(Source: TUAW) Two big gaming companies have made stark moves towards some major iPhone development in the future. Electronic Arts has made what seems to be the strongest move: they’ve put together a division in the company specifically for making iPhone games, and not just any games. Specifically, the kind that cost 99 cents

8lb Gorilla is the name of the group they’ve put together in-house, and apparently it’s a bunch of young developers given the task of putting together quick and cheap games about once a month that can sell for 99 cents, keep customers happy, and still bring in a profit for EA. The first title out of the group is a game called Zombies and Me, which appears to be an action game where you blow up zombies with explosives. Who wouldn’t pay 99 cents for that one, right?

Namco is also making moves toward the platform, though not that specific (or risky, though EA’s gambit could pay off big if the young devs turn out a hit). They’ve created an “Apple Games” division within their company, designed to make games specifically for the iPhone and iPod touch, and presumably for any other platforms that Apple decides to release games on. We hear the Mac is pretty popular — does “Apple Games” include those other computers they make? Yet another Pac Man remake is the first title from them, but hopefully more original releases are coming.

Very interesting to see major companies start setting aside resources specifically to target the App Store’s unique market. Mac gamers have been fighting for years to get devs to pay attentionto their platform, and now it looks like Apple’s handheld devices, along with the relatively easy money of the App Store, have finally done it.

(Source: latimes.com) In the complex tango between movies and video games, Hollywood may be losing its lead.

Motion picture studios have had a penchant for adapting games into movies all the way back to 1993’s “Super Mario Bros.,” which starred Bob Hoskins as the mustachioed hero Mario and Dennis Hopper as the villainous King Koopa, with varying degrees of success.

But today at the giant Comic-Con International fan convention in San Diego, Microsoft Corp. and French game publisher Ubisoft Entertainment will unveil a series of short films based on their popular games Halo and Assassin’s Creed that were made with no Hollywood involvement.

(sanfrancisco.dbusinessnews.com)  3D artists everywhere are applauding the just-announced GoZ™ for modo feature from Pixologic, which improves the workflow between ZBrush, Pixologic’s premiere organic sculpting and texture tool, and modo, the 3D modeling, painting and rendering software from Luxology®. Luxology and Pixologic worked closely together to optimize the mesh geometry transfer between these two computer graphics applications to give users a more seamless and combined workflow.

“GoZ for modo opens new opportunities and maximizes workflows for artists and designers from all backgrounds,” said Brad Peebler, president and co-founder of Luxology. “By bringing these two modern 3D applications together through GoZ, modo and ZBrush users will experience a significant increase in time savings and efficiency.”

(Source: monstersandcritics.com) Hollywood director Roland Emmerich, creator of the blockbusters Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow, has had enough of shooting disaster movies, he said Thursday.

‘I think it’s enough for disaster movies for now,’ Emmerich, whose latest apocalypse movie titled 2012 opens in November, told the German Press Agency dpa.

But the German director is already eyeing another project: Anonymous explores the mystery of whether William Shakespeare really penned all the works attributed to him.

‘This is an old project of mine, which I already started on once, about four or five years ago,’ Emmerich told dpa. After initial failure, it was now time for a second attempt, he said.

Skywalker Ranch is the fortress-like work domain of writer-director-producer George Lucas. Located in Marin County, CA on Lucas Valley Road, which, incidentally, is not named for the famed Star Warscreator, the $100 million, 4,700 acre, “filmmaker’s retreat” has an on-site restaurant, a 300-seat movie theater called “The Stag,” outdoor swimming pool, fitness center with racquetball courts, the man-madeLake Ewok, a barn complete with animals, vegetable gardens, vineyards, and a research library (called The Main House) as well as its very own fire station.

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