YouTube Star PewDiePie Gets Mobile App

Previously, we reported on the top stars making the most money through YouTube, and PewDiePie topped the list, with an estimated $4 million made in ad revenue. Now, he’s taking his act on the road, as he’s now offering an application for mobile devices, for his fans to enjoy.

Disney’s Maker Studios has launched the new mobile-view app, which is available for download now on the Apple App Store {link no longer active}. With it, fans can access a daily feed of PewDiePie’s greatest gameplay videos, along with other random episodes. It’s available free of charge, through there are ads strewn throughout, just as a heads up.

In addition, the mobile app also includes a link to PewDiePie’s store, where you can purchase items such as backpacks, shirts and other goods. The purchases are completely optional, but fans may find something that they like.

Another aspect to PewDiePie’s application features social interactivity. Users can share videos via Facebook, Twitter, text or email, and can also personalize their video feed however they see fit – adding a personable touch to the application.

This will no doubt add to PewDiePie’s growing popularity, even though he’s already the number one most-subscribed independent channel on YouTube, with an estimated 5.4 billion views to date, and more to come in the months ahead.

PewDiePie announced the launch of the app yesterday via his Twitter account, stating, “We finally have our official Bro App! It’s free, download it and let me know what you think! (smiley face)” No doubt he’s pleased with his collaboration with Maker Studios.

Could this possibly open the door for more social folks to launch their own specific apps for mobile devices Only time will tell, but considering the popularity of said devices, and how people like to view their stuff on-the-go, you shouldn’t be surprised if more and more talent take to their own custom applications.

So, will you be a “bro” and check out the application

Source: Variety

Digital Game Market On The Rise

Believe it or not, downloadable games and digital content have been around for some time, starting way back in the 1980’s. It’s only been more recently that they’ve grown in popularity and convenience, mainly due to the available download speeds through most Internet providers. Even bigger titles on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 provide the option to be downloaded digitally, instead of being purchased at retail.

Gamers are really starting to pick up in game purchases digitally as well, according to a report from Kantar Worldpanel, courtesy of  MCV UK. Approximately 28 percent of gamers download digital content on a regular basis, a small rise from the previous year’s numbers of 21 percent. It seems it’s picking up at a faster rate, mainly due to convenience of “getting the game” without having to make a separate trip to the store.

The market also varies in the ages of buyers, with 24 percent of new digital shoppers being over the age of 45, compared to 11 percent of already existing users. Women also seem to make up a big part of that audience, with 31 percent of new buyers compared to 13 percent of existing ones.

When it comes to format, PC continues to lead the charge over consoles. The number of PC gamers managed to jump from 43 to 65 percent between 2012 and 2013, with digital standing out as a main means to purchase games, either directly through publishers or through Valve’s Steam service. In fact, Steam actually accounts for 61 percent of all digital PC games, not too shabby of a number at all. (The flash sales that the website frequently offers doesn’t hurt either.)

Consoles aren’t too far behind, though. From 2012 to 2013, the number of users of digital games rose from 18 to 20 percent, and then leading into 2014, it jumped yet again, this time to 22 percent.

“What is remarkable is that just three big names make up a fifth of digital spend: Call of Duty: Ghosts; Skyrim and Minecraft,” said Jules Williams of Kantar Worldpanel. “These games have a particular appeal for new digital users as they are available across a wide number of online platforms and feature strong downloadable content.”

There’s no question that the digital market is here to stay, and with more exclusive titles on the way (like Bandai Namco’s recently released Dynasty Warriors Gundam Reborn for PlayStation 3), it’s likely to stay that way.

Source: MCV UK

2007 Classic ‘BioShock’ Comes To Mobile

2K Games has found a fairly good avenue for games on the mobile front, with such releases as NBA 2K14 and XCOM: Enemy Unknown drawing huge audiences alongside console gamers. But now, it’s ready to deliver a real shock to the system – or in this case, BioShock.

The publisher has confirmed that it will bring the hit 2007 PC/console shooter to mobile devices this fall. It will be available for more powerful Apple devices, although it won’t be working with older ones, due to its processing power requirements. But if you have an iPhone 5s or one of the new iPad Air devices, you’re completely in luck.

