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The reccent and tragic events of the 8.9 Japanese Earthquake hit very close to home for revered gaming giant Capcom. Though they have offices in bth Tokyo and Osaka, Capcom reported today that their employees are "safe and well", and that they very much appreciated all of the kind wishes and support in the aftermath of Japan's largest earthquake on record:
Thank you to everyone who has sent inquiries and wished us well during this crisis. We want to reiterate that all of our employees in the Osaka and Toyko regions are safe and well, and we thank everyone for their support.In response to recent events, Capcom will immediately donate 100 million yen to help victims of the earthquake and communities recover from this tragedy. For one week from today, March 15, Street Fighter IV on iPhone will be available for 99cents/115yen, and all sales of the title during this period will be donated to support earthquake relief activities. Capcom will also suspend operations or shorten operating hours as necessary at amusement arcades and other business sites that are located in areas served by Tohoku Electric Power and Tokyo Electric Power. In addition, Capcom will refrain from holding special events. Again, thanks to everyone who has supported Japan during this difficult time, and please help to spread the news about relief efforts.
You hear that people? Download Street Fighter IV RIGHT NOW
Zynga has joined tsunami relief efforts by giving gamers the option to donate through in-game donations through virtual goods in their Zynga games such as FrontierVille, FarmVille and CityVille.
In 36 hours, Zynga gamers have donated more than $1 million toward relief efforts. Zynga chose to partner with Save the Children to raise money for its Japan Earthquake Tsunami Children Emergency Fund. Zynga representatives said that the campaign was created in less than 24 hours and is the largest charitable campaign in company history.
Five years ago this week, what would be the very successful Social Media site Twitter blossomed into existence. March 21, 2006 saw the world's first tweet.
You only get one!
To commemorate Twitter's fifth birthday (5 years in this social media ecosystem is an eternity), Twitter posted a plethora of interesting stats regarding then and now:
3 years, 2 months and 1 day. The time it took from the first Tweet to the billionth Tweet.
1 week. The time it now takes for users to send a billion Tweets.
50 million. The average number of Tweets people sent per day, one year ago.
140 million. The average number of Tweets people sent per day, in the last month.
177 million. Tweets sent on March 11, 2011.
456. Tweets per second (TPS) when Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009 (a record at that time).
6,939. Current TPS record, set 4 seconds after midnight in Japan on New Year's Day.
572,000. Number of new accounts created on March 12, 2011.
460,000. Average number of new accounts per day over the last month.
182%. Increase in number of mobile users over the past year.
8. 29. 130. 350. 400. Number of Twitter employees in Jan 2008, Jan 2009, Jan 2010, Jan 2011 and today.
This morning, Hasbro (King of Toys) and Jagex, creators of RuneScape, announced a strategic development agreement on releasing a Transformers massivley-multiplayer-online-game.
CEO of Jagex Games Studio Mark Gerhard said in a press release,
"TRANSFORMERS is one of the most iconic brands in the world and we are delighted to team up with Hasbro in order to bring our shared vision to reality. There is a huge appetite for an online TRANSFORMERS game and we will utilize every bit of our development and publishing expertise to deliver a dynamic and action-packed game that TRANSFORMERS fans will find irresistible."
Damn straight you will, Mark. The backlash from a shitty Transformers game is going to be a lot worse than the backlash for a shitty Transformers Film.
Get excited though- the game debuts sometime in 2012 (hopefully before the world ends).
I am absolutely riddled with DINOBOT fever. Here's hoping.
Thought the iPad 2 lines/delays were a travesty? Quit whining, you knew it was going to happen anyway. Instead, imagine for a moment that you had pre-ordered one of the most acclaimed fighting game's amazing sequel back in January and had still not received it by mid-to-late February? Wouldn't you expect that benevolent game-making enterprise to give you something for your troubles?
Despite initial shipping issues back in February, Capcom has been very generous in its apologies (check out the 3rd entry down in that last link), according to recent Capcom blog post:
We've been working on this for a while now and some of you may have thought we'd forgotten about you.
We've put together something we hope will help make up for the delayed delivery of Marvel Vs. Capcom 3. A free copy of the really tasty Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 Signature Series Strategy Guide by BradyGames! It's 400 pages of full color MvC3 goodness.
We're still working out the logistics but look for more information coming to the email address you used to place your order.
SXSW just had its first game dev competition, offering a $50,000 Grand Prize (It's no Seumas McNally, but still nothing to sneeze at) sponsored by the online and independent gaming development community, indiePub, who is in turn sponsored by Zoo Entertainment Inc.
