YouTube Reportedly Spending $100 Million On Original Content

According to inside sources, Google is planning to compete with television providers by creating channels designed around topics like sports and the arts. They might spend $100 million on content designed for the web on 20 or so channels.

For it’s part, YouTube is neither confirming or denying these reports. “YouTube saw incredible growth in 2010 and we’re excited about the future,” said a YouTube spokesman.

The goals are to phase the channels in over time and to launch the first of them by the end of 2011. They want to increase the time that users spend on the site up from 15 minutes a day and to start generating enough ad revenue to finally become profitable.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Michael Jackson Game Experiences 3 Million Sales

Ubisoft has announced that Michael Jackson: The Experience has sold 3 million copies worldwide. The dancing game is available now on PSP, DS and Wii and will release on PS3 and Xbox 360 soon.

We re delighted with the sales success of Michael Jackson: The Experience to date,” Ubisoft’s UK marketing director Murray Pannell. “It s a hugely fun and well-loved game in the UK.  The Wii version has been extremely well received and we re now looking forward to bringing the game to a wider group of consumers when it launches on Kinect and PS3 later this month.

Source: MCV

Dead Rising 2 Video Wins ‘MI6 Making The Cut’

MI6 has announced that Kab Kaniess has won the MI6 Making the Cut video competition. The sophomore at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, Minnesota won with a Dead Rising 2 video that will be shown off on Capcom’s website.

“We view this competition as a fun way to energize and excite young creatives to show off their skills and gain recognition,” said Promax BDA President and CEO Jonathan Block-Verk.  “The competition motivates students and provides a direct opportunity to get involved with the video game industry and learn about its viability and creativity.”

“Dead Rising 2 isn’t the average zombie video game and I wanted to accurately portray its playful, yet mature content in the trailer,” said Kaniess. “The combination of in-game footage with 16mm found footage is a throwback to the ’60s, an era in which zombies emerged into popular culture.”

GameStop Ponders Tablet Offering

GameStop has launched a pilot program via which they are excepting trade in for tablet devices in five test stores in Dallas, Texas. While this does not mean there will be any sort of digital trade-ins for games, it does possibly mean that a GameStop tablet might be coming in the future.

“If we can work with our partners and the OEMs and they come up with a great tablet that is enabled with a great gaming experience and coupled with a bluetooth controller, then there’s no need to go out and develop our own,” said GameStop President Tony Bartel. “But if we can’t find one that’s great for gaming, then we will create our own.”

“Our whole premise is there are a lot of people caught up in the 99 cent fray and a lot of people are frustrated by that. We really believe that’s a chance for us to lead the tablet playing field. Just like people create [lower-priced, immersive] games for the PC, we think people will begin to create immersive games for a higher price for the tablets,” said Bartel. “Someone needs to offer those games, and that’s something GameStop will be the leader in doing.”

Source: Gamasutra {link no longer active}

Dish Network Snaps Up Blockbuster

Dish Network has announced that they have purchased Blockbuster Video for $320 million. The second-largest U.S. satellite TV company made the preliminary offer via a bankruptcy auction that would still need to be approved by a court.

“With its more than 1,700 store locations, a highly recognizable brand and multiple methods of delivery, Blockbuster will complement our existing video offerings while presenting cross-marketing and service extension opportunities for Dish Network,” said Dish Network’s EVP Tom Cullen. “While Blockbuster’s business faces significant challenges, we look forward to working with its employees to re-establish Blockbuster’s brand as a leader in video entertainment,” Cullen said in a prepared statement.

Aflac Duck Search Ongoing

While Gilbert Gottfried got himself fired for ill-advised tweets about the disaster in Japan (where Aflac just happens to be a major insurance provider), this means an opportunity for other potential voice actors. Check out the video below to see how they’re doing so far in the casting call/promotion.

{video link no longer active}


Adapt Or Die All Across Europe

In support of the release of the new film Hanna directed by Joe Wright, the official website features an interactive Locations {link re-directs – no longer active} section profiling various key settings for the film.  Playing into the survival theme of the story, a global satellite map allows the user to click on various points across Europe and explore mysterious locations like Grimm’s Amusement Park, Family Van and Morrocan Oasis {links re-direct – no longer active} .  After clicking on a location, the browser wind will calibrate into a full frame Flash window with several clickable points of entry to view photos, audio clips, story tidbits and environment video pulling the viewer deeper into the story of the film.