Monday, March 29, 2010

GameStop launches first online game

GameStop Corp. said Friday that its Jolt Online Gaming unit is launchings its first free-to-play game, "Legends of Zork."

GameStop, the world's biggest video game retailer, has been looking to expand beyond selling packaged games at its traditional stores.

It bought a majority stake in Jolt last year. The company, which is based in Ireland, makes games users can access over the Web.

Having too much stuff a sign of greed

NEAR THE END of a game of rummy, a player reached out to take a whole stack of visible face cards and aces. Then he suddenly withdrew his hand.

"Don’t be greedy," he said, out loud to himself.

Instead, he took a single card from the deck, a card he couldn’t see until he turned it over. By opting for the single unknown card instead of the pile of obviously valuable cards, and going against his initial greedy instinct, he won.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Advice for budding game developers

So you want to design a video game?

One way to break into the field is to customize existing games like Sim City, where users can create your own clothes and change various gaming mechanics.

That was the advice from Shanna Tellerman of when I asked her about entry-point recommendations for someone who is interested in creating video games but lacks a computer-programming background.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Oldest American Rummy Player dies at 114

Mary Josephine Ray, a sports-loving card-player who was the oldest person living in the United States, died on Sunday at the age of 114.

Born on May 17, 1895 in Canada, Ray was the world's second-oldest person according to the Gerontology Research Group, which maintains a registry of the oldest people. It says Kama Chinen of Japan was born seven days before Ray.

According to the group's website, the oldest American is now Neva Morris of Iowa, born August 3, 1895.
Ray was a big sports fan -- particularly of the Boston Red Sox baseball team -- and liked to play cards, particularly rummy, which she played at least twice a week, Wilson said.

"Mary would always win, one way or another," Wilson said.

Online Gaming News @ Gamesnomy. Source: Reuters

FarmVille Wins “Best New Social/Online Game” at Game Developers Choice Awards

Every year at the Game Developers Conference, the Game Developers Choice Awards acknowledges the best games in the business, whether they be mainstream or otherwise. This year saw the addition of a new category in the form of “Best New Social/Online Game.”

As if you really had to question which game came out on top, Zynga’s FarmVille won the award, with apparently little competition. It’s no surprise, as the game is Facebook’s most popular game, topping over 83 million players a month, and recently, more than 32 million players a day.

“It’s funny that we’re at this part of the show, and we feel big and established, but two years ago we were sitting around in a crappy little room,” says Mark Skaggs, FarmVille General Manager.

Online Gaming News @ Gamesnomy

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Quantum of Solace Game Review

Bond isn’t just back in the cinema -- he’s returned to video game consoles too!

Making up for the lack of a licensed game for the previous movie, the Quantum of Solace video game -- based on the latest Bond flick -- combines plot lines and set pieces from both Casino Royale and 007’s new adventure, with the added bonus of outtakes from both movies being fully playable in the game.

Featuring accurately rendered faces of every major character in the movie, including Daniel Craig and Judi Dench, the game uses the same graphics engine and control system as Call Of Duty 4 (CoD4).

FIFA `09 Review

I purchased FIFA 2009 for the PSP for a price of Rs 1600  and FIFA 09 had my attention as soon as I popped the disc in.

FIFA `09 looks refreshingly good on the PSP, but if you have played the earlier installments of FIFA, then the game play is not a revolution but an evolution.

Every year, they make small changes that make the game more real. But what I liked was a long game list of game modes (more than any other game on the PSP) that will take you a long time to master and provide good depth for all gamers. Here are a few:
Football IQ is great, as it tests you on your football knowledge in a fun quiz format and really tells how little you know about the game.

Sexiest babes of action games

You thought action games are a male forte? All those adrenalin pumping action games have male protagonists? Time you meet these hot action babes.

These hot bods have made many action video games hotsellers by not just their sex appeal, but by their impeccable action skills and heroism.

Here's meeting the sexiest action heroines of the gaming world.

