GAMING UPDATE May 2011 GAMING UPDATE // MAY 2011 //
MAY UPDATE GAMING UPDATE // MAY 2011 // In a couple of days, the doors of the E3 gaming conference in Los Angeles will once again swing wide open for every man and woman who has a connection with the gaming industry. New hardware will be presented and new software will be available to try out. Every year this event marks a new year in gaming and Advance Gaming will be there again to be your eyes and ears. So consider this month’s update the last Gaming Update of the 2010-2011 gaming season. It was a nice one. Enjoy!
GAMING UPDATE // MAY 2011 // GAGA STARTS UNICORN FARM //PLAYING HER MUSIC IN THE STABLES When you’re Lady Gaga and you decide to pick up farming, what kind of animals would you have? Probably not the average cow or random pig. No, Lady Gaga goes for unicorns and harvests crystals in between milking her livestock. Wait. Do unicorns even lactate? If you want to find out, you can pay Lady a visit at her brand new GagaVille on…you guessed it right, FarmVille. Why would she like to welcome you there? Because she’s selling a new album, and she would like every FarmVille player to buy it. So take a look around at the stables or the barn, and listen to her songs for “free” (when you buy a FarmVille gift card). Seems like online marketing just got Gaga-ized. There was a time when game developers had to go out to beg for advertising money, but it seems like the entertainment industry is looking more and more towards the gaming sector to get their message out. VIDEO www.zynga.com SOURCE: ZYNGA.COM
GAMING UPDATE // MAY 2011 // THE NEXT GREAT GAME NOVEL //OR MAYBE NOT Magic happens when different things cross-fertilize. Different concepts, different cultures, different passions. So what if one guy decides to create some magic by combining his love for a video game with his writing skills? Not much apparently. Kyle Lambert wants to write a Minecraft novel, based on the immensely popular online brick world. He just has one problem: the story. Not that he is stuck with his story progression, he just doesn’t know where to start. Should it be a story for survival (because that is pretty much what the game is about), or should it be a combination of short stories? Lambert didn’t let this little issue get him down. He’s already pitched the novel to the developers of Minecraft and is waiting for a positive reply. As he told Kotaku.com: “While Minecraft is the same game for everyone that plays it, it is a different experience entirely to each of those individual players. It would be exceptionally difficult to capture this philosophy in a novel. It is effectively impossible. Minecraft players come from every age range, every walk of life.” For now Lambert is calling out to all Minecraft fans to help him make a decision on the story. We have a slight suspicion that would only confuse him more. www.minecraft.net SOURCE: MINECRAFT.NET
GAMING UPDATE // MAY 2011 // SEX, DRUGS AND POLITICS //FACEBOOK GAMING GETS SERIOUS You are done with raising crops, building a city or fighting mobsters on Facebook? You want some more meaning in your social games? Look no further, a new live-action game, America 2049, gives you all the heavy political and human rights concepts you were missing in previous Facebook games. Step into a security-obsessed America of the future. Where civil liberties and human rights have lost many fights. And you, the human-loving creature you are, have landed a job as one of the agents of the Council on American Heritage. It is your task to keep the country secure and safe by hunting down people who have escaped from health quarantine, etc. While finding clues and solving puzzles, you discover all the dark sides of the society you are trying to serve; human trafficking, detention camps, sex slavery etc. Are you willing to do something about it or will you choose to ignore where your society is heading? America 2049 sets itself apart away from all the smiley and funny games we’re used to on Facebook. On its own, it makes a very immersive human rights campaign. We just wonder if that’s what you’re really hankering for when you take a little Facebook break in between browsing on Facebook and...let’s be honest now, browsing on Facebook. VIDEO www.america2049.com SOURCE: AMERICA2049.COM
GAMING UPDATE // MAY 2011 // HOW TO GAIN BROWSER MARKET SHARE //THE GOOGLE CHROME WAY Very simple. You pick the most popular game of the moment, attach it to your browser and tell anyone and everyone that you can play the game for free if you just download and use their browser. Exactly what Google did to give their Chromo browser a little extra kick. Great way to save a dollar ($0.99 at the iTunes store). SOURCE: CHROME.GOOGLE.COM
