Nintendo’s National StreetPass Weekend

Nintendo 3DS owners will have more than enough opportunity to get social this weekend, as Nintendo has announced a National StreetPass Weekend that will run through December 14 and 15.

The weekend will have Nintendo shuffling around StreetPasses through Nintendo Zone locations across the nation, allowing users to meet with others no matter what their location.


Mobile Analytics Companies PlayHaven, Kontagent Merge

Today, two major players in mobile analytics, Kontagent and PlayHaven, are merging to create one company “with the mission to transform the world’s data into valuable action,” as the press release reads. Kontagent and PlayHaven are used by a variety of mobile-focused businesses including established brands such as Warner Brothers and game publishers like Glu, Electronic Arts, SEGA, BigFish and Backflip, as well as thousands of indie app developers.

The combined solution is already live in more than 22,000 apps, with over 400 million monthly active users (MAU), tracking over 370 billion actions per month. The merger brings Kontagent’s analytics together with PlayHaven’s comprehensive acquisition, engagement, and monetization tools so that “mobile-focused businesses and app developers can leverage a single platform to understand users, predict meaningful behaviors and take action — impacting key business goals.”

Andy Yang, CEO of PlayHaven will become the CEO of the combined company. Josh Williams, CEO of Kontagent, will become Chief Technology Officer and serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors. “This is a massive game changer — not only for PlayHaven and Kontagent, but for our customers and the broader mobile industry,” said Andy Yang, CEO of PlayHaven. “Together, we are bridging the gap between insight and action in unprecedented fashion.”

Mobile analytics is a crowded area for startups, with dozens of firms competing to be added to developer apps and provide information and services. One the leaders in the market is Flurry, which just raised $12.5 million dollars (it’s raised a total of $62.5 million so far), which will no doubt help it expand its offerings. Flurry already works with 125,000 companies with over 400,000 apps using its service, tracking over 1.3 trillion actions per month. The merger of Kontagent and PlayHaven will create a firm better able to compete with Flurry and other firms.

The information game developers get from analytics is essential for optimizing the game design and its monetization. While data can be gathered about almost every aspect of a game, developers have to be careful not to ask for too much data — a flood of information being sent back can slow game play or choke servers. Massive amounts of data don’t necessarily help you,. Either, unless you know enough to ask the right questions. Kontagent and PlayHaven are focusing on the correct issue — helping developers ask the right questions and get useful answers that can drive decisions.

The [a]list daily spoke with PlayHaven CEO Andy Yang about the merger and the competitive picture in mobile analytics.

“The space is definitely getting more competitive, and what you’ll see is the winners start separating from the pack,” Yang said. “More importantly, our customers are demanding a better solution. They want an end-to-end solution that combines leading analytics with tools they can use to take action that make an impact on their businesses. Our combination is a clearly differentiated offering in the space.”

The mobile market continues to grow strongly, but growing faster than the market is important to long-term success. How does the merged company plan to grow your market share in analytics against a diverse array of competitors?

“That’s a great question,” replied Yang. “Growing faster than the market is a main goal of ours, and we think that we get there by providing the best product on the market and serving the most significant pain point, which is fragmentation with mobile service providers. We are creating an end-to-end solution that will help mobile businesses and app developers understand user behavior, decide what it means, and take immediate action.”

Other than sheer reach (in number of apps, MAUs, actions tracked per month), what’s the key reason a developer should choose one mobile analytics service over another? Why should they choose yours?

“Data in mobile is becoming a commodity. Data to customers isn’t valuable if you can’t do anything with it,” Yang pointed out. “Our combined company solves this problem for our customers by providing a solution to track, understand and act — closing the loop on getting from data to action. Developers should choose our combined solution because we better address their needs.”

There are dozens of mobile analytics firms right now offering a variety of services. Are we entering a period of consolidation? Will there be fewer mobile analytics firms in a year’s time?