BioShock tells the story of a mysterious underwater city called Rapture, which the player first discovers following a devastating plane wreck. What follows is a twisted story, one that involves oddly disturbing characters, powerful miniscule girls known as Little Sisters, and one big, bad monster that’s simply referred to as Big Daddy.

The game sold immensely well on consoles and has since created a legacy with 2K, one that continued with such games as BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite, before Irrational Games closed its doors for good several months ago, in favor of focusing on more mobile means.

The game will be treated like a “premium” App Store release, and although a price point hasn’t been confirmed, it’s likely to sell for $20, similar to what XCOM launched for last year. BioShock will be modified to work with an on-screen virtual button and joypad control scheme, and will also support controllers Made For iPhone (MFI).

So far, the port looks fantastic. There are obviously some corners that had to be cut visually to get the game running, but those who have seen it came away rather impressed…which could very well open up an avenue for more console-to-mobile ports in the future. If solid Xbox 360 or PS3 games can really be moved over to iOS/Android (at least, on the latest models of devices), this could mean we’ll see a wave of top console titles coming to mobile.

What do you think Will you plunk down the cash to experience BioShock again

Source: Digital Trends

Collective Digital Studio Adds YouTube Superstars

YouTube multichannel network Collective Digital Studio has decided to up its talent roster, adding seven new creators to its line-up of video producing. With a total of nearly 18 million new subscribers amongst them and over 100 million monthly views, it’s easy to see why they would be a big draw.

The seven superstars are as follows, and in no particular order:

-Lilly Singh, known on YouTube under her Superwoman name, brings three to four million subscribers through her channel

-FPS Russia, a firearms expert who draws more than five million subscribers

-Mamrie Hart, the digital filmmaker of Camp Taokota and host of the show You Deserve a Drink, with more than 500,000 subscribers

-Beauty expert Lauren Curtis, who brings two million subscribers to the table

-Comedy channel Explosm Entertainment, with 3.2 million subscribers along with episodes of Cyanide & Happiness

-Singer/songwriter Madilyn Bailey, with 1.5 million subscribers

-Sam Pepper, a prankster who has since drawn 2.2 million subscribers, following his starring stint on Big Brother UK season 11

“These creators represent a wide array of verticals, some of which are the fastest growing on YouTube and reflect our commitment to attracting the best talent,” said CDS president Dan Weinstein. “Each of these channels has a unique style and brand that embraces youth culture and aligns perfectly with our MCN. We look forward to nurturing and growing these creators both online and across platforms.”

This follows CDS’ other collaborations, including working alongside Canadian cooking show Epic Meal Time, as well as visual effects expert Freddie Wong and comedian Hannah Hart. No doubt this additional roster will help boost the view count for CDS’ channel line-up, and maybe even attract some new talent down the road as well.

What do you think of the signings Clearly, there’s some star power here.

Source: Hollywood Reporter

Legendary Entertainment Exec Discusses Hollywood’s Love Of Oculus Rift

Oculus Rift virtual reality technology is capable of much more than amazing video game experiences like the one Sega and Creative Assembly crafted with Alien: Isolation. Hollywood has embraced VR, which is only natural given feature films have been exploring virtual reality for decades. The only difference now is that science and technology have finally caught up to what was once science fiction.

The role of VR in the future of games and movies has yet to be determined, without even a release date or a price point for the Oculus VR or Sony’s Project Morpheus, the leading VR devices. There has been tremendous interest in VR among consumers, sparked by demos at various conventions. Perhaps even more compelling is the interest among developers, with more than 100,000 Oculus VR development kits sold so far.

Legendary Entertainment CEO Thomas Tull was an early investor in Oculus VR, long before Mark Zuckerberg spent $2 billion on the company. So it was no surprise that Legendary was one of the Hollywood studios to showcase just what can be done with Oculus Rift when coupled with the creative minds behind the Pacific Rim movie franchise, which include Guillermo del Toro, Industrial Light & Magic and Legendary. Hollywood computer animation studio ReelFX even used Epic Games video game technology Unreal Engine 4 to bring the experience to life. Barnaby Legg, vice president of theatrical strategy for Legendary, talks about the Hollywood potential for Oculus Rift in this exclusive interview.

