RuneScape maker Jagex announced today that it is shutting down Transformers Universe, the company's MMO based on the popular Transformers franchise from Hasbro. The UK-based MMO developer proposed downsizing its team last month, noting that the free-to-play MMO game was reaching a "new stage of development in its life cycle."
But it turns out that the company decided that the game wasn't performing well enough to continue supporting it.
Game engine maker Unity has inked a deal with music production and licensing company APM Music, according to this Gamasutra report.
Under the terms of the deal, Unity will offer developers access to APM's vast music catalog via a special section of the Unity Asset Store. From the store developers can license a number of APM's music tracks for use in their games.
The Pokémon Company International announced several new deals with European licensees. Ten new deals have been confirmed with players as diverse as Arguydal (a food and drink company), footwear maker Aventure Diffusion, candy maker Bon Bon Buddies: Confections, school supplies companies Cartorama and Vadobag, apparel company Fashion UK, poster maker GB eye, video games accessories companies HORI and RDS Industries, and board game maker Winning movies.
Mojang will deliver a keynote address at the Brand Licensing Europe 2014 on Wednesday October 8th, event organizer Advanstar announced today. The presentation, "Minecraft: the rise of a world-class game and brand," will be presented by Mojang COO Vu Bu. The keynote is part of the Licensing Academy program of talks and seminars which are held during BLE 2014. They are free to attend and the full program can be found at www.brandlicensing.eu as well.
Obsidian Entertainment announced that it has signed a long-term licensing partnership with Paizo Inc. to produce electronic games based on its popular Pathfinder Roleplaying Game franchise. Obsidian's first licensed product through this deal will be a tablet game based on the Pathfinder Adventure Card game, a cooperative game for 1 to 4 players.
An estimated 100,000 college football and basketball players can receive up to $5,000 a year for the use of their likeness in NCAA-based video games, according to a settlement in an ongoing class action dispute. The news comes from Courthouse News who obtained the settlement document this morning.
Bulldog Licensing has inked a sub-agency deal with Game of 2 Halves for Deep Silver's Saints Row and Dead Island. The deal, which covers Canada and the United States, allows the company to further license the properties for toys, action figures, collectables, posters, electronics and accessories deals.
Turbine Entertainment announced via a forum post that it has renewed the license for Lord of the Rings, allowing its long-running MMO Lord of the Rings Online to continue operations.
Community Manager Rick Heaton confirmed that his company had renewed the license for the game set in the universe created in Tolkien's popular books in a forum post.
In our very first episode of 2014, hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about the latest poll on GamePolitics (about finding porn on a freshly purchased 3DS), Braid creator Jonathan Blow's comments on Farmville and Plants v Zombies 2, various licensing deals gone wrong, and Sherlock Holmes finally making its way to the public domain. Download Episode 82 now: SuperPAC Episode 82 (1 hour, 9 minutes) 79.6 MB.
In mid-December GOG.com gave away Fallout games for free to kick off its massive Winter sale. If you wondered why that was happening, the answer is simple enough: both Interplay and GOG.com knew that they would soon lose the rights to sell these classic games as of January 1, 2014. So now if you want to buy any of those earlier Fallout games, you'll have to find them somewhere else because they are no longer on GOG.com. Of course if you purchased the games before Dec.
EA Mythic's Warhammer licensed MMORPG, Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning was shut down last night after the license held by EA Mythic from Games Workshop expired. Former Warhammer Online producer Josh Drescher talked at length about the game on his personal blog, saying that most of the criticism towards the game was spot on, while some of it was just "uninformed BS."
While EA Sports has announced that it has broken its long-time relationship with golfing sensation Tiger Woods, it looks like Woods may already be talking to other game companies about putting his name and face on a whole new product. Tiger Woods' agent Mark Steinberg told ESPN that he is currently speaking with another unnamed video game company regarding video game rights.
Electronic Arts announced via its official blog this morning that it is ending its long-standing partnership with pro golfer Tiger Woods. The company said that the split was a mutual decision between both parties, and that the PGA Tour series of licensed golf games would continue on without the Tiger Woods name.
It looks like LEGO is going to get into the toy-game crossover business established by Activision's Skylanders and adapted by Disney's Disney Infinity game with a game of its own. Luckily for both those franchises, the game and the supporting mini-figures will be used for an online and iOS title being developed by Funcom - and not on consoles. The online game, LEGO Minifigures Online, is set to go live next summer and will use a new range of $2 toys that include an unlock code to add a virtual version of a playable character into the game.
