Activision Regarding Social And Mobile Investments ‘Methodically’

Electronic Arts has been aggressive in the way that they’re promoting their social and mobile offerings from launching the Sims Social to purchasing PopCap. Activision CFO Thomas Tippl said at the Citi 2011 Tech Conference in New York that his company is looking at those emerging sectors of the gaming market.

“We’re methodically investing in social and mobile gaming projects,” he said. ” . . . While our goal is always to be number one in anything we do, even if we only get to half of our fair share in mobile and social over the next three years, it will still represent a significant upside, given that the mobile and social gaming markets have finally reached critical mass. And I expect it to grow at a double-digit clip for the foreseeable future. We are certainly expanding the reach of our franchises through the platforms that are emerging.”

“To date, we’ve mostly [explored social and mobile] around our existing franchises. In the future you will see more activity on our part to broaden our social and mobile parts of the portfolio,” said Tippl. “But it’s going to be done in a thoughtful, methodical way and in a way that will tend to create value for our shareholders, as opposed to venture capitalists and private equity firms [that are contributing to] what I would call a bubble valuation.”

Source: Gamasutra

PlayStation Veteran Joins Tapjoy

Peter Dille, who helped launch the original PlayStation as a marketing executive at Sony Computer Entertainment America, has moved on to join Tapjoy. He will now focus on advertisers and app developers, trying to turn Tapjoy into a consumer brand.

He’s not the first executive to leave a cozy position at an established AAA gaming brand and he predicts that he will not be the last. “That’s not to say that my former category is going to fall off a cliff, but there’s an awful lot of excitement here,” Dille said. “[Chief operating officer] John Schappert left EA to join Zynga. . . . It’s fair to say that you’ll probably see more of that.”


Ubisoft, Eidos Veterans Form Tribute Games

Justin Cyr, Jonathan Lavigne and Jean-François Major, veterans of Ubisoft and Eidos, have announced that they will launch a new start-up called Tribute Games. They’ve worked on a variety of titles that includes Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, TMNT, Shaun White Snowboarding and Star Wars: Episode III, though they will focus on downloadable titles, starting with Wizorb for PC and Xbox Live.

“Jean-François Major, Justin Cyr and I have been working together for several years and we also developed Wizorb together during the past 6 months,” said Lavigne. “So, we decided to join forces and form our own  video game company. Justin is an awesome pixel artist, animator and aspiring sound designer and Jean-François is our mastermind programmer.”

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Don Cheadle Is Captain Planet

Don Cheadle is an acclaimed Hollywood actor for his dramatic roles, but who knew he had such good comedic timing. Warning though that the video has some not nice language towards the end.

Guilt Can Be A Killer

On the official Facebook page for Dexter, a new game called “Know the Code” has been launched that tests fans to see if they have the facts straight. From story points to his “human side” to Forensics 101, fans must proceed through the test to see if they make the cut and understand Dexter’s serial killing tendencies or secret obsessions. On launch, fans can invite up to 3 friends to start playing or skip that and being round one. Fans have 30 seconds for each question and must progress through 3 rounds in order to advance.

Super Bowl XLVI Ads Nearly Sold Out Already

There are five months until Super Bowl XLVI, but most of the 63 slots have already been filled. Seth Winter, senior vice president of NBC Sports Group Sales & Marketing, says that only a handful remain, perhaps as low as six.

Amazingly, this is coming at a time when NBC has actually raised the bar on prices. While Fox asked for $3 million per Super Bowl spot a year ago, NBC has increased it to $3.5 million.

“We originally set a target of $3.5 million. That was our asking price in the market,” Winter said. “But as we ventured into the market with the Super Bowl, we were always look for broader commitments across our sports assets. We don’t just sell Super Bowl positions, so depending on what other buys the clients made, the final price of an individual spot is a function of these other commitments.”

Each Super Bowl unit has been attached to another NBC Sports offering, prominently the 17-day 2012 Summer Olympics. Same as last year, automotive spend is taking up a large chunk of this advertising spend.

“You will see the same strength in auto this year that you did last year,” Winter said. “I can literally count on the fingers of one hand the number of car advertisers who won’t be back.”

“We are very well sold throughout the day,” he added. “As you know, there are people who for whatever reason do not buy the Super Bowl but want to be involved in the day. Those clients are buying category exclusiveness and [marquee] sponsorships in the programming leading up to the game.”

The more near term has seen NBC nearly sold out of its Sunday Night Football lineup. NBC last season averaged 21.2 million viewers per SNF broadcast “We are extraordinarily well sold in the regular season, and while the season hasn’t even started yet, we’ve already exceeded last year’s final revenue tally,” Winter said. “That in itself should speak to the increasingly healthy NFL marketplace.”

Games-On-Demand Coming To Vestel

Exent and Vestel announced a partnership to bring Android mobile games to television. Exent will serve as a Games-On-Demand provider for Vestel’s set-top boxes using a new GameTanium subscription service featuring optimized Android games.

“Consumers today want more entertainment options at home and we’ve found that gaming alongside video and music services are among the most popular requests,” said Hakan Kutlu, Deputy General Manager responsible for marketing, Vestel. “With the flexibility of the GameTanium platform and Exent’s years of experience with content programming and distribution, Exent was the clear choice to power our Games on Demand offering for operators.  By integrating GameTanium within our entertainment offerings, we are thrilled to be the first to bring the best of Android gaming to TVs worldwide.”

“Exent’s vision is to provide consumers with the greatest gaming experience, anywhere they wish to be entertained. Expanding our ‘Built with GameTanium’ offering from PCs, smartphones and tablets to the next generation of TV set-top boxes is an important milestone in fulfilling our play anywhere vision,” said Zvi Levgoren, CEO, Exent. “Vestel is a great partner and we look forward to working with them to bring the greatest Android mobile hits to the living room while assuring the best user entertainment experience.”