Exclusive: Tying The Knot In Seattle

[a]list daily gathers organizers for a retrospective on Ayzenberg’s [a]list summit: Consumer Courtship events in 2012, which looked at how entertainment marketers woo customers.

Part 3 recaps [a]list summit Seattle in October, looking back at Jordan Weisman’s “Developer Dog and Marketing Cat” keynote presentation and a panel with Machinima, Microsoft and 343 Industries discussing the hit web series Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn.

 

Ni No Kuni: Wrath Of The White Witch — Behind the Scenes At Level-5

Namco Bandai provided this studio tour at Level-5, featuring prominently Akihiro Hino (CEO of Level-5) and Ken Motomura (Game Director). The video covers things like complexity of motion capturing for a cartoon-themed video game, and the difficulties of localizing Ni no Kuni, which released in Japan late in 2011.

 

Super Fans Rise To The Top

To help celebrate the 25th anniversary of Final Fantasy, Square-Enix recently held a contest to find the greatest Final Fantasy Super Fan. To be eligible, fans had to create a 60 second video showcasing how much of a Superfan they are. The content of the video was up to each fan but it could have included their Final Fantasy collection, outfits inspired by a Final Fantasy event they may have organized and attended or how they may have encouraged others to embody Final Fantasy.

Voting is still open, so vote as many times as you’d like for your favorite fan! The winner will be announced on December 10th who will have their name included in the closing credits for Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII and receive two tickets to THE CELEBRATION FINAL FANTASY 25th Anniversary concert January 12th, in Paris, France!

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YouTube: New Look On The Ground, New Partner In The Air

If you’ve been to YouTube in the past 24 hours you probably noticed it looks different. The site has launched its second redesign in as many years. According to the site’s blog, the new design is meant to help “find the channels you love and subscribe, subscribe, subscribe.”

YouTube has always been good at suggesting content based on videos watched. The new look adds a mechanism to keep promoting channel subscriptions. That’s likely related to the $100 million fund the site and its parent company Google created to help creators develop premium content. YouTube recently reaffirmed their commitment to that fund, renewing many of the shows it helped launch earlier this year.

The new look and functions translate to other platforms as well including mobile, PlayStation 3 and Google TV. Overall it’s a much cleaner setup that makes YouTube’s recommendations “both videos and channels” what visitors primarily see on their home page. A recommended playlist also now stays on the screen even while watching a video. Yet although the feature is meant to encourage browsing with a video playing, it could use an improvement. The playlist doesn’t scroll independently, which means scrolling below the fold moves the video out of view.

Separately, YouTube announced a partnership with Virgin America that brings a selection of its programs to in-flight entertainment for the first time. Starting in mid-December, passengers on Virgin airline flights in the U.S. and Mexico will be able to watch content from YouTube channels H+ The Digital Series, WIGS’ Blue, Geek & Sundry’s Written By a Kid, Crash Course and Barely Political’s The Key of Awesome.

Dead Space 3 Pre-Order Bonuses Burst Forth

Electronic Arts has announced new pre-order bonuses for Dead Space 3. GamesStop users will get the EG-900 SMG, while those who purchase from Amazon will get the Tesla Enervator.

The EG-900 SMG, is describe as a EarthGov-issued sub machinegun “built for urban warfare” being both compact and deadly with an internal hyper-accelerator for maximum damage. Meanwhile, the Tesla Enervator is a Sovereign Colonies device designed for electrocution and molecular destabilization in the target.

Those that pre-order the game will also receive the Limited Edition version of the game with the First Contact Bundle and the Witness the Truth Bundle.

NPD: Game Industry Down 11 Percent In November 2012 Despite Major Releases

The NPD is reporting that games industry sales dropped 11 percent to $2.55 billion in November year over year. Software, hardware and accessory sales all fell across the board compared to November 2011.

Call of Duty: Black Ops II was the best selling title for November at 7.5 million units sold. Halo 4 sold an impressive 3.2 million units, while Assassin’s Creed III saw 2.9 million in sales and Need for Speed: Most Wanted sold roughly a half million.

Microsoft announced that the Xbox 360 managed a total of 1.26 million in sales for November after selling 750,000 during Black Friday, marking the 23rd consecutive month that Xbox 360 is the top selling console in the U.S.  Total retail spend on the Xbox 360 platform in November (hardware, software and accessories) reached $1.2 billion, also tops among consoles in the U.S.

Meanwhile, Nintendo sold over 1.75 million total hardware units in November, led by the 3DS with 540,000, followed by the Wii U at 425,000. The Wii sold 420,000 units and the Nintendo DS sold more 370,000 units, bringing lifetime sales up to 40 million units and 53 million units.

New Super Mario Bros U for the Wii U sold more than 243,000 units and saw a console attach rate of nearly 60 percent. Mario Kart 7 for the 3DS reached 2 million units in lifetime sales, becoming the second game for that system to hit that milestone in the U.S.

Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition Total Sales More Than Half PC Version

Reports are that Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition has sold roughly 4.5 million copies. By contrast, the PC/Mac version of Minecraft has been purchased over 8.2 million times.

The $20 Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition sells roughly 50,000 copies a week, while the $27 PC/Mac version sells at about that rate as well. Minecraft: Pocket Edition for Android and iOS devices is also available for $6.99.

Source: Gamastura

iPhone’s Siri-Tan Fan Service

In Japan, it’s not uncommon to see technologies and devices receive “-tan” incarnations, which are cute anime girl personifications. One of the most popular is Siri, the personal search assistant on the iPhone.

One unique element of the Siri-tan incarnations is an emphasis on her, er, rear. As it turns out “Shiri” (which is the name for Siri in Japan) simply means “butt” in Japanese — making her a good excuse for fan service (like artists in Japan need an excuse).

Here’s Siri-tan as a bookish looking girl.

Source: Kotaku.com

Gree Makes 25 Redundant As OpenFeint Shuts Down

Gree has announced that 25 staff will be let go as a result of OpenFeint’s closure. Purchased by Gree for $104 million, the company recently announced that they were shutting down the service ahead of their announced deadline.

“Gree, which recently announced the closure of mobile social gaming platform, OpenFeint, is focusing its U.S. business primarily on its own titles and developer partner titles,” said Gree in a statement. “As part of the company’s internal U.S. reorganization, a majority of the Gree games platform team will be transitioned to new departments with redundancies in some areas. The overall Gree Platform business will begin transitioning to its operations in Tokyo as a part of this change.”