Ad Executive To Head Up Atari Marketing

Atari has reached over to the advertising industry to pluck its newest head of marketing, reports Ad Age. The publisher has hired Jonathan Anastas as vice president of marketing. Up to this point Anastas had been primarily an agency man, working at Saatchi & Saatchi, Mullen and DDB. His prior work included game accounts THQ and Vivendi. Read more at Ad Age.

Online Game Subscriptions Are Growing, Says NPD

Research firm NPD has a new study showing a growing appetite in the US for entertainment subscription models, reports Edge-Online.  NPD’s Entertainment Trends in America report shows fourteen percent of US households subscribe to an online game service. It also shows a seven percent increase in US spending on subscriptions for entertainment content over last year. The data is from August of this year.  Read more at Edge-Online.

YouTube Will Support 1080p

YouTube is upping its high definition video from 720p to support full 1080p HD videos. In a post dated November 12, the Official YouTube Blog says it plans to roll out the feature by this week. It’s currently running a test 1080p video. Read more at the Official YouTube Blog.

Going Boldly Where No Armchair Has Gone Before

Toshiba s TV spot for its HDTV line uses lofty creative. The company is promoting its Regza televisions in a nearly silent ad that follows the ascent of an armchair into space. The only audio in the ad is the only sound you’d expect in earth s upper atmosphere wind. The ad delivers Toshiba s messaging through the tagline Armchair Viewing Redefined, appearing at end as the scene fades back into the frame of a Toshiba Regza TV. Toshiba says the inspiration for the idea behind the spot and the new messaging is how central the chair is to the TV viewing experience.

DailyTech gives a little background on how Toshiba pulled off the stunt, including having to meet FAA regulations for the chair space balloon launch in the Nevada desert. The chair took a little more than 80 minutes to climb up to more than 98,000 feet before the balloon shattered, sending it on a 24 minute journey back to earth. You can read more about the campaign at DailyTech.


Watch it at Brand Republic.

Glimpses Of Hope In EA’s Take On Dante

EA has released the story trailer for Dante’s Inferno, hinting at a save-the-princess plot underlining the action. The video also highlights the game’s impressive visuals, depicting visions of hell and creature designs drawn from the classic work of literature that inspired it.

There’s a nifty intro sequence depicting scenes woven into a tapestry, although the illustrations don’t resemble anything in Dante’s Divine Comedy. As the trailer moves into in-game action and glimpses of hell’s minions, there s clear evidence the developers and artists pored over their nearly 700 year old source material. There’s even a glimpse of the inferno boss himself.


Watch it at GameTrailers.

Top US Brands For 2009

Ad Age has rounded up their top forty brands in the US for 2009. Game brands making the cut include 2K Sports NBA 2K franchise, EA’s “The Beatle s Rock Band,” social game maker Zynga, and the independently developed game World of Goo. Other noteworthy brands on the list are Microsoft’s Bing search engine, Mountain Dew, Jordan Brand sports apparel, and HP’s female-targeted Limited Edition Mini laptops.

Each brand gets its own case study by Ad Age writers, who talk to marketing executives and outline efforts in the year that helped put their brands above competitors. Read more at Ad Age.

Are Parents Raining On Facebook’s Party?

Research shows falling Facebook usage among young adults, and it could that the site has lost its cool factor. Usage data from this summer compiled by comScore shows a progressively worsening decline among 18-24 year olds. Facebook use among the demographic fell 3 percent in July 2009, then 13 percent in August and 16 percent in September. Adweek looks at the changing usage trends and says the site might be suffering the fate of MySpace, where the social net lost its cool with young adults because of a surge in use by a much younger audience. With Facebook, the problem may have more to do with attracting older adults who use the site to communicate with their children and grandchildren.

Shack News Game Release List 11/15 — 11/21

Shack News lists this week s releases for PC, Xbox 360, Sony’s PS2, PS3 and PSP, and Nintendo’s Wii and DS.

If anyone noticed this weekend, it s beginning to look a lot like Christmas everywhere you go. The game release list is no exception. Every platform gets at least one big title, even PS2 with a Latino version of Singstar. Ubisoft’s broadens its Assassin’s Creed franchise with the highly anticipated sequel for PS3 and Xbox 360 along with the first title in the IP for PSP with Assassin s Creed: Bloodlines. Other notable multiplatform releases include Activision’s Tony Hawk Ride game and wireless skateboard peripheral for PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii, EA s Left 4 Dead 2 for Xbox 360 and PC, and LucasArt’s Lego Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues for nearly every platform.

First-party franchises also see big releases this week. Sony gives PS3 the first taste of God of War with its revamped HD versions of both PS2 titles sold in a bundle. Meanwhile there s bound to be a giggle heard around the gaming world this week, thanks to Miyamoto’s nod to old school Mario games with Nintendo’s New Super Mario Brothers.


Check out the full list at Shack News.

GameStop Launching DLC Program

GameStop will soon begin testing a program to sell downloadable content in its stores, reports Reuters. The program, scheduled to be launched next year, will let customers purchase DLC for existing games at GameStop stores then have the content available once they log into their accounts on PlayStation Network and Xbox Live. Reuters says the retailer is banking on a growing market for downloadable add-ons and episodic content for existing games. Read more from Reuters.

OnLive Game Cloud Could Drift To Mobile

Videogame cloud computing service OnLive says its technology is also suited for streaming content to mobile phones, reports Company CEO Steve Perlman demonstrated the service running on iPhone at a recent financial conference, where he showed a game being played over OnLive simultaneously on a television, a computer, and Apple’s app phone. Perlman told investors the demo is only meant to show that the service is capable of running on mobile phones. The company is still focused on launching its service to stream games to TVs and computers. says OnLive missed its expected 2009 US launch date and continues to face skepticism. Read more at