Tuesday, June 16, 2009

EA - Pre Order Madden NFL 10 at GameStop And Get An Exclusive Demo

EA have announced that people who pre-order Madden NFL 10 at GameStop will get access to an exclusive demo for the game which features four, 5-minute quarters in an game between the Arizona Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers. this offer is for both the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 Pre Orders.

Press Release

GRAPEVINE, Texas --(Business Wire)-- Jun 16, 2009 Fifty-nine days and counting until your football video game dreams come true with the return of Madden NFL. And nowhere else but GameStop (NYSE: GME), the world's largest video game and entertainment software retailer, can you get your hands on a playable demo featuring four, 5-minute quarters in an epic rematch between the Arizona Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers. Customers who pre-order Madden NFL 10 for PlayStation3 and Xbox 360 at GameStop will receive the exclusive demo pitting the teams of cover athletes Larry Fitzgerald and Troy Polamalu against one another.
Customers will receive a code at the time of reservation to relive the incredible final game of the 2008 NFL season. Codes will be in-stores by July 15 and the demo is slated to go live by the end of July on Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network. Customers can reserve their copy in-stores or online. For more information or to find a store near you, log on to www.gamestop.com.
Madden NFL 10 is available at GameStop stores nationwide Aug. 14, 2009 on the Xbox 360, PlayStation3, PlayStation2, PSP and Nintendo Wii platforms.
Experience first-hand what it’s like to Fight for Every Yard in Madden NFL 10. With the all-new Pro-Tak™ animation technology, players have more control over the outcome of each play. Whether driving a receiver towards the first down, or battling for a fumble at the bottom of a pile, the play won’t end until the whistle blows. Add to that the most immersive broadcast presentation and online innovation to date, and Madden NFL 10 captures the authenticity and emotion of the NFL like never before.
About GameStop Corp.
Headquartered in Grapevine, TX, GameStop Corp., a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company, is the world's largest video game and entertainment software retailer. The company operates 6,244 retail stores in 17 countries worldwide. The company also operates an e-commerce site, GameStop.com, and publishes Game Informer(R) magazine, a leading multi-platform video game publication. GameStop Corp. sells new and used video game software, hardware and accessories for video game systems from Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft. In addition, the company sells PC entertainment software, related accessories and other merchandise. General information on GameStop Corp. can be obtained at the company's corporate website: http://www.gamestopcorp.com.

Sony Online Entertainment - Everquest II Update brings Kurn's Tower to Norrath

Sony Online Entertainment have announced that the new game update for Everquest II will bring the true Tower of Kurn to Norrath. the update brings 80 new quests, Player Written books, which act like normal books, and new Charasis Quests.
The Update is set to hit June 16th.

Press Release

WHAT: EverQuest® II’s game update, Monument and Might reveals the true appearance of Kurn’s Tower to Norrath; panicking the inhabitants of Kunark and intriguing adventurers to its doors. A new void anchor emanates from the tower, as if a ghastly chord has tied its fate with the invading void. A warlord from a far-off land has turned his conquering eye upon the lands of Kunark and will stop at nothing to find a great power that may lie just within the tower’s walls!

• Let someone else do the work for you! Monument and Might introduces Research Assistants which allow players to train their spells up to higher grades one at a time! They are available around Qeynos and Freeport, Neriak, Haven, Gorowyn, and Kelethin. Check out the research guild hall amenity that allows you to access the research system in the comfort of your own house or guild hall!
• More than 80 new quests in the Rise of Kunark overland zones!
• Player-written books - Leave your permanent mark in Norrath by writing and distributing books! Books look and act just like the current books in the game, and you can hold them in your inventory or place them in your house or guild hall for other players to read. Read Rothgar’s blog about user-written books here!
• All-new Charasis West Wing group quests!

WHEN: The Monument and Might game update is scheduled to go live on June 16, 2009.

ABOUT SOE: Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE) is a recognized worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online games, with hundreds of thousands of subscribers around the globe. SOE creates, develops and provides compelling entertainment for the personal computer, online, game console and wireless markets. Known for its blockbuster franchises and hit titles including EverQuest®, EverQuest® II, Champions of Norrath®, Untold Legends™, and PlanetSide®, as well as for developing Star Wars Galaxies™, SOE continues to redefine the business of online gaming and the creation of active player communities while introducing new genres on various entertainment platforms. Headquartered in San Diego, CA, with additional development studios in Austin, TX; Seattle, WA; Denver, CO; Tucson, AZ and Taiwan, SOE has an array of cutting-edge games in development.

EA - NHL 10 Fact Sheet Released

EA have releases a Fact Sheet for NHL 10 detailing product description, Key Features and the products specification for the game.

Fact Sheet

Product Description

The hopes of a franchise and its fans rest on your shoulders as you skate onto the ice to a deafening roar from towel-waving fans in an arena alive with the dreams of thousands. Here’s your chance to prove you are tough enough to battle the most skilled and determined athletes in the world in pursuit of the ultimate prizethe Stanley Cup Championship. Prove your resolve, inspire your teammates and write your own history with NHL®10 from EA SPORTS™.