[a]list daily: Creatively, what does VR open up for the minds behind big motion picture events like Legendary makes?

Barnaby Legg: What is most interesting about VR, and most different to traditional filmmaking, is the way in which the storyteller hands over control to the audience. When Guillermo del Toro makes a movie, he is the primary author of that experience — he is placing the camera, presenting audiences with the proscenium of the cinematic frame, and directing them where he wants them to go. With Pacific Rim: Jaeger Pilot, the viewer is an essential part of the storytelling. They are the cinematographer and the star, and these total immersion experiences thrive on limitless universes which are expansive enough to contain that kind of limitless storytelling. Legendary knows how to do that.

[a]list daily: How did you work with actor Charlie Hunnam on this project?

Barnaby Legg: Charlie’s performance was one of the last things to be added to the experience. It’s a very busy time for him as he finishes the final season of Sons of Anarchy, but we were thrilled he was able to find time in his schedule to become Raleigh Becket for all the fans who will experience this. Charlie is such a committed, physical performer. He was jumping around the voice over booth, acting out all the fight moves.

[a]list daily: What was the reaction from fans at Comic Con?

Barnaby Legg: The words “multiple fangasm” springs to mind. We had so many people tell us how mind-blowing this experience was for them. We ran the experience like it was a recruitment initiative for the PPDC, and everyone who got to take part was awarded their own Jaeger Pilot license. Which is what it’s all about… the fans are what drives the Pacific Rim universe. And now they can — literally.

[a]list daily: How easy would it be to add controller support or Kinect motion-sensor support to an experience like this (given that the user is asked to raise his hands in the demo)?

Barnaby Legg: Having overcome the creative challenges presented by this project, I would say anything is possible. Clearly, motion control is a natural next step. Seeing how people react to being immersed in the visual world of VR, interaction with that world is the next key evolution.

[a]list daily: What do you think it says about VR that there were multiple Oculus experiences on the show floor at Comic Con?

Barnaby Legg: Oculus VR goes from strength to strength, and I think they are really breaking out right now. Everyone is curious about VR, experimenting, trying new things, and I think we are going to see some really exciting stuff in the next twelve months. VR’s hardly a new thing, and we’ve been watching the Oculus tech as it has evolved over the past couple of years — but we never wanted to just jump on the bandwagon. We wanted to do it right, and set a new benchmark for what these kinds of experiences can achieve. Based on the feedback from fans at Comic-Con this year, I think we have achieved that.

[a]list daily: What impact do you feel the Facebook acquisition of Oculus and Sony’s Morpheus VR technology will have on the mainstream acceptance of VR in the home in the near future?

Barnaby Legg: That’s a question for Oculus. But that company has the talent, the innovation, and clearly now the resources to make incredible things happen. We are as excited to see where this might go as everyone else is.

Tencent’s Strategy With Western Mobile Developers

Tencent has clearly left its mark on the Chinese mobile gaming market. Not only does it reach out to 180 million daily users with its WeChat app across various game distribution channels, but it’s also left its mark when it comes to wooing Western game developers into lucrative deals.

Considering that Tencent had CNY1.8 billion ($291 million in U.S. dollars) in online gaming revenue in the first quarter, there’s no question that Chinese gamers love to play. That was about triple the gaming revenue of the previous quarter. So, Tencent has been trying to bring more products on board from overseas, in an effort to expand its available line-up.

Bo Wang, the vice president of business development for Tencent, explained the importance of such opportunities while speaking with The Next Web. “So, for Tencent, we have the biggest volume, the biggest traffic in China – and how to monetize this traffic is either through advertising or gaming, and we want to do both. Both are important,” he said.

