Warner Bros., Sony Pictures, And More Are Now Hiring For January 28th

[a]listdaily is your source for the hottest job openings for senior management and marketing in games, entertainment and social media. Check here every Wednesday for the latest openings.

Interviewing for your next gig Consider these handy tips to knock your interview out of the park.

  • Warner Bros. – Vice President, International Marketing (Burbank, Calif.)
  • Sony Pictures Entertainment – Director, Marketing (Culver City, Calif.)
  • 21st Century Fox – Director, Marketing (Los Angeles, Calif.)
  • Machinima – Vice President, Marketing (Los Angeles, Calif.)

For last week’s [a]list jobs postings, click here. Have a position you’d like to place with us Email us at pr@ayzenberg.com.

Riot Games’ ‘Sad Mummy’ Is Music To Players Ears

The popularity of the PC game League of Legends is quite staggering, across both the hardcore eSports community and casual players alike. That said, Riot Games is making every effort to celebrate its audience, as it has just released a soundtrack album that highlights some of the best songs from the game.

Music of League of Legends Vol. 1, which is available now through iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and Spotify, brings together 15 selections from the game, each of which set the mood for the next battle that lies ahead. One particularly moving piece from the soundtrack, The Curse of the Sad Mummy, has also been released on YouTube, complete with animations that match the mood of the song.

The video focuses on Amumu, a mummy character who wanders around the gaming world, seeking not only his true identity, but also allies, as he considers himself friend-less. However, he finds that his powers make it a struggle to find compatriots to join him, thus making him a devastating character in-game with his undead capabilities. (You can see that in the turning point of the song, which can be seen below.)

With such capabilities as the Cursed Touch, Bandage Toss, Despair and Tantrum, there’s no question that Amumu’s rage is quite effective in-game, although his saga certainly makes for good use in a song.This is the latest move by Riot Games to branch out to its League of Legends community through another medium, as it previous teamed up with rock band Imagine Dragons for an original song for a recent tournament, “Warriors“, which can be found below. And judging by the title of the album, it’s very likely that Riot will continue to release new albums featuring songs from the game, as well as original selections inspired by it.It’s an interesting marketing move for a company that professes not to practice marketing in the usual sense. For Riot, content and community are marketing, so releasing more content (and collaborating with music creators) is an effective way to keep current players engaged and to reach out to some new potential players.

League of Legends Vol. 1 is available for download now, and can be downloaded for free here.

 

 

Story Studio Prepares For Oculus Storytelling Challenges

With the Oculus Rift still in development and rumored to release sometime this year, many developers have already begun stepping up their efforts with games that takes advantage of the medium, engulfing would-be players into virtual worlds that provide more engagement than the usual gaming experience.

That said, filmmakers are starting to get into the medium as well. Projects have been popping up left and right as of late, including the forthcoming film Zero Point and the documentary Vice News VR: Millions March, which will make its debut at the Sundance Film Festival this week.

But that doesn’t mean that everyone is ready to embrace the new format, as there’s a certain challenge that comes with it – being able to tell enough of a story to keep players interested in coming back. Even two hour-length films could see this as a tough hump to get over, as keeping viewers glued to their headsets could prove a challenge – especially given that most of them aren’t used to seeing it in a full 360-degree perspective.

With that, a new studio called Story Studio intends to create examples that help define how cinema is supposed to work on the device, according to TechCrunch. The studio, headed up by various veterans from Pixar Animation Studios, will put together VR cinema examples, which are designed to “educate, inspire and foster community,” thus giving the filmmakers the tools needed to really embrace the format and make it their own.

“We didn’t have an answer for how to get started in VR for cinema,” said Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe, which led to the creation of the studio. “This is another example where as a smaller, independent startup it would have been hard to spin up an effort like this,” explaining how Oculus made plans with Story Studio before Facebook acquired the studio for $2 billion last year.

The studio intends to introduce its debut experience, Lost, at Sundance this week, where attendees can also sign up for access to a forthcoming Oculus Story Studio app for iOS and Android, should they have interest in the project.

The team is led by creative director Saschka Unseld, who previously worked on The Blue Umbrella for Pixar. He explained to TechCrunch, “You learn by doing. Everyone who starts a project in VR encounters the same things in the beginning. They try to figure out, ‘How do I make these things I know from film work in VR How do I do a cut in VR ‘”

General film concepts, according to Unseld, don’t quite translate as well to the Oculus, and have to find a narrative that flows smoothly within the device’s universe. He explained that the experience could vary in length, from three to ten minutes, depending on what the user looks for.

