Wreck-It Ralph Director Talks About Movie’s Creation

Wreck-It Ralph director Rich Moore says that lessons he learned about humanizing characters from The Simpsons and Futurama really set him up for this movie. Treating animated characters as real was always stressed for those shows.

“What we were making wasn’t a cartoon show, it was a sitcom about real people, that happened to be animated. [That idea] directly translates even into a Disney movie,” says Moore. “What we’re trying to do is tell stories about characters that we care about, in a world we believe in.”

John Lasseter wanted Moore to develop an original video game idea for a movie. “So I really fell in love with this notion of doing a story set in that world, the scope and scale and big spectacle of video games, and having a story about a simple man and an existential crisis — wondering is this all there is in life,” says Moore. “That’s what gave the movie its heart. It wasn’t about two warring factions within video games [like some of the previous pitches]. It had the action within games, but also a profound situation that our character is struggling with in his mind.”

While Wreck-It Ralph is an homage to games of yesteryear, it’s possible now because of how video games have embedded themselves in our popular culture. Moore said, “I think even 10 years ago, it might have been hard to make this movie, or even five years ago.”

Source: io9.com

[a]list Game Marketing Summit: Tying The Knot

Opening remarks from Chris Younger, Principal/Director of Strategy for the Ayzenberg Group. Younger described some of the key moments from earlier summits this year, with video clips of and some effective quotes. It’s all about creating and building a relationship with the customers, and as Younger pointed out it’s a two-way conversation.

Activation — A “Lean Forward” Approach

Moderated by Simon Ward, Director of Strategic Development for Ayzenberg. Panelists include Robyn Yoder, Senior Marketing Manager, Windows Consumer Marketing, Microsoft; Joe Paulding, Direcotr, Audience Development, E! Entertainment; and Jeff Wong, Director, Digital Delivery, Ayzenberg.

Robyn Yoder noted that it’s a mix of the rational and the emotional, to get the brand firmly planted with the consumer. Joe Paulding said that their goal is, of course, ratings, and they wanted to see if they could use social media to drive ratings. They introduced an app this year to try and get involvement with the red carpet walk of celebrities, to gauge the level of interest in the twittersphere. They hoped that by feeding the vanity of users (the chance for their tweets to appear on TV) it would drive higher ratings, and they saw this occur with the Golden Globes and the SAG Awards, especially with younger users. Direct tracking is hard, but the usage certainly correlated with higher ratings. Jeff Wong related some experiences with a variety of clients. He cited a health app (FitBit) that tracks user activity to help with their fitness level, and how it was much more effective by sharing results with a community who can lend support.

Paulding described some efforts they used on the Facebook page for the Kardashians in an effort to drive more viewing of the show. A picture of a pair of sparkly shoes brought 80,000 likes, which astonished him. That’s what viewers wanted to see, though. He feels continuing efforts on social media have helped drive strong ratings for the new season of the show.

PopCap employee in the audience noted that he tries to keep the trolls away while still keeping the whales happy. Wong asked him if the trolls are angry about a specific product or release, and PopCap responded that they don’t consider those trolls. They define trolls as people just generally being disruptive and not contributing in any way. Wong noted that he sees people who are contributing useful information can be channeled into more useful feedback, redirecting them into ways that are more acceptable and makes them feel valuable. Skilled redirection like that can also make a good impression on others.

Making the Relationship Last:

Moderated by Julian Hollingshead, VP of Strategy and Client Service for Ayzenberg. Panelists include Elaine Chase, Brand Director for Magic: The Gathering, Wizards of the Coast; Tony Leamer, Franchise Business Director, Plants Vs. Zombies, PopCap; and Ryan Wener, Senior Director, Product Management, Activision.

Chase noted that they’ve said for years “We don’t sell a product in a box; we sell an experience.” It has to be an entire emotional experience, like Friday Night Magic: The Gathering get-togethers’ Chase formalized a user-generated gathering and made it something that all stores could promote and engage in, and fans have responded well.

Hollingshead asked if loyalty and advocacy are more or less important than they have been in the past. Leamer responded that he thinks it is more important, and it’s dangerous to be focused on things like virality and monetization rather than game play. Wener feels that the stage has completely changed, and that Mass Effect 3 is a great example. Players engage deeply with games they like, and they take ownership of them — so it’s possible to really anger them or really thrill them. He feels there have been greater successes and greater problems because of this greater level of emotional involvement.

