‘Claim Your Fame’ In Paris This December

[a]list daily is giving away two free passes to Game Connection, the game industry’s #1 face-to-face networking event!  You and a colleague could have the opportunity to take advantage of free access to conference sessions, developer-publisher networking and special events at Game Connection Europe 2013, taking place December 3-5 in Paris.

Mingle with the industry’s best and brightest including an impressive lineup of presenters already on slate.  Take advantage of Game Connection’s unique networking and meeting format. And make sure to give yourself a little downtime to take in the city of lights during the festive month of December.

All you have to do to become eligible is be an [a]list daily subscriber and follow the rules and guidelines outlined below.

To enter the contest, first make sure you’re an [a]list daily subscriber. All contestants must send an email to pr@ayzenberg.com with first name, last name and the email address where they receive the [a]list daily. We’ll verify that your email address is one that receives the newsletter, and then you’re automatically entered!

Deadline to enter is 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on Friday, November 1, 2013.

One winner will be chosen at random during the week of November 4.  Winner will be notified by the email address provided to enter the giveaway.  Winner will receive instructions to claim  2 Standard Passes to Game Connection Europe, taking place December 3-5, 2013, at Les Docks de Paris.

More details and official rules at bottom.


Disclaimers: By participating, contestants acknowledge and agree that sponsors of this giveaway and their respective parent companies, subsidiaries and affiliates and the officers, employees, representatives and agents of each will not be liable for losses or injuries of any kind resulting from the acceptance/possession/use and/or misuse of any prize, travel to and from any giveaway-related activity, participation in the giveaway, erroneous announcements or printing, mailing or distribution errors, or any malfunctions of the telephone network, computer equipment, software, or any combination thereof, or for any entries that are not in compliance with these official rules.

Reservation of Rights: By participating in this giveaway, the contestants agree to be bound by these official rules and the decisions of the giveaway sponsor shall be final in all respects. Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify persons found tampering with or otherwise abusing any aspect of this giveaway solely determined by sponsor. In the event that the fairness, security or proper administration of the giveaway is compromised by tampering, fraud, technical failures or other causes beyond the reasonable control of sponsor, sponsor may suspend, modify or terminate the giveaway. Sponsor reserves the right to modify these Official Rules at any time and sponsor will not be responsible for any typographical or other inadvertent errors in these Official Rules or in other announcements or materials relating to the giveaway.

Riccitiello: Games Bigger Than Movies, Super Bowl

John Riccitiello, former CEO of Electronic Arts and now investor in gaming companies, spoke at last week’s Gaming Insider Summit. His talk covered a wide range, from gaming brands to the lessons mobile games have for traditional games and vice versa. Riccitiello pulled no punches about what he saw as the weaknesses and strengths of the mobile game industry.

First, Riccitiello spoke about the importance of brands to games and game companies. “I’ve been told over and over again that there’s no such thing as brands in entertainment,” said Riccitiello. “At Electronic Arts I had half my board tell me that over and over again, and I think they’re wrong.”

“I think a brand is really about three things,” said Riccitiello. “I think about a brand as having a consistent set of values over time. We give brands the benefit of the doubt; you lean in instead of starting out skeptical. The third thing is it’s a preferred choice — because of the brand, you choose it over the alternative. What that wraps up to me is a single word: It’s about trust. You trust a brand, and a brand is something that’s built over the years, over the decades.”

The relative importance of gaming brands is huge, in Riccitiello’s analysis.”One day of one game was bigger than the biggest movie box office open of all time,” Riccitiello said, comparing GTA V‘s $800 million opening to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2‘s $483 million opening weekend. He also compared that to the Super Bowl’s revenue generation, where last year it generated $263 million in ads, $73 million in tickets, and New Orleans’ estimate of $463 million in all the hotels and meals and other spending, “You’re still $30 million short of one day for one game.”

The number one book of all time is A Tale of Two Cities with 200 million copies sold since its publication in 1859. Inspired by that, Riccitello looked at the biggest entertainment properties of all time in terms of direct revenue. “Call of Duty, FIFA, World of Warcraft and Grand Theft Auto have all crisply cleared $10 billion,” Riccitiello pointed out. “Call of Duty alone has $1.8 billion in a year, FIFA is over a billion dollars in a year. My guess is, and I’ve done the math, is that five — and possibly seven —of the best-selling intellectual properties in the history of entertainment going back to 1859 are console games, with one PC game. They must have done something right.”

