By INQUIRER.net MAKATI CITY, Philippines – Online game publisher IP E-Game Ventures Inc (e-Games), mobile application developer Megamobile and 3D animation studio BeeHive digital launched new mobile Java games for the Philippine market. IP E-Game Ventures is an online gaming subsidiary of publicly listed IPVG Corp., while Megamobile is a mobile application developer affiliated with IPVG Corp. In a statement, E-Games said it is releasing three mobile games for its 3D massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) RAN Online and another three mobile games for Granado Espada, another MMORPG from famed legendary game producer Hakkyu Kim. E-Games said these new mobile games were created exclusively for the Philippine market. Manny Fernando, Megamobile president, said in a statement that e-Games will be one of the first online gaming publishers to bring their gaming titles on a mobile phone. Fernando said the popularity of e-Games titles are “perfect for the players who can't get enough of RAN Online and Granado Espada.” Compared to the online game versions, the mobile games were designed to be more of a “casual and fun single player game,” e-Games said. The mobile games can run on Java-enabled phones. They can be downloaded via WAP or SMS. To date, games that are going to be available are Karuso’s Escape, RAN Girls’ Jealousy, Swordsman, Little Red Riding Elementalist, Musketeer's Wrath and GE Girls' Fight. “These exclusively developed mobile games will keep our current players entertained and wanting for more. But more importantly it’ll reach to new players who have yet to experience the incredible virtual worlds of RAN Online and Granado Espada. Our mobile games will provide them a glimpse on how utterly fun our titles are,” Ed Pasion, e-Games vice president for marketing, said in a statement.
September 2008 Archives
By Alexander Villafania INQUIRER.net MANILA, Philippines -- In an effort to extend its support for its players beyond games, online gaming publisher Level Up! has activated its Level Up! Music portal that will showcase all of the music albums that the company has launched. It will also feature home-made music videos of gamers. Level-Up! Music Portal Producer Sansan De Leon said the site is a teaser to the launch of their music album this year. They have launched at least two albums and a third is expected to be introduced soon. She said there are about seven videos in the portal already. "All of the songs in the album are inspired by Level Up! games. Music has always been a part of the games. We try to incorporate some components in the music such as video," De Leon said. For the Level Up! Music portal, the main music video feature is Kevin Roy, lead vocalist of the rock band Razorback. Roy is an online gamer and his song is about his experiences with the much-hated Internet lag problem. To this, Roy uses the term "Ampfufu," a play on a more derogatory cuss, as his title for the song. Level Up! Multimedia Head Joey Alarilla said many musicians have become part of Level Up! gaming community that eventually contribute material to the company, especially during their gaming events. Alarilla said other gamers have also been submitting videos to them, which they can distribute to other gamers as well. "It's really about showcasing the talent of the players in the community. It's them who are keeping the community alive,” he said.
By Alexander Villafania INQUIRER.net AT the recently concluded Games Convention Asia 2008 in Singapore, the Game Development Association of the Philippines (GDAP) had another crack at promoting the Philippines as place to get services for game development and great talent. GDAP President Gabby Dizon and International Game Development Association (IGDA) Philippine Chapter Manager Ranulf Goss sat with INQUIRER.net to talk about the organization’s expectations for the GCA. Dizon, who is also president of his own company Flipside Games, said that their attendance to GCA 2008 was the second since the first GCA event in 2007. While the previous year was to let other countries know that there is a growing game development industry in the Philippines, Dizon said they aimed to strengthen the partnership that they built last year in this year's in GCA 2008. By building the relationship they have with other developments firms across Southeast Asia, they'll be able to bring in more foreign companies to work with Asian firms for various projects, he added. Dizon said that the GDAP is working hard to ensure game development firms in the Philippines are prepared to accept projects from foreign firms. So far, GDAP has 10 member companies. Dizon, however, pointed out that there are at least 20 other development firms in the Philippines. If there is one big challenge that development firms in the Philippines have, Dizon said it is the steady supply of skilled programmers and artists. Meanwhile, IGDA Philippines' Ranulf Goss said that the Philippines also needs to train talents to work for the gaming industry. He said that there is a healthy community of gamers who may want to join as game developers. Goss said that Filipinos are known for its talent and artistry in Asia. This has become known because of the local animation industry, where Filipino companies currently provide services to foreign animation firms. Both Dizon and Goss said that the industry needs more support to achieve its goals as a game development hub. They also believed that younger generation of people must also develop their skills if they want to join the game development industry.
