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

Zynga Cuts 18% Of Global Employees, Closes Multiple Offices

Social games giant Zynga announced massive layoffs today of 520 employees worldwide, and are shutting their offices in Los Angeles, New York, Austin and Dallas. The cuts come in the wake of an announcement by CEO Mark Pincus to employees, speaking of a transition from browser-based social games to development of mobile games.

In his letter, Pincus stated: “The scale that served us so well in building and delivering the leading social gaming service on the web is now making it hard to successfully lead across mobile and multiplatform, which is where social games are going to be played.” The cuts in the company are expected to lead to company savings of $70-80 million.

Zynga’s social games have been under-performing lately, with the notable exception of FarmVille 2, and the company’s wave of new mobile games has been slow coming to market. Notably, the company kept its guidance for the full year where it was, indicating some confidence in the new releases expected in the second half of the year.

Source: GI.biz

When Animals Attack Is Now Up To You

Appy Entertainment has released a major new update for Animal Legends (their social/mobile RPG for iOS) that adds Player vs. Player mode, new gear to collect and a new character to play.

 

“This update is a thank you to our fans, who have supported Animal Legends since launch late last year,” said Appy Entertainment CEO Chris Ulm. “Adding Player vs. Player mode to Animal Legends expands the capabilities of Appy’s mobile/social RPG engine even as it gives players new quests to conquer.”

 

El Shaddai Director Buys Back IP Rights

Crim has purchased the rights to El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron from the remnants of UTV Ignition Entertainment. There will be a celebration event for this acquisition on August 12, where future plans for the IP might be announced.

The studio, which is run by El Shaddai‘s director Takeyasu Sawaki, has “prequel, sequel, and all other derivative rights of the existing game.” Crim has plans to “work with the entertainment industry to develop a potential El Shaddai business moving forward.”

Source: Gematsu.com

Final Fantasy Tactics Goes Mobile, Social

Square Enix has announced that they will be launching a new Final Fantasy Tactics game. This title will be a mobile social title and will be developed by Mobage.

The social game will be reliant on cards for gameplay, similar to many social games of it’s ilk, including the Mobage developed Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade. Various characters are likely to be added as cards, which are purchasable.

Source: Square-Enix.com

Blockbuster Reports Huge Number Of Pre-Orders For Xbox One

Blockbuster is reporting that the company has received a record number of Xbox One pre-orders. Microsoft has yet to announce an official release date or price for the Xbox One.

“We are delighted by the huge number of pre-orders that we have received so far for the new Microsoft console,” said Blockbuster’s head of games James Morton. “At Blockbuster, we have a fantastic array of adrenaline-fuelled console games for sale or rental. Our expert staff know gaming and they know consoles and these pre-orders are testament to our customers’ trust in us as a leading gaming retailer.”

“With Sony releasing the PS4 in the near future, the next few months are going to be an exciting time for our staff and customers at Blockbuster and we can’t wait to hear more details from both Sony and Microsoft at the E3 Expo next month,” added Morton.

Source: MCV