The Bar/Video Game ‘Geek’ Experience

With “barcades” – a combination of bar and arcades – on the rise, it’s no surprise that conventional bars are looking to get in on some gaming action as well. Amongst them is Folsom Street Foundry in San Francisco, a bar that hosts Tuesday night gaming parties that are ideal for players and those in the industry alike.

The event features 80’s video game music playing in the background, along with a custom arcade game emulator, game systems set up for multiplayer play featuring such games as Halo and Mario Kart, and live broadcasts from Twitch, including programs like Twitch Plays Pokemon and Hearthstone. Card games are also offered, for those who prefer the old-school approach.

An outside team called Showdown eSports organized the event, with gaming nights proving to be “proof of concept” when it comes to attracting a “geek”-style nightclub audience. “This is a test of, are gamers willing to come out to a bar to do fun things that aren’t available elsewhere ” said co-founder C.J. Scaduto. “People like to dance, they go to a dance club. This is more like a geek’s paradise.”

These events should continue onward for the time being. It seems like a game marketer’s paradise, and hopefully one that will spread to more cities.


Google Glass’ Movie Preview Program

When you want to go to a movie, sometimes it’s hard to figure out just what you’re in the mood to see. However, with the help of a new Google Glass application called Preview, it might be a little easier to make a decision next time.

The Glassware app enables the activation of a movie’s trailer simply by looking at its poster, which activates right there in the Glass headset. The video below demonstrates how easy it is to view different trailers for posters.

Put together by Takahiro Horikawa, the app has been in the works since January, with tweaks going into its development. It’s officially left beta status. Horikawa stated, “Preview for Glass is a future application for Google Glass that changes your movie life. With Preview, when you are go to the theater and look for a good movie, you don’t need to take your smartphone out and type a movie title in search box to see if you are interested in it. Preview allows you to watch a movie trailer instantly by just looking at a movie poster.”

Just a word of advice – don’t forget to take off your Google Glass headset when entering the theater. Owners aren’t too thrilled with those.


Tencent Is The World’s #1 Game Company

Ten years ago if you had said China would be home to the world’s largest game company, you would have been dismissed as a lunatic. Today, that crazy vision has become reality, with analyst firm Newzoo’s latest report showing that China’s Tencent earns more money from games than any other company in the world.

Tencent is a diversified Internet company offering information services, messaging, social networking, and games, but games are by far its biggest revenue producer. According to Newzoo, Tencent, which reports its results for the last quarter of 2013 on March 19, is expected to have generated approximately US$5.3 billion in games revenues last year. The company enjoyed an annual growth rate of 45 percent in 2013, taking almost 8 percent of the $70.4 billion global games market.

Tencent has also invested heavily in other game companies, including a majority stake in Riot Games (publishers of smash hit MOBA League of Legends), a 40 percent share in Epic Games (developers of the Unreal engine), and substantial financing for Activision’s buyout from Vivendi (which means Tencent now owns a chunk of Activision Blizzard).

2013 marks the first time that a Chinese company reached the top spot. “In 2012, Tencent ranked number 5 behind more traditional contenders Activision Blizzard, Microsoft, Electronic Arts and Sony. Tencents’ growth is fueled by increasingly successful overseas operations as well as continued growth in China itself,” said Newzoo in a press release.

Newzoo’s free 42 page report on China, ‘Introduction to the Chinese Games Market,’ contains other interesting facts about the game market in this fast-growing market. The report provides a high level overview of the country’s demographics, economy, media, internet, mobile telecom and app store landscape. The section on games summarizes revenues and players per segment, and discusses the prospects for consoles and Western PC games.

Some of the key findings include:

  • The Chinese games market reached $13.8 billion in 2013, slightly higher than several estimates from Western research companies;
  • In China, Apple’s iPhone and iPad take a quarter of Chinese mobile games revenues. The total 2013 mobile games revenues are stated to be $1.9 billion, exceeding estimates published earlier by Niko partners in September 2013 ($1.2 billion) and Newzoo in June ($1.5 billion);
  • Three quarters of spending by Chinese mobile gamers takes place in a wide variety of local Android stores, none of which are counted under Google Play revenues;
  • One of the most popular PC game download destinations in China,, offers over 7,000 free PC game downloads including almost all major Western PC games. The Western games are unofficially localized versions with add-on software developed by the website staff themselves. For example, GTA V has been downloaded for free over 10 million times from, illustrating that Western game IP is very popular in China. At the same time, GTA V has sold around 35 million legitimate copies of its game to date worldwide.

Newzoo notes that China is the world’s second largest games market by revenues behind the US, and continues to grow strongly, and this shows no sign of slowing as yet. Of course, in contrast to the US and European markets, console games are almost non-existent, though this may change as China experiments with lifting its ban on consoles. For now, though, online and mobile games make up almost the entire Chinese market.