By Alexander Villafania INQUIRER.net THE mobile division of game development and publishing giant Electronic Arts (EA) is already looking to hire a person in the Philippines as part of the company's expansion in the Southeast Asian region. EA Mobile has offices in China, Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and Africa while its current Southeast Asian office is in Singapore. The Philippines will become its second office in the region, the company said. EA Games Sales and Marketing Director for Asia Pacific James Gray said the company is hoping to get a person that will be working with telecommunications providers in the Philippines and to maximize channel partnerships within the year. EA Mobile develops and publishes games for the mobile phone market. Among the games it publishes include Spore, The Sims, FIFA, Madden, Need for Speed series, among others. Incidentally, the simple block game Tetris remains the most popular in Asia, according to Gray. Gray said EA Mobile is looking at Asia's huge mobile phone penetration, as well as growth in high end mobile phone usage, which can run some games. He also said that EA expects to be successful in the region, though they still need to set up pricing strategies. "Would they want it pay-for-play or monthly subscription?" he posed. He added that there is also a trend in gamer behavior where gamers will want to get access to their favorite console and online games through their mobile phones. "They can play on their mobile device, look at their game progress while on the go," he said.
MANILA, Philippines – In the end, there could be only one. Several Filipino gaming journalists (including this writer) spent an afternoon to compete in the first Intel Asia PC Gaming Showdown here. This competition aims to draw out the best gamers among those who write games and the industry it has created. Gaming and technology journalist John Nieves defeated other gaming journalists and was declared this year's winner. He will be entered into an Asian draw. Intel said the overall top-scoring three competitors in the tally will be flown to the "EA Experience," an Electronic Arts branded venue that is located at The Peak Tower in Hong Kong, this October to compete for the championship. This gaming competition is part of a regional event that includes other players from India, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam competing to qualify for the finals in Hong Kong, Intel Philippines Marketing Manager Jerome Matti said. "As part of Intel’s ongoing commitment to the gaming industry, the Intel Asia PC Gaming Showdown will give those passionate about gaming -- gaming media and gamers alike -- the chance to experience today’s most exhilarating games in amazing detail, made possible by Intel Core 2 Extreme processors," added Rupal Shah, Intel Marketing Director for Asia Pacific, in a statement. Matti said the competition involves gaming journalists playing three popular PC games, namely Need for Speed Pro Street, Crysis and FIFA 2008. "We are extremely excited about being a part of this event. As a leading games publisher and developer, this is the perfect platform to show off our best titles to the gaming media who review games on a daily basis," added Jon Niermann, President of EA Asia Pacific, in a statement. The Filipino gaming journalists played several games on the latest Intel Core 2 Extreme processor-based PCs provided by Villman Computer Systems.
By Alexander Villafania INQUIRER.net MANILA, Philippines -- Amped Games, the gaming division of ABS-CBN Multimedia, has announced the Road to Amped Fest, a series of gaming events that will lead to the Amped Fest in November. In an interview, Amped Events Supervisor Aimee Rabago said the regional events will lead to qualifying contests for Visayas and Mindanao players. Winners from the regional qualifying events will also be brought to Manila to compete in the finals, which will happen in November. Half a million pesos in prizes are at stake for the series, which will feature all of Amped's published games, such as Tantra Online, GetAmped, N-Age, and WarRock. The month-long event will start on September 27 in Bacolod then it moves on to Cebu on October 4. The event will then be held in Cagayan De Oro on October 11, in Davao on October 18, and Quezon City on October 25. The series will end on November 8 in Baguio City. Rabago said that for WarRock, eight teams of five players will compete in the finals. Three are from Metro Manila, one each from Northen Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, and two from online contests. For GetAmped, there will be seven team slots. Two of these have already been taking by the winners of recent GetAmped competitions. The rest will come from Northern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Two more team slots will be open for online players. There will be eight individual players for N-Age; four from Metro Manila, one each from Northern Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, and online. Tantra Online will have six teams of three; four from Metro Manila, one each from Northern Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, and online. Rabago said the top winning team from WarRock will get P50,000 while the GetAmped winning team will have P50,000. For N-Age, the winning individual will get P20,000 while the winning team for Tantra will get P25,000.
