Injuries At Korea Smartphone Promotion

Tech companies often hold promotional events for their upcoming devices, and it’s not unusual for a company to plan an event that offers a unique and innovative experience for its consumers.  Unfortunately, someone over at LG Electronics is probably getting an earful over their latest effort, where 20 people were injured.

In an event for its new G2 smartphone in Seoul, Korea, the company offered random coupons for a giveaway for the device by hiding them in balloons released in a public park. The event was heavily promoted on social media, and people showed up carrying BB guns (and in one case, a spear) to better their chances of popping balloons. Unfortunately, things went bad quickly, and several people were injured while trying to get the coupons.

“Some were using BB guns to shoot the balloons. As far as I know, there were only some 20 security guards. LG should have placed more security personnel as the event was already promoted via social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and leading local portals. Some of the injured were hospitalized,” wrote a blogger on the scene.

As a result, subsequent events for the G2 phone have been cancelled. “We cancelled events offering free G2 smartphones that had been scheduled in major cities nationwide, including Busan, due to safety concerns,” the company said in a statement. LG promised compensation for medical treatment for those people who were injured.

Source: Korea Times

Red Bull Engages With Xbox Live Ads

Red Bull recently launched an ad program through Xbox Live that features the “World of Red Bull” through a series of engaging sports shorts, including Flugtag.  Offering an exclusive ad program through a game console may have seemed like a gamble, but so far, it has paid off.

According to a representative from BrightLine, the campaign has done rather well with the ads scoring 14 minutes of consumer engagement on average. These are through video banners that greet Xbox Live players upon starting up their system and entering the marketplace, which is featured right on the main menu. Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner and Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn, among others, are featured in the ads.

BrightLine founder Rob Aksman stated that the results “are a testament to how consumers want to actively interact and engage with brands on their televisions.”

The campaign, which began in May, is set to run on Xbox Live indefinitely, andmay be seen on the Xbox One consoles as well, when they launch this fall.

Source: AdWeek

Amazon Game Console Rumored

Not to be outdone by the likes of OUYA and the GameStick, Amazon could be getting into the Android console business.

A report from Game Informer has indicated that the company is hard at work on a Qualcomm-powered Android machine, one that would run apps off the Google Play site with ease. The system is reportedly being prepared for the holiday shopping season, and would come with its own dedicated controller, as well as access to online digital games sold through the Amazon website.

The system’s technology would run through a Qualcomm MPQ chip, according to a reliable source. This is the same Snapdragon processor that’s built into smart TV and set-top boxes, which could very well make other services available to the system. Lab126, a Cupertino-based experimental hardware division that worked on the company’s Kindle Fire tablet line-up, is supposedly working on the design.

Amazon hasn’t confirmed the details just yet, so, for now, it’s just a rumor.


‘Breaking Bad’ Is A Hit On Twitter

Whether it was the genius digital campaigns, or the fact that the AMC show can be watched in addicting spoonfuls on Netflix, Walter White took over the Internet on Sunday. Oh yeah, and that TV thing too.

At least by the standards of cable TV, AMC says that 5.9 million people watched Sunday’s show, which kicked off the last season of the excellent “cancer-ridden-science-teacher-becomes-meth-kingpin series” (here’s a great article from BuzzFeed that captures his worst moments). That’s up double from the first episode of last summer’s season.

But it’s the leap in online conversation about Breaking Bad that has marketers and users talking. Social TV chatter tracker Trendrr counted 1.18 million interactions about the show over the weekend on Twitter, Facebook and other platforms. That’s way, way up from the 268,000 Likes, comments, etc., that Trendrr saw last year.

But the relationshsip between the 140 charatcer site and TV ratings is still shady, AllThingsD’s Peter Kafta tells us more about the TV/Twitter correlation, “While Nielsen now says it has evidence that Twitter chatter can boost ratings for some shows, sometimes, it’s probably just as likely that last night’s ratings reflect other factors. Like weeks of publicity, as well as the series’ performance on Netflix, where the previous episodes are popular binge fare.”

*Note that Nielsen’s SocialGuide counted 760,000 Tweets from 400,000 users for the same show. Given that Facebook has a much larger audience of TV chatterers than Twitter does, it’s hard to reconcile Trendrr’s numbers with Nielsen/SocialGuide’s, but that’s the nature of the social TV beast.

What do you think the relationship between Twitter and TV is Can it boost viewership, or is it just a venue for frenzied fans

Source: AllThingsD

Sony: No Huge Losses On PlayStation 4

Thanks to high production and development costs with the PlayStation 3, Sony lost billions of dollars in the console’s first two years. However, Sony insists that they will practice better business sense with the Playstation 4. Speaking with Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Andrew House gave assurance that history would not repeat itself, comforting investors.

