True Blood Wants You To Do Bad Things

On Facebook, the HBO series True Blood has launched an interactive video tab called Immortalize {page no longer active} that allows fans to connect their friends and feature them in a scene from the show. Click begin and choose friends from a series of 5 questions to see them play out within a scene from the film. Each user’s Facebook profile pic is pulled and inserted into various story points (on a newspaper, Polaroids, in an e-mail, guidebook, etc.) creating a one-of-a-kind experience. After the video has played, fans can share the video via Facebook or Twitter.

Three Concert Apps Bring Live Music To Your Smartphone

Easy streaming of live music to your smartphone is accessible so that you now can carry around thousands of concerts with you at all times in your pocket. Wolfgang Vaults’ Concert Vault app and Daytrotter’s app are two of the finest apps in the field. Together with Music Archive , a third-party app for the non-profit internet library, fans seeking deep cuts and independent artists can rejoice. For an interview with some of the creator’s of these apps and their future, click here.

Social Network Usage Doubled Since 2007

According to comScore, the amount of time that people spend on social networks has doubled over the past five years. In 2007, social networking was roughly 1 out of every 12 minutes spent online; now it is one out of six minutes.

Much of this is due to Facebook, which reaches 73 percent of the total U.S. Internet population and sees 4.6 hours to 6.3 hours per month in average user engagement over the past year. LinkedIn has grown 58 percent overall in the past year while Twitter had 27 million U.S. visitors in May and Tumblr has grown 166 percent over the past year to reach 10.7 million visitors in May.

It still has a ways to go before we can mention it in the same breath as LinkedIn or Twitter, but it just might get there if it maintains its current trajectory, states the comScore report of Tumblr.

Source: AdWeek

Facebook Reportedly Working On App Store Workaround

Reports are that Facebook is working on a new version of the site for iOS. Using HTML5, the so-called Project Spartan will enable the site to use iOS Mobile Safari and not the Apple App Store.

The report says that over 80 developers and partners are working with Facebook on the initiative, including Zynga and Huffington Post. More importantly, it will allow the upload of Facebook-specific apps for services like Facebook Credits.

Rumors are that this move demonstrates the rift between Facebook and Apple. Apple, probably not coincidentally, partnered with Twitter for iOS 5.

Source: TechCrunch

Call Of Duty: Elite Activision’s Answer To Social/Mobile Spaces

Activision has so far given the growing mobile and social gaming spheres a miss for the most part, but that doesn’t mean they’re not thinking about it. Activision Publishing president Eric Hirshberg says that Call of Duty: Elite will be their answer to all of that.

“I think when Bobby said that he was speaking about that moment in time, which is a while ago now, said Hirshberg. And I think that we ve seen some maturation in both of those areas of gaming and I would argue that a lot of the elements of Call of Duty: Elite are using a lot of the elements of both social and mobile. We ve got dedicated iPod and iPad apps, Android, etc.”

“I think what Activision has done, very smartly, is we don t want to rush into anything until we figure out what our unique contribution and what our unique competitive advantage can be, he added. What we re choosing to do is use social and mobile and the fact that people are playing games in different parts of the day on different devices than they have before as a way to strengthen our core business. That s what we re doing with Call of Duty: Elite.

Source: IndustryGamers {link no longer active}


Zynga Sues Vostu Over Social Game Similarities

Zynga has been accused of copying elements of games wholesale in the past and have had to settle lawsuits. Now, however, they’re accusing Brazilian social game developer Vostu for copyright infringement, saying they copied their games.

“Let’s be clear — it is one thing to be inspired by Zynga games, but it is entirely different to copy all of our key product features, product strategy, branding, mission statement and employee benefits lock, stock and barrel,” said Zynga’s general counsel, Reggie Davis. “We welcome Vostu into the arena of social games, but blatant infringement of our creative works is not an acceptable business strategy — it is a violation of the law.”

Vostu is denying the charges. “Zynga has been accused of copying so many games that they’ve sadly lost the ability to recognize games like ours that are chock full of original content and have been independently created. Vostu has 500 brilliant employees working night and day making hand drawings and writing proprietary code for online games that our 35 million users worldwide enjoy, said Votsu spokesperson Davidson Goldin. “Zynga’s anti-competitive effort to bully us with a frivolous lawsuit — especially when we have some of the same key investors — is pathetic. While Zynga plays games with the legal process we will continue focusing on using our substantial resources to create games that entertain our customers.”