New Super Mario Bros

Even before it refined family fun with the Wii, Nintendo was dedicated to creating satisfying multiplayer experiences. Games like "Mario Kart," "Su
per Smash Bros." and "GoldenEye 007" encouraged everyone to join in, and you missed the real action if you played them alone.

But Nintendo's flagship franchise, "Super Mario Bros.," has always consisted of solo journeys. Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto wanted to change that, so "New Super Mario Bros" has been designed so up to four people can play it at once.

Does it work? That probably depends on whom you get to join you on the couch.

Microsoft intros hands-free gaming

Microsoft revealed this week that it has secretly been developing technology that lets people play videogames using natural body movements instead of handheld controllers.

The US software giant behind Xbox 360 videogame consoles revealed a prototype of a project codenamed ‘Natal’, a system that combines cameras and voice and face recognition software to recognise people and their actions.

"The gamer in me went out of my mind when I got to be interactive with this," famed film director Steven Spielberg during a Microsoft press conference on the eve of a major videogame industry show, Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), in Los Angeles. "I got a feeling I was in a historic moment. What Microsoft is doing isn't re-inventing the wheel; this is about no wheel at all."

Sony's new PSP

Sony Corp unveiled a smaller, lighter PlayStation handled game device called the PSP Go, in a race to catch rival Nintendo in an intensely competitive mobile games arena.

Nintendo said it sold more than 15 million units of its blockbuster "Wii Fit" fitness game, and plans an update -- the Wii Fit Plus -- later this year.

Sales of the Wii have dwarfed those of more technically souped-up and pricier rival consoles from Microsoft Corp and Sony Corp, by broadening its audience beyond hard-core video gamers.

On the second day of E3, the largest US video games conference, Sony and Nintendo vied for the spotlight, a day after rival console-maker Microsoft charmed audiences with its "Natal": groundbreaking technology utilizing full-body motion-capture for gamers.

Sony's Killzone 2 Review

When Sony announced the PlayStation 3 at the 2005 Electronic Entertainment Expo, its centerpiece was a breathtaking chunk of footage from a game ca
lled "Killzone 2."

The clip, which showed a squad of troopers descending on a city and battling alien forces, was so dramatic that many viewers questioned whether the game itself could possibly live up to it.

Four years later, the verdict is in: "Killzone 2" ($59.99) is awe-inspiring. With crisp, cinema-quality graphics and immersive sound design, this first-person shooter feels like an interactive version of a big-screen war epic.

Street Fighter 4 Review

Pocket money. I used to get about 20 bucks from my father every week. It doesn’t sound a lot at all now, but back then, it was good enough to fit 3 needs -- arcade gaming, WWF cards and food. Gaming parlours as they were called, was our hangout. The need for some serious button mashing was satisfied here and this is where boys became “street” boys. Of course, there was the usual “Pacman”, but no other game was better than drum roll Street Fighter!

The game was simple, the characters were great and the fights were awesome! I as a kid started playing Street Fighter 2 more than 15 years ago; but the memories are as fresh as ever. As every game does, Street Fighter came to the PS3, and I was seriously impressed! My fingers have never felt this sore in a very long time. Here’s why:

Adobe leading the online gaming revolution in India

Indian game developers have always struggled to make big games as they either don't have the necessary funds to invest in the game or they are more cautious in spending so much in a single game. Whatever the reason maybe, apart from few small successes Indian game developers are known more for creating small games or outsourcing to the West. This is not necessarily a bad thing as online games have taken the world by storm, thanks to the platforms like Facebook.

Don't believe online game companies can earn that much money to compete with the PC and console game developing companies? Take the example of Zynga which has scaled to a massive company with 700 employees and has expansion plans in Bangalore. According to the data by Internet and Mobile Association of India, India is projected to become the third largest online market behind China and U.S. with 81 million internet users by 2013. Out of the total users that used internet in India, 41 percent used internet for gaming. Also, developers don't have to spend a lot of money and time on developing online games.

