Monthly Archives: January 2013

Battlefield 3 new motorcycle feature game play

This shows the gameplay from the new feature on Battlefield 3 with motorcycle game play. Enjoy

Synapsy German App Game marketplace is stealing developers from Google Play?

Synapsy a German company who runs and develops its own app market place for Mobile Network Operators like Telstra and others has been reportedly contacting developers directly from their Google Play Apps.

Specifically the company is attempting to steal developers and content from Google Play by sending developers the following email.

Dear (Developers Name)

I’m Andreas Mehlmann and I’m Content Partner Manager at the German company SYNAPSY Mobile Networks GmBH

Since more than 10 years we develop and manage Applications and Games Stores for international network operators like Hutchinson 3, Orange, Qtel, Telstra….

I have just recognized your App (App name) in Google Play and would like to invite you to join our developer and publisher program in order to distribute your Apps to channels managed by us as well.

There is no sign up or monthly fee and submitting an App just takes 2-3 minutes via our easy to use self-service submission service.

Visit now (Their Site)

I’m looking forward to distributing your content soon!

Thank you and kind regards

Andreas Mehlmann

Content Partner Manager

SYNAPSY Mobile Networks GmBH

 

*** Now there are a few problems here, One the grammar is horrible, That doesn’t  give me any confidence in the company to work with United States Developers. 

Also SYNAPSY opens itself up to legal action when it states its contacting developers directly from Google Play. Also in their development console it actually STEALS data images and the like from Google Play…. Another red flag LEGALLY.

The biggest RED FLAG is the fact they state they have been distributing APPS and GAMES for phones for over 10 years….. Well let’s look at that, APPS as we know them today started with apple in 2007 and the app store, We know this company is not distributing anything for apple nor have they in the past.

Second the Android Platform did not come out until the Launch of the HTC G1 with T-Mobile here in the United States. And that was 2008

Now there was blackberry, And getjar, But both have no information on ever doing business with this company. 

So this is the biggest of all Red Flags. We will be doing an updated post later today or tomorrow with highlights from a live interview with one of the bigger mobile game companies. We are waiting for all the confirmation and documentation. But at this point its better to be safe then sorry. Sending your content to a company outside of the United States leaves you no protections under DMCA. 

And from what we have heard from a few developers and other blogs, They may be having issues actually paying developers for their content. *** We will have more on this in our video post ***

This story is more of a warning then anything else to be very careful who you distribute your content to outside the U.S. Make sure you do basic GOOGLE searches and do your due diligence on companies that contact you for your content.

A rule of thumb is… If they have to contact you for your content it usually means its not legit.

 

****EDIT*****
Apparently this is not the first time Synapsy has had bad press in the news see here

http://sebastianbloggt.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/is-synapsy-net-worth-joining-i-dont-think-so-and-tell-you-why/

Fast and Furious 6 Plot Synopsis Revealed

FAST6

I had to report on this, Being one of the EPIC franchises for movies, That may finally get a decent game out there with reports that OUYA builds and New builds for KEYLIME PIE android ONLY game will be available… Hmmmmm,

Universal has released new plot details for Fast & Furious 6, which is slated for release May 24. The first footage from the movie will be seen in this weekend’s Super Bowl TV spot. Here’s the film’s official synopsis:

Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Dwayne Johnson lead the returning cast of all-stars as the global blockbuster franchise built on speed races to its next continent in Fast & Furious 6.  Reuniting for their most high-stakes adventure yet, fan favorites Jordana Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Sung Kang, Gal Gadot, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges and Elsa Pataky are joined by badass series newcomers Luke Evans and Gina Carano.

Since Dom (Diesel) and Brian’s (Walker) Rio heist toppled a kingpin’s empire and left their crew with $100 million, our heroes have scattered across the globe.  But their inability to return home and living forever on the lam have left their lives incomplete. 

Meanwhile, Hobbs (Johnson) has been tracking an organization of lethally skilled mercenary drivers across 12 countries, whose mastermind (Evans) is aided by a ruthless second-in-command revealed to be the love Dom thought was dead, Letty (Rodriguez).  The only way to stop the criminal outfit is to outmatch them at street level, so Hobbs asks Dom to assemble his elite team in London.  Payment?  Full pardons for all of them so they can return home and make their families whole again. Image

Minecraft Pocket Update Might Eat Your Progress WARNING

Minecraft – Pocket Edition’s 0.6 update launched this week, adding a huge amount of new content. Armor, baby animals, signs, new blocks and more. Perhaps best of all, the update also allows sand and gravel to obey the laws of gravity as they do in Minecraft on PC and Xbox 360.

Unfortunately the update also seems to have introduced a serious world saving bug. Some users are reporting that anything builtMinecraft Logo or constructed is not being saved when users exit their world. Most nefarious of all, your resource count is saved. So if you spend a lot of resources building something, you’ll both lose your progress and any building materials used.

doesn’t have any information on how widespread the bug is, but we were able to quickly and easily reproduce the issue. Numerous user reviews are also flooding the App Store with complaints.

