While the recent cyber attacks on Sony's PlayStation Network were undoubtedly damaging for both the company and its customers, Sony reveals that it actually led to something positive, too.

Sony: PlayStation Hacks Resulted in an 'Improved' Service in the End

In an article on TechRadar, a Sony executive says that despite the blow suffered from the cyber attacks on the PlayStation Network, the company feels that the experience resulted in something positive in the end, including a better service overall for their customers.

According to So Saida, Sony senior director of global business strategy and development, the "Outage has woken up our dormant customers, we have improved the platform, the content, how you can access your content."

Saida adds that there's also been an "upsurge" in activity with its users, one that's seen a 14% revenue increase in digital game purchases.

And in terms of preparing for any future cyber attacks, Saida says Sony's security and defenses against hackers are stronger than ever.

"We have put various security issues in place," Saida says, "moved the data center, automated log-in can now be blocked, we have a monitoring system so we can detect it much more sooner. We also have the insurance scheme to protect those customers."

Also Read: Sony Plans to Bring PlayStation Games to Non-Sony Devices

Source: Daily News from GamePro.com

date Tuesday, October 25, 2011

U.S. federal government pages on Facebook mostly follow accepted practices for customer satisfaction.

So concludes ForeSee, a firm possibly better known for its compilation of the  American Customer Satisfaction Index.

The government version of this quarterly index came out today, analyzing the following federal departments:

  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of Commerce
  • Department of Defense
  • Department of Education
  • Department of Energy
  • Department of Health and Human Services
  • Department of Homeland Security
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Department of Justice
  • Department of Labor
  • Department of State
  • Department of the Interior
  • Department of the Treasury
  • Department of Transportation
  • Department of Veterans Affairs

And here are ForeSee’s findings for Facebook:

  • All 15 departments have a Facebook presence.
  • All of them are using at least one standard Facebook application (notes, discussions [at least until October 31], photos, links, events, videos).
  • 11 of the 15 departments' Facebook pages include custom pages or third-party tools (YouTube, Flickr), which are devoted to content that the departments want to feature, as well as comments, policies, and welcome statements.
  • All 15 pages have vanity addresses and official names that reflect the proper name of the departments or their elected leaders.

The report also offered a set of best practices for government agencies using Facebook, including:

  • Only include applications if they will be consistently maintained, and turn off standard applications if associated content has not been provided (11 of the 15 agencies complied with this).
  • Use a separate tab to house policies on comments if those policies are too long to fit in a standard field, or if they are longer than two paragraphs (four agencies did this).
  • Vanity URLs should reflect the official name of each department or the official leading it (all 15 were in compliance).

ForeSee President and Chief Executive Officer Larry Freed said:

Social media is no longer a nice to have, but a necessity in both the private sector and the public sector. It's just the way people communicate now. The good news is that federal departments are participating in social media; the bad news is that efforts are happening at a variety of levels, and the effect can be muddled for citizens.

Readers: What have your experiences been with the Facebook pages of government, agencies, either U.S. or overseas?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Source: All Facebook


Zynga’s initial public offering could happen (finally) the week before the November 24 Thanksgiving holiday in the United States, two anonymous sources told Reuters.

According to the report, the two sources have been briefed on the offering, but caution that the plans are not finalized and could change at any time. Reuters speculates that Zynga will proceed on the heels of Groupon, which just launched a roadshow approximately two weeks before its own IPO occurs.

Zynga filed its form S-1 back in July and has since made several updates to the document. The most recent update includes a third-party valuation completed in August, which found that the developer’s outstanding equity was worth $14.05 billion, up from a May $13.98 billion quote. There has been speculation that Zynga would delay its IPO into 2012 due to poor market conditions.

Source: Inside Social Games


Facebook’s leading game developer Zynga reportedly scheduled its initial public offering for the second week of November.

That’s what unnamed sources told Reuters, claiming they were briefed on the offering.

The unnamed sources said this date hasn’t been finalized and could change.

So we’ll take this report with a dollop of salt, especially because the earliest leaks to the media have the greatest likelihood of involving some factual errors.

However, Zynga recently resubmitted its IPO registration with the Securities and Exchanges Commission.

And the way the company announced ten new products October 11 now looks a lot like a strategy for getting the word out before a quiet period kicks in — as if Zynga were bookmarking some future releases.

