ESA: Games Gain In Popularity As Holiday Gifts

A survey by the Entertainment Software Association has found that 42 percent of Americans are planning to give or receive games as holiday gifts, reports Kotaku. More than half of those surveyed also said they consider games a good gift option given the state of the economy. Kotaku says the percentage of those giving or hoping to receive games as gifts is up 9 percent from ESA’s 2007 survey. The percentage of women who want games for the holidays also jumped from 16 percent two year s ago to 47 percent in this year s survey. Read more at Kotaku.

Apple Patents Pushy Ad Tech

Apple has filed a patent for ad-supported devices that deliver free content but test users to make sure the ads are being noticed, reports NY Times. The patent filing outlines technology that pushes ads to any device with a screen then prompts users to respond in various ways to end the message. If the user fails to respond the calls to action get more complex, such as requiring entering the advertised brand’s name. Inventors at Apple have said they designed the tech to possibly introduce free or cheap devices to consumers willing to accept frequent advertising. If consumers find they can’t endure the ads, the devices would have a payout option to make them ad-free. NY Times says Steve Jobs name is listed on the patent filing, a rarity for Apple patents. The media outlet also questions whether the pushy advertising model in Apple s devices would affect the brand s standing among its loyal base. Read more at NY Times.

Twitter Bitches ‘Suggested Users’ List

Facing controversy around who it hand-picked to feature as top users, Twitter is eliminating its suggested users list. As reported by AP, Twitter caught flak after it launched the feature highlighting Tweeters it considered good content providers to follow. The list included of about 500 celebrities, athletes, politicians and others selected by co-founder Biz Stone and Twitter staff. Among those who complained was a political watchdog group in California that noted the list favored Democrats over Republicans. Stone says Twitter is exploring bringing back suggestion lists as an automated feature that creates lists based on user interests. Read more from AP.

Capcom Infects GameTrailers

Capcom infects your web browser with a virus that’s fun to fight, for a change. The publisher is promoting the upcoming Wii game Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles with a campaign on GameTrailers combining interactive video with site takeover display. The video starts innocently enough, with all the makings of another solidly edited Resident Evil trailer. As the action crescendos, zombies begin to break through the video frame into the web browser. Eventually a voice (likely Leon, kids) tips it off that the video s become interactive, telling viewers to begin shooting the zombies.

Writing for Ad Age, Beth Snyder Bulik talks to Capcom and GameTrailers about the campaign. GameTrailers Brad Winters says it’s the first time his site has run interactive video. Capcom’s Mona Hamilton says the goal is that the video becomes viral, driving viewers to GameTrailers. At the time of this post the video had nearly 177,000 views and very positive response.


Read more about the campaign and watch a video of the ad at Ad Age.


Experience it for yourself at GameTrailers.

Ad Age Viral Video Chart For Week Of Nov. 9

Ad Age’s weekly chart ranks the top ten viral videos from last week. This week has two noteworthy new entries. An International Olympics Committee video with Michael Phelps debuts at number one with more than 1.5 million views. Rock band Weezer’s fittingly weird decision to promote their new album by parodying the infomercial-like campaign for Snuggies blankets pays off. It drew nearly a million viewers to enter the list at number three. A third debut on the list is Volvo’s TV ad tie-ins with the film Twilight Saga: New Moon, in at number eight with about 335,000 views.

After its long run Microsoft’s Natal video is no longer on the list, making this week s top ten completely void of any game-related content.

Ad Age’s chart includes 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.


Check out the full list and watch the videos at Ad Age.

‘Shii’ Is Shameless

Caveat spectator.

A TV comedy show in Belgium has broken many feminism taboos in a parody of what sort of fare a Nintendo Wii aimed at female gamers might offer. The show is called M!LF if the name is off putting, stop reading.

If you do watch it and are completely offended, find the comment posted yesterday by stinky winky for some perspective from the other side.

Watch it at AdFreak.

