Sega Unites With Fruit

Chiquita has managed to get sweet brand placement in Sega’s Super Monkey Ball: Step & Roll for Nintendo Wii, reports Cincinnati Enquirer.  The company’s iconic Chiquita sticker will appear on bananas used as energy by the game s monkey characters. Chiquita called the plug for its product in the Wii Balance Board driven game a promotion of healthy snacking in a fun exercise game. The paper says the deal didn’t involve dollars, and that the in-game ad effort for Cincinnati-based Chiquita comes after the company launched its first TV ad campaign in more than twenty years. Read more at Cincinnati Enquirer.

YouTube To Launch Film Rentals

YouTube is quietly rolling out an online movie rental service, reports NY Times. The move comes after the online video giant revealed last summer that it was in talks about such an effort with major film studios including Sony Pictures and Warner Bros. NY Times says Google-owned YouTube later ran a closed beta with Google employees using content provided by the studios. The launch of the service, while available to the public, is still being called a “beta” by YouTube. The company is going live with limited content and for a short period of time, offering only five independent films from this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The service’s run coincides with the festival, launching this Friday and offering rentals until the end of the festival on Jan. 31. The films, each renting for about $4, are The Cove, Bass Ackwards, One Too Many Mornings, Homewrecker, and Children of Invention. YouTube’s entertainment market manager Sara Pollack said the site is providing an outlet for small filmmakers unlikely to get commercial distribution to find an audience. NY Times says YouTube is talking to other content providers including educational and fitness video distributors. The company is also launching a Filmmakers Wanted program to attract independently produced content. YouTube has said that filmmakers will determine pricing for their content and keep the majority of revenue from rentals. Read more at NY Times.

2K Harnesses Double Fusion For PS3 Games

Double Fusion has gained exclusive rights to deliver dynamic in-game ads to 2K Sports titles NBA 2K10 and NHL 2K10 on Sony PlayStation 3. As reported in MediaWeek, Double Fusion’s Sony-exclusive deal marks a win for a service that has to compete with console maker Microsoft when it comes to in-game ad delivery on console games. Microsoft’s Massive subsidiary is the primary in-game ad service for games on Xbox 360. MediaWeek says Double Fusion has worked with 2K since 2006.

 

Read more at MediaWeek.

Namco Bandai Launches Facebook Game Channel

Namco Bandai has launched a channel on Facebook offering trial versions of its mobile games, reports Edge-Online. The publisher’s Namco Bandai Networks subsidiary set up the channel, dubbed Namco Arcade, offering demos of mobile versions of Pac-Man, Katamari, Ridge Racer, Time Crisis, and other titles from its mobile games library. The channel allows users to try the games for free and purchase full versions that can be sent directly to mobile devices. Read more at Edge-Online.

Developers Cry Foul On Wii Online Support

Third-party developers have spoken out on Wii Online, saying Nintendo is not doing enough to promote the console game network.  Developer JV Games is among those who have spoken to Gamesindustry.biz, saying Nintendo’s lack of support affects sales for its WiiWare titles.  JV Games Jag Jaeger said that his company feels that because of Nintendo’s lack of promotions for its console net, the majority of Wii owners don t know their system can connect to the internet. Gamesindustry.biz says Nintendo has launched a UK TV campaign centered around connectivity for Wii and its handheld DS system. The company is also running an incentive program for people to recruit new users to Wii Online.

 

Business Insider reports on the story that appears in Gamesindustry.biz, which now requires registration for access.  You can read more, and jump to the source article, at Business Insider.

PS3 Motion Controller Pushed To Fall 2010

Sony is pushing the release of its motion controller for PlayStation 3 to fall 2010, reports Edge-Online. The company said the new launch timing will allow it to roll out the device with an extensive lineup of games. Sony also said the device would launch in all PlayStation territories, with the company intending to vigorously promote the Motion Controller as the de facto controller of the PS3 platform. Edge-Online says rumors have surfaced that the device will be named Arc. Read more at Edge-Online.

Call Of Duty Franchise Dominates US Console Bestsellers

NPD Group has released a list of top ten bestselling console games of all time in the US.  The firm compiled the list by combining sales of titles on all formats except PC through January 2, 2010. As reported in GameSpot, the list confirms what NPD had noted in its December 2009 game sales report about Activision s Call of Duty as the dominant console franchise. Three titles from the series have earned spots among the top ten sellers, with the most recent entry Modern Warfare 2 from developer Infinity Ward placing highest at number four. Other Call of Duty games on the list are Infinity Ward s 2007 title Modern Warfare at number seven, and the Treyarch-developed 2008 entry Call of Duty: World at War at number nine. Aside from fourth-placing Modern Warfare 2, the top five in the list are Nintendo’s Wii Play, Activision s Guitar Hero III, Take-Two’s Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and, at number five, Nintendo’s Wii Fit.

 

Check out the full list at Gamespot.

Agency News: Ayzenberg Adds Social Media And Mobile Capability

PRESS RELEASE:

 

Ayzenberg Group Secures Social Media and Mobile Application Team

 

PASADENA, Calif.- January 19, 2010 -(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ayzenberg Group, a full service advertising agency, continues to expand its capabilities in social media and mobile. An all-new team will be led by new hire Keith Pape, whose title will be Vice President of Mobile, Social & Emerging Media. He will report directly to Ayzenberg Group CEO, Eric Ayzenberg. Pape and his team will bring existing expertise and experience in major emerging media areas including social media marketing and conversation, facebook application and game development, mobile marketing, and application development (including platform expertise in iPhone, Android and RIM).

 

Pape was most recently Managing Partner at startup social and mobile applications developer, a-p studios. I’m really excited to bring my team to Ayzenberg and see real integration of emerging media and marketing strategies with their incredible creative depth of expertise in video, web and media placement and planning, said Pape. According to Eric Ayzenberg, Bringing Keith and his team on board just made sense, with our own already successful history in reaching Generation Now. Nothing says that more than Social and Mobile today.

 

Pape brings over 15 years of digital experience to the agency and has worked on both the agency and brand sides with companies such as Sony Pictures, 20th Century Fox, IHOP Restaurants, Del Taco, ABC Television and Cisco Systems.

About Ayzenberg Group

Founded in 1993 by Eric Ayzenberg, the Ayzenberg Group (www.ayzenberg.com) is one of the 10 largest privately held interactive advertising agencies on the West Coast, serving clients in the Gaming, Entertainment, Technology Consumer Products and Non-Profit sectors. Services include strategic leadership, creative, media, and production. We specialize in reaching the most advertising-averse demographic to date the young men and women of Generation Now.

 

For more information on Ayzenberg Group, please visit www.ayzenberg.com.

Study: Mobile Driving Up Teen Media Consumption

Writing for Chicago Tribune, Bonnie Miller Rubin breaks down a study by Kaiser Family Foundation on teen media consumption.  The firm’s research has shown media intake still surging among the demographic. Miller Rubin says the growth comes despite the belief a few years ago that a leveling off was in sight, thanks to constant access through what she calls mobile devices that function practically as appendages.  She offers plenty of data from the study, and includes a couple of testimonials meant to direct advice to concerned parents.

 

Read the article at Chicago Tribune.

Dark, Moody, And In Limbo

Check out this video teaser for Limbo, an Independent Game Festival award-winner from developer Arnt Jensen. It’s not so much the video that’s a standout.  The grabber here is the game’s art style injecting a dystopian mood into what looks to be a deftly executed physics-based platformer. Ironically, it seems the game itself is in limbo and in need of a publisher.

 

Watch it at GameTrailers.