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Saturday, June 18, 2011

06/18/2011 - Bloodrayne Model at E3
Bloodrayne Model at E3 - Encounter with Bloodrayne

Our very own Dr Gonzo has an up close and personal encounter with Bloodrayne at the 2011 E3 Expo.

Submitted By: E. Thomas

12:47 pm pdt          Comments

Thursday, June 16, 2011

06/16/2011 - Wipeout In The Zone Available Today

No Controller Necessary For This Crazy Fun Family Game

SANTA MONICA, CA – JUNE 16, 2011 —
Activision Publishing, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) and ABC Entertainment Group today announced that Wipeout: In The Zone is now available on Kinect™ for Xbox 360®.  Just in time for the summer season of ABC’s hit show, Wipeout: In The Zone brings the same hard-hitting fun into living rooms across America as only Kinect for Xbox 360 can.

Wipeout: In The Zone offers brand new courses that are even more extreme than before. Tons of new obstacles including the Kinect-optimized punching copycat pose boards and power pumps, plus old favorites like Big Balls and Sucker Punch, will test player’s limits in crazy and zany ways. Sure, the goal may be to complete the course but the best part will always be the over-the-top, mind blowing wipe outs!

Up to four players can participate in the fun-for-the-whole-family party mode, complete with instant replays and close-ups of the best wipe outs. When not running the course, players can wreak havoc on the participating contestant by hurling paintballs from the sideline.  Players have the ability to import and play as their own Xbox LIVE® online entertainment network avatars or as one of the predesigned ones. Hilarious commentary throughout the game is provided by the always entertaining Wipeout hosts John Anderson, John Henson and Jill Wagner.

“After the success of the first Wipeout title, we are more than thrilled to be bringing another Wipeout video game to the interactive world, and this time exclusively for Kinect,” said Nicole Armstrong, Activision Publishing. “Wipeout: In The Zone utilizes technological advances in gaming to break down the living room walls and put gamers into a truly authentic recreation of thrilling television.”

Matt Kunitz, Creator and Executive Producer of Wipeout, added, "When we created Wipeout, we always felt it would make a great video game. It's exciting that the latest advances in technology allow players to physically run the Wipeout course."

“We are thrilled to be continuing our successful relationship with ABC and Activision,” said David Goldberg, Chairman of Endemol North America. “Not only is this new ‘Wipeout’ game filled with even more humor, spills and thrills, but now the entire family can play interactively with the new full motion capabilities. This game introduces a new level of excitement for ‘Wipeout’ fans of all ages to play.”

Wipeout: In The Zone on Kinect for Xbox 360 is available now for MSRP of $49.99. This game is rated “E10+” for Everyone 10 and older by the ESRB. Wipeout returns for a new summer season this summer on ABC, Thursdays 8/7c. For more information, please visit

Submitted By: E. Thomas

11:58 am pdt          Comments

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

06/15/2011 - PopCap Auctions Game Art For Charity
PopCap Auctions Game Art For Charity

One-of-a-Kind Pieces Up For Grabs with proceeds going to SpecialEffect UK and US contributions on display at Mash Clothing, Oxford Street

15th June 2011 - Dublin, Ireland - PopCap Games, the worldwide leader in casual games, today announced a series of online charity art auctions that will run until 12th July 2011 at
www.ebay.com/popcap. The auctions involve the sale of 34 pieces of PopCap art – both original pieces and one-of-a-kind commissions. Each weekly wave of seven-day auctions will consist of up to nine items, with all proceeds benefitting both UK charity, SpecialEffect and Starlight Children’s Foundation in the US.

In the company’s very first eBay charity auction, PopCap is giving consumers the opportunity to bid on once-in-a-lifetime items from the PopCap vault and specially commissioned pieces of artwork inspired by PopCap titles.

The UK’s contribution to the auction is DJ Brainz, a spectacular six-foot-by-six-foot graffiti canvas homage to hit PopCap’s Plants vs. Zombies™ title. The huge and vibrant piece features a DJ’ing zombie and was created by Julian Johnson of the London-based urban art collective, Graffiti Life. UK fans will be able to view Johnson’s piece, amongst others, at top London skate wear shop, Mash Clothing at 73 Oxford Street, London W1D 2EP, from today.