Edge-Online Games Index For Nov. 9

Edge-Online charts internet buzz for games in the UK

EA’s Dragon Age: Origins was the resounding victor this week, drawing more than 10,000 mentions with about half of them positive. The overall volume of chatter for the game nearly tripled that of its closest competitors, EA’s FIFA 10 at second place and Microsoft’s Forza Motorsports 3 in third. Namco-Bandai’s Tekken 6 rounded out the top attention getters. All the top games garnered positive mentions in the 50-53 percent range.

This week, Edge-Online breaks out a chart of soccer games to see how they re faring in buzz in the UK. After FIFA, Sega’s Football Manager 2010 and Konami’s PES 2010 dominate the soccer game chatter. The most striking thing in the chart for those on the left side of the Pond might be how many soccer manager simulations the UK market is willing to support.

The chart can be manipulated to rank top ten games by volume of comments, or by percentages of positive and negative mentions. Data is provided by Brandwatch. Check it out at Edge-Online.

NPD: October Game Sales Fall 19 Percent

NPD’s game industry report for October shows a precipitous 19 percent decline in sales compared to the same month last year, reports Industry Gamers. Both hardware and software contributed to the decline, with hardware down 23 percent and game sales falling by 18 percent. Year-to-date sales are now down 13 percent compared to the same period in 2008.

Nintendo systems led the hardware category for the month, with 507,000 units sold for Wii and 458,000 for DS. Sony trailed with about 321,000 units of PS3, while Microsoft managed just fewer than 250,000 units of Xbox 360.

Top game sellers were Sony’s Uncharted 2: Among Thieves with 537,000 units, Nintendo’s Wii Fit Plus with 441,000 units, and Take-Two’s Borderlands selling 418,000 units.

Beyond Ho-Hum Social Media Marketing: How To Create A Fan-Fueled Frenzy Online

Ben Straley, CEO of internet analytics firm Meteor Solutions, and Steve Fowler, VP of Strategy and Client Services for Ayzenberg Group, are presenting a seminar on social media best practices on Wednesday, November 18, at 11:00 a.m. PST.  Registration is open.

Here s the full description:

Today, the most successful marketing campaigns in the games and

entertainment industries are fueled by sharing and online word of mouth. Major sites like Facebook and Twitter, as well as message boards and forums, all play a pivotal role in driving and extending the reach of campaigns via person-to-person sharing.

But how exactly do you design and execute the kinds of campaigns that get people talking What content will attract and engage your target audience enough to drive the spread of your campaign organically How can brands and agencies work together to create buzz-building, fan-fueled social media campaigns

In this free educational “Brown Bag” webinar from Meteor Solutions, Ben Straley, CEO of Meteor Solutions and Steve Fowler, VP of Strategy and Client Services of leading interactive entertainment agency, Ayzenberg Group, will present concrete best practices and actionable strategies for creating social marketing campaigns that go beyond ordinary to extraordinary. The speakers will also describe a case study of one of the most successful video game launch campaigns of all time — and illustrate with real-world examples how the right strategy, content, and tactics can make your next social media campaign a huge success.

Marketers and agencies will learn:

·Why and how people share games and entertainment content — and
how marketers can tap into this behavior
·How to engage and activate hardcore fans, and how to motivate them to share
·How to create fan-fueled campaigns by delivering the right content
to attract and engage your audience
·How to convert visitors into customers, motivating visitors to
become “mega” fans who share your content with their friends and family

Please join us for this tactics-packed Brown Bag seminar!  Registration is open.

Massive And ComScore Partner On In-game Ad Data

Microsoft’s in-game ad subsidiary Massive is partnering with online ad metrics firm comScore to standardize game ad measurement and broaden adoption of in-game campaigns. As reported in Adweek, the two firms are working together to merge Massive s in-game ad data with comScore’s online branding effectiveness measurements. Massive hopes standardized measurement for their campaigns will make it easier for buyers to recommend in-game ads to their clients.