Something else he pointed out is the longevity of the top gaming brands. “Warcraft, 1994, nineteen years old. FIFA, 1993, twenty years old. GTA, eighteen years old, COD, ten years old, Battlefield, eleven years old. Mario is 34 years old,” Riccitiello said. “A lot of you aren’t as old as Mario. These are brands that are not only big, they’ve lasted.”

Riccitiello talked about what he thought console game makers could and should learn from mobile games. “More than anything, what the traditional game industry should learn from mobile is it’s really about service,” Riccitiello said. “It’s an ongoing business. You’d think we would have learned this some time ago, but I find it interesting that WoW and Sim City and GTA and Starcraft and many other games all fell over at launch when they put their service components together. Some of the biggest brands — I’d argue almost all the biggest brands — fell over from lack of the testing and research that mobile people do in the regular course of their day.”

“Another thing that console and PC guys could and should learn is variable pricing,” Ricitiello said. “$60 is a giant FU to a very large number of people. There’s not been a console game with even half as many installs as Clash of Clans. Puzzle & Dragons has got more installs than any console game in history. Getting a larger audience through variable pricing is a really useful thing.”

“The third thing to learn is simplicity,” Riccitiello said. He noted how games used to come with “500 page manuals” and while games have gotten simpler, “It’s incredibly rare for a new game from a traditional game company to be learnable without instruction in ten, fifteen or twenty seconds and get to the fun that quick.”

Riccitiello then considered the other side of the issue — what mobile game companeis could learn from traditional gaming companies. “What do you think about mobile? Do you think the leading products of today are going to be here in ten or twenty years?” Riccitiello asked. “Products like Dragonvale or Angry Birds are not in the top ten any more. I’m not here to criticize, but I’m here to argue they did not do enough to build themselves into truly durable brands.” Ricitiello thinks that only those brands that go about the process of purposefully building their brands are going to be here in time.

There are three key things that Riccitiello believes mobile companies can learn from traditional gaming companies. First, mobile game companies should innovate. He doesn’t mean small incremental improvements that mobile companies are used to pushing out. “By innovation, I mean imagine your worst nightmare,” Riccitiello said. “Somebody took your game apart and imagined all the things that could make it fundamentally better, many of them discontinuous with the technology you used to create the game. In other words, you can’t get there from here. I would argue you need to take big steps, big risks, and risk alienating your existing audience.” He feels it’s almost never done in mobile, and it needs to be done if you want your game to last for a long time. “You’re gonna have to go there if you want to be here.”

“Execute” is Riccitello’s second key to success. “Imagine you have 100 million installs, you have 20-30 million people playing your game every month, and 7 million people playing a day spending $5 million a day,” Riccitiello argued. “Trust me — these people are not going to play your beta. They are not going to be turned on by the rough edges of a lean startup. You’re going to need to put out an enormously polished product. By the way, that’s what New Zealand is for.”

“Gameplay is superior to tech,” said Riccitiello. “Yes, you’re going to need to be somewhere near but not necessarily on top of the leading edge of technology. But I would argue that chasing tech for eye candy or going 3D because it’s cool is a recipe for making more expensive games, not better games.”

New ‘Like’ For Facebook

Facebook has officially exchanged their old clear button for a bold blue button with a slightly more elongated shape. The new button removes the iconic thumb’s up icon and replaces it with a favicon-esque Facebook logo.


In addition to the bright blue button getting more attention than its flat and unobtrusive precursor, the new button streamlines Facebook’s image by looking a lot more like the social network’s site.

Source: TheNextWeb

#4ThePlayers Since 1995

Sony has released a creative video meant to stoke the passion gamers have for PlayStation 4 with a glimpse into the history of the PlayStation line.

This spot wisely plays up Sony’s association with gamers over the past two decades: Chances are pretty good over that time that gamers have had some fun in front of a PlayStation. They’ve been smart to play up an emphasize their focus on games, bringing up good memories and associating them with the upcoming PlayStation 4.