Chase said you need to give people a reason to stay, something that engages them, and then they won'[t be fickle. They will have a reason to come back when something new finds them. Wener noted that there is some measure of polarization, some groups of consumers engage much more deeply than they ever did before. But as you get bigger, some people engage the franchise at arm’s length. Consumers come in every shape and size, and analytics can help identify them and show how to engage them in greater depth.

Chase said many of their programs are designed to activate the higher-end consumers and get them to talk to other players, bring in new blood. Leamer feels that the sheer number of entertainment choices out there tends to push you back to the things you love, underscoring the need for deep engagement.

Chase feels that more brands are being evaluated based on how they handle it when things are screwed up more than by their successes. Wener notes that Facebook is often used merely as a broadcast tool, not as a conversational tool — and it should be, because it helps drive deeper engagement. This places a higher burden on the community management teams, because they need to be aware of what people are asking and respond properly.

Hollingshead asked if the conversation helps guide development, and Leamer agreed that it does. Though he noted most of the time they question they get is “When is Plants Vs. Zombies 2 coming out ” Hollingshead wondered if they actually measure loyalty. Chase noted that they are at a disadvantage by not being a primarily digital product; they can’t track when people play cards. So they do it indirectly, by tracking store events, tournaments, and other things. They want to support the influencers who help other people get into the game. Getting those higher-end people to get the less-engaged people into the game is crucial to expanding the hobby. If the key influencers don’t endorse the products designed for the entry level, Chase said, those products will never take off.

Wener said measuring advocacy is still a significant challenge; measuring a like is not enough. He wants to identify hubs in the community, people who lead large groups. People who create web sites, or clans; ideally they’d like to track the guy who gets 5 of his buddies to play Call of Duty every week.

Leamer said it’s very easy with social games to mistake virality for advocacy; you want people to promote your game because they like it, not just because the game sends out messages to your friends. Wener noted that it’s important to see how players want to be involved, and find ways that can engage them based on how they are interested in the game. Chase said they have taken game ideas from players and turned them into game formats that the entire player base can use; they did this with the Commander play model. But they didn’t take it over, they worked with the community and continued to let them control the rules. It’s been a huge success.

From the audience came the question of how you reward users that do something great; Leamer used the example of fan art, how they share that with everyone. Chase pointed out there’s many different ways fans engage, and the rewards for them differ.

Community Through Entertainment

Moderated by Steve Fowler, VP of Strategy, Ayzenberg

Panelists include Matt McCloskey, Directopr of Franchise Business Management, 343 Industries; Taylor Smith, Senior Director, Xbox Global Marketing Communications, Microsoft; Sanjay Sharma, Senior Executive Business Development Affairs and Strategy, Machinima.

Tomorrow an original live-action series centered on Halo 4 will appear on Machinima.  Fowler was brand manager on the original Halo, so this panel has a lot of resonance for him. Machinima is the largest channel on YouTube, so it was an obvious choice for the way to distribute a live-action series. McCloskey said the idea for the live-action series began with the product team, and it seemed like a good idea to make the Halo 4 launch as big as possible with such a series. Smith had tried to get something like this started before, but this time the idea finally got traction. Alan Wake used that concept successfully through Machinima to drive millions of impressions.

McCloskey said at the beginning that the only thing he guaranteed is that everyone would be uncomfortable, and he was right. It stretched all the boundaries; not just a product and not just a marketing vehicle, something built in-house at Microsoft. Machinima started with fan-created content, and it has expanded far beyond what they thought was possible originally. Gaming has expanded beyond just social videos to episodic videos. Their Mortal Kombat series topped 60 million views. Now they have a new channel devoted to long-form episodic entertainment, much of it though not all based on gaming.

Fowler noted that it’s a decade old brand, and doing a live-action series is taking a risk with the brand. It’s caused much anxiety, admitted McCloskey. There were lots of issues to be resolved with the story, not the least of which is whether to design it for newbies or for hard-core fans. He feels people will have to watch the entire series to really evaluate it well. The narrative for Halo 4 now encompasses the series Forward Unto Dawn, three novels, and of course the game itself.

