League Of Legends Watched By 8.2 Million People

Riot Games is reporting that 8 million people watched the League of Legends World Championship second season final. Around 2.4 million of those watching were based in China and Korea; the two finalists were from South Korea and Chinese Taipei.

The final on Saturday, October 13 had 8,282,000 unique viewers across its TV and online broadcasts and was watched by over 8,000 people in person. Across all users, the League of Legends World Championship second season playoffs and finals were viewed for 24,230,688 hours.

To find out more about Riot Games and their efforts to create a community around League of Legends, read this exclusive [a]list feature.

Assassin’s Creed Movie Now Being Fast Tracked

Reports are that Ubisoft will work closely to develop and co-produce an Assassin’s Creed film with New Regency, while Fox will distribute the film. Michael Fassbender, who is attached to play the lead, helped open doors with both companies.

Fassbender, star of X-Men: First Class and Prometheus, is set to both star and co-produce Assassin’s Creed this Summer.

New Regency president and CEO Brad Weston said working with Fassbender on Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave made the partnership on Assassin’s Creed very appealing. “We wanted to do everything we could to secure the rights to Assassin’s Creed, which Ubisoft has maintained with such care and quality over the years,” he said.

Ubisoft hopes to have Assassin’s Creed packaged with a helmer, cast and script by next summer, according to Jean-Julien Baronnet, CEO of Ubisoft Motion Pictures. Although financial terms were not disclosed, New Regency will finance part of the movie’s production. “We want to be sure that we’re not taking too much of a risk but that we’re still very involved on the creative side,” Baronnet said.

While Ubisoft wants to preserve elements of the game, like the design of its characters and historical elements, it also hopes to tie in the release of a film with a new game launch. “We don’t want to make games just for the sake of movies,” Baronnet said. “We want to make them in concert with the games.”

Ubisoft wanted more control over its adaptations after Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time didn’t do well with Jerry Bruckheimer and Disney. It went on to earn $335 million worldwide, just $91 million of it coming from the U.S.

“Ubisoft chose to partner with New Regency because they are a talent and filmmaker-driven company, with the same independent and creative mindset that we have at Ubisoft Motion Pictures,” Baronnet said. “Bringing aboard New Regency’s renowned production and distribution expertise while maintaining our own creative and financial flexibility ensures that Assassin’s Creed will be a high-quality film that respects the lore and fans of the videogame franchise.”

Source: Variety

Google Finds Gaming Secondary To Only Email On Tablets

According to a Google study, 51.5 percent of participants used their tablet for gaming in a two-week period. Gaming represented an average of 10.9 percent of the total incidents of use.

Checking email was done by 84.5 percent of participants, with 18.9 percent total incidents of use, making it the only activity with a more favorable combination. The study found that gaming was apparently more popular than watching video and social networking.

Source: GoogleUserContent.com

Nokia Talks Positively Of Surface Phone

With Microsoft throwing their hat in the tablet computer realm, some think that they should do a Surface phone. Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, for one, would welcome that sort of competition from Microsoft.

“It’s certainly a stimulant to the ecosystem,” says Elop, in response to questions on whether a potential Surface phone would be welcomed or seen as a competitor. “We’re encouraging of HTC and Samsung and Microsoft or whomever to have devices in the market and to be making whatever investments that helps spur the ecosystem on,” says Elop.

“We’re very proud of the unique differentiation that we are bringing to the Windows Phone platform,” he adds. “It’s not something that’s easily replicated or reinvented or anything like that.”

Source: The Verge

Disney Yearns For Digital Relevancy

Walt Disney Company has redesigned its primary web site Disney.com for the third time in five years. The media conglomerate is desperate to turn around its gaming, mobile and Internet division after 15 consecutive quarters of losses, adding up to nearly $1 billion.

Disney CEO Robert Iger is optimistic about new products, which include an ambitious and unannounced gaming initiative code-named Toy Box. It’s been a huge concern to investors that the company has not been able to figure this out.

“We’ve been waiting for years and years and years,” said Jessica Reif Cohen, a senior analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “For traditional media companies, this really does seem like a totally different skill set.”

While Disney used the Disney Channel as its introduction to many young people, they know that Disney.com is important to the next generation of consumers. Major companies like Time Warner with AOL, News Corp. with MySpace and Viacom with Harmonix have had a hard time with new media, and Disney in 2001 took $878 million in charges to close its Go.com portal.

Among recent failings of the company were Epic Mickey, which went through six years of development and came out on the Wii when that system’s fortunes were starting to fade. Disney also had six AAA development studios at one time poised for console development, but weren’t readily ready when attention shifted to mobile and social games, having to buy out Playdom for $563 million in 2010.

