gamerboom.com订阅到鲜果订阅到抓虾google reader订阅到有道订阅到QQ邮箱订阅到帮看


发布时间:2012-02-17 13:40:05 Tags:,,,,

1)据CVG报道,EA高级公关主管Erik Reynolds最近通过Twitter发贴透露,EA计划在今年3月份的GDC大会上展示公布一个由Maxis工作室(游戏邦注:代表作为《模拟城市》和《模拟人生》)推出的神秘超级项目。



该消息还附带一个Facebook页面链接,其中内容包括“我们如何共同改变世界?请关注EA在GDC期间的Game Changers消息。”CVG此前发现Maxis正招聘一名“了解Xbox 360和PS3渲染建模和API知识”的设计师“负责开发即将问世的AAA模拟类游戏”。CVG据此推测EA即将发布的是一个全新版本的《模拟城市》掌机游戏。

但games.com之前曾报道称,EA Playfish中国工作室已叫停其他项目,“全力开发Facebook版《模拟城市》”,因此EA这个神秘项目或许将有三种结果:A.EA与Maxis推出《模拟城市》Facebook版本;B.这两者宣布推出该游戏Xbox 360和PS3版本;C.宣布推出该游戏的上述三个版本。

2)瑞典哥德堡大学研究人员Mirko Ernkvist最近报告指出,从74名日本游戏公司CEO提供的数据来看,有48.2%受访公司在上一财年没有盈利。


game development tools(from gdconf)

game development tools(from gdconf)


3)据路透社报道,《Moshi Monsters》发行商Mind Candy(位于伦敦)最近宣布公司考虑在未来数年上市,《Moshi Monsters》这款锁定儿童社区的游戏目前已有6000多万注册用户,该公司在最近财年已售出价值1亿多美元的Moshi Monsters周边产品。



该公司目前已签署100多份授权合同,其合作伙伴包括玩具制造商Mega Bloks、动视暴雪(向任天堂DS平台发行游戏),并发布了该游戏相关音乐专辑。


4)前THQ成员(澳大利亚开发商Blue Tongue Entertainment创始人)Shane Stevens和Steven Spagnolo最近成立新休闲游戏公司Twiitch,并计划于下个月推出由Chillingo发行的首款游戏《Coco Loco》。

这两者是在THQ于2004年收购Blue Tongue时加入THQ,但在2010年离职成立了新工作室,Twiitch目前有10名成员。

Stevens在采访中表示,他们观察了Blue Tongue六年的销售情况,发现高成本的传统开发模式已经难以为继,iPhone和Facebook才是他们应该挖掘的市场。

据报道,THQ去年关闭了包括Blue Tongue在内的多家澳大利亚工作室,并裁减了约200名员工。

5)社交游戏开发商Kabam最近宣布将旗下的《Dragons of Atlantis》等三款游戏引进游戏门户网站Kongregate,并推出iOS版本《Kingdoms of Camelot》。

dragons of atlantis(from

dragons of atlantis(from


6)CrowdStar首席执行官Peter Relan在最近的媒体采访中表示,尽管公司旗下也推出一款塔楼游戏《Tower Town》,但从未受到NimbleBit的抄袭指责,因为《Tower Town》是一款横向建楼游戏,这与《Tiny Tower》纵向建楼机制并不相同(游戏邦注:《Tower Town》发布于2011年11月,NimbleBit游戏《Tiny Tower》发布于2011年6月)。

Tower Town(from games)

Tower Town(from games)



1)Does a new SimCity await behind EA’s curtain at GDC? [Report]

by Joe Osborne

Remember when a China-based Playfish team reportedly said that it stopped everything to “develop the hell out of SimCity” for Facebook? Well, the fruits of that supposed labor (or something else entirely) could be shown at this years Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco on March 6, according to CVG.

EA plans to live stream its Game Changers event during GDC, in which Maxis, the studio behind ubiquitous hits like SimCity and The Sims, will reveal a super secret project. The news broke when EA senior public relations director Erik Reynolds tweeted, “MORE INFO! EA Maxis GDC announcement, huge event w/ special guests.”

The tweet included a link to the Game Changers Facebook page, which reads, “How can we change the world together? Find out when EA hosts the Game Changers event at GDC. What would you do if you had the power to change the world?” CVG hearkens back to a Maxis job posting looking for a designer with “knowledge of the Xbox 360 and PS3 rendering architectures and APIs” to work “on an upcoming triple-A simulation style game.”

This ultimately leads CVG to believe that Maxis will announce a brand new SimCity game for the more powerful game consoles. However, this talk of Playfish doubling down on a SimCity Facebook game could mean that A.) EA and Maxis will announce a SimCity Facebook game B.) the two will announce a SimCity Xbox 360 and PS3 game C.) they will announce a SimCity game for Facebook, Xbox 360 and PS3 or D.) this has nothing to do with SimCity whatsoever. March 6 suddenly feels so far away.(source:games

2)Survey suggests rough financial climate for Japanese developers

by Tom Curtis

A new report has found that a number of Japan’s game studios are struggling to make a profit in today’s economic climate.

