Online gaming publisher Z-Zone will be launching OverSoul: Courage for Supremecy. OverSoul will only be the second game that Z-Zone will be introducing in the country. It previously introducd SkyBlade: Sword of the Heavens in 2006. The game will be launched on March 7 at the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City. The company has already opened a portal where interested players can download the game client as part of the beta testing, which started in late 2008. OverSoul will also be a 3D massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) similar to SkyBlade. The medieval fantasy story is focused on the battle of two tribes, the Drakhans and the Tantheons. Each tribe would have four character types: the sword-wielding Warrior, the balanced Guardian, the magical Necromancer, and the summoner Wizard.
February 2009 Archives
Agence France-Presse SAN FRANCISCO--Online retail giant Amazon has yanked from its virtual shelves a Japanese computer game that lets players simulate raping girls. A "Rapelay" videogame being hawked on Amazon by a third-party merchant was deemed inappropriate and the product's page taken down after it was brought to the California Internet firm's attention Wednesday night. "We determined that we did not want to be selling this particular item," Amazon spokeswoman Patty Smith said of the computer game. The "Rapelay" game was created exclusively for the Japanese market but a couple of "like new" copies were being offered on Amazon by a US seller specializing in animated Japanese pornography. The computer game maker, Illusion studio based in Japan, posts a notice on its website that its products are specifically for domestic users. "As we say on the website, we don't sell the products overseas because of the rating problem, and I cannot possibly comment on the report from San Francisco," said a spokesman for the company in Yokohama, near Tokyo. "We believe there is no problem with the software, which has cleared the domestic ratings of an ethics watchdog body," he said. The game was released in 2006. Other titles from the studio include "Battle Raper" and "Artificial Girl."
THE Apple iPhone is fast becoming a popular gaming platform because of its touch-screen capabilities, motion detection and unique software development kit. Experts attending the eServices conference urged local startup developers to consider developing games for the iPhone. Watch this video report by INQUIRER.net reporter Alex Villafania.
WITH only less than 15 months left before the 2010 presidential elections, some political candidates are now making headway with subtle campaigns on television and other mediums, including the Internet. Filipino online gamers, however, can be assured that their virtual worlds will not have political advertisements even as online game publishers are ramping up their in-game advertising business. "We're not going to allow political ads because it might be construed negatively by our players who may or may not be interested in politics," said IPVG CEO Enrique Gonzalez during a gaming forum. He said IPVG has a policy against political advertisements in online games, which the company publishes through online gaming subsidiary IP e-Games. "We don't deny that there is money to be made in political ads but it might draw some players to think that we're supporting candidates,” Gonzalez said. Gonzalez said that in-game advertising, which is also called as “advergaming,” is a potential revenue source for game publishers. But it remains to be a small and unexplored market. "As a company, we don't promote one political party or another. What we advocate though is for our players to exercise their democratic rights to vote in the elections," the executive said. Rival game publisher Level Up! Philippines has also policies against political advertising, same as it has against tobacco and liquor ads. Carlo Ople, Level Up! Philippines marketing manager, said in a statement that the local game publisher wants to remain impartial during the elections. "We believe that people need to make informed choices, one that goes beyond hype and popularity,” Ople said. Both Level Up! Philippines and IP e-Games have been engaged in advergaming in partnership with companies offering consumer products like clothes, food and beverages. Both game publishers offer virtual versions of these products that players can "consume" to enhance their online characters. Game publishers are now using advergaming to target specific markets, in this case, the young online gamers who are also expected to purchase products and services marketed through these virtual worlds.
MAKATI CITY, Philippines--After acquiring a majority stake in an animation and digital studio and a mobile content developer, Internet services provider Intellectual Property Ventures Group (IPVG) is now looking at game development. IPVG Chief Executive Officer Jaime Enrique Gonzalez said that the company is supporting the creation of more original intellectual property for the local gaming industry. "We'll be advocating original content to help our game developers and this will be our main focus for the next two years," Gonzalez said during a presentation at the Ayala Foundation's regular Innovation Forum. While IPVG, which also owns online game publishing firm IP E-Games, has been offering licensed online games, the company is willing to invest in game development, the executive said. "But this is very early stage and we still have to start working with game developers," he added, noting that the focus would still be online games. Ranulf Goss, head of the Manila Chapter of the International Game Development Association, was happy that companies like IPVG are now looking at game development. "We have a lot of talent here and investments boost our industry," said Goss who is also a member of the Game Development Association of the Philippines.
THERE'S a "weird" situation in the game development industry today. Sales of games and consoles have gone up in the last few months but new projects are being held back as the financial crunch is affecting game development firms. Indirectly, the Philippine game development industry is experiencing the crisis as outsourcing projects are postponed due to banks squeezing credits to companies. Game Development Association of the Philippines President Gabby Dizon said the entertainment sector, where the game development industry is under, is supposed to be more resistant during these times. More people tend to purchase entertainment-related items that could help them cope with the current economic crunch. "There are more games being sold during these days but companies are not creating new titles. This would have negative effects on companies offering outsource services," Dizon said. Dizon said most outsourced projects done in the Philippines are coming from the United States and some European countries. Dizon believed that game development firms in the Philippines will not be spared by the crisis. But he hopes to see a turnaround growth in six months as new game development projects start pouring in from clients. "Major developers can't just stop creating new games. They have to sustain production and they'll be looking for outsourcing firms," Dizon said. With only less than 15 companies developing games in the Philippines, Dizon assured that none of them would be closing shop. In fact, some firms are still hiring new employees. "But there will be fewer hires while we try to get more work done from existing employees," Dizon said. When the industry picks up again, Dizon expects projects to start coming back, particularly those targeting mobile phone and handheld devices. "Some companies are already looking at the Apple iPhone and Nintendo DS to develop new games," he said. Dizon said the Philippines needs to market the Philippines as a hub for outsourced game development projects. "We still offer the best value-for-money when it comes to outsourced services."
THE online racing game is heating up as game publisher IP E-Games announced its own online casual racing game, Top Speed. Top Speed uses similar concepts as the hugely popular Mario Kart racing series, where players can do both offensive and defensive driving techniques. There are also items and weapons in the gameâ€™s tracks that have both offensive and defensive purposes. Other features include customization for playersâ€™ avatars and their karts, upgrade options for the karts, solo and team-based races, as well as a variety of difficulties for the tracks. Top Speed has a minimum computer specification requirement of Microsoft Windows XP and Windows 2000--Intel Pentium III with 800 MHz CPU, 256MB RAM, GeForce2 MX 400 ATI Radeon Gaphics card and DirectX 8.1 or higher. X-Play will activate a website for Top Speed, which will contain more information about the game. However, interested players can already check out the official Southeast Asian website. The company will also include Top Speed in the upcoming Road to Domination III, a series of live tournaments in preparation for the much bigger Domination III gaming celebration.