It also makes sense to do the offering relatively quickly. Since the capital markets have shown some turbulence that had led Zynga to withdraw a prior plan to go public, no one can predict how long the latest stock rally will last.

And like Reuters points out, Zynga’s timing would mean the IPO roadshow would occur right after Groupon’s public offering.

If that deal does well, it could make for a better pitch when the game developer talks to prospective investors.

Zynga first registered with the SEC in July, and has since updated its registration several times.

The most recent update, according to our sibling blog, Inside Social Games, included a valuation of the Zynga’s outstanding equity at $14.05 billion in August, up from $13.98 billion in May.

Despite all of the updates given to the SEC, many have speculated that Zynga might postpone a public offering until 2012.

Certainly, if the market started moving down again, all bets would be off for an IPO this November. That might not rule out this year, since stocks historically tend to rally in December.

Source: All Facebook

date Monday, October 24, 2011

Blizzard has used Blizzcon this year to make existing World of Warcraft players a very tempting offer, while at the same time ensuring they will continue playing the MMO for most of 2012. The new subscription deal is called Annual Pass and encourages players to sign up to play WoW for 12 months rather than [...]

Source: Geek.com >> Games


Call of Duty
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
by Activision Publishing
Ranking has gone up in the past 24 hours 160 days in the top 100
Platform:   PlayStation 3
Release Date: November 8, 2011

Buy new: $59.99

(Visit the Best Sellers in Video Games list for authoritative information on this product's current rank.)

Source: Amazon.com: Best Sellers in Video Games


Wanna know how the modern videogame controller got to where it is today? Check out this handy chart.

Whether or not you're aware of it, controllers have pretty much defined videogame history as we know it today. They've elevated some systems, and outright killed others. And like everything else, one innovation will result in another innovation down the line

With that in mind, here's a handy chart outlining controller history from the misty early days of the Magnavox Odyssey, all the way down to the Wii U.

It all makes for a nifty snapshot of gaming history. Who remembers the ColecoVision Super Action controller these days?

If you want, you can also click here for a closer look at the chart.

Source: Daily News from GamePro.com


Facebook is filled with posts about Steve Jobs again, as the eagerly anticipated biography of the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs hit bookstore shelves today.

Facebook posts the late Apple co-founder, along with Walter Isaacson’s biography entitled Steve Jobs, were going up on Facebook at a rate of at least once a minute, increasing in frequency as the day progresses.

One popular (re-)share on the site an audio recording from Jobs’ biographer Walter Isaacson, which was posted on the CBS “60 Minutes” website.

In the recording, Jobs is heard praising Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg:

I admire Mark Zuckerberg. I only know him a little bit, but I admire him for not selling out, for wanting to make a company. I admire that, a lot.

It’s not surprising that the book release is generating such Facebook traffic.

Starcom MediaVest Group found that, in the 24 hours after Jobs' death was made public, there were some 143,000 status updates devoted to the Apple icon, at a rate of 1.6 per second.

Have you shared any thoughts about Steve Jobs on Facebook?

Source: All Facebook


Spooky Night Escape

Spooky Night Escape is the latest Room Escape game created by Selfdefiant, the author of Super Sneaky Spy Guy. “I was riding home late at night but my car ran out of gas and stopped in the middle of this spooky road. Now I must try to find some objects and fill my gas can [...]

Continue Reading about Spooky Night Escape

Source: FreeGamesNews


Battlefield 3
Battlefield 3 - Limited Edition
by Electronic Arts
154 days in the top 100
Platform:   Xbox 360
Release Date: October 25, 2011

Buy new: $59.95

(Visit the Best Sellers in Video Games list for authoritative information on this product's current rank.)

Source: Amazon.com: Best Sellers in Video Games


Auto Hustle developer Metrogames revisits the fashion genre with its newest game, Coco Girl, for Facebook. The game launched at the end of September and has already overtaken Fashion World as the developer's top title, thanks to improvements in graphics and aggressive viral sharing features.

According to our traffic tracking service, AppData, Coco Girl currently enjoys 1.8 million monthly active users and 350,000 daily active users.

