Apple Rejects Unpleasant Horse

PopCap’s new 4th & Battery studio designed to make more off-the-wall games has hit a bit of a snag. The studio’s first game Unpleasant Horse has been blocked by Apple.

“WTF Apple rejected Unpleasant Horse cuz of ‘mature content.’ We thought horses dying in meat grinders was wholesome family entertainment! tweeted the company. “We’re appealing, though (with a higher rating) and we’ll hopefully have good news for y’all soon! Anyhoo, we still love Apple. Honest. We even had (and liked!) a Newton back in the day. Hope we get an appropriate rating for the game!”

Chipotle Turns Silver Into Gold

Chipotle has launched a UGC voting/sharing contest called Wrap What You Love. Inspired by the main creative advertising of the brand which features a solo burrito wrapped in tinfoil, the campaign asks fans {link no longer active} to wrap something they love in tinfoil, take a photo upload it to be eligible to win prizes. An online tool allows the user to goldify the tinfoil in their image. To vote, users must connect to Facebook while contestants compete to win weekly prizes like a 24K Chipotle Gold coin and free burrito cards with a $10,000 cash prize at the end. For each vote in the contest, Chipotle will contribute $1 to to help build its capacity to help local and sustainable food farmers. A 3-part video series {link no longer active} by crafting maven Amy Sedaris explains the best ways to use tinfoil to entertain, at the grill and to assist in flower arranging.

GameStop Opens A New Store On Facebook

U.S. gaming retailer GameStop has opened a new store on Facebook to encourage socially connected gamers to purchase as they browse their feeds, comment and share content. A store locator uses geolocation IP tracking to identify the closest store to the user while an online shopping cart is available to pick up a new title now. PowerUp Rewards are integrated into the tab for users looking to score points an an interactive trailer browser promotes the latest releases.

Rio AR Game Comes To Nestle Cereal

Nestle has launched a new augmented reality game for the release of the movie Rio. Over 26 million Nesquik, Honey Stars and Cookie Crisp cereal boxes now have 3D augmented reality video games.

Players can cut a tag from the back of cereal boxes, and using a computer with a webcam, users can interact with a 3D image of the titular character. The promotion will launch in 53 countries.

Source: Marketing Week

Peter Moore Talks Gaming’s Digital Future

Peter Moore is the head of the EA Sports brand which sells millions of physical discs every year, but that hasn’t stopped it from targeting digital markets. Speaking at MI6, Moore talked about how traditional console game makers must either adapt to the new world of social and mobile games or die.

The times are a changin , said Moore. You better start swimming or you ll sink like a stone.

Moore talked about market disruption, and how companies like Zynga and DeNA along with Activision Blizzard and Take-Two serve as future competitors. He said that new trends like free-to-play, downloadable mobile, ad-based, and subscription fees are diversifying the industry away from just consoles and PC to tablets, smartphones, web sites, TV app stores, Facebook, etc.

“This digitization of content will now hit our industry,” said Moore. “There is a battle raging and the consumer is winning. If you hang on to an old business model, you become irrelevant and go bankrupt.”

He noted that “paying for $60 games might go by the wayside, and EA is prepared for that being number one in mobile games, number two in social games on Facebook, and number one in casual web games along with their $3.75 billion core game business. We are three years into a strategy to lead in digital gaming, while our competitors have scoffed at it, Moore said. The old business models will be around for a while, but they are crumbling.”

EA is a major force with its online games, both free and with $60 purchases. As Moore sees it, the future is with an EA account where customers pay a continual fee for updates. “That is the future,” he said.

Source: VentureBeat

BioShock Infinite: Get Your Name In The Game

Irrational Games have announced a contest to have their fans get a chance to get incorporated into the floating city of Columbia. The winner will be chosen to be incorporated into BioShock Infinite as the namesake of a character, a business, or a building, depending on what the development team decides.

Games from Irrational have mentioned developer names in items like BioShock‘s Sinclair Spirits and Robertson’s Tabaccoria, so it’ll be a similar sort of incorporation. Those interested should visit before April 12, 2011 to sign up.

Grammy’s Offer Greater Recognition To Games

Recently, the first song to originate in a game was given a Grammy and the gaming industry is getting another nod from the awards show. Four awards from the academy will now explicitly mention video games as a category rather than having it fall into the more ambiguous Other Visual Media category.

“I think this could be viewed as a first step in the direction of video games getting their own category,” said Bill Freimuth, Vice President, Awards, The Recording Academy. “Many people from the game community have been asking us to create a special category for games over the years, but the main reason we haven t is because we have received very few entries from game publishers.”

“This acknowledges that film, TV and games can stand side by side and be independently recognized,” said Steve Schnur, Worldwide Executive, Music, Electronic Arts. “Hopefully, this will create an even playing field when people vote next year. I expect there to be a tidal wave of submissions from the game industry.”

“The recognition of video games within the Grammy Awards is not just significantly important for the interactive entertainment medium, but it shows that the Academy recognizes games are important for the future growth of their audience,” added Schnur.

“The Academy and the entire music industry recognize the value of video game music and what an interesting and unique art form it is,” added Freimuth. “It s been proven more and more each year with top name artists, top composers and leading orchestras working in this medium.”

Source: IndustryGamers {link no longer active}