Nintendo may finally be figuring out that in this next cycle of new consoles it needs a serious and robust online a digital distribution strategy. In this current cycle the company devices have been taken to the woodshed when it comes to online gaming by the likes of Sony, Microsoft, Google, and Apple. Nintendo hopes to rectify the problem with a new hire.
David DeMartini, senior VP of global e-commerce at EA, says that it is his company's hope to make its digital distribution platform Origin "a better version" of Valve's Steam service. Do you remember when EA said that Origin was never meant to compete with Steam and that it was yanking its games from Valve's service because of restrictions on the ability to directly patch titles? Yeah...
The official blog for Bethesda offers a reminder that the first major expansion to Elder Scrolls IV: Skyrim will be released tomorrow in English speaking territories. While fans in the U.S. and other countries surely welcome this news, players in other parts of the world where English is not the main language (and French, Italian, German, or Spanish is) will have to wait a few more weeks - or sometime in mid-July.
In a statement released to Kotaku, Blizzard Entertainment explains why it decided to lock down digital purchases of Diablo III for 72 hours. The sum of its statement is that all of this was done after the most recent patch to ensure that the game and the auction houses are not compromised and remain pure. The company also added the delay to stop hucksters and fraudsters from perpetrating credit card fraud schemes.
Blizzard announced today that those who buy a digital version of Diablo III through its online store will have to wait 72 hours before they can play the unrestricted full version of the game. During that time period players will have access to Act I up to the Skeleton King, a level 13 cap, and matchmaking only with other Starter Edition players. Global play will also be off limits and anyone attempting to play the Starter Edition in an outside region will get an "error 12." The auction houses will also be off limits.
In an interview with GamesIndustry International, David DeMartini, Senior Vice President of Global Ecommerce for Electronic Arts and the head of EA's Origin digital distribution platform, decided to talks some smack about Valve's Steam. He also talks about the platform's rocky first year and how the company wants Origin to be the number one hub for gamers.
Cloud gaming service Gaikai has announced a deal with Machinima to bring its popular entertainment content to Gaikai's open platform for integration across all Gaikai-powered devices. Machinima claims an audience of 168 million gamers, who viewed more than 1.61 billion videos in the month of April, according to Gaikai.
Earlier this week the company announced a deal with Samsung to bring its cloud-based gaming services to the company's Smart TV line of high definition internet-ready televisions.
Not to be outdone by OnLive's deal with TV manufacturer LG, Cloud gaming service Gaikai has announced a partnership with electronics manufacturer Samsung to bring its streaming game service to select Samsung television models. Samsung's game service powered by Gaikai will offer games from all of the company's publishing partners.
Cloud-based gaming service OnLive announced at the opening of the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles that the company has partnered with television manufacturer LG to provide gaming without the need for hardware. All consumers will need is OnLive's gamepad. The company also revealed a number of new services that it plans to roll into its gaming service.
According to several published reports, Sony will bring backwards compatibility back to the PlayStation 3 via a new partnership with cloud-based game streaming company Gaikai. Using the company's game-streaming technology PlayStation 3 owners will be able to play first- and third-party classic PlayStation One and PlayStation 2 titles through the service. Sony is expected to make some sort of announcement related to cloud-based gaming next week during its E3 Expo press event in Los Angeles.
GameStop International and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe have partnered to bring PlayStation Network DLC to 1,600 retail video game stores throughout Europe and Australia. This includes stores in Australia, New Zealand, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Consumers can purchase downloadable content in stores using cash, gift cards, and in-store credits from trade-ins to buy the DLC.
According to this MCV report Sony's upcoming announcement about a partnership with a cloud gaming firm may actually lead to an acquisition. Citing a source close to the situation, MCV reports that the deal is much more involved than anyone knows and that it is close to being finalized. While the report doesn't specifically name any particular companies the prevailing rumors is that one of the leaders in the space - Online or Gaikai are probably the most likely targets.
Everyone is getting in on the crowdfunding bandwagon. Electronic Arts announced today that it will make life a little bit easier for anyone that successfully funds a game through a crowdfunding program such as Kickstarter by letting them sell their game on its Origin digital distribution platform for free for 90 days. While 90 days might not seem like a very long time let's keep in mind that the best sales usually come in the first two weeks of a game's release anyway...
