Twitter Rival Expands In Asia

MobJet is expanding its microblogging services in Asia after a successful debut in Japan, reports Adweek.  The Singapore based company s next test market is its home country.  MobJet founder James Skinner sees his service offering features that will help it eventually take on Twitter.  The microblogging tool has no character limit and allows users to attach media files such as videos and music to their text messages.

Read more at Adweek {link no longer active}.

Developer Sees iPhone Install Base Boosting To 300 million

Mobile game developer Tag Games sees a coming spike in install base for Apple iPhone and iPod Touch as the devices expand in Asia and have fewer exclusive deals with mobile carriers.  Reported in, the comments were made by Tag Games Paul Farley at a UK game event.  Farley sees Apple’s expansion into Russia and China and fewer iPhone exclusive deals driving penetration of the devices up to 200-300 million units.  He thinks game developers need to consider the install base and start taking the devices seriously.

Farley also predicts that companies such as social game developer Playfish, and not necessarily big game publishers, will be among the first to take advantage of the promising free-to-play model on iPhone.


Getting Branded Videos Right

Writing for Ad Age, Keith Richman spells out three simple but critical steps in getting branded web video content right.  Richman cites growing pains from early high-profile efforts that fell flat when they didn’t draw viewers.  He blames it mostly on eager marketers overcome by this hot new marketing vehicle on the heels of successes such as lonelygirl15.   That eagerness drove some to go too big in the process.  However he sees successes this year giving branded content momentum again, and he whittles down the formula for success into three rules covering targeting, budgeting and distribution.

Read more from Ad Age {link no longer active}.

‘Assassin’s Creed Lineage Part 1’

If you haven’t done so already, make today the day you spend about 15 minutes to peek into the future of high-profile game franchise building, courtesy of Ubisoft.  Yesterday Ubisoft released the first part of a live action short-film trilogy promoting Assassin’s Creed II.   The short films, eventually totaling about 38 minutes in runtime, act as a prequel to the story that players will experience in the game.  They feature the same actors whose voice and likeness appear in the sequel.

The films are the work of the game publisher’s in-house creative staff and Hollywood production company Hybride Technologies.  Hybride was responsible for the special effects in Warner Brothers’ green-screen girded  300.   Ubisoft’s Yannis Mallat has called out the Assassin’s Creed Lineage shorts as having the same production value the publisher would want in a full length feature film.  Mallat has also said the effort is an experiment by Ubisoft in filmmaking, one that may lead to bigger involvement for the company in Hollywood projects based on its game properties.

Watch it at YouTube.

Four Out Of Ten U.S. Console Gamers Have Paid For DLC

A survey by research firm Today’s Gamers has found that paid downloadable content is gaining traction in the U.S. while Europe lags.  The results are reported by Industry Gamers.

The survey found 40 percent of U.S. game console owners have paid for downloadable content, including 15 percent who say they usually purchase new games digitally.  DLC penetration on consoles beat out PC among those surveyed in the U.S.  Only 23 percent said they pay to download games digitally on their PCs.  The survey also found 25 percent of U.S. gamers consider availability of demos an important factor in their purchase decisions.

In Europe, UK had the highest percentage of people purchasing DLC through their consoles at 25 percent.  Other major European territories surveyed showed penetration between 13-16 percent.

UPDATE: The sample size is 13,000 people surveyed by Today’s Gamers in U.S., UK, France, Germany, Belgium and Netherlands.

Industry Gamers has a table summarizing the results of the survey including total console penetration for U.S., UK, Germany, France and the Benelux territories.  Read more at Industry Gamers {link no longer active}.

Ubisoft Going Big For ‘Assassin’s Creed II’

Ubisoft is feeling warm and fuzzy about the prospects for Assassin’s Creed II, and it plans to turn up the heat in the coming weeks with a big marketing spend.  Talking to, Ubisoft UK head of marketing Murray Pannel says enormously positive feedback for the game has the publisher feeling as if it’s sitting on the franchise’s second blockbuster.  He says while PR and marketing for the title began in the spring, the fruits of big spends such as TV ads and launch events will bear out in the early weeks of November.  The title is slated for release on November 20.


iPhone Open Platform Promotes Piracy, Says Developer

Smells Like Donkey, developer of the game app Tap-Fu, has raised an alarm over piracy on iPhone.  As reported in Industry Gamers, the developer found its game pirated within 40 minutes of being released in Apple’s App Store.  It then traced approximately 85 percent of high scores submitted for the game in the first week of release back to pirated copies.  The developer is looking at ways to continue serving and drawing revenue from paying customers, such as releasing downloadable content, but doesn’t have a surefire solution to fight piracy.

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

Services Such As OnLive Not Yet Mass Market, Says Microsoft

Xbox Live head for Microsoft Europe Jerry Johnson says cloud computing and streaming game services are not yet mass market products, reports  Johnson made the comments at the BAFTA “Digital Distribution and the Future of the European Games Market” conference.  He sees needed improvements in technology that prevent accelerated mass adoption of services such as OnLive and Gaikai. includes reports in the same story about comments regarding Apple’s entry into the game console market.  Speaking at the London Game Conference, Screen Digest analyst Nick Parker suggests Apple may enter game consoles in the next generation, launching a machine powered by Intel chips.


Xfire Game Store Combines Shopping With Community

Game community and digital download site Xfire is working social networking features into online shopping.  The company’s Xfire Game Store is an online store selling full version downloads of popular and recently released PC games.  The revamped store announced today incorporates networking features from the site’s game community to facilitate shopping.  As spelled out by the company’s press release, new features allow shoppers to view their friends gamer profiles, see what they’ve bought and are currently playing, and even watch live game play footage.  Xfire says it has 14.5 million members across 100 countries.

Read more in the press release {link no longer active}.

Facebook Fans Flock To ‘Guitar Hero’

Activision says Guitar Hero is the first console game franchise to draw more than one million fans on its Facebook page, reports Industry Gamers.  The publisher sees the milestone as an indication of the broad, global appeal of its franchise.  The series has sold more than 38 million units worldwide, including 7 million units to-date in 2009.

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