By Alexander Villafania INQUIRER.net IF there were any great equalizers in new digital media, it would be video games and piracy, according to Massachusetts Institute of Technology Co-Director for Comparative Media Studies Henry Jenkins III. In an interview with hackenslash at the recently held Games Convention Asia (GCA) in Singapore, Jenkins said video games have converged different entertainment platforms that allowed producers of these contents to exercise new ways to stretch the viability of their intellectual properties. Jenkins refers to this as "transmedia strategies." Though video games started out as a stand alone entertainment platform, with stories and characters of their own, they eventually became a convergent platform. There are now tie-ups among movie studios, book and comics publishers, and music recording companies with video game developers to come up with convergent content. Jenkins said that this trend will continue on as more people who are seeking specific content find out releases regarding their favorite material, be it books, music, movies, TV series, video games, and even toys. Jenkins cited the success of the Star Wars franchise wherein George Lucas used different platforms to expand the Star Wars universe. "Lucas had podracing in the movies but people wanted to know more about it so he came out with a video game. It's this kind of market curiosity and demand that drives producers to seek other platforms to expand their creation. Video games are just the most viable," he said. On the other hand, Jenkins noted that other attempts might fall flat as producers are not familiar with how the dynamics of convergent transmedia strategies are done. One particular story is the Matrix Trilogy approach, wherein the producers relied too much on using the video game version of the Matrix as background material leading to the next two movies. The strategy flubbed as most viewers of the next two movies were not familiar with some of the references in the movies that were supposed to be included in the video game, which served as a prequel. Meanwhile, Jenkins also noted that piracy is a contentious issue but defends it as a necessity for consumers who have no access to many materials that would have been otherwise made available to them. "We're in a world where global communication allows people to know about content the minute it's released and we want to get access to it. Overtime, it may build a market. There will be enough consumer interest to break through barriers to get that content," he said. He sees piracy in two ways: that it is the only available way for developing markets to get access to materials and another is that it is a rebellious method for consumers against high prices of original material. To balance this, Jenkins said that both producers and consumers would have to reach a "moral economy" where the system of belief is that transactions are fair. Producers must know where to take their materials and where it is demanded, then decide on how to make prices more affordable without losing to piracy. Jenkins believed that users, if given the proper access point for content they want, will buy original instead of resorting to piracy. Jenkins said that many production companies are looking at different strategies to bring their content to more people and ensuring that these markets do not shift to buying pirated material. "The younger generation of executives understands the digital age more than their older counterparts. The question now is: how much influence do these younger guys have over the older guys so they could change their strategy? Once they solve that, the rest will be easier,” he said.
By Alexander Villafania INQUIRER.net MANILA, Philippines – Level Up! Philippines has launched Grand Chase, a side-scrolling, arcade-style, online fighting game that can be played by up to six players on three-versus-three mode, an executive said. The action, similar to the popular Nintendo fighting game Super Smash Bros, is set to compete with other similar fighting games published by rivals, including Gunbound from Mobius, GetAmped from Amped Games and the locally developed game Bangu-Bang from VITAS. In an interview, Level-Up! Marketing Manager for Casual Games Carlo Ople said the closed beta test of Grand Chase will start in October. The open beta test will start in November, immediately followed by its commercial launch in November. Ople also said the game will be free-to-play. There are five character types in the Grand Chase game with each one having at least three jobs. Players can customize their characters' weapons, attire and other accessories based on the level-up achievements. Grand Chase is largely set in a fantasy world called Bermesiah, where the five characters set out to find an evil queen named KazeAaze who caused a war between two kingdoms, Kanavan and Serdin. The game is developed by Korean firm KOG.
