Interactive YouTube Video Promotes Showtime Series ‘Dexter’

A YouTube video channels the classic game Where’s Waldo to promote the show’s season premiere. The series of Where’s Dexter videos imbed Michael C. Hall’s serial killer character in crowded situations. Viewers are challenged to scan locales such as a busy airport to find the inconspicuously dressed Dexter, as in no goofy Waldo outfit. That s part of what makes this work so well, where the video gets across the killer among us premise of the show and gives the game an element of suspense.

Since [a]listdaily checked out the video and posted this entry, views have nearly doubled over a 24 hour period to more than 45,000 views. Showtime even has a Dexter iPhone game app tied into their multi-prong promo for the show.

Check out the interactive video at YouTube.

Microsoft Unveils Social Media Monitoring Tool

Microsoft released details for Looking Glass, a tool for collecting and tracking social media data. As both aggregator and monitor, Microsoft says the tool is what companies need not just to stay abreast of what happens in their social media sites but discover actionable situations quickly.

Looking Glass is also feeding data from firms already providing detailed metrics, such as Meteor Solutions.  It s not on shelves yet, but the feature list could give hope to anyone in sales and marketing struggling to figure out how to manage the mountain of data that comes their way.

Abbey Klaassen s piece at Ad Age interviews MS executives who use all the right words. They had [a]listdaily at, Catch a mini web crisis before it erupts.

Read more at Ad Age.

PS3 Sales Spike Could Spell Shortages, Wii Price Cut Likely For US But Not UK

Sales of the PS3 have spiked three-fold after last month s $100 price cut. SCEA’s Jack Tretton told Reuters that the pace represents a significant improvement over last year. He predicted an overall lift for the game industry for the Holidays driven by hardware price cuts and great games. Read more in the report from Reuters.

Meanwhile while reporting that the Wii US price cut will be announced at TGS, says that Nintendo plans a new Holiday bundle en lieu of a price cut in the UK.  (Implied frown emoticon for our friends across the Pond.) Read more at

Major Publishers Are Developing Games For Project Natal, Says Microsoft

Microsoft revealed a list of publishers developing games for its motion controller.  Reporting from Tokyo Game Show, Joystiq says that Microsoft sent developers their Natal development kits in June and that publishers from Activision to Ubisoft have been developing games for it.
Name-dropping evangelists for the device is at the heart of Microsoft’s PR strategy.  In moves guaranteed to raise eyebrows at TGS, Capcom’s Keiji Inafune has publicly praised Project Natal, and Konami’s Hideo Kojima is participating on a Microsoft hosted Natal panel at the show.

Read more at Joystiq.

Microsoft Refutes EA Buyout Rumor

A Microsoft spokesperson responds that the EA buyout rumor has no merit, and EA shares retreat. The unnamed spokesperson made the statement to MarketWatch, who also reported that analysts had for the most part dismissed the move. That didn’t stop EA shares from spiking during the day before sliding slightly in after hours trading. Read more at MarketWatch.

Wedbush Morgan Security s Michael Pachter meanwhile summed up why analysts dismissed the rumor. Talking to Industry Gamers, he cites the downward pressure such a move would put on EA’s value given the effect it would have on its exclusive sports franchises and other licenses.

THQ At Center Of Game Industry’s Second Buyout Rumor, And Buying Rally

Flush off the success of its UFC game, THQ is rumored to be a buyout target. The Wall Street Journal brought the rumor to light, naming Time Warner and Viacom as possible companies courting the publisher.

Breaking down the reports and rumors for Gamasutra, Leigh Alexander writes that odds don’t favor Time Warner given their very recent acquisition of another game company, Eidos. The move could make more sense for Viacom, who has an existing relationship with THQ through their Nickelodeon licensed games. Confusing speculative traders even more, analysts have chimed in that Take-Two, not THQ, would be the likely next takeover target in the game industry.

Read the full report at Gamasutra.

EA Turned On By Online Model, Says Analyst

EA recognizes an outmoded retail model while looking to online growth, says Lazard Capital Markets. Speaking for the firm, Colin Sebastian believes that EA will leverage its strong position in genres such as shooting, sports and racing to take advantage of the growing trend of online gaming. His analysis comes after a visit with EA to assess the company s strategy.

As online gaming continues to chip away at console gamers attention and dollars, bringing powerful EA brands such as Need For Speed and Madden into the fray is smart. Colin cites business model and revenue opportunities as possible challenges the company is considering. Let’s hope filed under one of those barriers to success is how fickle the online market can be. Online is where the biggest hurdle has been a game’s ability to attract and sustain an active player community. In other words, big brands aside, it’s all about gameplay quality.

Read more at Gamasutra.

Survey Breaks Down The American Teen Market

A marketing survey found that the two largest segments comprising the American teen market are metrosexuals and jockettes. The former are described as appearance conscious young men, the latter as active young women.

In all the survey identified 11 segments, complete with great descriptive labels such as technosapiens and style meets thrift. No word on whether they charted who s taking whose lunch money these days.

Yahoo! Ad Blitz Focused On ‘You’

Yahoo! is launching a slogan-heavy $100 million dollar ad campaign. As the company’s chief Carol Bartz describes it, the campaign s core messaging is user-centric. With taglines such as, The internet is under new management, yours, they’re obviously tapping into the user-empowerment everyone is feeling with Web 2.0.

Being Yahoo!, they re also getting a lot of PR for just launching their blitz. There’s plenty of media coverage on it. Bartz sums it up nicely for NY Times.

Read the story at NY Times.

Classic Games Deserve A Museum In Paris

A group called is lobbying the French government to preserve classic video games. They are asking for the creation of the National Institute of Digital Sciences in France to house playable versions of old classics.

A leader of the group admits it could be a long process. He divides game companies that have been contacted into those who see the value of preserving their heritage, and those that just want to look ahead. Based on the site landing page, it seems the group is also proposing the museum s architecture pay homage to the hulky form factor the industry prefers.