Stock Maket Online Gambling Opens in Australia

Australians who feel the stock market is a gamble will now be able to act on it, as online gambling operator Centrebet began taking plays on the market index last week. Players can put Internet wagers on the Standard and Poors/Australian Stock Exchange 200, the country's version of the Dow Jones Index, gambling on the market's future movement.

Internet gaming operators in Australia have had the opportunity to bet on rate policies by the national Reserve Bank for several years, receiving or laying odds depending on the direction played. Now, bets will be taken by Centrebet on monthly market trends, against odds set by financial analysts and adjusted to betting patterns.

Indiagames acquires official gaming licence for IPL

Gaming company Indiagames has acquired official gaming licence for the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2010.

The gaming company has partnered with Global Cricket Ventures (GCV), the exclusive licensee of key digital, mobile and image rights to the IPL to develop exclusive online and mobile gaming rights for a period of eight years.

Indiagames will be creating a range of cricket-based games, which will be licensed by the IPL, across mobile and online platforms globally.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Games24x7.Com - Online Rummy Website

The love affair between Indians and card games spans all demographics right from working men playing in subways and buses, housewives playing at social parties, middle aged and retired men playing in social clubs, to friends and families playing on weekends.

Pioneers in offering Rummy online, goes Social with new interaction features and the company promises a complete social roadmap ahead. With over 1 Lakh players, Online Rummy is becoming the New Face of Social Indian Games.

The growth and popularity of social networking and interaction websites like Facebook and Orkut has altered significantly the shape of the worldwide online games industry. Connecting through games is the new paradigm in online entertainment. is undoubtedly beginning to transform the future of the Indian games industry with the introduction of its latest Social Interaction features. The latest features include Personalized Player Chat, Private Rummy Invitations and the ability to create your own Rummy Circle. With these new features and many more to come, is revolutionizing the online skill games space with a new face.

“We have managed to bring over 1 Lakh Indian Rummy players together in just 9 months of our BETA launch. This has helped emerge as India’s favorite Online Rummy site. We aim to offer entertaining and engaging game play in local Indian games of skill where people can connect, play and win cash prizes too.” said Mr. Sachin Uppal,’s, Marketing Director.

Furthermore, Mr. Trivikraman Thampy, CEO, addressed the legality of the website by mentioning that “All games offered on have been expressly approved as skill games by the Hon. Supreme Court of India. Rummy was deemed to be a game of skill in 1968. The card distribution methodology used by has been certified by the prestigious ‘I Tech Labs’, Australia.”

Mr. Thampy continued, “Seeing the popularity of’s Rummy on popular social networking sites like Facebook , Twitter and Orkut we will launch a Rummy Application on social networks soon.” offers unlimited free rummy games, 24x7. The biggest hit among the Indian audience is their premium version of online rummy for cash starting at just Rs. 25

Videogames getting more social

Videogame makers are riding the social-networking wave with a flood of soon-to-be-released titles that let friends play online as teams and even create their own characters.

The world's big three console makers Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony are providing frameworks for players to connect with hardware and software on which online communities of gamers can have fun and flourish.

"Gamers aren't just in it for the high scores anymore," Sony Computer Entertainment of North America president Jack Tretton said, as videogame industry giant’s unveiled new offerings at the Electronic Entertainment Expo.

Women most dedicated players of online games

Online games are not exclusively a male-dominated domain, for a new study has revealed that the most hard-core players are actually females.

Challenging the age-old stereotype, the study investigating gender differences among gamers, found that despite gaming being seen as a male activity, female players now make up about 40 per cent of the gaming population.

Also, the study also found that gamers are healthier than average, and that game playing is an increasingly social activity.

What makes online games a rage

 Ever wondered what makes those online games so hot among the people? What is it that makes most of them an instant hit? Here are six reasons.

* They are easy to grasp

* Similarity with the real games is the key

* Gamers can perform here better than what they can do physically

* These are easy to handle and are a great stress buster

* Accessible 24x7 on the World Wide Web

* It's mostly free, gamers only need to register online Play, participate and compete in closed groups Play right from the comforts of home or office

Online Gaming News, March 2010

Online games high on charity

If kids are playing video games, why not do some good while they're at it?

