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Friday, August 9, 2013

08/09/2013 - Square Enix Celebrates 11 Years of Final Fantasy XI
SQUARE ENIX CELEBRATES 11 YEARS OF FINAL FANTASY XI
“Abyssea and Atma Axtravaganza Campaign” Offers Free Battle Area Add-ons and Bonuses
LOS ANGELES (August 8, 2013) Square Enix, Inc., the publisher of SQUARE ENIX® interactive entertainment products in the Americas, announced today the limited-time, free download of three major battle area add-ons for FINAL FANTASY® XI.

As part of the campaign, the three add-ons (“Vision of Abyssea®,” “Scars of Abyssea®” and “Heroes of Abyssea®”) are available for free to users that have not tried out this exciting high-level content. Users wishing to dive into the Abyssea add-ons will need to have registered and installed the “Rise of the Zilart®” and “Wings of the Goddess®” expansion packs, as well as reached level 30 in at least one job.

To aid players who have yet to set foot into the lands of Abyssea, Square Enix is also offering a starter package filled with in-game goodies. Some of the in-game giveaways include:

·Eleven of the most popular Atma – these enhancements allow users to strengthen their characters in a variety of ways while they journey within Abyssea
·One Lunar Abyssite – essential for equipping and using atma.  And for seasoned veterans that already possess the lunar abyssite, 100,000 cruor is offered as an alternative.
·100,000 Cruor - Cruor is a red, naturally-occurring mineral found in Abyssea, as well as the standard currency of the realm. It can be exchanged for maps and other sundries, warp point activation, and special boons.
·Increase to Initial Traverser Stone Stocks – Magic traverser stones enable travel within Abyssea, and each stone enables its bearer to stay within the world for thirty minutes.

Detailed information on the campaign, as well as the history behind these add-on scenarios can be found at:

http://www.playonline.com/ff11us/campaign/11th/abyssea.html.

Submitted by: E. Thomas
11:53 pm pdt          Comments

Thursday, August 8, 2013

08/08/2013 - Banzai Surfer Free on iOS and Android
Banzai Surfer brings the thrill of wave surfing to iPhone, iPad and Android!

Grab your sun cream and ride as far as your board carries you in Nekki’s brand new Android and iOS game! Banzai Surfer sends you on a speedy trip over tremendous waves: Escape from voracious sharks, find sunken treasures and ride on dolphins while you master wave by wave in this breathtaking mix of endless runner and surfing simulation!

Banzai Surfer is Nekki‘s third mobile game released in 2013, and doubtless the one with the most intuitive gameplay. By tapping or releasing the screen with just one finger, the player jumps, dives, paddles and accelerates his surfer with astonishingly high precision. Countless achievements and power-ups wait to be unlocked during the game progress. Awesome locations like Easter Island, Volcano or Emirates as well as +10 cool surfboard designs ensure that Banzai Surfer will not get boring too soon for anyone. Each player can customize the individual game experience even more - by investing his collected riches into six different skill upgrades in five levels.

Nekki continues its fair pricing policy already begun with its bestseller Vector, offering the full-featured and ad-free version of Banzai Surfer in Apple's App Store and on Google Play for only 0.99 USD/0,89 EUR!

A cost-free ad-supported version is available for both systems, too. Free future updates will deliver more locations, more underwater items, additional board designs and awesome new game modes, such as the planned competitive multi player mode.

Link to Banzai Surfer:
www.nekki.com/surfer (Free and full version for iOS and Android)

Submitted by: E. Thomas

11:47 pm pdt          Comments

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

08/07/2013 - Cross Platform Multiplayer Coming to Cubemen 2
Nnooo brings cross-platform multiplayer to Wii UTM with indie hit Cubemen 2TM

In a world first for an indie game on a Nintendo platform, Nnooo is bringing cross-platform multiplayer and user generated content to the Wii U system with the hugely successful Cubemen 2. Cubemen 2 is a fast-paced 3D strategy game in which the player controls an army of Cubemen, using them to battle against enemies in a range of modes. Players will be able to enter online matches and create and share user-generated levels regardless of which platform they are using. Players on the Wii U version will be able to battle against other players who own the game on Wii U, PC, Linux®, Mac® or iOS device.