For the time being, Story Studio will stick with CG-based shorts that can educate people looking to get more out of producing work on the Oculus. This may leave a few of those preparing live-action pieces wondering when they’ll get a turn, but it could happen sometime in the future.

With a focus on both gaming and filmmaking, there’s no question that there’s room for the Oculus to make an impact. Story Studio will certainly help with that – along with Facebook’s marketing muscle, of course.

Snapchat Differentiates Itself From Other Social Networks With ‘Discover’ Feature

This morning, Snapchat released a blog about its latest feature, ‘Discover’, which everyone working in social media marketing has been waiting with bated breath to see what exactly this thing is all about.

Unitl now, the platform has kept its functions pretty close to its original form, with users sending and sharing videos and images in a way that feels more personalized, like a social inbox. With ‘Discover’ Snapchat has made an entrée into the world of publishing now with a handpicked selection of publications and creates a “new way to explore Stories from different editorial teams.”

That Snapchat has decided to center its Discovery feature around publications and not around its own users is quite notable. But that’s because Snapchat is perhaps no longer seeing itself as a social media company.”Social media companies tell us what to read based on what’s most recent or most popular. We see it differently. We count on editors and artists, not clicks and shares, to determine what’s important,” said Snapchat in the post.

The language here implies that Snapchat’s self-image is not in the same league as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Now, with ‘Discovery’ and has firmly positioned itself on the side of the publisher, and with that, in Snapchat’s hopes, advertising money.

“This time we built the technology to serve the art: each edition includes full screen photos and videos, awesome long form layouts, and gorgeous advertising.”

For all the dismissive talk around Snapchat’s first ad units, this one is clearly going to change the conversation.

 

‘World of Warcraft’ Wants You To Share In-Game ‘Selfies’

Blizzard is adding a new layer of meta social humor to World of Warcraft with a feature included in a new patch.

The feature, called the S.E.L.F.I.E. Camera, is a new toy that allows Warcraft players to turn a virtual camera on their own character and take a digital selfie. Characters display randomly-generated special emotions when the camera focuses on their face, meaning your favorite orc could very well end up flashing a duck-face for your Screenshots folder.

The camera, unlocked upon completion of an all-new Level 100 mission known as Field Photography, can be upgraded to the S.E.L.F.I.E. Camera Mk. II with the completion of mission Lens Some Hands. Mk. II adds a bevy of filters — sketch, black and white, and “death,” to be precise — taking Warcraft‘s Instagram parody game to a hilarious new level.

Twitter integration is also bundled with Warcraft‘s newest patch, making it easy for players to unveil their sparkling new selfies alongside their friends on social. We’ll certainly be excited to see what Warcraft‘s players come up with in the coming days and weeks as their new S.E.L.F.I.E. Camera models are unlocked.

How Fantasy Sports Could Help eSports Become Mainstream

With the Super Bowl around the corner, a huge audience of gamers is more interested in the new season of League of Legends. It’s fitting then that start-up AlphaDraft is betting, literally, that diehard eSports fans will dig daily Fantasy ESports. Taking a page from FanDuel, AlphaDraft is adding a new layer of interest to the real season just as the NFL, NBA, MLB and other “real” sports leagues have done in recent years. Focusing exclusively on Riot Games’ League of Legends, at least for now, gamers will be able to strategize with fantasy teams. Matt Reilly, co-founder and director of marketing at AlphaDraft, explains how Fantasy eSports will open up new opportunities for brands and game makers in this exclusive interview.

Matt Reilly, Co-Founder and Director of Marketing at AlphaDraftMatt Reilly, Co-Founder and Director of Marketing at AlphaDraft

How are you working with leagues (ESL, MLG) and game companies (you mentioned Riot in the pitch) in adding real-money fantasy contests to eSports?

Until this point, we’ve focused on the development of AlphaDraft and creating an impeccable player experience. We look forward to partnering with ESL and MLG in the future and contributing to their communities. Having said that, our platform was built with these types of partnerships in mind, and can handle many different types of games from MOBAs to FPS’s to even games like HearthStone or Super Smash Bros.

Will there be the ability to play for free like on FanDuel?

Yes, from day one.

How are you age gating this given the younger demographic that follows eSports?

There are several 3rd-party verification services that help us ensure the highest level of compliance with contest laws.

What types of prizes will be available at first and how do you see winnings increasing over time?

We will start small to test the system giving away $500 to $1,000 in free contests per week. However, based on feedback we see this growing fast and believe we could potentially see several million in prizes paid this year.

Why do you think now is the right time to add Fantasy eSports?