He believes there’s room for expansion in the market, and getting games done in-house just isn’t enough to keep up with the demand. “For free-to-play games, it’s even more striking that the game content and game quality make a big difference. So in the long run, we think the innovation part, the creativity part, the unique strengths of Western (game) studios make some very good quality and fun-to-play games that address the market needs.”

Part of the difficulty in moving Western games to China is the demographic difference between the markets. Some 80 percent of China’s gamers are under 30 years old, much younger than the Western audience. “I would say that how to make the game easy to play and have interactive features designed within the game would definitely help the game build a massive audience here,” Wang said.

Tencent hasn’t wasted any time going after the “big fish” in the mobile market either. The company revealed back in April that it would be teaming up with King to bring a localized edition of the hit match-three puzzle game Candy Crush Saga to the Chinese market. It’s set for a release sometime this month.

“One of the reasons is that Western markets, for gaming, is still a console market,” said Wang. “There are many challenges for Western studios to learn how to make a commercially successful free-to-play mobile game.”

“That’s the strength Tencent has, to help our partners to improve their game development capabilities. We have done that on PC games with partners, and we would love to do that on mobile games with more partners going forward,” he concluded.

Source: The Next Web

eSports’ Tourneys, Most Popular Games Revealed

There’s no question that eSports has shown tremendous growth in recent years, with competitive players taking on one another in such games as Call of Duty, League of Legends and, most recently, DOTA 2, which hosted one of the biggest prize pools in the history of the competitive league (over $10 million). It’s not just that the number of esports players are growing, though; some new statistics from Battlefy have shown that the numbers for esports tournaments have grown tremendously.

Back in 2011, a total of 8,809 tournaments were held, just when eSports was gaining some traction. Over the past three years, however, the number of tournaments held has grown ridiculously. In 2012, the number jumped to nearly 18,686 from the previous year’s 8,809. In 2013, it almost doubled again to 33,636. And in 2014, with estimates, it’s looking like over 47,500 tournaments will be held. That’s impressive considering the number of tournaments started out so much smaller.

As far as what players want to play in terms of eSports competition, League of Legends topped the list with 7,565 tournaments and 578,730 players. Coming closely behind in second place was DOTA 2 with 5,012 tournaments and 327,090 players, and the EA Sports FIFA series in third place with 4,919 tournaments and over 68,000 players.

Here’s how the rest of the list pans out:

Pokemon: 3,604 tournaments, 50,403 players

StarCraft II: 3,104 tournaments, 39,067 players

Call of Duty (series): 2,263 tournaments, 63,988 players

Counter-Strike: 1,411 tournaments, 68,155 players

Street Fighter (series): 656 tournaments, 9,456 players

Battlefield (series): 226 tournaments, 13,146 players

World of Tanks: 195 tournaments, 14,448 players

That’s a grand total of 28,955 tournaments, and over a million players. Not too shabby for electronic sports.

The increasing number of tournaments is a result of the increasing audience for esports, of course, but it’s also helping to increase interest in esports. As the number of tournaments increases, more people can compete for more prize money, which in turn fuels greater excitement and engagement with fans.

Source: Battlefy

App Marketing Is As Expensive As Ever

According to Mashable, the Boston-based app marketing technology company Fiksu released a report that says the cost of app marketing is at an all-time high.

In June, the Cost Per Loyal User Index (CPLUI) — which measures how much money brands spend to acquire regular users of their iOS apps — peaked at $2.23. According to Fiksu, who has been analyzing trends in app marketing for the last four years, a regular user is someone who uses the app at least three times.

These numbers tend to be cyclical, with downloads typically increasing with anticipated product launches and during the holidays, and decreasing during the summer. This summer, however, the number of downloads was lower than usual with 6.1 million in June, versus 6.6 million in May. June also marked the first time the CPLUI was higher than $2, a 25 percent increase from May and a 49 percent increase from last year. Chief strategy officer at Fiksu, Craig Palli attributed this to the popularity of the World Cup along with Apple’s temporary ban on apps with incentivized video advertising.

Palli believes the costs will go back down in the coming months, but only for a short while.

“The cost of a loyal user is increasing because mobile is such an incredible value compared to every other form of marketing,” Palli said in an online piece with Mashable.

