Today's round-up includes news of Xbox Live reaching 4 million members, EA revealing Def Jam: Icon
for next-gen consoles and a 2007 release date, and live action actors in Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars
, as well as the latest Game Career Guide updates, Serious Games Source posts, GameSetWatch posts and Gamasutra job postings.
- Microsoft has announced that its Xbox Live service has now reached four million members as the company prepares to launch the sixth version of the Xbox Live network this fall. Currently available in over 24 countries, Microsoft representatives note that the service's global community is on track to hit six million members by summer 2007. Other notable facts about the service released today by Microsoft include information that more than 70 percent of connected Xbox 360 consoles have downloaded content from Xbox Live Marketplace, which now features 2,000 pieces of gaming and entertainment content. In addition, Xbox Live Arcade has now surpassed 12 million downloads in less than a year, and Xbox Live Arcade games average a 24 percent trial-to-purchase conversion rate with UNO
reaching a trial-to-purchase conversion rate of over 50 percent. Finally, according to Microsoft, since the launch of Xbox Live in November 2002, gamers have spent more than two billion hours on the network playing games online, and more than nine million text and voice messages are sent via Xbox Live every week.
- Electronic Arts, in partnership with Def Jam Interactive, has announced that Def Jam: Icon
will be released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in March 2007 in North America and Europe. According to the company: "Infusing hip-hop music, culture and lifestyle into the gameplay, EA Chicago and urban lifestyle powerhouse Def Jam Interactive, continue to push the boundaries of game development bringing unique and innovative content to the next generation of gaming." The title allows gamers to "live out the life of a hip hop mogul, going from rags to riches", as players assume the role of top celebrity characters such as Ludacris, T.I. and Big Boi in the fighting game sequel.
- Representatives from Electronic Arts announced that the upcoming PC strategy title Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars
will feature an celebrity actors for its live action video sequences. Confirmed actors for the game include Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Galactica), Josh Holloway (Lost), Michael Ironside (Splinter Cell: Double Agent
), Billy Dee Williams (The Empire Strikes Back), Grace Park (Battlestar Galactica), Ivana Bozilovic (Wedding Crashers), Shauntay Hinton (Criminal Minds), and more. In addition, the game will also feature real-life news reporters, including John Huck, anchor of the FOX affiliate in Las Vegas and Shanon Cook, freelance reporter for a major news network. Finally, the actor who originated the main role of the maniacal leader of the Brotherhood of Nod in the Command & Conquer
series, Joe Kucan, is reprising his role as Kane in this latest sequel.
- The latest updates on Gamasutra sister alt.gaming weblog GameSetWatch
include a look at audio commentaries in games
, specifically Half-Life 2: Episode 1
and its upcoming sequel; G4's commentary on Nolan Bushnell's recently opened uWink restaurant
; and coverage of the 2006 AMOA show in Las Vegas
- News on Gamasutra's game education sister site Game Career Guide
includes a feature on the development of Red Bull X-Fighters: Mayhem
for the Red Bull BUILD competition.
- Also updated today: the latest Gamasutra job postings
, including openings from Athyrio Games, Blizzard, Day 1 Studios, Idol Minds, Lucasfilm Singapore, and Shiny Entertainment.