Leading Disney Interactive’s latest quest for profitability are James Pitaro, a former Yahoo executive, and John Pleasants, Playroom’s former CEO. They quickly cut costs through a series of layoffs and have shut down three of Disney’s console game studios.

“We can’t expect to grow Disney.com in reach and engagement if we’re just focused on marketing,” Pitaro said.

One major change is reaching out to external websites, enhancing the company’s presence on YouTube, spending up to $15 million to make original Web series. One of them, based on Outfit7’s Talking Friends apps, has generated over 102 million views in only a few months and Disney now operates more than 60 YouTube channels.

“We have to take our content to our guests wherever they are,” said Pitaro.

One of their best new prospects is Swampy, an alligator who stars in Disney’s mobile game Where’s My Water?  The game has over 100 million downloads, has spawned a toy line and been added to Typhoon Lagoon, a Walt Disney World water park, with a Swampy short series planned for the Disney Channel.

A lot of emphasis is being made for Toy Box, a console game with extensive mobile and online applications in which various Pixar and Disney characters will interact with each another. “I’m excited about what we’ve already done and where we’re going,” said Pleasants, adding that Disney has had three No. 1 apps in the last six months.

Pleasants, whose contract expires in 2014, said “it would be an honor to be asked to stay. We have a long way to go, but we have a plan and just need to execute it.”

Source: New York Times

Facebook Brand Pages Get Little Engagement, Study Finds

A recent study by Napkin Labs found that the Facebook pages of major brands engaged an average of only six percent of their fans over an eight week period. The report analyzed fan engagement on more than 50 brand pages with 200,000 to 1 million Facebook fans each. Engagement was lowest among brands with higher numbers of fans.

It’s common strategy for brands to increase awareness by acquiring more likes, but the study reveals that the influence of one engaged fan versus many inactive fans is more valuable in terms of overall reach. The approach isn’t new, and now there are stats to support it. Napkin Labs found that on average, the engagement of each one of a brand’s 20 most engaged fans is equal to that of 75 average fans.

So how can brands measure overall success

The answer is a higher focus on brands’ core audiences, or what the study calls “super fans,” the most devoted groups of users. These are the people who spend more time interacting; commenting, liking and participating in polls, thereby helping organically increase engagement.

The study comes as a result of some brands reporting diminished reach due to the recent change in Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm that no longer shows brand posts in user news feeds if a user hasn’t recently interacted. The change is being seen as a way for Facebook to boost ad dollars. At the same time, it has presented brands with the challenge of creating more engaging content. Napkin Labs study lends even more credence to creating highly sharable content while at the same time targeting the most influential fans in a brand page community.

“If you can get fans involved, get them talking about the brand, the engagements of each of those fans gets pushed to their friends feeds. So you can actually build more presence in the news feed by engaging your core audience,” said Riley Gibson, co-founder and CEO of Napkin Labs.

Source: Mashable

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EA CEO Denies Social Game Decline

The diminished engagement in the social game realm overall has left some wondering if the bubble has burst. Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello indicates that his company is not giving up on the sector, saying that quality titles like Backflip Studios’ Dragonvale and EA’s own The Simpsons Tapped Out will rise to the top and “consumers won’t pay for crap.”

“The companies that are now suffering will have another day,” said Riccitiello.

Source: AllThingsD

Kickstarter Project Shaker Canceled By Creators

Brenda Brathwaite and Tom Hall of Loot Drop have announced the cancellation of their Kickstarter project with two weeks remaining. Shaker: An Old School RPG raised only about a quarter of the $1 million goal.

“In the industry, games are pitched every day. Some make it to the next stage, but many don’t, like those named above. We regret to announce that we’re adding Shaker: An Old School RPG to the latter list,”announced the company. “We are profoundly grateful to our fans. You were as excited about this game as we were, and from the very beginning, you encouraged us to post more details about it and even sent in fan art! We have received backing from over 7,000 of you and raised a quarter million dollars in just a few days (!). That’s humbling and wonderful.”

Loot Drop

“Ultimately, our pitch just wasn’t strong enough to get the traction we felt it needed to thrive. Sure, it may have made it. We could have fought our way to a possibly successful end. In reading your feedback and talking it over internally, however, we decided that it made more sense to kill it and come back with something stronger. In game design, mercy killing is the law. So, please accept our thanks and apologies in equal order. Expect something more soon,” concluded the announcement.

Source: Kickstarter.com