Saturday, February 4, 2012
02/04/2012 - NYC Critics Pick Skyrim as GOTY
1:18 am pst
The 1st Annual New York Videogame
Critics Circle Awards were distributed last night at New York's Cantor Film Center.
Winners: 2011 New York Videogame Critics Circle Awards
In addition to some terrific
music from Darren Korb and Ashley Barrett from Bastion, a brilliant host in Logan Cunningham, a thoughful appearance from
Oscar nominee Bill Plympton, an hilarious presentation from The Daily Show’s Daniel Radosh, the Critics Circle presented
11 Awards for the best games of the year.
The night included two panel discussions, one about the Critic Circle's
origins, the other, a lively tete a tete about the year's best games.
Frank Lantz, the director of NYU's Game Center,
also spoke about the Game Center's new MFA in Game Design.
Later, members, nominees and winners repaired to the
East Village's Scratcher Bar for a rousing after party.
Overall, it was a D.I.Y. kind of night in which all of
the Circle's members pitched in to help, a fine evening full of wit, heart, soul and charm.
are the winners:
Manhattan Award for Most NY Centric Game
Battery Park Award for Best Handheld Game
Super Mario Land 3D
Tin Pan Alley
Award for Best Music in a Game
A Train Award for Best Mobile Game
Sword and Sworcery EP
Herman Melville Award for Best Writing in a Game
Off Broadway Award for Best Indie Game
Statue of Liberty Award for Best
Open World Game
Saints Row: The Third
Great White Way Award for Best Overall Acting in a
Algonquin Roundtable Award for Best Book
All Your Base Are Belong
to Us, How 50 Years of Videogames Conquered Pop Culture by Harold Goldberg
Mad Men Award for Best Videogame
Long Live Play – Michael
Big Apple Award for Best Game
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
For More Information: http://nygamecritics.com/Submitted By: E. Thomas
Friday, February 3, 2012
02/03/2012 - Nintendo Zone Adds TV Episodes and Demos
12:59 pm pst
New Content Will
Be Available at More Than 29,000 Locations
NINTENDO ZONE ADDS POKÉMON EPISODES AND GAME DEMOS
REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 2, 2012 -
Nintendo 3DS™ owners are getting access to a wealth of fun entertainment and information
that they can access on the go. Starting Feb. 6, Nintendo Zone™ will offer a variety of new content, including playable
demos of select Nintendo 3DS video games and a dedicated Pokémon™ section that will feature full-length episodes
of the Pokémon TV series. All of this exciting new content is only available when owners are wirelessly connected to
a Nintendo Zone location.
"Nintendo 3DS continues to deliver fun and engaging new experiences, especially
for users who connect their systems to the Internet," said Zach Fountain, Nintendo of America's director of Strategic
Partnerships. "Nintendo 3DS is our most connected system ever, and Nintendo Zone offers a wealth of exclusive content
to users who take their systems with them when they are away from home."
Nintendo Zone also includes trivia
games featuring the latest Nintendo 3DS software, exclusive coupons available only at Best Buy for discounts on Nintendo 3DS
games and a showcase of Nintendo 3DS games that includes videos, screen shots and one-click links to game websites. The Pokémon
section will also include information and videos about the newest Pokémon video games, Pokémon Trading Card
Game and Pokémon news.
Nintendo Zone content can be accessed at more than 29,000 locations at restaurants,
coffee shops, hotels, airports and malls in the United States and Canada. Nintendo 3DS owners can find a Nintendo Zone location
by visiting http://www.nintendo.com/3ds/nintendozone.
Remember that Nintendo 3DS features parental controls
that let adults manage the content their children can access. For more information about this and other features, visit http://www.nintendo.com/3ds.
About Nintendo: The worldwide pioneer
in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software
for its Wii™ home console, Nintendo 3DS™ and Nintendo DS™ family of portable systems. Since 1983, when it
launched the Nintendo Entertainment System™, Nintendo has sold more than 3.9 billion video games and more than 620 million
hardware units globally, including the current-generation Wii, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi™ and Nintendo
DSi XL™, as well as the Game Boy™, Game Boy Advance, Super NES™, Nintendo 64™ and Nintendo GameCube™
systems. It has also created industry icons that have become well-known, household names such as Mario™, Donkey Kong™,
Metroid™, Zelda™ and Pokémon™. A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond,
Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo's operations in the Western Hemisphere. For more information about N ntendo, please
visit the company's website at http://www.nintendo.com.
Company International, a subsidiary of The Pokémon Company in Japan, manages the property outside of Asia and is responsible
for brand management, licensing, marketing, the Pokémon Trading Card Game, the animated TV series, home entertainment,
and the official Pokémon website. Pokémon was launched in Japan in 1996 and today is one of the most popular
children’s entertainment properties in the world. For more information, visit www.pokemon.com.
