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16th September 2010

Layer 7 To Showcase New Product Suite At Oracle OpenWorld

layer7 technologiesVancouver’s Layer 7 Technologies, a leader in security and governance for cloud and SOA services, will showcase its industry-first Oracle Service Bus (OSB) Appliance and new CloudSpan™ product suite at Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco on September 20-22. Layer 7 will be a featured guest in premier sponsor CSC’s pavilion, located at 1101 Moscone South.

Show attendees can participate in a showcase of the OSB appliance and view how it extends the Oracle Service Bus into the DMZ, and see how the CloudSpan solution simplifies integration to the cloud, secures applications in the cloud and governs the publication of APIs from the cloud. Read the rest of this entry »

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16th September 2010

RealNetworks Acquires Victoria Studio Backstage Technologies

backstage technologiesSomewhat overshadowed by the recent Capcom – Blue Castle Games announcement was the news that Seattle-based RealNetworks®, Inc. has acquired Victoria, BC social games company Backstage Technologies Inc. RealNetworks feels that the acquisition of Backstage will add valuable expertise in both engineering and monetizing games for social platforms to GameHouse®, Real’s digital games division. Backstage is best known for partnering with iWin on the popular Facebook adaptation of FremantleMedia’s hit TV game show Family Feud™.

“As we transform RealNetworks, we will focus on areas with strong revenue growth and profit potential that will realize the value of our core businesses,” said Bob Kimball, CEO of RealNetworks. “The most compelling growth opportunity in games today is social games, and this acquisition is part of our commitment to make our entire GameHouse business social.”

Earlier this year, GameHouse announced GameHouse Fusion™, the first social gaming platform to make all games social and give consumers access to thousands of socially connected games within a massive worldwide casual gaming community across multiple social websites and devices. As a part of GameHouse, Backstage will leverage the platform’s capabilities and contribute to several of the key technological components of the system. GameHouse Fusion currently powers their smartphone game titles like MarbleMixer, along with Facebook games including UNO™, Scrabble®, TextTwist® and Collapse!®. The addition of the Backstage games portfolio extends GameHouse’s presence as a top social games developer.

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15th September 2010

Press Your Luck Now Available for the iPad

LudiaInteractive entertainment company Ludia and FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME) have announced that Press Your Luck HD for iPad is now available for $4.99 in the App Store. The game brings an unparalleled Press Your Luck experience to iPad owners, enhanced with stunning new HD graphics and incorporating Multi-Touch game play.

In Press Your Luck HD, players assume the role of one of the three contestants competing to win by answering a series of trivia questions correctly, to earn “spins” on the Big Board of cash and prizes. Whichever player ends the game with the highest earnings wins, while successfully avoiding the dreaded ‘Whammy’ or risking the loss of all winnings.press your luck

“Ludia is thrilled to expand our iPad offering on the App Store with another classic game show in HD, starring the famously mischievous Whammy character,” said Alex Thabet, Founder and CEO of Ludia Inc. “Press Your Luck HD brings all the humor and family entertainment of the TV show straight to the screens of iPad owners across North America.”

Press Your Luck HD features:

* Two game modes: single player and multiplayer.
* Hundreds of trivia questions and game play punctuated by dozens of hilarious ‘Whammy’ animations.
* Authentic graphics, stages, Big Board, and other game elements combined with familiar music and sound effects to create a true-to-show game experience.
* Customizable 3D player avatars: choose hairstyles, clothing, accessories and more.
* Unlock bonus items as a reward for progress in the game.

“We are pleased that the millions of Press Your Luck television game show fans will now be able to enjoy their very own Press Your Luck HD game experience, thanks to thrilling devices like the iPad,” added Olivier Delfosse, Director of Interactive for program licensor FME. “

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15th September 2010

FIFA 11 Demo Now Available

EA SportsElectronic Arts Inc. announced today that a fully playable demo of EA SportsFIFA Soccer 11 is available to download beginning today for the PlayStation®3, for the Xbox 360® Xbox Live Gold Members from Xbox Live Marketplace and for PC. Xbox Live Silver Members will have access to the demo beginning September 23.