For now any Minecraft – Pocket Edition addicts are advised to stay away from the app until Mojang releases an update.

 

ImageThe Gaming Post doesn’t have any information on how widespread the bug is, but we were able to quickly and easily reproduce the issue. Numerous user reviews are also flooding the App Store with complaints.

For now any Minecraft – Pocket Edition addicts are advised to stay away from the app until Mojang releases an update.

The Google Play Store has been SLAMMED with reviews on this issue, Check it out on your android device.

For now we recommend to stay away from the update until another comes out

GameStop positions itself to thrive in a growing digital age

In an industry where sales are increasingly going digital, GameStop is at a crossroads.

Traditional brick and mortar isn’t going away anytime soon – and used game sales are still a viable force. But day one digital purchase options are becoming more and more frequent on consoles and DLC is one of the fastest growing segments in the industry.

To adapt, the retailer has been in the process of pivoting for a while now. And Brad Schliesser, director of digital content for GameStop, says the efforts are paying off.

Store clerks, who inform customers about the DLC options at the point of purchase, are helping raise awareness, he says. And a notable number of those customers are being converted to buyers.

“What struck us was that 50 percent of the people that were buying DLC from GameStop had never purchased DLC before,” says Schliesser. “I always believed if all we did was take customers who were shopping at the Microsoft storefront or the PlayStation storefront and make them our customers, that doesn’t benefit the whole. If we were going to be a significant player in the content market, we had to widen the pie.”

The goal, says Schliesser, is not to convert core gamers, who are already comfortable with purchasing directly from console companies. Instead, the company is hoping to rope in the people who either do not have a credit card or are uncomfortable entering their credit card information onto the systems – which it already reaches through Xbox Live subscription card sales.

Buyers tend to favor the Xbox 360 when purchasing DLC from GameStop. Sales for that system account for 65 percent of GameStop’s overall DLC sales, says Schliesser. The PlayStation 3 makes up 28-30 percent. And other devices fill the gap.

Those other devices include Steam. Valve’s digital distribution service offers brick and mortar purchases through GameStop – and while it hasn’t been a notable sales driver to date, it is showing promise.

“I would say that Steam is gaining in significance,” says Schliesser. “We did extremely well in the Steam summer sale. They’ve been a fantastic partner, coming together with an agreement to sell the currency. They’ve also promoted the currency on their platform. I think they also are seeing the benefit of being able to reach out to customers that aren’t able to pay with a credit card.”

One of the hurdles facing the company today is when customers buy their DLC at the store, they simply receive a code, which they must enter when they get home, then wait for the content to download. That’s not exactly a seamless experience.

Schliesser says GameStop is painfully aware of this and is already talking with console companies about making the process smoother. Specifically, customers would purchase the content at GameStop; then the retailer (through a secure handshake with the console company) would confirm the transaction had taken place and the DLC would be instantly put into the user’s account.

Originally, in fact, that was the plan.

“We thought we’d have to have that in place,” he says. “Making this a little easier for consumers is the icing on the cake. Our goal on this is ‘let’s make it a better process for the consumer.’ … Our goal in 2013 would be to get one partner to convert to a ‘push to box’ model.”

GameStop is betting heavily on its digital future, but the company has seen some hiccups in its growth recently. Our own analyst Matt Matthews has raised questions about whether the company will be able to hit its target of $1.5 billion by the end of its 2014 fiscal year (and notes the company did not reiterate that figure in its most recent earnings call.)

Schliesser tempers any fears, saying the company has been “extremely pleased” with the growth rate and is still definitely targeting $1.5 billion.

“Our ability to sell the content has expanded dramatically,” he says “Two years ago, our attach rate for DLC was 2 percent. On Borderlands 2, we saw an 18 percent attach rate for a $30 season pass.”
GameStop also expects a pickup in customers with the launch of new consoles – and expects that surge will also be interested in DLC sales. However, he concedes: “If the industry is in a decline, obviously we’re not going to outgrow the industry.”

Disney shuts down Epic Mickey studio Junction Point

JunctionPointDisney has shut down Austin-based development studio Junction Point, the company confirmed Tuesday.

Junction Point was the lead developer behind both Disney Epic Mickey for the Nintendo Wii and the multiplatform sequel Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two. While the former sold 1.3 million units in its November and December 2010 debut months, the latter — according to a source speaking to the L.A. Times — sold just 270,000 copies across four SKUs in a comparable timeframe.

Sources familiar with the situation have said that Junction Point’s employees have been on an extended, enforced vacation since the sequel shipped in November, and that their return date — which was, officially, today — was pushed back more than once.

Employees were officially informed of the closure today, though some were tipped off when fellow Austin studio Roberts Space Industries tweeted about the closure Monday morning (that tweet has since been removed). We understand that several developers learned that they no longer had a job through this publicly viewable tweet.