Submitted By: E. Thomas
Thursday, February 2, 2012
02/02/2012 - New Call of Duty DLC for PS3
1:27 pm pst
Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare® 3’s Content
Season for Call of Duty® Elite Premium Members on the PlayStation®Network kicks off on 28th February
NEW CALL OF DUTY DLC MAPS FOR PS3 ANNOUNCED TODAY
excited to announce that the Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare® 3’s Content Season for Call of Duty® Elite kicks
off for Premium Members on the PlayStation®Network on 28th February with release of the first two content drops of the
nine month season, Liberation and Piazza.
Call of Duty Elite Drop 1: Liberation, a militarised Central Park
in the heart of NYC, features a vast landscape ripe for long-range sniper and LMG kills. Mounted turrets on opposing ends
of the map offer overwhelming firepower to anyone brave enough to man them. Elite Drop 2: Piazza, set in an idyllic seaside
village, Italian getaway gone rogue, where blind corners and a complex network of branching pathways pose danger at every
turn. Visceral close-quarters combat dominates in Piazza, and attacks from above and below are an ever-constant threat.
The Modern Warfare 3 Content Season is co-developed by Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer Games and Raven Software. All content
is available first to Premium Members on Xbox 360, but will be available to Premium Members on PS3 before non-premium members
on their console.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is PEGI rated 18. For more information on the Call of Duty: MW3
content drops, season of content, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Call of Duty Elite visit www.callofduty.com/mw3 and www.callofduty.com/elite.
Submitted By: E. Thomas
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
2:01 pm pst
News from the ESA: February Edition
THE GROWING ROLE OF VIDEO GAMES IN DATING
Today's computer and video games
provide interactive environments not offered by other forms of entertainment. From game consoles with Internet connectivity
to social and multiplayer online games, gamers increasingly engage with each other as they play, and form strong relationships
with players around the world.
For some, online games offer the opportunity to connect with others in a way akin
to dating websites. Online games enable players to interact with others through chat features from the very beginning, and
the central areas of the game environment are often crowded with hundreds of other players. Over time, connections between
players blossom into love more than one might expect.
Pete and Hannah Romero, for example, met online playing Blizzard
Entertainment's World of Warcraft. After spending a great deal of time playing together, Hannah traveled to Los Angeles to
meet Pete. A year later, they married. The Romeros are not alone. Stories from others who found love through games show up
in chat rooms and forums across the Internet. Psychological studies and investigative news stories about the role of games
in the future of online dating are also becoming more common.
Games also provide inspiration for creative marriage
proposals. For instance, when Gary Hudston decided it was time to propose to his long-time girlfriend Stephy, he turned to
a customized version of Portal 2. Gary shared his idea with Portal creator Valve Software. Valve then helped him get a script
recorded by Ellen McLain, the voice of the game's popular villain, GlaDOS. After his collaboration with Valve and two level
designers from the Portal 2 community, Gary presented his girlfriend with three levels of the game. After Stephy completed
the final level, GLaDOS proposed to her on Gary's behalf.
One gamer known as DimmuJed turned to the in-game design
tools of Sony Computer Entertainment's Little Big Planet. Using Little Big Planet's popular Create Mode, DimmuJed developed
his own game level featuring a proposal to his girlfriend. Yet another gamer asked developer William Thurston to create a
customized version of the iOS game Foozle that included his proposal.
These are just a few of the stories demonstrating
the powerful connections video games can create among players. With 72 percent of Americans playing computer and video games,
it is likely that stories of gamer romances will become even more common.
FUN AND GAMES WITH PERSONAL FINANCEAs we continue to face difficult economic times, teaching personal
finance to Americans has never been more vital. Recognizing the importance of educating consumers on money management techniques,
the financial services industry is turning to online games to transform an otherwise dull and complicated subject into an
interactive experience. The games not only motivate users to adopt healthy financial habits, but also offer them opportunities
to take home real prizes.
One financial website, SaveUp.com [https://www.saveup.com/] ,provides consumers with the chance to win personal technology devices,
airline tickets, cars, scholarships and even a $2 million annuity. To win prizes, customers sign up to use the site and link
their account to any savings or debt-bearing account. Each time consumers pay bills or complete other account transactions
on the site, they receive SaveUp credits they can redeem for a chance to win. In addition, each time consumers watch a sponsored
educational video, such as "Harnessing the Power of Mutual Funds," they earn extra chances to win. The site's game-like
attributes and appealing rewards encourage consumers to reduce debt and make sound financial decisions.