By Alexander Villafania INQUIRER.net SINGAPORE – Singapore video game publisher and distributor Cherry Credits said it is launching Black Shot, a team-based, an online first-person shooter game, in the Philippines soon. Cherry Credits CEO Addison Kang said they already have a partner in the Philippines to publish the game though he did not mention the company's name. "We'll reveal it in mid-October this year when we start the close beta test. We'll do an open beta by November," Kang said. Black Shot is similar to Counterstrike in terms of game play. Most of the controls are even following the same pattern as CS. However, there are several differences such as a backpack system where players can carry more weapons and other items with them. It also has a partner system allowing team mates to share weapons and ammunition The game is developed by Korean firm Vertigo Games and published by Ntreev Soft. The game will compete with two other online FPS in the Philippines; WarRock from Amped Games and Special Force Online from Microgaming Technologies.
By Alexander Villafania INQUIRER.net SINGAPORE -- Game developer Peter Molyneux, known as one of the pioneers in the "god game" genre of video games urged developers here to continue pushing the envelope of game development. Having been credited for making god games like the seminal Populous, Molyneux shared his past experiences, his thoughts about today's development trends, and his company’s new project that he claimed will be a big surprise for gamers. Molyneux has been in the business of creating “god games,” which lets players act as a divine or omniscient entity controlling the creation of an entire world that can affect units in a make-believe, virtual world. Speaking during the Games Convention Asia 2008 here, the soft spoken Molyneux said he has seen a lot of changes in the way games are developed -- not just on the programming but also on the business aspect of developing games. He admitted that he missed the days when developers could talk freely about a game they are creating. Today, he said that development firms and publishers are legally bound not to mention anything about a current project. Nevertheless, he understood the virtue of silence especially in this multi-billion dollar game development industry. With over three decades of work as a game developer, Molyneux is among the who’s who in the gaming industry present in the Game Conventions Asia 2008. Molyneux is known for creating the game Populous in the late 1980s. This set the trend for future god games, which incidentally were followed up by Molyneux's later works, such as the Black & White series and Fable series. These games were designed by Lionhead Studios, which he founded in 1997. Several gaming journalists were able to catch up with the busy Molyneux who was more than willing to share some points about his experiences as a developer and also to point out the changes in the game development business. "When games start costing millions of dollars to make and the experiments and inventions you're working on are the lifeblood of those games and they take so long to develop, it's not surprising that some sensible person turn around and say, ‘Peter for goodness sake, there's so much you can lose by saying these things.’ It's just this industry is growing up," he said. On the question on the growing complexity of games, Molyneux said the difficulty of creating games remains high even now with availability of off-the-shelf development tools, which he dubbed middleware. Making the game Fable 2 (to be launched in October for the Xbox 360), for instance, he said that his development team used a lot of middleware, which made it easier for them to make it more complex and immersive. He even considered middleware as a foundation tool for developers who can focus more on making a game more compelling. "So I look back and it seems to me, it's always been equally hard to make a game. I used to have to write keyboard drivers, now you have to invent AI (artificial intelligence) systems on top of navigation system. It becomes complex but it stays the same. I've never met a single developer who turned to me and said, ‘it's easier now,’" he said. Even while working as head of Lionhead Studios, Molyneux still missed being a programmer where he spent writing codes for 20 hours a day. He missed the days when his only nourishment were sodas and boxes of pizzas strewn around his computer. "I miss the ridiculously childish way of developing games by just having ideas, throwing them in, and seeing if they work. But the interesting thing is I probably enjoy making games now than back then,” he said. Younger generation of developers is finding it more exciting to make games now, especially with all the tools available. Molyneux said he sees a lot of passion and dedication among developers now but he advised that the most important thing to remember is there is not a single piece of game design that does not need to be changed. He said game developers must challenge the norms and to keep reinventing. "It's that invention of something new and different the people really want. Everyone wants something new and they haven't felt before. And that is where the world is going to. And that's the thing that young generation should come in and they should say, ‘No that's not the way. This is how we're going to do it,’" Molyneux said. Molyneux disclosed that his team at Lionhead is currently working on a new project that is based on an experiment that his company has been doing for years. Molyneux, however, wanted to keep this project a secret. He did not disclose the date or platform it has been set to play. He promised, however, that it will be "an amazing breakthrough."