Feel free to check out the press release below, but you might want to know that ALL OF THE WINNING GAMES ARE PLAYABLE at indiepub.com
Cincinnati, Ohio - Online independent gaming community indiePub, sponsored by video game publisher Zoo Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZOOG), today announced the winners of South By Southwest's (SXSW) first ever video game development competition, the Independent Propeller Awards, held during SXSW ScreenBurn Arcade, the gaming portion of SXSW Interactive.
Selected from 150 submissions, the Grand Prize winner received a $50,000 cash prize, as well as the opportunity for a publishing deal with indiePub, in cooperation with Zoo Publishing. In addition, subcategory winners were offered a supplemental $25,000 prize in the categories of Best Art, Best Audio, Best Design and Technical Excellence, and both the Intel AppUpSM developer program and Unity Technologies sponsored awards recognizing innovation and development.
From a March 10th press release, Nintendo announced that they would be mounting a cross-country major city Nintendo 3DS promotional campaign in which "Pods" would be showcased in metropolitan areas around the United States (and Canada). Living in one of those major cities, I moseyed over to San Francisco's Pier 39 to check out what was going on.
The Pod has 8 play-testing spots with different games at each one. The games at the SF location included AR Games, Face Raiders, Street Fighter IV, Madden, Pilotwings, Steel Diver, and the much anticipated Nintendogs + cats. The latter is a Tamigotchi-style virtual pet raising game, in which you can pet your pets with a cursor, feed them, take pictures of them, post them to various social netoworks and even hold in the palm of your hand (thanks to an AR Card). Nintendo is also providing a Mii-maker kiosk adjoining the Pod, where you can make a Mii based on a couple default settings and an intuitive process that adds features based on a self-photograph. As you could post this to Facebook or send this to up to 3 email addresses, many people were enjoying this feature, including Mii. I mean, me.
Most popular game to demo was a three-way tie between Face Raiders, AR Games and Nintendogs + Cats. All of these games have AR elements or are entirely AR based, so this bodes very well for Portable AR experiences in the near future.
Want an iPad 2?! OMG of course you do!! You could wait for it to ship 2-3 weeks after you wait for a few hours in the absurd Apple Store line(s)- or there's another option! Improve the social media metrics of TechCrunch and you, too, can have a 1 in ~4000 chance to win an iPad 2. It's genius, and impressively formulaic. Get ahold of massively-desired Tech, and offer it at the low, low price of nothing, minus a one-click social media endorsement. Or, I don't know, 2-3 of them.
Just "like" their Facebook Fan Page, Tweet something about an iPad 2 with the #techcrunch hashtag, and if you're feeling especially saucy (Crunchy?), comment on the story. Hopefully something ironically insipid that insults yourself, your dignity, or is self-deprecatingly face-saving, like, "I never do this but" or "I hate social media but".
C'mon, le monde.
Either way- with over 3k tweets and counting, it's already a successful campaign (Lasts until March 12th 7:30 PM EST).
If you haven't had the chance to play SpyParty yet, it's a combination of Metal Gear Solid and that one level that exists in every FPS where you only have a sniper rifle. But more classic.
The IGF Seumas McNally Grand Prize runner-up (Minecraft won) was one of the most popular indie destinations at GDC last week, with people lined up to get in on the action. The game itself has a nostalgic arcade feel, but the gameplay is wonderfully and psychologically complex. One player is a Sniper, one is a Spy, and the former has no idea who the latter is. The Spy can blend into an entire dinner party of characters, and must complete a host of secret missions while simultaneously avoiding detection. This is difficult, because the Sniper has been "briefed" (i.e. the instructions to the game) on all of the "tells" a Spy could possibly evince. The Spy has the advantage of being able to see the laser-sight of the Sniper, and thus know where he or she is looking at all times. Catch is: there's a time-limit, so one of you has to make a move at some point.
EA's Frank Gibeau has said some good things about the future of PC gaming, as strongly as saying that he sees the PC platform as possibly being the biggest market for EA over the coming years.
He said to Gamasutra that 'The use base is gigantic, PC retail may be a big problem, but PC downloads are awesome.' With the recent success we've seen with Steam, this comes as no surprise - it's just good to hear from someone in the market who isn't whinging about piracy on PC. EA has also said that Battlefield: Heroes is doing very, very well with 368, 241 new users every month on the PC alone and now have over 7 million registered users since launch. The free-to-play title shows that it can do very well in the PC world.