A Brutal Ballet

The slogan for Namco-Bandai’s Tekken 6 asks, What will you fight for?  The slogan feeds the concept behind the publisher s live action viral videos, the message seemingly being that people will fight anyone over anything.  The creative videos show people from all walks of life women, children, grandfathers, lingerie models in the midst of laying smack-downs worthy of an MMA ring, and apparently for no good reason.  Standout qualities for the videos are expert production value with use of super slow motion photography and classical music to great effect.  AdFreak calls them out as attempting to bringing class to game marketing, for a change.

Watch the videos at AdFreak.

Walmart’s Gamer Buddies Move From Madden To ‘Modern Warfare 2’

Walmart’s humorous ads featuring a trash-talking gamer duo are in a new TV spot for Activision’s Modern Warfare 2.   The retailer had previously aired the pair pitching EA’s Madden football titles.

The premise for the new ads is the same, with the two seemingly well adjusted men reverting to childish tactics when it comes to online gaming.  The original ads had a little subtlety despite their ridiculous premise, one of grown men lying badly to mislead each other about whether they ve been practicing their online Madden skills.  The spin for Modern Warfare goes for more over-the-top dialogue and a slapstick punchline.

Watch it at Kotaku.

Ad Age Viral Video Chart For Week Of Oct. 19

Ad Age s weekly chart lists the top 10 viral videos from last week, with number of views for the week and percentage change in views for videos that stayed on the chart.  The list is compiled by Visible Measures.

This week s chart reflects the battles being played out between Apple and Microsoft over computers, and Apple and Verizon over smart phones.  The viral video winner for now is Apple, with their Windows 7 bashing Mac ad pulling in nearly 1.7 million views to make number two on the list.  Verizon, which had its own Apple-bashing There’s a Map for That ads on the chart before, sees its TV spot for the Droid phone make number four on the chart with more than 960,000 views.  For Microsoft, a Windows 7 spot breaks into the top ten, and Project Natal remains a fixture on the chart.  This week it’s at number six with more than 400,000 views.

Number one for the week is a video of Volkswagen’s street art experiment with an environmental message, where the carmaker turned a subway staircase into a foot piano.  Vodafone’s Symphonia spot creating classical music out of mobile ring-tones breaks into the list at number 10.

Check out the full list and watch the videos at Ad Age {link no longer active}.

Edge-Online Games Index For Week Of Oct. 26

Edge-Online charts online buzz for the top ten UK games on a weekly basis, tracked by marketing metrics firm Brandwatch.

The top ranked game for the second week in a row is Sony’s Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, down slightly in overall mentions but still getting a lion s share of the buzz with more than 8,267 mentions.  The second ranked game is a new entry, Microsoft’s racer Forza Motorsport 3, which garnered 4,817 mentions.  The other newcomer is THQ’s Smackdown Vs Raw 2010 at number six

Soccer is on Europeans gamers’ minds this week as well, more so than usual with EA’s FIFA 10 on shelves and Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 coming next week.  EA’s game is winning handily on the buzz index, at fourth place with 3,883 mentions.  It also has a higher percentage of positive mentions, garnering 52 percent positive comments versus 46 percent for PES 2010.

This week, Edge also looks at UK buzz for the top ten MMORPGs.  Blizzard’s World of Warcraft dominates with more than 4,600 mentions, with Jagex Games Runescape at second with 3,093.  The top five is rounded out by Lord of the Rings Online, Aion and Champions Online.

Check out the charts at Edge-Online {links no longer active}.

Nintendo President: The Wii Mood Has Cooled

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata says Wii sales have stalled and blames it on his company not releasing strong software, reports Gamesindustry.biz.  Iwata made the comments at a press conference.  He says Nintendo did not continue releasing Wii titles that gamers could consider the next thing, the result being a loss of momentum in the marketplace.  Iwata’s comments mirrored Nintendo’s official company statements after earnings for the first half of the year showed profit plunged by 52 percent.

Iwata also says the Wii price cut didn’t prompt a big enough spike to reach last year’s sales levels.  He predicts a turnaround, with expectations that Nintendo can move 20 million Wii units by March 2010.  Read more at Gamesindustry.biz.

Making A Bazaar Out Of Home Not A Priority At Sony

Sony’s director of PlayStation Home, Pete Edwards, says the service is growing and pulling in revenue, but developing it as a marketplace isn’t a priority for the company.  Edwards comments made at the London Games Conference are reported in Gamesindustry.biz.

In spite of the company’s stance, Edwards pointed out that Sony has proven the virtual marketplace model it envisioned with the service exists, with users spending money and significant amounts of time an average of 56 minutes per session on Home.  Read more at Edge-Online {link no longer active}.

Wii Weighs Down Game Industry Forecast

Wedbush Morgan Securities has revised down its game industry sales forecast for 2009, reports Industry Gamers.  The firm predicts a 4 percent decline in U.S. and Europe game sales compared to last year.  Wedbush Morgan’s Michael Pachter cites softer than expected September sales in the U.S., down 12 percent in year-over-year comparison, and lower expectations for Wii.

Pachter sees a rebound in the fourth quarter on the back of blockbuster releases such as Modern Warfare 2 and Assassin’s Creed II, with continued double-digit growth through August 2010.  Pointing to a strong slate of releases through middle of next year, Pachter predicts that a minimum of 16 games will sell 1 million units or more in the first half of 2010.

Read more at Industry Gamers {link no longer active}.

Killer Social Media Campaign

French TV’s 13eme Rue is running a unique social campaign reflecting the channel s thriller and suspense programming fare.  Reported in Adverblog, the channel has launched a web site lets people create customized murder videos.  Using uploaded pictures, people can create an execution video showing their friends being killed, then send the link to the victim to invite them to help solve the crime.  The web site has been rated 16+.

Read more at Adverblog {link no longer active}.

THQ Gets More Time To Renew Wrestling Game License

World Wrestling Entertainment has extended the deadline for renewing its game license with THQ to give the publisher time to settle a dispute with venture partner Jakks Pacific, reports Gamesindustry.biz.  The WWE license has been a joint venture between THQ and Jakks, and both would have to be at the table to renegotiate it.  The companies have been odds over breaches of contract, with THQ trying to terminate the partnership.  Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Michael Pachter predicts that THQ will settle the dispute with a payoff to Jakks in the next two months.

Read more at Gamesindustry.biz.

Kids Join The Great Pumpkin In Dissing Linus This Halloween

A dark cloud hung over Charles M. Schulz s classic Halloween TV special this year, as It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown saw a significant slip in viewership among children and young adults.  Ad Age reports that the program, a Halloween TV tradition since 1966, drew 18 percent fewer viewers in both the 18-49 and 6-11 year old age categories.  It dropped precipitously among teens, drawing 42 percent fewer viewers than last year.

As Ad Age puts it, Good grief!

Read more at Ad Age {link no longer active}.