Trials Evolution Sees Highest Grossing Day-One Sales For XBLA

Microsoft announced that Trials Evolution sold over 100,000 copies in one day. The volume of people looking to play the game has forced Microsoft to put up new servers for the game.

“Xbox Live Arcade delivers breakout digital gaming experiences to Xbox Live members,” said Microsoft in a release. “With the launch of Trials Evolution, the sequel to the breakout XBLA success Trials HD and the first title released in the Microsoft Studios Presents: Arcade NEXT program, publisher Microsoft Studios is proud to announce that after the first 24 hours of sales, Trials Evolution has set a record for the highest grossing day-one sales in Xbox Live Arcade history!”

A streaming launch event {link no longer active} promoted the game on TwitchTV.


6waves Bringing BBC Properties To Facebook

6waves and BBC have announced a social game distribution agreement. The first BBC game, Top Gear: Speed World, will recreate many of the famous challenges of the series. Following Top Gear, BBC may be working on  a Dr. Who game.

“With Facebook’s global platform and user reach, it’s a natural fit to extend BBC’s IP to social games that can enrich experiences and connections for our fans and their friends,” said Robert Nashak, EVP BBC Worldwide Digital Entertainment & Games. “6waves was an obvious partner because of the company’s track record of driving success for the developers and brands it works with.”

“BBC Worldwide has made tremendous strides in expanding its brands to consumers through interactive channels,” said Jim Ying, SVP of Platform at 6waves. “Social games are a successful way to connect consumers directly with brands they love, we couldn’t be happier to be partnered with BBC in this step in their digital strategy.”

The Raven Photo Challenge

Get your creative juices flowing by taking a shot at the Digital Photography Review Photo Challenge {link no longer active}, sponsored by The Raven. Challenges are photographic mini-competitions (with no prize other than glory) open to all preview members and judged by popular vote. There are four suitably horrific weekly themes – Midnight, Entombed, Gothic, The Raven – to inspire your photographic creativity. Starring John Cusack as Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven hits theaters April 27.

Lego Getting Girl Power?

Lego recently introduced the Lego Friends line, in an attempt to make their toys more relevant to girls. However, there was a minor uproar against the product line, and 50,000-plus people signing a petition against it.

“Lego has the potential to be a toy that overcomes limiting gender stereotypes, and while we were disappointed to see them succumb to outdated ideas of gender in the Friends line, we hope to see them make positive strides forward,” said petition founder Bailey Shoemaker Richards in a release. “Over 55,000 people have added their voices to the conversation, and we want to make sure Lego hears those parents and kids.”

Let it not be said the Lego is not open-minded, as the Danish company met with Richards and Stephanie Cole. The two are part of the SPARK Movement, designed to empower women with positive images.

“They said we will see some changes in the next couple of years,” said Dana Edell, the Brooklyn-based executive director of SPARK after the meeting. “They absolutely listened to us. It turns out a lot of the things we have requested they have been thinking about and are in the works.”

SPARK requested more female figurines in mainstream construction sets, more girls in general marketing materials and less stereotyping in the Friends line. Edell said specific suggestions for the Lego Friends line includes a City Hall set with a female mayor, a hospital, or a school to go along with the spa, splash pool and cafe in the existing sets.

Source: New York Daily News

Jagex Appoints New Brand Director

Jagex has announced that they have appointed Rob Kinder as a Brand Director. The veteran of Metaboli, Codemasters and most recently at Green Man Gaming will be overseeing the marketing and brand positioning of all Jagex’s existing and upcoming third-party titles.

“Jagex has developed into one of the big success stories of independent British game development, and I’m delighted to be returning to the place I began my career,” said Kinder. “There is an abundance of incredible talent within the company, and I’m looking forward to working them to develop new, groundbreaking online gaming experiences.”

“We’re really pleased to be welcoming Robert back into the Jagex marketing team,” said David Solari, Jagex CMO. “We have some big plans for 2012 and beyond and Robert will be able to utilize his specialties to ensure that our games will reach their full potential. Over recent years Robert has gained a great deal of digital marketing experience and I am confident that his knowledge and experience of launching numerous top selling titles will be a massive asset to Jagex as we strive to become the dominant force in UK digital gaming.”