A platinum-selling* franchise annually with 19 sports game of the year awards since 2007, NHL 10 begins a new era with gameplay innovations that deliver a new standard of toughness, the emotion of playoff hockey, and the skill and finesse that every fan sees throughout the NHL playoffs.

Winning one-on-one battles for possession of the puck along the boards is now a test of will and skill. Utilizing an all-new board physics engine, players can use their body to shield the puck on the boards and kick-pass it to teammates. Watch bigger, stronger players pin opponents to the boards while fanatical fans bang the glass, just like real life. Dump the puck, fore-check defenders and finish checks to intimidate your opponent into mistakes. Players fatigue, bobble passes, and avoid collisions under threat of constant physical pressure. Inspire teammates, send a message and change the momentum of a game by instigating scrums, drawing penalties, and mixing it up—all after the referee blows the whistle! A new first-person fighting engine enables players to trade punches with an NHL tough guy. Feel what it’s like to be on the ice in the skates of an NHL player to throw and dodge punches. Grab and tug an opponent’s jersey to land the punch that ignites the fans and sparks your team to victory.

NHL 10 features more than 200 gameplay refinements that replicate the skill and finesse of hockey, spectacular new ways to score, and improved goaltender intelligence. A new 360° precision passing mechanic delivers control over the speed and direction of passes so players can bank passes off the boards or play the puck into space for teammates to skate on to it. Experience all-new interactive crowds with towel-waving fans, glass bangers and crowds that react to the action. Prove you are tough enough to quiet the crowd, silence the opposition and survive a playoff run to lift the Stanley Cup in NHL 10.

Additional new modes, and innovations to major features like Be A Pro, EA SPORTS Hockey League and Dynasty Mode, will be revealed in the coming months.

Key Features

  • Battle on the Boards A new board play physics engine lets you shield the puck with your body along the boards, kick-pass it to teammates, or pin an opponent, adding a new level of realism to cycling the puck and the dump and chase. AI teammates will support the puck and help you win the battle as fans bang on the glass.

  • Intimidation Tactics— Fore-check defenders, pressure the puck and finish checks to force your opponent into mistakes. Players fatigue, bobble passes, and avoid collisions under threat of physical pressure. Face wash a superstar to provoke the opposition, instigate a scrum and ignite the crowd.

  • Post-Whistle Action—Now, the game never stops! Antagonize opposing players, finish checks, retaliate for late shots on goal, draw penalties and pick fights—all after the referee blows the whistle!

  • New 1st Person Fighting Engine Change the momentum of a game by trading blows with an NHL enforcer with all-new first-person fighting. Grab and tug an opponent’s jersey to land a big punch. Face wash an opponent to start a fight even after the whistle.

  • New Precision PassingA new 360° precision passing mechanic delivers control over the speed and direction of passes so players can bank passes off the boards or play the puck into space for teammates to skate on to it. Players take poor passes off their skates and kick the puck to their sticks.

  • Spectacular GoalsIntroducing spectacular new ways to score, like players one-timing loose pucks, stick-handling and shooting from their knees, batting pucks out of the air and lifting a leg to fake a shot on goal.

  • Improved Goalie Intelligence Goaltenders position themselves more intelligently, react to shots more quickly and recover from saves faster. Plus, 250 new goalie animations, including swatting pucks out of the air, second and third saves and desperation lunges.

  • Interactive Atmosphere— Playoff atmosphere pops to life with towel-waving fans, deafening noise and crowds that react and respond to the action on the ice. Fanatical fans bang glass during board play, spring to their feet after big hits, and boo opposing stars when they handle the puck.

  • Next-Level authenticity— Over 200 gameplay refinements, including new offensive and defensive AI for more intelligent positioning, and new in-game facial animations that show player emotion when delivering bone-crunching checks or celebrating game-winning goals.

Product Specifications

Publisher: Electronic Arts Inc.

Developer: EA Canada

Online Players: 2-12

Offline Players: 1-7 (PS3); 1-4 (Xbox 360)

Rating: Rating Pending

* More than 1 million units sold in 2008 according to NPD.

INTERNET CONNECTION required for online play.

© 2009 Electronic Arts Inc. All rights reserved. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. NHL is a registered trademark and the NHL Shield is a trademark of the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved. AHL is a registered trademark and the AHL Logo is a trademark of the American Hockey League.

EA -NHL 10 Producer Discusses Fighting Mechanic - Press Release

EA have released information about the fighting mechanic in NHL 10 where the Producer discusses it.
What is made Clear In the article is how bad they thought fighting was in NHL 09. they wanted to make changes and try to make the fighting more a part of the gameplay whilst keeping it true to the sport.
They discuss how they developed the new mechanic, how they tried different things, and how a chance encounter with the Edmonton Oilers bought about real progress.
They talk in-depth about how it works, and in comparison to real hockey, what it looks like, and what buttons are used in game.

Press Release

NHL 10 -- First-Person Fighting and Intimidation
First and foremost, let me say that we heard you loud and clear. Fighting in NHL 09 was not good enough. It was basically a bad, one off mini-game that meant nothing to gameplay. As we sat down to discuss the feature set for NHL10, fighting was at the top of the list. Initially, we weren’t 100% clear where we wanted to go with fighting but we did know a couple things.

