Gears Of War 3 Meets Easter Bunny

With the Gears of War 3 beta getting started, fans are eager to get keys to the event. Cliff Bleszinski is having a lot of fun with this, asking fans to take pictures of themselves doing unusual things in order to get a key on twitter.

“First person to post a picture of the omen on their car windshield in peanut butter while kneeling on the roof of the car w a Gears CD wins!”

“First person to post a picture of their dog with a makeshift do rag on with a toy Lancer in its paws while you are in the back jumping wins.”

Not only that, but on Easter, the Gears of War 3 beta had male characters wearing a bunny mask. Most appreciated the gag, though some complained the ears gave away their positions in cover.

Takes a gaming “easter egg” to the next level.

Source: Save and Quitting

Free Realms Gets NBA Jerseys

Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) has announced that they are making a new item available to Free Realms players celebrate the start of the NBA playoffs. Users can pick up jerseys from all 30 NBA teams as part of the promotion.

The NBA Jersey’s are available for download PC players only for 50 Station Cash. The jerseys include the league’s biggest stars like Chicago’s Derrick Rose, Miami’s Lebron James, and L.A.’s Kobe Bryant.

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OpenFeint Purchased By Gree

Gree has announced that it has purchased OpenFeint for $104 million. The Japanese mobile social gaming platform will combine with the OpenFeint gaming platform to reach 100 million users worldwide, and will look to accelerate the growth of mobile social gaming; over 5,000 games currently use OpenFeint.

“At Gree, we are socializing the next evolution of games and, as the best-in-class U.S.-based mobile social network,” said Yoshikazu Tanaka, founder and CEO of GREE. “OpenFeint is the ideal partner for us to offer the best mobile social games to the largest global audience.”

“We are excited that Gree shares our belief in the OpenFeint network and are ecstatic to partner with a renowned global leader to build a multi-billion dollar business,” says Jason Citron, CEO and founder of OpenFeint. “Together, we will deliver the strongest global ecosystem of gaming networks to our combined 100 million users.”

Infamous 2 Roasts Game Titles

Infamous 2 has a beta right now for its level creation tools, and a closer look at some of the environments shows developer Sucker Punch lampooning other game franchises. The ribbing also includes a couple of Sony game franchises.

Call of Booty – Call of Duty
From Croatia With Uncharted Love – Mix of From Russia With Love and Uncharted
Assassin’s Need (Love Too) – Assassin’s Creed
Hey, Low Reach – Halo Reach
No Need For Speed – Need For Speed
Epic Hickey – Epic Mickey
Little Big Unit – LittleBigPlanet
Latch It And Skank – Ratchet & Clank
Sly – Sly Cooper

Source: iGo Gaming Blog

YouTube: Why It Should Re-Brand

YouTube is one of the more popular websites on the planet, but Google has found some difficulty getting a profit out of their $1.65 billion investment. It is for this reason that Tod Sacerdoti proposes that the streaming video site re-brand itself.

“There is ample evidence, both factual and anecdotal, that in many people’s minds, YouTube is synonymous with user-generated (UGC) video,” writes Sacerdoti. “By the way, plenty of advertisers love cat videos. But determining what’s brand-safe and what isn’t among the amateur stuff is still a problem. And because of this unavoidable association YouTube overall captures less of global video ad budgets than its market share (40 percent) suggests it should have.”

“YouTube is struggling both to fund premium content and sell ads against the premium content it already has at rates that are competitive with Hulu and others,” he added. “YouTube has large amounts of premium content, more of it in fact than any broadcaster with an online presence. However, it simply isn’t commanding the same pre-roll rates as its traditional media peers.”

He cited examples of Vevo successfully re-branding itself for music videos and the fact that advertisers don’t like user-generated and premium videos on the same site. He also thinks that something new will help the brand, even if this is simply the sizzle that sells the steak, they have a lot of steak to sell and their volumes are growing everyday. So, let the name game begin. Four letter names seem to be doing well in video — Hulu and Vevo have proven that. Perhaps it should be a blend of traditional (YTV) or leverage the existing Google domain portfolio (they own, he proposed.

Source Ad Age

Green Marketing: Why It Hasn’t Worked

Earth Day has come and gone, a new study called “Mainstream Green: Moving sustainability from niche to normal” says that 82 percent marketers surveyed have good green intentions, but only 16 percent are have really committed to intentions. A large part of this stems from the fact that marketers view green products as not mass-market to begin with.

Half of the marketers surveyed viewed products friendly to the environment as targets for “crunchy granola hippies” or “rich elitist snobs.” Price was cited as the number one barrier for these products, with some seeing as much as a 100 percent premium.

Other barriers include the perception that going green is “more feminine than masculine,” making men more reluctant to adopt green habits in public. Nearly 73 percent also said they’d choose a mainstream brand over a green brand for reliability reasons.

The study believes that these stereotypes should be fought against, and that the products should be advertised as normal. “Research shows that many of the environmental messages are not just failing to close the green gap but are actually cementing it by making green behavior too difficult and costly from a practical, financial, and social standpoint,” said Graceann Bennett co-author of the study.

Source: Ad Week

Sonic Heads Back-To-School

It has been 20 years since Sonic the Hedgehog was first created, and Sega is celebrating with various forms of back-to-school merchandise like stationery and backpacks. Several key retailers have signed up to carry the items.

“We have a lot of great partners on board already for different merchandise, said Sega’s head of brand licensing for Europe, Sissel Henno. “We’ve merchandise that targets kids and parents individually, and then licenses that appeal to the family as a joint experience, for instance the many promotions we have run with Burger King and Pizza Hut, as well as our collaboration with Alton Towers.”

“I believe there is still a vast untapped potential for licensing based on games, and we will see an increase in overall sales as more retailers start listing the stock and see the results in their sell-through numbers.”

Source: MCV