Play as Chelsea, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus, Bayer Leverkusen and Olympique Kaka FIFA 11Lyonnais and experience how FIFA Soccer 11 reinvents player authenticity–on and off the ball–with all-new Personality+. Individual abilities are now reflected in-game, allowing clear differentiation for every player on the pitch. Plus, experience true freedom in man-to-man interactions with 360° Fight for Possession that transforms physical play from lateral jostling to full 360° collisions and new Pro Passing, where pass accuracy is determined by a gamer’s ability on the control pad, and player skill, situation and urgency on the pitch. The FIFA Soccer 11 demo features an exhibition match with 3 minute halves in Real Madrid’s home stadium, Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, and users will be able to upload created in-game videos to EA SPORTS Football World. Fans who go to Facebook® to play EA SPORTS FIFA Superstars and complete achievements will receive exclusive access to Arsenal and Emirates Stadium to play in the FIFA Soccer 11 demo.

EA SPORTS today also unveiled its global lineup of international stars that will adorn FIFA Soccer 11 FIFA 11 Cechpackaging and be integrated into marketing and advertising campaigns around the world. FIFA Soccer 11 will be localized into 18 languages and available in 51 countries. Led by the 28-year-old Brazilian, Kaka, the 17 global superstars hail from 15 countries, represent 14 different teams and play in 9 international leagues, an ideal match for the World’s best-selling* sports videogame. With 2 FIFA World Cup™ titles, 5 Champions League titles, 32 national championships and 1 European title, EA SPORTS presents the strongest team of cover athletes it has ever assembled for its FIFA Soccer franchise.

“It is a great honor to unite so many exceptional players on the FIFA Soccer 11 team of cover athletes,” said Matt Bilbey, Vice President of Soccer, EA SPORTS. “This mix of superstars from all over the world, each with their own unique style and passion for the game, and their different kind of amazing playing styles perfectly represents what FIFA Soccer 11 stands for – a true authentic and global game of unprecedented quality.”

FIFA 11 Global lineup

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15th September 2010

Goodbye Blue Castle Hello Capcom Games Studio Vancouver

Capcom and Blue Castle Games have made two big announcements at the Tokyo Game Show. The biggest Blue Castle Gamesnews of course was the formal acquisition of Blue Castle Games by Capcom, with the studio becoming Capcom Games Studio Vancouver. Speaking at Capcom’s TGS press conference, Blue Castle president Rob Barrett stated that “We’re really honoured that Inafune sees such potential in us, and we take this responsibility very seriously.”

Also announced at the press conference was the next downloadable content expansion for the Dead Rising franchise. Complimenting Dead Rising 2™: Case Zero, Dead Rising 2: Case West will extend the Dead Rising 2 experience by delivering brand new content and the return of a familiar face. Available exclusively on Xbox LIVE® online entertainment system following the release of Dead Rising 2™, Dead Rising 2: Case West will see Frank West team up with Chuck Greene for some serious co-op action. In co-op mode, Xbox LIVE®Gold members will see the two protagonists delve deeper into the reasons behind the Fortune City outbreak and provide further links to the Willamette incident.

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15th September 2010

PadWorx Digital Media To Release Dracula This Halloween

The original vampire who gave us a reason to fear the dark is coming to Apple®iPad™ as a whole padworxnew, frightfully interactive experience! PadWorx Digital Media, Inc., an independent developer of a new category of interactive eBooks for tablet PCs, announced today it will release Bram Stoker’s Dracula on the App Store® in time for this Halloween. Dracula will be the first eBook title for the Apple iPad built from the ground up on PadWorx Digital Media’s proprietary game engine, giving readers the chance to experience a new level of entertainment through the combination of text, animation, gameplay, touch screen interaction, social media, original soundtrack and music, sound effects and more.

“Our new interactive version of Dracula is unlike anything I’ve ever seen on the iPad,” said Jeffery Alan Schechter, director and producer at PadWorx Digital Media, Inc. “From fans of the original classic tale, to the blood and romance fans of the Twilight books and movies, to tech savvy enthusiasts, there are plenty of elements to keep everyone reading for hours. We’ve created original illustrations, animation, sounds and touch screen elements that work together with the text on each page, drawing readers in and allowing them to uncover a new tale worth telling.”
Bram Stoker's Dracula
Dracula for the Apple iPad puts a new twist on the classic novel written by Bram Stoker in 1897. The interactive eBook features 300 pages of text, animation, gameplay, and touch screen technology that creates the definitive interactive, user-driven experience. From lighting up the words of the page with a lantern, unsealing the mysteries of letters and journal entries, blowing the leaves off of tombstones to reveal the writing beneath, and even using their own “blood” to reveal hidden text on a page, readers will bring Dracula to life page after enthralling page.

