The DeanBeat: Video games can be about love, not just violence

For decades, the dominant theme in video games has been violence. That’s not surprising, since violent competitions have been dominant in culture for thousands of years. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Video games can be about love, emotion, and positive motivation, according to a panel of game developers who are trying to make all of that happen.

How Germany’s Wooga took Facebook by storm (interview)

After Zynga, the second-biggest player on Facebook isn’t Electronic Arts anymore. It’s Wooga, a Berlin-based studio that has become Europe’s largest social game publisher with more than 49 million monthly active users on Facebook.
Now Wooga has raised $24 million in venture capital and has grown to more than 150 employees. The company now faces a number of strategic decisions, such as doubling down on Facebook or spreading out to platforms such as Google+ or Zynga.com. We caught up with co-founder Jens Begemann at the recent Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. Here’s a transcript of our interview.

The DeanBeat: The top 12 trends from the GDC

Too often, I flit from one conference to another like a wayward butterfly, trying to catch up with all the news. But the Game Developers Conference is one of my favorite events of the year because it places such a high value on creativity in the game industry. It is fitting to dwell upon it and to figure out what this year’s conference in San Francisco, which ended Friday March 9, was all about.

cod elite gang

Call of Duty Elite players go bananas for clan warfare

Call of Duty Elite is turning out to be a highly engaging social network for hardcore fans of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. The online social network now has more than 670,000 clans, or groups of players who team up in multiplayer battles, according to Activision Blizzard’s Beachhead Studio leader Chacko Sonny (pictured center).

A roundup of stories from the Game Developers Conference

Our GamesBeat team is exhausted after five days of covering the biggest show for game developers in San Francisco. Here’s a day-by-day roundup of the major stories that we wrote from the Game Developers Conference this week. We’ve also thrown in stories from Microsoft’s pre-GDC press event. As you can see, it was a busy week for game news.

Kellee Santiago

How Thatgamecompany designed its new game, Journey

Kellee Santiago is co-founder and president of Thatgamecompany, the Santa Monica, Calif.-based game studio she started with Jenova Chen. After three years of work, the company’s Journey game on the PlayStation 3 will go on sale as a downloadable title on the PlayStation Network on March 13. The game has already gotten accolades from game critics, including a high rating of 90/100 from GamesBeat. In the game, the player goes on a solitary journey across the desert to a distant mountain. The visual effects of the wind and sand are beautiful, and the story is told without any words.

Rob Dyer

Zynga’s Dyer invites developers to be publishing partners

Rob Dyer is having his coming out party today. He joined social gaming giant Zynga in October as head of partner publishing, and now he finally gets to tell the world what he’s been doing. Dyer is the man who must convince external game developers to publish their games on Zynga’s newly announced platform for social gaming. Games published on the platform will run on both Zynga.com and Facebook, enabling smaller game developers to reach Zynga’s audience of 246 million monthly active users.

John Schappert

Konami and others will make games for Zynga.com

Zynga announced today that three major game companies have joined its new platform for publishing games on Zynga.com and Facebook. The new third-party partners include Japan’s Konami Digital Entertainment, one of the biggest console game makers, as well as Playdemic and Rebellion.

Facebook’s tips for getting your mobile game noticed

Mobile games are so plentiful that discovering the right one has become a nightmare. But Facebook believes that it has a solution in layering its own social network on mobile gaming platforms such as the iPhone and Android. By making games more discoverable, the social network believes it can justify its existence in the mobile world.

EA lines up three Battlefield 3 expansions for 2012

Electronic Arts announced last night that it will launch three new expansions for Battlefield 3 as it tries to establish the game as a year-round service for die-hard fans.The first for this year will be Battlefield 3: Close Quarters, and EA demoed the game last night.

The Game Developers Conference in pictures (photo gallery)

The Game Developers Conference drew around 19,000 game developers to San Francisco’s Moscone Convention Center this week. The show captured an industry in the midst of transition, as games spread out to a variety of platforms, including smartphones, tablets, Facebook, and digital distribution via the web. The GDC draws talent from across the industry, and it’s always a good way to measure the pulse of games as they evolve. You can check out some of the trends and people from the images below.

Social game developers earn a seat at traditional game conferences

For a while, the makers of hardcore games belittled social game developers. While the hardcore game designers commanded budgets of $30 million, the social game folks — and their mobile game brethren — were viewed as second-class citizens working with shoestring budgets.

GamesBeat@GDC 2010 in pictures – Part 3

GamesBeat@GDC was all about networking and bringing people together. Some of the conversations spilled from the stage out into the hallways of Moscone Center.

GamesBeat@GDC 2010 in pictures – Part 2

The audience attended GamesBeat@GDC in large numbers. Some of the sessions were really popular, so much so that people had to squeeze in to get seats.

Unity Technologies’ browser-based 3D engine supports Android, iPad and PS 3

Unity Technologies has been disrupting big budget 3D games with its light 3D game technology. The company’s engine lets game developers create a 3D online game that runs in a browser, without the need for big downloads as with traditional massively multiplayer online games.