Gamescom 2011 Roundup: Social & Mobile Highlights
Windows Phone to Gain Xbox LIVE Games & Features — Microsoft previewed several Xbox LIVE games and features for the Windows Phone at Gamescom. Features include Avatar Awardables (unlockable Xbox LIVE avatar items), Game Add-ons via in-app purchases with Microsoft Points, Parental Controls, and Fast Async (improved synchronous and asynchronous multiplayer). Fourteen new games were also announced, including Bug Village, Burn the Rope, and Gravity Guy.
Sony Reveals New Social Applications for PS Vita — Sony announced several new social enhancements to its mobile platform, the PlayStation Vita. At their press conference, they announced the integration of Facebook, Twitter, Skype, and Foursquare.
Battlefield 3 for iPhone Previewed — One of the few mobile games displayed at Gamescom last week was Electronic Arts’ and DICE’s Battlefield 3: Aftershock for the iOS. Pocket Gamer notes that the military first-person-shooter hosts no traditional campaign/story mode, but does contain single-player challenges and multiplayer via EA’s new Origin platform.
[image via Pocket Gamer]
According to Digital Spy, an EA representative stated that The Sims Social will be getting a mobile companion app. Players will be able to access the game via java-supported mobile handsets such as Android.
iQU Launches Online Games Analytics & Marketing Service — VentureBeat covered the demo of a new marketing and analytics platform for online games from iQU. The company is a data intelligence firm and states that it can better help with game marketing due to its larger database of gamers and how they act within the social, mobile, and web spaces.
Activision States Social Game Company Valuations are “Out of Whack” — Activision-Blizzard believes that the valuations of social game companies are a bit too high. According to Bloomberg, CEO Eric Hirshberg stated in an interview that “valuations of some of the companies in that space are out of whack, so that’s an issue when it comes to acquisitions.” Nevertheless, Activision is planning to methodically move into the space (no official announcements regarding Facebook games have been made) and is slated to introduce a social network for players in Call of Duty with “Call of Duty Elite.”
Through Call of Duty Elite, players will be able connect with other users and play with people that share similar interests and skill levels. They will also be able to compete in community tournaments and view short films (“webisodes”) based on the game.