CryWorks: Disney, Pixar, ILM Vets Launch New VR Company

VFX and CGI veterans Euan Macdonald, Hans Uhlig and Kymber Lim have secured funding led by Michael Bay’s 451 Media Group, 500 Mobile Collective, and WI Harper Group to launch an immersive entertainment company called CryWorks, with plans to produce virtual and augmented reality experiences. “Although there are a few high-quality VR content pieces to date, most of them have little incentive for the viewer to keep tuning back in,” said Macdonald. “We see an opportunity to build the first VR broadcast network, partnering with other production companies and creating addictive, episodic experiences.” Continue reading CryWorks: Disney, Pixar, ILM Vets Launch New VR Company

E3 Loses Exhibitors as Publishers and Gamers Connect Online

When the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) opens its doors in Los Angeles next week, some familiar game publishers will be missing for the first time. Electronic Arts has opted to hold its own mini-expo, Activision did not take a booth this year, and Disney is exiting the video game publishing business. That’s big news for E3, the industry’s premiere trade show that draws 50,000 video game industry members and historically has been the site of major title unveilings and celebrity appearances. Some ask whether E3 might be losing its luster. Continue reading E3 Loses Exhibitors as Publishers and Gamers Connect Online

Electronic Arts Launches Subscription Service for PC Gamers

Origin Access hopes to become the new Netflix of video gaming. For $4.99 per month, subscribers can sample new PC games before they’re released, receive special discounts on current games, and play some games for free. All of the games are delivered via Internet downloads. The subscription service is an extension of Electronic Arts’ Origin, an online community and store for PC games. EA already offers a similar subscription service for Xbox One games and rival Nvidia has one for PC games. Continue reading Electronic Arts Launches Subscription Service for PC Gamers

Video Game Downloads Becoming More Popular This Year

This holiday shopping season comes at an opportune time for the gaming industry — the latest “Fallout” and “Call of Duty” games have hit the shelves and the newest consoles have hit their stride in terms of price and availability. However, video game sales are down and GameStop and Electronic Arts recently reported disappointing earnings. The dismal numbers may be due to an increased number of game downloads, which are not usually counted in these reports. Continue reading Video Game Downloads Becoming More Popular This Year

Comcast and EA Partner to Test Streaming Games via Cable

Comcast and Electronic Arts have partnered to launch the beta test of Xfinity Games, showcasing around 20 video games for streaming via cable. EA will stream the games to Comcast’s cable boxes, in the same manner that video services stream TV shows and movies to set-top boxes. No game pads are used in the service, as the service is targeting mobile and casual gamers, instead of console gaming fans. Users can access a website with their iPhone or Android phones to use as game controllers. Continue reading Comcast and EA Partner to Test Streaming Games via Cable

Perspective: In Reality, VR Not the Only Game at E3 (Part 2)

In Part 2 of our E3 overview, we look at the featured products and emergence of virtual reality. E3 operates with a familiar orchestration: Press events, lavish floor displays and private parties with big name bands. The Who, for instance, entertained guests of Electronic Arts. The layout of the exhibit floor gathers the platform players — Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo — in the Convention Center’s West Hall and fills the South Hall with the major game developers. In a sign of where VR leader Oculus fits into the spectrum, its booth anchored a prominent corner of the platform-centric West Hall. Continue reading Perspective: In Reality, VR Not the Only Game at E3 (Part 2)

Nintendo Will Make Mobile Games Through New Partnership

Nintendo has teamed up with Japanese mobile game company DeNA to bring Nintendo’s popular characters to smartphones and tablets. DeNA and Nintendo plan to build an online gaming service that will be introduced this fall. However, Nintendo has not completely abandoned its strategy to build games for its own hardware. The company is also working on its next game console, codenamed the NX, which may be unveiled next year. It may possibly incorporate VR or media services offerings. Continue reading Nintendo Will Make Mobile Games Through New Partnership

