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Friday, February 8, 2013

02/08.2013 - CBS Interactive Introduces New eSports Reality Show

CBS Interactive introduces new web based eSports reality show; Holds exclusive live stream rights to EA SPORTS Challenge Series finals in Vegas this weekend.

CBS Interactive is jumping into the world of eSports with both feet! Today CBSi announced the premiere of its new web-based reality show, “GameCrib” plus exclusive live-stream and on demand coverage of the EA SPORTS Challenge Series finals in Las Vegas this weekend.

“GameCrib”
Imagine MTV’s Real World meets video gaming!  GameSpot has partnered with Qualcomm and TSM Snapdragon, one of the most popular eSports pro-gaming teams, to bring viewers the exciting, intense, and action-packed life of pro-gamers as they share a home in the San Francisco Bay Area.  “GameCrib” will air from February 20, 2013 through June 14, 2013 on GameSpot.com with new episodes airing on Wednesdays and will be streamed eight hours a day on TwitchTV along with highlights that sum up all the action. Watch this space for more info!

“CBS Interactive Games’ enthusiasm for eSports is not limited to competitions,” said David Rice, senior vice president and general manager of CBS Interactive Games “Our audiences let us know loud and clear that they want us to go much deeper into the background and culture of eSports. GameCrib presents an opportunity for CBS Interactive to take viewers behind the scenes and into the lives of the members of TSM Snapdragon.”

EA SPORTS Challenge Series
This weekend, GameSpot will offer exclusive live-stream coverage of the EA SPORTS Challenge Series finals. GameSpot’s live coverage runs from noon PT until midnight on Feb. 9 and will be available on-demand following the event. Coverage will comprise dynamic match highlights and interviews with star eSports athletes and celebrities from the NHL and NFL. GameSpot’s live coverage of the EA SPORTS Challenge Series is the first in a series of high-profile international eSports competitions that the site will live stream and host this year.

Submitted By: E. Thomas


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02/08/2013 - Auto Club Revolution goes Stateside with Sonoma
Auto Club Revolution® goes Stateside with Sonoma

RACE THE WORLD!

San Francisco, USA, Sonoma Raceway hosts 340 days of racing activity each year covering an array of motorsports, but now Auto Club Revolution opens Sonoma to racers all year round.

Sonoma is the latest officially licensed and approved track to be brought to the
online racing game and the 12-turn road course lets players race in that glistening Californian sun.

The official licensing of the Sonoma track represents Eutechnyx's unique position and insight, enabling licenses to be used across multiple projects to provide players with the best content.

Alongside Sonoma, the replay system has been modified, the system requirements for running the game have been minimised and leaderboards have been reset, to ensure that drivers have the best and most robust experience available.

Players can register and play at
autoclubrevolution.com.

Submitted By: E. Thomas

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02/08/2013 - 24-Hour Gaming Marathon Benefit for Kids
24-Hour Gaming Marathon Benefits Kids

Local gamers gather to game non-stop for 24 hours to help children afflicted with illness through Childs Play Charity.

Salt Lake City – February 8, 2013 Though video games have been thrust into a negative light in recent media they are often overlooked as a means to help children in need. On Friday February 22nd, local charity Cheat Codes will host their first ever fundraiser benefiting Child's Play Charity. Volunteers will play a variety of video games for 24 hours straight. The event will be streamed live for any wishing to observe the action.

Local organizers, Cheat Codes for Charity and Out of Our System, a local podcast, will host the full day of gaming. Viewers can donate through a secure PayPal portal and will be entered into a raffle for prizes donated by the sponsors. 100% of the proceeds will go to the kids through Child’s Play. In addition to the generous contributions of sponsors, the marathon is being funded entirely by private individuals who are passionate about helping kids cope with trying circumstances in their lives.

Sean Brown, Salt Lake City, shared a testimonial with Child’s Play about his sister, who had been treated at Primary Children’s Hospital. “The Child’s Play fairy had visited and left an Xbox 360 Core System in her room… according to the doctors, it was the quickest recovery she had ever made out of the many hospital stays she had made up to then. So, I’m really thankful for Child’s Play. This charity really helped my baby sister when she was at her worst.”

“The patients and staff at Primary Children’s Medical Center are grateful to Child’s Play for the generous donation of games, iPads, toys, and arts and crafts,” commented Foundation Director Sharon Goodrich.  “These gifts serve as a reminder that sometimes the best medicine to help hospitalized children doesn’t come from a bottle.  Sometimes, it is a game or activity that helps children forget they are anxious, in pain, or lonely.  Child’s Play is good medicine!”

