Can Daft Punk Save Music Games?

From Rolling Stone:

They are known to be selective about the projects they get involved with and being able to partner with them in this way is a rare opportunity we are honored to have, [Tim Riley, Activision’s VP of Music Affairs] added. From the mixes featuring their music, to their character models and the amazing Daft Punk inspired venue, the guys have been meticulously involved every step of the way.

Among the 11 exclusive mixes Daft Punk contributed is a mash-up of their Technologic with Gary Numan’s Cars (it s safe to assume Trent Reznor will be rocking that one) and a remix of Around the World versus Young MC’s Bust A Move. In addition to the mash-ups, Daft Punk also provided two megamixes for in-game play.

The music genre s woes have been well documented in the[a]listdaily, with sales down 40 percent year-over-year, well below the industry average which is already contending with weakness.

Jay-Z and Eminem have already lent their brand to the game s upcoming special edition packaging, Grandmaster Flash provides the in-game tutorial, and DJs from DJ Shadow to the late DJ AM provide remixes. We just feel Daft Punk, the French electronic power duo takes DJ Hero from curiosity to must-buy for many music fans.

Just one example of the comments on the news:

“Holy %#$@… no way :D… THEY GOT DAFT PUNK… I HAVE to buy this game now”

Activision must know the cred this brings them, as they’ve recently unleashed a trailer that focuses on Daft Punk s remix of their song Robot Rock with Queen’s stadium anthem We Will Rock You, which we’ve embedded below.

MTV Sells Branded VMA Award

From Ad Age:

Pepsi bought the rights to one of the awards that will now be known as the Best Performance in a Pepsi Rock Band Video Award, which [was] presented during the live telecast.

The award is the culmination of an ongoing “Rock Band” campaign Pepsi has co-sponsored with MTV Networks’ Harmonix game. Nearly 700 gamers submitted their own “Rock Band”-inspired music video for a chance at their very own Moonman (the VMA equivalent of an Oscar).

As a sign of the modern MTV viewer’s brand savvy, the top-rated entries were from viewers who integrated Pepsi products into their music videos.

The synergy between MTV s cable and gaming groups is on fantastic display with this VMA Award, and while the commercial that showed was a bit convoluted, it marks a breakthrough in branded opportunities on the channel.

Professor Layton And The Marketing Plan

Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box came out on August 24 and racked up 65K in sales in seven days — not bad for a game marketed largely to female gamers in several TV commercials.

September sales data will be out in a few weeks but if Layton has a strong showing, it could mean the unorthodox marketing paid off.  Nintendo created and is running three distinct commercials featuring female gamers with Nintendo DSi systems playing the puzzle game.



Halo 3 ODST Facebook Party

Bungie is taking the next step in engaging with their consumers on a social level by holding a huge Halo 3 ODST party in Seattle.  The event is open to the public and anyone can attend, with the details outlined below.  We love this idea of opening real world events to the public, and we ll have pictures and impressions from the event the very next day.

From Facebook:

ODSTs, your time has arrived. On September 21, the Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame in Seattle will be the place to be to celebrate all things Halo. Bungie and Microsoft invite Halo fans to take part in a celebration of the Halo franchise and usher in the release of Halo 3: ODST, the latest installment in the iconic video game franchise that has sold more than 27 million copies worldwide.

At the launch event, fans will have the opportunity to meet the creators who are driving the latest developments in the Halo universe, including Halo 3: ODST Creative Director Joseph Staten from Bungie and Halo Franchise Development Director Frank O Connor from 343 Industries. Fans will also receive hands-on time with Firefight and prepare for glory in an action-packed tournament for a chance to win coveted Halo -themed prizes. A select number of attendees will also be chosen for a special hands-on session with the Halo 3: ODST campaign.

Additionally, the event will feature special programming throughout the evening with panel discussions featuring Bungie and 343 Industries personnel. Through the panels, fans will learn more about the creation of Halo 3: ODST and get a sneak peek at the exciting new additions to the Halo experience such as Halo Legends, Halo Waypoint and more.

The launch event is free and open to the public.* The first 200 fans in line will receive a limited edition ODST T-shirt, so attendees are encouraged to arrive early. A panel of judges from Bungie and 343 Industries will be on hand to award prizes to the fans with the best Halo -themed costumes, so suit up and bring your best UNSC Marine/ODST/Master Chief/Cortana costume for all to see. During the event, all attendees are invited to tour the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame free of charge.

True Blood Continues TV Franchise Jump Into Games

True Blood, a popular HBO series that centers around Sookie Stackhouse and her adventures with vampires, shapeshifters and the supernatural, is headed for a video game adaptation.

A recent trademark filing with the US Patent & Trademark Office shows HBO is interested in giving the show a full video game treatment, though there are no additional details at this time.

True Blood joins Dexter as a series you wouldn’t expect to see as a game, but it’s a testament to how the video game industry has grown in acceptance over the past year. Dexter, based on the critically-acclaimed Showtime show, recently hit the iPhone to solid reviews.

Microsoft And Activision Collaborate On New Xbox 360

At a special event last night, Activision and Microsoft announced a special edition Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Xbox 360 bundle.

Releasing this fall, the Modern Warfare 2 pack contains a copy of the game, two wireless controllers, a headset, a massive 250GB hard drive and, most importantly, a sleek Xbox 360 console branded with exclusive Modern Warfare 2 artwork.

The bundle retails for $399 and can be pre-ordered now, and is just another way Microsoft has been leading the charge in engaging people in their passion points which, in this case, is one of the biggest games of the year.

Pics at Kotaku:

Brutal Legend Goes Old School With Special Edition

Continuing the wave of publishers giving retailers a fighting chance against the likes of Amazon is EA and Brutal Legend teaming up with Best Buy for a very appropriate pre-order bonus.

Consumers who plunk down pre-order money for the game at Best Buy will be treated to an exclusive LP sleeve with Brutal Legend artwork.  The game centers around a metal and hard rock world, so the artwork on the sleeve harkens back to all the 80s metal bands you can think of. (We can’t think of any.)

But the LP and artwork will be greatly appreciated by gamers who want a flashback to dramatic album covers filled with babes, dragons and fire. Always with the fire.


Another Portable Coming

Microsoft has been rumored to get into portables for years now, and they are looking at the Zune HD for their first foray into the market.  Project Gotham Racing: Ferrari Edition, Vans Sk8: Pool Service and Audiosurf Tilt will kick off the Zune HD games push in November.

The move has a lot to do with Apple s success in the gaming market with the iPhone and iPod Touch, with the latter being heavily touted as the funnest iPod ever and a direct competitor to the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP.

Video Of The Day: Fallon And Black At The VMAs

Tim Schafer should be a happy man, as his creation Eddie Riggs is getting some good play ahead of his starring role in Brutal Legend.

Jack Black, the voice of Riggs in the game, donned fake muscles and a jet black wig to rock out at the VMAs, and today’s video of the day has Black interviewed with Jimmy Fallon on the red carpet. Black also promoted the game in the same get-up while presenting an award. Pretty impressive, EA.

Unfortunately it can’t be embedded, but it’s in the link below about a third of the way in, and gives you an example of how a big name can bring you exposure you would never expect.

[via Rolling Stone]