Nintendo Files U.S. Patent for Handheld Video Game Emulator

NintendoAs reported by The Wall Street Journal this past Tuesday, Nintendo has filed a patent with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office that could pave the way for Nintendo to offer its games on smartphones or other mobile devices.

The patent, which was published last Thursday and filed by Nintendo in June, is described as a software emulator for emulating a handheld video game platform. However, analysts are skeptical that Nintendo is planning a move into video games on mobile devices. The patent, originally filed in 2000 and extended in 2003 and 2012, could also be used to fight piracy.

Nintendo President Satoru Iwata previously said the company would stick to using its intellectual property, which includes Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda, solely on its own game device.

Jakks Pacific Renews Global Toy License for Slugterra

slugterraJakks Pacific has extended its contract for the hit boys action property Slugterra from Nerd Corps Entertainment Inc. The toy manufacturer’s Slugterra toy line launched in the U.S. in February of 2013, several months after the series’ premiere in October of 2012.

Originally consisting of collectible slug figures, blasters, and darts, Jakks Pacific has since expanded the line to include human action figures, vehicles, plush, and stretchy velocimorph flyers. New styles of blasters and darts, as well as several waves of new slug figures have also been introduced.

To date, Jakks Pacific’s Slugterra toys have launched in dozens of countries, and the inclusion of exclusive game codes for Nerd Corps’ online Slugterra games and mobile game, Slug It Out!, will soon be implemented globally. The fourth wave of slug figures is slated to arrive at Toys “R” Us across the U.S. this fall, accompanied by a Toys “R” Us-exclusive 10-pack of the second wave of slugs.

Nerd Corps recently announced a green light for a third season of Slugterra, slated to begin rolling out next summer. Jakks Pacific, meanwhile, will introduce new waves of toys through next year.

COMMENTARY: Games, and Game-Players, Are Getting More Mobile All the Time

Nowadays, everything seems to be changing, from communicating to ordering dinner to dating. The same goes with the way we’re playing games.

We’ve known for years that games were becoming social. People (ahem, Gen X-ers) still send out Candy Crush and Farmville requests on the ever-dissolving Facebook. However, instead of these communally competitive games, new mobile apps are actually bringing players together to compete in a face-to-face (or screen-to-screen?) arena. For the most part, these apps are free (or cheap) to own, filling up the game cabinet without the expense of buying new extensions and themes of the same games.

1017181_150945871760166_378131469_nCards Against Humanity—a spin-off of the much more tame Apples to Apples card game—is a crowd favorite among my hometown friends. So when Evil Apples, a mobile version loosely based on both games from Evil Studios Ltd., was released for iOS devices, my hometown friends and I were brought back together in a competitively disturbing way. Users can prompt friends to download the app and join the game. Once everyone signs on, the game begins as players try to come up with the funniest–and most disturbingly wrong–phrases. There’s even a chat feature in the game for players to comment–or to remind stragglers that the game is waiting on their card. [Read more...]

Moose Signs On to Mind Candy’s World of Warriors

Oct10.MindCandyOnline game developer Mind Candy has given rights for toy development and manufacturing in North America and Australia to Moose Toys for Mind Candy’s upcoming release of World of Warriors.

Moose Toys will be responsible for toy lines based on the game, including collectibles and play sets.

World of Warriors is set to launch digitally as a game on iOS and Android devices in six languages this year, with branded products, including toys, to follow throughout next year.

Lego Joins the Adventure as Jurassic World Toy Licensee

Image converted using ifftoanyUniversal Partnerships & Licensing (UP&L) has announced that The Lego Group will create original products in conjunction with the film, Jurassic World, scheduled for release on June 12. The Lego Group rounds out a branded toy campaign that includes global master toy licensee Hasbro, which will introduce action figures, role-play items, and games. The new Lego toys will be available next May.