Every other major component of traditional sports exists in eSports. There are leagues, teams, franchises, broadcasters, player agencies, and a huge viewing audience. The only two pieces we see that are missing are a players’ union and daily fantasy sports.

How big is Fantasy Sports in real sports today and what potential do you see for eSports?

Fanduel has stated recently that they will pay out over $540 million in prizes in 2014. That’s a significant number. With viewership for the world championship of League of Legends surpassing total viewers of traditional championships of the NBA and MLB, and with over 50 million viewers on Twitch monthly, we believe we are right on the cusp of something big. Sparks and Honey, an ad agency out of New York, published a presentation recently on slideshare that summarizes my thoughts on eSports — “It’s the biggest sport you’ve probably never heard of.” That is about to change.

Why do you see that changing now?

“We see other companies investing the same types of resources and think eSports has the potential to grow beyond even traditional sports.”

The reason why it is different this time is because of both Twitch and Riot Games. In the past, there was no way to easily broadcast to a large audience. Twitch changed all that. In addition, no company or organization had put together such a regimented and organized schedule into an eSport. Riot Games created the NFL of eSports. The money, time, and overall production quality of all their leagues has allowed for this growth to occur. We see other companies investing the same types of resources and think eSports has the potential to grow beyond even traditional sports.

AlphaDraft Screenshot

How will you be marketing this endeavor?

We will approach marketing the same way you would for traditional sports. If we were promoting a product for the NFL, you would run ads on the major television networks like ESPN, FOX, or ABC. In eSports that is Twitch, Youtube, and Azubu. So both display ads and streamers are a great way to market to the eSports community.

What role will Twitch and livestreaming play in this business?

Certainly, Twitch will be a big part of the marketing, and there will be new content created that specifically focuses on our game. There will be streamers who are out there talking about who are the best bargains, or who are the most overpriced stars to choose from week-to-week.

What has the feedback been from teams and pros?

We went to teams and pros early. One of the first was Michael “Odee” O’dell from Team Dignitas. We showed him an early demo and he gave us a very positive review. He is based in the UK and plays fantasy soccer and thought the platform would be a huge success. He gave his feedback on what we should and should not do to appeal to gamers. We took his opinion and others very seriously. You will see that in the design and flow of the game. Design is a critical component of our platform. Gamers expect high quality. You can’t just throw a site up and expect them to only play for money, so our focus has been on player experience first above all else. A simple, clean interface with familiar design elements to other gaming-related content was important.

“Design is a critical component of our platform. Gamers expect high quality.”

What opportunities do you see for sponsors and advertisers?

Because of the game we offer and the audience we attract we can directly market to a very focused market segment — our typical demographic is 18-34 yr old males who love playing games and buying downloadable content — we see us being one of the many ways advertisers reach this audience. One example of how we will bring sponsors and advertisers on board is one of the things we do that is unique to the fantasy eSports community which is provide live stat updates while simultaneously streaming the game for free. You won’t see this in traditional sports as broadcasters limit free streaming of sports contests. This live update screen keeps users coming back and is a great place for a sponsor to reach out to their audience.

Gaming’s Top Instagrams You Should Be Following

We scoured Instagram for the most interesting and noteworthy accounts in the world of gaming. From publications to publishers, the games themselves and those who love them, here is the pick of the crop.

GameSpot

We’ll let GameSpot’s Instagram bio speak for itself: “Inside look at industry events and access to behind the scene photos from all things GameSpot!” So who doesn’t want to be behind the scenes Unfortunately, they barely post but the account provides a great mix of crucial game event coverage and a look at GameSpot’s inner-workings.

Dat white PlayStation 4. No more words needed. #gamespotE3 #e32014 #videogames @sony

A photo posted by GameSpot (@gamespot) on

Sony marries the look and feel of its Instagram account with its design ethos. Everything is sleek, beautiful and holds its own when treated as a piece of art.

SEGA

SEGA’s Instagram is a fun one to follow indeed. One day they will post a photo of donuts that gets no less than 1,000 likes. Most days they will post all things Sonic The Hedgehog: statues, costumes, watches and more. The love for Sonic is palpable.

Xbox

Xbox’s Instagram shows the many sides of the console’s controller. They have a good mix of photo and video which makes the content all the more interesting.

What's on your tree? #Xbox #holidays #holiday #controller #ornament #XboxOne

A video posted by Xbox (@xbox) on

Top Games On Instagram

TwoDots

We unabashedly love Dots‘ social strategy. They have such awesome creative that anthropomorphizes the game’s otherwise plain and minimalistic dots. The strategy around their Instagram is a little different, but just as creative: they turn the lens on dots IRL for stunning photos. Of course a mobile game is rocking it on Instagram!

