Nick Denton Talks Native Ads And Buzzfeed

Gawker founder and proprietor Nick Denton has a few ideas when it comes to ads – though there are some things he’s come to accept. In an interview with Digiday, Denton had a few things to say in regards to web advertising, including banner ads and BuzzFeed.

When it comes to his previous comments about the days of banner ads being numbered, Denton simply accepted they’re part of business. “I have made my peace with the banner. You can’t fight an entire industry. And you can’t ignore the clients who want to convey mood rather than information. The real challenge is to align banners more closely with stories – and custom content.”

In the interview, Denton also had a few choice words about BuzzFeed, feeling that it would “collapse under the weight of its own contradictions” in a previous interview. He simply stated, “BuzzFeed has gamed the Facebook system as artfully as Demand Media and Associated Content gamed Google. But they are rather dependent – as those companies were – on the goodwill of their distribution partners, the dictatorship of the algorithm, and the fatigue of the audience.”

Source: DigiDay

Website Design 101, Courtesy Of D&D

It’s funny how some things from the past can come back in today’s world and serve a completely different purpose. That’s exactly what’s happening with Dungeons & Dragons, the original roleplaying game that created the genre back in 1974. The DDB ad agency has come up with a way to educate people on web design and application by using the classic RPG.

Vincent Higgins, DDB’s executive director for UX, states in the video how “Dungeons & Dragons taught me everything about user experience design.” He became “heavily involved” with the game growing up, and now he feels that the mechanics and methods used in the game can be a useful way to guide decisions on website design.

Tyler Wilson, one of DDB’s senior planners, was a little confused at first, but soon came around. “What we love about the map is that you take the same principles of building a dungeon and actually apply it to the classic logic map,” he stated.

Don’t worry – multisided dice still play a huge part in this process. “Dice gives you two things: variability and probability,” said Wilson. “When we look at a consumer journey, there are probabilities built into what they’re going to do, but those probabilities are not absolute.”

Source: BusinessWeek

Nexon Looks To Rumble For Westward Expansion

Nexon, the Korean gaming company that’s already left its mark with such games as MapleStory and the 3D shooter Combat Arms, made a big move today to expand its presence in the Western gaming market. It has strategically invested an undisclosed amount in Rumble Entertainment, a company that’s currently working on a number of online games in open beta.

These titles include KingsRoad, a medieval action/role-playing adventure; Ballistic, a first-person shooter that utilizes powerful 3D elements; and Nightmare Guardians, a tower defense game with multiplayer potential.

While Nexon had a very successful year in terms of financials – making over $50 million in the first three months of 2013 – very little of that came from the European and North American markets. With this buy-in with Rumble, the publisher hopes to gain more footing with additional AAA titles.

No word yet when Rumble’s projects will come out of beta, but it’s likely going to happen either later this year, or in early 2014.

Sonic’s World, From His Own Eyes

Machinima debuted a new video this week that gives you a fresh perspective on how things work in Sonic the Hedgehog’s world. The Sega mascot, who has appeared in a number of side-scrolling and racing games over the years, is the main focus of a new first-person video put together by artist Filipe B. Costa. It shows the classic Green Hill Zone from Sonic’s first-person point-of-view, from rolling down hills to jumping on enemies to destroy them. It’s a dizzying sight, but one well worth watching.

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for Sonic’s return to gaming, you won’t have to wait long, as Sonic: Lost World will arrive later this year for Nintendo’s Wii U and 3DS systems.


‘Killer Is Dead’s’ Unusual Story

A new trailer has been released for the upcoming action/adventure game from XSEED, Killer Is Dead. Though the trailer is in Japanese, it has an interesting story to tell, about an assassin who deals with some strange characters. The game is the latest offering from producer Suda 51 and his team at Grasshopper Interactive, the same folks behind Shadows of the Damned and Lollipop Chainsaw. It’s due for release on August 27 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

Plankton’s Robotic Revenge

Plankton is back, and he is not happy. The villain from the Spongebob Squarepants universe has returned in Activision’s video game debut for the franchise, Plankton’s Robotic Revenge. In this new action game, four players can team up together to take on the villain’s giant-sized robot, as well as other enemy forces working alongside him. Featuring beat-em-up action and shooting segments, the game should be a big hit for players of all ages. It’ll be released this fall for $29.99 for Wii, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii U, as well as the Nintendo 3DS.