E3 2014: Electronic Arts Puts Focus on Conceptual Prototypes

In addition to games it plans to produce this year, Electronic Arts offered a glimpse of the future at its E3 press conference. CEO Andrew Wilson promised “raw prototypes of what’s to come over the next few years” and “thoughtful reflections on what’s inspiring the future.” Early prototype footage was shown for “Star Wars Battlefront” from DICE, a new game in the “Mass Effect” series from BioWare, and an unnamed first-person game with helicopters, motorcycles and skydiving from Criterion. Continue reading E3 2014: Electronic Arts Puts Focus on Conceptual Prototypes

E3 2014: Microsoft Places Emphasis on Games at Xbox Event

At yesterday’s Xbox briefing, Microsoft took a different approach by focusing its entire E3 presentation on games. Traditionally, the event has included other media functionality of Xbox hardware, but this year Phil Spencer, the new head of Xbox, noted that changes to strategy were necessary for the Xbox One — changes initiated by user response to the (formerly) always-online, DRM-heavy console. The event included major titles, trailers of previously announced games and a slate of indie titles. Continue reading E3 2014: Microsoft Places Emphasis on Games at Xbox Event

Comcast Customers to Soon Stream Games from Electronic Arts

Following two years of testing, Comcast and Electronic Arts are reportedly close to reaching an agreement that would allow customers to stream EA video games to televisions via Comcast’s X1 cable box system, and use their tablets as controllers. The cloud-connected X1 system features apps, viewing recommendations and voice control. According to sources familiar with the plans, games such as “FIFA,” “Madden” and “Monopoly” would be available to Comcast’s more-than 22 million U.S. customers. Continue reading Comcast Customers to Soon Stream Games from Electronic Arts

General Mills Reverses Change to Legal Terms After Backlash

General Mills expanded its privacy policy last week to require that all disputes be resolved through arbitration or informal negotiation. According to the change to its legal terms, consumers who engage in online interactions such as downloading coupons, liking the brand’s Facebook page, or entering a company-sponsored sweepstakes would give up their right to sue. Due to public outrage over the changes, General Mills announced over the weekend it was voiding those terms. Continue reading General Mills Reverses Change to Legal Terms After Backlash

DEW Conference: Futurist Rob Tercek on Internet Companies

Millennials, who typically get their video from Vine, Instagram, Snapchat and other social and online sources, are developing a new vernacular for viewing, said futurist Rob Tercek at the Digital Entertainment World conference in LA last week. He believes that the DreamWorks deal to produce children’s content for Netflix is a play by Netflix to capture and cultivate a generation of viewers, similar to the way Apple seeded schools with Apple computers. Similar trends are playing out with various Internet companies. Continue reading DEW Conference: Futurist Rob Tercek on Internet Companies

Some Question Stealth Marketing Approach for the Xbox One

While the distinction between paid advertising and editorial content online can sometimes seem blurred, it was recently suggested that Microsoft was paying Machinima partners to post videos featuring the Xbox One. Machinima’s UK community manager revealed in a tweet (that is now deleted) that video partners were receiving an additional $3 per thousand views for videos featuring the Xbox One. In a related story, Electronic Arts is said to be taking a similar approach with its Ronku program. Continue reading Some Question Stealth Marketing Approach for the Xbox One

Court Rules Former College Athletes Can Sue Electronic Arts

A federal appeals court is allowing a group of former college athletes to sue Electronic Arts over allegedly using their likenesses in video games without their permission. This is one of two legal actions this year against the company by former college players. EA has claimed First Amendment rights, but the appeals courts have disagreed. The issue also involves the NCAA and calls into question policies regarding profits generated from college sports and players. Continue reading Court Rules Former College Athletes Can Sue Electronic Arts

Game News: Electronic Arts CEO Riccitiello to Step Down

Electronic Arts chief exec John Riccitiello is set to resign in the wake of the videogame company’s disappointing earnings and stock figures. EA announced that Larry Probst, current EA chairman and former CEO, would serve as executive chairman while the board searches for a replacement for Riccitiello. In a letter to his employees, Riccitiello took responsibility for the “shortcomings” in EA’s recent results. Continue reading Game News: Electronic Arts CEO Riccitiello to Step Down

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