Elf Island, a virtual world created by Atlanta-based Good Egg Studios, ties online games to charity construction in the real world. The more "virtual" homes the kids build by completing mini-mazes, the more real homes that are built by Habitat for Humanity.

Liz Kronenberger, who founded the company with her husband, Craig, said they started the site to promote positive social values online.

"We're really giving kids the proper motivation and the right tools to empower them to make a difference in the real world," she said.

The couple recently unveiled Elf Island's first "GoodQuest," challenging gamers to build 10,000 virtual homes in a month. If they do, the couple will pay for four new homes to be built in a dilapidated community in Honduras.

The quest is harder than it might sound. It took me about 30 minutes -- and several heart-pounding attempts -- to lead a lumbering giant through a series of timed mazes and around bad guys to build a virtual home.

More quests will follow in the months to come, aiding charities that build playgrounds, preserve endangered species, promote green initiatives and boost music education. Kronenberger said much of the site's direction will depend on what the gamers decide.

"Elf Island's vision will be run by the kids," she said.

Elf Island includes chat rooms and scores of games in addition to the GoodQuests. Membership is now free. But the developers hope to raise revenue in 2009 to help pay for the good deeds with a monthly fee that will likely be around $6.

Online Gaming News, March 2010

Tiger Woods Rejects Offer from Online Gambling Operator

After over a dozen of Tiger Woods’ extra-marital affairs came forward to the press, the golfer was dropped by several of his sponsors, which contributed to his $110 million income last year. Gillette and Gatorade are among the companies of whom Woods is now a former spokesperson, eliminating a large portion of the golfer’s earnings for the upcoming year. But, it seems that he is not too worried about his financial future, as he has just rejected a $75 million offer from an online gambling operator.

Paddy Power, an online betting website based in Ireland, recently offered Woods a $75 million sponsorship campaign over 5 years. The company believed that now was an opportune moment to make their offer to Woods, who would have generated a great deal of interest in Paddy Power's products. The company stated that Woods was a sports figure with which it would be happy to become aligned, and the opportunity would have been a beneficial one for both sides.

The deal would have undoubtedly compensated for the loss of Woods' previous sponsors, but the living sports legend has decided to reject the offer. Woods' agency has stated that it is not interested in taking on any new sponsors for their client at this current point in time.

Paddy Power remains hopeful, however. The company has stated that they will prepare an enhanced offer, this time keeping the details under wraps.

Online Gambling News, March 2010

Online gambling outlets hurting land-based casinos

The number of Americans that visited casinos was down a whopping five percent in 2009 compared to the previous year, according to a study released by the Mintel International Group.

The recent economic crisis certainly played a part in that decline, but the report by Mintel also speculated that many gamblers are turning to online wagering portals to quench their thirst.

The study states that approximately 27 percent of players are visiting Indian casinos, 24 percent are in Las Vegas and another 12 percent in Atlantic City. It also revealed that 12 percent of Americans claimed to have visited an online gambling site within the last year.

Mintel’s study suggested that the land-based casinos have taken a hit because of the advancement in HD television as well as the overall improvement of the online gaming industry.

Online Gambling News, March 2010

Britons spent £200 million on MMOs in 2009

British players spent nearly £200 million on massive multiplayer online games in 2009, while the worldwide market topped £3 billion, research suggests.

One and a half million Britons million spent an average of £10.50 per month on MMO games in 2009, analysis of the consumer data coming from today’s Gamers MMO Focus Report by and TNS reveals.

More than 90% of this budget is spent directly online. Some 2.5 million Brits play MMOs without spending any money. Revenues in Britain are slightly higher than in France and Germany but way behind the US. Yanks spend some £2.55 billion a year gaming with dwarves online.

Of the hundreds of MMO games in the market, only a few require payment up-front, mainly by selling software to be installed on the PC. Brits spent approximately £25 million on boxed products and online downloads.