The closure follows Disney Interactive’s ongoing consolidation of its development studios to focus more on digital and mobile titles. Other than its upcoming Disney Infinity project, we understand that the company is no longer publishing boxed retail games, though Disney CEO Robert Iger has stated that console games are still on the table, but “most likely in licensing rather than publishing.”

A statement regarding Junction Point’s closure reads as follows:
It was with much sadness that we informed our teams today of changes to our Games organization, which include the closure of Junction Point Studios. These changes are part of our ongoing effort to address the fast-evolving gaming platforms and marketplace and to align resources against our key priorities. We’re extremely grateful to Warren Spector and the Junction Point team for their creative contributions to Disney with Disney Epic Mickey and Disney Epic Mickey 2.
The closure is the latest in a string of bad news for game developers in Austin. In the past 8 months alone we’ve seen major layoffs at Starhawk developer Lightbox, a near-shutdown of Zynga Austin, a restructuring of BioWare Austin and, just last week, the death of Vigil after bankrupted owner THQ failed to find it a buyer.

Junction Point was founded in 1995 by former Looking Glass and Ion Storm veterans Warren Spector and Art Min (and was, in fact, named after a cancelled Looking Glass game the two worked on). When Gamasutra first spoke to the studio in 2007, it was working on an original IP, though those plans changed when the studio was acquired by Disney later that year.

Platinum Games courting Darksiders, ex-Vigil employees

The courts have approved the auction results which portioned up THQ’s development assets, but one studio and the franchise that put it on the map were notably absent: Vigil Games and Darksiders. It’s a long shot, but some murmurs suggest Platinum Games may not let that be the end of their story.

Yesterday, THQ confirmed Vigil received no bids in the auction, and that its employees will be laid off. THQ will continue to seek buyers for its unsold assets as the Chapter 11 process continues, meaning the license is still up for grabs, and will likely go at a fire-sale price if any interested buyers emerge.

Speak of the developer and he shall appear. Platinum Games’ executive director and producer Atsushi Inaba tweeted his interest in such a prospect yesterday, as translated by Kotaku:

“In THQ’s studio and IP selling off auction, Darksiders is unsold? [We] wanna buy it…on the cheap…”

Cool to see Inaba’s interest, though of course it could just be an idle notion. But add in this tweet from Platinum Games writer JP Kellams to Haydn Dalton, Darksiders I and II lead designer, after Dalton pined for making a four-player co-op Darksiders III.Darksiders

Portal Designer and Creator says women need to be more visible

Portal and Quantum Conundrum lead designer Kim Swift wants games to be more diverse and for the industry to “just plain grow up.” She was one of many women in the gaming industry to voice their concerns in the #1ReasonWhy hashtag on Twitter, which collected various instances of sexism which make the industry a difficult place for women to work.

“I was one of those kids that dreamed of making video games one day,” Swift wrote on her blog. “When I looked at the gaming landscape and browsed through Nintendo Power, I didn’t see a person with two X chromosomes that I could point and go ‘Yes, if she did it, so can I!’”

How can games attract and value a more varied group of creators now that these and other problems have been aired, grieved, dismissed, and trolled? Swift said on her blog that it won’t happen today, but it could happen in 20 years.

“When this current generation of kids sees the good example that we should be setting now. And though we may not be able to tell it completely like it is just yet [for fear of retribution], there’s still plenty we can do to help future generations of game developers. So ladies, my call to arms is this: Be visible. Be outspoken. Be strong. Be smart. Be kind. Be everything that the younger versions of us could’ve pointed to and proudly said: ‘Girls make games too.'”kim swift

THQ Debtholders object to Bankruptcy and Sale

THQ lenders and noteholders have filed objections to the publisher’s bankruptcy and pending sale to private equity firm Clearlake Capital Group. The complaints claim that bankruptcy proceedings and prompt sale to Clearlake were orchestrated against the best interests of the company’s debtholders.

Several of the company’s lenders find that lenders’ financial interests would have been better served if the company had a longer bidding process. Not only that, but THQ should have allowed its assets to be bidded on piecemeal to try for a better financial bottom line–i.e., one publisher could buy Saints Row (and maybe even developer Volition) while another snatched up Darksiders.

However, the agreements included several clauses to “chill” the bidding process, requiring that parties other than Clearlake buy THQ whole and at an excessive price, the lenders claim.

Another objection filed by a coalition of THQ’s convertible noteholders was spotted by Distressed Debt Investing. It calls out THQ president Jason Rubin’s note to fans as a partial admission that debtholder interest was not a priority in arranging the deal.

“On December 19, 2012, Jason Rubin wrote a letter addressed to THQ’s gaming customers in which he stated that ‘the goal throughout the sale process has been to preserve our teams and our products’ and that ‘no matter what the outcome in 30 days, as long as we have accomplished this goal, I will be satisfied,'” the objection states. “Satisfaction of unsecured creditor claims appears not to have been one of Debtors’ management’s priorities.”

We’ll keep an eye on these disputes and report the news as it breaks. THQ2

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