Beyond text and animation, PadWorx Digital Media’s Dracula will break new ground in the world of eBooks by featuring both an original soundtrack as well as eighteen songs from the indie rock performers and bands Adaline, Eve and the Ocean, Ingela, Nadia, and Emily Spiller. Each song will set the tone for a different chapter from the book, creating a whole new way of experiencing this classic story. The Dracula soundtrack will also be available for separate purchase on the iTunes Store®. Pricing for the eBook and for the separate soundtrack will be announced at a later date.

HasbroPeople have watched Gary Brolsma lip-sync and dance in his world-famous “Numa Numa” video more than a billion times since it was first posted to the Internet in 2004. But, how do you think he would do in a game of Trivial Pursuit? The star of the video is joining a cast of YouTube stars for an online Trivial Pursuit challenge to find out if the stars of YouTube, the world’s largest online video community, can outsmart, well, everyone else.

YouTube Trivial Pursuit began on September 8th, and players are invited to participate in the Trivial Pursuit You vs. YouTube challenge to determine who’s the better bet – YOU, the people’s team, or the stars of YouTube. For the first time ever, visitors to the world’s number one video sharing site can play an interactive game with the celebrities of YouTube to try their hand at the new betting game play of the brand new Trivial Pursuit: Bet You Know It game.

Just like in the new board game, players don’t need to know the answers to win – what counts is if they bet correctly on whether or not their opponent will answer the question correctly. In the online game, players are first asked to answer three questions to earn chips. Then, they bet their chips on whether or not the YouTube star will answer the next question correctly. If players bet wisely – regardless of whether or not the star answer is correct – the points go to the global collective. If not, the points go to YouTube.

Joining Brolsma are more than a dozen YouTube sensations, including Harry and Charlie Davies-Carr of “Charlie Bit My Finger” fame (currently the No.3 most viewed video ever on YouTube), Michael Buckley from the “What the Buck?” show (currently the No.13 most subscribed to channel ever on YouTube) and Tay Zonday, best known for his original work, “Chocolate Rain,” which has had more than 55 million views since it was first posted. Everyone has an inner genius when they play Trivial Pursuit. Find out which of the YouTube stars is a car expert, who is the life-long Trivial Pursuit player and who has a degree in Psychology.Trivial Pursuit Bet You Know It

“You vs. YouTube is an incredibly exciting innovation for Trivial Pursuit,” said Jane Ritson-Parsons, Global Brand Leader for Trivial Pursuit. “We’re excited that people can try the new Trivial Pursuit: Bet You Know It game online by betting on YouTube stars.”

Trivial Pursuit: Bet You Know It Edition brings high stakes betting to trivia, giving each player a stake in their friend’s every turn. As ever, answer one of 1,800 fresh trivia questions to win a wedge, or if you’d rather, use chips acquired throughout your game to purchase a wedge for that elusive category that has you stumped. On your friends’ turns bet on the likelihood of them getting their question right or wrong. A correct bet will earn you more chips!

Questions in Trivial Pursuit: Bet You Know It Edition include contemporary topics such as Supermodels, Hot Dogs, Horror Movies, and Heavy Metal, in a variety of new formats like multiple choice and image-based questions to make each turn a unique experience. Play and discover your inner genius in a game where knowing your friends is just as valuable as knowing the trivia.

Trivial Pursuit: Bet You Know It Edition is recommended for two or more adults and is available at mass merchandise retailers for a suggested retail price of $29.99.

