ip e-games to launch new ip interactive brand

01/31/07 at 4:05 pm | Posted in Gaming, INQUIRER.net, Tech | 1 Comment

Here’s an excerpt from the hackenslash story that Alex Villafania and I wrote:

In response to a question by hackenslash on why IAH chose IP e-Games over rival Philippine online game publisher Level Up Inc. when both made a bid for Granado Espada, Lee replied: “While we had different discussions before, we have not signed anything before today. We just had discussions.”

Gonzalez added: “I think, in a nutshell, this was a highly sought after partnership. Lots of global gaming companies wanted to work with IAH. That’s a given.”

In a separate telephone interview with hackenslash, Level Up Inc. COO Sheila Paul clarified that the online game publisher did not make a formal bid for Granado Espada.

level up! on youtube

01/25/07 at 10:33 pm | Posted in Gaming, INQUIRER.net, Music, Photos, Tech, Videos | Leave a comment

Seems Philippine online game publisher Level Up! now also has a YouTube channel via gmtristan.

Here’s the video of Moonstar88’s “Pag-Ibig Ko Sa Yo” from the album “Rok On: Music Inspired by Philippine Ragnarok Online.”

By the way, the girl who portrayed Willow the Assassin in the video and during the “Amatsu and Kunlun” launch (this was back in 2005) happens to be our marketing assistant Claire Chan at INQUIRER.net, heh.

Here’s a hackenslash article on Willow.

And a photo of Claire as our hackenslash image model.

pinoy bloggers, game developers column piece at inquirer.net

01/24/07 at 7:16 pm | Posted in Gaming, INQUIRER.net, Tech | Leave a comment

An updated version of my post on Filipino bloggers and game developers as a new breed of heroes is online at INQUIRER.net.

Read my @Play INQUIRER.net Infotech column piece.

why filipino bloggers and game developers are a new breed of heroes

01/19/07 at 10:17 pm | Posted in Gaming, INQUIRER.net, Tech | 3 Comments

As I’ve said in my INQUIRER.net Infotech @Play column piece “The revolution will not be televised, but blogged,” I believe 2007 will be the Year of the Filipino Blogger.

I’m glad Yuga finds himself agreeing with this assessment, though it seems the comments on his blog post have gone on a different tangent. While I respect where people in both sides of the debate were coming from, I think some things were said in the heat of the moment, and I just didn’t want to add to that. Or maybe I was just lazy, heh.

J. Angelo Racoma has an excellent post on “Why The Blog Herald is a Big Deal,” or, as Mike Abundo would put it, why it’s a big frickin’ deal. I agree with what Angelo says about the redistribution of capital, with “the foremost capital [being] Knowledge (with a big K).” Thanks Angelo for also citing my post on Filipino bloggers in discussing citizen journalism over at The Blog Herald.

And yes, I still believe Filipino bloggers are taking over the blogosphere, heh. It would be such a waste of talent if we don’t.

I’d like to add that apart from the Filipino blogger, I believe the Filipino gamer and Filipino game developer will also experience a very fruitful year in 2007. Here’s an excerpt from Alex Villafania’s article, which is the hackenslash banner story as of this writing:

THE UPCOMING e-Services Philippines conference and exhibition has finally recognized the game development industry as among the newest IT sub-sectors in the country, along with the business process outsourcing, call center and transcription sectors.

An executive from game development firm Anino Entertainment was invited to speak regarding game development in the Philippines and its potential to provide outsourced services and create original content.

Anino Entertainment CEO Niel Dagondon told hackenslash that this would be the first time that game development will be presented as a high-value industry.

It’s great that the importance of the local game development industry is finally being recognized. The thing you have to remember about our Filipino game developers is that with the talent many of them possess, they could easily find greener pastures abroad — and many do. Some, however, choose to stay, or return here to put up studios that will generate jobs here and get outsourcing projects from game development companies in other countries, or create their own IP.

I’m proud to say we have world-class game developers, though we need more of them and greater support from the government and private sector. The Philippines could be a game development hub and in fact is becoming one thanks to the sariling sikap and lakas loob of our developers, who have relied on their own pockets due to the lack of support. But they’re now consolidating their efforts, and we may now see a whole industry reaping success, instead of just a few studios.

Am I belittling the efforts of our countrymen who work abroad when I celebrate the fact that Filipinos are discovering they can stay here in the Philippines and still take advantage of global opportunities? I don’t think so. Nor was that Yuga’s intent, I’m sure.

I’m just saying we have alternatives. If people want to go abroad, that’s fine. But if people also start to realize that the jobs can migrate to them instead of us having to migrate, what’s wrong with that?

I know it’s a sensitive issue, and I know the flow of remittances is, as various people over the years have said, “propping up the Philippine economy.” But that’s the point — why should it have to be propped up in the first place? And while those who remit dollars may feel the country owes them a great debt, why should our economy rely heavily on the earnings of OFWs?

And lest we forget: those of us who stay here in the Philippines are also “propping up the economy.” World-class talents don’t always have to go to another country to be recognized. You can stay here and do a damn good job, in spite of the horrible conditions, and be proud that you’re putting the country on the map.