By Alexander Villafania INQUIRER.net SINGAPORE -- The first day of the Games Convention Asia (GCA) 2008 has shown how big the size of the gaming market is for Asia. People trickled in to see the latest games from Electronic Arts (EA), Ubisoft, Crytek. Apart from displays of game peripherals for console games and the PC, Asian gaming companies were also here to showcase games they have developed. Also, several companies were preparing to launch titles for the Asian markets during the event. Notable is EA, which showcased a new lineup of online games specifically targeting the Asian market. In this year's convention, known game developers and publishers are being lined up to share their experiences. Among them are Lionhead Studios Founder Peter Molyneux (Populus, Black & White, Fable), Crytek President Cevat Yerli (FarCry, Crysis), Ubisoft Creative Director Michael de Plater (Tom Clancy's EndWar), Massachusetts Institute of Technology Co-Director Henry Jenkins III. Even with more online games being featured, I noticed that console titles still take center stage this year as titles for Microsoft Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, and Sony PlayStation 3 are being showcased at the event. One of the highlights in this year's event are talks given by game development and publishing experts on different topics addressing the industry, including human resource, animation design, storyboard writing, mobile gaming and even virtual economies. GCA is expecting to accommodate over 100,000 game enthusiasts, developers and publishers from across Asia. Wolfgang Marzin, chief executive officer of Liepziger Messe International, which is organizing the event, said Asia is a major market for gaming, be it console or the hugely popular online gaming sector. He said Asia's gaming industry will continue to grow as more people see gaming as an equally suitable form of entertainment along with TV and movies. "We want this region in the world to grow and make gaming an important industry," Marzin said.
By Alexander Villafania INQUIRER.net SINGAPORE – Gaming giant Electronic Arts (EA) made major announcements of new titles for Asia during the Games Convention Asia (GCA) 2008 in Singapore. EA Asia announced the availability of Warhammer Online, FIFA Online and NBA Street Online. The first two will be launched within the three-day period of GCA. NBA Street Online was already launched in several markets, including the Philippines. EA Asia President Jon Niermann said nearly half of the world online gaming market is from Asia, making it a viable market for EA. "Digital content on online and mobile is where we're going to spend majority of our time because that's where people are playing in Asia," Niermann said. However, the biggest announcement is the much-anticipated launch of the Asian version of Rock Band, a hugely popular multiplayer band simulation game that had been available only in Europe and North American markets. Rock Band will be available for Asian versions of Sony PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360 and will be sold primarily in Singapore. Prices have also been set for an instrument pack consisting of one guitar, one drum set and one mic, or as individual items. The instrument pack will cost S$269 (P8,850), while the drum and guitar will cost S$179 (P5,888) and $S149 (P4,900), respectively. Incidentally, the Rock Band disc would be sold separate. The Xbox 360 version will cost S$60 (P1,970) and S$71 (P2,300) for the PS3 version. Aside from the new launches, EA Asia also presented several other titles for the PC, console and mobile gaming market.
By Alexander Villafania INQUIRER.net Gamers unite! The Games Convention Asia 2008 dubbed to be the "biggest" video game convention in Asia is about to begin. On its second year, the event is considered to outshine last year’s convention, according to Organizer Leipziger Messe International Asia. The event has lined up renowned people from various video gaming companies and the technology field to speak during the three-day event. Claude Langlais, technical director for Ubisoft will speak about the success of the Xbox 360 game Assassin's Creed. Likewise, Cevat Yerli, president of Crytek, which created Crysis and Far Cry series, will talk about the future of gaming graphics. Other keynote speakers are Lionhead co-founder Peter Molyneux and Henry Jenkins III, Comparative Studies co-director at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology . There will also be speakers from Codemasters, Nokia, PopCap games, CDV Entertainment, Games Lab, among others. Electronic Arts will also be presenting new games at the GCA, as will video game companies Nexon and Gambit. The GCA will also highlight independent game development and will also have special events for students and gaming enthusiasts. The event will be held at the Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Center from September 18 to 20 and is open to video game enthusiasts, publishers and developers.