Cute dots found by @lolly.inthesky #dog #iseedots #dots #blackandwhite

A photo posted by Two Dots (@twodots) on

Call of Duty

Call of Duty‘s Instagram flaunts the game’s visuals with cleverly written and snarky captions. If you’re looking for great use of video on the platform, this is one to watch.

Crossy Road

Crossy Road clearly has a lot of fun with its minimalist pixelish aesthetic. Focusing on what makes this mobile game unique has been great for their engagement.

World of Warcraft

Blizzard’s MMORPG that’s been around the block more than a few times has a clear love for Instagram. So much so, that they just created a patch to allow players to take selfies with Instagram-esque filters in-game. That’s devotion.

Adventurer's emergency kit. Who were "randomly" starting to Feel ill right now? #wow #warcraft #worldofwarcraft

A photo posted by World of Warcraft (@worldofwarcraftofficial) on

Top Instagram Gaming Influencers

Manolo Saviantoni

If pixel art is your cup of tea, you’ll need to follow this one. The game and app designer’s Insta is chock-full of pixel-ized famous characters

PewDiePie

While the world’s biggest YouTuber has made a name for himself in gaming, his Instagram account has little to do with the subject and is more about his personal life and brand. With 3.4 million followers, we have to include him here.

A video posted by PewDiePie (@pewdiepie) on

Top eSports Instagrams

League of Legends eSports

League of Legend’s official Instagram dedicated to eSports showcases the eSports community and just how fun it is to be a part of it. From celebrating together in triumph to disappointing defeat, the photos here are all stunning.

Talent wins games but a team wins championships #WeAreLCS #LCS #leagueoflegends #TSM

A photo posted by LoL Esports (@lolesports) on

Astrogaming

The makers of gaming peripherals have fully immersed themselves in the eSports community with great event photography while pulling out the classic Instagram content types like tapping the likes of denn_ice to wear their backpacks on NYC rooftops or “what’s in my bag” kind of Instas.

Day 1 at #PAXSouth! Come join us, stop by the #ASTROGaming booth if you're here this weekend. #PAX

A photo posted by ASTRO Gaming (@astrogaming) on

We Shouldn’t Worry About Mobile Games

Dan Porter, founder of OMGPop (creators of Draw Something) and now head of Digital William Morris and Digital IMG, posted an article on Medium recently titled “Should we be worried about mobile games ” Porter noted that he had seen only five games in the top 25 apps on the App Store list recently. (More precisely, he was referring to the Top Free Apps list on the App Store.)

Porter’s thesis is that “social was the new fun” due to the large number of social apps in the top 25. He offered five reasons why we’re seeing fewer games in the top of the free charts: Everyone is spending more time on social; social is also open to a younger audience. Mature games take up our time (meaning, games we already have, so we don’t need to download them); continued focus on single player games; and saturation of the App Store.

“Yes we should be worried,” Porter concludes. “My iPhone is no longer a game device. It’s a social network, chat, texting, Netflix watching, sports streaming, photo editing powerhouse and that leaves me less time for gaming.”

From this corner, it looks like Porter is precisely wrong in what he’s worried about — he should be worrying about the future of social apps. Check out the list on the App Store that Porter didn’t look at, the Top Grossing iPhone Apps. You’ll notice that of the top 25 grossing apps in the App Store, precisely 4 of those are not games. Of those four, two are music apps (Pandora and Spotify) and two are dating apps (Match and Zoosk). The social apps are nowhere to be seen, at least in terms of making money directly. Shouldn’t we be more worried about companies that aren’t profitable, but that are living off of investment while searching for a revenue model

Time spent playing games is only one way to measure the health of a business, and it’s less important than revenue (at least, to companies interested in surviving for the long term). Game playing as a leisure activity is thriving, and it’s across multiple devices: Smartphones, tablets, consoles, PCs. Often it’s the same game being played on multiple platforms. What matters to publishers is the length and depth of engagement of players, with the actual platform becoming less important. As Rumble Entertainment CEO Greg Richardson noted, games should strive to be where the players want them: “I want it to be with me wherever I am, I want it to work correctly, and I want it to be incredibly engaging and fun.”

