Minecraft developer Mojang has teamed up with the United Nations to create a new initiative called Block By Block.
Frank Gibeau, the President of EA Labels, says that the company is saving all of its newest IP's for future generation consoles. Speaking to GamesIndustry International, Gibeau claims that his company is working on a whole slate of new IP's for the next generation of consoles from Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo.
ArenaNet has inked a deal with KongZhong Corporation to bring its popular and recently launched online RPG Guild Wars 2 to mainland China. The partnership is also apparently one of the biggest licensing transactions for a Western game in the Chinese marketplace. Under the terms of the licensing deal, ArenaNet has the option to buy up to 40 million of KongZhong Corporation's ordinary shares after the commercial launch of Guild Wars 2 in the region.
Microsoft is looking to snap up some of OnLive's former employees, according to this report from GamesIndustry International. While the company was rumored to be interested in buying the cloud-based streaming game subscription service many moons ago, it looks like the Xbox 360 maker is picking the bones. The company is using EventBrite as its recruitment vehicle of choice, posting the following message:
Sony Online Entertainment has officially relaunched its fantasy MMORPG Vanguard Saga of Heroes as a free-to-play game worldwide. SOE claims that Vanguard Saga of Heroes' transition to a free-to-play model marks the beginning of an "exciting new direction" which will include entirely new game enhancements, regular updates and brand new content.
According to a tweet from Mojang business developer Daniel Kaplan, the PC version of the company's ultra popular world-building, Zombie fighting game Minecraft has sold over 7 million copies since its launch.
"More than 7 million Minecraft (pc) copies sold!" Kaplan tweeted today.
This news is yet another indicator that Minecraft is going to make Mojang and its creator Markus 'Notch' Persson twice as much money as it did in 2011.
The CEO of middleware company BigWorld has resigned from the company. Earlier in the week it was announced that World of Tanks developer Wargaming had bought the middleware provider for $45 million. CEO John De Margheriti, who was one of the founders of the company, will step down at the end of this week. He will be replaced by co-founder Steve Wang, who will report directly to executives at Wargaming. Despite the departure, De Margheriti's statement seems to indicate an amicable exit from BigWorld.
The popular video gaming magazine Game Informer is now the third largest magazine in the United States, with circulation jumping 37 percent over last year's circulation numbers thanks mostly to GameStop's PowerUp Rewards Pro card program.
"Game Informer's growth in circulation reflects a culmination of the popularity of video games, Game Informer's partnership with the successful GameStop PowerUp Rewards program, and last but not least, a high-in-quality 21-year publication that tries not to miss a beat," associate publisher Rob Borm, tells Bloomberg.
While some in the Linux community have lauded the idea of Steam coming to the popular open-source operating system, some like Richard Stallman think it is not a good idea. Richard Stallman is better known as the founder of the Free Software Foundation and the GNU operating system. He has said publicly that charging users for DRM-protected games on an open-source platform is "unethical".
According to this Securities and Exchange Commission filings (SEC), Microsoft plans to launch its Surface tablet alongside Windows 8 in or around the month of October.
"The next version of our operating system, Windows 8, will be generally available on October 26, 2012. At that time, we will begin selling the Surface, a series of Microsoft-designed and manufactured hardware devices," the filing reads.
Taking a break from offering DRM-free pay-what-you-want indie games, the folks behind the Humble Indie Bundle are trying out a new medium - music. Today they announced the Humble Music Bundle, offering six digital albums from the likes of Cristopher Tin, They Might Be Giants, Jonathan Coulton, MC Frontalot, and Hitoshi Sakimoto (who created the music for Valkyria Chronicles).
Electronic Arts has agreed to give up the exclusive rights to create games based on the NCCA and AFL, and to pay $27 million to customers as part of a class action lawsuit settlement. The lawsuit alleged that EA had created a football game monopoly and used its position to edge out competing companies by adjusting prices downward, and locking down exclusive licenses. When that competition disappeared EA then raised the price of its games back to normal levels.
While Star Wars: The Old Republic isn't free-to-play yet, BioWare and EA have made a move similar to what Blizzard did with its World of Warcraft trial version. BioWare announced today that the trial version of the game will let players try out the game free of charge up to level 15. Players will have access to all eight character classes, as well as access to player versus player and player versus environment gameplay.
If you are one of those people dedicated (or crazy depending on your perspective) enough to pay $30 a month to rent a Battlefield 3 server from EA DICE, then today's announcement will make you feel like you are getting more bang for your buck. EA announced that an upcoming update will add new match features which give server owners and players the ability to coordinate and schedule matches.
