The 8 GB Wii U Basic Bundle Rumored To Leave GameStop

The Basic Wii U bundle is slated to be pulled from sale at GameStop, according to Kotaku’s reporting. Apparently GameStop stores were given the following message from corporate headquarters:

“Nintendo Wii U Basic Recall – Two Week Preparation On Tuesday, 6/18, all stories will need to return all new/unopened Wii U Basic (020359)… Stores that have 10 or more in stock will receive shipping cartons from the [distribution center]… All other stores will need to save shipping cartons for this recall.”

There’s been no official comment on this matter from either Nintendo or GameStop. While it could conceivably be a product recall, it’s more likely that Nintendo is planning on dropping the 8 GB version of the Wii U. Reports from various retailers have had the 32 GB Deluxe set strongly outselling the Basic set. It would make sense for Nintendo to drop this poor-selling SKU, and perhaps drop the price of the 32 GB Wii U to $299 prior to the arrival of the PS4 and the Xbox One.

We will probably find out more about this next week at E3, as Nintendo unveils its plans for the Wii U for the rest of the year.

Source: Kotaku

Developers: Sell An Android Controller, Get A Commission

Green Throttle Games, creators of the Atlas Bluetooth Controller and publisher of mobile games, announced today an Affiliate Program for mobile game developers. Game companies may now enter into a revenue share agreement with Green Throttle by selling the Atlas Controller directly through their mobile games. The first 100 developers to join the program will receive a 20 percent commission paid for each controller sold, with a 10 percent starting commission for any subsequent developers who join the program. Mobile game developers interested in learning more about the Green Throttle Affiliate Program can do so now here.

“While we continue to drive the games industry towards convergence of mobile and console play, we’ll be creating new ways for developers to engage with our platform,” said Charles Huang, CEO and co-founder, Green Throttle Games. “The Affiliate Program is a showcase of this effort, offering developers new ways to monetize in an incredibly competitive market. As an alternative to advertising and in-app purchases, we hope that this program will generate healthy returns for our development partners.”

Earlier this year, Green Throttle Games launched the Atlas Bluetooth Controller, expanding video games from the Android devices we already own to the living room big-screen for a more social and console-like experience. The company also supports game discovery with the Arena app, which facilitates simple pairing of up to four Atlas Bluetooth controllers to a single Android 4.0+ device for compatible multiplayer games. Green Throttle and the Arena provides new avenues for developers to get their games featured and acquire users, all without giving up any cut of the sales revenue.

This Week’s [a]list Jobs – June 5

[a]list daily is now your source for the hottest job openings for senior management and marketing in games, entertainment and social media. Check here every Wednesday for the latest openings. To see last week’s [a]list jobs click here.

Here are this week’s [a]list jobs:

Employee’s Licking Lust For Taco Bell Lights Up Social Media

This less than appetizing photograph of an unnamed Taco Bell employee licking a long stack of about twenty-five taco shells was posted onto the company’s Facebook page {link no longer active} over the weekend, igniting viral attention from social media users.

While the circumstances surrounding the public display of taco shell admiration are unclear Consumerist notes that it is possible the shells were destined for the trash, but it still may make customers think twice before buying their next Doritos Locos Taco.

Facebook user Jj O’Brien Nolan, whose relationship to the infamous Instagramed taco shell lover is unknown, posted the photo with the comment, “This sure says a lot about your employees.”

Since the event, Taco Bell has declined to say whether the employees who created the photo were fired or not but company spokesperson Rob Poetsch did tell the Huffington Post in an email that the company has “strict food handling procedures and zero tolerance for any violations.”

He continued with, “When we learned of the situation we immediately contacted this restaurant’s leadership and although we believe it is a prank and the food was not served to customers, we are conducting a full scale investigation and will be taking swift action against those involved.”

This is not the first time the fast food joint has had an employee post an unflattering image that went viral on social media. In August 2012, a different employee took to Twitter to post a photograph of himself urinating into a plate of nachos.

“I pissed on them where nobody could see, in private, an[d] I threw them away. There’s literally nothing they can do. Fire me. I don’t care,” the photo culprit, Cameron Jankowski, said.

Of course the company took him up on his offer and he was fired immediately.

