‘Left 4 Dead 2’ Still Alive In Australia

Valve and EA have secured the release of Left 4 Dead 2 in Australia after removing content deemed too violent by the country s rating board, reports Gamesindustry.biz.  The decision comes after Australia s Office of Film and Literature Classification initially rejected the title as inappropriate for the country s most mature game rating of MA15+.  Australian officials had also rejected the notion that the country should consider introducing a higher mature rating equivalent to 18+ ratings in U.S. and Europe.

Changes for the most part remove mutilations, wound details and effects such as blood splatters and dead bodies remaining on the screen.  Valve has stated that the original ruling is still under appeal with a decision expected later this month, calling the edited version a back up plan.

Read more at Gamesindustry.biz.

A September To Remember For PS3

Two analysts have shared predictions for September game sales as NPD prepares to release hard data next week.  Reported by Industry Gamers, Jesse Divnich of EEDAR and Michael Pachter of Wedbush Morgan Securities have released statements highlighting expected double-digit growth for software with sales in the $715-750 million range.  Both also expect PS3 hardware sales to make or beat 400,000 units, topping 360 and Wii.

Divnich expects Halo3: ODST to be the top-seller for the month, at around 1.8 million units.  Industry Gamers rounds out the anticipated top five as The Beatles: Rock Band, Need for Speed: Shift, Guitar Hero 5 and Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2.

Read more at Industry Gamers {link no longer active}.

Sony Goes Big TV In UK For ‘Uncharted 2’

The UK is prepping for a TV-heavy marketing blitz for Sony’s Uncharted 2: Among Thieves , reports Electronic Theatre.  The campaign kicks off next week with a four-week TV run airing what the media outlet calls a full-length HD trailer.  Spots will air during England World Cup qualifiers.  Sony has also secured ten week sponsorships on UK cable channel programs Sky One’s Friday Night Movie and Discovery Channel’s Adventure & Survival.   A cinema campaign rolls out after the game s release, running a different trailer than the TV run that features all in-game footage.

The game hits shelves in UK on October 16.  Read more at Electronic Theatre.

Will ‘Modern Warfare 2’ Storm The Holidays?

The buzz building around Activision’s upcoming sequel in its blockbuster shooter franchise has one media outlet predicting complete domination.  Writing for Examiner.com, Eric Eckstein is asking if Modern Warfare 2 might not claim the Holiday event-game throne previously occupied by such regal fare as Halo.

With a couple of great TV blitzes started during the NBA playoffs and recently hitting primetime NFL games bookending a multi-million dollar marketing campaign, Eckstein seems to be caught up among those counting the days up to the game s November 10 release.  In the interest of full disclosure, so is this [a]list daily writer.

Read more at Examiner.com {link no longer active}.

Unofficial Console Install Base In China Is 2-3 Million

Market research firm Niko Partners has estimated the gray market in China for PS2, PS3, Xbox, 360, GameCube and Wii at 2-3 million units, reports Gamesindustry.biz.  The firm says the install base grew significantly last year with nearly 1.4 million 360 and Wii consoles smuggled into the country.  Consumers seek out the smuggled units, which Niko says are offered at full market prices, because console makers won t officially import them.  Niko managing partner Lisa Hanson told GI.biz that this translates into lost revenue for the console manufacturers.

Read more at Gamesindustry.biz.

Introducing Super Interactive Pre-Roll Ads

Online ad video network ScanScout is debuting technology that turns pre-roll ads into super-interactive Super Pre-Rolls , reports Adweek.  The company’s tech can be applied to existing video, implementing a layer of interactive links that can be placed anywhere within the video frame.  The improvement is over existing interactive online videos that can only place links at the bottom of video players.  The company believes the added interactivity in online video ads will also provide more data for advertisers to gather.

Read more at Adweek {link no longer active}.

YouTube Finds A Way To Commercialize Pirated Content

More media companies are finding there’s value in claiming versus blocking content when it comes to YouTube user videos infringing on their copyrights.  Reported by NY Times, YouTube is partnering with some of the companies whose content is pirated on the site.  Where in the past companies insisted that such content be blocked, they can now opt to stake a claim to the video allowing YouTube to sell ads and split the revenues.

YouTube says currently unauthorized clips uploaded by users account for a third of the videos where they sell advertising.  To facilitate its new model for media companies, YouTube has partnered with tech providers to develop a system making it possible to identify clips uploaded by users almost immediately after a live program or aired event.

In an example provided to NY Times, YouTube partnered with Jive Records to include ads and purchase links on a user wedding video featuring the song Forever by the label’s artist Chris Brown.  The wedding video reached 26.6 million views, and sites such as Amazon and iTunes linked at YouTube saw spikes in sales and music video downloads.

Read more at NY Times.

Data Reveals Gender Balance On Social Media Sites

Online researcher Information Is Beautiful has released data from Google Ad Planner highlighting gender breakdown on popular social media sites.  Reported by FastCompany, the data shows women outnumber men on all web sites where activity is purely social networking, while sites with other purposes such as YouTube and Linked-In are split down the middle.

Women edge out men on some of the most popular sites, for instance on Facebook and Twitter where 57 percent of users are female.  The disparity grows on MySpace, which reported 64 percent female users.  The only site where men outnumber women is Digg.com, at 64 percent male.

Read more and access the full chart at FastCompany {link no longer active}.