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”.

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:

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

[a]list Games Gets $9.3 Million Funding Boost

[a]list Games has received $9.3 million in a second round of seed funding from parent company The Ayzenberg Group (the same company which operates the [a]list daily newsletter you’re reading now). This additional capital positions [a]list game “it to pursue partnerships with makers of high-end digital games, especially in the fast growth category of premium free-to-play PC, tablet and mobile games.”

For those interested, [a]list games will also be attending the developer-publisher pairing event Game Connection Europe in Paris December 6-8, 2011.

The company was launched in early 2011 to help developers in an increasingly competitive digital game marketplace by considering funding and executing their advertising, public relations and marketing programs in return for a share of revenue.

“There is a major shift in the game industry as developers move from traditional retail games to digital, many of them with a legacy of making hits,” said Steve Fowler, co-founder and GM of [a]list games.  “This is showing a trend towards digital games that rival anything sold in stores in production quality and game play depth.  It’s also leading to greater competition to draw bigger audiences.”

“This is a tremendous opportunity for us,” said Eric Ayzenberg, Chief Strategist and Chief Creative Officer of Ayzenberg Group.  “We are introducing new integrated creative and marketing techniques that draw upon everything we have learned in 18 years of marketing games.”

Bully 2 Might Be Next For Rockstar Vancouver

Bully came out originally in 2006 and was a critical if not commercial hit for Rockstar. While the developer Rockstar Vancouver moved over to Max Payne 3 instead of a sequel, there may yet be a Bully 2.

“Contrary to a lot of people, we like to take a little bit of time at the end of a game before starting a sequel, so we can wait for the excitement or disappointment and everything else of the experience to shake down and really see what we should do in the next game,” said Rockstar’s cofounder and vice president Dan Houser,. “So we knew that we didn’t want to start doing the Bully sequel instantly at that second with those guys [at Rockstar Vancouver] — even though it is a property that, like Max [Payne], we adore and might come back to in the future. There was just no impetus to do that then. So we said, ‘you can do Max, and then we will see what we can do with Bully.’ It was really waiting for the slot to open up and the group to open up to at least start work on it.”

Source: Gamasutra

Mass Effect Multiplayer Considered Since The Beginning

Mass Effect 3 is going to have a multiplayer mode in “Galaxy at War.” However, Mass Effect 3 creative director Casey Hudson indicates that BioWare has been looking for ways to put in multiplayer since the first game.

“To us it was always a fun, intriguing idea to partake in the Mass Effect universe with friends, to look around, kind of see it from inside with others rather than just taking part in this solo experience,” he explained.”In general, that’s the direction that videogames are heading; they’re more social, more online, and we’ve been trying to find a way ever since Mass Effect 1 to integrate some kind of multiplayer.”

“In those early days we were trying to figure out what kind of a game it was going to be, and were thinking of ways that maybe the whole story experience might revolve around a co-op (structure),” he added. “That, instead of there being just one Commander Shepard, he’s in fact kind of lots of different heroes that can jump in, meet each other and interact. And by embarking upon that route we realized there was just a lot of things we simply couldn’t do, or had to compromise when ensuring the solo experience was as great as we wanted it to be, so we dropped that idea and proceeded to perfect single-player, to make it really solid.”

“Then, with ME2 we revisited the idea, deliberating whether you could perhaps take control of one of the other characters for a while, but – again – there were a lot of factors that would have compromised the single-player story,” he noted. “So the difference really was that, with ME3, we adopted a fundamentally different approach to what the thing is about, which is that there is a whole intergalactic war going on, which wasn’t the case in the previous entries . . . That provided us with a different idea; now in multiplayer you can play as that crew of special forces, journeying around and helping Shepard with the war effort.”

Source: CVG

Benetton ‘Unhate’ Campaign Draws Ire

Benetton has created a stir with its new ad campaign. The images show Pope Benedict XVI kissing Egyptian imam Imam Ahmed el Tayyeb on the lips, along with images of President Obama locking lips with Chinese premier Hu Jintao and Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.

Part of the fashion company’s “Unhate” ad campaign, the White House had no comment, but the Vatican threatened legal action. “This is a grave lack of respect for the Pope,” said Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi.

Lombardi asserted that the image is offensive to the “sentiments of the faithful” and “a clear example of how advertising can violate elementary rules of respect for people in order to attract attention through provocation.”

Benetton, for its part, is apologetic. “We are sorry that the use of an image of the pontiff and the imam should have offended the sensibilities of the faithful in this way,” said Benetton in a statement.

“Our campaign promotes a shift in the balance: don’t hate, Unhate,” says the Benetton explanation on its website inviting “us to consider that hate and love are not as far away from each other as we think.”

Source: New York Daily News

Guillermo Del Toro’s Game Still Three Years Out

Director Guillermo Del Toro has come into video game development with a humble spirit and that’s certainly a good thing. As he’s finding games are a completely different way to tell a story.

“With a videogame, you don’t have to solve one screenplay, you have to solve 20 screenplays, because you are giving the player the illusion of free will. If the character kills another character or destroys a building, the game goes one way; if the character doesn’t, it goes another. It keeps you very nimble,” said Del Toro. “I think that’s the biggest, and the most fun, lesson I’ve been getting. We’re being really, really nasty in the game. We’re really trying a lot of stuff that I don’t think would even fly in the movies. It’s still two-and-a-half or three years away, though, because videogame development is so long.”

Source: Wired