Smith’s advice was to not outsource the core of the experience; keep it close so it can be great. The essence of the series was not promotion, but the dramatic story at the heart of it. The hope was that doing a good story with the right elements would create a powerful brand impact. Smith noted that they hope viewers have a greater appreciation for the game and the characters, and thus get greater enjoyment from the game.

Fowler asked how it was possible to justify making a movie when they are in the business of selling video games. McCloskey said they wanted to have profitable marketing, and to show how it would generate profits to cover its costs. There’s an initial  window of showing the videos, then putting the series into the Halo 4 limited edition, and it will eventually come out on DVD and Blu-ray and video-on-demand to generate more revenue. Additionally, they hope to generate 100 million views to help support the launch of Halo 4.

Sharma feels that this segment is starved for great content, and that other publishers are watching this effort with great interest. Perhaps we could see more and more content like this, especially if the business model proves out. Sharma noted, though, that the deals they are doing all seem to have different elements.

Would they be satisfied if the content didn’t generate revenue No, McCloskey said. They wanted to challenge themselves to make content that was good enough to pay for. He pointed out the Star Wars: The Clone Wars was created to sell toys, but it’s also a good show in its own right — so it succeeds even better at selling toys.

Keynote: Jordan Weisman

Weisman started by showing slides from a TV show that never existed — Developer Dog and Marketing Cat, like Itchy and Scratchy. The first episode, Shrinkwrapped, shows them fighting like, well, cats and dogs. Despite the fighting, it sort of worked for a long time, with marketing following along after the game was done, and never getting involved early on. Games had short term sales windows, so it worked OK. Episode 2, Pile It On, shows how marketing needed to catch up because of ongoing product development of DLC. The long tail of multiplayer didn’t necessarily increase revenue, but retention grew. Now, the latest episode is Rinse and Repeat, with Marketing Cat now focused on retention, growth and performance analytics. Marketing Cat is learning new tricks, and being involved throughout the process as much as possible.

Tincup Alley is where Weisman has been recently, with the indie market and Kickstarter funding. The Kickstarter funding “gave us 500% of the money we asked for, but the expectations went up 5,000 percent,” said Weisman. Now marketing has to precede the creation of the product; you have to create a vision of the product to generate enough funding to build the product. You have now created a community well before the product exists, but that community has to be maintained. As your money gets less, you have to do more marketing, as Weisman points out. Marketing is Dead; Long Live Marketing, Weisman said.

Launch marketing milestones are now tombstones; long tail marketing and community centered content is key. Episodic releases and long-term engagement, and user-generated content become critical. Marketing is now Product Development; cats and dogs are sleeping together. His final slide noted that it was produced in a facility that hires and retains nuts.

Weisman feels free-to-play is as much of a mental shift as a new hardware platform, at least in terms of design. It’s not the only way to monetize, though; he feels there will continue to be multiple ways to get paid to create games.

Care and feeding of his 35.000 Shadowrun Kickstarter backers is an ongoing concern. You have to continue supporting them, because their emotion is real and raw and it takes a lot of energy to support that, keeping them fed. At the end of the day he prefers having the audience to getting a traditional development deal, because he’s getting validation along the way and a built-in marketing force for the future.




Exclusive: Star Trek Online Interview Hits Warp 2

In part one of our interview with Star Trek Online executive producer Dan Stahl and Perfect World Entertainment vice president of business development and corporate communications John Young discussed everything from the game’s shift to free-to-play, Star Wars: The Old Republic going free-to-play, and the future of the Klingon faction. In part two of that interview, we continue talking about free-to-play considerations, the game’s learning curve and discuss different ways MMOs could be reviewed.

Where is Cryptic at with PvP content in Star Trek Online right now?

Dan Stahl: Up to this point, PvP has not been a strong selling point in our game and we’ve admitted that we have a ways to go before this can become a vibrant part of the Star Trek Online experience. Cryptic Studios is making a serious effort to address this.

Over the last year we had an internal development team focus on building a PvP only game which helped us tune our engine and editing tools so that we have a better grasp on incorporating PvP into our games. For example, the PvP in Neverwinter is already in a much better state than STO.

