Futuremark has some good news for all you benchmarking braggarts looking for new scores to boast in your favorite forum(s). Following what turned out to be a short delay, the much anticipated 3DMark 11 has gone gold.
3DMark 11 is the latest addition to Futuremark's GPU benchmarking suite and is designed for testing DirectX 11 hardware through six all new tests. There are three versions to choose from:
3DMark 11 Basic Edition: Free download offering an unlimited number of benchmark runs using the performance preset
3DMark 11 Advanced Edition: Offers all presets, custom settings, benchmark looping, unlimited online results storage, offline results management, and a few other goodies for $20.
3DMark 11 Professional Edition: The only edition licensed for commercial use. Includes all features, such as command automation, an image quality tool, logo-free demo looping, and priority support. This one runs $995.
New features added to 3DMark 11 include additional language support (including German, Simplified and Traditional Chinese, and Finnish), a native DirectX 11 engine, open source Bullet Physics library, and an improved online service.
In a recent interview with Google's AdMob, Rovio's Peter Vesterbacka said they expect to net about $1 million every month from the advertising supported Android version of Angry Birds. The free game has been downloaded 5-7 million times since it launched just over 1 month ago. That's a lot of ads being served. On the iPhone, where Angry Birds started out, the app is a paid download with 12 million sales.
Vesterbacka also dropped some juicy stats on us in his chat with AdMob. Rovio is seeing an 80% retention rate, meaning that 80% of users continue updating the app, as opposed to removing it. Vesterbacka says they take great notice of these sorts of figures. It was not Rovio's intention to just make a "throwaway app" that they released and never updated. So they encourage users to keep playing by releasing updates.
Rovio is expected to offer Android users a payment option to remove the ads in the near future. We hope they continue being so forthcoming with their revenue when that is rolled out. Do you think they will continue seeing huge earnings from Angry Birds over time?
War. War never changes.” OK, actually, that’s not entirely true. If Fallout’s gravelly voiced narrator were really a stickler for accuracy, he’d probably amend his catchphrase to read: “War. War changes slightly.” Make no mistake: Fallout: New Vegas is not Fallout 4. And in that respect, its greatest strength is also its most crippling weakness. See, everything you loved about Fallout 3 is still present in New Vegas—and some of it’s better than it’s ever been. Unfortunately, tiny flaws that plagued Fallout 3 also stuck around for New Vegas, and they’ve festered to become ugly scars on an otherwise excellent experience.
You have to hand it to Rovio for finding alternative ways to squeeze revenue from its Angry Birds game, which it recently released to the Android Market as a free download.
Available now but in limited quantities, Rovio is selling a collection of Angry Birds plush toys. There are nine in all to choose from, each one commanding $15. That works out to $135 for the whole lot, and you know there will be some super fans out there who absolutely have to have the entire set.
Unfortunately, even though you can order them now, they won't actually ship until January. That's a bummer if you were hoping to sneak one (or 15) under the Christmas tree / Hanukkah Menorah, etc.
Never let it be said the life of a videogame developer is easy. In an interview with Develop Online, Bioware founders Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk talked about what they've been up to lately and a handful of other topics, but one of the most interesting answers came when asked what disappoints them about the games industry today.
"There's too many games released today," Muzyka complained. "It's interesting, because it's very, very busy, it makes it very hard as a player to keep up. The releases clump up -- even though that is changing a little bit.
"For us, we have to play our games, play competitor's games, play other relevant games, and play the handful of games we just really want to play more of and finish. I try and play two or three hours a night, but that's hard it's not enough."
Rough life, eh? You can read the full interview here.
Millions of Android users have now had a chance to see what all the fuss is about surrounding Angry Birds, the popular mobile app previously only available via Apple's App Store and Ovi. Since launching in the Android Market, Angry Birds has racked up 7 million downloads on the open source platform, Rovio confirmed in a Twitter post.
If you're an Android user, you have reason to gloat. Angry Birds is a 99 cent app for the iPhone and iPod touch, and $2.99 on the iPad. But on Android, it's free. The reason?
That leaves the Windows Phone 7 platform, but don't get your hopes up for a 2010 release. When asked if it's going to happen, the Twitter-happy company responded, "never say never, but it's highly unlikely."