Fashion and in-house décor mark the passage of years, as does the changing London skyline outside the window.


iPhone 5s Is Metal Mastered

Apple is the master of the simple yet elegant ads, and that continues with their new TV spot for the iPhone 5s. Metal flows like water into the form of the phone, set to a Goldfrapp track.

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A Honda Nod To MC Escher

This ad, shot in Zaragoza, Spain, makes beautiful use of optical illusions rather than using fancy CG, and it’s more effective for it. The message is that Honda has made the impossible possible with the fuel efficient SUV.


‘Battlefield’ Charging To Mobile

When it comes to all things Battlefield, Electronic Arts isn’t content to let console players have all the fun, even though the fourth iteration in the series is due for release next week. The company recently announced that a “high-end” mobile Battlefield game is in the works.

In an interview with the New York Times Bits blog, EA’s head of mobile development, Frank Gibeau, revealed the project. “You can play Battlefield 4 on a tablet in Commander Mode. We are working on a mobile game of Battlefield that will be high-end and high-performance. It’s our bet that we can successfully pull that off.

“We’re embarking on something no one has ever done before – to get these games to inter-operate between platforms. Will it wok It already has in some cases. Will it work for all franchises Not all franchises will make the transition. Battlefield might be a little harder,” he stated.

This isn’t the first time a mobile Battlefield game has been released. In 2011, the company released Battlefield: Bad Company 2 for iOS. No word yet on which platforms will see the new game.

Battlefield 4 releases on October 29 for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3; November 15 for PlayStation 4; and November 22nd for Xbox One.

Source: VG247


Top Ten Games In South Korea

South Korea is known worldwide as a hotbed of PC gaming, where professional gamers have been earning a living for over a decade competing in many popular games. Thousands crowd PC cafes to play games for long hours, and top gamers are as well known as TV actors or pop singers. The gaming scene has long been dominated by RTS games Starcraft and Warcraft 3, as well as a massive number of MMORPG players. There’s been a major change over the past few years, though.

Gamenote reported the figures for the current Top Ten most-played games in South Korea right now, and the big surprise is the absence of RTS games on the list. Riot’s League of Legends takes the top slot, with EA’s FIFA Online 3 in second place. As you might expect, MMORPG’s make up half the list, with a new MOBA (Cyphers) and the oddball Dungeon Fighter Online keeping things different.

The stunning development is the complete absence of both Starcraft and Warcraft 3 from the list they once dominated, and Blizzard’s only entry is World of Warcraft, barely making it into the Top Ten. Blizzard will have to work hard to get back into the top ten, or introduce some compelling new games.

1     League of Legends (MOBA, free-to-play, Riot Games)
2     FIFA Online 3 (MMO, free-to-play, Electronic Arts/Nexon)
3     Sudden Attack (Online Multiplayer FPS, free-to-play, Nexon)
4     Lineage (MMORPG, free-to-play, NCsoft)
5     Dungeon Fighter Online (Multiplayer side-scrolling arcade action, free-to-play, Nexon)
6     Blade & Soul (MMORPG, free-to-play, NCsoft)
7     Aion: The Tower of Eternity (MMORPG, free-to-play, NCsoft)
8     Echo of Soul (MMORPG, free to play, NHN Entertainment)
9    Cyphers (MOBA, free-to-play, Nexon)
10  World of Warcraft (MMORPG, time pay, Activision/Blizzard/Nexon)

Source: Games in Asia

Tablet Sales Zoom Past PC

The analyst team at Gartner has altered its predictions from earlier this year, and now expects tablet sales to increase even more while PC sales decline even further.

The group reports that worldwide tablet shipments are expected to rise a staggering 53.4 percent this year, up from the previous 42.7 percent Gartner had predicted. Meanwhile, traditional PC’s will continue to be on a drop, with approximately an 11.2 percent decrease over previous sales in 2012, which is a greater decline than Gartner’s earlier 7.3 percent predicted decline.

Gartner sees the smaller tablets selling better, with the lower price point of Android tablets contributing to the growth in market share for Android. ”Continuing on the trend we saw last year, we expect this holiday season to be all about smaller tablets as even the long-term holiday favourite — the smartphone — loses its appeal,” said Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner.

Source: TechCrunch