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  • Mazooma Unveils Micropay-in-a-Box Solution for Discover Digital Goods Merchants

20th July 2011

Mazooma Unveils Micropay-in-a-Box Solution for Discover Digital Goods Merchants

mazoomaMazooma, which is an American company with an office in Toronto, has unveiled their new micropay-in-a-box solution, which has as much as a 71% reduction in merchant fees for digital content merchants.  With 25% year-over-year growth, digital content is currently the fastest-growing eCommerce sector, driving an explosion in small-ticket transaction volumes. However, merchants selling digital music, games, books, and videos are underserved by traditional payment options. Mazooma’s new micropay solution fills this void, enabling these merchants to sell their goods faster, safer, and more cost-effectively.

Mazooma’s micropay-in-a-box solution is available to Discover’s direct merchants using the Centinel® Universal Merchant Platform through CardinalCommerce Corporation. For a merchant using Centinel, it is as simple as placing the Mazooma payment button on their checkout page to support a new payment option that enables consumers to pay using their online banking account. For these merchants, there is no implementation required and no changes to existing settlement and reporting from Discover. It is a turnkey solution that makes it easy for merchants to offer the new Mazooma payment brand.

An online banking-based payment solution, Mazooma connects consumers directly to their bank account from the merchant’s checkout page, enabling secure, instant payments for online purchases. Other features of Mazooma’s micropay solution include a processing fee of 1.5% + $0.05 per transaction without the need to aggregate transactions, and a streamlined checkout in two clicks, with no offline sign-up process.

“With Mazooma’s micropay-in-a-box solution, Discover merchants selling digital content can enjoy instant, online payments, as well as ease of implementation, less technical resources and consolidated settlement and reporting,” says Farhan Ahmad, General Manager, Prepaid & Director of Emerging Payments at Discover. “At Discover, we aim to provide our merchants with more payment choices, and we believe the relationship with Mazooma will do just that.”

“We’re pleased to be able to leverage Centinel to extend the Mazooma payment option across the Discover Network of retail merchants,” said Janet Kapostasy, Vice President, Financial Institution Services, CardinalCommerce Corporation. ”The micropay solution addresses a key pain point in the digital goods vertical.”

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20th July 2011

Goldtooth Creative Jacks Up San Diego Comic-Con With Prototype 2 Trailer Debut

Goldtooth CreativeGoldtooth Creative once again proves itself a force to be reckoned with as its cutting edge trailer for the highly anticipated sequel to 2009’s top-selling game from Activision Publishing and Radical Entertainment, PROTOTYPE® 2 debuts today at San Diego Comic-Con International 2011.Radical Entertainment

The first entry in PROTOTYPE 2’s three-part CG trilogy, which are behind age-gates on the Prototype 2 site, is titled “Homecoming,” displays the slick editing and breathtaking visuals for which the Vancouver-based creative agency and full-service production studio is quickly becoming known.

Director Paul Furminger and the Goldtooth crew worked tirelessly to build a captivating trailer that introduces gamers to the post-outbreak world inhabited by James Heller, PROTOTYPE 2’s all-new protagonist, and it offers a sneak peek at what’s to come as Blackwatch Special Forces continue the struggle to contain and control the outbreak of the Blacklight virus.prototype 2

Artists at Goldtooth produced all the visuals for the trailer, including animation, lighting, effects, and compositing, and used all the latest technical tools in their arsenal—including motion capture, game capture, facial performance capture, CG and intense live action shoots—to achieve the look and feel of a feature film that hints at the epic showdown looming between Heller and Alex Mercer, the protagonist of the original game.

The sequel to Radical Entertainment’s best-selling open-world action game of 2009, PROTOTYPE 2 takes the unsurpassed carnage of the original PROTOTYPE and continues the experience of becoming the ultimate shape-shifting weapon. PROTOTYPE 2 is currently in development for Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Windows PC.

As the latest project in the ongoing collaborative relationship between Goldtooth and Activision, the first trailer for PROTOYPE 2 demonstrates Goldtooth’s continued dedication to captivating story-telling and technical excellence. For the original PROTOTYPE game, Goldtooth created multiple trailers and provided creative direction on story cinematics; Furminger directed the ‘Web of Intrigue’ in-game cinematics for the first game.

Activision and Radical have also confirmed the release date for PROTOTYPE 2. The shape-shifting title will be on stores shelves April 24, 2012 for Xbox 360, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Windows PC. You can get your pre-orders in at several retailers – I already have mine in.

“We know our fans have been clamoring to find out when they would be able to get their hands-on PROTOTYPE 2, and the whole studio is excited that we can finally reveal the timing,” said Ken Rosman, Studio Head, Radical Entertainment.  “We’re also thrilled to be at the point where we can show the game directly to our fans.  It’s always rewarding to see those first time reactions to what we’ve been working on for the past couple years, and we can’t wait for them to see some of Sgt. James Heller’s amazing new shape-shifting abilities at San Diego Comic-Con.”

Show goers attending ‘The Con’ will have the opportunity to check out PROTOTYPE 2’s signature crazy, over-the-top, shape-shifting action during 15-minute live stage presentations held throughout each day.  Fans who come by the Activision booth to check out the game can enter a raffle for a chance to win a limited edition, custom leather jacket modeled after the one Sgt. James Heller wears in the game; or a Alex Mercer one of a kind, custom skinned Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft.  Additionally, the team from Radical will be on-site handing out assorted PROTOTYPE 2 themed goodies, including t-shirts, posters, giant foam Heller Blade Arms and more! < not fair! 🙁

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20th July 2011

Participate In The Canadian Digital Marketing Outlook Study for 2011

Pixel to ProductPixel to Product has launched its final wave for the Canadian Digital Marketing Outlook for 2011. This portion of the Pixel to Product research wave is an introspective look at how brands are using social media, mobile and email marketing. Through this research, Pixel to Product aims to understand how organizations are using social media, mobile and email marketing to promote their products and services, engage their customers and drive brand awareness.

