ETC Ties Suitcase Bingo Game App to NAB Cloud Conference

ETC@USC has launched “The Suitcase Bingo Game” app in conjunction with the NAB Cloud Innovation Conference to encourage NAB participants to explore the latest in cloud production solutions. The app is available for both Android and iOS devices. The technologies were used in production of “The Suitcase,” the second short film to be produced through the Entertainment Technology Center and USC’s School of Cinematic Arts to test prove next generation workflow, use of the innovative C4 Framework, metadata, high dynamic range and 360 camera capture. Continue reading ETC Ties Suitcase Bingo Game App to NAB Cloud Conference

MTV Launches Interactive Online Game to Promote ‘Scream’

As part of its social media push for the upcoming series “Scream,” based on the popular horror film franchise, MTV has created an interactive online game. In a unique promotional campaign, “Choose Your Own Murder” invites participants to enter their own horror movie scenario and try to escape a killer. Users are given options as the story unfolds and brief time limits to quickly make decisions that steer the action. Once murdered, users then have the option of playing the game again or sharing via social media. The series is slated to debut June 30. Continue reading MTV Launches Interactive Online Game to Promote ‘Scream’

VR Films Are Expected to Make a Splash at Sundance Festival

At the Sundance Film Festival in Park City next month, attendees can expect to watch both great films and virtual reality experiences. Ten of the 13 installations in the festival’s New Frontier program involve VR or other digital interactive technology. These projects use several different brands of headsets, from Oculus Rift to Google Cardboard and Samsung’s Gear VR, and for one of the first times, the content for these devices will be original, not a promotion for an existing movie. Continue reading VR Films Are Expected to Make a Splash at Sundance Festival

Taylor Swift Music Video Offers a New Take on Virtual Reality

Pop star Taylor Swift’s new music video “Blank Spaces” comes with an app that offers fans an interactive experience in the video’s pristine mansion setting. The app is available for iOS and Android, and it gives viewers a chance to explore the scenes featured in the music video, see Swift dance just a few feet away, and discover Easter eggs with extras such as Polaroids. This app may point to the future of music videos, and could provide an ideal testing ground for virtual environments. Continue reading Taylor Swift Music Video Offers a New Take on Virtual Reality

SGN Releases Mobile Game for Fox’s New ‘Book of Life’ Movie

Mobile game maker SGN and 20th Century Fox released “Book of Life: Sugar Smash,” a companion mobile game for Fox’s new animated film. The two companies are sharing revenue from the game’s in-app purchases, which could translate to long-term revenue and marketing for both businesses. This revenue-sharing deal could also become a new model of partnership for future gaming and film companies. “Book of Life: Sugar Smash” is a free game available for iOS and soon Android. Continue reading SGN Releases Mobile Game for Fox’s New ‘Book of Life’ Movie

Failed Video Game Underlines the Perils of Using Kickstarter

Neal Stephenson announced that “Clang,” his sword-fighting video game project launched via Kickstarter, is dead in the water. In 2012, the author of sci-fi classics Snow Crash and Cryptonomicon raised $526,000 on Kickstarter. Stephenson originally set out to create a game that was more engaging than existing sword-fighting games, but ultimately realized that while innovative, the end result was not fun to play. The game and some pledge rewards were not delivered, which frustrated some backers. Continue reading Failed Video Game Underlines the Perils of Using Kickstarter

PC-Only Game with Galactic-Size Ambitions Raises $50 Million

“Star Citizen,” a PC-only game still in development by Cloud Imperium Games, is part space exploration simulator and part first-person action game in a huge universe of planets, space stations, cities and ships. Since the game’s announcement in 2012, the makers of “Star Citizen” have raised almost $50 million through crowdfunding, with 10,000 to 15,000 new people donating every month. In June 2013, it became the first crowdfunded project to raise $10 million. Continue reading PC-Only Game with Galactic-Size Ambitions Raises $50 Million

