An interesting thing has occurred on BT Games's South African website. They have given their customers the ability to pre-order a game that hasn't officially been announced. What makes it more intriguing is that the game in question here is the fabled fourth installment of the God of War franchise, God of War IV, which they estimate to be released in February 2013. Exactly how they reached this conclusion is up for debate: it is possible they know something we don't or maybe they are just being optimistic? The game hasn't been officially announced in any capacity as of this article but at the beginning of this year Joystiq reported that Timothy Williams, the man in charge of the orchestral music in many videogames, had listed God of War IV in his resume under the "Video Games" section.
You really don't have to stretch your imagination to believe a 4th game in the wildly popular God of War franchise could happen. In fact, I would go so far as to say it's a probability just based on a gut feeling but this may just be a clever publicity stunt for the retailer. At least they are smart enough not to be charging you money for the pre-order at this time. See it for yourself after the break.
Netflix has worked it's way into the news several times over the last 8 months beginning with their price increases last July and their attempt to spin off their the DVD portion of their business into another entity called Quickster. This was a strategic move that wasn't received very well as around 800,000 customers left the service from July through October. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings did make a humorous attempt at explaining why the changes were occurring but at that point the damage had been done and it was too little too late to save face with their customers.
This time Netflix has angered a potential customer segment by voicing their non-supportive stance concerning BlackBerry devices via Twitter. Jon Robinson is one of the few and proud BlackBerry device users left in the world who dared to inquire as to where the Playbook app for Netflix was. He also challenged Netflix by saying that it was overdue and there is no reason for them to continue holding off. On February 23rd Robinson got a response to his query that apparently didn't sit well with BlackBerry users. Read on after the break to find out what they said.
Blockbuster has found itself in a precarious position since September 2010 when they filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after previously closing 1000 stores and putting together some failed distribution deals with movie studios. Even after Dish Network came along and potentially saved the day by winning Blockbuster Video's auction last April, Blockbuster can't seem to find it's way out of the horror section. The 1500 locations that survived the Dish Network cutbacks last July are experiencing another round of closings.
In 2011 Blockbuster made $975 million in revenues and retained a positive net income figure of $4 million, which is impressive given all the massive changes the company has undergone. The addition of the Blockbuster Movie Streaming service is starting to make some progress with regards to their churn rate for the service. The churn lowered from 1.76 in 2010 to 1.63 in 2011, which means they are holding on to more new subscribers. In January 2012 Blockbuster had 6,000 new programs added to their 125,000 titles, 25,000 of which are available online, thanks to a deal with Univision. This helps prove that what CEO Joe Clayton said about Dish being committed to making this work is true.
By introducing new Blockbuster-branded services, we've begun to turn the tide in subscriber losses while continuing to face increased competitive pressures. The Blockbuster brand is a significant brand in the marketplace, which focuses on family and movies. And that's clearly what Dish is all about.
Why is Dish continuing to close locations even though the service is making some headway? Find out after the break.
What do you do when you have conned all of your customers, exhausted all of your resources, failed at the "confidence" portion of your IPO and have PayPal breathing down your neck? If you're Groupon, you switch tactics completely and try something entirely different. That's what we're seeing this week, as Groupon is testing a new annual fee platform in the Tampa Bay area.
Is this a case of new name, same great taste? See for yourself after the break.
Ever since the //build/windows conference, Microsoft has been showing off all the cool new features you get with Windows 8. We saw things not only from the Developer Preview, but even directly from Ballmer during Dell World. Since December, rumors were flying around that we would see the public beta drop as soon as this month and we now know Leap Day will be the bearer of the riches.
We know Windows 8 will be full of big changes for the better, with things as simple as a logo redesign. However, unfortunately we will also see some things possibly change that I personally do not like. The Zune and Windows Live brands will end their existence upon the release of Windows 8.
What's going on? We have the full story after the break.
The state of Oklahoma, or more their House Revenue and Tax Subcommittee, tried to pass a law adding a 1% sales tax to videogames sold within the state that are rated T (Teen) or higher. The bill was defeated in committee, but the fact that they thought about this is concerning. There was some discussion from Representative Pat Owenby (R) which made the committee seem less crazy:
Why just video games? Why not French fries or rap music or movies? We could have a task force on a multitude of reasons children are obese.
The idea that one of the members found it ridiculous that they were singling out videogames is a positive sign. The fact that the law would have affected Mass Effect and Zumba Fitness the same is still a little odd. It is still surprising that the law got even this far considering the now famous California battle that led to a major public defeat in the Supreme Court.
Oklahoma's not the only gaming law in the news. Hit the break to find out what is new in California's battle.