Monthly Archives: June 2015

Top gaming characters worldwide

Top gaming characters worldwide

Since barging out of the arcade and into our homes, video gaming has been responsible for the introduction of many popular characters. Ranging from the comical to the curvy, these digitized creations have made their way into popular culture in the form of merchandising, TV, Film and even music. From humble beginnings in which gaming characters were seen as ‘geeky’, they have since gone on to be some of the most instantly recognizable images, and have become responsible for the promotion of mainstream products as well as the commercial success of the hardware they were designed for.

Sackboy

As gaming has moved on, it has become increasingly hard to create a new, sustainable gaming super character. Gamers want violence, they want fast paced action and they want customisation, things which don’t lend themselves well to one set, cute character. Enter Sackboy.

Pac-Man

The overall impact that Pac Man (the character) has had on modern popular culture is perhaps immeasurable. Even today, TV Shows can pay reference to him safe in the knowledge that all who hear it will instantly understand. The game itself was used as a Google title page, and Pac-Man arcade cabinets still retail for hundreds of pounds on eBay. A true great of the gaming world.

Sonic The Hedgehog

As Sega became one if the most dominant forces in gaming during the 90’s, the influence the blue hedgehog had was immense, with many copycat games popping up both on Sega consoles and rival hardware. Even in 2014, young gamers can identify and relate to the character, a trait that makes him a true gaming icon.

Mario

The Italian plumber first made his gaming debut as ‘Jump Man’ in the 1981 classic Donkey Kong, going by his own name in the 1982 update, Donkey Kong Junior. When Nintendo released their first home console, the NES it was Mario in the flagship game, Super Mario Bros. that helped sell the console, and the rest is history.

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Disney unveils Playmation

Disney unveils Playmation

Disney on Tuesday unveiled “Playmation,” a whole new type of high-tech toy that brings motion-sensor technology, Bluetooth and cloud connectivity to wearable devices and traditional action figures.

Despite its cutting-edge nature, Playmation is in certain ways an antivideo game: It’s designed to get kids up and running around. And while kids can use a smartphone or tablet app to learn their “mission,” once you start playing, you have to step away from any screen.

The first product line in the Playmation brand is based on Marvel’s Avengers, starting with a $120 pack of five connected toys built around Iron Man. The centerpiece is a wearable that slips onto your arm, and is designed to shoot and block shots like Iron man’s “Repulsor Gear.”

The button you press to shoot makes the glove vibrate. If you flip your wrist up, the light in your palm shoots as well. Hold your arm up in front of you to block, it’ll vibrate. Lights will change colors if you’re “shot.”

The game also features a triangle-shaped plastic disk that delivers instructions to players—like how to control the gear, and where to run and jump with other players to execute a mission—in the voice of Iron Man’s assistant JARVIS. Those disks can also shoot at players, and encourage them to run and duck to avoid being in the line of fire.

There are also two action figures—Captain America and villain Iron Skull—which are attached to the disks. When affixed, they light up, shake when shot at, and pop off and fall on the floor if shot repeatedly.

An app—AvengersNet—allows you to register your gear to see progress, get access to new missions, and learn about what JARVIS is instructing you to do—like rescue another Avenger in a jungle. But before you turn on the wearable device—or sync yours with a friend’s, if you’re playing with someone else—you must turn off the app.

The first product line is based on Avengers, but Disney said others are in development. A system built around Star Wars—imagine an interactive light saber—is scheduled for 2016, and a Frozen system is slated to launch in 2017. Each game will use different technologies, and different wearables, to work with the different ways kids play with favorite stories and characters, Disney said.

I had a chance to demo the toy—and watch some kids playing with it—the day ahead of Disney’s big unveil. While it’s incredibly tough to describe, I was impressed by how different, and high-tech it feels compared to other toys that talk and shoot, and how it encourages you to keep moving.

“There’s nothing else out there like this. It feels like it has elements of a video game—but it pushes kids to return to classic play and run around,” said Jim Silver, CEO and editor-in-chief of toy review site TTPM, who was briefed by Disney on the product and spent and 1½ hours playing with it.

“This is as close as kids can get to being Iron Man—to act out being the character and try to save the day,” he said.

So how much will this be worth to Disney? Silver said the so-called “action aisle”—toys such as light sabers and giant Hulk hands—is a roughly $2.5-billion-a-year business. While that’s small relative to the $17 billion video game business, Silver said Playmation could have an impact on a whole category of toys, and grow it much larger than that.

Silver projects that the Avengers line of connected toys, once fully launched, could be a $500 million a year business. Other features in the Avengers line include Hulk hands—which Disney plans to launch this fall.

The potential for other Avengers characters is clear—a shield for Captain America, a bow and arrow for Hawkeye. Once Disney rolls this out to the Star Wars and Frozen franchises, it could easily become a $1 billion annual business for Disney, Silver said.

