Posts Tagged ‘content’

Blizzard announces new ticket sales for Paris Event

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

Ok peeps, last shot. Here we go again with what surely will be one hell storm of ticket sales again. Blizz announced earlier this week that they’ve got a whole new block of tickets up for grabs for the Paris event.

Tickets go on sale at 15:00 Central European Time (remember, we’re +6 hours ahead of the East Coast of the US) today. In addition to securing your slot at what’s looking like one helluva good show, Blizz also dropped it like it’s hot and announced the live performance schedule. The live and in person video game orchestra, Video Games Live will be dishing out some of your favorite in game tunes, while Blizzard’s own in-house band, Level 70 Elite Tauren Chieftain will be performing live at the closing ceremony. On a side note….will they have to change the name of the band in November (my personal prediction for the Lich King release)?

As mentioned in a previous post, the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational is one spicy meatball going down in Paris on the 28th and 29th of June. Both days are jam packed with all kinds of wicked cool stuff to do and see, including hands on play of the newest stuff Blizz has got in the labs i.e. yes, you’ll get to see the Death Knight and Lich King far before anyone else. In addition, Blizz is hosting a whole round of developer discussions, presentations, and casual (read…I’m gonna pwnd ur @$$ n00b!) tournaments, contents, and much, much more…!

Les Ticket ain’t exactly cheap weighing in at 70 € / £55 for the 2 day event, but then again, where ELSE in the world are you going to get a sneak peak at the Wrath of the Lich King AND Starcraft II?

Again, ticket sales start today at 15:00 CET. Have your credit and/or debit card ready, hit the F5 button on http://eu.blizzard.com/wwi08/ticketsales.xml at 3, and hopefully…..we’ll see you there!

 

ION Game Conference in Seattle: redefining online

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

ION Game Conference in Seattle: redefining online

Under the motto “Redefining Online”, the Annual ION Game Conference took place in Seattle, WA ion between the 13th and 15th of May. The global gaming industry converged at ION to discuss the future of Online Gaming, exchange news, and set new goals for the coming years. Besides industry titans from both the US and Asia such as EA Games, Bigpoint, Crytek, and Epik; fatfoogoo was one of the few European companies present. We were here not only to represent Fatfoogoo, but also to get a view of the newest developments in online gaming. How these developments look, and where they will be taking the next generation of Online Gaming, we proudly present to you here:

Free Games with downloadable content and additional services

The first Trend that’s abuzz in the industry is the increasing alternatives to drive revenue generation. Publishers will sooner or later move further and further away from costly subscription fees and expensive stand alone games, and more in the direction of a “Free to play” platform, i.e. the game is free to download and play, but it’s also self financing by additional downloadable content, services, and micro-transactions between player to player or publisher to player. An excellent example of this concept would be South Korean publishers Nexon, who with Court Rider and Maple Story have banked over $230M in turnover, or German publisher Bigpoint whom already have over 10 million users. On average 8%-30% of these users have already, or will in the future pay for additional functionality and levels.

Outsourcing

The second trend amongst game publishers deals with competition in the global market and the often negative feelings/opinions associated with outsourcing. In order to spend more time in developing games, publishers are increasingly relying on third technologies; game engines, sound creation tools, and/or micro transactions (the selling and/or trading of objects, items and services within a game), between players or between publishers and players. The time and money saved with outsourcing should be reinvested in the core components of manufacturer; game development. There’s already a prime example of a masterful use of outsourcing in Epik’s Unreal 3. Unreal 3′s engines are pretty much the same as any 3D shooter, but they employ various sound engines from the Dolby Engineering labs, or micro-transactions from operators like fatfoogoo. The already existing cooperation with second and third line suppliers of engines and services should be worked out in the future. At it’s essence this will free up game publishers to do what they do best: Develop and publish games.

The merging of (suppossed) opposites

The third trend focuses on the fusion of the various different pieces of Social Networking and Gaming. The border between PC and Console, virtual worlds, games and personal net applications, mobile and casual games is becoming more and more blurred each day and should interoperate with each other – technically, functionally and economically. The platforms will be open to each other, and offer the end users several different levels of interaction. Nevertheless, the challenge for this kind of openness in technology lies not only in the tech sector, but the judicial as well. Copyright and tax laws vary from state to state, country to country. The challenge of a functional multinational system is a priority not only for software and hardware manufacturers, but for politicians as well.

Final Thoughts

Final thoughts and personal observations from Martin Herdina, our foogoo on the ground at ION:

A letter from America

Martin HerdinaBeing back in Europe the jetlag still doesn’t allow me much sleep at night but – and what’s a lot more relevant – I am looking back to a super exciting week at fatfoogoo.

Listening to the industry legends from EA, THQ and NCSoft talk about micro-transactions as the future revenue model for online gaming and to the success stories around Nexon’s “Cartrider” in Korea ($ 250M p.a.) has been extremely interesting and demonstrated once again that fatfoogoo is serving exactly the right market segment at exactly the right time.

Apart from these business aspects I met a full crowd of great people from the US gaming industry, enjoyed some super cool US Ska music at night (check out http://www.myspace.com/dealsgonebad) and was successful at avoiding all business-development meetings taking place in one of Seattle’s strip clubs.