We are now in the process of learning from what has been done on these internal projects and applying it to the nuances of our space combat engine.

Has the conversion to free-to-play done well by both Star Trek Online and Champions Online?

Dan Stahl: It has been a very healthy development for both games if for no other reason than the influx of new players. This is one of the encouraging aspects of free-to-play because it shows that there are people who want to play the game that simply couldn’t afford it at the existing price point. In today’s economy, free-to-play makes sense to consumers looking for options on how to spend their time and money. It is wonderful to see that, even with a free-to-play option, there is still a large core audience of players who see value in the benefits offered by subscribing. We are learning a lot from this hybrid model as we approach the launch of Neverwinter.

It seems like for the shift to free-to-play is really complemented by your new bosses at Perfect World Entertainment.

Dan Stahl: It’s been a great marriage. Even before we completed the transaction, we were meeting with Perfect World because they are a thought-leader for free-to-play in China. So once we made the decision to go free-to-play, we started consulting with them before Atari put Cryptic up for sale because they know a lot about what it takes to be successful with this business model. Now that we are part of their company, the marriage has been absolutely beneficial and we are learning from one another.

John Young: There are few teams like Cryptic out there, whether they’re external or internal, to absorb the lessons we want to convey. We couldn’t have asked for a better partner.

I once heard one of the best arguments for why 97 percent of free players in free-to-play games add something to the game — they fill out the world and become part of the gameplay.

Dan Stahl: That’s a good observation – even if you’re not spending a dime, you’re adding to the experience. You feel like you’re part of something greater and everyone wants to go into an MMO when it’s full of people.

Some recent MMOs have struggled with the perception of being empty because the zones are simply too large or spread out.

Dan Stahl: STO struggles with that as well. Whether you have large zones or you instance them it can still be a problem. The key is ensuring that players feel a sense of community as they learn the game. This is accomplished by seeing other players in key locations that act as “hubs” of gameplay. With free-to-play, you commit yourself to a community of people who might play very rarely to those who play every day – it’s all part of the challenge!

Star Trek Online seems to scale well to different PC specs.

Dan Stahl: One fun challenge of free-to-play is that people will try to play the game on any and all PC specs that you can think of. It wouldn’t surprise me if someone was trying to play STO via a Dreamcast.

Star Trek seems like a good fit for free-to-play, since it has a large mainstream fandom.

Dan Stahl: We’ve had internal debates at Cryptic about this. What is the worth of an Intellectual Property when considering a F2P MMO game If I were to compare STO to a retail business, I’d look at some of the great properties like Star Trek and Star Wars which both have a healthy hobby business attached to it. When you consider that there are people who may want to buy Spock’s eyelashes for $1,000, it is clear that Star Trek is their hobby.

The nice thing about a hobby is that you spend what you want to spend. Some people will watch an Oakland Raiders game from the luxury of their couch while wearing their sweats. Conversely, some people will paint their cars silver and black and spend hours tailgating decked out in Raider merchandise. In F2P, you also have people engaged at all levels. Having an Intellectual Property like Star Trek is awesome for a F2P MMO because it brings with it an already established mix of fans that might not exist if you tried to build a space MMO concept from scratch.

Did you think it was important from the beginning to get space combat right?

John Young: The game would not be as popular if the mechanics weren’t fun. It is really unique and if you marry that with squad-based content, there’s a lot out there to enjoy.

Dan Stahl: We built the game with a focus on space combat. It’s very unique, distinctive and it’s relatively faithful to the series’ depiction of capital ships slugging it out. It should remind you of Kirk battling against Khan. So when we think of “getting it right” we feel that we’re faithful to the shows.

Some people early on complain about the learning curve in Star Trek Online — is there any work being done to explain some elements better?

Dan Stahl: That is one of the concerns we had going into the free-to-play launch. We now have good evidence that it’s improved greatly since we launched back in 2010. We find that once players get through the tutorial the majority of the players will stick with the game up through max level.

Nevertheless, there are still some players who feel the tutorial is a steep learning curve. We’ll continue to tweak it because there’s always room for improvement in an MMO.