Three years ago Disney introduced its “Infinity” video game, which quickly grew into a $1 billion annual business. “Infinity” is built on the same model as Activision’s Skylanders– kids can buy real toys to add new characters to video games. In contrast, there’s nothing else out there like this, and it brings digital technology to real toys. And in an era where parents and doctors are bemoaning kids not getting enough exercise and the effect of screen time, this is designed to get them active.

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Top gaming conventions to visit

Top gaming conventions to visit

Imagine the room around you spiraling inward as soothing celesta music transports you to a distant time and place. Video game conventions let gamers play the newest games, see beautiful woman, have fun with fellow gamers, and play hours and hours of video games. Games naturally bring people together for good-natured fun, so it is no surprise that gaming get-togethers are pulsing with energy and filled with colorful characters. With the growth of the gaming industry, these gaming conventions work as the best place for the gaming fraternity to come together.

Given are some of the best gaming conventions that you can plan to visit:

Penny Arcade Expo

The Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) is an annual gamer festival held in Seattle, WA. Founded by Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik, PAX was created as a weekend-long celebration of gamer culture. Features include a keynote speech, game-inspired concerts, panels on game industry topics, exhibitor booths, after-hours parties, tournaments and freeplay areas.

Gamescom

Gamescom is the youngest of the big game conventions but it is already the largest and most attended European gaming convention. It draws 245,000 visitors, more than 4,000 journalists, and 458 exhibitors from 31 countries. Gamescom is like a carnival for video games. There are hundreds of new game demos available from every major publisher and a section devoted to retro games.

QuakeCon

QuakeCon is the largest LAN gaming event in North America. Thousands of gamers bring their own PC and frag their new found friends for hours and hours on end. It is every first person shooter fans dream to attend QuakeCon and meet some of the masters of the trade, talk to developers from id Software, and compete in tournaments.

Blizzcon

First organized by Blizzard Entertainment in 2005, Blizzcon is an annual gaming convention held at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California. It celebrates Blizzard’s many popular franchises such as Warcraft, Diablo and StarCraft. Fans in attendance usually receive bags full of various items related to Blizzard’s franchises.

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Top gaming trends to look for

Top gaming trends to look for

It is no secret that the online gaming industry has experienced rapid growth recently. By 2016, the size of the global games market is forecasted to reach $86.1B. Gaming goes well beyond the consoles and the great innovations in the industry like cloud gaming, virtual reality, and mobile devices have entered the market in a big way. Gaming is already huge, and it is getting bigger with mobile gaming primed to lead the whole industry. It is the norm that with each passing day, new patterns and evolutions of old ones, all of which lead the way into the future.

These are the best gaming trends to watch out for in the market:

Mobile

Revenue from mobile gaming is predicted to surpass console gaming. Games are the most popular apps on smartphones, and developers need to plan for this. Smartphones and tablets, with help from social media apps, are changing the demographics of gamers. The audience is broadening to include more young gamers and more females, also known as mom gamers.

Free to play

The Free-to-play (F2P) model is becoming popular and free game distribution provides a marketing and business approach for developers and publishers to monetize games. With so many entertainment products available, F2P helps attract new gamers and allows them to try new things with zero commitment to buy and people can pay absolutely nothing and still enjoy the game.

Service

In the days of yore, games were purchased in a box from a retailer and played at home by yourself. When a new game was released, it marked the finish line for development and management. Today, most games are delivered digitally and are available in a multiplayer format. Games as a Service, or cloud gaming, allows gaming compaies to provide regular updates, including new content, events or options for downloadable content

Esports

The popularity of video games as a spectator sport has grown dramatically in the past two years. Esports fuse the multiplayer game experience with real-world physical sports, and attract large sponsors including Red Bull and Coke. Professional gamers are earning a comfortable living through competitive careers. Four game franchises have now had Esports events with a prize pool of more than $1M: League of Legends, DoTA2, Call of Duty and SMITE.

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Best gaming jobs

Best gaming jobs

Gaming is a multi-billion dollar industry and according to studies conducted by experts from the industry, consumers spent more than billions on video games. Additional delivery formats, such as subscriptions, digital full games, digital add-on content, mobile apps, and social networking gaming, accounted for more billions in consumer spending. In the present times with its gradual expansion, video gaming is becoming a very lucrative business. This industry needs huge demand of thorough professionals with the right qualification and aptitude.

Given are the best job options in the gaming world:

Producer

The video game producer handles the administrative aspects, or day-to-day operations related to the studio’s games and staff. This person conducts meetings with the various departments to plan and coordinate workflow. The producer also ensures that the game is developed within budget, and that target dates and deadlines are met throughout the development, production, and marketing process.