Three quarters of a million Britons confessed to having played World of Warcraft and Runescape the top two MMOs in the UK, although many only made use of the free trial. Next most popular are MMO Club Penguin, Final Fantasy and Lord of The Rings Online.

Spenser Chi, of Aeria Games & Entertainment, comments: “With every game launch, we find a new population of users without noticeable cannibalisation of our other titles. This is a sign to us that the MMO market will continue to grow in number of players as well as revenue.”

Online Gaming News, March 2010

Game Developers Conference to focus on social games

Traditional gaming sites and platforms are losing players as they shift to play online for free with friends.
This merging of social networks with games is set to dominate the schedule of this year's Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

Titles include Farmville and Mafia Wars that can be played on Facebook.

"The last two years social gaming has been living in its own bubble. This year that changes," said Sebastien de Halleaux co-founder of Playfish.

Playfish, which was recently acquired by Electronic Arts, EA, has 11 online games and more than 61 million people who play them worldwide.

"The Game Developers Conference (GDC) is going to mark the beginning of something very exciting in the games industry and that is the birth of the social game industry as a mainstream industry," Mr de Halleaux told BBC News.

"We are talking about an audience of hundreds of millions of users for social games and that is why there is a lot of excitement."

According to Neilsen Online, sites like Yahoo Games, Pogo and AOL Games have all lost users as they migrate to social networking platforms like Facebook to play with friends.

'Crashing the party'
Proof of how seriously the nascent social gaming industry is being taken can be seen at GDC which has consolidated previous sessions on social and online games into a two day summit.

"This definitely shows the importance of the social and online gaming space as one of the few areas of our industry to have grown so fast," said Simon Carless GDC's global brand director.

The summit will comprise of a total of 37 sessions discussing everything from making money through the sale of virtual goods to delivering games over the cloud and from interactive story techniques to the state of the industry.

"It is clear from all the parties happening this week, and the panels and sessions going on that social gaming is crashing the party of the hardcore console game industry," said Dean Takahashi, lead writer for the GamesBeat conference, which will take place during GDC.

"Social and mobile gaming are growing fast and coming on strong. They are undermining the traditional gaming industry which likes to charge $60 for every game compared to these free-to-play games where you make your money selling virtual goods for 25 cents or a buck," Mr Takahashi told BBC News.

'Sexy new thing'
This year's GDC is expected to be an altogether more upbeat event compared to last year which saw a marginal drop to 17,000 attendees because of the slumping economy.

"The mood is clearly positive because people are starting to see there are so many avenues you can develop for that you can make a living from," said GDC's Mr Carless.

One of those big platforms is the iPhone, which will have its own two day summit stretching over 16 sessions.
Industry analyst Michael Pachter of Wedbush Morgan said that while iPhone developers " are not making a lot of money developing for the iPhone they all want to see their apps downloaded ten million times".
That has helped "reinvigorate mobile gaming", he added.

Many are now asking whether developers will also latch on to Apple's new iPad.

The tablet computer which was launched amid a media storm will go on sale at the beginning of next month.
"I think it will have an impact on the developer community albeit it may only sell four to six million units," said GamesBeat's Mr Takahashi.

"It will be the sexy new thing and developers will want to get in on it early."
Playfish's Mr de Halleaux agreed.

"It is an opportunity for gaming in general. As to whether it will be specifically for social gaming remains to be seen."

Mr Pachter does not believe the iPad will have the same impact the iPhone and iPod Touch had on gaming or that developers will devote much time to it.

"Early sales predictions are not impressive and if people aren't carrying it, then developers won't go out of their way to develop for it. They will just port over what they develop for the iPhone."

Online Gaming News, March 2010

Friday, March 5, 2010

Deepika Padukone gets addicted to card game on plane

Bollywood star Deepika Padukone has become so addicted to the card game Mendicot that she along with the team of the new film Karthik Calling Karthikcontinued to play it on a commercial flight, even as other passengers tried to sleep.