The irony is that in the Philippines, it’s almost taken for granted that you have to work abroad. Isn’t it strange that we have to convince ourselves to stay? And while I’m sure my friends who have chosen to work abroad mean well, sometimes I get sick of some of them asking when I’m going abroad dahil sayang lang ang talino mo diyan sa Pinas — many of you have probably heard variations on that theme. I’m not saying I’ll never work abroad, but right now I’m choosing to stay here. I respect the choice of those who leave the country, but I also expect them to respect our choice to stay. And what if I tell you, sayang naman ang talino mo, hindi mo na lang gamitin dito sa Pinas. How can the country be rebuilt, if no one will stay here to do all that hard work?

I’m not putting bloggers or game developers on a pedestal. I’m just acknowledging that they’re becoming a potent force, and giving new career opportunities and setting a new example for Filipinos.

Maybe what we need to do is to acknowledge what the bagong bayani are doing for us, but also look beyond remittances and celebrate a new breed of heroes. Heroes who will fight the good fight here — and stay.

z-zone to offer cybercafé rental software

01/19/07 at 8:53 pm | Posted in Gaming, INQUIRER.net, Tech | Leave a comment

Here’s an excerpt from Alex Villafania’s article:

Z-ZONE, the Philippine distributor of the online games SkyBlade and SupaSupa!, has started offering an Internet café rental management software called iCafe Boss to help café owners run their businesses and widen the company’s partnerships.

iCafe Boss is a free application that will come bundled in installer CDs of SkyBlade and SupaSupa! and will be freely distributed to any Internet café nationwide.

ip e-games bags granado espada

01/18/07 at 9:44 pm | Posted in Gaming, INQUIRER.net, Tech, Videos | 2 Comments

Thanks to IP e-Games president Steve Tsao for going on the record to confirm the launch of Granado Espada in the Philippines. I really appreciate it, Steve.

Here’s an excerpt from my hackenslash story:

IRONICALLY, Granado Espada, the highly anticipated MMOG from the “Father of Ragnarok” Hakkyu Kim, will now in a way be used as a weapon against the company that brought in Ragnarok and popularized it in the Philippines.

This is after IP e-Games, the Philippine publisher of popular online games such as RAN Online and O2Jam, confirmed that it is bringing in Granado Espada, a game which has whet the appetites of online gamers not only because it is a creation of the highly regarded Kim, but also because of its revolutionary system that allows players to control three characters at once.

I also submitted a shorter version that came out earlier today in the INQUIRER.net Breaking News section.

As stated in the articles, posts regarding the upcoming release have already made their way to the Philippine blogosphere even prior to the official announcement, namely this PhilGaming.com post by Laibcoms and this blog entry from Kiven.

To whet your appetite even more, here’s an in-game video of a boss fight, which I uploaded to the hackenslash TV channel on YouTube.

terrawars online is coming

01/18/07 at 9:20 pm | Posted in Gaming, INQUIRER.net, Tech | Leave a comment

Will TerraWars be sweeter the second time around? This time, it’s going to be an online game based on material from Ladyluck’s initial offering, TerraWars : New York Invasion, which didn’t exactly get stellar reviews, to put it mildly.

Here’s an excerpt from Alex Villafania’s article:

DESPITE a disappointing turnout of its first game, TerraWars: New York Invasion, Filipino video game development company Ladyluck is back on its feet and is already on its way to finishing a second game, based on the original story material from their first game.

This time, TerraWars Online, incidentally called TWO, will be bigger, more ambitious and is a total revamp of TerraWars: NY Invasion. Ladyluck has made the game a full 3D multiplayer online role playing game and it is expected to be available not just for PCs but on the new game console platforms Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii.

medieval half-life: meet the dark messiah

01/18/07 at 9:15 pm | Posted in Gaming, INQUIRER.net, Tech | Leave a comment

Check out Alex Villafania’s Dark Messiah of Might and Magic review.

Here’s an excerpt:

As in most Might and Magic video games, DMMM is replete with side stories regarding the Might and Magic world. However, there are times when stories become confusing especially for those who are not familiar with the previous games, notwithstanding medieval fantasy-type literature. In fact, I had to do a little research of my own just to fit my idea of the story with what really happened in previous adventures.

x marks the spot for pinoy xbox users

01/18/07 at 9:11 pm | Posted in Gaming, INQUIRER.net, Tech | Leave a comment

Alex Villafania interviewed one of the administrators of PinoyXbox.com to do a feature story on this lively online community.

Here’s an excerpt:

Manalastas said the first-person shooter Gears of War has spurred a number of Filipino Xbox 360 owners to go on Xbox Live.

“I myself needed to remove several inactive gamers in my Friends List just to make room for several requests, who are all Filipinos. Unfortunately, you can only have a maximum of 100 friends for now,” he said.

“I think the number of broadband users in the Philippines [has] doubled as well with the help of online gaming, Xbox Live in particular,” Manalastas added.

hey, groove to the beat now on groovenet

01/18/07 at 9:06 pm | Posted in Gaming, INQUIRER.net, Tech | Leave a comment

Seems more exciting things are ahead for GrooveNet. If you’re a member of that Pinoy social networking site like I am, you’ve already noticed the new music panel. Expect more goodies to arrive soon.

Here’s an excerpt from Erwin Oliva’s hackenslash story:

“Adding your playlist is just the beginning,” GrooveNet co-founder Greg Kittelson said in a telephone interview.

Over the next few weeks, Kittelson said subscribers will also be able to rate other people’s music playlist and eventually grab songs off the music panel.

“You cannot download the songs. They will remain in our servers. It will just be transferred to your playlist,” he stressed.

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