Mobile Games Played By Nearly Half Of All Adults In U.S. And U.K.

Information Solutions Group has conducted another survey focusing on mobile on behalf of PopCap. The survey found that almost half of all adults in the U.S. and U.K. are now playing games on mobile and that there is now an addressable market of more than 125 million people playing mobile games in the U.S. and U.K.

Additionally, it was found that almost half (46 percent) of all video game time is spent on a mobile device. Phones and computers were found to be the most common game devices (33 percent and 32 percent, respectively). Interestingly, dedicated consoles were only at 18 percent.

“Mobile games continue to vie with social games as the hottest sector of the video game industry and that trend shows no sign of waning,” stated Dennis Ryan, VP of Worldwide Publishing at PopCap. “Smartphone adoption continues apace and tablet adoption has added considerable fuel to the fire. Even more important, consumers are embracing the shift toward freemium games and other add-on game content purchases, driving the dramatic and rapid shift in the forms of monetization being used by developers and publishers.”

Walter’s Cute Debut Trailer

As Rayman’s positive reception at E3 has shown, gamers still enjoy unique platforming games. This new game from indie developer Blossom Minds, called Walter, features a bundle of water with eyes as he takes on an evil oil company. This debut trailer is just too cute to ignore [thanks, Joystiq].

{video link marked as “private”}


Facebook To Debut Real-Time Bidding On Ad Prices

Facebook is planning to bring real-time bidding for advertising to its site, just like buying Google ads. The Facebook Exchange service will allow advertisers to target specific users based on their browsing history, said Facebook spokeswoman Annie Ta. Prices will be based on the cost per thousand viewers and spots will be sold via third-party technology partners; the service will debut in a few weeks.

“Facebook’s been having challenges coming up with effective advertising,” said Debra Aho Williamson, an analyst at New York-based EMarketer Inc. The company “is hoping to use that inventory on the right side of the page to deliver advertising that is more targeted,” she said. With Facebook Exchange, marketers will be able to target people who have viewed certain kinds of websites in the past, based on their cookies.

Real-time bidding will account for about $5.08 billion, or 27 percent, of the projected $18.9 billion to be spent on U.S. online display ads in 2015, according to researcher IDC. Last year, real-time bids generated $1.07 billion, or 9.8 percent, of display ad sales.

Source: Bloomberg

Flurry Releases Ad Analytics Tool For Mobile Campaigns

San Francisco-based mobile-app measurement and advertising platform Flurry today announced the launch of Flurry Ad Analytics, an analytics service that measures the effectiveness of traffic-acquisition campaigns across mobile-ad networks.

The company uses the data drawn from its Flurry Analytics — used by more than 70,000 companies across more than 190,000 applications — to power advertising said Peter Farago, VP-marketing. The new product allows app marketers to track traffic from campaigns against multiple networks including Apple iAd, Google’s Admob and AppCircle.

According to the company’s own data, 23 percent of a consumer’s time each day is spent using apps (if they have an app-capable device), yet only 1 percent of ad dollars are spent in mobile advertising. Mobile advertising is typically bought across a series of networks. In data provided by Flurry, Google accounts for 26 percent of acquisition traffic, while its own platform, AdSpot, provides 13 percent and Apple’s iAd accounts for 10 percent.

Ad Analytics automatically tracks clicks and installations and attributes them to the correct campaigns and traffic sources. It then allows marketers to view the behavior of users after they download. “Flurry estimates that during 2012 app marketers will spend more than $1 billion worldwide on app-traffic acquisition without the ability to measure user quality, assign attribution or easily determine ROI,” said Simon Khalaf, Flurry president and chief executive, in a statement. “Flurry Ad Analytics empowers app marketers to change the way they think about acquisition and focus on quality not just quantity.”

Source: Ad Age


Transformers: Fall Of Cybertron To Include Original Voice Actors From TV Series

Transformers remains an iconic brand for many Gen X folks, and Activision is hoping to capitalize on nostalgia for the animated TV series in its upcoming game Transformers: Fall of Cybertron by ensuring that two legendary voices make a return. The High Moon Studios developed title will feature Peter Cullen and Gregg Berger, reprising their respective roles as Optimus Prime and Grimlock.

Other voice-over veterans in the game include Nolan North (Bruticus, Cliffjumper and Brawl), Troy Baker (Jazz, Jetfire and Kickback), Fred Tatasciore (Megatron, Ratchet and Metroplex), Steve Blum (Shockwave, Swindle and Sharpshot), Isaac Singleton (Soundwave) and more.

“This is the definitive Transformers video game, and we absolutely had to have these iconic voices onboard in order tell this story,” said Peter Della Penna, Studio Head, High Moon Studios. “Because it’s an origins story, we were able to explore some of the coolest characters in the lore for Transformers: Fall of Cybertron, and then go after the best and most authentic voice talent possible to do the franchise right.”

“There is no mistaking the voices of Optimus Prime and Grimlock, and we are so happy that fans will get to experience a game featuring the distinctive voices of many of the most iconic and popular Transformers characters,” said Mark Blecher, SVP of Digital Media and Marketing, Hasbro. “The development team at High Moon Studios did a phenomenal job hand-picking the cast for what is by far the most diverse character roster ever in a Transformers video game.”

The game ships on August 28.

Warren Spector Interview

Some thoughts from the veteran game designer on E3:

This is the year where there were two things that stood out for me. One was: The ultraviolence has to stop. We have to stop loving it. I just don’t believe in the effects argument at all, but I do believe that we are fetishizing violence, and now in some cases actually combining it with an adolescent approach to sexuality. I just think it’s in bad taste. Ultimately I think it will cause us trouble.

