Call Of Duty Elite Gains 1 Million Members Despite Launch Struggles

Call of Duty Elite, Activision’s new social service for the franchise which launched alongside Modern Warfare 3, got hammered at its debut and was all but crippled. Activision has said it’s working on it and everything will be 100% fixed by December 1, but what’s impressive – and shows the brand power – is that Call of Duty Elite has managed to attract 1 million paying members in just six days even with the launch hurdles.

“The demand for Call of Duty Elite at launch was so overwhelming, that for the first several days, the service did not perform up to our or our fans’ standards. I want to personally thank our fans for their patience. Our teams have been working around the clock to get the service scaled up to meet demand,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO, Activision Publishing.  “I’m very pleased to announce today that the service is now performing stably and anyone who wants to try Call of Duty Elite is now able to do so. Due to the scaling challenges we encountered at launch, we are giving all Call of Duty Elite premium Founder members an additional 30 days of the service free of charge.”

Tomb Raider: How Lara Croft Became Lara Croft

A new Tomb Raider film is expected in 2013, 10 years after the last film in the series, 2003’s The Cradle of Life, and according to the producer Graham King, the new movie will be akin to Casino Royale or Batman Begins, in that it’ll offer an origin story for the protagonist.

“Listen, the box office, they [previous Tomb Raider films] weren’t disasters but I find it interesting that the story that we’re telling is really the story before she became Lara Croft, so it is a character piece,” he said.

“It does have a lot of really great characters, but it’s a lot of action and a lot of fun, and for me, it’s something very different. I’ve not really done a movie like that before, but I really gravitated to rebooting this franchise and we’re going to give it a shot.”

The screenplay is being handled by Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, who also penned the original Iron Man movie (another origin story) and cult sci-fi movie Children of Men. The duo said they intend to create an “origin story for Lara Croft that solidifies her place alongside Ellen Ripley and Sarah Connor in the pantheon of great female action heroes.”

Source: Coming Soon

Jak And Daxter Trilogy In HD Glory

The Jak and Daxter Collection, when it ships in February, will feature all three games that helped to define the PS2 era. The games will offer 720p visuals and even stereoscopic 3D for those of you with the TV sets to support it. Check out how great it looks compared to the old PS2 titles:

Virgin America Unleashes Internet Immortals

A new Facebook app called “Films” on the official Virgin Mobile Live page is actively stalking your cultural obsessions. In partnership with “Immortals”, Virgin Mobile has utilized YouTubers (established content creators within the YouTube network) to drive fans to check out some new content. The App is filled with content and engagements. An onboarding video called “Immortals: The Remake” featuring Olga Kay, Jacks Films, Richard Ryan and Sam of Corridor Digital shows what happens when a bunch of YouTubers get their hands on the all-powerful magical weapons from Immortals. Vote on which YouTuber wouldn’t last one second in ancient Greece. In another voting engagement, fans were asked to upload photos of themselves posing like a Greek God or Goddess and compete to immortalize themselves on the page. Select YouTubers like Jacksfilms, OlgaKay and Tobuscus were also asked to produce video content of their own for their channel. Fans can also check out the official trailer and find a local theater to check out “Immortals”.

Super Bowl 2012 Ads Already Shaping Up

The Super Bowl has become an attraction not just for the sport, but also for the many new TV commercials debuting during the biggest NFL game of the year. A 30-second spot can cost millions, and if you’re looking for the eyeballs of the 18-34 male, there might not be a better place to advertise. Last year’s Super Bowl even featured a video game ad from EA for Dante’s Inferno.

An early list of advertisers for the Super Bowl has emerged, and while no video game companies are listed just yet, we still wouldn’t be surprised to see one pop up in the weeks to come.

Check out the initial list at Advertising Age.

Kindle Fire Redesign For Next Year With Bigger Screen – Report

Amazon’s new Kindle Fire appears to be a hit, with some analysts predicting it’ll sell 4 million units this holiday season. The tablet and e-reader isn’t exactly an iPad, but then again it’s only $199 and that’s part of its draw – it also helps that the biggest e-tailer is pushing it to budget concscious consumer. There are already numerous games for the device, so marketers should pay attention to Amazon’s next move.

That next move may be to revise the hardware with a bigger screen. Reports are that an 8.9-inch Kindle Fire is being planned for Q2 2012. In fact, the same manufacturer that produces iPads (Foxconn) is said to be starting production on the new Kindle Fire early next year. There’s also been some talk of an even larger Kindle Fire with a 10.1-inch screen.

Source: Digitimes via Business Insider

Walmart Capitalizing On Holiday Season With $99 Wii

Wii may not be having the greatest year in 2011, but Nintendo’s always done well during the holiday season, and with Zelda: Skyward Sword having just launched, now might be the perfect time to buy a Wii – especially for the amazing price of just $99. Nintendo hasn’t lowered the price, but Walmart is offering a special deal this week.

The big box retailer is offering a limited edition powder-blue Wii for the Black Friday doorbuster price of only $99.96. You can buy them starting at 10:00 pm on November 24th, but you’ll probably need to act fast.

At the very least, promotions like this should draw more foot traffic to Walmart to check out other video game items as well.