Pixel People Achieves 2 Million Downloads

Developer Lambdamu has announced that Pixel People has seen over 2 million downloads and generated over $700,000 in revenue in the 3 months since launch. The game saw a million downloads in its first two weeks since launching with Chillingo.

The Singapore based developer says that with the next game they might not need a publisher at all. “Even if people don’t know Lambdamu, we can say ‘from the makers of Pixel People’ on the next game’s splash screen,” says Lambdamus chief creative officer Abhishek Radhakrishnan.

Source: TechCrunch.com

Fast & Furious Star: ‘Facebook Owes Me Billions Of Dollars’

In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Fast & Furious star Vin Diesel joked that Facebook owes him billions of dollars.

The 45-year-old claimed he helped boost the social network’s profile when he signed on back in 2009, creating a maelstrom of online fans that have now swelled into a colossal page with over 41 million Likes.

“What Facebook didn’t realize is something very big was about to happen, and that was, for the first time in history, and it’s kind of a fluke they didn’t see this coming, when I jumped on that page in April 2009, I started talking to people. In the realest ways,” Diesel told the magazine.

Facebook pages for Rihanna, Lady Gaga, The Simpsons and other high profile pages have since eclipsed the actor, but in the early years of the social network, Diesel was on top. He attributes that social media success to fan engagement and personal involvement.

“My audience knows me so well on the page that if my producing partner’s in the room when I post, they’ll know somebody was around me. That’s kind of cool, that’s how sophisticated they are. Facebook really owes me billions of dollars. But whatever.”

According to Diesel, when he first signed up he was the only person whose Facebook page had more than a million fans, runner-up to President Barack Obama. Now, because of his intimate involvement on the network his online fandom has even surpassed Mr. President. Even Facebook headquarters originally didn’t understand how he was so popular on the new site.

“Facebook used to ask me to come up to their office to explain what the f–k I was doing, and why I had so many fans,” he reminisced. His secret, he believes, is that he decided to stick with a personal approach.

“I never let anyone do a post, I never let anyone post for me in the last four years,” he told the magazine.

“Imagine if you could’ve been a Facebook friend to Marlon Brando, or whoever your role models are. Imagine, if you were able to Facebook Elvis, and talk to him, and hear from him without the Hollywood of it all.”

Source: USmagazine

Comedians Bring Facebook Updates Into Your Living Room

Facebook is notorious for successively changing its design structure, algorithm and privacy settings often frustrating users and marketers. In order to shed some humorous light on the platform’s frequent renovations Los Angeles based comedy sketch group Extremely Decent has responded to this very feeling of frustration with their take on what it would look like if Facebook were tangible and making daily changes in users’ homes.

The comedy ensemble touches on customary changes to what is displayed in the News Feed by showing the video’s main character’s favorite comfy couch being replaced with a chair and his TV downgraded to make room for a bookshelf he didn’t want or need.

Of course, the comedy group also touches on Facebook’s changing advertising placement – replacing the protagonist’s personal wall photos with what looks like awkward dating website ads and other various adverts.

The social network’s privacy settings get a real life part in the bit too when the main character opens the door to his bedroom only to find high-school friends he hasn’t seen in years rifling through his private possessions with people he’s never met before.

The video was uploaded to YouTube less than a day ago and has already received over 900,000 views.

Check out the video above and tell us what you think in the comments below.

Source: Mashable

OpenKit To Cross The Social Streams

Peter Relan’s open source, open data alternative to OpenFeint, OpenKit, announced today that the cloud-based platform & service will let developers create social interactions across all the major social graphs in use on mobile platforms. OpenKit plans to let developers add social invites and score sharing across platforms so that users can send “smart invites” that detect the receiver’s device and present the right app store app in the invite. OpenKit, which currently has over 1,500 developers testing the service in beta, will add numerous other cross-platform social features before June.

“With open source and open data, our mission is to remove any friction for developers using our service,” said Relan, who sponsored OpenFeint and now OpenKit. “We are doubling down on this theme of removing friction: With iOS and Android equally prevalent amongst users, they need to be able to interact socially with each other regardless of what device they use. Developers will also come out ahead because there will be frictionless sharing and inviting which will lead to more downloads for their games and apps.”

[a]list spoke exclusively with Relan about this new feature and its importance to game developers. “There’s a lot of rumors that Google will soon announce a game platform,” said Relan. “It should be reasonable to assume they will announce one next week at Google I/O.” This is a natural competitive move to Apple’s Game Center, which connects gamers on iOS. It’s a useful way for developers to cross-promote games, but it only works on iOS. Google’s been taking more of an interest in games lately, hiring veteran Noah Falstein as Chief Game Designer.