Video game retailer GameStop announced its first quarter 2012 financial results this week, showing that physical retail numbers were down, while used games and digital sales were up. While the company saw a decline in overall net income and sales for the quarter, its reported income was in line with earnings targets.
Polygon has an interesting report on a possible competitor looking to move into the space currently filled by cloud-based game streaming services Gaikai and OnLive. The company is called Ubitus and it provides what the publication categorizes as "white label" cloud-based gaming services to a number of devices including cellular carriers and internet service providers.
A post from Capcom's Senior VP Christian Svensson on the Capcom Unity Blog reveals that Capcom has listened to the fans and is reconsidering the practice of including DLC on its retail discs. In his post Svensson emphasizes that Capcom has listened to fans who do not like the practice, and that changes may be on the way, though he says some upcoming releases will still contain on-disc DLC because they were already deep into the development cycle when the policy "re-evaluation" was made. One of those titles is the upcoming Dragon's Dogma.
According to a C&VG report games retailer GameStop will begin stocking Steam cards May 15 in a majority of its U.S. stores. The idea of having a retail card is that it gives those who do not have a credit card the ability to put cash towards a card they can use to buy games on Steam.
Speaking at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2012 Global Technology Conference this week, Electronic Arts chief operating officer Peter Moore has said that retail is still "where it's at" for most customers, despite the amazing growth for the company in the digital space.
EA's official blog is calling on all Origin customers to let them know what you love or hate about the digital distribution platform - either in the comments section of this blog post or as part of a special chat scheduled for May 8.
According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian parliament has decided that an enquiry is necessary to investigate the "imbalance in pricing" for online content and services in the country compared to other global territories.
Nintendo will adopt a digital distribution strategy that gets games into the hands of gamers the same day they are released at retail, according to Nintendo president Satoru Iwata. This new dual release strategy will be used for the 3DS and the Wii U when it launches, with the first game to get this treatment being New Super Mario Bros. 2 for the 3DS.
"For our digital business to grow drastically, it is imperative for us to expand the exposure of the digital download products to potential consumers," said Nintendo president Satoru Iwata.
EA's digital distribution platform "has a long way to go," according to Valve's Gabe Newell, who owns Steam. As part of episode one of the Seven Day Cooldown podcast, Newell gave a blunt response when asked what he thought about EA's digital distribution platform.
"They have a lot of work to do to get to where they need to be and where I as a customer would want them to be," he said.
In a recent interview with Rock, Paper, Shotgun, GOG.com's Managing director Guillaume Rambourg and marketing head Trevor Longino try to make the case that Steam's practice of discounting games actually hurts developers in the long run. The duo questions the frequent sales on Steam, adding that heavy discounting also sends the wrong message to gamers.
The Center for Copyright Information, an organization that was created to oversee a new anti-piracy regime negotiated by content providers and internet service providers last summer, has begun to take shape and some of its key leaders are surprising. The organization announced on Monday that the names of its executive director and several members of its advisory board. At face value, the choices to serve as the architects of the "Copyright Alert" system could strike a balance between the interests of rights holders and the rights of users.
If you were interested in EA's new SimCity game then you may want to rethink your plans to play it when it launches sometime in 2013. According to Joystiq, EA's city building game will require that you remain "always connected" with the game in order to play it. There was some concern that the game would only be available through Origin, but apparently you'll be able to pick it up from other sources.
GameStop is banking on a new deal with Blizzard that it hopes will shore up its digital sales over the next several years. The deal will see GameStop offer customers the ability to buy games and digital goods for Blizzard games in the retailer’s stores in the U.S. and other regions. Diablo III, coming May 15, will be the first game sold via download codes in the stores.
Speaking to GamesBeat, Kongregate co-founder Jim Greer says that life has been good for the indie gaming portal and social network. Greer tells VentureBeat that Kongregate doubled the number of virtual goods-based games on the site and has managed to triple virtual goods revenue in the last year. He claims that those virtual goods sales now make up 80 percent of the site's revenue.
Speaking to GameSpy, Minecraft creator and Mojang front man Markus "Notch" Persson said that having Steam as the only source for digital distribution would be "scary," even though he generally support Valve Software's platform. Steam's platform currently has more than 40 million subscribers.