Like other fashion games on Facebook, Coco Girl's core gameplay loop involves obtaining clothes that can be mixed and matched to form outfits. Players control a female avatar that functions like a 2D paper doll posing in various environments that the player navigates using the mouse. Also like other fashion games, the bulk of the play session is spent in virtual shops that offer different styles and pieces of clothing in exchange for virtual currency (Rubies) or Facebook Credits. Players can dress their avatar in two outfits per day, creating a Daily Look and a Quest Look that the game stores each day for other players to vote on. Once worn, an outfit is sent to the cleaners, temporarily removing it from the player's inventory and forcing them to craft a new outfit with different pieces the next day.

The voting system in Coco Girl is incentivized with Rubies. As part of a daily checklist that can be completed for additional Rubies, players are invited to vote on a number of looks available from a Fashion Expert magazine in the player's virtual home. Most votes involve a star rating, but there are also alternative votes for "best out of these three" or "thumbs up, thumbs down." The more closely the player's vote align with other players' votes, the more Rubies they earn for participating. Top-voted outfits are made visible to all players from the home location and in the Hall of Fame location.

Where Coco Girl gets interesting is in the player-driven economy, to which the voting process contributes. Aside from the in-game store front and a "catalogue order" location, players can obtain or sell items for Rubies at a marketplace where players determine the price of goods. Prices tend to fluctuate based on which items turn up in the top voted outfits. The developer takes a 10% selling fee, which also impacts price. As many players will sometimes try to offload the same item, the store often features the same item for a variety of prices (see below).

In addition to the fashion economy, Coco Girl also offers a series of mini-games like a slot machine simulation or a connect-the-two-sides puzzle. Players can play these games for free up to three times a day each to earn Rubies as part of the daily checklist. The mini-games also award the player Prize Tickets, which can be spent on bundles of Rubies or on special customization items for your avatar, like a smartphone or guitar accessory.

Social features include an outfit posting system that encourages non-players to vote on Coco Girl outfits both on Facebook Walls, Friend Requests, Twitter, and anywhere the player can post a URL. The player economy is also supported by sharing Wall posts that name which players are ranking with which outfits — and who is buying from or selling to whom. Additionally, players can visit in-game friends' homes to help speed up their laundry load for outfits at the cleaners.

Coco Girl is primarily monetized through the sale of premium fashion items, which are mixed in on store racks with items available for in-game currency. Players can buy discount cards for Facebook Credits that take a certain percentage off the next 10 items the player buys, regardless of which currency the game charges for that item. Decoration items for the player's home are also available for Rubies or Credits. Lastly, additional mini-game turns can be purchased for Facebook Credits.

We've seen the fashion genre grow quite a bit in the last six months as Facebook game graphics have improved, making for more interesting visual choices. The social aspect of the genre, however, relies on players expression their opinions to other players on what looks good. Coco Girl provides more avenues for expression than most social games — but at times, the steady Wall post and Friend Requests prompts feel oppressive and distract the player from other gameplay objectives.

You can follow the game's progress on AppData, our traffic tracking service for social games and developers.

Source: Inside Social Games


Battlefield 3
Battlefield 3 - Limited Edition
by Electronic Arts
132 days in the top 100
Platform:   PlayStation 3
Release Date: October 25, 2011

Buy new: $59.95

(Visit the Best Sellers in Video Games list for authoritative information on this product's current rank.)

Source: Amazon.com: Best Sellers in Video Games


Elder Scrolls V
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
by Bethesda
Ranking has gone down in the past 24 hours 138 days in the top 100
Platform:   Xbox 360
Release Date: November 11, 2011

Buy new: $59.99

(Visit the Best Sellers in Video Games list for authoritative information on this product's current rank.)

Source: Amazon.com: Best Sellers in Video Games


Assassins Creed
Assassin's Creed Revelations
by UBI Soft
Platform:   Xbox 360
Release Date: November 15, 2011

Buy new: $59.99 $57.98

(Visit the Most Wished For in Xbox 360 list for authoritative information on this product's current rank.)

Source: Amazon.com: Most Wished For in Video Games > Xbox 360


Kinect Sports
Kinect Sports Season Two
by Microsoft
Ranking has gone up in the past 24 hours 44 days in the top 100
Platform:   Xbox 360
Release Date: October 25, 2011

Buy new: $49.99
4 used & new from $47.99

(Visit the Best Sellers in Xbox 360 list for authoritative information on this product's current rank.)

Source: Amazon.com: Best Sellers in Video Games > Xbox 360