first mobile title, a premium priced $5 app available for iOS and Android.  Majesco released it into the app store wild in July of this year, then watched as it hit the coveted iOS storefront as a featured app.  It ultimately became a number one hit in the health-fitness iOS app category in 90 countries.

“It was the power of the Zumba brand – Zumba is so global and so widely loved,” Vanasin said. “When we do a licensed product it’s very different than original IP product. Licensed products have a built-in audience so what we try to do is leverage the work that the brand has already put in.”

“The other side as well is media and user acquisition,” he added.  “We found a lot of success there, both because of the brand recognition, but also because the game is good. Zumba Dance has a four star rating and was featured by Apple. We think the combination of a high quality game and a really strong brand is what has led to the product’s success.”

Majesco is following the same formula with its upcoming game based on Phineas and Ferb, a popular youth-skewed — and arguably adult-adored — animated comedy that’s become a hit franchise for Disney.  Majesco plans to tap into Disney’s marketing for the series wherever possible, including social media presence.  It’s also making sure the game lives up the quality standard that Disney and fans are going to expect in a game based on the series, including being mindful of how parents will perceive it.

“[With] Agent P DoofenDASH, we’ve definitely worked closely with Disney to make a fun product that is in line with Disney’s brand priorities and guidelines. Since it’s based on Disney Channel’s hit franchise Phineas and Ferb, we wanted parents to feel comfortable giving this game over to their kids. From a monetization perspective we’re going to take all of the best practices from games in its genre and align those with Disney’s consumer guidelines to ensure a fun and safe gaming environment,” said Vanasin.

He added how while a lot of youth-skewed apps tend to offer pricey packs that seem to bait children and their parents with big one-time purchases, Majesco won’t be following that formula.

Part of Majesco’s mobile game line-up

During our conversation, Vanasin seemed most excited about his division’s newest title, Romans from Mars.  The free-to-play game based on original IP had a limited beta release, and has so far been well-received by beta users posting reviews on Google Play Store.  Call outs for its unique visual style and production value are what jumped out after a quick glance of what user reviews seemed to like the most about the game.  Vanasin said those are attributes that Majesco has been highlighting in its marketing.

“We think the game lends itself really well to a really casual, fun, and humorous voice.  We have a great art style — it’s quirky and it’s funny. We’re definitely going to highlight that with a lot of compelling assets through social media, and hopefully consumers and players will gravitate towards it.”

As these games help Majesco get a foothold in mobile, we asked Vanasin what his strategy is in not only building but keeping an active player community around its mobile portfolio.

“For us these aren’t fire and forget games,” he said.  “We want to put them out and continue to support players with robust updates. We want to build the Majesco mobile community, our beta tester community, and our overall audience. The phrase ‘games as a service’ gets thrown around a lot, but for us, it’s all about supporting the player, supporting our communities, and supporting our games by focusing on the player experience first.”

Samsung Preps New SDKs For Devs

Google has a huge reason to be nervous, based on Samsung’s recent announcement regarding its latest SDKs.

The company announced at its Developers Conference earlier this week that it will launch five new SDKs across the board, for various devices that include televisions, phones and tablets, among other devices. These could open up new doors for developers worldwide, with the ability to support pen, gestures, mutii-window and motion features with 800 APIs on hand. Even those making apps that are built specifically for the use of pens should be excited by this news.

These SDKs include mobile, multi-screen and others, which will support devices across the board – meaning that Google’s services are no longer the only ones in town.

“The new SDK, once adopted by developers, will make it possible to press a button on your phone to launch an online video stream, or even a game, on your TV. Sound familiar? That’s not really a coincidence — but Samsung thinks that it can one-up its competition,” said GigaOm’s Janko Roettgers.

No word yet when the SDKs will launch, but expect them sooner rather than later.

Source: GigaOm

This Week’s [a]list Jobs – October 30

“The more I want to get something done, the less I call it work.” -Richard Bach

Here are this week’s [a]list jobs:

[a]list daily is your source for the hottest job openings for senior management and marketing in games, entertainment and social media.

To see last week’s jobs, click here.

Top Games On Social Media: October Edition

By: Starcount

October: the month that the clocks go back, darkness descends upon us, and we celebrate the night of all things macabre, Halloween. It makes sense that this sense of gloom has infected the gaming world. As the days draw shorter, gamers took to social media to discuss the scarier aspects of the gaming world. The somber mood heralded the arrival of Gotham City’s Dark Knight into the charts, while the zombified Resident Evil rose a place on its position from last month.