It’s a bit unfortunate, we feel, about the reviews of the launch version of the game in 2010 since the game has evolved so much since that time.

Dan Stahl: In my opinion, the whole game rating business doesn’t necessarily do a great justice to MMOs. MMOs are designed to grow over time and get better with every major release. It might be better if sites like Metacritic could find a way to rate MMO’s by releases instead of just the initial day one. There are plenty of MMOs that have made huge strides since days one and some that have even gotten worse. Until then, we will continue to offer the game for free and ask for people to try it out and decide for themselves.

John Young: Games as a service is “what have you done for me lately” and Star Trek Online offers so much right now.

What can we look forward to with Star Trek Online Will there be more story content to pour over?

Dan Stahl: Star Trek Online has a very busy schedule over the next year. Season 6 released two months ago and introduced Starbases and the Tholians. Season 7 will be releasing before the end of the year and will feature a storyline involving the Romulans. As a developer, I’m very excited about what we have planned over the next year. The game continues to get bigger and better year over year. The storylines we have coming up will be some our best yet!

Dan, John thanks.

Announcing the [a]list daily mobile app! Developed in-house by Ayzenberg Group, the [a]list daily for iPhone, iPad and Android delivers our same great daily content in an elegant app that’s perfect for viewing on the go.

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Exclusive: Guaranteed To Earn – The Power Of Earned In An Integrated Campaign

By Simon Ward

Establishing a meaningful relationship between brands and consumers sounds easy enough. It’s not. Converting a consumer into a customer is essentially the result of successfully motivating a single action, usually a purchase. Getting that customer to perform continuous interaction with the product or the brand is naturally going to take more thought and effort.

That’s where the power of an integrated campaign comes in. It takes cohesive strategy across all components of a campaign to engage that consumer beyond a single action. Every aspect, from marketing messaging and all owned content to paid media execution and earned and social programs need to be planned and executed in unison. And while all of the components are critical, earned media stands above the rest when it comes to continuously engaging consumers to broaden and amplify a campaign. Unfortunately, it’s also the one component perceived by most marketers and product stakeholders as traditionally the toughest to measure in terms of results, and ultimately in terms of ROI.

That is changing.

We recently introduced a program at Ayzenberg Group that we believe is the first of its kind, though quite likely the beginning of a trend. We call it the Earned Media Performance Guarantee. In an interview that included your author, we spelled out the mechanics of this new approach to integrated campaigns where we predict and guarantee the ROI for its earned media component. We’re essentially applying what’s become standard for paid campaigns to earned and social, where shortfalls in reach or impressions usually result in some sort of ‘make good’ for clients. In the same vein, we’ve developed a standard for quantifying results for earned programs in a way that’s measurable against paid media, developing a common currency for marketers by which to evaluate integrated campaigns.

What prompted us to offer this?

It’s what I mentioned above about the impact of converged campaigns. At Ayzenberg, we’ve found our most successful campaigns are where we’re able to work hand in hand with clients to take an integrated approach and leverage earned media to create a campaign “lift.” We have another name of this – the earned media multiplier. Behind it are the mechanics of how earned and social, if executed successfully, can engage consumers continuously while other components of the campaign are being rolled out.

Most campaigns experience peaks and valleys in consumer awareness over the course of their lifetime. The peaks are spikes in interest when new content or components roll out. The valleys result when there are lulls in communication. However, continuous activity through earned media channels sustains the lulls and causes a continuous lift in awareness throughout the campaign. We’ve seen consistency in this effect to the point where we can now confidently forecast a baseline lift based on the extent to which earned media programs are integrated into the larger campaign.

What we guarantee is that percentage of lift, and it is contingent on a number of factors. First and foremost, the brand stakeholder needs to understand how earned media integration within a larger campaign works. It goes well beyond launching a Facebook community and a Twitter feed to coincide with the start of a program.

One of the best recent examples is EA’s Battlefield 3 campaign. EA calculated ROI on its Facebook campaign, which included paid advertising on the platform as well as a comprehensive community building and moderation effort. It found that for every dollar in advertising it spent on Facebook it generated 440 percent return in product sales. The figure is based on internal modeling, where EA attributed 210,000 units sold to its efforts through Facebook.