Codemasters Focusing Brand On Racing

Codemasters has confirmed that they will not be putting out any further games like Bodycount or Operation Flashpoint. They will instead launch a new label called Codemasters Racing (though the company will remain Codemasters) and concentrate on their F1, GRID and DiRT franchises.

“Racing is the absolute razor focus for all titles currently in development and those slated for future development across the studios in Warwickshire and Birmingham,” said a Codemasters spokesperson. “The focus is an exclusive one, there are no other genre properties in development at this time; racing is everything. We are also increasing headcount across the operation, which currently employs around 700. We are expanding the teams by a further 100+ development positions, which are opening over the course of the year across the sites.”

Codemasters will launch Race Net to accompany DiRT Showdown. This new game portal, which will give players a persistent driving persona across all Codemasters Racing titles, allows players to show off achievements and receive info on various community events.

Marketing And Sales Positions Hit Hard By Sony Layoffs

Sony is planning to consolidate their product groups in Europe into one major office in Weybridge, U.K. The byproduct of this will be 1,000 lost jobs at offices in U.K. & Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Iberia, Central and Southern Europe, Turkey, Switzerland and Austria, Benelux and the Nordic region.

It’s currently unknown how or if this announcement will affect the PlayStation division, which is one of Sony’s more profitable branches. The majority of losses are said to be coming in sales and marketing roles and will be part of Sony’s plan to downsize 10,000 employees.

Source: Brand Republic

Coke Tapped Student Talent For New Swirl Logo

A 20-year-old student from Hong Kong created a new image which is two hands in the shape of Coke’s iconic white ribbon passing a bottle. This design premiered this past weekend in bus shelters and elevators in Shanghai and is part of Coke’s global “Open Happiness” campaign.

“It’s got unusual, intriguing stopping power,” said Stephen Drummond, director-content and creative excellence for Coca-Cola in Asia Pacific. “Everyone’s responded with a sense of, ‘Wow, that’s a different, intriguing spin on something so iconic and so familiar.’ Just for that reason it engages people. Of course the message of connection and friendship with the brand at the center comes through very clearly.”

Jonathan Mak Long second-year communication design student at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, created the image. He previously created a tribute to Steve Jobs that went viral, featuring the Apple logo with Mr. Jobs’ silhouette making up the bite.

The image was reproduced in several British newspapers attributing it merely to a Hong Kong student. “Because we didn’t know the college, it took quite some time to get hold of him,” said Graham Fink, chief creative officer of Ogilvy & Mather China. “I had my assistant in Shanghai calling all the colleges in Hong Kong.”

“We went through his portfolio … his book was beautifully simple,” recalled Fink. “I said to him, ‘Look, we must keep in touch. I’d love to help you in any way that I can.’ ”

Mak was given an assignment that was simply called “Sharing a Coke” which he had also shared with Fink’s design team. “I think the way I approached the poster is quite similar to the Steve Jobs Apple logo,” Mak said. “I enjoy making visual puns. … I don’t want to say it’s my style, but I do enjoy combining elements together to create a joke almost. It captures people’s attention. These kinds of images are quite appropriate to advertising. It takes a second to get, and then there’s an ‘aha’ moment.”

Interestingly it was not a formal assignment from Coke. “Ogilvy took the initiative and totally surprised us,” Drummond said. “Sometimes these ideas pop up out of serendipity, it’s very much on-brand and on-brief. [Coke wants to be] open to ideas that come from anywhere and everywhere and embrace it.”

“The way creative departments work these days, ideas can come from anywhere,” said Fink. “You want anything that makes people work better, faster. There are a lot of great people out there, especially in China. The whole country is learning about [advertising]. … There’s a huge opportunity for us to find these people.”

“I’m still a student, and I’d like to continue to see if there are other areas that interest me,” said Mak. “I just want to do good work that can affect people the way the Steve Jobs-Apple logo did. But my concrete career achievements I don’t want to think about that. I just want to do good work.”

Source: Creativity Online

ESPN: It’s Not Crazy, It’s Sports — Michael Jordan

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to share a name with a superstar This commercial answers the question, by following an ordinary man who has been saddled with a legendary name.

{video link no longer active}