“We affirm the tremendous benefit games can have in the lives of children, especially those who are challenged with health problems,” said Ricky Simmons, organizer of Cheat Codes for Charity. “Games can teach problem solving, life skills, teamwork, and build confidence. We are excited to contribute to Child’s Play, who received over $5 million in donations last year in large part to similar gaming marathon events.”

Cheat Codes for Charity’s gaming marathon goes live Friday February 22nd at 6 pm MST (-7 GMT). The charity fundraiser concludes on Saturday February 23rd at 6 pm MST (-7 GMT).

About Childs Play Charity
In 2003, Child’s Play was set up and organized as a game industry charity dedicated to improving the lives of children with toys and games in a network of over 70 hospitals worldwide. Over the years, the community has answered the call and come together to raise millions of dollars.
Website:
http://www.childsplaycharity.org/about

About Cheat Codes for Charity
Cheat Codes for Charity was started to help raise donations for the Child’s Play charity. Cheat Codes for Charity believes that video games can positively impact the lives of children, so we organize gaming marathons and other events to help raise awareness.

Cheat Codes for Charity can be found at its website and various social media outlets to keep up to date on all the details on the marathon!
Website:
http://cheatcodesforcharity.com
Twitch.tv: http://twitchtv.com/cheatcodesforcharity
Facebook: http://facebook.com/cheatcodesforcharity
Twitter: @CC4Cmarathon

Submitted By: E. Thomas

1:38 pm pst          Comments

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

02/06/2013 - Ninja Gaiden 3 Razors Edge Coming to PS3 and Xbox 360
TECMO KOEI Announces NINJA GAIDEN 3: Razor’s Edge for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360

New Iteration of Famous Action Series from Developer Team NINJA Is Packed with New Features, Brutally Tough Challenges, Additional Playable Characters, and Bonus Content

                                                                                                                   
Hertfordshire, February 6th 2013
TECMO KOEI Europe today announced that NINJA GAIDEN 3: RAZOR’S EDGE, the latest chapter in the famed action series, is coming to the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft. In the Team NINJA-developed title, the enigmatic warrior Ryu Hayabusa must fight to lift a curse that threatens to destroy him.

NINJA GAIDEN 3: RAZOR’S EDGE features additional playable characters, a new gameplay mode, a redesigned battle system with enhanced enemy AI, a robust Ninja Skills upgrade system, expanded online features including bonus content, and a host of other features. The game is scheduled to launch both at retail and via digital download on the 5th of April 2013.

NINJA GAIDEN 3: RAZOR’S EDGE is the most action-packed and feature rich NINJA GAIDEN game ever created,” said Yosuke Hayashi, Team NINJA leader. “The brutal combat will challenge the hardest of hardcore NINJA GAIDEN fans while also rewarding them with tons of bonus content and new features including three playable female characters, new stages, and three times as many Ninja Trial missions.”

NINJA GAIDEN 3: RAZOR’S EDGE was designed from the ground up to satisfy core action fans with a redesigned battle system, improved enemy AI, the greatly reduced interactive QTE scenes, and the return of dismemberment. Even with severed arms or legs, enemies will fight on and players will find they have to change attacks on the fly to win brutally tough battles—the challenge level leaves little room for error. The Ninja Skills systems lets players use Karma earned in combat to freely purchase weapon and Ninpo upgrades, feats, and costumes. Adding to the variety of gameplay, Kasumi, Ayane, and Momiji all join Hayabusa as playable characters. Ayane will get her own chapters in Story Mode while all three female characters can be played in the new Chapter Challenge mode and Ninja Trials co-op play with multiple costume options.

Chapter Challenge mode is available with ten chapters including all-new Ayane stages. In this mode, players will compete for the highest score possible in each chapter of the story. Six brutal weapons are available to Hayabusa throughout the game, including the new Jinran-Maru & Blade of the Archfiend dual swords, Lunar Staff, and Kusari-gama. Additionally, Inferno, Wind Blades, and Piercing Void have been added as deadly new Ninpo. In the new Tests of Valor challenge, players who find Crystal Skulls hidden in each level will be transported to face off in skill-testing battles with familiar bosses from the NINJA GAIDEN series.