By Alexander Villafania INQUIRER.net THE Philippines is hosting the upcoming RAN Online Global Tournament scheduled on October 4 at the SMX Convention Center, according to local game publisher IP e-Games who is organizing the event. IP e-Games Vice President for Marketing Ed Pasion told hackenslash that the Philippines was chosen because of the size of the RAN community in Asia, as well as the support it is getting from RAN players in the Philippines. IP e-Games said this will be the first time that the Philippines will host the RAN Online Global tournament after Thailand in 2007. The global competition will have the best RAN players from the Philippines, Hong Kong, South Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan and Thailand playing in a local area network-based competition. IP e-Games said that a Philippine team is currently preparing to compete. The local team is composed of Vincent Van Amado, Carlo Angelo Magcalas, Martin Joseph Buday and Kevin Medina. IP e-Games said there are online activities planned for the global event, including other player and guild competitions, sponsored competitions by Japanese fast food company Yoshinoya, item search contests, and even challenge-the-champion contests. Other activities include beauty and brains contest, a dance competition, and a video making contest. "E-Games is proud to be this year's host and we want the Filipino gamers to experience a grand event specific to RAN Online," Pasion said.
By Alexander Villafania INQUIRER.net MANILA, Philippines – Local game publishers appear lukewarm to a recent report about increasing concerns of online bullying in online games. Local publishers believe that Filipino gamers are more courteous and sociable. Reacting to the report by the International Data Corp., IP e-Games Vice President for Marketing Ed Pasion said the local publisher does not believe that bullying is an issue among Filipino gamers who are striving to be better as they create alliances to avoid being bullied. "They eventually meet a lot of new people and cross social boundaries which is important in a society that is increasingly becoming insulated from one another," Pasion said. Pasion also cited that gamers also coordinate with each other, thus building a sense of teamwork instead of just fighting each other. "That's a real skill and games are about solving problems, and it should tell us that kids race home from school where they are often bored to get on games and solve problems." Likewise, Level-Up! Marketing Director Jake San Diego is more careful about commenting on the study, adding that he would rather read the entire study before making specific comments. Nevertheless, San Diego commented on the part about bullying among Asians, saying that some players from certain countries are rude. He stressed that there are cultural differences among Asian countries as well. San Diego added that the Filipino culture frowns upon bullying, which is reflected in some online gamers. He believed that player rudeness also does not happen too often. The IDC report had 664 respondents from China, Korea, the Philippines, Singapore Taiwan and Vietnam. It said that 64 percent of respondents complained of gaming bullies while another 70 percent complained about rude players. Both Level-Up! and IP e-Games executives said that they continually watch out for rude or bullying players. They have programs investigating reported cases of misbehaving gamers and mete out appropriate sanctions to prevent a repeat of any incident. Pasion said they have reward systems for high-level gamers who help low-level gamers improve. Meanwhile, San Diego said they have redesigned their customer support website to allow for easier player feedback.
MANILA, Philippines -- Intel is challenging Asia's gaming journalists and amateur gamers to the first Intel Asia PC Gaming Showdown. The event aims to showcase the best gamers from among gaming journalists in India, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Participants will play three PC games, including racing game Need for Speed Pro Street, first-person shooter Crysis and the soccer game FIFA 2008. All these games are developed by Electronic Arts. Lisette Paras, account manager for Howorth, organizer of the competiton, said participants can only join following an invitation from Intel. Preliminary games will be scheduled in each of the seven countries, starting September. The top winners from the three games in the preliminaries will go to Hong Kong in October to compete in the grand finals. The grand finals winner will go home with a high-end gaming PC powered by an Intel Core 2 Extreme processor, while the second place winner will be awarded with a Creative Gigaworks S750 gaming speaker system. The top three finalists will also get several EA games and merchandise. Intel has created a special site for the tournament.