We’ve gone too far. The slow-motion blood spurts, the impalement by deadly assassins, the knives, shoulders, elbows to the throat. You know, Deus Ex had its moments of violence, but they were designed – whether they succeeded or not I can’t say – but they were designed to make you uncomfortable, and I don’t see that happening now. I think we’re just appealing to an adolescent mindset and calling it mature. It’s time to stop. I’m just glad I work for a company like Disney, where not only is that not something that’s encouraged, you can’t even do it, and I’m fine with it.

The second thing I noticed was that the most interesting part of the press conferences had nothing to do with games. When the games are the least interesting part, there’s a problem. When did the game conference become about interfacing with Netflix I just worry a little bit. The thing that’s ironic is that I feel like we really are in a golden age, in a weird sort of way. Nobody knows what the future of games is. Nobody. At a time like that Notch can come along and do Minecraft, and Chris Hecker can finally do his incredible party spy game, and Jon Blow can do Braid, and I can do a triple-A Mickey Mouse game – anything is possible.

Is the future… indie games distributed digitally made by four guys in a garage Is it 800 people working on a triple-A game for Disney Is it a social game on Facebook Is it a mobile game on iOS and Android Nobody knows. What that means is, if you have an idea you can reach an audience with it. Pretty much all I saw at E3 was, ‘Well, we’re going to do what we always did, but bigger and bloodier! And we’re gonna talk about Netflix!’ I just don’t get it.

Read the full interview at GamesIndustry International.

Tapjoy Partners With Kabam

Today Tapjoy announced a partnership with Kabam, a leader in massively multi-player online and mobile games. Kabam’s leading iOS hit, Kingdoms of Camelot, is now available on the Tapjoy network, where players can earn GEMS for free by engaging with Tapjoy advertisers and marketing actions. More and more free-to-play publishers are realizing the potential of Tapjoy’s Mobile Value Exchange model. Since the beginning of 2012, Tapjoy’s DAUs on iOS have more than doubled and top iOS publishers are experiencing increased growth and revenue as a result of partnering with Tapjoy.

Kabam’s Kingdoms of Camelot went live on iOS in early 2012 and has been the top grossing app on iOS for several weeks since April. “Kabam is a leader in mobile gaming and we’re thrilled to announce this exciting addition to the Tapjoy network,” said Mihir Shah, president and CEO at Tapjoy. “The partnership not only adds millions of users to our network but extends the reach for our advertisers to a very large, and highly engaged, iOS audience.”

Fruit Ninja Licensed Products Selling Worldwide

Halfbrick, the Australian game development studio behind the chart-topping iOS games Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride, announced that it has licensed Fruit Ninja products to several companies around the world.

Since its debut on the iTunes App Store in 2010, Fruit Ninja has become an international phenomenon, topping sales charts in more than 80 countries with more than 25 million players daily. In less than 13 months, the title achieved more than 20 million downloads, earning a spot as one of the top 10 most downloaded iPhone games ever released. With over 1.3 trillion fruits slashed, the title holds a record of more than 300 million downloads for iPhone, iPad and Android.

The Fruit Ninja international licensee partners include Play by Play Toys & Novelties for plush and novelty toys, and Poetic Gem for ‘augmented reality apparel’, both in Europe. In Asia, Shenzhen Vicky Technology & Trade Co. will have mouse pads, hard disks, LED/USB desk lamps, wallets, coffee mugs and more; Letao will offer shoes, and Nokia will have cases, covers, charms and wire collectors.

Microsoft Launches NUads On Xbox LIVE

Microsoft Corp. today announced the official rollout of NUads on Xbox LIVE, making the new interactive TV ad format available for sale to advertisers broadly. Toyota, Unilever and Samsung Mobile USA are the first brands to develop NUads campaigns that will appear on Xbox LIVE this fall. NUads advertisements transform standard 30-second TV spots into engaging and actionable experiences using the power of voice and gesture controls of Kinect for Xbox 360.

“NUads marks the beginning of a new era for TV advertising. It delivers the one thing traditional TV advertising is missing — engagement,” said Ross Honey, general manager of Xbox LIVE Entertainment and Advertising. “We developed NUads to breathe new life into the standard 30-second spot. With NUads, brands can get real-time feedback from audiences, making TV advertising actionable for the first time.”

The first NUads format to roll out offers polling capabilities that allow advertisers to ask a multiple-choice question during the airing of a 30-second spot. Consumers can enter the poll with a simple wave of a hand or a voice command while viewing the commercial. Consumers get a real-time tally of the answers so they can see how other Xbox LIVE subscribers are voting, and advertisers get real-time feedback from consumers to help inform future campaigns.

Get Wild With Ted

You too can spend a wild a night with the bear himself (or at least make it look like it). Ted is the story of how John’s (Mark Wahlberg) childhood wish for his teddy bear to come to life was granted, and the two are still best friends. However, Ted isn’t a cute and cuddly bear anymore. He’s a foul-mouthed party animal (pun intended), and you can now join the party with a new Facebook app called “My Wild Night With Ted”. All you have to do is upload any photo or choose one from Facebook and use a simple toolset to inject Ted into the scene. Once completed, fans can post to Facebook with the caption “My Wild Night with Ted” is proof bears DO have more fun. Create your wild night with Ted now!