Badges Of Honor

Positioning itself as a competitor to online player communities such as Raptr, a new gamer social net called Honored is trying to get itself off the ground through a crowd funding campaign on Indiegogo. The site’s hook is creating a new system for tracking game achievements. It wants to create a central hub where players can showcase what they’ve accomplished in other games, turn those various achievements into a user rank based on Honored’s own system, and then have the option of ordering physical representations of their rank as embroidered badges.

“Honored aims to be the bridge between the intangible achievements and the physical awards that you can collect and proudly show off,” says Honored co-founder J. Eckert in their Indiegogo video.

What Eckert and his team are trying to do is reminiscent of the patches that Activision used to dole out for their Atari 2600 games. Coincidentally, Game Informer recently penned an article billing those patches as “the original gaming achievement.”  If you remember holding up a camera to a TV as the first instant you captured a screen shot – Activision’s requirement to prove that a player had completed a goal to earn a patch – you’re a bona fide old school gamer in my book.

Honored’s approach is to issue icons that resemble military ranks based on a user’s level of achievement in other games, which players can then order as physical badges. The founders say the site will incorporate achievements from Xbox Live, PlayStation Network and Steam. To get things started, backers who pledge $10 or more to their Indiegogo campaign get their first Honored “Backer Badge.”

Honored is trying to raise $25,000 and says the money is both to build site infrastructure and source physical goods providers to fulfill those badges.

The whole thing makes me want to go dig up my River Raid patch.  Thanks to Atari Age, you can reminisce with me here.

Google Hiding Search Terms

Shifts in search terms can often lead to changes in how a business operates. That may explain the reason why Google, one of the biggest search websites in the world, has announced that it would limit the information that publishers and marketers would receive with keywords driving traffic on its websites.

Though keyword data is still available to advertisers, others are left without the information relating to organic search.

“It’s one of the most significant losses of data marketers have seen in half a decade,” said Conductor CEO Seth Besmertnik, stating that half of the traffic to vendor’s clients’ sites comes through organic search.

Access to the top-2,000 most popular keywords is still available, though the use of the site’s webmaster tools is required – and not guaranteed in real time.

No word yet on why Google made such a decision, but it could have something to do with a change in business practices.

Source: AdAge

EA Sports, Tiger Woods End Partnership

For years, EA Sports has teamed with golfing superstar Tiger Woods for a number of video games, starting back in 1998 with Tiger Woods PGA Tour 99 and leading up to this year’s Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14. However, from hereon in, it’ll be flying solo.

The company announced today that they have dropped Tiger Woods as the face of its golf game series. “EA Sports and Tiger Woods have also made a mutual decision to end our partnership, which includes Tiger’s named PGA Tour golf game,” said Daryl Hold, VP and GM of Gold at EA Sports. “We’ve always been big fans of Tiger and we wish him continued success in all his future endeavors.”

That said, the company will continue to work on golf games, and hinted at what’s to come with the next-generation of games with the above screenshot. “Moving forward, we will continue to work with the PGA Tour exclusively to create groundbreaking golfing titles and our partnership remains strong.”

Expect more details on the forthcoming PGA Tour golf title sometime later this year.

Source: Electronic Arts

Ryse To The Path Of Vengeance

Marius Titus, hero of Ryse, is on a quest for vengeance after this family was killed. This TV spot muses that he might be the savior of the Roman Empire… or its destroyer.

Check out the follow up video, detailing the construction of the arms and armor used in the ad.

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