EA Sports Boss: Developers And Marketers Must Interact Daily

Marketers and developers are often in their respective bubbles as they work on projects, but in today’s games business, the reality is that marketers and game developers really need to work hand-in-hand.

“The teams that are really successful are the ones that have strong partnerships between marketing, development, product management, production, design, because it’s a day-to-day interaction with gamers,” said EA Sports SVP Andrew Wilson.

“That’s different for us; typically developers would talk to marketing people once every four weeks when they get to a milestone and then really get together once a year, and now on the EA SportsFIFA Ultimate team, the Madden Ultimate team, those guys and girls sit next to each other and they interact on an hourly basis, in realtime.”

Source: IndustryGamers


[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.”

New Line Cinema To Go On Rampage

With the exception of some movies, like Tomb Raider and Resident Evil, video game film adaptations don’t exactly have a stellar track record. New Line Cinema is reportedly aiming to craft “a smartly-budgeted monster movie in the vein and tone of Ghostbusters and Independence Day,” based on the old video game Rampage.

The Midway game from 1986 was designed with a King Kong or Godzilla-like theme, with apes and monsters destroying cities. Midway was acquired by New Line’s sister company Warner Bros. in 2009 for $33 million.

John Rickard, who has acted as a co-producer on a wide range of New Line movies from A Nightmare on Elm Street and Final Destination to Horrible Bosses and next year’s tentpole Jack the Giant Killer, will produce Rampage. Rickard is currently meeting with writers to develop a story for the project.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Are Interactive ‘Living Ads’ The Future Of Marketing?

While social and viral marketing has certainly changed the face of advertising, there hasn’t been a major evolution in quite some time. Yahoo!, however, has just launched what it calls the “Living Ad” with its first partner Toyota. The ads blend compelling video and photography with interactivity, personalization, and customization – sounds like it would be right up any gamer’s alley doesn’t it

“What TV does best is the branding aspect, it engages me, it gets me aware. But then what online does well is . . . it lets me build a preference and drive some action,” said Alex Linde, Yahoo’s director of mobile and tablet advertising. “If I was to take an interactive TV ad and put it into a magazine, that would be a phenomenal advertiser experience.”

“This is like the Harry Potter newspapers. The people in those newspaper are alive,” he said. “That’s kind of the feel that we’re going for.”

Linde added that a study comparing the living ad to regular static ads indicated readers were 78 percent more likely to want to interact with the ad and twice as likely to spend more time with the ad. 24 percent of the readers also had a higher opinion of the brand because of the living ad and were more likely to talk about it. Purchase intent also increased significantly, from 2 percent for static ads to 16 percent of the living ads.

Game marketers, get on this!

Source: Adweek

Zynga’s CastleVille Is Its Fastest Growing Game Ever

Zynga is still the king of social gaming, but many in the industry have observed some cracks in its once thought impenetrable armor. That said, Zynga may be stepping up its game with its latest release CastleVille.

Just six days after launch, the new title’s become Zynga’s fastest growing game ever with around 5 million daily active players. For comparison, the last major Zynga hit, CityVille, had 3.2 million daily active players six days after its launch, and FarmVille had 2.7 million daily active players six days after launch.

Overall, Zynga had 236 million monthly players at the end of the first quarter this year, but that then fell to 228 million users at the end of the second quarter and 227 million at the end of the third quarter. Perhaps CastleVille is just what the doctor ordered before Zynga launches its IPO, likely next week.

Source: Business Insider

Nintendo Hopes To Spark 3DS Business With Mario, Zelda Bundles

Nintendo 3DS stumbled out of the starting gate earlier this year, but in recent months the portable has had a comeback of sorts, and with Super Mario 3D Land on store shelves and Ocarina of Time having done well during the summer, Nintendo is aiming to have a huge holiday with 3DS. To keep the momentum, Nintendo is launching two special bundles.

One bundle offers a sleek Cosmo Black 3DS marked with the Zelda emblem and a copy of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D.  The second bundle is a Flame Red 3DS with Super Mario 3D Land.  Both bundles will retail for $199 and hit stores on November 24, 2011.

The Zelda one in particular looks like it would be very appealing to the hardcore Nintendo audience, but the Mario bundle will likely do better in the mainstream market this holiday.

Kevin Butler Honors PSN Gamers

Kevin Butler has taken a page out of the YouTube book of the Old Spice Guy and done a tribute video. Unlike the Old Spice bits, he’s not answering questions, but honoring and addressing various members of the PlayStation community.

SSX Music Gets Tricky

SSX has always had a good mix of memorable music and the latest incarnation will be no different. Check out the “Tricky” remix trailer and watch a video detailing the ways that music is integrated into the experience.

Kinect And Discover Disneyland Park

Kinect: Disneyland Adventures lets you experience Disneyland park in your living room. Check out the official site and explore the map to meet your favorite characters and take a look inside Disneyland-inspired worlds. Discover how you can use your whole body to bring the magic Disneyland park to your home. This rich Flash enabled website lets fans explore all the different areas of the park explore how they will interact with characters at every location.