Connecticut Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey (D-Hamden) has sent a letter to top executives at the ESA, Activision Blizzard, Take-Two Interactive, and Valve urging them to end the practice of licensing and marketing products from gun manufacturers for video games. The letter was addressed to Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick, Activision Blizzard CEO Robert Kotick, Valve front man Gabe Newell, and Entertainment Software Association CEO Michael Gallagher.
The Big Ten, Pacific-12, and Southeastern conferences will no longer allow EA Sports to use their respective league logos in the company's college football video games. The organizations join the NCAA, who announced last month that it would not renew a licensing agreement with EA - due to expire in June 2014. EA Sports can still pursue individual licenses for schools - they are not covered under the conference contracts - but will not be able to mention the actual conferences in its games.
Six current college football players have been added as plaintiffs to the anti-trust lawsuit that claims the NCAA owes billions of dollars to former players for allowing their likenesses to be used without compensation in games made by Electronic Arts. Former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon is the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, which has been joined by 16 former college athletes. Basketball Hall of Famers Bill Russell and Oscar Robertson previously joined the lawsuit.
Attorney Steve Berman has issued a brief statement on the NCAA's decision to let its licensing agreement with EA expire next year. Berman is the managing partner of law firm Hagens Berman and co-lead counsel in a class-action lawsuit filed by former college athletes against the NCAA and Electronic Arts. The lawsuit, detailed by the law firm here, alleges that EA's NCAA branded sports games used players' likenesses without permission and without providing compensation.
The Powell Group has inked a licensing partnership with IDW Publishing, America's fourth-largest comics publisher. The company will serve as the primary liaison between licensees in the video games industry and IDW's properties. The deal covers all platforms including current and next-generation console platforms and mobile devices.
Singer Beyonce Knowles has settled a lawsuit with videogame company Gate Five. The $100 million lawsuit alleged that the singer backed out of a deal to create a dance video game called Starpower: Beyonce. Attorneys for Beyonce and Gate Five filed an agreement in the New York Court asking for a dismissal of all claims and counter-claims related to the case.
Gate Five lawyer Peter Gallagher told the New York Post that both sides have "settled amicably" and that he couldn't "discuss the terms of the settlement, but it was resolved.''
A former EA Sports producer says that the NCAA games developed by EA Sports over the years were designed to replicate actual players without using their names. This is according to a deposition given by former EA Sports producer Jeremy Strauser, who testified in a deposition for the Ed O'Bannon lawsuit against the NCAA, Collegiate Licensing Company, and EA Sports. The deposition, along with other documents from the case are part of EA's filings with the court last week. Jeremy Strauser worked at EA from 1995 until 2011.
Electronic Arts had decided that it will no longer "officially" license specific models of guns from gun manufacturers, according to this Reuters report. EA will continue to use various gun designs from manufacturers, but it won't pay any money for them. The company claims that it has a constitutional right to free speech in using the various gun-related trademarks.
It looks like Netflix is about to take a chainsaw to its catalog of content, according to information collected by content cataloguing site InstantWatcher. With several licensees set to expire, Netflix will begin removing content from MGM, Universal, Warner Bros., and more. Instant Watcher puts the amount of content to be removed this month at around 1,794. Some of that content include 15 seasons of South Park, older horror movies and some early James Bond films.
Mojang has inked a deal with North American toy maker Jazwares to produce a line of action figures, plush, and papercraft items based on the ultra-popular Minecraft game franchise. The new deal covers the entire globe, with toys shipping by year's end if all goes well.
"We are excited by our new partnership with Jazwares," said Mojang CEO Carl Manneh. "This partnership will help give our community a new way to interact with the game they love."
Indie strategy developer and publisher Slitherine has signed a licensing deal with Games Workshop to develop a new strategy title set in the popular Warhammer 40,000 universe. While Slitherine says that details of the deal (including the content and features of the game) have not yet been announced, development is already underway on multiple platforms.
ESPN is reporting that Take-Two Interactive has signed an exclusive five-year deal with World Wrestling Entertainment to create and publish WWE-based wrestling games. The new WWE-based games will fall under the name "WWE 2K," with the first game to be released this fall as WWE 2K14, reports ESPN. Take-Two and the WWE have not made an official announcement about this deal yet.
While THQ is going through an auction today to decide what happens with its various assets, one of those asset partners says that it is not part of the deal. Filing a formal complaint with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of Delaware, South Park Digital Studios said that South Park: The Stick of Truth cannot be sold off to a new owner without the studio's approval, because of stipulations in the contract it signed with THQ.