Additional Jurassic World toy and game licensees include Bulls-i-Toy for trading cards and stickers; Cardinal Games for puzzles; Jada Toys for R/C and die-cast vehicles; KidDesigns for electronics; Rubie’s Costume Co. for costumes; and Ludia, which will create a mobile and social game in partnership with UP&L.

Barnes & Noble Partners with Rovio for Exclusive Angry Birds Stella Preview

June4.ABStella-300x186 copyNook Media, a subsidiary of Barnes & Noble Inc., together with Rovio will make the upcoming Angry Birds Stella game available for fans to preview exclusively at Barnes & Noble stores from today to September 3. Angry Birds fans and Barnes & Noble customers can visit the Nook counter at any store nationwide to play the game on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook in-store demo devices.

Angry Birds Stella will launch on September 4 across all major platforms.

With DreamWorks Dragons Adventure World Explorer, Berk Goes Where You Go!

PowerPoint PresentationWe’ve all taken rides in cars, but honestly, haven’t we all found ourselves wishing we could be soaring on the wings of dragons instead?

That’s now a possibility, thanks to DreamWorks Dragons Adventure World Explorer, a new mobile game from Microsoft and DreamWorks Animation, and inspired by the animated film, How to Train Your Dragon 2. It uses Here Maps to pull in GPS info, turning the real world into the user’s very own fictional Isle of Berk.

During a recent demo, we took the game on a tour of midtown Manhattan. In Train mode, many of the city’s mighty edifices appeared in the game as huge stones, landmarks such as Grand Central Station became a wagon repair shop, and Chelsea Market was besieged by Vikings (They correspond to check-ins for the popular app Foursquare). Meanwhile, players engage in missions as part of their dragon training, such as picking up and dropping off sheep at home base–the device, represented in the game map by a cart. [Read more...]

NPD Group Reports Increase in Phone Usage Causing Shift in U.S. Gamer Segmentation

npd_group_logoThanks in large part to an increase in usage of phones for gaming, avid omni gamers, defined as those who play on multiple systems, are the only gamer segment to experience growth in the U.S. this year, according to Gamer Segmentation 2014, the latest report from The NPD Group.

The number of avid omni gamers climbed 6 percentage points to 22 percent of the total gaming population, replacing casual gamers as the second largest gamer segment when compared to last year. The largest segment, free & mobile gamers, maintained its size at 29 percent of the U.S. gamer population. The remaining segments—casual gamers, core console gamers, family gamers, and social gamers—declined 1 to 2 percentage points. [Read more...]

Transformers: Age of Extinction Mobile Game Available Now for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch

June19 transformers imageDeNA and Hasbro, Inc.’s Transformers: Age Of Extinction – The Official Mobile Game, based on Hasbro’s toy brand and the Paramount Pictures film, Transformers: Age of Extinction, is now available exclusively on the App Store for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, bringing the blockbuster action to mobile devices. This fast-paced combat runner game immerses players in the Transformers universe as they help the Autobots defeat their Decepticon enemies.

The game is coming to Google Play for Android devices soon. Players can pre-register to be notified when the game is available on Android here.

WWE Slam City Launches with Mattel Toy Line

WWESlamCityMattel Inc. and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) recently launched WWE Slam City, a new kids property that includes a complete line of WWE Slam City merchandise as well as an original animated short-form series co-produced by WWE and Mattel’s Playground Productions. WWE Slam City toys, including action figures, ring sets and more, are currently available at major retail stores. In addition to toys, books and graphic novels will be available by year’s end, while a WWE Slam City mobile game will be in stores next year.

Episodes will be aired on WWESlamCity.com, Cartoonium, and YouTube in addition to TV broadcasts, live events, digital version, and social media. Other platforms include Hulu, Mattel.com, iTunes, and Playstation.

The series was filmed in the next generation of stop-motion animation. A new WWE animated character will fire all of the WWE Superstars and send them to Slam City to find day jobs. The characters, including John Cena, Randy Orton, and Sheamus will have a new lifestyle outside of the ring but will stay true to their personas.