By Alex Villafania INQUIRER.net MANILA, Philippines -- In the aftermath of the recent raid of the Anino Games office two weeks ago, the governing body of game developers is looking for the best course of action for its members to follow anti-software piracy laws. Game Development Association of the Philippines (GDAP), in an e-mailed statement sent to INQUIRER.net, said it is now fully cooperating with the Business Software Alliance (BSA) in complying with anti-piracy laws. It is also asking BSA for an open dialogue to ensure continued compliance of its members and prevent a repeat of the incident with Anino Games. GDAP President Gabby Dizon said in an email that Anino is in the process of negotiating a settlement with software firm Autodesk. Anino’s office was raided for allegedly using unlicensed software of Autodesk. The gaming software company’s computers, which contained supposed pirated software,were also seized. Dizon said GDAP will have to wait until a settlement is reached between Anino and Autodesk before the group could decide to impose sanctions against Anino. Nevertheless, Dizon assured that Anino remains a member of GDAP.
By Alexander Villafania INQUIRER.net MAKATI CITY – Philippine theme park operator Enchanted Kingdom (EK) is holding a day-long event that hopes to entice anime fans, cosplayers (costume players), toy enthusiasts and gamers. This is the first time EK will be holding an anime-themed event with the help of Azrael Coladilla who has been coordinating several anime, comics, and toy conventions in the country. In an interview, Coladilla said EK will be preparing dozens of activities, such as live band performances, toy and anime exhibits, and video, trivia and singing competitions. To attract cosplayers, Coladilla said the EK anime festival will grant them free entrance if they register in the event website. Meanwhile, Enchanted Kingdom Assistant Vice President for Marketing Richard Burgos said the festival aims to double the fun for cosplayers. "Here, they can play as their favorite anime character while enjoying the rides we have offered," Burgos said. Burgos said that EK might make this festival a regular activity. The day-long festival, dubbed OtakonEK 2008, is scheduled on September 28.
By Alexander Villafania INQUIRER.net SINGAPORE – Gaming "bullies" are becoming the biggest headache in thriving online gaming communities in Asia, a recent survey by the research group International Data Corporation (IDC) showed. A recent IDC report noted that 64 percent respondents from different Asian countries are complaining about online gaming bullies targeting new or weaker players, while another 70 percent complained about rude players. Meanwhile, the report also showed that more than 50 percent of respondents believed that meeting other players is an important aspect in playing online games. A gamer has an average of 26 online gaming friends while gamers below 25 years old usually have 28. IDC Asia Pacific Emerging Technologies Research Principal Claus Mortensen said 664 online gamers were interviewed in August for the IDC survey. The respondents came from China, Korea, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam. Mortensen said social aspect of games is what often attracts people to play online games. However, bullies can become a serious problem as more and more people go online to play games, the executive said in an e-mail interview. He explained that the majority of online games are "adversarial" in nature and can be outlets for aggression. These are the typical hack-and-slash games, where players are required to kill non-player characters or players to gain higher levels. Gaming bullies are also tied to the issue of forming gaming clans or guilds. Just like real-world clans, online guilds can be rude or suspicious of new players and subject these so-called "noobs" (game term for new players) to negative comments. "When people are competing against each [other] online, they typically don't have the same social inhibitions or filters that they would have if they were seeing their opponents in person. And it's easier to be rude when you remain anonymous," Mortensen said.