GAMING UPDATE // MAY 2011 // COOL GUYS WIN //LOSERS PAY Gabe Newell, director at game developer Valve, is known for coming up with wicked ideas on a regular basis. Now the thing with wicked ideas is that at first the concept seems pretty ridiculous, but on further inspection you might find that you have to alter your preconceptions a bit. With Gabe’s new idea, acceptance probably comes down to your status. Your gaming status, that is. According to Mr. Newell, we should have a look at how much fun individual gamers are to play with. Based on that, a developer should be able to decide how much that gamer will have to pay for playing. The cool guys, the ones that get a following whenever they enter their favorite online game, would get to pay a whole lot less than their idiotic counterparts who nobody likes. Antisocial and cheating gamers, keep your credit cards ready! Oh and if you want to use the voice chat with your dirty mouth… be prepared for an even higher bill. Now that is what we call social gaming. SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA CREATIVE COMMONS
GAMING UPDATE // MAY 2011 // GAMING WITH CONSEQUENCES //PUT YOUR VIRTUAL LIFE ON THE LINE In the April Gaming Update, we talked about the mobile game that only gives you one chance to jump from one building to another; an interesting concept that tries to get gaming closer to real life. In the end, most of us only have one life. And no, that transvestite act you do at the weekend still counts as the same life. There is one flaw to the aformentioned game though. You can still re-install the game after you crash to death. But not with this great new advertising concept for Russian Standard Vodka created by the students of Miami Ad School: Russian Facebook Roulette. Yes, with real guns! Of course you are not playing for your real life here, but for some of us losing our Facebook life is almost as horrifying, if not worse. Connect with four of your Facebook friends, spin the real gun’s drum from behind your computer screen and pull the trigger to see if you are lucky today. The survivors can win a trip to experience Russia for real, with a lot of vodka of course, but without Russian roulette on every street corner. Sadly enough, the game is only a concept and we guess Facebook would never allow a third party to delete one of their profiles. But it gives us a good look into what kind of great social brand campaigns could pop up in the future. VIDEO SOURCE: ILYA MALYANOV
GAMING UPDATE // MAY 2011 // TINYFUND //FOR NOT SO TINY MOBILE GAMES If you team up a succesful mobile game developer and a big hit Sillicon Valley venture capital firm with investments in Twitter and Digg, you’re bound to create something exciting: TinyFund. TinyCo (TinyZoo, VIP Poker) and billion dollar VC company Andreessen Horowitz decided to put a fund together for indie game developers who want to develop any type of game played on iPhone, iPad, or Android, including both paid and free titles. So if you’re one of those, you could get the chance to get a share of a 5 million dollar pie, cut in tasty slices of $500,000. And that’s not all. TinyFund will also help you out with all your marketing, development and business needs. Sounds like a great deal, right? We know this fund wasn’t started by Mother Theresa but we do like what we are seeing. Big money teaming up with independent creative people. If this trend spreads, we expect a lot of indie fun on our mobile devices over the next few years. And that makes us all happy, doesn’t it? www.tinyco.com
GAMING UPDATE // MAY 2011 // UBISOFT STARTS MOVIE DIVISION //RESPECTING ITS HERITAGE The French like to make movies. In fact, the movie industry started there. Remember the Lumiere brothers? A hundred years later our croissant-eating friends have got yet another skill: video games. With big titles like Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell, French game publisher Ubisoft has claimed a spot at the top of the industry. But Ubisoft wouldn’t be French if they didn’t combine their gaming skills with some good French heritage. And the result seems to be paying off. Last year the publisher made some nice profits with the film version of their widely-popular Prince of Persia game. It was such a succes that it’s likely to just be the start of many more Ubisoft game-inspired movies to come. To support their film activities and keep the controls in their own hands, Ubisoft have just launched their own film division. Having bought visual effects studio Hybride Technologies, the company now seems ready to blow Hollywood away. Bonne chance! www.ubisoft.com SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA CREATIVE COMMONS
GAMING UPDATE // MAY 2011 // SONY’S SMART AR //NO MARKS NO LAG Impressive new augmented reality techonology from Sony.
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