“Definitely, you will start to see some consolidation,” Yang said. “Businesses are becoming less tolerant of fragmentation of service providers and are demanding a single solution to address their needs. Our customers tell us all the time that they want to tie Kontagent and PlayHaven together. We’re clearly addressing this need.”

One important aspect of the merger remains undecided —what to call the merged company.

“We are still determining the branding for the combined solution, and we’ll be sure to fill you in once we’ve decided on a combined name,” said Yang.

Corvette Stingray Ad Looks Like A Game

The 2014 Corvette Stingray looks like a car of the future, so Chevrolet is giving the ad for the machine the full sci-fi treatment. There’s enough CG effects in the ad to shame a moderately priced movie, with its cool transforming machines and crazy flying stealth stingray creature.

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Nintendo Getting Smashing Spring Line-Up?

Though Nintendo has been struggling over the past few months with sales of its Wii U game console, things are finally picking up with the release of such popular titles as The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD and Super Mario 3D World. According to Nintendo Germany’s general manager Bernd Fakesch, this could just be the beginning leading into next year.

Speaking with Neckar-Chronik, Fakesch stated that the racing game Mario Kart 8 and the Namco-produced fighting game Super Smash Bros. could make their debuts during spring 2014, adding a much-needed double-header that could sell more Wii U units.

Mario Kart 8 was previously planned for some form of spring/early summer release, but Super Smash Bros. didn’t have a pegged release date at the time. Upon asking for confirmation on the story, Nintendo stated, “Nintendo has nothing to announce at this time.”

Considering how well both properties sell, it’d be nice to see Nintendo release these games sooner rather than later.

Source: Gamespot

This Week’s [a]list Jobs – December 11

“When I was young I observed that nine out of ten things I did were failures, so I did ten times more work.” -George Bernard Shaw

Here are this week’s [a]list jobs:


[a]list daily is your source for the hottest job openings for senior management and marketing in games, entertainment and social media.

To see last week’s jobs, click here.

Women Bet More In Casino Games

When it comes to making bets in social casino games, one would think that guys would be more likely to be high-rollers. However, according to a new report from DoubleDown, women are the larger demographic.

Based on the gameplay data from six million monthly active users and utilizing its “social casino index,” the company’s global marketing VP for DoubleDown’s parent company IGT, John Clelland, pointed out there’s a higher female audience for the games.

“We had this belief that men would make the highest bets,” said Clelland. According to the report, however, “women between the ages of 45 and 55” make up most of the audience.

However, when it comes to spending actual money, men still take the cake, as a report from payments platform PlaySpan pointed out that men still spend nearly three times as much as women.

Source: All Things D

Spike VGX Award Winners Revealed

This past Saturday, Spike aired its yearly Spike VGX Awards show online, with hosts Joel McHale and Geoff Keighley revealing new projects and exclusives, while also handing out a number of awards to 2013’s most noteworthy games.

The full list of winners is as follows:

Game of the Year: Grand Theft Auto V

Studio of the Year: Naughty Dog (The Last of Us)

Best Shooter: Bioshock Infinite 

Best Action/Adventure Game: Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag

Best Sports Game: NBA 2K14

Best Independent Game: Gone Home

Best Role-Playing Game: Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

Best Fighting Game: Injustice: Gods Among Us

Best Driving Game: Forza Motorsport 5

Best Downloadable Content: Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon

Best Xbox Game: Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

Best PlayStation Game: The Last of Us

Best Nintendo Game: Super Mario 3D World

Best PC Game: Gone Home

Best Handheld Game: The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

Best Casual Game: Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Best Voice Actor: Troy Baker (The Last of Us)

Best Voice Actress: Ashley Johnson (The Last of Us)

Best Soundtrack: Grand Theft Auto V

Best Song In a Game: “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” by Courtnee Draper and Troy Baker (Bioshock Infinite)

Most Anticipated Game: Titanfall

Character of the Year: The Lutece Twins (Bioshock Infinite)

Best Mobile Game: Plants vs. Zombies 2: It’s About Time

Congrats to all the winners!

Source: Shacknews