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Zynga Sets Up Big Name Partnerships

posted Saturday Mar 10, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Zynga Sets Up Big Name Partnerships

The Zynga platform, officially announced last week is already building up quite a partnership catalog. In its first week of existence, Zynga has managed to rope in some pretty big-named studios, including Playdemic, Rebellion and Konami.

While no games have been officially announced, there is a lot of potential here for Konami to bring some popular games to the platform. With franchises like Dance Dance Revolution, Contra, Castlevania, Metal Gear and Silent Hill, there are a lot of popular games that would be easy to port to Zynga with a high success rate. According to Kazuhiko Uehara, senior vice president for Konami,

This new partnership accelerates Konami's continued success as a top global social games developer and underscores our commitment to provide high quality gaming experiences to the ever-growing social space. We are thrilled to partner with Zynga to bring Konami games to the heart of the gaming audience on Zynga.com and Facebook.

I am personally hoping to see some DDR-inspired, StepMania-style games hit the platform. What Konami games do you hope come to Zynga through this partnership? Tell us in the comments section.

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Google Play's In-App Payment Requirements

posted Saturday Mar 10, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Google Play's In-App Payment Requirements

We all remember when Apple forced app subscriptions to use iTunes for their payment method, including a 30% cut to Apple. If I remember correctly, it was received really well by app developers. I don't think I am remembering correctly, though. In fact, there might have been a lot of backlash from companies like Pandora and last.fm.

Positive media coverage and happy developers from Apple's decision have led to Google making a similar decision. In standard Google fashion, however, they have upped the ante and threatened developers who do not currently follow the rules. Si Shen, CEO of Papaya, an Android social gaming network, told Reuters,

{Google} told people that if they used other payment services they would be breaking the terms of use. Whether it's right or wrong, we have to follow the rules.

How is this affecting developers? Hit the break to find out.

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Amazon Challenging Google on Another Front

posted Saturday Mar 10, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Amazon Challenging Google on Another Front

I think everyone knows that a great deal of Google's revenue comes from advertising; we have all seen Google AdSense ads all over the Internet, plus the sponsored links at the top and side of search results. Most of that revenue actually comes from a very streamlined set of searches, mainly certain products or product categories. No matter who someone purchases the product from, Google doesn't care so long as they start their purchasing journey through Google. What most people don't know, however, is that Amazon is also in the advertising business.

Over the years, Amazon has transitioned its business model, for better or worse, from one of selling its own content to selling other peoples' content. One of the things they sell is advertising space on their product pages. In addition to showing other products you can purchase from Amazon sellers, they also sell advertising space to other, non-Amazon sellers. This method has allowed Amazon to gain revenue from regular sales revenue as well as stealing away Google's primary revenue stream.

So, how well is it working? Hit the break to find out.

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Activision Blizzard Cuts 600 Jobs After Company Review

posted Sunday Mar 4, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Activision Blizzard Cuts 600 Jobs After Company Review

Activision Blizzard will be cutting a large portion of their workforce after it has finished an overview of its business and needs of the organization. The result is that the company plans to cut 600 employees, 90% of which will be from departments that are not involved in game development. So all my World of Warcraft and StarCraft fans need not worry about their games going away.

Mike Morhaime, CEO and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment said,

Constant evaluation of teams and processes is necessary for the long-term health of any business. Over the last several years, we've grown our organization tremendously and made large investments in our infrastructure in order to better serve our global community. However, as Blizzard and the industry have evolved we've also had to make some difficult decisions in order to address the changing needs of our company. Knowing that, it still does not make letting go of some of our team members any easier. We're grateful to have had the opportunity to work with the people impacted by today's announcement, we're proud of the contributions they made here at Blizzard, and we wish them well as they move forward.

Current game design, planning and publishing schedules will not be affected. Blizzard has said they will be giving release plans for Diablo III very soon and it is still working on World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria and StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm beta testing.

Blizzard has also said that the company is still hiring and that all job seekers should head to http://jobs.blizzard.com. If you apply, I hope your job isn't next on the chopping block.

When we discover more information about the job cuts and what's happening internally, we will let you know.

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Aereo Prepares for Future Legal Action

posted Sunday Mar 4, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Aereo Prepares for Future Legal Action

I think we all remember Zediva, the little company that streamed movies straight from DVD over the Internet to your computer for $2. We probably all remember their fate as well - shut down by a federal court.

Well, with the confidence inspired by such a success for Zediva, a new company, named Aereo, has decided to try something similar. In this case, instead of streaming movies straight from DVD, Aereo plans to stream television shows straight from an antenna. Yes, you read that properly, streaming full-broadcast television over the Internet. Thank goodness for digital television, right?

This week, all of the major broadcast companies have come together to file suit against the little startup. Hit the break to read about Aereo's plans for success.

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Astronaut Builds an International Space Station While on the International Space Station

posted Sunday Mar 4, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Astronaut Builds an International Space Station While on the International Space Station

Occasionally, we run across cool stories that we just have to share and this is one of those times. You could imagine the day in the life of an astronaut living on the International Space Station. Between the space walks, recording important space data and making sure the whole thing doesn't crash, there's probably a little downtime for the crew that doesn't involve fixing a space toilet.

For Japanese astronaut Satoshi Furukawa, he spent two hours of his downtime building a replica of the ISS out of LEGOs.

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