The report, conducted by The University of Gothenburg researcher Mirko Ernkvist, gathered data from 74 CEOs across a range of Japanese companies, and found that 48.2 percent, or almost half of the participating companies, did not report a profit in the last fiscal year.

While it’s impossible to say whether this data is representative of the Japanese game industry at large, the data does support the growing consensus that Japan’s game industry has fallen into a lull.

The survey also examined the tools Japanese companies use to create their games, and found that 57.8 percent of respondents reported using game engines during the last three years, 40.6 percent used physics engines, 37.5 percent used software configuration management programs, and 35.9 percent used AI engines.

In its analysis of the data, the report noted that these percentages could indicate a “lack of technological sophistication” for Japanese developers compared to their counterparts in the West.

In addition, many survey respondents indicated that they are using outsourcing to either accelerate development or to aid other companies. In all, 63.5 percent of respondents said they had worked as an outsourcing partner for another company’s game during the last three fiscal years, while 78.7 percent reported outsourcing parts of their own projects to other companies.

The full, unabridged report, which covers topics including feedback techniques, external knowledge sources, and CEO background, can be downloaded as a PDF here [PDF file]. (source:gamasutra

3)Moshi Monsters’ Mind Candy considering IPO

by Mike Rose

Moshi Monsters publisher Mind Candy is considering an initial public offering in the “next few years,” while also continuing its expansion into the U.S. market.

The Moshi Monsters franchise is aimed at young children, and has seen more than 60 million users sign up to the online game. During the current fiscal year, Mind Candy has sold more than $100 million worth of Moshi Monsters merchandise.

The London, UK-based company has also signed over 100 licensing deals to date, including deals with toy maker Mega Bloks, Activision Blizzard for a Nintendo DS version of the game, and a music album based on songs from the games.

Talking to Reuters, the company’s chief executive Michael Acton Smith explained, “We can’t necessarily stay private forever. We have a lot of shareholders and we don’t want to sell. Going public at some point is the smartest way forward.”

However, he noted, “To build a business with global scale that can go public, we absolutely have to be huge in the U.S. and that’s one of the many reasons we want Moshi to take off here.”

The company has already begun its move to the U.S., opening a new Los Angeles office last year that focuses on producing video content for the game’s young playerbase.

“The window has been opened this year where it hasn’t been in recent years. Investors are understanding there’s a huge amount of value in tech businesses,” Smith continued.

The company was valued at $200 million last year, but Smith says that “our valuation is now substantially higher than that.” (source:gamasutra

4) Ex-Blue Tongue owners start new social games company

by Mike Rose

Two former THQ employees, who originally founded Australian de Blob developer Blue Tongue Entertainment, have formed a new casual games company and are looking to release their first game next month.

Melbourne-based Twiitch is CTO Shane Stevens and GM Steven Spagnolo, who will launch their first game Coco Loco, published by Chillingo, on March 8.

The duo joined THQ when it bought out Blue Tongue in 2004, and went on to take roles as global directors for the company. However, they then both left in 2010 to start this new studio.

Twiitch currently houses 10 members of staff. Speaking to Australian newspaper The Age, Stevens explained, “The time was right. We watched the market very closely for the six years following our sale of Blue Tongue, basically not trusting where it was all going.”

“Multi-year development cycles costing tens of millions of dollars just weren’t sustainable for all but a few,” he continued. “The release of the iPhone and the explosion of Facebook caused a strategic, permanent shift towards the casual market, and that’s where we wanted to be.”

“After six years, we could see the writing was on the wall for $30 million budget games, and wanted to start a fresh new company focusing our sharp technical skill on games which could appeal to the masses, on devices everyone has in their pocket.”

It was revealed last year that THQ had closed a number of its Australian studios, including Blue Tongue, and laid off around 200 employees. (source:gamasutra

5)Kabam branching off Facebook to iOS, new games networks

AJ Glasser

Kabam moves farther away from its Facebook origins today by launching Dragons of Atlantis on games portal Kongregate and Kingdoms of Camelot on iOS.

The official announcement today only mentions a publishing partnership with Kongregate, but we found Kabam’s first mobile game on the Canadian App Store early last week. Though Kabam VP of Mobile Matt Ricchetti had no public comment on the title, we observe he’ll be speaking at the upcoming Game Developers Conference in San Francisco next month — where he’ll presumably discuss Kabam’s efforts to diversify its offerings as a social game developer that got its start on Facebook.