With the help of Kompolt, an auction management firm for charities and non-profit organisations, PopCap is giving consumers a chance to bid on once-in-a-lifetime items from the PopCap vault in the very first PopCap eBay charity auction. The month-long series of auctions will also include items such as original concept sketches from Plants vs. Zombies, Bookworm® and Peggle®; game-themed ceramic sets; a six-foot-by-six-foot graffiti painting of a DJ’ing zombie; a blue neon Bejeweled® diamond; personalised sketches and more.

“As videogames become as mainstream a lifestyle entertainment as watching movies or reading books, game elements such as art and music are getting increased recognition at an artistic level – and becoming collectible. We thought this was a good way for both PopCap to offer something truly original to fans of our games – while also supporting children and young people in need.” said Cathy Orr, Senior Director, International PR, PopCap Games.

As a truly global company, PopCap will donate 100 per cent of all proceeds from the auctions to
SpecialEffect in the United Kingdom and the Starlight Children’s Foundation in the United States, two nonprofits dedicated to helping seriously ill and disabled children.

Dr Mick Donegan, Director and Founder of SpecialEffect, said: "SpecialEffect has long been a fan of PopCap and their dedicated outreach to helping children in need. We’ve used several of their games for the disabled young people we work with - a particular favourite being Peggle because with our specialist support, it can even be played by young people who are paralysed – just by moving just their eyes ! An auction of this magnitude is sure to not only raise the spirits of those winning the items, but also the spirits of those who'll be helped by the proceeds."

Since the company was founded in 2000, PopCap has donated money and games totalling hundreds of thousands of dollars to support children’s charities including Make-a-Wish Foundation, Child’s Play, Children in Need, Childhaven, Drawing Dreams Foundation, and Art with Heart among others.

For more information about the PopCap charity art auction, visit

Submitted By: E. Thomas

2:18 am pdt          Comments

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

06/14/2011 - Atari Flashback 3 at E3 UPADATE
Atari Flashback at E3 UPDATE:


It appears there has been quite a bit of controversy surrounding our report on the Atari Flashback 3. In fact there seems to be quite a mystery developing around this product. Here is what we can tell you so far.

As word spread across the internet about the Flashback 3 many gamers started to question the legitimacy of the product. The original Atari Flashback consoles (Flashback 1, 2 and 2+) were designed by
Legacy Engineering. It appears the Flashback 3 has not been developed by this prestigious group. In fact the FB3 is merely an improved version, and I use that term loosely, of the Flashback 2. According to our sources this console was made by an East Asian manufacturer, and it was officially licensed by Atari's licensing department. Unfortunately the folks from Legacy Engineering were left out of the loop on the development of this product.

The developers of the original Flashback series claim the new console does not use their much touted "Atari 2600 on a Chip" hardware. In fact the FB3 may be using an alternative emulation method, similar to those found in many plug and play consoles. I will say this, without being a technical expert, the games on the Flashback 3 seemed a bit off. (editor's note: I'm a person who still plays original Atari 2600 games, on original hardware, on a regular basis.)

Although the exhibitor claimed this was an early version of the product, we were still dismayed to find a number of different faults with the new Flashback 3. First, games are no longer organized by category, as they were with earlier Flashback models. Games are now simply listed in alphabetical order. And much to our dismay, browsing was slow and somewhat tedious.

Another thing we noticed was the physical quality of the machine was much lower than that of the Flashback 2. The Flashback 3 uses the same design and case molding at the Flashback 2. However the plastic on the new model feels much cheaper and lighter than earlier models. Buttons also felt light and cheap and the spring mechanism seemed rather shoddy. However the biggest flaw with this system was the controller. The controller was exceptionally light weight, feeling like it could break in your hands at any time. The controller was also slow and unresponsive. This last part troubled us the most, and its certainly a deal breaker for anyone looking for a quality retro console.


Unfortunately we were not allowed to take pictures of the console itself. (Not that we didn't still try.) However we did take some shots of the box. We have since learned much of the information presented on the box is false. There is no SD card support, and the saving and loading feature has also been removed. SD card support was certainly an exciting and enticing feature of the new machine. We were told it was removed from the product because "retailers thought it would confuse consumers."

European site that is also selling the FB3 claims that the new console has support for uploading high scores to Atari's website and to Facebook. However from what we have seen, without SD card support that will be impossible. And finally, although the exhibitors claimed the box was an early test shot, the text on the box was filled with spelling errors and typos. And some of the games listed on the box were not on the console itself. The box had the quality you would expect from a cheap Asian knockoff. (And surprisingly this was an officially licensed product.)

