Electronic Arts and Zynga settle legal battle

Electronic Arts, Zynga drop their legal battle before it begins - San Jose Mercury News: "Redwood City video game publisher Electronic Arts (ERTS) and San Francisco social gaming company Zynga have agreed to dismiss claims against each other in a case involving alleged copyright violations and employee poaching. Electronic Arts had accused Zynga of copying key elements of its game "The Sims Social" for Zynga's "The Ville." Zynga then countersued to stop what it called Electronic Arts' improper effort to prevent it from hiring that company's employees."

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Faces Behind Successful Mobile Games

The Faces Behind Successful Mobile Games
ABC News
We spoke to 4 high-profile game developers who attended the 2013 D.I.C.E. Summit in Las Vegas last week and asked them the following: what makes their games special, how they made it in the gamingindustry and what excites them about the future of ...

ABC News

What Games Are: Why The Xbox's $5 Problem Is Great For OUYA
Editor's note: Tadhg Kelly is a veteran game designer, creator of leadinggame design blog What Games Are and creative director of JawfishGames. You can follow him on Twitter here. Game developers, publishers and platform holders regularly argue the ...

'GTA 5' publisher discusses PS4 and Xbox 720 video game development budget ...
Take-Two Interactive, the parent company of Rockstar Games (the publisher who is responsible for the upcoming “GTA 5”), has commented on the development costs for PS4 and Xbox 720 video games. According to a report by Edge on Feb. 6, CEO Strauss ...
What's Next for THQ's Games? - IGN: " . . . Ultimately, all of this is mostly good news for gamers. Each of these studios and properties found new homes because they’re desirable and because they are -- or have the potential to be -- successful. It may be a while before we know the end result of the THQ bankruptcy auction, but the games will have the final say, on this generation of consoles and the next."

Is Your Mind for Sale? Inside the Allure of Digital Sweatshops | Collective Intelligence | Big Think: "Another form of human computation von Ahn has developed is the seductive online game ESP that was acquired by Google in 2006. People will spend up to 40 hours a week providing "meaningful" labels to images, helping to optimize online image searches, an area where current computer vision techniques have fallen short. While Google shut down its version of ESP in 2011, human agents used the game to generate over 10 million labels. Like Mechanical Turk, this is a form of artificial artificial intelligence. ESP asks humans the type of task that it would like to farm out to a computer, but can't. If you make this task into a game, people will play it, earning "points." While this is a completely worthless currency, Zittrain points out that it is really positive feedback that people are craving, and that is what motivates them to participate. "

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Electronic Arts Suffers $45 Million Loss

The Escapist : News : Electronic Arts Suffers $45 Million Loss: ". . . analyst Michael Pachter said EA is being "overly conservative" in the wake of disappointing Medal of Honor: Warfighter sales, which were bad enough that the publisher revealed yesterday that plans for future games in the franchise have been shelved. "They were probably a little shell-shocked by how bad holiday demand was, and I think at the low end they're probably assuming demand is down 20 percent or so," he said. BMO Capital Markets analyst Edward Williams also noted that some of EA's troubles are beyond its control, as the entire industry is suffering from a downturn in demand as consumers await next-gen hardware from Sony and Microsoft. "The guidance pretty clearly represents a lot uncertainty in the market and that uncertainty stems from recent performances as consumers are pretty aware of new consoles coming," he said. In other words, the news may not be great but it's not necessarily all that bad, either. EA also announced that its digital business is continuing to grow, with games and services for mobile (including handhelds) growing 18 percent year-over-year to roughly $100 million, and that its Origin platform now has more than 39 million registered users and distribution deals with 86 independent developers."