1.Fighting had to be overhauled.
2.We had to innovate.
3.We had to make fighting true to the sport.

We actually stayed in a brainstorming phase for a good couple of weeks. We had lots of great ideas and prototypes (some of which you’ll see in future versions of NHL so I won’t spill the beans right now) but our true turning point came just before Christmas when the Edmonton Oilers were coming to Vancouver to play against the Canucks. A couple of the Oilers were interested in coming by our EA office to get a glimpse of where NHL is made. Fortunately for us, one of those players just happened to be Zack Stortini. Who better to talk fighting with than a real NHL tough guy. We did the whole tour thing and showed them how we take motion capture data and get it into the game. I had the chance to grab Zack and talk one-on-one about fighting. The first thing I asked is how much strategy is involved in a hockey fight. Within seconds, we had each other by the collar and he was shoving me around.

“If I fight a bigger guy, I do this…”
“If I fight a smaller guy, I do that…”
“If I fight a lefty, I dodge this way…’
“If I get a chance. I try to tug and get the guy off balance…”
“If the guy says something about my mom, then I go crazy on him…” (he didn’t actually say this one but we did have some great conversations about some of the ‘conversations’ that happen on the ice)

you get the picture…Zack basically rag dolled me as I took mental notes of how I could apply all of this knowledge to create a compelling gameplay mechanic for fighting.
When I boiled down all that I had learned, I came up with a two-tiered fighting mechanic. Layer one is dodging left and right vs Right Stick punching. If your opponent dodged to his left (your right), you would have to move the RS to ~2 O’clock in order to hit his head and for dodges the other direction, you would punch towards 10 O’clock. If two guys wanted to stand in and go toe to toe, they could both push straight up on the RS and see who had the better aim.
The second tier of the fighting mechanic is a power punch vs tug and upper cut. Pulling back on the RS will put your player into a position to deliver a power punch that does much more damage than the regular straights. If you notice your opponent winding up for a power punch, you can tug him forward and get him out of that pose by pulling down on the Left Stick, then deliver an upper cut by pushing up on the Right Stick.

With a mechanic in hand, we had to figure out how to make this experience truly unique and give something that had never been seen in hockey game before. With the success of last year’s Be A Pro where our goal was to put you in the skates of a professional hockey player, we decided that the next logical step was for us to put you in the skates of fighter. With that, first person fighting in NHL 10 was born.

With number 1 & 2 checked off the list, we were still left with the task of making fighting true to the sport. Again, Zack Stortini was a huge help in giving us a better understanding of why fights happen and when they occur. He also spoke to what a good fight was versus a bad fight and what kind of effect fighting had on his teammates. If we wanted capture the true essence of being a tough guy in the NHL, we had to incorporate these points into gameplay and have it make a difference. We needed to capture why having a good 3rd and 4th line is important in hockey and even more so, in the playoffs. There has never been a reason to play your 3rd or 4th line in our game but NHL10 is going to change that.

One re-occurring theme that our fight discussions kept coming back to was intimidation. Intimidation is a huge part of hockey and will definitely be part of NHL10. Just to be clear, I’m not talking about gimmicky meters or unauthentic HUD elements. I’m talking about authentic gameplay effects and behavior changes. Using your tough guys and grinders to finish your checks will start to wear down and intimidate the players on the other team. The first, second or third big hit might not cause a turnover but eventually you will notice intimidated players rushing passes and D-men slapping the puck around the boards after dump ins instead of trying to pick up the puck and make a tape to tape pass. You’ll also see intimidated players bobble pass receptions if they’re about to be hit. When you notice that your players are being intimidated, that’s your cue to get a tough guy out on the ice and try to start a fight to stand up for your team and mitigate your team’s intimidation level.

Other good times to fight and try to spark your team is when you’re down by a goal or two. By the same token, if you’re up by a goal or two, you probably don’t want to take a fight and risk giving the other team a spark (although I think it’s pretty fun to beat someone on the scoreboard and in a fight).

The CPU will also have different fight styles so if you’re fighting a Tough Guy, they’re more likely to stand in and try to go toe to toe but if you’re fighting a player that is less likely to fight, you can expect them to dodge and avoid punches then try and pick their spots with quick counter punches. And….If you end up in a fight with a player that you don’t want to risk injury to (yes, you can get injured from fighting this year), press the LT + RT to turtle.
About a month ago, Zack came back to our office and I showed him what became of our early conversations about fighting. He loved the authenticity of the fighting in our game and how we were also capturing the reasons behind fighting, intimidation and the notion of good versus bad fights. I won’t go into too much detail here because as we captured some video of that day so you’ll be able to hear from Zack himself.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter (NHL10).
Sean Ramjagsingh, NHL 10 Gameplay Producer

EA - Wii Grand Slam Tennis Party Mode QandA - Press Release

EA have released a QandA with he producer for Grand Slam Tennis on the Wii. they discuss the Party Mode in the game. The mode enables up to 4 players at a time to play tennis party games. these include games where you have to win a rally, 2 on 1 games, and a game where you have to use the Drop/Lob shot to win.
These games were developed with help from Tennis academies and Tennis Schools to make them relevant to tennis but also fun.

