Summer Sees Spontaneous Spending, Finds Survey

An American Express/Echo Research poll recently found that 26 percent of respondents said the summer weather encourages them to “spend more spontaneously.” In fact, 43 percent of young professionals under the age of 30 with a college degree and household income of at least $50,000 said the hot weather encourages more spontaneous spending.

When consumers spend spontaneously in the summer, where does their money go wrote Mark Dolliver. Conducted last month, the survey found the catchall category ‘summer outings’ (including trips to a pool, beach or amusement park) atop the list, cited by 63 percent of those who said summer prompts them to spend more spontaneously. Next in the standings was ‘more dinners out’ (cited by 53 percent), followed by ‘summer wear and accessories’ (44 percent), ‘happy hours with friends’ (32 percent), ‘concerts’ (26 percent) and ‘sporting events’ (25 percent).

Still, the survey also showed that many consumers were looking to reduce their debt. Also 15 percent of those polled said they expected to spend more, while 39 percent said they would spend less (with most expecting to spend about the same amount.)

One good thing about cautious spending, from the consumer’s point of view, is that it tends to forestall impulse purchases that are later regretted. Just 9 percent of the survey’s respondents said they’ve ‘made a specific purchase in 2010 that you regret’, noted Dolliver. Among the relatively few respondents who are suffering such buyer’s remorse, 29 percent said it’s due to the purchase of something in the electronics category. Twenty-two percent of those with regrets mentioned apparel/accessories and 16 percent home furniture. Other categories scoring in double digits were automotive (15 percent), travel (14 percent), jewelry (13 percent) and home improvements (11 percent).

Source: AdWeek

Green Lantern Fights Manhunters In Game

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment announced today the Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters game. This game will release concurrently with the Warner Bros. Pictures superhero film Green Lantern in Summer 2011.

Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters gives players the chance to experience the world of the Green Lantern mythology in an interactive way, going beyond the events of the film and comic books, said Samantha Ryan, Senior Vice President, Production and Development, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. The game is the first to center around DC Comics Green Lantern franchise and we re excited to give fans the opportunity to experience the power of the ring with engaging gameplay.

Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters will release for PS3, Wii, DS and Xbox 360.

Spider-Man Nets Neil Patrick Harris

Activision has confirmed two details for the upcoming Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions. One, the final dimension in the game is the Ultimate universe, where Spidey will wear the synthetic Venom costume, and number two, the final Spider-Man voice actor will be Neil Patrick Harris as the Amazing Spider-Man.

Harris will be joined by Josh Keaton as Ultimate Spider-Man, Christopher Barnes as Noir Spider-Man, and Dan Gilvezan as Spider-Man 2099. All have voiced Spider-Man before; Gilvezan had the title role in Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends from 1981-1983, Barnes is recognized in 1994 s Spider-Man show, Harris voiced Peter Parker and his alter ego in 2003 s Spider-Man: The New Animated Series, and Keaton most recently starred in The Spectacular Spider-Man from 2008-2009.

Spider-Man creator Stan Lee will narrate Shattered Dimensions and the orchestral score will be provided by Emmy Award-winning composer Jim Dooley.

RockYou Rocks Facebook Credits

RockYou announced today that it has signed a five-year agreement that will make Facebook Credits the exclusive virtual currency of RockYou’s social games and applications. Facebook retains 30 percent of the revenue from Facebook Credits.

“Facebook is showing a long-term commitment to social gaming — and that’s very exciting,” said Lisa Marino, chief revenue officer at RockYou. “We look forward to continue working with Facebook and Facebook Credits. As users adopt Credits, there may be a great opportunity for us to increase revenue from both a virtual goods and advertising perspective.”

RockYou and Facebook have worked together on RockYou’s advertiser sponsored “Deal of the Day” program, which rewards people with Facebook Credits when they interact with in-game advertising. Over one million people completed the Deal of the Day with Facebook Credits in the first four days when it launched in April and RockYou has issued over 5 million Credits in Zoo World alone, using both direct pay and advertiser sponsored solutions.

“We’ve worked closely with RockYou on developing Facebook Credits for some time, and their input has been valuable in evolving the product,” said Deborah Liu, product marketing manager for Facebook Credits. “Facebook is dedicated to providing value and helping developers succeed on Facebook Platform, and Facebook Credits is an important part of accomplishing this goal.”

Avengers Helmed By Joss Whedon

Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly) has long been rumored for The Avenger‘s directing chair, but it’s never been officially confirmed. Whedon, however, put all doubts to rest in a panel at Comic-Con.

“It’s not an official thing, I think because Marvel couldn’t afford a press release,” said Whedon. “So can we make that an official thing I’m directing The Avengers.”

“I am still writing an outline. I’m still in that stage,” Whedon said. “I will say the thing I love about it, the thing that made me excited to do it, is how counterintuitive it is. These people shouldn’t be in the same room — and that is the very definition of family.”

Source: Reuters

Battle: Los Angeles Inspired By Games

Battle: Los Angeles recently appeared at Comic-Con, where most of the attendees were impressed by the alien action film. The first-person perspective was reminiscent of a game, something that was not a coincidence in its inspiration.

“When I saw 40 minutes of this the other day, I literally grabbed my hands like an Xbox,” described actress Michelle Rodriguez . “It’s really like a first-person shooter game.”

Source: Reuters

Medal Of Honor Developers Sense Danger Close

The EA LA studio that is working on the new Medal of Honor title is re-branding itself. Just like how the internal EA developers of Dead Space are known as Visceral Games, these developers will go by Danger Close.

Right now, the good men and women at Danger Close are working on the story-mode of the Medal of Honor reboot. The multiplayer features are being developed by EA DICE.


Ubisoft Rises To Second Largest European Publisher

Ubisoft has announced that it has become the second largest publisher in Europe. The French publisher has a 9.5 percent share of the games market in Europe and 11 percent in the U.K.

In the U.S., Ubisoft remains the number 4 publisher. Still its share has grown from 4.8 percent to 6 percent over last year.

Success during the early part of the year was attributed to the launch of Splinter Cell: Conviction and the continued success of Just Dance, Assassin s Creed 2 and James Cameron’s Avatar.

Halo Reaches For Custom Controller, Bundle


A design for a custom Halo: Reach controller went up on Microsoft’s website. Signaling some of the first licensed gear for the FPS title, it has silver coloration and markings appropriate to the UNSC.


Microsoft also unveiled a Halo: Reach hardware bundle. The console will have a similarly silver Xbox 360 console, two of the wireless controllers, a token for the Limited Edition Elite armor set, an episode of Halo Legends, a Halo: Reach-themed Xbox 360 wired headset, along with the game itself. It will also feature “custom sound effects from the Halo universe.”