Here's a not-so-shocking revelation about 2012: games were the most popular software on iOS devices in 2012 according to data released by Apple and collected by Inside Mobile Apps. Seven of the ten highest-grossing iPad apps and ten highest-grossing iPhone apps were games, according to the data.
If you think that the biggest selling game of the year is Call of Duty or some other huge franchise then you are likely not taking into account digital sales across all platforms. As this MCV report points out, the biggest games of the year are likely Angry Birds or Minecraft related. According to research firm Kantar Worldpanel, the two week period that ends on January 1, 2013 will account for almost seven percent of all games downloaded across mobile, tablet, console and PC platforms this year.
In an interesting conversation with Eurogamer Hotline Miami publisher Digital Devolver reveals how much the gruesome indie action game has sold to date, how much it has been pirated and the shock at just how popular his little indie game has become.
Project manager Graeme Struthers Hotline Miami has sold 130,000 copies since launch seven weeks ago. While he was happy about those numbers, Struthers said that PC piracy has had a serious impact on sales.
Microsoft has indicated to the Xbox 360 community that it is aware of problems with Halo 4 season pass holders not being able to download the Crimson Map Pack that was released today. The company says that it is investigating the cause of this and working on a solution. Instead of being able to simply download the Crimson Map Pack, season pass holders are being asked to pay 800 MS Points prior to download. The season pass costs a flat fee enabling purchasers to grab all the downloadable content upon release for free.
Episode 5 of Telltale's horror adventure series The Walking Dead based on the popular comic series took the top spot on the PlayStation Store charts for the month of November, according to Sony. In fact all five episodes in the series managed to make the Top 20. Coming is second was Assassin's Creed 3, followed by Sonic Adventure 2, Okami HD, and PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale.
Valve Software has launched Steam Big Picture today, bringing its popular digital distribution platform to HD television sets everywhere. The new version of Steam allows gamers to bring their games in Steam to the big screen with higher resolution - and with some games - full gamepad support. Out of the gate, Steam Big Picture offers about 30 games that can be played on a gamepad.
In Episode 29 of the Super Podcast Action Committee hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight discuss the shaky launch of the Wii U console over the weekend, Sony perma-bans for PS3 'hackers,' and the good and bad side of Electronic Arts. It's a show to remember unless you stopped that Wii U firmware update - then it's a painful reminder that getting your brand new console 'bricked' kind of sucks! Download it now: SuperPAC Episode 29 (1 hour, 19 minutes) 73 MB.
According to this EA forum thread, some Origin users are claiming that their accounts are being hijacked. Customers claiming that their accounts are being hijacked are receiving emails from EA informing them that their email address and password have been "successfully updated" even though they themselves have not attempted to update any of their account settings.
No doubt you have already heard that Valve co-founder and top executive Gabe Newell and Mojang co-founder Markus Persson think that Windows 8 is horrible for PC gamers and game developers because it uses a closed app store approach to presenting software to customers. Now Croteam's chief technical offer Alen Ladavac has added his two cents to the discussion. The CTO for the company behind the Serious Sam series said in a recent Steam Community forum post that Gabe Newell was right.
The Bundle of the Damned, a Halloween-themed bundle that gives anyone willing to pay at least $1 a collection of five spooky games is now live at Groupees. The bundle offers Cryostasis: Sleep of Reason, Rijn the Specpyre in... Manor of the Damned!, and a collection of music from Halloween specialists Midnight Syndicate. Twenty percent of the purchase automatically goes to the UNICEF charity. Those willing to pay at least $4 will also receive Epicycle's BlindSide, an audio-only horror game called Anna, and Post Mortem (the prequel to Still Life).
Microsoft has changed its position on selling games rated "18" in the UK (under the PEGI system) via the Windows 8 marketplace. Previously the platform owner had made the decision by comparing the "adult" category used by the ESRB in North America - a category reserved for games with very strong sexual content or extreme violence.
The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) announced what they are calling a "streamlined, no-cost service for assigning ratings to all digitally delivered games." The ESRB's new "Digital Rating Service" gives developers and publishers access to a "brief but detailed online questionnaire" to define a product's content, age-appropriateness, interactive elements, and platforms.
The popular DRM-free digital distribution platform Good Old Games, finally supports the Mac OS operating system - though not every game in its catalog is available at this time. GOG is currently offering 50 games on OS X including Syndicate and Wing Commander 1 & 2. More Mac-compatible titles will be released in the future on an on-going basis.
Speaking at the Broadband World Forum in Amsterdam on Wednesday, Eidos Life President Ian Livingstone said that broadband bottlenecks around the world are slowing down the game industry's transition from the physical to the digital world, and urged telecommunications companies to build more broadband infrastructure.