Press Release

Producer Q&A with Thomas Singleton - Tennis Party

What was the concept behind Tennis Party mode in Grand Slam Tennis?
Tennis Party mode was created primarily because Wii platform is the social platform of all platforms. So we wanted to create the experience of tennis experiences where people would get together and play simultaneously. The concept was taking tennis academy type of games that exist within the real world that are authentic to the game of tennis and providing that same experience within our gaming environment. Games like Aussie doubles or tag team doubles where you not only have a great time socially interacting with others, but you’re also increasing your tennis abilities along the way.

Why will people like Tennis Party?
People will love the Tennis Party mode for its social aspect; that’s the main reason you play that mode. It’s great to play on your own but it’s more fun to experience Grand Slam Tennis with others and tennis party is the best location to get that experience.

How many people can play?
At any one time, up to four players can play. You could have an infinite number of people rotating because it’s fun to watch as well.

How many different Party games are there?
There are three different party types: “Own the Party” where players who win a party game own that game on the party circuit of games. “Random Games” where the games you play are selected at random. “Double Up” where select games certain games are worth double points for the winner. Among those party types, there are seven core unique rule twist games that deliver rewarding ways to experience the Total Racket Control system, with each bringing a new and unique dynamic to the game. Those rule twists include:

Tag Team: 2 on 2 with players rotating and taking turns hitting the ball

Aussie Doubles: 2 on 1 and the players rotate after each set

Stop, Drop and Lob: use the drop shot and lob winners for double points

Champs vs Chumps: time based game, take turns swinging, win the rally to become a champ

King of the Court: beat the king to become king, only the king earns points

Netmasters: Net shots are worth double points

Triplets: Similar to Aussie doubles where (2 on 1) but the players do not rotate around

How did you come up with the skill challenges?
Our team consulted with people who run tennis venues. To keep with the authenticity to the sport, we employed people in tennis schools and tennis academies to come up with various games. We wanted deliver games that are authentic to tennis; games you would play on the actual tennis court, but are fun and social.

SCEE - Sony Will Continue To Sponser the UEFA Champions League Untill 2012 - Press Release

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe have announced that they are continuing to sponserthe UEFA Champions league until 2012 and also sponsoring the UEFA Super Cup until 2011.

Press Release

London, 16th June 2009: Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) today announced that it has extended its sponsorship agreement with UEFA for the UEFA Champions League until 2012 and the UEFA Super Cup in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
Having been involved with the UEFA Champions League as a sponsor for the past nine years, the renewal of the agreement for Europe’s most prestigious club football competition is yet another example of the commitment shown by SCEE toward the area of football.
“Football has been in our blood for a very long time and is something that along with unique and entertaining games excites PlayStation® fans,” said Darren Carter Vice President, Consumer Marketing, SCEE. “The UEFA Champions League offers us an opportunity to talk to football fans around the world, especially throughout Europe and by combining the incredible content of the UEFA Champions League with the diverse features of PlayStation products, we feel that we can bring football to our community in ways no one else can.”
Commenting on the agreement, David Taylor, UEFA General Secretary, said:
"We are very pleased that such a global player has chosen to renew its agreement with UEFA and with the UEFA Champions League. This extension proves what a strong relationship we have and that the UEFA Champions League continues to be an important part of PlayStation’s communication strategy.
"We are sure that the UEFA Champions League sponsorship platform will provide PlayStation with excellent opportunities to develop their prestigious and well-known brand, and that it will also foster the link between the UEFA Champions League and the fan base of the PlayStation products.”

EA - FIFA 10 Developer Blog 1

EA have released the first, of what i assume to be many, Blog post regarding the new FIFA 10. In the Blog, they discuss the changes they are making to the FIFA series over last years game, whilst discussing how they listened to critisism about FIFA 09, what some exploits where and what is being done about it in FIFA 10. the gameplay as a whole is going to be refined, whilst they discuss how the game will innovate in cool ways.
They mention that there are more features yet to be announced in the game, that will be unvieled throughout June, July and August.

Blog Post

Blog - 1

David Rutter, Line Producer
FIFA 10 X360 & PS3

By now you should have heard a fair amount about what’s in store for FIFA 10. I’ll cover them again here shortly – but we’ve a lot more coming soon too. Throughout the end of June I’ll be visiting London, Paris, Munich, Madrid, Milan, Warsaw and Moscow to get our game in front of more journalists and unveil a number of additional new features we have deliberately not mentioned yet. And during 19th to 23rd August we’ll be proudly showing the game at the Gamescom in Cologne with some more new features.
Anyway, back to the here and now.

We’re really proud of FIFA 09. Quality wise the game was up there, but being football and football game fanatics we’re never satisfied. So with FIFA 10 we wanted to address 3 key things.
1-Refine our gameplay
2-Respond to feedback from our Fans
3-Innovate in some really cool ways.

About 70% of our effort went on the first 2 items, whilst the remaining 30% was spent on the very cool new innovations we have already revealed and others that we will be revealing in the coming months.

