BizSpots: Ubisoft, Hollywood & Games Summit, GameStop, Merscom, NaturalMotion

Assassin's Creed shot; Hollywood and Games Summit begins; game retailer hits milestone; Merscom metering games; NaturalMotion aids academics.

Ubisoft parts curtain on film competition
On the heels of Nintendo's Short Cuts Showcase, Ubisoft announced earlier this week it would be partnering with the Independent Film Channel for an Assassin's Creed-themed short-film competition. Participants are tasked with creating a six-minute-or-less film that ties in themes from the publisher's upcoming action adventure. Interested participants must submit their short on or before August 20 to IFC's Media Lab, and winners will be announced November 30. The grand prize for the competition is $10,000, an Xbox 360, a copy of Assassin's Creed for the 360, inclusion of the winning film as part of a limited edition package for the game, and a screening of the film on the IFC television network.

Movie, Game summit premieres
The second annual Hollywood and Games Summit kicks off today in Los Angeles, and headlining the event are several big names within the two industries. Giving the keynote address for the event will be Clive Barker, known for horror-movie classics such as Hellraiser and Gods and Monsters, and Thomas Tull, CEO of Legendary Pictures and a current investor of the well-financed Brash Entertainment. Rob Pardo, vice president of game design for Blizzard Entertainment and luminary behind the uncannily successful World of Warcraft, is also slated to speak during the event. The summit runs today and tomorrow at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel in Hollywood, California.

GameStop clears 1K stores abroad
With its acquisition of EB Games in 2005, GameStop boosted its armada to more than 3,200 stores in the US, as well as 600 more worldwide. The company updated those numbers today, and with a recent splurge of store openings in Canada, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden, it now counts more than 1,000 international outlets under its brand, with a total tally of 4,816 stores worldwide. GameStop currently operates stores in Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Guam, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, and the United States.

Merscom plays with penny-a-minute games
Merscom today unveiled its latest attempt at capturing the casual market. The casual-game publisher announced it would be adding five of its games to Double Trump's PlayOn Arcade, which uses a microlicensing business model. Under the agreement, players can download Merscom's Ingenious, D.N.A, Buku Sudoku, Ball 7, and Buku Kakuro for free and then pay $0.01 for every minute they play. Players who download and play games in this way are not charged more than the original list price of the game.

Endorphin animation engine Full Sails ahead
NaturalMotion announced today it had added Full Sail Real World Education to its academic partner program. As part of the deal, students in Full Sail's computer animation bachelor's degree program will now have access to NaturalMotion's dynamic-motion synthesis technology, including its endorphin 3D animation tool and early access to upcoming NaturalMotion animation technology. Earlier this year, NaturalMotion announced its euphoria animation engine had been licensed by Rockstar Games, developer and publisher of the Grand Theft Auto franchise.

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Discussion

11 comments
bigmick07
bigmick07

can't wait till gamestop buys a store near me.

Pete5506
Pete5506

that contest would be sweet but I don't have the stuff to do it

RecoilX98
RecoilX98

wow cant wait to see some of the vids

jakeboudville
jakeboudville

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

comthitnuong
comthitnuong

I would like to be in that Assassin's Creed contest but I lack the video editing technology to really make it happen...

lamprey263
lamprey263

Assassin's Creed uber-indie films?! I expect to see a lot of 2/5 star YouTube quality videos with people using their bed sheets in scenes shot in their back yards, maybe even their garages. Or even worse, people editing that same pre-rendered trailer we've been seeing forever, and adding their favorite music in place of the video's sound (and everyone on YouTube picks really lame music when they do this; it's always something like Nickelodeon's #1 emo pick of the week). Of course, maybe next time I'm in Amsterdam and I get really really legally stoned, I might want to watch such tomfoolery after eating some magic mushrooms; though, I'd probably die of laugher.

AnFangs_Endes
AnFangs_Endes

I stopped watching IFC for awhile since, well...Independent isn't ALWAYS the best. But now I'll definately have a reason to start watching again.

shockwave04
shockwave04

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

flyer4057
flyer4057

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

EPaul
EPaul

Interesting news especially the Assasins video contest