How do you see this playing out for Taco Bell? Do you think the prank will harm sales or simply increase their Klout score with the massive social media attention?

Source: Mashable {link no longer active}

Can You Stare Down A Phone?

Samsung tries an interesting event in a German train station, offering a free Galaxy S4 if you can keep your eyes on the price long enough. Of course, it’s not as easy as it sounds…

It’s easy to imagine a similar type of event based around a game challenge that could showcase a key feature of the game or hardware… maybe the power of the new Kinect in the Xbox One

Wikipad Game Tablet Available June 11

Wikipad Inc. announced its new 7′ Wikipad tablet today, an Android tablet built to focus on gaming. The tablet focuses on games by including a detachable dual-analogue controller, and connections to both Google’s Play Store and Sony’s PlayStation Mobile.

“The launch of the Wikipad 7 tablet signals a transformative turning point in the direction of the mobile gaming industry. Wikipad’s tablet combines the latest range of features found in a premium Android tablet together with the unrivaled console video game experience only available with a gamepad,” said Matthew Joynes, Chairman of Wikipad Inc.

 “Wikipad’s dual-analog gamepad controller transforms our mobile games such as the multiplayer Shadowgun: DeadZone and the action FPS Dead Trigger into entertaining AAA console-like experiences,” said Tomas Slapota, Vice President, MADFINGER Games.

The Wikipad will offer a 7” touch screen, 16 GB of memory and 32 GB of storage on the device, with an additional SD card slot for more space. The device also offers an NVIDIA Tegra 3-core processor, and a 12-core Nvidia GPU and HDMI out. The Wikipad will initially be available at Walmart.com, BestBuy.com and TigerDirect.com on June 11 and will retail for $249.

Samsung’s Viral Marketing

In September 2012, the iPhone 5 was released with great expectations and fanfare. Two weeks later though, it was Samsung’s Galaxy SIII who was generating buzz in smart phone conversations. A viral video poking fun at the droves of people who camp outside of Apple stores to get the latest iPhone had become one of the most successful viral marketing campaigns of the year. The campaign clocked in 71 million views, making Samsung the most viral brand of the year, Ad Age reports.

The ad didn’t focus on the brand new features of the SIII as much as it poked fun at the iPhone’s followers themselves. The sly humor helped the ad go viral, and that’s something game marketers should remember as viral marketing becomes ever more important in video game marketing. Recently, Bethesda Games has released a series of 5 second videos on video website Vine.co to generate buzz for its newest title coming out later this year, Wolfenstein: The New Order.

Some of the most popular viral marketing doesn’t come from marketers, but from the fanbase of a product itself. A series of ads for the new Playstation 4 have been spreading across the Internet targeting the newly revealed Xbox One, simply showing a PS4 controller and using phrases like “We will use a TV as well…for gaming” and “Full time Score: Playstation 4, Xbox 1.”  These ads weren’t made by Sony, but by a series of users on gaming website neogaf.com. Similar to the ad from Samsung, these opt to attack the opposition in a funny way rather than show the benefits of owning a PS4.

 

Viral marketing campaigns like these can reach millions of people in short order, just through word of mouth spread. 71 million views certainly can’t be wrong.

Source: AdAge

Growing Tween Market Means More Tween Games

According to a new report from The Intelligence Group, tweens (kids age 7-12) are using mobile devices a lot more than than they used to. In 2011, the number of tweens that owned tablets was only 5 percent, but the number has jumped dramatically to 28 percent of tweens in only two years. More than half of the tweens ages 10-13 actually have their own cell phone now.

With more and more people having access to mobile devices earlier in life, there is ample opportunity for games to be played on these devices as well. The study also showed that more than two thirds of tweens would rather get a device like an iPad or iPhone than toys. In this new generation of tweens, children are increasingly turning to Angry Birds or Cut The Rope rather than GI Joe or My Little Pony. Mobile devices are becoming the place for entertainment rather than action figures or playsets.

Reaching the market for kids in these mobile games is vital. Rovio has proven this with its success in the Angry Birds franchise, which Techcrunch reported had 1.7 billion game downloads and 265 million active users as of December 2012. Now that kids are trading in their toys for tech, the market for tween games has never looked brighter.

Source: AdWeek