Superheroes Make Mark in Gaming
by Maria Welych - Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

Technology’s new exhibit

It’s no surprise that superheroes were big at this year’s New York Comic Con, which ended Sunday. Superheroes have been making their mark on the movie industry lately. The trend has reached video games, too, with a plethora of video game news coming out of New York Comic Con.

Among the announcements:

  • Activision and Marvel said “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” will be released in the spring, along with Sony Pictures’ movie of the same name.
  • Updates for “Marvel Heroes,” the free-to-play massively multiplayer online game that’s been out for a couple months, are on their way. One new feature will be a survival mode based on the “Star Trek” series’ unwinnable Kobayashi Maru scenario. Players will be scored based on how long they survive unending waves of villains. Another will coincide with the November release of the movie “Thor: The Dark World.”
  • “Thor: The Dark World” will also get its own mobile device video game, to be released with the movie in November.
  • “Marvel Run Jump Smash,” which was an immediate hit in Korea, will be coming to North America on iOS, Android and Windows.
  • “Lego Marvel Superheroes” is slated for an Oct. 22 release for current-generation consoles and in November for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

 

Augmented reality

Augmented Pixels, based in Odessa, Ukraine, has created WarBot, an iPad app that uses augmented reality to turn holiday shopping into a game. You point the device at the package of a toy you (or your child) is interested in. The device recognizes the packaging and triggers a first-person shooter game. Win the game, and you’ll earn a discount on that toy.

 

“It’s getting more and more challenging for brands to stand out from the competition to attract and keep customers’ attention and love,” Vitaliy Goncharuk, CEO of Augmented Pixels, said in a statement. “Augmented reality has proved to be one of the most effective ways to engage customers at the point of sale.”

 

Speaking of augmented reality, check out the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology’s new exhibit, Out There: Exploring Space through Augmented Reality, to see it in action.

 

Bits & Pieces

  • Russian leaders are annoyed that video game bad guys are often portrayed as Russian, so the government plans to release its own patriotic games and might ban games that “distort history.”
  • Crittercism researchers report that iPhone 5S devices aren’t as dependable as the iPhone 5C and earlier models. Apps on the 5S crash 2 percent of the time, twice as much as the 5C and earlier models.
  • The Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon is planning to release a set-top box that plays movies and video games by the end of the year.
  • Heading to New York City? Download “Cover,” an app that lets you pay for food at 16 restaurants (so far) without having to see the bill. The app is iPhone-only, but an Android version is in the works.
  • The growth of the video game industry has led to growth in another industry: music. SoundCon LLC reported that an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that the increase in mobile, casual and social gaming was the primary cause of a surge in employment for composers and music directors.
  • The latest conScore report shows that market share of mobile platforms Android and BlackBerry have fallen, and Apple has picked up what they’ve left behind. Apple also maintains its lead as the No. 1 device manufacturer, building 40 percent of all smartphones sold in the U.S.
  • Surgeons at Florida Hospital Celebration Health performed better if they played Nintendo’s “Super Monkey Ball” for six minutes as a warm-up before surgery, according to a recent study.

Maria Welych, who was technology editor at The Post-Standard for five years, is director of marketing and public relations at the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology. She can be reached at mwelych@gmail.com.