Taking each in turn

Refining our Game
When we look at FIFA 09 the overall quality of the gameplay is good. We’ve been building our ‘Next Gen’ gameplay for three years, and we have managed to address most of our fundamentals to a really satisfactory level. However there were still some frustrations – and we wanted to address them. Week in and week out when we watch real football games we see things that help us to identify how real football players behave, and express themselves on the pitch. With this in mind we focused on a heap of things this year, namely:
Urgency: We wanted to replicate the degrees of urgency on the pitch. When players aren’t involved in immediate ‘action’ they’re more relaxed. As play gets closer they become more alert and responsive to what’s going on around them. So in FIFA 10 this year you’ll see a lot of different motions being used dependent on the state of the play, and the ‘threat’ of the situation. We’ve also worked on new Face Ball logic, to ensure that players are correctly following the play and better prepared to react to the situation. This work even moves into players getting out of the way of teammates passes and shots, and players throwing themselves at the ball with effort – things like diving headers, sliding shots, falling clearances etc.

Trapping: Trapping is how the player gets into a position to control the ball, and how they control it. This year we wanted to get away from inappropriate ‘earliest’ trapping, where a player might move to a position where they would get the ball to touch them as soon as possible, to an ‘easiest’ trapping system, where players move to a position to get the ball under control as easily as possible. Essentially we gave the players more intelligence and awareness of where the most ‘natural’ trapping position is. The net result – a more responsive ball control mechanic to get the ball on the ground, and under control.

Positioning: This year we wanted to ensure that players had more awareness of where their teammates were. A new system call ‘Position Priority’ makes sure that Defensive Midfielders cover at the back if a Centre back has gone up for a corner – and they won’t leave their post until it’s safe for them to do so. Similarly in attack supporting players make more elaborate runs, analyzing space more effectively to curve, stay onside and create space for passes.

Passing: Yet again there was a lot of ‘threat’ analysis work going on. Passing players now have a greater understanding of the space ahead of teammates to make through balls more effective.

Shooting: We really wanted to improve the way the ball moves this year. So we created a tool that enables us to create a context sensitive shooting mechanic. What this means is we can tune the error on shots based on the situation. Factors during a shot like the ball, foot and movement of both now will have the correct effect on the ball and lead to some really cool looking shots.

Defending: We worked not just on the positioning as mentioned above, but also on the slide and standing tackles, and momentum on both. For slide tackling, good players now slide further, so you’ll have more reach. They also have better targeting – so you’ll generally go for the ball rather than the player. Obviously with more reach, you’ve got to time them better, otherwise you’ll be picking yourself up, as the attacker is bearing down on goal. The standing tackle, which was very powerful in 09, is now less forgiving. Defenders will use more momentum in these tackles, so again, if you miss time – you’ll be committed to the wrong direction.

Keepers: Lots of improvements here. We’ve looked at interception logic – calm and collected in low threat situations, through to punches under pressure. Again, lots of urgency work too. The keepers are now far more aggressive coming off their line, but if caught off their line they can scramble back to scoop the ball out of danger. We also worked on the goalies momentum to ensure his saves are realistic.

There’s a heap more too – and I’m sure in upcoming blogs by Creative Director Gary Paterson and gameplay producer Aaron McHardy they’ll be discussing these, and much more, in lots of detail.

Responding to Feedback:

So as I’m writing this we’re nearing the 300 millionth game of FIFA. What a number. And what a lot of feedback. For me feedback has taken 2 forms.

1 – Frustrations
2 – Requests

and I’ll take each in turn…

Frustrations: I’m on the forums a lot, posting and reading. There are a lot of people who love the game, and there are a lot of people who discover, report or exploit things in our game that they’re unhappy with. So, we really want to make the people who have legitimate gripes happy, and the exploiters play fair. Some of the things we’re changing are:

1.Stopping lofted through balls leading to 1 on 1 with the keeper.
2.Preventing goals being scored from kick off
3.Improving shooting so you don’t hit the woodwork so much
4.Making our movement animations look better
5.Working to make offsides less frequent and the advantage rule more intelligent
6.Starting to remove scripted graphical sequences and adding quick free kicks.

We’ve done a lot more too – but this should give you a sense of how much we are actually listening to the frustrations people are telling us about.

Requests: The second part of responding is requests. This year we’re proud to announce that we’re including a Practice Mode within FIFA 10. Using the Back/Select button from the 1 on 1 arena, you’ll be able to bring up a menu enabling you to choose to play a practice match or set pieces. You can change the number of players on each side, and a little blog exclusive here – it’s multiplayer too. Only locally though – you can’t have your online friends join your practice match. But 5 v 5 outfield players, on a full size pitch is now a reality


This year we really wanted to change the way the game played. One of the big things we wanted to do was firstly change the player control mechanic, but also to give people more freedom to express themselves realistically on the ball. We’ve managed to do this in 3 ways this year:

1. 360 Degree Dribbling
2.Skilled Dribbling
3.Freedom in Physical Play.

360 Degree Dribbling:
Believe it or not the players in FIFA 09 could only move in 8 directions. Up/Down, Left/Right and Diagonals. You might not have noticed it, but at times this led to a feeling of frustration in the way players dribbled and turned with the ball. 360 Degree dribbling totally frees you from those 8 directional constraints. It’s the first time ever in a football game. Literally a super fluid way to move with the ball. We’ve introduced a larger area of ‘control’ in front of the players, wider dribble touches and a much more responsive and accurate pad reading system to allow you to go wherever you want. With practice it’s even possible to switch the ball from one foot to the other.