"I'm really proud to be able to announce this," said Nic Watt, Creative Director at Nnooo. "We've spent the last few months working with both Nintendo and 3 Sprockets, the game's developer, to make this a reality. Cubemen 2 is an amazing game and a great fit for Nintendo players. We can't wait to see how creative they are, whether in tactical multiplayer online or in the new levels they build."

Cubemen 2, a top-selling Steam® and iOS game, can be played in single player mode or with up to 6 players in online solo or team battles against other players or AI. Players will also be able to create and share their own levels using the game's built-in level editor. Wii U players will have access to all user-generated levels created on other platforms since the release of the game. There are currently over 4,000 user-generated levels to play. The game also includes specific level themes, customisable Cubemen skins and a global ranking system.

"We're excited to be working closely with Nnooo and Nintendo to bring a new dynamic to a Nintendo platform," said Seon Rozenblum, Director of 3 Sprockets. "We're bringing the gaming community together, offering true cross-platform play and user generated content across multiple platforms and devices and we are ecstatic to be including the Wii U in our lineup for Cubemen 2."

Cubemen 2 also marks another milestone for Nnooo, being the first game they have published from another developer. According to Bruce Thomson, Nnooo's Business & Marketing Director, "Publishing has always been part of our long term plan. We'll be identifying games we think fit well on the platforms we develop for and working with the developers to bring the games to some or all of these platforms. Our recent funding from Screen NSW has helped us to combine indie game development and publishing under one roof."

A video of Cubemen 2 for Wii U can be found 
here and screenshots of the game are available  here.

For more details on Cubemen 2 visit 
www.nnooo.com/software/cubemen2.

Cubemen 2 is expected to be released late 2013 / early 2014 as a downloadable title on the Wii U in the US, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Price to be announced.

Submitted by: E. Thomas

11:55 pm pdt          Comments

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

08/06/2013 - Discover The Talent Behind Hometown Story
THE TALENT BEHIND HOMETOWN STORYTM


The Industry Giants Who Are Making The Incredible Game Come To Life Revealed

Burlingame, CA. – August 6, 2013 - Natsume Inc., a worldwide developer and publisher of family-oriented video games, is gearing up for their upcoming release of Hometown Story this fall.  Designed by the father of Harvest Moon, Yasuhiro Wada, art by Atsuko Nishida, and music courtesy of Nobuo Uematsu, Hometown Story has been touched by some of the most talented members of the video game industry as it approaches its launch in the coming months on the Nintendo 3DS.

Wada’s name is truly synonymous with the Harvest Moon series, but he’s also the designer behind several other popular game projects.  Wada’s own personal life helped to inspire the new IP.  As a young boy, he grew up in the countryside, but dreamed of going to the big city to create video games. Having become a successful developer, he began to realize how much he missed the quiet, simple life that the countryside represented, and began crafting a game around the concept of this nostalgic life.

The graphic stylings are courtesy of Atsuko Nishida, the woman behind numerous Pokémon designs, including Pikachu! Other credits include many of the main cast of the anime, including Ash, Misty, and Brock.  Now her designs include Pochica, the cute flying fluffball that accompanies the main character on their journey as a shopkeeper.

Hometown Story also boasts a unique yet hauntingly familiar sound, courtesy of Nobuo Uematsu.  Known for his work on numerous game titles, he’s responsible for the iconic sound behind the Final Fantasy series. Uematsu is a self-taught musician who never dreamed of being a full-time artist, and has performed in bands including The Black Mages and the Earthbound Papas.

“We’re excited and privileged to be working with so many giants of the video game industry, and can’t wait to see what players think of the game,” said Hiro Maekawa, President and CEO at Natsume Inc.  “With Hometown Story’s release coming up quickly, our fans won’t have to wait long to experience a very unique game!”

Hometown Story takes players to a fantastic world filled with color and hope. The recent passing of your grandmother and the shop you inherited has brought you back to your hometown. However, the shop has become run down, and no one wants to even window shop there anymore. Can you turn the shop around and even expand it, or is it destined to stay in the red forever?