As impressive as the results are for EA, the value of their efforts on Facebook for the Battlefield brand go well beyond that single act of purchasing the game. EA’s campaign on Facebook was a sustained effort that involved continuous engagement of their community. The week of launch, Facebook’s “People Talking About This” metric measured more than 800,000 people talking Battlefield, making it the most talked about page.

In its Facebook case study, EA’s Chris Thorne, senior director of consumer marketing, said, “By leveraging the Facebook social graph to make it feel like everyone was ‘talking about’ Battlefield 3 during the campaign, we were able to reach consumers in a highly credible and effective way.”

Thorne continued, “Executing the ‘playbook’ of acquiring a highly targeted and engaged fan base, encouraging fans to engage on Facebook with Battlefield 3 content, and then using sponsored stories to share these ‘engagements’ with their friends, led to a highly efficient and effective marketing campaign.”

That’s the power of an integrated converged approach, as these results were gained by successfully deploying carefully combined paid and earned programs. We now have an effective way to predict and measure these types of campaigns, implementing all techniques in concert and using a single currency to measure success. Our confidence in this approach is based on direct experience and our own evidence of effectiveness, and that confidence enables us to introduce the word ‘guarantee’ into the world of social and earned media in a way that we believe hasn’t been seen before. In the end, it takes marketers one vital step closer to attracting customers who turn into advocates, establishing a meaningful relationship that could involve them with your brand for a long time, maybe a lifetime.

Guaranteed to Earn” is part of a series of articles for [a]list daily highlighting Ayzenberg Group’s Earned Media Performance Guarantee program. For more information, you can reach out to contacts provided at the bottom of this site based on the nature of your inquiry.

Announcing the [a]list daily mobile app!  Developed in-house by Ayzenberg Group, the [a]list daily for iPhone, iPad and Android delivers our same great daily content in an elegant app that’s perfect for viewing on the go.

Get it FREE for iOS!

Get it FREE for Android!

Facebook ‘Friends’ Major Retailers

Facebook announced a plethora of new retail partnerships for the company’s most recent acquisition, Karma. The company acquired the gift giver app this past May and has since rebranded it Facebook Gifts.

Lee Linden, Karma’s co-founder and now head of Facebook Gifts, made the announcements at a press conference at FAO Schwarz in New York. The new gifting service is a virtual one stop shop for Facebook’s massive audience, as a way for users to conveniently share and receive gifts from over one hundred of their favorite brands directly from the site. Users will be able to personalize gifts with a message, pick a card, and even send gift options for the recipient to choose. They can also take advantage of Facebook’s most prized social staple items — birthdays, interests and events are readily available when deciphering what and when to give.

Facebook hopes the move will incentivize more consumers to get in the habit of purchasing directly from the platform, raising the company’s worth and garnering more ad business. The company makes a percentage of sales made through Facebook Gifts. The advertising opportunities are yet to be defined but obviously have great potential, for instance with targeted ads that essentially appear inside a virtual store. Another valuable aspect is the additional information the site will acquire such as home addresses and credit card data from users that haven’t yet been forthcoming with that information.

Facebook highlighted how new brands and services on board include babyGap, Fab, Brookstone, Dean & Deluca, L’Occitane, Lindt, ProFlowers, Random House, Inc. and NARS Cosmetics, as well as subscription services Hulu Plus, Pandora and Rdio. The service officially rolls out in the coming weeks leading up to the holidays and will include apps for iOS and Android.

Source: Tech Crunch

Take A Turtle Trek

SeaWorld has launched its first mobile game: SeaWorld Presents Turtle Trek!

Turtle Trek is an endless side-scroller that features an adorable sea turtle named “Patch” who explores the open ocean, meets friends (like Shamu), while dodging sea dangers and natural predators. It’s a fun, family game that seamlessly incorporates animal and environmental education.

To play Turtle Trek, please visit iTunes.com.

Star Citizen Raises Over $6 Million

The crowdfunding round for Chris Roberts’ Star Citizen has concluded, raising a record $6.2 million. The Kickstarter reached $2,134,374 spread across 34,397 backers, while the drive on the official site Rocket Space Industries had $4,104,189 with 55,270 backers.