Skilled Dribbling
In addition to the 360 system above we wanted to give skilled dribblers the ability to rapidly move the ball laterally. Imagine you’re down near the corner flag and are being pressed by a defender. By pressing the top left bumper you can take rapid, high fidelity touches of the ball to jink left and right to throw defenders momentum. It’s also useful in other areas of the pitch. I like to think of it as a more accessible skill move.

Freedom in Physical Play:
With the wider dribble touches we added a new collision sharing system. In combination with the increased area of possession you’re looking at ‘overlapping’ areas of control. A true fight for possession when you’re shoulder to shoulder. It’s more varied, and when the players are evenly matched, can lead to some great extended and less predictable physical interactions on the pitch.
It’s not just all about gameplay though.

Manager Mode:
We’re fully aware on the team that Manager mode is HUGELY popular. Outside 1 v CPU and 1v1 play it’s the most played gamemode in the game. Using our ‘responding to feedback’ tag line, we just couldn’t ignore the volume of requests coming in to address a number of areas in this mode. We’ve improved 50 major components to Manager mode in the following areas:

1.Match Realism
3.Player Development
4.Football Atmosphere

Match Realism:
We’ve totally reworked our simulation engine. Results for Sim’d games are now generated minute by minute and are based on individual team strengths and weaknesses - down to the level of individual players, defensive, midfield and attacking lines, and formation. From the simulations we run here – we’re really happy with the realism of the results we’re generating, and our league tables look pretty believable too

Authentic Transfers:
In 09 we were guilty of using financial clout as the main decider for transfer success. This year there’s more decision points. Whilst money is still very important, career prospects and squad opportunity also play an important role in the success of a player’s decision. You’ll also have much more intelligent AI competing against you.

Player Developments:
We wanted to make sure that players developed believably for FIFA 10 – so we’ve invested heavily in making intelligent player growth curves based on a number of factors. These physical, mental and technical curves effect how well a player will develop, as well as where the developing player is based and how we’ll they’re performing.

Football Atmosphere:
The world of football is constantly changing, at a high and low level, and we wanted to inject some much needed authenticity here. You’ll see AI rotating squads based on match performance, have real-time transfer updates on a week by week basis and summaries of what’s going on in your football world.

The Future:
We’re looking at Manager mode as a multiyear investment for us. It’s going to take us a little while to get to a Manager mode that matches the quality of our on pitch gameplay – but we’re really committed to pulling this off

In Closing:
As I mentioned that’s about all I can talk about at the moment – and I know the guys here will be doing more in-depth blogs concerning their ‘features’ as the weeks and months go by. We’ll also be releasing more info on what’s going on regarding our other ‘unannounced features’ over the coming weeks too.

I’m looking forward to reading the feedback from this ‘blog’ and hope that you’re as excited about hearing this stuff, as we are making it



Majesco - Financial Results Show a Second Quarter Rise Of Over 60% to $20.5M - Press Release

Majesco have announced second Quarter profits of over 60% ($20.5M) for 2009, whereas in 2008 it was only $12.8M.
They achieved this by sticking to their plan of releasing games that are family friendly and casual. in 2009, 33 titles are expected to be released, 18 DS and 14 Wii.
Majesco have raised the expected profit from $75-$80M to $80-$85M.

Press Release

EDISON, N.J. - June 15, 2009 -- Majesco Entertainment Company (NASDAQ: COOL), an innovative provider of video games for the mass market, today reported financial results for the second quarter and six months ended April 30, 2009.

For the second quarter ended April 30, 2009, Majesco's net revenues increased 60.8 percent to $20.5 million versus $12.8 million in the same period a year ago. During this same period, the Company reported an operating loss of $0.6 million, compared to a $0.3 million loss in the second quarter of 2008. Non-GAAP operating income was $0.5 million versus non-GAAP operating income of $0.2 million in 2008. Net loss for the quarter was $1.7 million versus a net loss of $0.3 million in 2008. On a non-GAAP basis, net income for the quarter was $0.3 million compared to non-GAAP net income of $0.1 million last year.

The Company's basic and diluted net loss per share for the quarter ended April 30, 2009 was $0.06 compared to a net loss per basic and diluted share of $0.01 in the same period last year. Non-GAAP basic and diluted net income per share was $0.01 compared to $0.0 last year.
For the six months ended April 30, 2009, the Company's net revenues increased 69.8 percent to $53.4 million versus the year ago period. During this same period, the Company reported operating income of $3.1 million compared to operating income of $2.1 million in the same 2008 period. Non-GAAP operating income for the six month period was $5.3 million compared to $2.9 million for the comparable 2008 period. Net income through the first six months of fiscal 2009 was $2.5 million versus net income of $2.4 million in the comparable 2008 period. Non-GAAP net income was $4.5 million for the first six months of fiscal 2009 compared to $2.6 million in the same 2008 period.