Kabam’s reputation comes from asynchronous strategy combat games like Dragons of Atlantis and Kingdoms of Camelot. In 2011, the developer landed an $85 million fourth round of funding, the developer started to expand, bulking up its core technology and metrics tracking infrastructure, opening a San Francisco studio and launching games on other platforms like Google+ and its own site.

Going into 2012, Kabam acquired Fearless Studios to push its games out of 2D and into streaming 3D. The company also completed some restructuring that resulted in layoffs, the magnitude of which we never quite discovered. As of February 2012, Kabam claims its quarterly bookings are up 10 times over its Q4 2010 and that it believes it’s No.2 behind Zynga in terms of social game revenue.

An interesting component buried in the press release is a proprietary framework called Pyramid that Kabam plans to use to connect all its games in a synchronous environment. The goal for the user-side experience is to allow players on various networks and devices to play together. On the developer-side, the framework eliminates the need for branched code and multiple update pushes for different platforms. It’s unclear how smoothly Pyramid will work in mobile, where Apple’s update policy often trips up cross-platform developers that want to release constant updates.

As Kabam’s attention has shifted away from Facebook, we’re not at all surprised to see its traffic on the platform sagging. Daily active users alone are down over 50 percent since July 2011, from 1.4 million to 590,000, according to our AppData traffic tracking service. For context, Kongregate claims a user base of 16 million monthly unique visitors.(source:insidesocialgames

6)CrowdStar CEO: ‘There’s confusion about genres and copies’ [Interview]

by Joe Osborne

The infamous Dream Heights is now available to all on the App Store, and while reviews are positive overall, a number of them draw comparisons between Zynga’s game and NimbleBit’s Tiny Tower. After the past month and a half’s dramatic David and Goliath scenario, it’s not surprising. But It Girl creator CrowdStar has its own tower-building game, Tower Town, and not once has NimbleBit contacted the developer, according to CEO Peter Relan. What gives?

“It was a side-scrolling tower builder–completely different from Tiny Tower. You scroll to the side, you build many towers, you don’t just go upwards,” Relan tells us. “[NimbleBit] never, ever contacted us to say, ‘Hey, Tower Town is a copycat.’ Never, ever. We were in the genre and we were not a copycat. We feel that healthy innovation is going on when 1.) new genres are being created, and 2.) within the genres, different styles of games are being created.”

While we’re not sure whether CrowdStar’s game is “completely different,” Relan raises an interesting point. CrowdStar launched Tower Town in November 2011 through its StarFund, which backs small-time game developers. NimbleBit launched Tiny Tower in June 2011, long before CrowdStar’s game. Perhaps Tower Town was just different enough from Tiny Tower to dodge the indie game developer’s snark-filled letters.

“When we made Tower Town a side-scroller and we added mining to create room for new towers, that was a fundamentally new element that makes the game very different,” Relan says. “The economy

behaves differently and the way you expand your Tower Town, in this case, behaves differently. Once you go that path, then I think the design of the game requires some fundamental thinking and is pretty much a new game design. That’s justified.”

According to Relan, Tower Town is justified because of how it separates itself from other tower-building games, and thus adds to the overall genre of tower-builders. The CrowdStar CEO thinks that people are a bit cloudy on what constitutes as either a clone or an addition to a genre, and that Zynga, in part, is to blame for that. “It’s inaccurate to say, ‘Well, there are five other games like that.’ That’s a genre of games. There’s a difference,” Relan says. “I think their statement confused the issue.”

“I think there’s a confusion in the industry about genres and copies slash clones. When Zynga stated that there were five other tower games before Tiny Tower, they weren’t five clones of Tiny Tower. Let’s say there’s a pets genre game–four or five pets games. All five pet games have some dogs, cats, rabbits, whatever. You’re gonna have the tower-building game as a genre, which I think is a fascinating genre,” Relan admits. “There’s a genre now. CrowdStar created in the shopping category, then other people enter the genre also. So, genres do get created.”

With that, Relan thinks that copycatting isn’t as pervasive in the games industry as it seems, but rather new genres are being created. A games, nay, an entertainment world without genres would be boring, admittedly, but there is a line to be drawn. The CrowdStar chief does admit to the glaring similarities between Dream Heights and Tiny Tower. If that’s the case, then where exactly do you draw the line?

“The choices are many in how you do the user interface. You have lots of creative freedom there,” Relan tells us. “But if you choose not to exercise that creative freedom … that’s when you cross the line.”

But copycatting, cloning, what have you is nothing new to the games industry. Hell, it’s nothing new to the entertainment industry if not the majority of creative works for all time. The chatter over copycatting in the games scene will slowly become (for now), but what happens after the hot topic cools down?

“Fundamentally, people who come into this industry want to create games. [Designers,] by their very nature and their passion are interested in design, not copying,” Relan says. “I see this as a particular approach, which has been called ‘follower’. That culture and that approach is not the [prevailing] approach in the industry, in my experience, because most people in this industry want to do something different.”(source:games