Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning Steam Pre-Order Bonus

Steam has announced the availability of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning for pre-purchase. Those interested to check out the game can play the demo on Steam right now.

Also those that pre-purchase on Steam before the release date can receive three exclusive items. The Warsworn Helmet, Bolgan Helmet, and Bolgan Family Crest in Team Fortress 2 will be available to everyone that purchases the game early.


6waves Lolapps Escalates Mobile Development

6waves Lolapps has announced that it has acquired Escalation Studios. This will add a Dallas studio to the expanding empire of 6waves Lolapps, gives them more leverage in the mobile market, and adds Escalation Studios’ co-founder Tom Mustaine and Marc Tardiff as Design Directors and co-founder Shawn Green as Director of Engineering.

“We will double our business in 2012 and mobile will play a significant role in our growth on both the publishing and development sides of our business,” said Rex Ng, CEO of 6L. “This addition to our team brings some of the mobile gaming industry’s most impressive talent into our fold and sends a clear signal that we are as serious about innovation in mobile as we have been in social.”

“We were initially interested in Escalation Studios because of their reputation within the industry,” said Arjun Sethi, Chief Product Officer of 6L. “When we sat down and saw their roadmap we recognized immediately how deeply their goals and capabilities align with our own. Their addition to our team will enable us to launch some of 2012’s most innovative mobile games.”

Syndicate — Four Player Demo Teased

Syndicate is releasing very soon and in anticipation of that, Electronic Arts will be releasing a demo that lets up to four-players participate at the same time!  Enlist some co-workers today!

Total War: Shogun 2 — The Last Of The Samurai

The time period of Total War: Shogun 2 – Fall of the Samurai saw the rise of foreign influence in the Land of the Rising Sun. This story trailer details the rapid modernization of Japan and the rising tensions between the Shogunate and other factions during this time period.

Take Up Arms

Part of the launch of Spartacus Venegance on Starz, a new Facebook engagement asks fans to choose their allegiance and pick a side as the gladiator rebellion descends upon the Roman Republic. Manor born or willing to take up arms against your former oppressors, fans must choose a leader from several characters featured on the show. Once they are chosen, they cannot go back. Fans must then join the fight and enter to win Spartacus prizes beyond their wildest dreams. Within the App, fans can then start to earn points for their team and themselves by performing challenges and recruiting friends. For example, select the “Suit Up” challenge and transform yourself into a Roman or a rebel by uploading a photo or using a webcam. New challenges will launch over the next few weeks. Perform challenges to increase your personal point total and you team’s point total. Check out the “My Profile” section to track your progress.

LittleBigPlanet: 6 Million User Levels Created

The LittleBigPlanet games are more than single player experiences – they’re online communities of level creators. Developer Media Molecule, after announcing nominations were open for the best user made levels of the year, announced that the community had reached a new milestone in user levels.

“6 Million levels!” they tweeted. “A Year ago this week we launched LBP2, since then you guys have made 2.5m levels – you are amazing!”

Source: Twitter

Smartphone In-App Purchases $5.6 Billion Market By 2015, Says ISuppli

According to iSuppli, they believe that in-app purchases will increase from 39 percent of the total app market revenue in 2011 to 64 percent by 2015. Revenue from in-app purchases is expected to reach $5.6 billion in 2015, more than quintupling from $970 million in 2011.

“Smartphone users overwhelmingly prefer free apps to paid apps, as we estimate 96 percent of all smartphone apps were downloaded for free in 2011,” noted Jack Kent, senior analyst, mobile media for iSuppli. “In 2012, it will become increasingly difficult for app stores and developers to justify charging an upfront fee for their products when faced with competition from a plethora of free content. Instead, the apps industry must fully embrace the freemium model and monetize content through in-app purchases.”

“Games pioneered the in-app business model,” Kent noted. “Now the approach has proven so successful, companies building other types of smartphone app must adopt this strategy if they are to maximize their mobile app revenues.”

Source: iSuppli

Max Payne 3 Approved By Remedy, Called ‘Brilliant’

Max Payne 3 was recently delayed by Rockstar Games into May 15, 2012 in order to ensure the game met the company’s high standards. It’s that sort of commitment to quality that has Remedy’s head of franchise development Ozz Hakkinen calling the game “brilliant” despite his team being divested of the Max Payne license.

“We absolutely love what they’ve done and couldn’t be more proud of where the series is headed,” said Hakkinen. “I mean, they don’t really make shitty games, do they It’s as if the Rockstar logo has become this, ‘Seal of quality.’”

Source: Kotaku

Feature: Ayzenberg Hooks Up With The Social Method

The Ayzenberg Group recently announced that it would be acquiring The Social Method and merging operations. The combination of people and focus is a continuation of a natural relationship between the two companies. We got all the pertinent details on the merger from Keith Pape, VP of Social, Mobile & Emerging Media at Ayzenberg Group, and The Social Method co-founder Rebecca Markarian who is now Director of Social & Emerging Media at Ayzenberg Group.

Why does the Ayzenberg Group feel like now was the right time to acquire The Social Method?