The Company's basic and diluted earnings per share for the six months ended April 30, 2009 and the six months ended April 30, 2008 was $0.09. The Company's non-GAAP basic and diluted earnings per share for the six months ended April 30, 2009 was $0.16 compared to $0.09 in the comparable 2008 period.

Jesse Sutton, Chief Executive Officer of Majesco, said, "We delivered another impressive quarter as we continued to successfully execute on our business plan and capitalize on the strength of the family friendly, casual game market. Our revenue growth was driven by the continued strength of Jillian Michaels' Fitness Ultimatum 2009 and our Cooking Mamafranchise. During the quarter we launched Gardening Mama, our first brand extension of the Mama franchise, which delivered a solid performance and demonstrated the power of the Mama brand and its ability to extend beyond cooking. As expected, profitability in the quarter was dampened by our strategic marketing campaigns as we made investments to support the growth of our franchises and most promising titles. We believe the benefits of these investments will continue beyond the first half of 2009 and help drive future growth. Despite these investments, for the first six months of fiscal 2009 we delivered improved operating and net income on both a GAAP and non-GAAP basis. For the first six months, our non-GAAP operating income grew $2.4 million or 83 percent to $5.3 million, while our non-GAAP net income reached $4.5 million, an increase of $1.9 million or 75 percent.

"As a result of our success to date this year, and the strength of our release schedule for the rest of the fiscal year we have increased our revenue guidance for fiscal 2009 to $80 to $85 million. We remain focused on prudently managing our costs and are committed to delivering profitable growth. We have a proven strategy, are executing operationally and believe we have the right team in place to continue creating value for our shareholders over the long-term."
Financial Highlights

-- Second quarter 2009 net revenues for the U.S. were $20.3 million, an increase of $8.9 million or 78 percent compared to the same quarter last year. Second quarter 2009 international sales were $0.3 million, a decline of $1.1 million or 81 percent compared to the same period of 2008.
-- For the six months year-to-date, net revenues for the U.S. were $52.0 million, an increase of $22.2 million or 74 percent compared to the same period last year. International sales for the same period declined $0.3 million or 17 percent compared to the same period last year.
-- Net Sales for the Wii increased $7.5 million, or 235 percent, to $10.7 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2009. DS sales for the same period increased 3 percent, from $9.0 million to $9.3 million.
-- For the six months year-to-date, Wii sales increased $24.8 million, or 359 percent, to $31.7 million. DS sales for the same period declined 12 percent from $23.2 million to $20.5 million.
-- The second quarter of 2009 also includes $1.0 million in advertising expense (included in selling and marketing) in support of the Company's strategic marketing initiatives and a loss on impairment of development costs of $0.3 million (included in general and administrative) due to cancellation of titles in development.
-- The six months ended April 30, 2009 also includes $2.3 million in advertising expense (included in selling and marketing) in support of the Company's strategic marketing initiatives and a loss on impairment of development costs of $0.3 million (included in general and administrative) due to cancellation of titles in development.

Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and Non-GAAP Metrics
To facilitate a comparison between the three and six months ended April 30, 2009 and 2008, the Company has presented both GAAP and Non-GAAP financial results. GAAP financial measures, including operating income, net income, and basic and diluted earnings per share, have been adjusted to report certain Non-GAAP financial measures.
These Non-GAAP financial measures exclude the following items from the Company's unaudited condensed consolidated statements of operations:
Expenses related to non-cash compensation
Net proceeds from sale of income tax net operating loss carryforwards
Settlement charges related to the settlement of class action litigation
Change in fair value of warrants

Expenses for the California studio which will be closed in the third quarter fiscal 2009
These Non-GAAP measures are provided to enhance investors' overall understanding of the Company's current financial performance and the Company's prospects for the future. These measures should be considered in addition to results prepared in accordance with GAAP, but should not be considered a substitute for, or superior to, GAAP results.