You won't have to go it alone, though. You'll get help from a magical sprite name Pochica, who will help you get the store back up and running, and introduce you to all of the unique characters who reside in the town. The villagers will all change and grow throughout the game, and that person who you thought might be up to no good when you first met them just might have a heart of gold! You'll never know what to expect in Hometown Story!


Players can follow the latest news for all of the beloved Natsume franchises via  www.natsume.com  or by scooping all of the latest Natsume updates, contests, screen shots and more at www.natsume.com/facebook and www.twitter.com/natsume_inc.

Submitted by: E. Thomas


11:25 pm pdt          Comments

Monday, August 5, 2013

08/05/2013 - SOE Integrates Wikia Community in EverQuest Launch Plans
SONY ONLINE ENTERTAINMENT INTEGRATES WIKIA COMMUNITY IN LAUNCH PLANS FOR MMO EVERQUEST NEXT

Wikia Lab Built to Accelerate Fan Participation in Major Releases

San Francisco - August 5, 2013 - Wikia, the home for social fandom and the ultimate source for powerful and relevant pop culture, entertainment and gaming expertise, announced today the official launch of The Lab, a multifaceted program that drops the super-fan into the heart of early development efforts for major upcoming titles. Wikia debuted The Lab in conjunction with Sony Online Entertainment's (SOE) announcement of the new game EverQuest Next while at SOE Live, the ultimate gathering for the SOE community to celebrate their favorite free-to-play SOE games. The annual event took place in Las Vegas last weekend, August 1-4, 2013.

To help build fan engagement and awareness for the title, Wikia introduced the EverQuest Next Official Community at SOE Live where members recieved exclusive content and access including, early release images, chats with EverQuest Next game developers, frequently updated blogs from the community managers and much more.

"Industry leaders are coming to Wikia because they now recognize the collaborative power of our super-fans," Jennifer Betka, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Wikia said. "Our Wikia Stars are among the foremost experts in movies, TV, gaming and fan culture. They are uniquely positioned to help studios and publishers create next generation content and gameplay."

"At SOE, we're always looking for ways to empower our players and deliver new opportunities that allow them to engage with our games and each other in a meaningful way," said Laura Naviaux, Senior Vice President of Global Sales & Marketing, Sony Online Entertainment. "As the first game company to partner with Wikia to create a Wikia Official Community, we believe in supporting player communities and see community collaboration as a key pillar in how we're moving forward as a company. Wikia joined us at this year's SOE Live event with the debut of The Lab so our players were the first to learn how to best take advantage of the Wikia platform and player community."

The Lab will serve as the starting place for long lead activations and custom co-development programs and will kick off with members from Wikia's Stars program. Established in 2012, Wikia Stars are a select group of individuals from around the world who are being acknowledged for their exceptional leadership and influence within their individual communities. Demand for the program is strong; by the end of the year Wikia anticipates involvement from over 100 fan leaders with profound skills in various areas such as content creation, social media, community administration, design, code and overall ingenuity. They will lend their expertise to brands on an array of projects, from the early development stages to the actual product launch. Stars in The Lab will create the foundation for other fans to engage in future phases. In order to do so, Stars will receive access to exclusive assets, information and talent provided by the partnering group. At the outset, the program will focus on Wikia's avid gaming community, but will eventually extend to its rapidly growing entertainment and lifestyle communities.

During SOE Live, Wikia Stars Daniel Salciccioli (Call of Duty wikia) and Kenneth Cummings (Brutal Legend wikia) were on hand as resident video game super fans in The Lab to share tips and techniques for using Wikia and its publishing tools to establish the ultimate EverQuest Next fan resource. The Lab encouraged real time authoring and structuring of content, complementary community integration, as well as design and promotion of news and gameplay experiences that took place at SOE Live.

Wikia fans are increasingly embracing multimedia assets to chronicle the topics they know and love. Wikia offers audiences across all ages, genders, geographies and interests over 30 million pages of content, 14 million photos, and 5,000 hours of premium video content. Over the past year, Wikia's collection of entertainment sites has seen a 50 percent growth with 33 million unique global visitors, while Wikia's collection of video game communities continues to represent the biggest video game fan voice on the Web. Wikia lifestyle communities have grown to 10 million unique visitors within the last year.

Submitted by: E. Thomas

11:55 pm pdt          Comments


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