Op-Ed: Games Have Growing Up To Do

Author Steven Poole is of the opinion that videogames and gamer-oriented pop culture are still stuck in adolescence, void of sophisticated themes and complex narrative.  He says they suffer from an inevitable watering-down of quality through constant self-reference and regurgitation.   Poole argues his case in an excellent opinion editorial for Edge-Online.  Read it at Edge-Online {link no longer active}.

Tips For Marketing Road Shows

Promo Magazine must know it’s the time of year when marketers start prepping for their spring and summer product tours and road shows.  The outlet’s Patricia Odell offers seven helpful tips.  Check them out at Promo {link no longer active}.

Retail Analysis: Wii Supply Tight, ‘Dante’s Inferno’ Slow To Start

Industry Gamers reports on an industry note from Lazard Capital Markets analyst Colin Sebastian on the game retail situation.  Sebastian said that supply remains tight for Wii, which Industry Gamers says Nintendo recently admitted was a replenishment issue coming off of brisk holiday sales.  For other consoles, Sebastian said Sony PlayStation 3 is maintaining traction and Microsoft Xbox 360 sales are still stable.   With software, the analyst called out this month s heavily marketed release from EA, Dante s Inferno, saying the title is appears to be off to a slow start.   But he said preorders for big upcoming console titles God of War III from Sony and Final Fantasy XIII from Square Enix, along with a new Pokemon title from Nintendo, are all solid.   Read more at Industry Gamers {link no longer active}.

GameStop CFO Departure Raises Questions

CNBC has an excellent report on the sudden resignation of GameStop chief financial officer Catherine Smith.  The company said today that Smith resigned to take up a position at Wal-Mart.  CNBC gets input from analysts from Goldman Sachs, Piper Jaffray, BMO Capital Markets, and Broadpoint AmTech on how they view the departure.  The coverage also looks at what broader issues, such as the future of used game sales and digital downloads, could pose for GameStop’s outlook.  Read more at CNBC.

Yahoo For Twitter

Ad Age reports on Yahoo and Twitter striking a deal to integrate the micro-blog into Yahoo’s online content and services such as mail, as well as add Twitter feeds to Yahoo search engine queries.  The news outlet says the deal gives Yahoo a social network as a partner rather than a competitor, along with a data feed that s estimated to be about 50 million Tweets per day.  For Twitter, an ultra-popular but not necessarily a moneymaker service, it s about revenue and about tapping into Yahoo s 600 million users.  Read more at Ad Age {link no longer active}.

Balancing Acts

New Balance launched a creative viral campaign last month, one that aims to engage people with the brand all year by serving up one short video a day based on the theme balance.   The effort is being run through a micro-site and an accompanying iPhone app delivering the videos.  The eclectic range of content and creativity in the videos, and the fact that they mostly play on filling a fixed frame, makes them seem like fodder for (from ) first-year film students rather than anything resembling branded virals.  Campaign is featuring New Balance’s teaser spot promoting the campaign.

Watch it at Campaign. {video link no longer active}

One Heck Of A Campaign

Writing for Ad Age, David Griner puts together a case study for EA s guerrilla marketing campaign for Dante s Inferno.   He labels the nine-month campaign as one of the most complex in videogame history.  Griner also calls it frugal, as an effort that garnered 47 million impressions on a budget of $200,000.

Read it at Ad Age {link no longer active}.

Console Prices Not Falling Fast Enough, Says EA

EA CFO Eric Brown has said that that this console generation is showing signs of longevity but that EA expected system prices to be lower at this point in the cycle.  As reported in IGN, Brown made his comments at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference.  He told the conference audience that game system prices have a long way to go for mass market pricing.  He pointed to the statistic that nearly half of sales for the last cycle s bestselling system, Sony s PlayStation 2, came at price points of $150 or less.  He also cited how Sony saw an 84 percent year-over-year spike in holiday sales for PlayStation 3 after dropping the price by $50.  Brown also discussed the life cycle of current consoles.  Referring to PlayStation 3 and Microsoft s Xbox 360, he said any next generation consoles couldn’t offer much improvement in visual fidelity given that current systems run games in HD at 60 frames per second.   He said it s possible that this time around there won t be a sharp and distinct transition to a new generation of consoles.  Brown added that online play, downloadable content, and the introduction of motion controllers will help add longevity to this cycle.  Read more at IGN.