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15th September 2010

TransGaming Unveils Commercial Ready GameTreeTV User Experience

TransGamingTransGaming, Inc. has unveiled a completely redesigned and innovative GameTreeTV user experience at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in San Francisco. Scheduled to be commercially deployed this fall to European television audiences, the GameTreeTV Platform delivers a comprehensive on-demand video game experience for consumers that is optimized for HD TV through the next generation of set-top boxes and connected consumer electronic (CE) devices based on Intel® CE Media Processors.gametreetv

The GameTreeTV user experience brings an interactive and intuitive design to digital home gaming, allowing consumers to easily browse through a comprehensive catalog of content to quickly access their favorite games with ease. The design offers game developers a dynamic and visibly compelling user interface where their games can be promoted, showcased and searched easily by consumers. Each game profile in the catalog leverages a variety of video trailers, screenshots and descriptive game content, plus the Platform provides a multi-lingual localized game play experience for consumers around the world.

The release of this new interactive user experience coupled with the extensive game catalog and innovative payment models for consumers, positions GameTreeTV as the premier on-demand gaming GameTree Developers Programplatform for all Intel® CE Media Processor based devices. In addition, the recent launch of the GameTreeTV Authorized Developer Program now provides the rapidly growing interactive App-TV marketplace with both a rich third party game development community and a compelling gaming platform experience.

“We’ve designed what I believe to be an exceptionally innovative user experience that aligns to the high quality entertainment and interactive nature of video games. The GameTreeTV user experience is representative of the next generation of interactive platforms that consumers expect, delivering an immersive and enriching game play experience”, commented Blake Lewin, President of TransGaming Digital Home. “Our entire strategy in the design of the user interface is to deliver an interactive and engaging experience that resonates with both the caliber of our content and with the global consumer market. We believe we’ve accomplished this with great success.”

The GameTreeTV Platform will be delivered to consumers through an array of distribution vehicles such as Managed Service Operators (MSO), global OEMs (connected consumer electronics), and related digital media solutions providers. The GameTreeTV Platform will be launching this fall in select European markets and then scaling quickly through 2011 globally.GameTreeTV

“Cable providers want to offer new services and entertainment options to their subscribers, and we believe casual gaming will be an integral part of an immersive next generation experience”, said Bob Ferreira, General Manager, Cable Segment, Intel Digital Home Group. “The GameTreeTV Platform offers a rich portfolio of video games, while set top boxes based on Intel® CE media processors provide the performance for an enjoyable user experience. TransGaming provides both rich technology and a flexible business model to fit the requirements of the cable industry.”

The full GameTreeTV experience is being showcased in the SmartTV pavilion at the Intel Developer Forum this week. GameTreeTV is launching later this fall in Europe with some of the industry’s most respected video game developers, including PopCap Games, Paramount, Sandlot Games, 2D Boy, Her Interactive, Playrix, Blitz Games and more. Combined, these developers bring hundreds of games to the global catalog that consumers will enjoy through GameTreeTV.

Cable operators, Managed Service Operators (MSOs), and CE manufacturers globally are embracing Intel’s new CE media processors and are ushering in a new generation of broadband-based interactive offerings for their digital home consumers. TransGaming is working closely with companies around the world to ensure the revolutionary gaming experience provided by GameTreeTV is available to a global consumer television audience.

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14th September 2010

Littlest Pet Shop Online Expands Product Line

HasbroHasbro and Electronic Arts today announced that big things are just around the corner for the millions of Littlest Pet Shop fans this fall. Hasbro will release an expanded Littlest Pet Shop Online (LPSO) toy line-up to retail this month. In addition, EA is set to launch a new virtual pet collection program within LPSO.com. Together, the growing Littlest Pet Shop Online experience will offer a blend of real-world and online play designed to capture the essence of the globally popular tween girl brand — collectability.
EA
Building on the success of the Frima Studio developed Littlest Pet Shop Online, an immersive online world launched by EA in September 2009, Hasbro has added two new Littlest Pet Shop Online toys to its fall line-up that will allow girls to extend their real-world Littlest Pet Shop collections while also giving them special LPSO.com virtual benefits when they enter special codes included with toy purchases. Landing on retail shelves this month, the LPSO Dancing Dog and the LPSO Starter Pack toys further integrate the two play styles and enable girls to collect their favourite Littlest Pet Shop pets, connect online with friends, play games, and embark on fun adventures. Additionally, EA’s upcoming LPSO.com collection program, “Collect- a-Pet”, will broaden the online play experience with a series of in-game activities and challenges that girls must complete to unlock new adorable “Reward” pets that can be added to their growing virtual collections.