Keith Pape

Keith Pape: We’ve been working with The Social Method for nearly 2 years and our efforts just grew more and more closely aligned as we saw more success together. It just made sense at some point to become one organization, as we were spending all our time together. It made sense to take advantage of what were duplicate systems. The team has amazing synergy.

I’ve known Rebecca (CEO of The Social Method) for years prior to my arrival at Ayzenberg. We were introduced by a mutual friend and we’ve always had a like-minded approach to Social Media.

Give me some background on how you started working with the Ayzenberg Group.

Rebecca Markarian: I met Keith Pape, who heads up social, mobile and emerging media at Ayzenberg, through a mutual contact in the social field and we immediately were on the same page. Keith’s knowledge of creating social engagements and building advanced apps intrigued me and I think my passion for analytics and measurement complemented that nicely. We finally had the opportunity about a year ago to work on a community outreach program where we began experimenting and testing different theories and really digging into the data. From there it just grew.

How will the capabilities of Ayzenberg enhance The Social Method and vice-versa?

Keith Pape: It’s funny that Rebecca and I kind of mimic the benefits of the two companies. We have many similar assets (community managers, project managers, bloggers, strategists, analysts), but, although we have similar strengths that tie us together, we also shore up each other’s weaknesses. One will have a greater strength in analytics, and the other a keen insight into long term strategy. One an in-depth knowledge into entertainment and toys, but the other has a contact into the Mom’s that make the decision on what gets purchased. It’s constantly an Yin and Yang that complete anything we touch and make the two much stronger by working together.

Rebecca Markarian

Rebecca Markarian: Ayzenberg appealed to me immediately because of the talent of the team. They are savvy on all things digital and they don’t just “talk the talk” — they really dig in and work closely with clients to understand how they can help meet not just marketing objectives but business objectives. This concept was at the core of the Social Method. For me it was always about ensuring a brand’s reputation was intact and figuring out how we could help them build awareness and ultimately increase sales.

What are some of the projects that, theoretically, you’ll work with The Social Method?

Keith Pape: Everything is so tightly integrated. We complete each other’s team. Already we have had our project manager who had a particular strength leading the graveyard shift completely made up of ‘Social Method’ Community staff, and the analytics team has already become more efficient combing the writing styles of one analyst with the data manipulation of the other. No client we have on the roster won’t be improved, whether it’s a AAA video game launch, a major toy brand or the leading energy drink brand’s latest crazy stunt.

Talk to me about your history of working with brands like Old Spice, Jaguar, Land Rover and Hilton Hotels and how you think your social marketing with them succeeded.

Rebecca Markarian: In leading or being part of the PR and communication efforts for these brands I learned with each that perception was stronger than whatever the latest creative execution said about your brand. Changing perception is an art I learned working with the media and now use in working with consumers and it is a practice of listening more than talking and really trying to understand where consumer perception meets the marketing message and figuring out how to make the two meet so a consumer can understand the value of a product. I also learned that standard messaging rarely works in creating interest among all audiences. It’s much more effective to take the time to understand each person’s wants and needs and then work the messaging to show how your product or service fills that.

Talk to me about how The Social Method’s proprietary toolset enabling real time analytics for social activity monitoring, management and measurement with compliment Ayzenberg’s business.

Keith Pape: Everyone is talking ROI, KPI and every other acronym concerning data and metrics when it comes to Social Media, and what they are talking about is that Social Media lacks hard numbers (real, quantifiable, numbers). We think differently. We’ve found that the problem isn’t the data, as it’s available, it’s the way you think about it. Most technology vendors think of social media data and reporting from a tech perspective, and ultimately, it’s cool, but not useful. The PR folks think of it from a PR perspective or customer service perspective, which doesn’t give the community it’s due in it’s innate ability to generate true viral traffic that can be measured and reported on, and far exceeds the customer service model of; complaint, response, resolution. The community isn’t just open or closed, or happy or unhappy. Or even ‘engaged’ which seems to be the response/phrase of the day. We are pulling data in real time and collecting it. Constantly looking at it, analyzing it, storing the analysis and using it to develop trends, not just on engagement or in number of responses or shares or ‘likes’, but really determining cause and effect, based on that data and in real time making recommendations to the client on what the community is telling us is important to them, and thus, what is important for the brand to accomplish in order to be successful.

Rebecca Markarian: Our toolset takes in all conversations about your brand or product and analyzes them from a consumer perspective. We can look at the conversations on your channels and out in the public social space and understand what people think about your brand right now. What are they concerned about? What do they love? While some argue they know this already, often the data we uncover is different than what is perceived and we’re able to help clients create better products, services and communications using this data.

Why do you feel like social media is going to be “the next big thing” for brand marketing in the future?

Rebecca Markarian: Social media has changed the way consumers think about their relationships with brands. They are gravitating toward brands that listen, respond and consider as well as act on what their community has to say. The new consumer wants to be heard and responded to immediately and their expectation that brands will do this 24/7 is rapidly increasing. I think for brands that make the investment to be there for their community and take into account what they want in the development of the products and services, they’ll see more loyalty from consumers in the long run.

Rebecca, Keith thanks.

_ _

Interested in social media Looking towards the future in social metrics and promotion Join the discussion on Facebook