The online features in NINJA GAIDEN 3: RAZOR’S EDGE have been greatly expanded, with all the previously paid DLC from NINJA GAIDEN 3 available as a bonus. The Ninja Skills upgrade system works online to let players use Karma to purchase 64 customizable features for the Unknown Ninja used in multiplayer Clan Battles. Supporting up to eight players, five brand new Clan Battle stages have been added. Players can use all of Hayabusa’s weapons and Ninpo in Clan Battles, giving them access to their favorite methods of attack. The number of missions in Ninja Trials has been tripled to a total of 100, and all four playable characters—Hayabusa, Ayane, Momiji, and Kasumi—can be used in this co-op mode.

For more news about Team NINJA, visit 
www.teamninja-studio.com, and don’t forget to “like” us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/teamninjastudio  and follow us on Twitter @TeamNINJAStudio.

Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox LIVE are registered trademarks or trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies.

Submitted By: E. Thomas

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

02/05/2013 - Star Wars Pinball Coming Soon for Download
Star WarsTM Pinball Coming Soon for Download

Use the Force to guide the silver ball and become a Jedi Master pinball pro

Los Angeles, CA – February 5, 2013 – Zen Studios, the definitive leader in videogame pinball, today announced Star Wars™ Pinball, a brand new collection of tables developed with authentic Star Wars moments. The downloadable game, developed in partnership with LucasArts, will be available February 2013 on a variety of digital platforms. The initial three-table pack will be themed around fan favorites including Star Wars Episode V : The Empire Strikes Back, Boba Fett and Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Each table features a different iconic moment from the Star Wars universe, with interactive 3D characters, and unique gameplay. With the first table release, players will take control of beloved characters such as Luke Skywalker, Boba Fett, Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano. Players will also be able to post their scores to global leaderboards, experience in-game friend challenges, local hotseat, online multiplayer, and a host of other features. “It’s been over 30 years since Star Wars, videogames, and solid state pinball all burst onto the entertainment scene, and their popularity endures today. We’re excited to be combining all three for the very first time,” said Neil Sorens, Zen Studios’ Creative Director. “Our designers are huge Star Wars fans, and you can expect every detail in every table to reflect their passion for the Star Wars universe.”

Star Wars Pinball will be available on the Apple®App Store, Google Play™.
Star Wars Pinball will also be available as downloadable content for Pinball FX2™ on Xbox LIVE® Arcade and Windows 8, Zen Pinball 2™ on PlayStation®Network for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita as Cross-Buy entitled content, Zen Pinball 2 on the Mac®App Store and Zen Pinball on the Apple®App Store and Google Play™.

Zen Studios has released a Star Wars Pinball trailer available from the Zen Studios
YouTube Channel

For more information, please visit www.starwarspinball.com or www.zenstudios.com.

Submitted By: E. Thomas

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02/05/2013 - Endowmen'ts Health Happens Initiative Brings DDR to Schools
The Endowment's 'Health Happens in Schools' Initiative Brings KONAMI's Dancing Video Game Sensation to Fresno Classrooms

FRESNO, Calif. – February 5, 2013 – During an event designed to get kids moving in schools held at Tehipite Middle School, The California Endowment and Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. today announced a joint effort to reduce childhood obesity and increase students' access to fun physical activities by bringing KONAMI's new DanceDanceRevolution (DDR) Classroom Edition to Fresno Unified School District.  DDR Classroom Edition is the latest iteration of the wildly popular dance game that has shown to encourage physical activity among adults and children.

DDR Classroom Edition is an interactive video game that combines physical activity with energetic music and visuals, also known as an exergame. The game and associated hardware technology, which was developed by Performance Designed Products, enables up to 48 students to participate simultaneously, using wireless mat controllers that feature a smart card reader that tracks each student's individual progress. While students move to the beat, teachers receive vital information about their students' health including steps, body mass index (BMI) and caloric burn rate.  The project was funded by a grant from The California Endowment.

The KONAMI partnership is part of The California Endowment's Building Healthy Communities plan- a ten-year, comprehensive community initiative that is creating a revolution in the way Californians think about and make health happen in their communities. In 14 places across California, including Fresno, residents are proving that they have the power to transform the health of their neighborhoods and schools. 

Citing data that shows only one in three California students scored in the "health zone" on California's most recent FitnessGram physical fitness test and fewer than half of all school districts provide the amount of physical education required by state law, the Endowment's Building Healthy Communities sites are bringing partners together to create more opportunities for students to be active at school. 