“I am absolutely elated by the incredible outpouring of support for this project,” said Roberts. “It’s clear that space sim fans have just been waiting for a game like ours to come along and rekindle some of the excitement that’s been missing from PC games and the space sim genre. With the resources that our fans have provided, it means the team will be able to provide more features in Star Citizen and deliver an even better game.”

“I’ve been looking for an opportunity to jump back into gaming,” he added. “With all the tools and tech currently available, I can now make a game that really provides gamers with cutting-edge visuals, a highly detailed, immersive world and visceral, heart-pounding combat that only the PC can provide. In fact, PC gamers don’t need to take a back seat to any other platform. With Star Citizen, I want them to be able to stand up, be counted and completely enjoy all that their PC can deliver.”

Source: Kickstarter

Exclusive: Finalists Revealed For Game Connection Marketing Awards

In an exclusive for [a]list daily, Game Connection organizers have revealed nominees for their first-ever Marketing Awards.

Coming from an event best known for pairing independent game developers with publishing partners, Game Connection’s inaugural awards show is keeping to its roots. Major publishers, big game IP and a couple of global marketing agencies will vie for wins alongside indies and unknowns in PR and marketing categories. One winner will be chosen from among all finalists as the ‘Best Videogame Marketing Team 2012’.

A few things stood out when Game Connection announced the awards earlier this year. The contest can fill the gap left open now that PromaxBDA’s Mi6 Game Marketing Awards are on hiatus. Unlike Mi6, Game Connection’s awards don’t have hefty submission fees that can discourage cash-strapped game makers. They’re also focused on about a half dozen key categories. For anyone familiar with agency-centric awards, it’s instantly apparent this isn’t the place to get recognition for every department, format and execution known to ad men.

Game Connection also revealed advisory board members behind the first Marketing Awards. Senior executives from EA, Namco Bandai, Innogames, Ubisoft, Wargaming and Eurogamer were among those who helped get the effort off the ground.

Winners for the Game Connection Marketing Awards will be announced at Game Connection Europe 2012 with the ceremony starting at 4:40pm on November 28th at Porte de Versailles Expo in Paris. Those interested in attending can contact marketing manager Giulia Palmieri.


The nominees are as follows:


Best Digital Campaign

• 4T2 Multimedia – branded advergame for Hero Factory (Lego)

• NC SOFT / Target Media – branded online campaign for Guild Wars 2 (NC SOFT)

• MediaMonks – online game for House of Anubis (Nickelodeon)


Best Experiential Marketing

• GOG.com – booth design and execution at Penny Arcade Expo Prime 2011 (GOG.com)

• TBWA\Brussels – train station football stadium for PS Vita (Sony Computer Entertainment)

• Ideactif – European bus tour for Rocksmith (Ubisoft)


Best Mobile Campaign

• Crispin Porter + Bogusky – “Autodance” smartphone app for Just Dance 3 (Ubisoft)

• Panache PR – global PR campaign for Smash Cops (Hutch Games)

• Fishlabs Entertainment – “Sports Car Challenge” mobile app (Volkswagen Group China)


Best PR Campaign

• Wargaming.net – western Europe campaign for World of Warplanes (Wargaming.net)

• Bethesda – France campaign for Dishonored (Bethesda)

• Marchsreiter Communications – GSA campaign for Dark Souls (Namco Bandai Partners)


Best Print Campaign

• CD Projekt RED – EU and NA campaign for The Witcher 2 on Xbox 360 (CD Projekt RED)

• NC SOFT – European campaign for Guild Wars 2 (NC SOFT)

• Bethesda – France campaign for Dishonored (Bethesda)


Best Broadcast Campaign

• ichi – “Enter the Metro” global online trailer for Metro: Last Light (THQ)

• Sid Lee Paris – “Rise” European trailer for Assassin’s Creed 3 (Ubisoft)

• [a]list games – EU and NA launch trailer for APB Reloaded (GamersFirst)


Best Social Media Strategy

• neoco – European graffiti campaign for Borderlands 2 (2K Games)

• Amplitude Studios – US, EMEA, Russia community campaign for Endless Space / GAMES2GETHER (Amplitude Studios)

• CD Projekt RED – EU and NA campaign for The Witcher 2 on Xbox 360 (CD Projekt RED)