Borderlands: Before And After

From Offworld:

When Gearbox’s Randy Pitchford explained the new art style of Borderlands to the press, he described it as a “mutiny”. His art team had apparently gone back to their concept art assets and realized that, ultimately, their drawings and paintings had more character and appeal than the art-style that had ended up in the version of the game they had at that time.

Take a look at the dramatic before and after videos and see how significantly a few filters can change the whole look and marketing plan for a game.


Robot Chicken Series Debuts On PlayStation Home

Robot Chicken is a short form animated series that is one of the most popular shows on Adult Swim, and is now debuting on PlayStation Home later this year.

We’ve come a long, long way from the opening days of the PlayStation Home Theater space, where the debut trailer for Twilight played in an endless cycle of brain-melting teen melodrama. Today, if you drop by the networking service’s silver screens, you’ll be able to view some programming that’s probably more in your wheelhouse — clips from Adult Swim’s Mego-infused comedy series, Robot Chicken.  [Joystiq]

Halo Waypoint Dated

Microsoft has set a date of November 5 for the launch of Halo Waypoint on Xbox 360. The vision of Halo Waypoint is to have videos (everything from classic ads of the first Halo to the latest Halo Legends anime shorts), mini-games and more to appeal to Xbox 360 owners regardless of how much they like (or loathe) Halo.

This will be an interesting experiment, and one Sony has been trying with the different spaces in PlayStation Home. The idea is to engage users right on their console with a variety of multimedia and games, continuing to push that series as games, movies and books come out.

Halo Waypoint will segue into the anticipated launch of Halo 3: ODST later this year, which will in and of itself be a test of whether the Halo name or the Master Chief character is what resonates with gamers. The game, a prequel to Halo 3, deals with members of the human army, fighting the alien army on Earth.

It also looks to market the hell out of the Halo brand and upcoming Halo products for the year. Look for Halo Waypoint on Xbox Live on November 5.

Price Cut, Marketing Working For PS3 Rebrand

From Joystiq:

Sony Computer Entertainment America has some good news and some bad news to share. The good: Sales of PS3 hardware at its “top retailers” jumped 300 percent for the first week of September versus the week before the system’s price was cut to $299 for the 120GB “slim” unit. The bad: Um, well . . . okay, we lied. Everything’s pretty good for a change at SCEA HQ, considering people are actually buying its console. (Although 300 percent pales in comparison to Europe’s totally legit 999 percent increase . . . or Japan’s 7,350 percent increase).

We’ve outlined the efforts of the new PS3 in last week s exclusive feature and believe the perfect storm that Sony’s been waiting for has finally arrived.

The marketing, which now centers around a humorous (fictional) Sony employee Kevin Butler, has been instrumental in pushing the new price tag and ample features of PS3, and with an expected price cut for a month now, many consumers who were waiting on the fence decided to make the jump.

The end of the year is shaping up to be big, with the momentum clearly on Sony’s side.

NPD Data Shows Batman Surprise

Batman: Arkham Asylum has been a critical hit ever since its launch in late August, and was one of the big surprises in yesterday s NPD sales data release for the month.

The sales chart, led by obvious leaders Madden NFL 10 and Wii Sports Resort, shows Batman’s two SKUs placing fourth and fifth, with Xbox 360 edging out the PS3 version by about 13K units.

In total, a half-million Batman units have been sold, with a strong September showing now expected. The marketing is well targeted with a hot franchise and, most importantly, a high quality product that led to significant word of mouth. We will examine Batman: Arkham Asylum in an upcoming the[a]listdaily feature.

Capcom Releasing More Triple Packs

From VG247:

Capcom released its Platinum Hits Triple Pack featuring Devil May Cry 4, Dead Rising, and Lost Planet: Colonies Edition this past Tuesday.  It was such a nice package of games, we decided to contact Capcom to find out if more were planned for the year or the very near future.

We’ve been doing Triple Pack collections pretty steadily over the last three years, Capcom’s Chris Kramer told VG247. In 2006 we did a DMC collection for PS2 and in 2007 we did a Resident Evil PS2 collection.  These collections are a great way to introduce new players to ongoing series, extend life of our back-catalog products and bring old favorites back at reasonable prices.

We don’t have any new announcements at the moment the Triple Pack is just launching but I wouldn’t rule out more collections in 2010.

As the economy continues to struggle and household budgets shrink, we think package deals like the ones Capcom are offering are a great way to expand the consumer base. The games they’re offering have already reached their sales plateau, but at a competitive price and packaged with other games, we expect other companies to follow suit this and next year, especially through DLC.

What Happened To Madden?

From IndustryGamers:

EA Sports’ latest Madden was easily the best selling title for the month of August, racking up close to 2 million unit sales across its five SKUs. The Wii SKU, however, which EA put extra effort into redesigning with an all-new visual style and other Wii-specific features, only managed to sell 67K copies, The NPD Group has told IndustryGamers.

EA has worked hard to bring Madden to the Nintendo Wii a couple of times, but only to very mild success. This is a testament that, just because a brand is as impactful as Madden on other systems, selling 2 million to the hardcore, being the console market leader means very little when the demographics are so different.

Our advice is to stick to marketing and developing EA Sports Fitness and forget Madden, at least on Nintendo Wii.

Video Of The Day: Some New Kevin Butler

Today’s video of the day is a brand new commercial starring Sony’s fictional PS3 barker, Kevin Butler. It’s all about touting family games, because kids ca hey, Butler, hands off my wife!


AFK: The Beatles In 8-Bit

From 8-Bit Operators:

Almost 2 full years in the making, the 8-Bit Operators’ “Wanna Hld Yr Handheld” Beatles tribute focuses on the glorious avante-garde and electronic side of the Fab 4 with over 20 of the biggest international names in 8-bit chip music, all utilizing re-tooled, classic Game Boys, Ataris, Commodore 64s and Nintendo Entertainment Systems!

Today s AFK is just a little bit of blip-bop for the weekend, and we guarantee at least one of these tunes will get stuck in your head.

[listen up]

Nirvana Versus Guitar Hero 5

From BBC:

Former Nirvana members Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl have said they are “dismayed and very disappointed” at how Kurt Cobain is used in a video game.

They do not agree that the band’s late frontman can be used to play songs by other artists in the new Guitar Hero.

In a joint statement, they said they “didn’t know” Cobain’s character in the game could be used to play any kind of song the player wants.

As mentioned above, Kurt Cobain can be used by gamers in Guitar Hero 5 to play a multitude of songs, not only those by his original band, Nirvana. Viral videos like the one embedded below have proven embarrassing to fans of the revered pioneer of grunge rock, and is exactly not what Activision needs when going up against the venerable Beatles and their edition of Rock Band.


Courtney Love, widow of Cobain, also commented on the situation:Love has also criticised the game on Twitter and has threatened to sue Activision.The star said she “never signed” off the game and claimed, “there’s been four breaches of a very strict contract”.She added: “This trust are my employees, but whatthey [sic] are tryong [sic] to do is sickening, and they need to be fired, and repairations [sic] need made.” The legal and monetary battles will come and go, but the impact to a music-based brand as popular as Guitar Hero may be severe. Guitar Hero and Rock Band have gained in popularity partly through record labels and bands understanding their music would be treated with respect, and music fans have come to accept that. This is getting ugly, and quickly.