new financial firm, Bobber Interactive, offers users the opportunity to play educational Facebook games with several chances
to win prizes. Players sign up on the company's website, set personal savings goals and play an assortment of games that test
their knowledge of money management. Each time a player achieves a goal or completes a game, they earn in-game points that
they can exchange for cash, which they receive in the form of prepaid value cards. In addition, players can choose to share
their game achievements with friends on Facebook. Gamers who play enough can graduate to a level that lets them play Credits
and Debits, an alternative to the favorite digital game Bejeweled , featuring dollar signs and piggy banks instead of emeralds
Local credit unions around the country are also beginning to develop video games to teach our nation's
youth financial skills. Leominster Credit Union in Leominster, Massachusetts, for example, recently released LCU MoneyIsland,
a game that propels kids onto a quest to the Eiffel Tower and Atlantis while learning the principles of money management.
Children receive a passport, stickers and can even win real prizes as they journey around the game's virtual world.
These and other games represent the growing application of entertainment software to educate the public about timely and
important issues, such as financial literacy. By engaging consumers in a favorite American pastime and offering attractive
incentives, companies are helping to cultivate more informed and financially responsible citizens.
PRESERVING GAME HISTORY
As video games continue to expand their reach beyond entertainment and improve our daily lives, it is important to
understand the history of video games and how they transformed into the complex programs we use today. To this end, universities
and libraries across the country, including the Library of Congress, are collecting and archiving video games for future generations
to experience and study.
The Library of Congress's Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation in Culpeper, Virginia
began archiving and cataloging games in earnest late last year.
"We have a large collection of computer games
dating back to the late '80s," Richard Pugh of the Packard Campus told American Libraries. The Video Game Collection project acquires every game that comes through the Library of Congress's copyright registration
process; an estimated 10 percent of the games published in the U.S. each year, and accepts donations from collectors and game
developers alike. The collection also houses packaging materials, documentation and game guides.
The Library of
Congress is not the only institution amassing video games in its vaults. With video games in use in classrooms nationwide
and more than 300 college programs dedicated to video game design and development, several universities are building their
own impressive collections.
Filled with multiple game stations, the University of Michigan Computer & Video
Game Archive opened in 2008 in the basement of the Art, Architecture and Engineering Library, and the University of Wisconsin
at Whitewater added games to its library collection in 2010. In fall 2011, the State University of New York at Stony Brook
opened Game Lab, an interactive game laboratory in the Melville Library where students enrolled in game-related courses can
study original games made for early game systems.
In addition, the American Library Association coordinates National
Gaming Day @ Your Library, an annual event with more than 1,800 local libraries participating, to promote the educational
and social value of games of all types and to help patrons connect with their communities. National Gaming Day includes a
national video game tournament that pits players at participating libraries against each other for national bragging rights
and partners with donors such as AlphaBound, Hasbro, North Star Games, and Wizards of the Coast to provide free copies of
board and tabletop games for patrons to enjoy.
As video games' role in our society continues to grow, these and
other efforts ensure that gamers and non-gamers alike understand how entertainment software evolved to have important impacts
on education, art and technology, and can provide inspiration to future innovators.
For More Information Please
Submitted By: E. Thomas
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
01/31/2012 - Konami Launches NeverDead In North America
2:19 pm pst
Title Takes Gameplay to a New Level
KONAMI UNLEASHES THE MUCH ANTICIPATED ACTION TITLE: NEVERDEAD
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – January 31,
2012 – Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. today launched the third-person action title NEVERDEAD in North America
for PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft.
The brainchild of Shinta Nojiri, who previously directed the Metal Gear Acid series, and co-developed with Rebellion Software,
NEVERDEAD offers a radically new gameplay experience, introducing an immortal super action hero through a unique decapitation
In NEVERDEAD, players become the immortal Bryce Boltzmann, a tragic hero who has endured a suffering
existence due to the murder of his wife at the hands of Astaroth, the Demon King. Moving through life without aspirations
other than where he will find his next drink, he fights alongside his partner Arcadia for the National Anti-Demon Agency (NADA),
exterminating modern day demonic forces.
Players make use of the hero's immortality to tackle obstacles featuring
the new and often gruesome decapitation and regeneration mechanic. Rip off your arm to explode a detonation device against
an enemy, tear off your head to scout the level, shoot electric bullets by getting electrocuted and brutalize your hero in
every way to discover what abilities he possesses.
"The release of NEVERDEAD is extremely satisfying and exciting
for Konami, taking the third person action genre to a new level of player interactivity" said Tomoyuki Tsuboi, President
of Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. "In a destructible environment where even the amputated and severed pieces of the
hero can be a weapon, anything is possible."