We have tried several times to contact Creative Mind Interactive, we even went to their office in downtown LA, but unfortunately they have been giving us the run around. Yesterday when we spoke with the company they told us we could come down and see the product today. This morning when we called them again to set up our appointment they claimed they had "sent the product back to China." We're not sure why the company is suddenly being so flakey, but we suspect they are afraid they are carrying an unlicensed product. Creative Mind Interactive is merely a clueless wholesale vendor from Downtown Los Angeles. There are many companies of this type located in downtown LA.

We actually scoured the streets of Los Angeles looking for other vendors selling this product. Although we have some good leads, so far none of our sources have the product in stock. We will be sure to update this article the second we get our hands on the final version. As for now we can tell you the product is currently shipping from China, and its expected to hit the United States in late summer, early fall. Please stay tuned for our next update.

Submitted By: E. Thomas

12:29 pm pdt          Comments

Monday, June 13, 2011

06/13/2011 - Casual Games Conference Scheduled for July in Seattle
Casual Games Conference Scheduled for July in Seattle

Sixth Annual Seattle show to address the future and brutal truths facing the games industry

What: Casual Connect Seattle 2011
When: July 19-21, 2011
Where: Benaroya Hall, Downtown Seattle
About the show:
How to register: http://seattle.casualconnect.org/registration.html

SEATTLE, WA – June 13, 2011 – The Casual Games Association, the international trade organization of the casual games industry, today announced that Casual Connect, the world’s largest conference focusing on mass market games, will take place July 19-21, 2011, in Seattle, Washington.

While 2010 will be remembered as the year that Facebook established itself as a legitimate gaming platform, the future is not beholden to one distribution channel, one business model, or one type of game. This year at Casual Connect Seattle, we will look ahead to identify new hurdles emerging, continue to foster innovation, push the creative and technical barriers, and remain focused on the common objective of delivering an entertaining and engaging experience.

Content for the 2011 event will focus on emerging trends for the casual games industry and outline opportunities on online, social and mobile platforms.

Speakers and Sessions
Casual Connect Seattle 2011 provides attendees with the opportunity to explore cutting-edge casual games topics with the local and international leaders in the space. Selected speakers include:
  • LeVar Burton, Actor and Educator
  • Paul Thelen, Founder, Chairman and CSO, Big Fish Games
  • Peter Vesterbacka, The Mighty Eagle, Rovio
  • Gareth Davis, Platform Manager, Facebook
  • Jens Begemann, CEO, wooga
  • Dave Roberts, CEO, PopCap Games
  • Charles Yim, Strategic Partner Development, Google
  • Andrew Sheppard, CPO, Kabam
  • Raph Koster, VP Creative Design, Playdom
  • Heiko Hubertz, Founder & Co-CEO, Bigpoint
  • George Donovan, CEO, Gogii Games
  • Thomas Chung, VP, GM, The Playforge
  • Jesse Redniss, SVP, NBCU
  • Vivian Lee, Director of Strategic Partnerships, EA Interactive
  • Jennifer Lu, Director of Business Development, TinyCo
  • Shainiel Deo, CEO, Halfbrick
  • Sean Ryan, Director, Games, Facebook
  • Arjun Sethi, CEO, Lolapps
  • Aki Jarvinen, Creative Director, Ph.D., Digital Chocolate
  • Dan Chao, Lead Designer, Funzio
  • Robert Tercek, President, General Creativity
  • Seth Ladd, Developer Advocate, Google
  • Demetri Detsaridis, GM, Zynga New York
  • Tim Chang, Principal, Norwest Venture Partners
  • Game Audio Alliance
Lectures at Casual Connect have been programmed to focus on cutting edge topics in the casual games space. Topics this year include:
  • Beyond Play: Gaming in the Connected Age
  • What It Takes to Create and Manage Entertainment
  • Winning in Social Mobile: What it is and the future of Social Mobile games
  • How to Make Your IP Work for You
  • Challenging Social Success Conventions: There’s more than one way to build successful social games
  • Online Game Security: Foiling the hackers
  • Casual Games: The cross-platform king!
  • Making money on Mobile Games
A full listing of content can be found online: http://seattle.casualconnect.org/content.html.

Submitted By: E. Thomas

10:22 am pdt          Comments

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