Effective today, all eight middle schools in the Fresno Unified School District will receive DDR Classroom Edition.  The participating schools, with assistance from KONAMI and The California Endowment, will use the game to track its impact on students' health, well-being and exercise habits.

"KONAMI recognizes the impacts of childhood inactivity and the need to keep children engaged in a healthy and active lifestyle," said Clara Baum, senior director of strategic marketing and partnerships, KONAMI. "By partnering with The California Endowment to bring DanceDanceRevolution Classroom Edition into Fresno schools, we're taking a progressive approach to keep kids in California up and moving and providing educators with new tools to make getting kids hearts pumping fun."

"When students are healthy, academic achievement improves, schools perform better overall, and students live happier and more complete lives," said Kathlyn Mead, executive vice president and chief operating officer for The California Endowment. "We would like to see all children pass all aspects of the state's most physical fitness test. Exercise is a key component to overall wellness and as such it is crucial that we provide access to innovative programs such as DanceDanceRevolution Classroom Edition.  We are delighted that the Fresno Unified School District is taking up this new opportunity and looking forward to engaging students in play that benefits their health."

"As a district we are always looking for ways to get our students to exercise.  This is a fun way to accomplish that and the students love it.  We are so appreciative to The California Endowment for partnering with us in this project to support the health of our young people," said Superintendent Michael Hanson.

The partnership builds on KONAMI's deep expertise in developing fun and innovative gaming experiences that encourage children to be active. Studies indicate "exergaming," which refers to video games such as DDR Classroom Edition that are also a form of exercise, have the potential to reduce the growing obesity epidemic among children and adults. It is recognized by leading researchers, schools, and doctors as an innovative and fun solution to promoting a healthy lifestyle and fighting childhood obesity. DDR Classroom Edition launches with support from key partners, including the American Diabetes Association and Sony Music, who provides the soundtrack that features chart-topping artists of today and hits from yesterday.

Submitted By: E. Thomas

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Monday, February 4, 2013

02/01/2013 - ESA Announces E3 College Game Competition Finalists Show at E3
ESA ANNOUNCES E3 COLLEGE GAME COMPETITION;
FINALISTS TO RECEIVE COVETED E3 SPOTLIGHT

Game Development Competition to Highlight Star Talent from U.S. Colleges and Universities

Washington, DC - February 4, 2013 - The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) today launched a new program aimed at recognizing the best student talent in video game development. The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) College Game Competition provides colleges and universities with computer and video game development programs an opportunity to display their game at E3. Each higher education institution will submit one game representing their college or university. The finalists will receive a special showcase display and related opportunities at this year's E3, the world's premier trade show for computer and video games.

Competing schools are required to submit story details and content assets from their own playable video game, which will be judged by a specially selected panel of game industry veterans and media professionals.

"The collegiate game competition is an important step for the ESA in encouraging and rewarding students pursuing careers in video game development", said Mike Gallagher, president and CEO of the Entertainment Software Association. "Our learning institutions house so much innovation and talent that will shape the future of our industry and ESA intends to honor student achievement and provide a deserved spotlight at E3."

The competition will target almost 400 U.S. colleges, universities, art and trade schools offering video game courses, certificates and degree programs. Five competition finalists will be offered the opportunity to present their games at the Los Angeles-based E3 show where they can also mingle with top game industry figures including publishers, developers, venture capital and marketing executives.

ESA will provide complete instructions to participating schools including guidelines on specific design, concept and key asset requirements.

Important competition dates:

.        Submissions will be accepted starting on March 15, 2013
.        Final deadline for submissions is April 19, 2013
.        Finalists will be notified on May 10, 2013
.        The winner will be announced during E3

Universities and colleges interested in more information on the competition rules and submission requirements should email
ESA@theESA.com
.
E3 is the world's premiere trade show for computer and video games and related products. The show is owned by the ESA, the U.S. association dedicated to serving the business and public affairs needs of the companies, publishing interactive games for video game consoles, handheld devices, personal computers, and the Internet. For more information, please visit www.E3Expo.com.

ESA offers services to interactive entertainment software publishers, including conducting business and consumer research, providing legal and policy analysis and advocacy on First Amendment, intellectual property and technology/e-commerce issues, managing a global anti-piracy program, owning and operating E3, and representing video game industry interests in federal and state government relations. For more information, please visit www.theESA.com or follow us on Twitter: @RichatESA.

Submitted By: E. Thomas

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