China Toy Fair


Madden NFL 25 Writers Celebrate Game’s Launch with 25-Hour Gaming Marathon

madden-25-release-date-tileTwo official game guide writers, Stephen “SGibs” Gibbons and Zach “ZFarls” Farley, for the upcoming Madden NFL 25 will be playing the new game for 25 straight hours leading up to its launch on August 27. The authors are scheduled to begin playing Madden NFL 25 on Monday at 11 p.m. EST. The marathon gaming session will be viewable online at www.twitch.tv/maddentips.

The two will take on virtual challenges from professional athletes, including Ryan Hollins of the L.A. Clippers, select media, and developers for the game’s publisher EA Sports.

Gibbons and Farley write for Prima Games, an imprint of Random House LLC. They had spent several months in Orlando, Fla., working with EA Sports developers and learning the nuances of the new game.

Walt Disney Co. and EA Announce Multi-Year Star Wars Game Agreement

The Walt Disney Co. and Electronic Arts Inc. announced a new multi-year exclusive licensing agreement to develop and publish globally new games based on Star Wars characters and storylines. Under the agreement, EA will develop and publish new Star Wars titles for a core gaming audience, spanning all interactive platforms and popular game genres, while Disney will retain certain rights to develop new titles within the mobile, social, tablet, and online game categories.

EA Labels President Frank Gibeau says that three of EA’s top studios will be creating games for the Star Wars brand. DICE and Visceral will produce new games, joining BioWare, which will continue to develop games for the Star Wars franchise. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The Wait Is Almost Over: Nintendo to Release Wii U, 23 New Games November 18

Nintendo is unleashing the largest launch-day video game lineup in its history for its new Wii U home console. When Wii U launches in the Americas on Nov. 18, 23 games from Nintendo and its third-party publishing partners will be ready to play as well. These include Nintendo-published games like Nintendo Land, New Super Mario Bros. U, Sing Party, and Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge, as well as third-party powerhouses like ZombiU from Ubisoft, Call of Duty: Black Ops II from Activision Publishing, Inc., Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two from Disney Interactive, FIFA Soccer 13 from Electronic Arts, and Scribblenauts Unlimited from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.

Can’t wait until November 18? Check out the trailer!

The high-definition Wii U system is available in two versions, and each comes with a touch-screen Wii U GamePad controller. The Basic Set will be offered in white at a suggested retail price of $299.99 in the U.S., while the Deluxe Set, which includes higher storage capacity, additional accessories, and Nintendo Land, will be offered in black at a suggested retail price of $349.99 in the U.S. [Read more...]

Electronic Arts Previews Fall, Winter Games

Electronic Arts previewed its fall and winter game releases at this year’s Hot for the Holidays press event. EA Games Label, EA Sports, Maxis, and EA Mobile and Social demoed the upcoming games, which represent a wide range of ages and interests, from action and sports to city-building simulation and kid-friendly animal games.


Under the Maxis Label, EA is releasing The Sims 3 Supernatural Expansion Pack in September. Players can give their Sims supernatural lives as werewolves, witches, vampires, and fairies. While playing as supernatural Sims, players will discover new abilities, traits, skills, and interactions that enhance their gameplay, including delayed aging for fairies and vampires, innate magic channeling for witches, and lycanthropy for werewolves, which enables them to control their animal instincts and transform at will. [Read more...]

Electronic Arts’ New Video Game Lets You Create

I got a chance to view Electronic Arts‘ new video game Create at EA’s Holiday Preview event and thought it was one of the company’s more innovative titles. In Create, players are placed in various floating landscapes that can be altered with hundreds of items collected throughout the course of the game.

The developer I spoke with said Create is about two things: solving puzzles and creating worlds. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of puzzles scattered throughout the floating landmasses that act as canvases for creation. The game’s puzzles ask users to capture or transport various objects to designated points while deflecting rockets and other hazards. In this regard, the game feels like a combination of Capcom’s Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros’ Treasure and 5th Cell’s Scribblenauts in that puzzles have multiple ways of being completed, although the actual completion steps are passive (you don’t control the action so much as you create the setup. For example, a player can place a convertible car under some cannon balls, push play, and watch the balls fall into the car as it speeds away). [Read more...]

Littlest Pet Shop Bundle Coming to Toys “R” Us

In anticipation of the Littlest Pet Shop’s (LPS) newest Nintendo DS game, Electronic Arts (EA) has partnered with Toys “R” Us for a special bundle. The LPS starter pack includes a copy of the new video game, Littlest Pet Shop 3: Biggest Stars, as well as two exclusive LPS toys. Gamers can also expect access to LPS Online features.

The bundle is available exclusively at Toys “R” Us stores beginning October 5 and retails for $34.99. For a preview of the Nintendo DS game, read about EA’s  Holiday Preview.

Electronic Arts Holiday Preview

I recently attended Electronic Arts‘ 2010 Holiday Preview press junket and found the company pushing a large amount of family-friendly video games this holiday season. Expect further announcements from EA regarding embargoed products, but until then you can read about the company’s upcoming Hasbro’s Family Game Night 3, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, Littlest Pet Shop Online, Littlest Pet Shop 3: Best Friends, Monopoly Streets, and MySims SkyHeroes after the jump. [Read more...]

Get Fit With EA SPORTS Active 2, Microsoft Kinect

EA SPORTS, a division of Electronic Arts, Inc., announced its latest product, EA SPORTS Active 2 at the E3 Expo in Los Angeles, Calif., yesterday.

The game utilizes the full-body motion capturing features of Microsoft’s upcoming Kinect peripheral (formerly dubbed Project Natal) to provide 1:1 movement recognition and voice commands. EA SPORTS Active 2 tracks user’s fitness progress and includes a wearable heart monitor.

PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii version have accessories that attach to various points on the body, while iPhone and iPod Touch versions are also in the works.

EA SPORTS Active 2 will be available in the U.S. on Nov. 16.

Photo Credit: MTV Multiplayer

Rock Band 3 Features New Instrument, Expanded Set List

Harmonix and MTV Games, a division of Viacom’s MTV Networks, has announced the third installment to the Rock Band series. Distributed by Electronic Arts, Inc., Rock Band 3 gives players the option to expand their game into real practice sessions with additional accessories.

Rock Band 3 features a new keyboard instrument and an 83-song, on-disc set list, expandable to over 1,500 from an online catalog. The game will be compatible with both previously-downloaded songs from the Rock Band series and previously-released instruments. Users will also be able to share set lists with friends online.

For expanded realism, players can purchase instruments with real-world functionality to play with the game. For example, the drum set can be expanded with three cymbals, and a hybrid, electric guitar/game controller can both be used in the Rock Band Pro game mode. Mad Catz, Inc., is the official accessories maker.

Up to seven players can interact at the same time on instruments ranging from the bass to three-part vocal harmonies. The game also features new game play modes and will be available this holiday season on the Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii and DS, and Sony PlayStation 3.

Hasbro Unleashes a Bevy of New Video Games

Habsro, Inc., plans to release more than a dozen video games based on its brands throughout the world during the second half of the year. Electronic Arts (EA) and Activision are producing the video games, which will appear on multiple devices including game consoles and mobile devices.

EA is producing versions of Monopoly as well as a five-pack Nintendo DS game called Hasbro Family Game Night 3. RISK: Factions is set for release on Xbox Live! with iPhone and iPad versions of RISK in development. Activision is spearheading development of TRANSFORMERS: War for Cybertron, which is expected to be released this summer.

Information about both game companies can be found at this year’s Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, held June 15-17.