LeapFrog to Launch Educator-Approved Game Console for Kids

LeapFrog Enterprises plans to launch its $150 kid-friendly LeapTV game console this fall. The twist? LeapTV will debut with 100 games and videos approved by professional educators, those who ideally know what is best for children. The console will include personalization features and motion-sensing controls similar to those introduced with Nintendo’s Wii. Games will target children ages 3 to 8. At launch there will be nine cartridge titles offered, with additional titles available digitally. Continue reading LeapFrog to Launch Educator-Approved Game Console for Kids

Google’s Ingress Game Combines Virtual and Real World Play

“Ingress,” a multiplayer game that uses the entire globe as its game board, made its debut on iOS this week. Now, iPhone users can join in the fun of working with other online gamers to find real life portals in their community and progress through the “Risk”-like game. “Ingress” already has about four million downloads on Android devices in about 200 countries. Google has also taken advantage of advertising opportunities, allowing businesses to pay to become a portal. Continue reading Google’s Ingress Game Combines Virtual and Real World Play

Lego Fusion Sets Combine Physical Blocks and Virtual Worlds

Lego is launching a new line of building block kits this summer that enable 7-to-12-year-old children to build a physical building and then see that building become a part of a virtual world in the corresponding smartphone app. The budding builder would construct a facade out of the 200-piece Lego Fusion set, and then use the app’s camera function to capture the creation and turn it into a building within the app’s game, such as a tycoon game or a racing game. Continue reading Lego Fusion Sets Combine Physical Blocks and Virtual Worlds

Facebook Takes on Snapchat with Slingshot Messaging App

Facebook launched its new Slingshot messaging app for both iPhone and Android this week. The app has been described as similar to Snapchat, although it has one significant difference. In order to see what others have sent you, you need to send a photo or video in response. The free app is meant to feel more like a game that involves active engagement than a traditional social messaging tool, based on the inability of users to watch so-called “shots” passively. Continue reading Facebook Takes on Snapchat with Slingshot Messaging App

Samsung and Oculus Collaborate on Virtual Reality Headset

Engadget has an update to the recent reports of Samsung working on an unannounced virtual reality headset. Samsung is reportedly working with Facebook-owned Oculus VR on a media-focused headset. Samsung is working on the hardware side of the product, including next-gen OLED screens, while Oculus is handling the software side. The headset will be navigated via motion and voice, using either a paired game controller or as a standalone device. Continue reading Samsung and Oculus Collaborate on Virtual Reality Headset

Google to Unveil Pano-Powered Android TV Later This Month

Google is reportedly planning to announce the launch of its Android TV platform during the Google I/O developer conference, which is scheduled for June 25-26 in San Francisco. According to multiple sources, Android TV will be a platform rather than another device. TV and set-top box manufacturers will be able to use Android TV to deliver streaming services to televisions. The platform, with its unique Pano interface, is expected to focus on online media services and Android-based video games. Continue reading Google to Unveil Pano-Powered Android TV Later This Month

File Sharing Not in Decline, U.S. Consumers Lead the Charge

Despite those who claim a drop in P2P activity, legal pressure and growing popularity of paid services have not led to a decline in file sharing. According to Tru Optik, 300 million users swap files via BitTorrent each month. Tru Optik estimates that more movies and TV shows are downloaded by file sharers than are sold via iTunes, Google Play and Amazon combined. The U.S. accounts for more downloaded media and software than any other country, with the exception of video game downloads in Brazil.

Continue reading File Sharing Not in Decline, U.S. Consumers Lead the Charge

Nintendo Program to Share Ad Revenue with YouTube Creators

Japanese gaming company Nintendo is poised to launch a new program for YouTube creators that will allow use of the company’s copyrighted material in online videos, and in certain situations, provide creators with a share of the advertising revenue. Nintendo has already been allowing its copyrighted material to appear in videos under “appropriate circumstances,” but the new affiliate program will share ad revenue with YouTube producers who “use the material more proactively.” Continue reading Nintendo Program to Share Ad Revenue with YouTube Creators

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