Microsoft ahead of it’s release of Halo 4 due to be released in November, gave out hints as to he new cover art for it’s upcoming release. Due out 04 November, Microsoft laid out 32 puzzles as to hints to figure out what the cover would look like. As you can see, it’s possibly the most beautiful cover they’ve ever done to the Iconic franchise. Read More…
On May 9 one of the most anticipated Xbox Live Arcade games of all time hit the Marketplace: Minecraft. Minecraft has been a huge success on the PC since developers Mojang released the game on PC in 2011. After its huge PC success, and we mean huge, the game transfered to the mobile realm through Android and iOS apps. Now, Mojang has pushed Minecraft even farther by landing it on the Xbox 360 Marketplace where it has already sold a whopping 1 million copies.
Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition debuted on May 9 for 1600 Microsoft Points, and easily sold 400,000 copies within 24 hours of the game’s release. Since then, players have recorded 4.2 million hours of mining coupled with 2.4 million hours of multiplayer play time. One of the biggest features that Minecraft for Xbox would be bringing was an extremely easy way to jump into game sessions with friends. The Xbox 360 version developer 4J Studios and creator Markus Persson could not have been more pleased, with Markus tweeting the following:
The PC version of Minecraft and all of its counterparts have shown no sign of slowing down, and almost everyone I know has plays, or at least has played Minecraft at one time or another. And with Mojang pushing updates and patches as frequently as possible, the fan base is only more likely to grow. Be sure to check out Minecraft for the Xbox 360, and let us know in the comments how you like the experience compared to the PC version. Until next time, happy mining.
Source: The Verge
A French developer has created an egyption based social game where you need to make egyption pyramid cities. The game is called PyramidVille and it plays on the classic model of Zynga’s Farmville, Cityville, Frontierville and other Ville style games.
Zynga has now sued the French developer over the use of the word Ville. The suit, which was filed in a San Francisco court, is asking a judge to ban Kobojo from using the word “Ville” in the US release of the game.
Zynga’s attorney Dennis Wilson said Kobojo’s use of Ville was a “willful violation of Zynga’s trademark by a competitor seeking to exploit Zynga’s hard-earned reputation in the social gaming space.” With the game’s focus building an Egyptian city, we can see where the confusion may come in to play.
According to this report Zynga tried to work this out with Kobojo but they willfully ignored the social game studios requests. Kobojo has already released a mobile version of PyramidVille.
Zynga build a franchise around their Facebook integrated social games. Their first game, Farmville, became a blockbuster hit. CityVille followed soon after that.
Zynga has also made a presence in the social mobile space after purchasing “Words With Friends” they’ve also got a version of Hangman played with friends. Their first mobile game, Zynga Poker is also a big hit.
Their most notable mobile news was the nearly $200 million dollar purchase of New York based game studio OMGPOP. Zynga acquired OMGPOP after their hit game Draw Something was able to knock Words With Friends out of the top spot in the mobile games arena.
The staff of OMGPOP was absorbed into Zynga and Dan Porter, the CEO of OMGPOP became Zynga’s Vice President of their New York operation which to date only includes the Draw Something title. We ran a feature story on Dan Porter and his unique use of HBO hit series “The Wire” characters as the names of OMGPOPs conference rooms.
Source: ABS-CBN News
It took over 50 games for Finnish game development studio Rovio Mobile to come up with the smash hit Angry Birds. Angry Birds has grown to over 1 billion downloads and a merchandising arm worth hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars.
Rovio Mobile has done two spin off games of their franchise Angry Birds, Angry Birds Rio and Angry Birds Space. The latter becoming the fastest growing mobile game in history after being released in March and shown off at SXSW.
The company announced their 2011 earnings results on Monday. In that call they revealed that Angry Birds had generated $106 million dollars in revenue in 2011. “The strong growth in revenue clearly demonstrates the popularity of the Angry Birds brand.” CEO Mikael Hed said. He continued; “The heavy investments made in 2011 to all business areas will be seen in future products. To ensure continuous success we need to be creative and stay focused on entertaining our millions of fans by continuously developing new and innovative products and services.”
More after the break
For todays Startup Quick Byte we take a look at twiDAQ a site that mixes both Wall Street and Twitter into one. Located in Bath, United Kingdom this company takes Twitter to another level that even has me interested. After having raiser $48,000 in funding so far, twiDAQ is using peoples love affair for Twitter and wanting to do more with it to a whole another level.