“We will not generate anything like the losses we did for the PlayStation 3,” said House. Sony CFO Masaru Kato also added that the investment in the PlayStation 4 is “much, much smaller,” thanks to PC-style architecture with more standard chips – a more mainstream step over the PlayStation 3’s custom Cell processor.

Sony’s currency trading could force the game division to see a loss this year, despite these more conservative plans . However, Sony sees strong sales for the system, particularly in the U.S., when it releases later this year. We’ll see how it fares in just a few months’ time.

Source: GamesIndustry International

Free-To-Play ‘FIFA World’ For Russia, Brazil

EA Sports is already riding high on soccer buzz with the pending release of FIFA 14, coming to current and next-gen consoles later this year. Now they’ve come up with another way to get soccer fans excited: Welcome to FIFA World.

The company introduced the free-to-play downloadable soccer game for PC over the weekend, set for release in Brazil and Russia. The game will feature the same award winning gameplay as the console versions of the game, as well as 30 officially licensed leagues, the FIFA Ultimate Team mode, the return of Seasons mode and over 600 clubs to choose from.

The game currently is currently in closed beta over at the official FIFA World site, where players can sign up and take part in the action.

“Brazil and Russia are priority markets for EA Sports and especially our FIFA brand. We are excited to bring to these markets a custom-built, free-to-play PC experience developed around FIFA Ultimate Team,” said Matt Bilbey, Senior Vice President and Group General Manager for EA Sports. “FIFA World will be a fun new way to play FIFA for new fans.”

No word yet if the game will be released in other markets, as FIFA 14 is still pending.

Source: BusinessWire

‘Game of Thrones’ Piracy — As Good As An Award?

HBO’s Game of Thrones is easily one of the network’s most popular shows, heading into its fourth season with an incredible amount of buzz and viewer anticipation. That said, not all fans are watching the show in the “official” way, as it’s considered the most pirated show of 2012, complete with downloads from torrents and other sources.

While piracy is a big problem when it comes to sales, Time Warner’s Jeff Bewkes actually believes the attention is better than any coveted award that the show receives. After talking about the show’s spike in ratings, he explained that piracy was “a tremendous word-of-mouth thing,” as far as getting attention.

“If you go around the world, I think you’re right, that Game of Thrones is the most pirated show in the world,” he stated. “Now that’s better than an Emmy.”

The director of Game of Thrones, David Petrarca, felt the same way, stating that piracy lends to the show’s “cultural buzz”. Even the creator of the original books, George R.R. Martin, felt it was a “compliment,” but not the type he was looking to receive.

Thankfully, there’s still profit coming in, as Bewkes explained that people who subscribe to HBO aren’t just downloading the episodes for free, stating “we don’t see much of that.”

“People have always been running wires down the back of apartment buildings and sharing with their neighbors,” he concluded. “Our experience is, it all leads to more penetration, more paying subs and more health for HBO.”

The fourth season of Game of Thrones should make its debut sometime next year.

Source: The Verge

Trion Closes San Diego Studio

It’s always sad to see a good studio close down, no matter what the circumstances may be. This past week, Trion announced it will be closing its San Diego studio, which was responsible for the multiplayer action-shooter Defiance, based around the SyFy TV series of the same name.

Former COO Scott Hartsman, who was recently hired back as the company’s CEO, stated, “We’re going to rapidly be laying the groundwork for a new strategy at Trion – one that’s closer to the foundation of how we’ve had our wins so far, and then extending that base into the enduring success this company can, and will, be.”

Regarding the closure, Director of Global Communications Katie Uhlman stated the following: “We can confirm that the San Diego studio will be closing. The day to day operations of Defiance will be moved to our Redwood City studio where it can be managed alongside Rift and our other in-development titles including ArcheAge and End of Nations. As part of this transition, we are working hard to ensure that a number of great people will be making the move from San Diego to the Bay Area and continue their work at Trion.”

We certainly wish the laid-off employees the best of luck in getting new employment.

Source: PC Gamer

Quark Games Makes Players ‘Champs’

Thanks to Quark Games, we can all be Champs. The developer has introduced a new “hardcore” real-time multiplayer online squad strategy game for iOS and Android devices called Champs: Battlegrounds, which is available for download now. In the game, players can build up squads from Champs with their own special abilities, complete with upgrades and a choice of of thousands of strategies that can be used against their adversaries.

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Mega Pokémon Revealed

With Pokemon X & Y two months away from release on the Nintendo 3DS, The Pokemon Company has released a new gameplay video featuring plenty of characters from the series, as well as the introduction of three new Mega characters – Mega Mewtwo, Mega Lucario and Mega Blaziken. You can watch the video and get hyped up for the Pokemon madness when it arrives on store shelves (and the Nintendo eShop) on October 12.