You wouldn't think we'd need to post a PSA warning people against eating their World of Warcraft Authenticator, but it just so happens that's exactly what one gamer did.
"I was sitting in my chair and biting into my authenticator while thinking about several RP related story arcs that I have planned," a WoW player wrote on the game's official forums. "I swivel around in my chair and presume to fall off it and shoot the authenticator into my mouth and down my throat.
"I have drank some of that stuff that makes you vomit, but I'm apparently resistant to a whole bottle of it. I am curious on what I should do."
Whether or not he was whoring for attention, we don't know, but he did get some solid advice. "Get off the Internet and call medical services," one poster replied. "I would recommend chewing gum over authenticators. If you're feeling like something more like food, apples work well also," another poster commented.
Researchers from the Department of Psychology at the Yale University School of Medicine in West Haven, Connecticut, surveyed 4,028 adolescents about "gaming and reported problems with gaming and other health behaviors." A little over half (51.2 percent) reported gaming, and of those nearly a third (29.2 percent) were girls.
Nothing surprising so far, but get this:
"There were no negative health correlates of gaming in boys and lower odds of smoking regularly; however, girls who reported gaming were less likely to report depression and more likely to report getting into serious fights and carrying a weapon to school," according to the survey.
What's more, 4.9 percent of respondents reported "problematic gaming," which the survey defines as trying to cut back, experiencing an irresistible urge to play, and experience a growing tension that can only be relieved by playing.
We do, however, have to the give the study's authors credit for not making any wild claims about violence in videogames or twisting the results of the survey.
"The prevalence of problematic gaming is low but not insignificant, and problematic gaming may be contained within a larger spectrum of externalizing behaviors," the study concludes. "More research is needed to define safe levels of gaming, refine the definition of problematic gaming, and evaluate effective prevention and intervention strategies."
Trying to track down a list of “five game mods you must download right now” is a lot like trying to choose your five top games of all time. Sure, your list might be impressive—maybe even awesome—but you’re still going to get a heap of contenders sobbing in the corner at your refusal to acknowledge their almost-noteworthy existences. And nobody likes bawling boxed titles.
So let that be a warning to you, fun-loving gamer who continues to read this article. I’m covering freeware game modifications this time around—freeware, obviously, because I doubt your average enthusiast is going to risk the wrath of a developer’s fury because he or she is selling blood, sweat, and tears in the form of a $5 game add-on. As well, I’m not just looking at maps, or other whip-dip little tweaks. I’m talking about huge transformations that range from, “making this game playable in the modern era” to “wow, I want to go back and revisit this title because it is now sweet.”
I’m paraphrasing, of course. But you get the idea.
But as I mentioned, narrowing down to a list of five is near-impossible. So if you don’t have an affinity for the Infinity Engine (including Baldur’s Gate and Planescape: Torment), Sins of a Solar Empire, Fallout 3, TIE Fighter/X-Wing Alliance, or Half-Life 2… you might want to sit this one out. Otherwise, let’s get real.
Jon Jacobs spent five years managing a virtual space station in Entropia Universe, a Swedish-made MMORPG in which gamers can purchase in-game currency and convert it back to real-world dollars at a fixed exchange rate. So how did that work out for Jacobs? Really well, apparently. All told, Jacobs cashed out with $635,000 by selling his in-game properties, the largest chunk being a $335,000 slice of real estate.
If that sounds insane, well, that's because it is. So much so that Forbes went and tracked down the dude who shelled out well over a quarter of a million dollars for virtual property. His name is Yan Panasjuk, and according to Forbes, all the funds came out of his own pocket. So why do it?
"When motion pictures were first invented there were a lot of critics saying that is a novelty act and it would never amount to anything nor will be able to make any real money once the novelty wears off -- last time I checked Avatar grossed $2.7 billion worldwide," Panasjuk explained to Forbes in an email. "Most recent example is MTV and Internet but then you know those stories well enough. Virtual Universe is the next logical step in world entertainment and although there are a lot of critics and people shaking heads it is here to stay and take its ranks among the greats."
Maybe he's on to something. Before selling off his virtual property, which was called "Club Neverdie," Jacobs was making $200,000 a year from sales of virtual goods and services.