Mobile marketing is indeed a fraction of the cost of other forms of digital marketing, which itself is significantly cheaper than traditional strategies.

As of June, 1.2 million apps were available in Apple’s App Store.

“It’s getting harder and harder to stand out from the crowd. Even if you’re a major brand with a loyal following, it can be a challenge to convince users to add your app to their already-crowded phone screens,” said Joe Laszlo, senior director of the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence. “It’s not enough to build an app, launch it in the app store and hope the world beats a path to your door.”

Nowadays more brands are viewing apps as moneymakers, rather than powerful branding tools, as they have been traditionally viewed. Mobile app revenue was at $38 billion last year, a number projected to increase to $92 billion by 2018.

“People are jumping into this boat really quickly,” Palli said. “You’ve got industry leaders like Coca-Cola utilizing mobile and doing a great job with it. Now I think the rest of the market is looking to catch up and accelerate their use of mobile, and they’re getting a tremendous benefit.”

Source: Mashable

 

Oculus Rift’s San Diego Comic-Con Adventures

The Oculus Rift continues to grow in popularity. Ever since the virtual reality tech was acquired by Facebook for $2 billion earlier in the year, it’s been picking up steam in development and usage. While the second version of the development kits make their way to eager developers this week, Oculus really put on a show. Several Hollywood companies used the Oculus Rift to create realistic experiences for attendees at the San Diego Comic-Con International event, where over 130,000 fans attended.

First up, Legendary Pictures, who had quite a showing on the floor between the forthcoming Warcraft film from Duncan Jones and Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak, had an exclusive VR set-up with a demo built using Unreal Engine 4 technology. The demo on display recreated a fight from last year’s film Pacific Rim, where players could hop into the robotic Jaeger suit and do battle with the devastating Kaiju from a first-person perspective. After “linking” with your co-pilot, you do battle with a series of monsters, before they’re ripped out of the cockpit in front of your very eyes. Despite being a short demo, it was incredibly impressive.

“We said, ‘Let’s make something cool for Comic-Con,'” said Ethan Stearns, production resources director at Legendary. “We’ve wanted to do something with the Rift since we saw it at CES… so we worked with Oculus to get it done.”

 

Japan: Mobile Gaming Bigger Than Consoles

This past week, Japan’s Computer Entertainment Supplier’s Association (or CESA for short) published a new report, the 2014 CESA Games White Paper, which revealed some interesting facts about Japan’s gaming market over the past year. Mobile gaming in Japan is now the biggest share of game revenue as mobile games contineu to grow strongly, while console game revenues have been shrinking.

Numbers revealed from Famitsu publisher Enterbrain revealed similar results, starting that the market for console gaming (hardware and software together) reached a total of the equivalent of $4 billion in 2013. While that’s by no means small potatoes, the number is a 13 percent drop from 2012, where the equivalent of $4.8 billion was reported.

Breaking each number down separately, console hardware sales reached $1.5 billion compared to $1.9 billion the year before, while console software sales made $2.5 billion, compared to $2.9 billion the year before.

In terms of which console dominated the sales figures, the Nintendo DS led the charge with 46.7 percent of the market, while the PlayStation 3 was second with 21.8 percent, and the PS Vita in third with 11.7 percent.

Meanwhile, smartphone games have managed to reach $3.5 billion in sales for 2013. Even though console numbers are slightly bigger, there has been tremendous growth that shows this particular market is on the rise…especially considering it just made $370 million back in 2011.

CESA, however, reports slightly different numbers, with mobile gaming in general making $5.1 billion – which is more than the $4 billion number for consoles.

Feature phone games by themselves saw a revenue of $1.6 billion in 2013.

It doesn’t appear this trend will change anytime soon, even with the PlayStation 4 making waves in the Japanese market. It looks like now that mobile games have pulled into the lead, console games are never going to quite catch up in revenue. Microsoft is rolling out the Xbox One in Japan this September, but it’s not expected to make big inroads into the Japanese market after the poor showing of the Xbox 360 in Japan.

Source: Serkantoto