While some sites like Klout mask and try and hide how things are rated, twiDAQ holds no such qualms as they clearly post it on their site Here
There are two principal models for setting the share price; performance & demand. What we’re all seeing at this early stage in the market is the dominance of performance over demand which is allowing small stocks to rise in price.
Currently, only on the Web and iOS and free on both markets. So if you are into Twitter and just want more. Make sure to check it out. No words yet on an Android application yet.
Where to find:
Starting today, the video game industry will be changed forever. Microsoft, creator of the Xbox 360, has just announced the very first subsidized console. The Xbox 360 (Kinect included) is going for $99 with a two-year Xbox Live Gold contract at $15/month. The bundle includes the 360 itself, 4GB of memory, a controller, a wired headset, and a two-year contract to tie you into Xbox Live. Not that Xbox Live is a bad thing, I love Live, and I put many hours into playing Xbox a week. However, seeing the video game industry and the mobile phone industry become such similar environments is the worst news I have conveyed to readers in a while.
Microsoft will be using a low price tag to sucker customers into buying the hardware and signing a contract, costing a total of $459 in the end, on top of being tied into a contract. Just like mobile phone carriers, Microsoft is charging an early termination fee starting at $250 and decreasing $12 a month, which is more than the cost of just buying a 4GB 360 + Kinect bundle without a contract. Quite a pricy bargain. With Xbox Live being $60 for 12 months, users will be paying $10 more a month to use Live, but pay $100 less for the console. You do the math. Not only are you paying more money for the console and the price of Xbox Live, but you are roped into a contract with an early termination fee.
Currently this “deal” is only available at official Microsoft outlets, but it will no doubt spread to stores like Best Buy when Microsoft can get all of their contract business straightened out. We will have to wait and see how this affects the Playstation 4 and the Wii U, but if console gaming is beginning to come with contracts, things will definitely be different in the next couple of years for gaming. At this time you can still buy a 360 without a contract, and the 360 under contract is not very widespread due to retailing limitations, but this could all change quickly depending on the success of the experiment. Let us know in the comments–would you want to sign a contract to play Xbox?
After all the talk about a multiplayer mode for Bethesda’s popular Elder Scrolls series, it looks like The Elder Scrolls online actually is real. Skyrim sold millions of copies within weeks of being out, coming nothing short of its predecessor Oblivion. The Elder Scrolls has become an extremely popular RPG series on PC and consoles, and is known for its extremely deep player-engaging experiences.
The Elder Scrolls Online will consist of an MMO experience on the entire continent of Tamriel. All of the “sub-continents” will be available as well, such as Cyrodiil from Oblivion and Skyrim. Hammerfell, High Rock, Morrowind, Black Marsh, Elsweyr, Valenwood, and Summerset Isles will all be playable and PvP will allow players to run rampant killing each other. The game is set 1000 years before the events of Skyrim (Elder Scrolls V), and there has been no storyline information released. Because this game will be multiplayer in nature, it will definitely differ from the current Elder Scrolls games available, but will likely appeal to the audience because of its highly-intriguing world. One thing that has been released about the plot is that players will be facing the evil Daedric Prince, Molag Bal, who is the Daedric Prince of slavery.
Zenimax Online Studios, founded by the developer of Dark Age of Camelot, will be developing this game for the PC and for Mac as well. Late 2013 is the proposed date for release, but in a project this big I wouldn’t be surprised if we encountered at least one delay. No pricing has been announced, and we are still in the dark as to whether this will require a monthly fee to play or just a one-time purchase. Be sure to check back for more details as this may be one of the biggest MMO’s to ever be released.
While Kickstarter is a great place for projects, it does have it’s drawbacks, which we experienced first hand and why we had to go with Indiegogo for our project. One of the main drawbacks to Kickstarter is international projects. While there are folks building international projects and have no problem delivering perks/rewards to U.S. backers, Kickstarter uses Amazon payments for collection and disbursement, and Amazon payments doesn’t work outside of the U.S.
Well a new European startup hopes to take some of that pain out of European project starters, specifically gaming focused projects. Gambitious is a crowd-sourced funding site for gaming projects. It’s a very lucrative market. With just U.S. based gaming projects over $10 million has been raised and funded using Kickstarter.
While Gambitious has a lot of the same fundamentals as Kickstarter, the company actually lets you buy into the gaming project. Not only did you help fund it but you will receive royalties from it as well, you will in essence become part owner of the game. This could prove to be a great opportunity, especially if you choose to invest in the right games.