Source: 1UP

Dad Holds The Entertainment Keys To The Family, Says Survey

According to a survey by Ipsos LMX Family of 715 parents of kids 12 and under, dads spend 50 percent or more time than moms with kids online, playing video games and going out to movies/theater/sporting events. By a 33 percent to 26 percent margin, dads were more likely to be ‘friended’ by their kids on Facebook and they said they spent more time with their kids than mom.

“Moms are still more than responsible for the cleaning, cooking, shopping and staying on top of everyone’s practical needs and wants,” said Donna Sabino, senior VP-kids and family insights for Ipsos. “But it is definitely a change, and one for the positive psychologically, that dads are participating more in all aspects, although not to the same level as moms in that day-to-day practical stuff.”

73 percent of dads said they’d played a video game with their kids in the past week compared to only 38 percent of moms, with favorites including shooters, action and sports games. Dads were also 50 percent more likely to have watched movies or TV shows with their kids in the past week as well and were more likely than moms to look for good family movies to watch as a family at the theater.”

“Dads realize what they do now with their kids has a payoff through their kids’ lives in creating good memories,” said Sabino. “I think it’s just a smarter generation of dads, and more sensitive to the needs of their kids.”

Source: AdAge

Mass Effect 3 Won’t End Franchise

Mass Effect 3 is set to end the trilogy of games focusing on the adventures of Commander Sheppard. However, BioWare indicates there are no plans to end the franchise at that.

“This is not the end of the Mass Effect franchise by any means,” said BioWare boss Ray Muzyka. “We have more things planned. We’re laser-focused on making sure Mass Effect 3 is awesome and epic and intense on a galactic scale, and we want to provide a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy.”

“But also it’s a beginning on a brand new adventure,” Muzyka continued. “The galaxy is at war. It’s a beginning as well as a conclusion.”

Source: Eurogamer

EA Sports Getting Retail Locations

Electronic Arts recently announced plans to open a digital storefront in Origin. However, EA Sports VP of Brand Marketing Chris Erb reveals that the company will also open brick-and-mortar stores for their EA Sports brand.

As pervasive as digital is, there s still an offline component to acquiring new customers that remains important. Our approach is to be creative and innovative with whatever we re doing offline, and ensure that it connects with our digital strategies, said Erb. We just started construction on our first North American EA Sports retail store, which will open this fall in the Charlotte, NC, airport.

It is the first of what we hope to be at least three new retail stores to open in the next year, and it s a place people will be able to interact and buy their favorite EA Sports games, he added. As we look to expand the overall sports game audience, it s important for us to create environments for people to get their hands on our products and experience how much interactive sports experiences have evolved over the past few years, he continued.

Of course, he’s still leading the charge for EA Sports in Facebook as well. It s a piece of the new gaming ecosystem around our top EA Sports franchises, said Erb. Social games are not marketing devices to us; EA Sports Facebook games are unique experiences that are designed to be complementary to the EA Sports franchises that they are a part of. Our aim is to deliver fans the ability to engage with their favorite EA Sports games whenever, wherever they want on Facebook, on mobile, tablets and, of course, consoles. Today, games are a place you go, not just a thing you buy.

For those ready and willing to take the chance on new opportunities, it has opened up huge new audiences and ways to reach gamers with cool new experiences, Erb added. EA Sports has always enjoyed bringing great games to sports fans, but today fans are engaging in ways never before possible and not just restricted to HD televisions and game consoles. Fans are playing FIFA on smartphones, Madden NFL on iPads, World Series Superstars on Facebook, and more. The growth we re seeing of our games on all those platforms, as well as the continued success and innovation in console games, speaks volumes for the overall demand people have for sports games to be a part of their overall lifestyle.

Source: Forbes


PlayStation On the Rise On Facebook

Sony has taken some image hits of late due to the PSN hack and outage. However, a recent study shows that PlayStation is a brand on the rise on Facebook.

Coca-Cola still remains the number one brand on Facebook, reaching to 29 million fans (+33 percent growth). Starbucks lost its 2nd position and moved to the 3rd, leaving the 2nd position to Disney which has now almost 25 million fans (58 percent growth) and is narrowing its margin to the first Coca-Cola,” says the report. “Rest of the brands remained in the TOP 10 list, only Victoria s Secret got left out and was replaced by PlayStation (15.2 million fans) which entered the TOP 10 list in big style with more than 100 percent fan growth since the beginning of the year!

Source: Socialbakers