lørdag 13. mars 2010

Week in review: Modern Warfare 2’s Stimulus Package, OnLive’s launch date

Here’s our roundup of the week’s business and tech news. First, the most popular stories published in the last seven days:
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 announces Stimulus Package for Xbox Live — Activision announced during the Game Developers Conference that “the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Stimulus Package will strike worldwide on March 30.” The name Stimulus Package is a potentially confusing tie-in to President Obama’s economic plan — sorry, you can’t get paid to play Modern Warfare yet. But the downloadable content package for Xbox consoles includes the first new multiplayer maps for what has been called the biggest entertainment launch in history, Infinity Ward’s Modern Warfare 2.
The making and unmaking of Infinity Ward — Speaking of Infinity Ward, which VentureBeat’s Dean Takahashi called one of the best videogame studios ever founded, is the company’s implosion is the latest chapter in a long saga intertwined with the history of combat video games. A lawsuit filed by the studio’s co-founders last week against parent company Activision Blizzard was a sad milestone at a studio that has come to be cherished by millions of hardcore game fans.
The ‘Mario of Facebook’ is yet to come — Gareth Davis, the platform manager in charge of Games at Facebook, delivered a keynote speech at the Game Developers Conference where he told the audience that, despite the success of FarmVille, the killer social game is still “out there”.
Bump Technologies closes in on 10 million downloads — At the beginning of this week, Sequoia-backed Bump Technologies was closing in on 10 million downloads for its nifty contact- and data-sharing app. It lets you literally bump two phones together and pass contact information like phone numbers, names, and e-mail addresses between them.
The New York Times is hiring 12 techies and a social media whiz — While pundits climb over each other to predict the death of The New York Times Company, the NYT is looking to hire at least a dozen full-time software engineers and Web designers, plus one social media marketing manager.
And here are five more stories we think are important, thought-provoking, or fun:
OnLive sets launch date for June, names subscription price and supporting game publishers — After eight years of preparation, games-on-demand startup OnLive announced at our GamesBeat@GDC event its plans to launch its subscription service for online games using its novel cloud-based gaming technology.
Mobile game makers: Windows vs. OS X is over, Android vs. iPhone has just begun — One thing seemed clear during Wednesday’s mobile games panel at GamesBeat@GDC: Mobile is the next competitive frontier in the game industry. The big battle between PCs and Macs is fading into the background, replaced by a new (even more hostile) face-off between Android and the iPhone OS.
Apple’s iPad preorders are a go, limit two per customer – Apple finally opened the floodgates for iPad preorders. You can now preorder the tablet at the Apple online store for free home delivery on its launch day, April 3.
Twitter lets users geotag tweets directly from Twitter.com — Twitter has turned on a feature that lets users geotag tweets directly from the web site. So now you don’t have to rely on mobile apps like Tweetie to triangulate where you are. The move should help add location data to a greater share of conversations flowing through the microblogging network, and should also enrich local discovery and search.
What’s next for Google’s App Marketplace: Contextual gadgets and more — A few hours before Google officially announced its Apps Marketplace, I had a chance to interview someone at Google and a partner company about the news. They offered more details and also hinted at where the marketplace is going from here.
Tags: Modern Warfare 2
Companies: activision, Apple, Bump Technologies, Facebook, Google, Infinity Ware, OnLive, The New York Times, Twitter
People: Gareth Davis

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