The European Parliament has officially rejected the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). The Parliament voted 478 to 39 to reject the ACTA, which means that it will never be implemented in any member country of the European Parliament. The news is not surprising, given that five committees voted against the treaty leading up to the showdown on the floor of the European Parliament this week. It also didn't help that ACTA was negotiated in secret and citizens in various member countries protested against it because of its loose and murky language.
As is usually the case with every new version of Halo, Halo 4 will require a substantial amount of space on your Xbox 360. Halo 4 will need at least 8GB of hard drive or flash memory card space to play the multiplayer modes, according to Xbox.com. The description on Xbox.com also notes that using the hard drive is "highly recommended" for those who want an "optimal" experience.
The Battlefield 3 Premium service, which was announced during E3 last month, has managed to garner 800,000 customers since its launch a little over two weeks ago. The service offers two-weeks of early access to all the game's expansions (and full access when they are released), at a cost of around $50. The service also gives Battlefield 3 players access to special exclusive DLC, access to strategy guides, videos, and special experience weekend events just for Premium members.
Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter believes that Microsoft and Sony may very well cut the price of their respective consoles at some point but are waiting to see what the retail price of the Wii U will be so they can respond accordingly.
"I think both Microsoft and Sony are waiting to see Wii U pricing. If it is over $300, they don't need to cut." Pachter tells C&VG.
Imagine Publishing announced that its top two Xbox 360 magazine brands, X360 and 360 Magazine, will be combined into one publication. The new "enhanced publication" will be led by Editor Dan Howdle. Issue #87 of X360 will be the first issue to reflect the changes. It goes on sale July 11 and will feature articles on every major title from E3, exclusive interviews and an enhanced DVD.
According to Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter unlocking downloadable content that is already present on a retail game disc when you by it might not be illegal. On the latest edition of his GameTrailers TV show " Pach Attack," Pachter also says that it shows the greediness of developers and publishers in some ways.
Riot Games has banned hundreds of League of Legends players for using an exploit that it affectionately calls "bullshit." A small number of League of Legends players were using an exploit that let them cast powerful spells consecutively without the cool down time associated with such powers. This happened because the exploit let players add more points to the game's Mastery system than would normally be allowed. Riot Games has plugged the hole on that exploit, much to the chagrin of exploiters.
GameSpot and Giant Bomb owner CBS Interactive has inked a deal with Justin TV and Major League Gaming to bring advertising, promotions, and sponsorships to the game competition and game-streaming service. More importantly, it makes CBSi Games the exclusive online broadcaster of the Pro Circuit competitions.
InXile announced that it will work with Obsidian Entertainment to design Wasteland 2, but only if its Kickstarter funding reaches $2,100,000. The Kickstarter's original goal was $900,00. It is currently inching towards $1.7 million. The collaboration makes sense if you consider where many of the company's founders and employees came from: Interplay and Black Isle Studios.
New data from research firm Newzoo reveals that more than 100 million consumers in the United States are playing games on various hand-held and mobile devices including smartphones, tablets, and iPods. The amount of users playing games on portable devices has grown by more than a third compared to last year, according to Newzoo data. In Europe smartphone and tablet gamers (from seven key territories) has also increased to 70 million, a 15 percent year-over-year increase.
Zynga probably isn't all that embarrassed that OMGPOP's Draw Something beat their top game on Facebook this week - because they have bought OMGPOP. If you can't beat them, I guess you simply buy them out. The godfather of social gaming has made the company an offer it couldn't refuse, with some publications putting the deal in the $200 million ballpark. This deal is not all that surprising given the number of rumors circulating that Zynga executives were out to buy the company and take advantage of the Draw Something success.
In an editorial on Huffington Post, Activision Blizzard CEO (and co-chairmen of the company's charity, The Call of Duty Endowment), says that American corporations are not doing enough to help veterans returning home from two wars only to find a job market that doesn't want to hire them. This new battle at home, as Kotick calls it, puts veterans in a higher bracket of unemployment than the national average.
Jerry Prochazka, President of the gaming league vVv Gaming, has penned an open letter to the competitive online gaming community asking them to join him in ridding the community of the homophobia, racism and sexism that seems to be considered acceptable behavior by some in the online gaming community.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has posted an infographic showing how patents hinder innovation, limit competition and stop people from gaining access to knowledge and tools to further ideas. Of course, a great majority of the problems with patents have to do with patent trolls - companies that buy up patents for the sole purpose of conducting large scale litigation against companies to make a quick buck. It doesn't help that the overwhelmed and underfunded US Patent Office hands out questionable patents every day either.