TLittlest Pet Shop Onlinehe LPSO Dancing Dog is an interactive pet that plugs into the computer or an MP3 player and boogies to the music on girls’ digital playlists. It also functions as a speaker and lights up and flashes to the beat creating instant Littlest Pet Shop fun. In addition, the LPSO Dancing Dog comes with a secret code to LPSO.com that unlocks special virtual in-game gifts. The LPSO Dancing Dog will carry an approximate retail price of $24.99.

Also on retail shelves this month will be the LPSO Starter Pack, which will allow girls to collect toy versions of their beloved LPSO.com star characters. Girls can assemble up to six of their favorite in-game characters such as Felina Murchent, the fashion-forward kitty who purrs with style and sass and Woolma O’Chic, the charismatic artiste who creates the trendiest designs available in LPSO fashion. Each LPSO Starter Pack pet will also come with a unique LPSO.com code to unlock a 30-day Premium Membership subscription as well as virtual gifts for a girl’s in-game pet. The LPSO Starter Pack will carry an approximate retail price of $9.99 for each of the six characters including a one-month Premium Membership for each pet purchased.

“Hasbro and EA have created an integrated suite of Littlest Pet Shop Online products that takes girls’ affinity for collection, meaningful play and social engagement to a new level,” said Valerie Jurries, Global Senior Vice President of Marketing at Hasbro. “Whether listening to music, spending time on the Internet or just hanging out, these latest LPSO offerings have been designed to allow girls to have their Littlest Pet Shop pets tag along right beside them.” Littlest Pet Shop Online

Adding to the fun and excitement of Hasbro’s new LPSO toys, EA will roll out major enhancements in LPSO.com this month, including the new “Collect-a-Pet” feature which will allow girls to unlock “Reward Pets” when they complete certain in-game activities such as performing multiplayer pet tricks, starting dance parties, or completing a challenging level in one of the many games. The LPSO.com “Reward Pets” will be a very special stand-out addition to girls’ online pet collections as many are inspired by their adorable on-shelf toy counterparts. The LPSO.com “Collect-a-Pet” feature will debut with four “Reward Pets” that will be accessible to all LPSO.com players like the Spotted Dalmatian, inspired by the Dalmatian that comes with the Littlest Pet Shop Rescue Tails Centre playset, also arriving at retail this fall. Additionally, 15 special edition pets such as a Strawberry Hamster and a Candy Zebra will be available exclusively to Premium Members.

Littlest Pet Shop Online“We anticipate the ‘Collect-a-Pet’ feature to be a big hit with our Littlest Pet Shop Online players as it really speaks to the core play pattern of the brand, which is all about building a delightful collection of wonderful pets,” said Chip Lange, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Hasbro Division at Electronic Arts. “With collection as a main pillar of gameplay within LPSO.com, girls will now have the opportunity to add to their virtual Littlest Pet Shop family, just as they have enjoyed doing with their toy collection over the years.”

Littlest Pet Shop fans can create an LPSO.com account and play for free under Basic Membership or purchase a Premium Membership subscription with exclusive features and benefits for $5.95 per month.

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14th September 2010

SmartSwipe Introduces Personal Credit Card Swiping

Regina-based NetSecure Technologies, smartswipea provider of online transaction security solutions for financial institutions has announced that its personal credit card reader, SmartSwipe, is now compatible with the Firefox® Web browser 3.6 or higher. Made available to financial institutions earlier this year, SmartSwipe helps protect consumers’ private information, while they shop online. The device is also compatible with Explorer 6.

“By enabling SmartSwipe to operate with various Web browsers, the personal credit card reader is a viable security option to a broader customer base,” said Daniel McCann, president, NetSecure Technologies. “For financial institutions, this means the potential for increased sales through bank-branded credit cards. Because of the security benefits, consumers are more likely to shop with that card, making SmartSwipe the ultimate “top of the wallet” product for financial institutions.”
smartswipe 1 2 3
“Additionally, SmartSwipe improves customer satisfaction and confidence,” McCann continued. “Confidence in banking is at an all-time low, but by offering a personal security device that puts the consumer in control, financial institutions have an opportunity regain trust.”