I fully concur with Justin Kozuch, Pixel to Product’s Lead Researcher, who stated that “too often, we’ve been forced to rely on US numbers to make informed decisions for our Canadian clients or rely on outdated, expensive and inaccessible data to help us better understand the trends in social media.”

The company’s goal is to survey 1000 of the world’s biggest brands. They are aiming to better understand how Starbucks is using mobile to engage and inform their customers, and Pixel to Product is interested in better understanding how Dell is using social media to provide customer support over Twitter.

While this survey is focused primarily on Canadian companies, Pixel to Product is also interested in gathering data from American and international companies. To make this process as easy as possible, they’ve written copy to support that communication. If you’d like to use this copy in your communications, don’t hesitate to send Justin an email and he’ll be happy to provide it to you.

Finally, if you’re responsible for your organizations digital marketing efforts and a have deep understanding of how your organization uses social media, mobile platforms and email marketing, please take a few moments to complete the survey.

As with the recently issued report on the Canadian digital media economy, Pixel to Product will be making the report available free of charge. This report will be made available for download from their website in Q4 2011. In addition to the final report, Pixel to Product will be releasing the raw, anonymized data sets in a variety of open data formats. For an example of what the final report will look like, take a look at their report on the Canadian digital media economy.

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20th July 2011

Commanders Needed For Supreme Ruler Cold War by Battlegoat Studios

battlegoat studiosSupreme Ruler: Cold War from Battlegoat Studios has been released, and the future of the world is at stake. The Korean War looms, the Arms Race intensifies, the Berlin Crisis leads to the formation of NATO, and the world anticipates a new World War. The tension and uncertainty of the Cold War is unbearable.

Now is the time to choose which faction you will control and which strategies you will employ to safeguard your way of life and that of your country’s. As leader of the United States or the Soviet Union, you must make the correct decisions to successfully navigate your country through this dangerous historical era.

Supreme Ruler: Cold War is now available on all major digital download portals with the suggested retail price of $29.99 USD. Take a peek beyond the iron curtain and the wealth of strategy features available to ambitious world leaders, in the release trailer for Supreme Ruler: Cold War.

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Supreme Ruler: Cold War Features:

  • Play as the United States or Soviet Union in Campaign Mode
  • Control any Nation in Post-World War II Era in Sandbox Mode
  • Use Diplomacy, Trade and Espionage to influence the policies of other nations
  • Research new Technologies to give your nation an edge
  • Grow and Modernize your Economy
  • Control Military production and deployment, or let your Ministers take care of the details
  • Experience the redesigned GUI with improved On-Map feedback and streamlined controls
  • And when Diplomacy Fails… Sophisticated Real-Time Strategic and Tactical Control of your Military Forces!
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20th July 2011

School 26 Summer of Secrets Now on iTunes

Silicon Sisters InteractiveSilicon Sisters Interactive would like to let you know that School 26: Summer of Secrets is now available for iPhone, iPod touch ($2.99), and iPad ($4.99). This is the second installment in the School 26 series of social mastery games designed for teen and tween girls.

In School 26: Summer of Secrets, the gossip is flying faster than ever as high schooler Kate and her friends get ready for the hottest concert of the summer. (Road trip!) Use emotional intelligence and social savvy to draw School 26 Summer of Secretsout your friends’ secrets — then tactfully share what you’ve learned. If you succeed, you’ll help sparring friends make peace, establish love connections, and get the whole crew psyched for the big Battle of the Bands competition. Dish the dirt with the wrong people and you might gain a rep as the school blabbermouth.

“Our first School 26 game was about fitting in at a new school. Now that Kate has a network of friends, Summer of Secrets is more about being yourself and seeing the impact of your choices,” says Silicon Sisters co-founder Kirsten Forbes. “As you play, the game tracks your decisions and presents you with a personality profile based on your playing style. So while you’re helping Kate sort out all of these secrets, you’ll also learn something about yourself.”

To learn more about the School 26 games and become part of the growing fan community, visit School 26 on Facebook or follow along on Twitter.

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20th July 2011

Arkadium Expands Into Toronto

I wish I’d known this yesterday morning when I was at Casual Connect, because I could have had a chat with the Arkadium booth representatives. Apparently it may be time for me to start a serious contemplation of acquiring either a smartphone or a tablet with web access – in the not-too-distant future, budget permitting.

arkadiumArkadium, one of the largest providers of game solutions for some of the biggest brands in the world, is opening the doors to its first Canadian office in Toronto.  With offices already established in New York, Los Angeles and Ukraine, the new Toronto office will focus on HTML5 and iOS development – with the goal of bringing ten new games to market in the next 12 months.  Arkadium will be drawing from the extensive local talent pool in Toronto to staff the office and will be actively hiring in the next few months.

“With mobile game market sales anticipated to grow to $11.7 billion by 2014, it’s the perfect time for us to have a dedicated team focused on our mobile efforts,” said Kenny Rosenblatt, CEO of Arkadium.”  We’re excited to bring new IP to the iPad and Android and to port our library of 300+ games to HTML5, insuring their continued enjoyment for the foreseeable future.”

Arkadium has been creating online casual games for over ten years, and recently expanded and found success with social game development.  As new channels emerge and gain wide market penetration, this mobile initiative aligns with the company’s goal to bring the best of casual online games to consumers wherever they are.

The Toronto expansion is a result of a collaboration with the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Trade in partnership with the Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance (GTMA).  The financial support offered by the Ontario Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit (OIDMTC) administered by Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) were key factors.

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