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Game developers gather at for Global Game Jam

Game developers gather at Cogswell College for Global Game Jam - SiliconValley.com: ". . . ."To be a game developer, you have to love what you do," said Joshua McCoy, 19, a DeVry University junior. And it's more than knowing computer code. A good game designer must be a Renaissance man -- or for the few out there -- woman. "You need to know a little bit of everything -- what's happening in the world, history, religion, music," said Martinez. The designer creates an online experience based in the real world. "This is not just a hobby, it's an art form," said Albert Chen, assistant professor of digital arts engineering game development at Cogswell, a campus of 330 students just north of Bayshore Freeway in Sunnyvale. . . . "

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Nintendo makes drastic cut to forecast

Nintendo makes drastic cut to forecast | ZDNet: " . . . In a statement released Wednesday (PDF), Nintendo said it expected operating losses of 20 billion yen (US$220 million) for the year ended March 31, 2013, significantly down from its previous estimate of 20 billion yen in operating profit. The figure was also more drastic than market estimates of 12.1 billion yen (US$134 million) in profit, according to a Reuters poll of 19 analysts. . . . In the Reuters report, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said: "The sales of Wii U were smooth at the beginning, but since the turn of the year they have been losing momentum. "Due to delays in software development, we had to postpone sales of software products we had planned to [release] early this year, which is interrupting our sales," Iwata said. In a ZDNet report in September, market watchers noted that the overall game console market in Asia had been challenged by the rise of online and mobile games, especially when console devices had created a high entry barrier for consumers."

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Zynga loses chief designer

Zynga loses chief designer - GameSpot.com: "Zynga has lost a top developer. Chief game designer Brian Reynolds has left the social game company, he announced over Twitter last night. Reynolds had spent nearly four years with the San Francisco, California-based FarmVille developer. It is not clear where Reynolds is headed next or if he will be replaced at Zynga. Reynolds founded Zynga's Baltimore, Maryland studio, which released FrontierVille in June 2010. His principal game credits also include CityVille 2 and FrontierVille: Pioneer Trail."

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Facebook and gaming revenue

Facebook fourth quarter results: live - Telegraph: "A question about whether Facebook can replace falling desktop gaming revenue with mobile gaming revenue. "What we're seeing now is growth and adoption of our platform in games on both iOS and Android," says Ebersman. "We want Facebook to be the default social infrastructure for mobile games. At this point we don't have any mobile monetisation, but it puts us in an interesting position to consider future opportunities. 22.45 A flat denial of those smartphone rumours. "We're not going to build a phone," says Zuckerberg. He's more interested in building new features that are unique to accessing Facebook on a smartphone, whatever that means."

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THQ is gone but publishers buy key brands

THQ is gone, but publishers rush in to buy key brands | Technology | guardian.co.uk: THQ, the veteran publisher of games like Saints Row and Homefront, as well as a range of WWE wrestling titles, has been struggling with debt for many months. Now it has been forced to auction off its key franchises. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December and had hoped for a quick buy-out courtesy of the private equity firm, Clearlake Capital Group. However, investors objected to the deal, and a US courtfound in their favour, arguing that the company had not been aggressive enough in seeking other potential purchasers. The alternative: an auction, held on January 22, to sell off the publisher's studios and assets one by one. This was effectively to be the end of a company that has been in the games business for 20 years. And while the results of the auction are yet to be formally approved by the court, most of THQ's major brands are now effectively with new owners. Here's who got what: Relic Entertainment: the studio behind titles such as Company of Heroes and Warhammer 40k has been bought by Sega for $26.6m. It's a good fit for the publisher, bringing over the forthcoming real-time strategy sequel Company of Heroes 2 which slots in comfortably beside the Total War series. THQ Montreal: The studio had been working on two new properties: 1666 and Underdog. These have now gone to Ubisoft for $2.5m. Ironically, 1666 is the codename for a project directed by Assassin's Creed creator, Patrice Desilets, who left Ubisoft for THQ in 2010. In the wake of the move, Ubisoft attempted to take out an injunction prohibiting THQ and Desilets from employing further staff from the Ubisoft Montreal studio. It's unclear yet, whether Desilets will return to the fold.

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