Hackers are increasingly becoming more sophisticated, and anti-virus software is no longer enough to protect consumers. SmartSwipe provides proactive protection against all existing attacks as well as new emerging attacks, such as the latest Zeus Trojan virus, reported to have stolen more than $1 million from U.K. bank accounts this summer.

By leveraging NetSecure’s Dynamic SSL technology, SmartSwipe secures sensitive data at the point of origin, before it ever reaches the computer, protecting sensitive financial and personal information from endpoint threats such as keylogging, Spyware and Man-in-the-Browser.

Virtual-Vancouver.com will virtual vancouverhost a Virtual Night of Comedy, a real-time web stream of an all-star comedy event scheduled Sept. 16 at BBQues restaurant. This marks the first time this kind of live comedy and entertainment has been made available to thousands of residents without leaving their homes.

The local barbecue eatery has teamed with Virtual-Vancouver.com parent company Utherverse Digital to host the event on stage while simulcasting it live online at BBQues in-world location. Attendees in real life will be able to watch virtual avatars within the 3D world via TVs located throughout the restaurant, while virtual partygoers will see the live in-person event from within the online world.

“This provides a new, exciting and unique experience for people to view live entertainment either in person or in the virtual world if they can’t make it to the actual event,” Utherverse President Zak Zarry said.

The event will be hosted by local comedian Greg Kettner and will showcase top-rated acts that have been featured at Yuk Yuks, Just for Laughs, CTV’s Comedy Now, Las Vegas HBO Comedy Festival and Canada’s Next Top Comic. The headlining act will be Patrick Maliha, supported by fellow funnymen Chris James, Kyle Jones and several others.

The live web stream will start Sept. 16 at 7 p.m. in the BBQues virtual space with a $5 cover charge. The virtual event also will have a small cover charge using a virtual currency called “Rays.” BBQues’ physical location is 1043 Mainland St. in Yaletown.

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14th September 2010

First Foursquare Application for Digital Signage Networks Launched by ScreenScape

Charlottetown’s ScreenScape, a community-based digital signage network, has launched its foursquare widget, the first foursquare application for digital screenscapesignage networks. The widget empowers businesses who use both ScreenScape and foursquare to recognize and reward foursquare users in real-time by showing custom foursquare content on digital displays inside their venue. ScreenScape Members can start using the new widget today by logging into their account, as normal, and browsing to “add content”.

The market for location-based services like foursquare is still maturing, but adoption numbers are growing quickly. Foursquare currently has over 3 million registered users, and adds more than 100,000 new members a week. At the same time, marketers are still exploring how to best manage their promotional campaigns using location-based services and how to engage and reward users of the services on-premise. ScreenScape’s foursquare widget gives businesses the tools to harness foursquare for highly targeted in-venue marketing, or “hyper-local marketing,” that speaks directly to the customer and influences purchasing decisions in real-time. By screenscape and foursquareacknowledging and rewarding foursquare user check-ins, venues can deepen customer loyalty and encourage them to continue to visit their venue and check-in, as well as recommend their own network of friends to do the same.

“With the release of our new foursquare widget, ScreenScape has clearly demonstrated its uniqueness in the digital signage industry. ScreenScape-powered displays can play a key role in helping to manage location-based services and bridging the gap between online and on-site marketing. By encouraging check-ins and posting real-time messages we are able to complement location-based marketing services and deliver to our community of users another interesting way to engage with customers,” said Kevin Dwyer, president and chief executive officer of ScreenScape. “Foursquare has broken new ground with its service, and we believe ScreenScape is the perfect tool to bring it to life where it really counts – right at the point-of-sale.”

ScreenScape is built on open Internet technology and delivered as software-as-a-service (SaaS). Businesses with multiple venues use ScreenScape to easily manage and push content out across screens in each venue. ScreenScape’s foursquare widget helps businesses more effectively manage their foursquare campaigns across venues and ensure that staff members in each location are aware of current promotions. For instance, each venue can be equipped to deliver location-specific content such as welcoming the Mayor, while all company screens can display the same foursquare promotion.

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