By Alexander Villafania INQUIRER.net SINGAPORE – An upcoming Asian game development convention aims to focus on establishing a regional industry for game publishing and development, organizers said. With over a dozen exhibitors from several Asian and Western countries attending the Game Convention Asia (GCA) in Singapore, organizer Leipziger Messe International (LMI) Asia Pte Ltd said the convention will also showcase Asian game development and publishing firms. LIMI Managing Director Jorg Zeisseg said developing Asia's multi-cultural game development sector is the convention’s major theme this year. Despite the relatively new interest in the video game business in this region, Zeisseg said the GCA will showcase not just gaming companies but also new premium products that have not yet been released. Zeisseg also said this year would be a bigger event than the previous GCA in 2007. "With the number of international companies we are presenting, as well as some confirmed world exclusive premieres, we are confident this year's GCA will eclipse last year's show in terms of knowledge exchange, and importance on a global level," he said. GCA follows the success of the annual Games Convention in Leipzig, Germany. Asia's growing gaming industry -- from online game publishing to game development -- has been drawing interest from other companies in the US and Europe for distribution and development. Countries expected to participate include Vietnam, Taiwan, Thailand, Philippines, Singapore, Japan, Indonesia, Netherlands, Germany, USA, Malaysia, and China. GCA will be held from September 18 to 20 at Singapore's Suntec International Convention & Exhibition Centre. Among the companies and organizations that will be present at the GCA include the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), Singapore Gamers' Association, (SGGA), Games Exchange Alliance (GXA), Popcap, Exent, Novaleaf, Razer, Nexon Corportation, Crytek and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Alexander Villafania INQUIRER.net MAKATI CITY – Even if it is has the word "world" in its title, the World GameMaster Tournament (WGT) will not send the top winners of the Philippine competitions to any international contests. Organized by Taiwanese computer manufacturer Asustek, the company announced the Philippine competition and is preparing for the two months-long contest. However, Asus Philippines Marketing Manager Jason Teh said this would be the first time that the company is starting its contest in the Philippines and considers this event as a testbed for the continuation of the project in the future. "For now, winners will only play in the Philippines. They won't be going anywhere yet," Teh said. Other countries like India, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and Thailand have already conducted their own WGT competitions. Just this June, the WGT was the official tournament at the DreamHack Summer 2008, a major computer festival in Sweden. However, the WGT in Sweden was not an official WGT contest but was a special event. The chosen games for the Philippines WGT are the one-on-one game racing game Need for Speed Prostreet, and the team-based Counterstrike, and Defense of the Ancients (DoTA), a mod game of Warcraft III: Frozen Throne. Teh also announced official tournament grounds for the preliminaries. For Cebu, Mango Square will hold the tournament. The Davao leg will be held at the Voyztrek Internet shop, while the Metro Manila leg will be in SM Megamall. For the team based competitions (DoTA, CS), the top prize is P75,000. The second place team will go home with P50,000 while the third place team will win P25,000. The individual competition (Need for Speed), the top winner will get P15,000. The second and third placers will get P10,000 and P5,000, respectively. The company has also put up a website for the local competitions.
By Alexander Villafania INQUIRER.net MANILA, Philippines -- Taiwanese computer manufacturer ASUSTEK (Asus) is set to introduce the World GameMaster Tournament (WGT) to the Philippines to boost the idea of gaming as a spectator sport. The WGT is considered as the biggest computer gaming event in Taiwan, which started in 2006 and has spread to India, Malaysia, Thailand, Australia, United Kingdom, South Korea, and China. It highlights mostly PC games including Call of Duty 2, F.E.A.R. (First Encounter Assault Recon) Counterstrike, Need for Speed and the WarCraft 3: Frozen Throne mod Defense of the Ancients (DoTA). For the Philippines, only three games will be featured, namely DoTA, Need for Speed Prostreet, and Counterstrike, Asus said. In an interview with hackenslash, Asus Philippines Marketing Specialist Angeline Coo said they will be officially introducing the competition during the first week of September and will start the games soon after. There will be three regional preliminaries. The first one will be in Davao and Cebu on September 20 and 21, while the Manila preliminaries will start September 27 to 28. Finals will be held on October 24 to 25. Coo said they are just finalizing the locations where the games will be held. For Counterstrike, the mechanics will follow the same five-on-five team-based contest. There will be two sets with 9 rounds each. The teams will get a chance to compete as either terrorist or counter-terrorist. DoTA will be four-versus-four while Need for Speed will be one versus one. Coo said that apart from promoting gaming as a spectator sport, the WGT in the Philippines will also promote Asus as a major PC computer manufacturer. Attendance to gaming tournaments in the Philippines has been growing in the last few years, starting with the World Cyber Games sponsored by Samsung Philippines. Smaller gaming tournaments have also started particularly on the Counterstrike and DoTA, two of the most popular PC games in the country.