Newzoo’s expectation is that Tencent will continue to grow and is likely to remain the largest company in the world in terms of game revenues. “Sony, Microsoft and EA will hope for a boost in games sales in 2014 if the PS4 and Xbox One continue to sell well,” notes Newzoo’s release. “However, forecasts that next-gen consoles will significantly grow the overall console market are likely to prove too optimistic.” Newzoo expects next-gen to help the console segment maintain its share-of-wallet of the Western and Japanese gamers, but not spark significant new growth. The company cites GameStop’s 2013 holiday sales report which notes “strong sales of next generation software were offset by a greater than expected decline in Xbox 360 and PS3 software sales resulting in a 22.5 percent decline in the new software category.”

“One company to watch is Softbank of Japan, which owns majority stakes in GungHo Entertainment and Supercell, has a 37 percent shareholding in China’s ecommerce giant Alibaba and recently invested $120 million in Wandoujia, one of the premier app stores in China,” said Thijs Hagoort, co-founder and CFO of Newzoo. “And of course there are non-public companies such as Mojang, Wargaming and King that would all be contenders for the top 25 if they were public. In fact, with $1.9 billion in revenues in 2013, King, which filed for an IPO in February 2014, would have been in the global top 10 of public companies in 2013 if it had listed earlier.”

Deep Dive Into ‘Watch Dogs’

Watch Dogs has finally emerged after laying low for the past few months and we’re glad to see it back. This story trailer shows us what drove Aiden Pearce from being a simple thief to becoming the avenging technological angel of Chicago.


IKEA Saves Frank The Cosplayer

Frank from Singapore is a cosplayer, a passion that has more that subsumed his entire bedroom. IKEA came in and demonstrated how their bedroom series can organize and make better use of Frank’s limited living space.


‘BattleBlock Theater’ Comes to Steam

BattleBlock Theater is finally releasing on Steam, and like many similar releases, it’s adding a bunch of added bonuses. The Behemoth has chosen to advertise this with a tongue-in-cheek video over-hyping all of the small features that fanboys tend to blow way out of proportion.


Where Marketers Collaborate With Influencers

Influencer marketing is proving to be a beneficial relationship for marketers to deploy, but where and when do they do it A study from January by Augure shows where marketers and influencers meet to collaborate, and it appears product launchings are the most likely candidates.

Brand collaboration is a mutually beneficial foray for influencers, but now we have a bit of a window into what influencers expect brands to provide in return. Products and free invites are at the bottom of the wishlist, compared to providing influencers with materials to produce their own content and exclusive info, which influencers can use to elevate their own personal brand. It appears that brands and influencers both want the same thing– exposure.



Source: eMarketer

The Most Terrifying Phone Ever

In what’s being billed as “The Most Human Phone Ever” LG is advertising the G Flex with an ad depicting the phone as something that melds with your body. The ad certainly has conjured up a lot of attention; the night terrors after watching the video are just a bonus.




Oreo’s Twitter-Made 3D Printed Cookies


Miniature platform where the cookie is born.

Perhaps when you think of personalized cookies, the kind you imagine are of the homespun sort with the addition of your favorite nuts or candies. At South by Southwest Interactive, it appears Oreo thinks in terms of hyper-personalized versions of their famed sandwich cookies with the added benefit of another ingredient—the Internet.

Oreo is creating these real-time snacks using data collection to create actually edible 3D printed cookies. Depending on what’s trending on Twitter, the flavor of the cookie will change, but attendees can choose from a dozen different choices.

While it takes about 2 minutes to create the personalized cookie, tweet your experience with Oreo’s hashtag #eatthetweet.

Oreo continues to prove its real-time marketing prowess and their ability to think outside the sheer blue plastic box.

Some might be approaching these 3D future-cookies with a little trepidation, and that makes sense. If you’re not a SXSW and just itching to find out what the cookie-making process is like, you’ll want to view the video below.


PlayStation Now Game Pricing Revealed?

Ever since it was officially announced earlier this year at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the PlayStation Now program has been eagerly anticipated by PlayStation system owners, providing the opportunity to play previously released games through the cloud. Now all that was left to consider was pricing.

However, today, a leak on Gaikai’s website has shown some interesting specs on that. According to the site, games will cost anywhere from $4.99 to $5.99 for rent, including such titles as Uncharted 3, The Last of Us, Bioshock Infinite and Far Cry 3, among others.

Sony made no official comment on the pricing, nor said anything about how much it would cost to buy the games in full for permanent storage in one’s library. Some observers have speculated about a subscription price that covers all titles, or per-title pricing. More details are likely to be unveiled in a few months at E3 2014 in Los Angeles.

Source: Computer and Video Games