The gaming platforms get tied to the credential system. “Apple is not going to support Google+ IDs on their game platform,” Relan pointed out. The user Ids are siloed, and gamers can’t connect across platforms. Relan’s OpenKit is an open source platform that will allow users to share scores and achievements between Android and iOS game networks like Game Center, or any other social network that is supported.

The key point is that if games support this API, developers will be able to maintain the virality of their games across multiple social networks and platforms. Gamers don’t know what platforms their friends have,but right now you can’t really spread a game virally unless you know that. It would be useful if, inside a mobile game on your phone, you can invite friends regardless of their platform.

You could create social leaderboards based on a group of your friends, whether or not they all use the same platform. For most people, their connection to their friends is far more important than whether or not they use the same phone. For that matter, gamers usually are more connected to a particular game than they are to a particular technology.

Developers can support OpenKit without in any way reducing support for Game Center or any other user network. The “holy grail” for Relan is to be able to see a group of your freind’s scores on a game regardless of whether they connected through Twitter or Facebook or Game Center. “It truly removes friction from multiplatform, multiscreen games, which we all know is the future,” said Relan. “We do not want to see mobile go the way of consoles with their walled gardens.”

Wartune Ads Draw Attention Of ESRB

Online ads for 7 Road’s Wartune have been running with the tagline “Adult Gamers Only” and the ESRB’s trademarked AO logo. This doesn’t sit right with the ESRB, as the game has not been rated by the organization, not to mention that the ads run afoul of the ESRB’s advertising guidelines that state no ad should “glamorize or exploit” a game’s rating.

“We have advised the game’s publisher that they must discontinue their unauthorized use of our AO rating icon in its marketing,” said an ESRB representative. “While it’s fairly rare for a game to self-apply a rating we will always move quickly to address the issue. Our goal is, of course, that they immediately stop using the rating. If a game is digitally distributed, we also encourage companies to use our Digital Rating Service, which is fast and easy and assigns ratings without the developer having to pay a fee.”

Source: GamesIndustry International

Defiance Renewed For Season 2

Syfy has confirmed that Defiance has been confirmed for a second season just four episodes into its first season. Kevin Murphy (Desperate Housewives, Caprica, Hellcats) will continue as executive producer and showrunner, while Darren Swimmer and Todd Slavkin (Smallville) return as executive producers for season two and Michael Taylor serves as consulting producer.

“Bringing the rich world of Defiance to life has been an incredible team effort. We couldn’t ask for better partners than Kevin Murphy, his amazing cast and crew, and Trion Worlds,” said Mark Stern, President of Original Content for Syfy and Co-Head of Original Content for UCP. “We can’t wait to see where they take us in the second season.”

The premiere of the show was Syfy’s second highest rated in its history with nearly 4 million viewers and the show has become Syfy’s highest-rated original series this year in adults 18-49, adults 25-54 and total viewers. The Defiance game has seen more than 1 million registered accounts.

Source: Deadline.com

Brands Managing Bangladesh Crisis Need To Go Beyond PR

Many clothing brands are having to deal with the fallout of the recent building collapse that killed more than 600 people in Bangladesh. While some are acknowledging their role and promising compensation others are denying they authorized work at factories, despite evidence to the contrary.

Bangladesh has a $20 billion garment industry, but it’s seen multiple deadly disasters in the past six months. The best way to resolve this may come from working to overhaul safety in the country’s garment factories.

“Just public relations is not going to do it,” said Caroline Sapriel, managing director of CS&A, a firm that specializes in reputation management in crisis situations. “I don’t think it’s enough anymore to say: We’re not involved in these particular factories.”

Companies downplaying involvement in Bangladesh’s factory safety problems may hope that Western consumers care more about the price than the location of its creation. Rahul Sharma, public affairs executive with the India-based public relations firm Genesis Burston-Marsteller, thinks that’s a risky strategy however.

“Reputation is built over a long period of time. But to lose it, it can take seconds,” Sharma said.

Sharma recommended any retailer doing business in Bangladesh to form of a concrete plan to overhaul the entire industry, working with government, factory owners and labor unions. “They need to send out the message that they are addressing this problem — and then they need to actually do it,” he said.

The most recent disaster brought companies like H&M, JC Penny, Gap, Nike, Li & Fung and Tesco to meet with representatives of the Bangladeshi garment association. This might push retailers and brands to embrace a union-proposed plan for all retailers to fund factory upgrades and independent inspections that would cover the entire industry in Bangladesh.

“There is a perception when something terrible like this happens, that crisis communication is going to fix it,” Sapriel said. “But no, no. You have to go and fix the problem. And then, only then, can you can communicate that you’ve done something to fix the problem.”

Source: USAToday.com