NEVERDEAD also includes online co-operative and competitive "challenges"
where teams of up to four players can compete against each other or the enemy. The destruction of entire buildings, pillars,
floors and interior wall sections adds elements of strategy and various abilities needed to destroy players' foe. Gamers seeking
more NeverDead thrills will be able to expand their online experience with exciting downloadable content, including new characters
and additional missions within the multiplayer mode. More information on downloadable content will be announced later.
NEVERDEAD is rated M for Mature by the ESRB and is now available for purchase at retailers nationwide for an SRP of
$59.99 for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Xbox 360. For more information please visit www.konami.com.
About Konami Group
Digital Entertainment, Inc. is a leading developer, publisher and manufacturer of electronic entertainment properties. Konami's
titles include the popular franchises METAL GEAR SOLID, Silent Hill, DanceDanceRevolution and Castlevania, among other top
sellers. The latest information about Konami can be found on the Web at www.konami.com. KONAMI CORPORATION is a publicly traded company based in Tokyo, Japan with
subsidiary offices, Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd. in Tokyo, Japan, Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. in the United
States and Konami Digital Entertainment GmbH in Frankfurt, Germany. KONAMI CORPORATION is traded in the United States on the
New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol KNM. Details of the products published by Konami can be found at http://www.konami.com.
Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox LIVE are either registered trademarks
or trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies.
"PlayStation" is a registered trademark of Sony Computer
Submitted By: E. Thomas
Monday, January 30, 2012
01/30/2012 - Oliver & Spike Dimension Jumpers Coming to PC + MAC
2:43 pm pst
What if there was
more than one dimension? What if what you do in one Dimension is influencing what happens in another ?
OLIVER & SPIKE: DIMENSION JUMPERS COMING TO PC & MAC
Tønsberg (Norway) – January 30, 2012 – Since May 2010, Rock Pocket Games has been working on developing
Oliver&Spike: Dimension Jumpers, an episodic adventure and problem solving game, which will be available for PC, Mac and
Console. Additionally, there will be mini-games available for your android and apple devices.
“We are trying
to create a unique experience for the players, which is not only linked to one platform or one media,” says Natascha
Röösli from Rock Pocket Games.
“It’s also important to us, that there is a focus on
creative problem solving, thinking outside the box and that there are several different options available to drive the story
The team is currently finishing up work for a limited, playable prototype of a show-case episode,
to be shown in San Francisco in March for both GDC and Game Connection.
“The characters and the world are
very important. We are spending a lot of time fleshing them out and creating concept art through our talented art team,”
says Natascha. “We share our progress and workflow on our Oliver&Spike Development Blog with everyone who is interested in following”.
GAMEPLAY – WHAT’S SPECIAL
Problem solving and storytelling are lifted to a whole new level as you
have to think outside of the box and use your unique dimension jumper abilities to advance through the storyline and overcome
obstacles. Not only will you have the option to switch to another version (dimension) of the current area you are in, with
different physical laws, you also have the power to switch to and explore completely different universes (cluster).
“There is not only one world but several to discover and several of those locations, again, have different layers
and alternate dimensions with different rules. Switching from your normal familiar dimension might end up in a Jell-O version
of the same environment, enabling you to get around an enemy or obstacle you couldn’t have gotten around in the “normal”
location”, says Ivan Moen.
The unique Dimension Jumper backdrop however is not the only interesting detail
on your journey to help Oliver discover his past, his future and everything linked to his destiny. Exploring the worlds or
meeting the interesting characters inhabiting those worlds is going to be a treat for itself but Rock Pocket Games has additional
ideas for the actual gameplay:
“We know that parents like to play with their kids, IF they have time. That’s
the reason we are playing with the idea to have the option to play both, Oliver and Spike, alternatively, by switching between
the two yourself or to enlist the help of a friend or family member if you do not want to play alone. We have to see if this
is something that will work both technically and gameplay wise. Hopefully we will be able to recruit the help of interested
testers during further development and get feedback on our ideas,” Natascha explains.
Take these engaging
gameplay features and imagine a puzzle and adventure game with unique graphics and quirky characters and you have: Oliver&Spike:
Last but certainly not least: Rock Pocket Games will release exclusive Comic panels to get you
involved and familiar with Oliver and Spike before you meet them in the actual game. Episode one of the comic will be
available on the first of February 2012 on the Oliver&Spike Development Blog.
ROCK POCKET GAMES
Rock Pocket Games is an independent game development studio, which started creating games
in 2008 and is situated in Tønsberg, Norway. Not only has the company developed very successful iPhone games such as
the App of the Week game “The Package”, their portfolio also includes a wide range of different game genres such
as Children Games, Platform Games, Casual Family Games, FPS games, as well as Interactive Songbooks. Rock Pocket Games develops
for PC/Mac, iOS, Android, Consoles and browser.
Submitted By: E. Thomas