As Joystiq suggests, instead of receiving a copy of the game in advance or a lunch date with one of the art directors, you’ll actually own part of the game.
Gambitious won’t be ready for another 4-6 weeks as they are planning an E3 launch.
To learn more about Gambitious click here
Like GeggyTah, Nibletz covers startups Wherever You Are
We’re on a nationwide sneakerstrapped road trip of startups, please support us getting on the bus
While we admit we are skeptical on the fact that king.com calls themselves a startup, they do so to that end we will as well. Outside of them being a startup though, this little known game development studio in London has overtaken Electronic Arts in terms of daily app users for their Facebook games.
Admittedly, they aren’t anywhere near eclipsing Facebook giant Zynga but they have their sites set on Zynga. According to this report from the Chicago Tribune, king.com’s game Bubble Witch Saga has more daily active players than Zynga’s smash hit Farmville. Impressive. But not quite the 65 million daily users Zynga has across all of their titles.
King.com’s most recent launch, a game called Candy Crush Saga, has already crossed the half a million daily users threshold. That game just debuted last week.
“Our ultimate ambition is to be the leader in our segment of games for the casual social player, mainly female, social and mobile,” King.com’s Chief Executive and co-founder Riccardo Zacconi said in an interview with Reuters. He continued, “Our target is to reach Zynga.”
Across Facebook and other channels King.com reports that they have 2.5 billion games played per month. Although they started out before Facebook gaming became popular a lot of their game plays comes from Facebook. Zynga has been reportedly looking at options outside of Facebook and King.com says they are looking at other places to host their casual games as well.
King.com lacks in the mobile world and plans to change that this year by introducing their most popular titles to iOS and Android. That’s a space where EA and Zynga have already been successful.
Electronic Arts was just recently voted the worst company in America by the users at consumerist.com. They actually beat out Bank of America and Walmart. Well there woes haven’t stopped there as Monday it was reported that the gaming giant could lay off as many as 500 people.
Startup Grind’s Derek Anderson is reporting that Electronic Arts could lay off between 500-1000 people as soon as this week.
CNet is reporting that this news may not come as surprising considering EA recently had a horrible Q4 which is a crucial time for video game companies. Q4 includes holiday shopping which is supposed to be the best time of the year for video game sales. 2011, not so much for EA as they reported a $205 million dollar loss in Q4 2011.
Q3 2011 was actually worse as EA saw a $340 million dollar loss.
EA was harshly criticized for the lackluster ending of their game Mass Effect 3. Die hard gamers were expecting much more out of the franchise hit. CNet reports that EA was accused of disrespecting gamers for the horrible ending to Mass Effect 3. In fact it was so bad that EA announced that they would release a free “Extended Cut” for those that bought the original version.
To top all this off EA is under-performing with investors as well. Shares of EA stock are down 21.5% to $16.18 In the past five years EA stock has lost 70 percent of it’s value. They aren’t the super sports franchise company we used to know and love.
For the past several years, the sale of used games has been talked about by game developers as “harmful” to the industry. Needless to say, companies like GameStop and EB Games have continued to sell used games at a discount to buyers, giving them a reason to trade games in when they are done and purchase new ones. At first, this sounds like a pretty harmless process, unless of course, GameStop and other companies like it are ripping buyers off by paying them extremely low prices for their games and selling them for a huge profit. This does happen, though, but that’s the sellers decision, and if someone is dumb enough to pay $60 for a game and trade it in for $11.50 of in-store credit a month later than that is their fault. This constantly runs through the minds of gamers as they endlessly by and sell their games, looking for the best deals and the easiest ways to get new games for low costs.
However, there is a bigger issue to the sale of used games, says Richard Browne, the former VP of Core Studios at THQ. Richard is saying that used games are not only hurting the game industry as a whole, but are killing off single player gaming as we know it. Gaming companies have long been criticized for the addition of things like online passes (yes, EA, I’m talking about you) and other means to trap players into not being able to play their game fully unless they have used their one-time code they receive when they buy a new game. This will obviously create an incentive for gamers to buy their games new, but it also costs your company’s name in criticism, as many gamers will unite and possibly vote you the worst company in America (yes, I’m still talking about you EA).