"What we need is super-speed broadband,″ said Livingstone. "You're kind of holding us back in many respects."
Electronic Arts announced this morning that the very first crowd-funded game has landed on Origin, the company's digital distribution platform. After successfully being funded via Kickstarter, the post-apocalyptic vehicle-based action game from 2 Dawn Games and Reverb Publishing is complete and ready for purchase.
Electronic Arts announced earlier this year that it would support games funded by the community through sites like Kickstarter and would let them be sold via Origin free of charge.
Oopsie. A recent promotion for EA's Origin digital distribution platform saw thousands of games downloaded for free by Origin users using a free code. The original purpose of the code was to give Origin users $20 off the purchase of a game in the digital store, but the coupon didn't work as expected...
Apparently users found that it allowed them to download multiples titles free of charge. Games they managed to score for free include the likes of Dead Space 2, Crysis, Command & Conquer 3 and 4, Battlefield 2 and Mirror’s Edge.
Gaikai is being taken to court over the technology behind its game streaming services, GamesIndustry International reports. Last week, UK-based T5 Labs filed a lawsuit against Gaikai Inc. saying that the company's streaming game technology infringes on a patent it holds. Gaikai was acquired this year by Sony. Last year the company accused OnLive of violating its patents but court documents were either never filed or unobtainable at this time.
Two weeks ago New Zealand’s Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security revealed that the government had illegally spied on Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom. Specifically he said in his report that the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) carried out illegal surveillance on Dotcom, because the agency is only allowed to carry out that kind of action against foreign targets. When the news became public, New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key apologized to Dotcom.
After the parties involved in the Megaupload case failed on multiple occasions to negotiate some way to relinquish legitimate and legal data to Megaupload users left in the lurch, a Federal judge has agreed to hold a hearing on the matter. The one caveat is that the parties involved must come up with a format and the judge has not set a definitive date. Still it's forward motion in a situation that has been stalled by trade groups like the MPAA and the U.S. government.
OnLive's newly appointed CEO Charles Jablonski says that the cloud-based game streaming service will undergo a "transition of size, scope and management" under his direction. Jablonski spoke at length about his plans to revive the company after it nearly collapsed in August. After the assets of the company were transferred to Lauder Partners, employees were fired, debts were written off and CEO Steve Perlman resigned.
Sony Computer Entertainment America announced a new digital content program for customers called PSN Day 1 Digital. The goal of this new program is to provide consumers access to digital versions of retail releases of PS3 games on launch day via the PlayStation Store. The program begins on October 1.
Beginning today, PS3 owners can pre-order a handful of select titles ahead of their release dates as well. Pre-ordering these titles will earn consumers a ten percent discount.
Consumption of entertainment via digital has grown 74 percent in 2012, according to the Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA). The data comes from a new report by the trade group called "D2 Report: Discs & Digital – The Business of Home Entertainment Retailing." The report found that various digital formats including electronic sell-through, video-on-demand, and subscription streaming grew 51 percent in 2011 and 74 percent in the first quarter of 2012. Much of this popularity can be explained by the increase in tablet and mobile devices being used in U.S.
Earlier in the month Ubisoft announced that it would turn its Uplay game community hub into a digital distribution platform, and with last week's news that it had toned down its DRM scheme for PC releases, today's news is really a no brainer. The company said today that - at some point - it would like to bring third-party titles to the platform.
Amsterdam-based indie developer No Reply Games issued a statement yesterday saying that their first game to make its way on to Steam Greenlight has been kicked off the service. The game is called "Seduce Me," and is an erotic themed dating simulation. From the trailer we viewed of the game, it contains some nudity, adult language, sexual themes, and adult situations.
"Many people still view games as 'for children' in spite of the fact that the average gamer is 30 years old," said No Reply Games Miriam Bellard.
EA Games executive vice president Patrick Soderlund said during a recent interview with Computer & Videogames that brick-and-mortar retail distribution will probably be dead in the next decade. He also thinks that the new generation does not care all that much for owning physical copies of games. He also noted that the acceleration of the digital distribution space is not slowing down, even as packaged goods sales are.
In Episode 16 of the Super Podcast Action Committee, Andrew Eisen and James Fudge (filling in for E. Zachary Knight, who had to take a well-deserved time-out to fawn over a new addition to his family this week) talk about Mugen Souls, Resident Evil 5, the chaos of OnLive, the irony of Ubisoft turning Uplay into a digital distribution platform, and the controversy over "girlfriends" and Borderlands 2. Download Episode 16 here: SuperPAC Episode 16 (1 Hour, 12 Minutes).