Assassin’s Creed III Smashes Pre-Order Records

Ubisoft has announced that Assassin’s Creed III is the company’s most pre-ordered game to date. The publisher says that pre-orders for the game are more than double Assassin’s Creed Revelations, which previously claimed the high-water mark for Ubisoft and pre-orders.

“Pre-orders for Assassin’s Creed III at GameStop are 100 percent higher than last year, putting the game on track to be one of the top titles of 2012,” said Michael van den Berg, VP of international merchandising, marketing & digital at GameStop.” In addition, Ubisoft is offering a Season Pass and high quality DLC available at launch to bring even more excitement to this title.”

Nintendo 3DS: Play As You Are

Nintendo has clearly put young female consumers in its sights for the 3DS, with ads starring Penelope Cruz, Dianna Agron and Gabby Douglas. While there was a bit of a pushback to the initial focus on the phrase “I Am Not a Gamer” the campaign has more comfortably shifted to the tagline “Play As You Are.”  {link no longer active}

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Promax: Ayzenberg’s Earned Media Guarantee Is ‘Bold Promise’

PromaxBDA conducted an interview with Ayzenberg’s Chris Younger and Simon Ward on the firm’s new offering of guarantees on the performance of its social media campaigns for clients. Ayzenberg rolled out its Earned Media Guarantee last month, which Ward introduced in a byline article here on [a]list daily.

Source: Altimeter Group

In its interview published yesterday, Promax delves deeper into the methodology behind the program. Promax blogger Justin Sanders called it, “A bold promise to clients that [Ayzenberg] will not only predict the performance results for a given campaign, but be accountable for them.”

Read the interview at PromaxBDA.

Apple Revenue, Profits Set Record For Q3 2012

Apple announced their quarterly financial results, where they revealed they sold 26.9 million iPhones (up 58 percent year-on-year) and 14.0 million iPads during the quarter (up 26 percent over the the same quarter last year). The company also sold 5.3 million iPods, a 19 percent unit decline during the same quarter in 2011.

Apple sold 200 million iOS devices, including 125 million iPhones and 58 million iPads, in the past year. Despite all these staggering numbers, it did not meet analysts expectations that the company would once again shoot past their stated forecasts.

“Going into earnings we were wondering if the slowing economy will catch up with Wall Street, and it has,” said Channing Smith, co-manager of the Capital Advisors Growth Fund. “Apple is very well positioned with the iPad and now the iPad mini. It has a great smartphone and we expect the iPhone 5 to sell very well. The outlook is conservative, but that’s not surprising. Err on the side of caution is a proven formula.”

Source: Reuters

Breakfast Will Never Be The Same

Peruvian illustrator Guillermo Fajardo has been creating digital art that reimagines various cereal characters. Much like various “real world” renditions of video game characters, the final results are kind of scary.

Source:  {link no longer active}

Windows Store Amended To Sell Mature Games

Microsoft has amended the guidelines of the Windows Store in Windows 8 to allow the sale of games rated M for Mature in the U.S. and PEGI 18 in Europe in December. Also, Windows’ corporate VP of web services Antoine Leblond assured developers that there will be means to sell games outside of the Windows Store.

“This is to give developers a heads up that that’s where we’re going,” Leblond said, “So they can have the peace of mind around developing the kinds of games that will have those ratings.”

“We want the world of desktop apps to to keep existing [outside of the Windows Store],” he added. “There’s no reason to get in the way of that. Valve can keep being Valve.”


Gree Purchases Pokelabo

Gree announced that it has acquired Pokelabo for $173 million. The developer is best known for card battling games like Mystic Monsters and The Clan Battle Of Fate.

“That’s something I’ve struggled with over the past few weeks. Just thinking they could maybe go all the way and compete against DeNA or Gree which are multi-billion dollar companies. But I’m seeing way too many other companies out there trying to do that,” said Pokelabo board member Gen Isayama. “In the smartphone game we were the leader, but people catch up really fast.”

Source: Wall Street Journal

ESRB Launches Digital Rating Service

The ESRB announced the launch of its Digital Rating Service for downloadable games. Not only will this allow developers to get their titles rated immediately and for free by filling out an online questionnaire, but there will also be descriptors warning customers if a game shares their personal information with third parties, their location with other users, or allows uncensored user interaction through direct communications, media sharing, or user-generated content.

“By simplifying the process and eliminating the cost to developers, the ESRB expects to broaden adoption of its ratings among game providers of all types,” the ESRB explained in a statement. “The resulting ubiquity of ESRB ratings will ease a parent’s job by presenting a single ratings standard across the many platforms on which their children access games. Increased adoption of ESRB ratings also means that developers will no longer be subject to differing and oftentimes conflicting rating systems and standards for their digitally delivered games.”

Just Dance 4, Skylanders Centerpieces For New Wii Bundles

Nintendo has announced a new set of bundles for the Wii ahead of the launch of their Wii U system. On November 4, they will launch a Just Dance 4 and a Skylanders Giants bundle to consumers.

“These bundles give consumers a way to enjoy some of the hottest new games for this generation’s most popular console at an attractive price,” said Steve Singer, Nintendo of America’s vice president of Licensing. “Together with our third-party publishing partners, we’re delivering maximum value for families who want to get the most for their home entertainment dollar.”

The Just Dance 4 bundle has a white Wii console with matching Wii Remote Plus and Nunchuk controllers for $129.99. The Skylanders Giants bundle will have a blue Wii console with matching Wii Remote Plus and Nunchuk controllers, one Portal of Power, two Skylanders characters and one exclusive Giant Skylander, all for $149.99.