Either way, used games are still being sold, and people like Richard Browne and many others are looking to put a stop to that. Much of the time, this enrages gamers, but if you look closer at what some of these people are saying, they do have some legit points. I am a huge gamer, and I play all the time, so obviously I want the sales of used games to continue because it benefits me to buy them at a cheaper price. But as Richard Browne states in this comment, the sale used games may actually be hurting my game experience as well:
“The real cost of used games is the death of single player gaming. How do I stop churn? I implement multiplayer and attempt to keep my disc with my consumer playing online against their friends. It works wonderfully for Call of Duty – no doubt it can work wonderfully for me. The problem is, at what cost? Countless millions of dollars would be the answer.”
When I read this quote I immediately thought of single player games that have added multiplayer experiences for no other reason than sales, and in turn it hurt the single player experience. Games like Assassin’s Creed, Dead Space 2, BioShock 2, Mass Effect 3, the Uncharted series have all added in multiplayer modes to games that otherwise would just need their stellar single player experience. Meanwhile, other big hitters like Skyrim and Fallout have retained their “single-player-only” game type, but at what cost? I for one, love multiplayer gaming, but I love multiplayer gaming on multiplayer games. By this I mean, I love Call of Duty, Battlefield, Gears of War, and even NBA 2K12 for their multiplayer experiences because those are what the games are designed for. While they have single player game modes, the multiplayer doesn’t feel like it was just thrown in to give buyers a reason not to sell their game. If developers of single player games have to start spending tons of extra money and time developing a multiplayer mode that isn’t even necessary, it is bound to take away from what they could be doing in the single player game modes. While this may not be every case, there is plenty of these cases now, and there will continue to be.
When a game that was designed for single player gameplay is losing what could be an awesome single player experience because companies feel like they have to add in some time of multiplayer, it hurts the games that we know and love. I hate seeing this happen because of used sales (although there is sure to be many other reasons this can happen), but I also don’t want to see used game sales go away just yet. While Richard Browne is telling Microsoft and Sony to give all games a “one-time” sale somehow with next-gen consoles, I still believe that gamers will pay for a single-player game without multiplayer if it is good enough. Take the Mass Effect series or Batman: Arkham City for example–people will buy good games. This leaves the question of whether we should get rid of used gaming or not. Is it killing the single player experience? Richard Browne and many other big-name game companies think so, but I’m not sure stopping the sale of used games will necessarily fix the problem. Shout out and let us know what you think in the comments or on Twitter–@ElijahIsMe.
The New Zealand based social network startup for kids MiniMonos is taking off like wild-fire. CEO and Founder, Melissa Clark-Reynolds, has reported that the company has just received $1.3 million dollars in funding and they are quickly approaching 1 million users.
MiniMonos allows kids to sign up for their social network using a monkey avatar. From there they can play free games and interact with other kids on the network. There is also a premium based subscription which opens up a world of virtual currency and other features. Clark-Reynolds has also teamed up with Buy1Give1 so that for every subscription membership purchased the company then purchases clean water for a child in India.
Currently MiniMonos is converting about 3% of their users from free membership to paid membership however Clark-Reynolds has reported that the 3% of paid memberships are driving 90% of their revenue. They are quickly approaching 1 million members, their current member tally is about 840,000 members with more than half being in the UK.
More after the break
In a move that’s being praised by parents and child advocacy groups, and criticized by some others, New York Attorney General, Eric T. Schneiderman, with the help of some of the biggest online gaming publishers in the world, banned 3,500 accounts belonging to NY registered sex offenders from their online games.
New York has one of the strictest watches over registered sex offenders and their online habits. A registered sex offender in New York must register all their email addresses and online accounts in order to be in compliance with their registration laws. Those who don’t do that sometimes find them the subject of a parole or probation violation.
In a press release today Schneiderman said:
“I applaud all the companies participating in this first-of-its-kind initiative for taking online safety seriously and purging their networks of sex offenders. Together we are making the online community safer for our children, not allowing it to become a 21st century crime scene.”
Microsoft, Sony, Apple, Blizzard Entertainment, Electronic Arts, Warner Brothers and Disney Interactive all cooperated with the Attorney General in New York to remove these sex offenders from their online games.
The fear is that some of these sex offenders will use text chat and voice chat in games to cultivate relationships with underage game players.
Website Tech.li reports:
The initiative aims to eliminate situations where sexual predators have worked to befriend and lure underage gamers via popular gaming networks.
Some, including Tech.Li’s Corey Cummings, feel that a move to ban 3,500 accounts in one fell swoop from online gaming entirely may be a bit overboard. There may have been the option for something less drastic like banning them from chat and video chat.
Schneierman is hoping that other states will follow New York’s “operation game over”