The team was to fly back to Mumbai from Jaipur on a private jet. But the pilot informed the team that they couldn't head for Mumbai due to a cyclone that was to hit the city.

"We had to return on Monday night because many of us had to leave for Dubai for the premiere on on Tuesday morning. So from Jaipur to Mumbai we all booked ourselves into the economy class of a commercial airline."
What could've turned out to be a nightmare turned out to be a joyride for Deepika and her team and perhaps not such a pleasurable experience for the other late-fliers on board.

"We had blocked a whole row and instead of sleeping after a super-hectic day we started playing Mendicot. We forgot we were in a commercial flight. So we were yelling and screaming in excitement while the rest of the passengers were trying to sleep."

And now, for the first time in her life Deepika is seriously addicted. "I can't stop playing Mendicot. Ritesh and Farhan introduced me and director Vijay Lalwani to the game. When we took off on Sunday from Mumbai on our private jet the first thing Farhan and Ritesh did was to teach us this game. I've become addicted."

Game News, March 2010

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Gamasutra Reports Online Gaming Up 10 Percent in US

It appears with all the fancy online multiplayer games released thus far from last year and this eyar are giving a boost to Online Gaming according to the NPD. An NPD report stated that the weekly hours spent on online gaming has risen 10 percent and it also said that on average gamers spent up to eight hours per week which is up from the 7.3 that was last reported.

NPD analyst Anita Frazier said in a statement, "While the percentage of the population that reports playing games has declined slightly, this study details other metrics which point to both stability and growth in both online and offline gaming."

In addition, it appears that online gamers regularly purchase games, even in a tough economy. The report said that 71 percent of online gamers purchased or received one game over the 2009 holiday season, or calendar Q4. Buying habits between 2008 and 2010 didn't significantly change among online gamers either.

"This suggests that online gamers’ purchasing behavior may not have been impacted significantly by the recession and may bode well for future pockets of economic weakness," NPD said.

The PC is the most used platform for online gaming, which is said from the Eighty-Five percent of gamers that said they used that platform of choice. But the Xbox 360 rules the family room for gaming time online and for the third year in a row its the leading home console with 48 percent saying they take online console gaming as well. The Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii are about even at the moment.

Game News, March 2010

Online gaming grows rapidly in Vietnam

Vietnam and India have seen rapid growth in the digital entertainment market and online gaming, the US Pearl Research company has said.

The company forecast that in 2014 the number of online game players will hit 25 million in the two countries, as personal income rises, increasing the number of computers and Internet hits as well as the number of youths online.

According to the Pearl Research’s recent survey, Vietnam has more than 50 online games, although the first games only appeared in the country in 2004. There are around 22 million Internet users in Vietnam. The leading online games can attract 200,000 players who mainly play at Internet cafes.

There are 40 million Internet users and more than 180,000 Internet cafes in India.

Game News, March 2010

Mobile Online Gambling Surge In South Africa

Their has been a huge surge in mobile online gambling in South Africa. It is estimated that over 500,000 citizens are actively gambling online and most of these players are gambling over their mobile phones. This may be due to the fact that more South Africans have access to a mobile phone for gambling, and less access to a laptop or desktop computer.

The National Responsible Gambling Programme (NRGP) in South Africa has stated that the online gambling market is worth over R800 million per year and that this figure continues to grow. Online casino software providers have been investing heavily in new technology to bring some of the most advanced casino games to mobile phone users. Playtech just recently announced the development of new applications that will focus on mobile gaming.

South Africa has been moving towards legal online gambling, but they are moving at a very slow and cautious pace. While the market continues to grow, the SA politicians continue to study the industry and debate on whether or not to legalize the activity.

The current gambling laws in South Africa are unclear when it comes to online gambling, and new legislation needs to be adopted to clarify the laws. Online gambling operators continue to accept South African bets due to the unclear law and lack of enforcement.

Online Gaming News, March 2010

21 Cards Rummy