Game Designer

Video game designers develop the creative aspects of video games, including the characters, the plot and the gameplay elements. There are various types of designers, including the lead designer, who is in charge of the design team. The lead designer conducts meetings to brainstorm new ideas, and also handles team assignments and schedules.

Programmer

Programmers use various computer languages to create video games. They write lines of code that determine how a game operates. The lead programmer manages the programming team and also meet with other team leaders to discuss the game’s progress and graphics programmers create the game’s 2D and 3D graphics.

Artist

Artists are responsible for how the game looks, and some artists also design the game’s packaging and promotional material. The art director manages the art department and makes decisions regarding the artwork and visual style of the game. Depending on the studio, there may be one or more lead artists, each overseeing a team of artists to ensure consistent artwork.

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Top gaming firms

Top gaming firms

The video game industry has come a long way from the days of its inception in the market. The gaming realm has expanded beyond plumbers rescuing princesses and into seemingly endless possibilities and scenarios to fully engage the gamer in their experience. Not to mention, the console wars ensure that the beneficiary of the battle for superior renderings and killer graphics is the everyday gamer. Today, the gaming industry has never been better or as lucrative. Among many, there are some top developers who have defined the modern shape of the industry.

These are the best gaming companies to look for:

Electronic Arts

If you are a sports gamer, you would undoubtedly know Electronic Arts as the force behind titles such as the mammoth Madden NFL franchise. However, EA’s reach goes well beyond the sports gaming set. Need For Speed, The Sims, Command and Conquer, and Medal of Honor are the franchises EA has developed from their beginnings as a PC game developer into popular console brands. Since then, EA has created new hit titles such as Mass Effect for Xbox and Playstation.

Activision

It is the world’s first independent developer and distributor of video games for gaming consoles. In 2008, Activision merged with Vivendi Games. Thus, Activision Blizzard was born. As a result, the combined powers have resulted in a number of hit franchises to further propel this conglomerate ahead as of one of the big players in game development. Look no further than the juggernaut that is the Call of Duty Series.

Microsoft Studios

Formed in conjunction with the establishment of the Xbox in 2002, Microsoft Studios added another lucrative option to the stable at technology giant, Microsoft. Microsoft Studios’ products flood the market on numerous devices not limited to the traditional gaming console. The company produces games for Windows PCs as well as the Windows Phone. However, what has lifted Microsoft Studios into the stratosphere of the gaming world is the Halo franchise.

Ubisoft

Among the independent game companies in the industry which was founded in the year 1986 by the five Guillemot brothers. It is a reputed name in the industry and today, first person shooters are the pride of Ubisoft’s brand. Adventure epics such as Assassin’s Creed and Prince of Persia are incredibly popular, too. From humble beginnings to a major player in the development game, Ubisoft has scored big.

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Best online gaming sites

Best online gaming sites

The Internet is a virtual smorgasbord of awesome, time-consuming content to whittle away the long hours of the day. Originally the sole bastion of lame arcade remakes and goofy parodies, cyberspace is now a place of cutting-edge independent software and unbridled creativity. Whether you’re a sucker for a side-scrolling platformer or a fast-paced online shooter you can tackle with your friends. The online gaming world has a plethora of material for the avid gamers and it is expanding everyday and have very big opportunities in the future web world.

Given are the top websites for online gaming in the internet:

Addicting Games

The website has the most extensive category list of any of the sites on our roundup, incorporating categories for girls and cute shooters, but it’s also the most childish given the site is owned and operated by Nickelodeon. The Flash-based site has something for everyone, whether you want to button mash or engage in some side-scrolling madness, and even allows you to embed games on your personal blog or social network for greater integration.

Kongregate

Kongregate, now owned by the Gamestop Corporation, has been a staple of online gaming since it was first introduced in 2007. With almost 70,000 under its belt, the free-to-play site is burgeoning with a vast wealth of diverse games including shooters, role-playing, puzzle, action and online multiplayer. Although registration and signing up is free, users who opt for a premium membership ($30 annually) for exclusive access.

Candystand

Candystand was launched in 1997 by, of all companies, Nabisco. Yeah, for whatever reason, people in the cookie business decided to get into the online gaming business, and it worked out! The site’s changed hands a couple times since the late ’90s, but Candystand remains a premier portal of free Flash and Shockwave games. Additionally, you can register a free account with Candystand, which lets you compete for trophies and other prizes with fellow gamers.

Newgrounds

Newgrounds is one the best Flash-based game and animation sites on the Web. It hosts a great selection of games, from your stereotypical “action and adventure” genre to the more obscure simulation and adult-only titles, and can be specifically filtered by rating, popularity or content views. The forums are bustling and engaging, as is the user community and general, and the site even hosts monthly contests for gaming and animation creators.

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