Best,
Martin

 

Metal Gear Solid 4 Limited edition for PS3… not just for Japan!

Friday, May 16th, 2008

Sony’s official playstation blog dropped some Solidly good Gear on North American customers Wednesday night in San Francisco at the Konami Gamers night and made the info official worldwide yesterday: Japan ain’ the only ones getting a first crack at the limited edition June 12th release of the gunmetal grey Metal Gear Solid 4 PS3.

For $599, you can nab yourself a bundle of blitz masked at a 40gb PS3 including a color matched dualshock controller and of course Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots Limited Edition game. In addition, you’ll be the only one one the block with an exlusive Blu-ray disc with over 2 hours of content including: “Hideo Kojima’s Gene” – a “making of” documentary and a special look at Hideo’s team.

The MGS4 LE is available exclusively through Konami, and you can head on over right now and give a clicky click on the wish list, and hope to me one of the lucky few to nab this badboy. Konami will start taking pre-orders on Monday May 19th.

 

New info about the upcoming Lich King expansion!

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

Some exciting new news surfaced over the weekend about the upcoming Lich King expansion set for Warcraft.

Most notably, it seems as though Blizzard is learning and evolving. In the original game, players were required to organize 40 person raids to receive high-level end game content. Needless to say, this became a rather challenging proposition and areas like Naxxramas went largely untouched.

With the Burning Crusade, large raid groups were cut down to a 25 person max, but again, this is still difficult to manage at times. Blizzard is taking cues from the games most popular raid, Karazhan. Kara seems to hit the sweet spot with most players by providing excellent loot, a decent yet not impossible level of organization (10 players), and can be cleared in around 2 hours (depending on players skill level of course).

Blizz is taking this knowledge and applying it to the new Lich King.

  • All dungeons will have a 10 and 25 person version available
  • Versions of the raids are NOT dependent upon each other
  • 25 person raids will have improved (on tier higher) loot
  • NO KEYS! No more running around to get key fragments and attunements
  • 10 person and 25 person dungeons are on separate timers. Meaning: if you’ve already run the dungeon with a group of 10, and find 15 more people to run it with your group, you’re golden
  • 5 person raids are designed to take no longer than 1 hour to complete
  • A new token system will be introduced, similar to the Badge of Justice system

We also got hit with a few tidbits about the new hero character class: Death Knights

  • Every race is able to start a Death Knight
  • Death Knights start at level 55 and there’s no longer a prerequisite to get one. In other words, if you’ve got a level 55 character, you can make 1 Death Knight per account per realm.
  • Mounted Combat! You’ll now have the ability to fight while mounted. Don’t forget about the ability to take a buddy with you (some Wrath mounts have the ability to bring a passenger along), AND use them in the old world.

All in all, it looks like a juicy in expansion, with some well thought out (and heard) requests from players around the world.

 

LotR and the Jackson 5?

Friday, May 9th, 2008

Ok, actually the Jackson 5 have nothing to do with Turbine’s Lord of the Rings, but a certain Jackson 5 song does come to mind with regard to Turbine’s latest offer: “I want you back”.

Celebrating their one year anniversary, Turbine games is inviting ex-subscribers of LotR back for a free 4 day pass, giving users a chance to explore new updates to game content including the new region of Forochel, over 100 new quests, a new monster class: the Orc Defiler, and a variety of other major updates.

Turbine is also offering special anniversary pricing. Pay $199 and become a lifetime game member and never have to fork over your monthly subscription fees again, or choose a multi-month plan (90 days or longer), and lock in a $9.99/month fee for the foreseeable future.

Also dropping like it’s hot during these 4 days, monsters throughout middle earth are losing rare items like they’re going outta style. You can exchange these rare items for a special gift box with all kinds of goodies.

So if you’ve lost that lovin’ feelin’ with LotR, ran outta cash to feed your addiction, or simply want to get back in the saddle, take advantage of 4 free days of play, and see what you’ve been missing.

For more info on the anniversary celebration, pay ‘em a visit at: http://www.lotro.com/welcomeback

 

Despite a slumping economy, gaming industry remains strong

Monday, May 5th, 2008

With the cost of Gas creeping higher every day, the housing market mired in turmoil, and an estimated cost of $3 trillion for the war in Iraq, the American consumer confidence index (a survey on how the average American views their economic health, both past and present) is at an all time low.

So really, let’s forget about the “real world” and delve into a far more exciting one: games!

America’s biggest specialty retailer of both video games and the associated hardware required to run these games GameStop is expecting double digit growth this year. Growth is forecasted by a number of factors but the accelerating demand for next-gen hardware such as the PS3 has boosted GameStops numbers by a mile. Janco Parterns Mike Hickey explains that success for GameStop is

“highly attributable to video game play attracting a mainstream audience,” with the demographic expansion having much to do with “new consoles like the Wii, which pull back on the geekish complexity of typical content aimed at hardcore gamers.”

Hickey also goes on to attribute massive growth to upcoming new releases and expansion packs. The upcoming (April 29th) release of Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto IV could net the company an expected $100 million in a single week. Tack on the much anticipated 2nd expansion to Blizzard’s “World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King” and GameStop could post record breaking numbers this year. Blizzards first expansion pack “The Burning Crusade” sold 2.4 Million copies in 24 hours and 3.5 Million copies in the first month.