Now, this is not to say that launching mobile games is easy. No, as we’ve noted before, it’s tougher than ever. Getting noticed is difficult, and engaging customers for the long term and monetizing games are difficult tasks indeed. It’s also true that time spent playing games on mobile devices didn’t grow as much last year as other mobile device usage categories did. But smartphones are still selling strongly, and game usage did increase by 30 percent over 2013. It’s not that mobile games are going away, it’s that people are finally discovering other thins they can do with their mobile phones besides play games and send messages.

Game developers and publishers should instead be worried about how their game is going to find an audience and make money, not that mobile games overall are in a downturn. If anything, it seems that the top mobile games are capable of making more money than ever. As the number of smartphones in use around the world grows by another billion or two over the next few years, there should be more potential than ever for mobile games.

It’s up to game makers to figure out how to reach this expanded audience. Porter’s points about social apps taking more time, and social apps appealing to younger demographics are worth noting as things games should try to address. As the total potential gaming audience expands, there will be opportunities for games of types we never envisioned — Kim Kardashian: Hollywood is a perfect example of this, reaching a very large audience of people who were never in the past much of a target for game developers.

Let’s worry about how to make better mobile games that reach more people and engage them longer, not about whether mobile games are fading away. Not when the vast majority of App Store revenue is generated by games.

CREATIVE: 10 Most-Shared Super Bowl Ads of All Time

By: Jessica Klein

Super Bowl XLIX is coming up on Sunday, February 1. In addition to the biggest NFL game of the year taking place between the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots, there’s something else people look forward to watching next week—Super Bowl ads.

In honor of this beloved, commercial content, the following list showcases the top 10 most shared Super Bowl ads of all time, based on data from video ad tech company Unruly.

Unsurprisingly, Budweiser has a large presence on this list, making up three of the top four. All with between two and four million shares, these Budweiser ads only fall short of a Volkswagen ad from 2011 that’s held spot number one for some time. Notably, one of the Budweiser ads is by far the oldest to make this list. From 2002 (and in the number two spot), the ad focuses on September 11, which took place a few months before that Super Bowl.

Volkswagen makes it into the top 10 again in spot eight along with another car company and some film studios (moral of the story: football fans like cars, beer, and movies). Many of the brands repeat in this most shared list, showing that the ones that have down the Super Bowl ad format have down the Super Bowl ad format. Check out the order (and the ads) here.

This article was originally posted on VideoInk and is reposted on [a]listdaily via a partnership with the news publication, which is the online video industry’s go-to source for breaking news, features, and industry analysis. Follow VideoInk on Twitter @VideoInkNews, or subscribe via thevideoink.com for the latest news and stories, delivered right to your inbox.

December App Downloads Show ‘The New Reality Of Apps’

When it comes to app downloads, there’s no question that people love them. But there’s also a question of whether companies are better prepared to provide more of them.

According to a report from Fiksu, app downloads from Apple’s App Store have managed to reach a new high for the month of December, with an average daily download volume of 9.2 million for the top 200 free iOS apps — that’s a jump from November’s 8.1 million and October’s 7.8 million, showing an increasing trend in popularity. In total, it’s a growth of 44 percent over December 2013’s numbers.

Fiksu’s CEO Micah Adler stated that the growth is “an indicator of what we call the ‘new reality of apps,'” according to GamesIndustry International. “Consumer demand across iOS and Android is rising, which draws significant attention from major brands who are putting cost pressure on the games and other mobile-first apps.

“We expect these factors will not only elevate costs for marketers, but also drive an evolution of marketing strategies,” he continued. “In 2015, just buying mobile ads won’t be enough to drive usage — app marketers will need robust strategies based on customer data and precision targeting to find the right users for the apps.”

interestingly, while the CPI (Cost Per Install) rose dramatically for both iOS and Android apps have risen (42 and 47 percent, respectively), the CPI for games declined by 15 percent and six percent, respectively. It may be that game publishers opted to try other marketing methods to generate installs in December, but for whatever reason the spending on game installs was just not as high.

“This division points to increased competition among top-tier brands during the holiday period, as well as suggesting that some game publishers opted to limit their investment in the holiday battleground this year,” said Adler.

Adding to the conversation was VB Insight analyst John Koetsier. “As competition for users just continues to amp up in mobile, smart publishers are using mobile marketing automation solutions to drive deeper engagement — and monetization — with the users they get,” he explained, speaking with VentureBeat.

“Many of the top solutions enable automated one-to-one targeting, offers and messaging . . . really a CRM-like experience at millions-of-users scale.”

Caution is still likely to be used by some companies when it comes to customer acquisition, but that isn’t likely to stop others from paying more for new users. Will game publishers turn back to spending on customer acquisition, causing game CPI’s to rise We’ll be watching with interest.