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.


Microsoft: We Are Committed To Xbox

Ever since new CEO Satya Nadella took over at Microsoft, many gamers were wondering if the company would stay the course with its Xbox consoles, or try something different. However, rest assured, Microsoft’s staying in the game.

During the SXSW show this weekend, Microsoft’s Phil Spencer assured that the company would remain committed to the consoles. According to him, the company remains “extremely committed” to the Xbox brand, according to Twitter user Todd Lutz.

In addition to staying with the brand, Microsoft also stated that they would make the newly introduced Games With Gold program – which offers two downloadable titles for free a month to Xbox Live Gold subscribers – would get better.

Speaking with Polygon, Spencer acknowledged that the program’s start with older games wasn’t as well-received as the PlayStation Plus program’s offerings. “One of our issues with Games with Gold – not “issues” but differences between the other system we get compared to – is the fact that with Games With Gold, you get to keep that game, regardless of whether you continue to subscribe,” he said.

“And the business around Games With Gold, for us, is just fundamentally different from some of the other programs that are out there, which does put a different financial picture on a – you’re gonna go buy a game that’s brand new, the cost of putting that in, just to be kind of blunt about it.”

Rumor has it that the program will expand into the Xbox One library later this year.

Source: VG247

Nielsen Sees Merging Of Media Advertising

While TV and online advertising remain on separate mediums (for now, at least), it won’t be too long before they eventually merge together, according to a report from Nielsen and Simulmedia.

The report, titled The Data-Driven Future of Video Advertising, indicates that video advertising has become a huge part of online interactivity, and should gain more than $5.72 billion ad spend in the U.S. this year alone. TV companies are looking to play a big part in that as well.

While the merging of the TV and online mediums isn’t likely to happen anytime soon, statistics show that the two will go into full cross-channel coordination and integration by 2020, with digital video playing a big part in that partnership.

Source: Clickz

‘Game Of Thrones’, The Beer

With the fourth season of HBO’s Game of Thrones coming next month, fans everywhere are gearing up to see what happens next. While they wait, however, they’ll be able to get their hands on some fine ale.

Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, New York has begun brewing a third round of beer inspired by the show, readying them for release on March 31.

The brew, called Fire and Blood Red Air, features three different labels based on brands from the show – Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion, all of which belong to the character Daenerys. This follows the company’s previous brews, Iron Throne Blonde Ale and Take the Black Stout.

The beer will be ready for distribution on March 31, one week before the show’s fourth season premiere. It will be available nationwide, selling in 750ML bottles for $8.50 each.

Source: Mashable

Live-Action ‘Titanfall’ Coming Soon

It’s a big day for Xbox One and PC gamers today, as EA’s multiplayer shooter Titanfall has finally made its way to stores. But gamers are in for a surprise if they think the story ends with that single game.

Respawn Entertainment, the developers behind the shooter, have teamed up with visual effects/post production studio Playfight to work on new live-action content for the game, via a teaser website announcement.

The project will be led by director William Chang, with a focus on “laying the foundation for the creation of original content within the vast expanse of the Titanfall universe.

Titanfall is set in a rich near future universe with visceral, epic battles with Pilots and their Titan companions,” said Respawn’s Dusty Welch. “We wanted to partner with Playfight, who has a history of delivering movies that meld gameplay, live action and stellar CG into truly entertaining media, for Titanfall. What this collaboration brings is yet to unfold…”

Meanwhile, Titanfall is available in stores now, as well as through digital download.

Source: Polygon