10. Batman: Arkham Origins The latest in the Arkham series {link no longer active} following Asylum and City, Batman’s adopted an ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ attitude for this look into his past – and it’s clearly a popular decision. The Dark Knight continues to be far and away your favourite superhero in the gaming world, Gotham’s finest gaining over 75,000 new fans on Facebook {link no longer active} this week following the release of Arkham Origins this month.

9. WWE 2K14 The WWE {link no longer active} franchise has changed hands in the gaming world, with 2K Sports publishing their first entry in the series. Speculation as to what changes they will make have been fuelling online discussion about the newest game, and YouTube videos showing updated gameplay have seen the WWE franchise gain over 10 million YouTube  views.

8. Pokémon The sixth generation of Pokémon {link no longer active} games is finally upon us, introducing fully-rendered 3D graphics for the first time as well as new species of Pokémon to add to the existing favourites. Almost 100,000 people across the globe were discussing the series on Facebook.

7. Resident Evil With no recent release to get you talking, it appears the changing of the season and the horror-themed celebrations and awakened the web’s interest in Resident Evil {link no longer active}. The gory survival series gained 213,000 Facebook fans as over as an impressive 168,000 people discussed its dark goings-on.

6. Pro Evolution Soccer Pro Evo {link no longer active} may be the second most popular football game overall following last month’s release of its 2014 edition, but it scored a major victory over rival FIFA on Facebook – gaining 240,000 more new fans than EA Sports’ competitor.

5. FIFA The victor once again when it comes to favourite football simulations, the contest is nevertheless as close as ever. FIFA managed to claim a win over its main rival by way of hugely impressive Google+ stats – the game was added to 69,000 circles – as well as 7 million YouTube views as gamers get used to 2014’s new gaming dynamics.

4. Battlefield 4 Trailers for the latest Battlefield {link no longer active} game have been everywhere this month, and it shows – the series’ YouTube channel has been viewed an astonishing 26 million times in this month alone. With Halloween battle about to commence between this and Call of Duty, it will be interesting to see who is left for dead next month.

3. Grand Theft Auto Last month’s most popular game – and the fastest selling of all time – drops two places as the internet at large looks forward to two of the other biggest imminent releases for 2014. But GTA {link no longer active} has remained hugely popular, gaining over 495,000 new fans on Facebook.

2. Call of Duty It’s back. As the series celebrates its 10th anniversary, developers Infinity Ward are set to unleash their sixth  – and the 10th overall – installment in the Call of Duty  {link no longer active} behemoth. With new features – you can play as a dog this time – expect this to be near the top of the charts as the game heads everyone’s Christmas wish lists. COD’s main victory over rival Battlefield this month was on Instagram, where they gained 14,000 new fans.

1. Assassin’s Creed Over 1.3 million new fans on Facebook {link no longer active}, over 3.3 million YouTube views, over 40,000 new Twitter followers – social media has gone Assassin’s Creed crazy ahead of the release of Black Flag. Taking to the high seas is a new feature for the series and it would appear that the world is very excited indeed to test the waters. Perhaps next month we will see a slight lightening in the mood as we move into the festive season. An ability to jump on board with the new generation of consoles will undoubtedly have a role to play in which games get the social media world talking next month as the gaming world turns its attentions to the future.

Oculus Rift For Android

The Oculus Rift, a 3D virtual headset that was successfully funded on Kickstarter last year, is still playing around with a release date, as one hasn’t been formally announced. However, the team has confirmed that the device will be compatible with new devices – in this case, Android-based ones.

During an announcement at the GamesBeat 2013 video game conference, chief executive officer Brendan Iribe confirmed the move, stating that the company wants to launch a separate mobile headset in conjunction with the PC one, “as close as possible to” each other. It will be a smaller version that specifically utilizes the mobile device’s processor.

No word yet if the Android version of Oculus will launch as the same time as the PC one.

Source: Polygon

Honda Starts Something Special

Mairead & Kevin asked Honda to be part of their wedding day, they surprised them with more than they ever asked for. It’s all part of the company’s #StartSomething campaign, where they give back to loyal consumers.

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