For more information on these Non-GAAP financial measures, please see the tables in this release captioned "Reconciliation of GAAP and Non-GAAP Financial Measures" which includes a reconciliation of the Non-GAAP to the GAAP results.
Announced Product Line-up
Third Quarter 2009 ending July 31, 2009:
All of the following titles have been or are expected to be released in North America during the Company's third quarter:
-- Go Play Lumberjacks for Wii is the first game in Majesco's recently announced Go Playline of motion-based, family friendly Wii titles that lets players use the Wii Remote to chop, climb, saw and logroll to victory in 5 entertaining events that include support for the Wii Balance Board accessory.
-- Go Play Circus Star for Wii is the second game in Majesco's recently announced Go Playline that includes a full collection of all-time favorite circus attractions. Featuring support for the Wii Balance Board accessory, the game lets players wow the crowd with death-defying stunts, animal tricks and sleight of hand in 15 different events.
-- Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian for Wii/DS/360/PC follows the storyline of Twentieth Century Fox's highly anticipated theatrical release of the same name which debuted in theaters May 22nd. Featuring the voice and likeness of the film's star, Ben Stiller, the game brings the movie experience directly into the home with all of the excitement and humor from the feature film.
-- Drama Queens for DS tasks players with juggling their love life, career and friendships as they compete in a popularity contest set within a virtual 3D board game.
-- Math Blaster in the Prime Adventure for DS is inspired by the original hit PC game from Knowledge Adventure that makes learning fun by combining a variety of adventure-based learning games with challenging mathematic puzzles and the unique capabilities of Nintendo DS.
-- Rollin' Rascals for DS is an addictive puzzler that challenges players to roll adorable pets around obstacles and into identical pairs to clear them from the game board.
-- Powerbike for DS is an intense motorcycle racer that features death-defying stunts, intense police chases and competitive multiplayer modes.
-- Ultimate Game Room for DS is a compilation of 3 classic recreational sports-Pool, Darts and Bowling-that lets players compete against friends on the go.
-- Puffins Island Adventure for DS lets players experience life as part of a Puffin flock as they fly, dive, swim, explore and start a family in this fun and educational experience focused on one of nature's more unusual and endearing sea birds.
-- Marker Man Adventures for DS is a unique game based on drawing and physics challenges in which players maneuver the charming stick figure, Marker Man, through a myriad of scrolling world puzzles in his attempt to find his best friend, Doodles.
-- Escape the Museum for Wii traps players in the National Museum of History after a devastating earthquake. Players search the museum for survivors and priceless archeological artifacts by completing 12 different hunt and find areas and 25 action-packed adventure scenes.
-- Hot and Cold: A 3D Hidden Object Adventure for DSiWare is inspired by the classic children's game in which players use temperature cues to indicate proximity to an item. Players will search through 50 multi-room levels using the Hot and Cold Meter as a guide for discovering hundreds of items with real world physics.
Fourth Quarter 2009 Ending October 31, 2009:
To date, the Company has announced the following titles that are expected to be released during its fiscal fourth quarter 2009:
-- Go Play City Sports for Wii is the third game in Majesco's new Go Play line. This compilation of urban sports lets players compete against the best neighborhood athletes in six classic games, including stickball, kickball, handball, rooftop hockey, shootout soccer and jump rope. The game also features four player gameplay and support for the Wii Balance Board accessory.
-- My Hero: Firefighter for DS is part of Majesco's new aspirational line of My Hero adventure games that lets players experience firsthand the heroic acts of the role models they look up to. Players use the stylus as a fire hose, ladder and ax as they complete 13 varied missions relating to fire emergencies and courageous rescues.
-- My Hero: Astronaut for DS is the first astronaut game available and also part of Majesco's new aspirational line of My Hero adventure games. On an expedition to Mars, players will pilot a Space Rover, Space Shuttle, and Lunar Lander as they blast off through over 40 different missions that include landing on a space station, repairing satellites, destroying meteors and more.
-- Our House: Party! for Wii turns the Wii Remote into the ultimate home renovation tool that lets up to four players compete party style to build their own personalized trophy home that they can then share with friends via WiiConnect24.
-- Our House for DS is a companion game to the Wii version. The title lets players work as contractors and then use their work-for-hire earnings to design, build and decorate their own personalized home.
-- A Boy and His Blob for Wii is IGN's Best of E3 runner-up in the Wii Platformer category. The game is a rebirth of the NES classic that expands upon the original platform adventure and features groundbreaking hand drawn and painted animation technology. By feeding the blob jelly beans, players can activate his special abilities to transform him into tools that help the pair solve puzzles, defeat monsters and escape danger.
First Quarter Fiscal 2010 Ending January 31, 2010
To date, the Company has announced the following titles that are expected to be released during its fiscal first quarter 2010, which includes the holiday sales period:
-- Jillian Michaels Fitness Ultimatum 2010 for Wii and Jillian Michaels Pocket Trainer 2010 for DS feature the celebrity fitness trainer, life coach, and star of the popular television series The Biggest Loser as she leads players through high-intensity, one-on-one workouts while providing direct feedback and motivation to help players reach their personal fitness goals.
-- My Hero: Doctor for DS is part of Majesco's new aspirational line of My Hero adventure games. As a doctor's apprentice, players will manage 10 major medical emergencies by utilizing the microphone and stylus as an all-in-one medical tool.
-- Dawn of Heroes for DS is a tactical role playing game that combines classic RPG concepts-including character development, epic combat, quests and puzzles-with a humorous style.
-- Flip's Twisted World for Wii, a Gamespot E3 '09 Editor's Choice award finalist, is a unique puzzle platformer that stars Flip, a magician's apprentice who mistakenly gets sucked into a cubed world where up and down are only a matter of perspective. Players will help Flip escape his cube prison by rotating the environment 90 degrees in any direction with a simple twist of the Wii Remote.

Fiscal 2009 Outlook
The Company increased its outlook for fiscal 2009 full year net revenue to $80 to $85 million from its previous outlook provided on March 11, 2009 of full year net revenue of $75 to $80 million. The Company expects non-GAAP earnings per share to be between $0.10 and $0.14 for the fiscal 2009 full year. The guidance reflects both the success of the first half of fiscal 2009, and the costs of the investments it is making to support and extend the Cooking Mamafranchise and to build out the new Go Play brand. The Company's guidance assumes the release of approximately 33 titles in 2009 including 18 DS and 14 Wii. The Company's results are also impacted by seasonality from the December holiday period and variability based on release schedules.

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