Can the Feature Film Business Work for YouTube?

By Sarah Ullman

Movies starring YouTube creators on YouTube in partnership with AwesomenessTV will arrive this fall, per a YouTube blog post. Furthermore, YouTube will finance original series for four creators: The Fine Brothers, Joey Graceffa, Smosh, and Prank vs. Prank. Also, take note that YouTube recently “acquired” the new StampyLonghead series “Wonder Quest.” Presumably, this means Stampy’s show will live only on YouTube and the YouTube kids’ app, and not on other platforms like

Firstly, is the platform really “ready” for long form The UI/UX is continually adjusted, including a transparent video player perhaps meant to improve the viewing experience. Features published on YouTube will also have the added benefit of the analytics suite to review audience retention. (Hooray!) Producers will likely adjust the movie based on data gathered from the first YouTube window. Are we approaching a future when a feature is never truly “locked,” meaning each cut will be adjusted based on data feedback and distribution platform

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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 for the latest news and stories, delivered right to your inbox.


ION Counts Down YouTube’s Product-Savvy Beauty Gurus

Beauty is big on YouTube. By now, you’ve already heard of Michelle Phan and Bethany Mota, both of whom you could say are the titans on the platform. But what about the rest What other beauty vloggers should brands be paying attention to Here are ION’s curated picks, from tutorial-makers to product-unboxers and more.

Super Evil Megacorp’s Taewon Yun: ‘We Need To Learn From All Regions’

Super Evil Megacorp, the studio behind the mobile MOBA Vainglory, has just expanded its management team with a new general manager for the Asia Pacific region. Former Wargaming, Blizzard and Electronic Arts executive Taewon Yun will be based in Singapore and lead the developer’s growth across the region. Yun will particularly focus on adding more top talent to the company in Japan and Korea, where Vainglory launched most recently. Super Evil Megacorp noted that it’s seen an incredibly positive reception for the free-to-play title since launching with over 20,0000 five-star reviews. The developer is continuing to launch the title in other parts of Asia, and an Android version is forthcoming.

Yun gave [a]listdaily some insights into Vainglory‘s future in Asia in this exclusive interview.

Tell us a little bit about your background and how you ended up at Super Evil.

I have been a gamer since I first played Pong on my friend’s Atari when I was around 8 years old. While I was at graduate school in Korea, I got to know a team of students who were working on Text Mud and I joined them as a designer, which led to me dropping out of my PhD course and joining the team full time in 1995. Since that time, I have worked in the games industry at EA, Blizzard, Red 5 Studios and most recently Wargaming.

Earlier this year I was taking some time off after resigning from Wargaming, where I was the managing director for APAC. A friend of mine suggested that I try Vainglory and I was instantly hooked. Actually, I was beyond hooked. I felt like Vainglory had the potential to be one of those games that come out once in a decade and totally change the gaming landscape.

I immediately contacted Kristian Segerstrale (COO and Executive Director of Super Evil Megacorp). I had a few Skype calls with Kristian and CEO Bo Daly, and ended up jumping on a flight to China, and then Japan, where the team was launching Vainglory. My interview process was literally accompanying the team for several days around Asia, discussing the industry, games, ramen, and then singing Bohemian Rhapsody at a Karaoke bar in Tokyo. After the interview trip, I got back home to Singapore where an offer letter was waiting. I signed it and then got on a flight to San Mateo the next day.

How is the Asian market for MOBAs different from the West, and do you think those differences are important for a mobile MOBA?

I don’t think there are huge, fundamental differences between the MOBA markets in the East and the West, however there are general cultural differences, such as “PC Game Rooms,” in Asia as well as the nearly non-existent console market. Although the above differences are not MOBA-specific, I believe they have led to the greater popularity of the MOBA genre among Asian players. MOBAs are more accessible on PC, but I believe they have even greater potential for success on mobile. Smartphone and tablets are incredibly popular in Asian countries, and a MOBA as beautiful and fun as Vainglory has the potential to be very big here.

What’s the potential for Vainglory to become an eSport in the future?

I’ve been directly and indirectly related to eSports since I was a part of the Blizzard team. In order to be a successful, an eSports game must be fun to watch, support fast and advanced controls for pro-level competitiveness, host diverse strategies and counters, and also recognize the role of community in its initial growth.

Vainglory has all these founding pillars and more. The team at Super Evil goes above and beyond to listen to its community and if players say that the game is ready to become an eSport, than we will do our absolute best to make that request a reality. Our team can not wait to be able to have Vainglory played in front of millions of fans in a big arena some day!

How will you be marketing the Android version of Vainglory in Asia?

The Android market is significantly larger than the iOS market in Asia, especially in South-Korea. Because of this, I personally consider the upcoming Android release to be the “real” launch of Vainglory in Asia. While big TV commercials, performance-based ads, and offline ads have become a standard in big mobile game marketing in Asia, they will not be our focus. We will still be focusing on building community, supporting grassroot eSports activities and also creating partnerships with various companies to promote the game across Android and iOS devices.

How does the market opportunity in Asia for Vainglory on Android compare to the iOS version?

iOS is a growing market in Asia, but you still see the majority of people walking around with an Android device rather than an iPhone. I am very happy with the traction and noise Vainglory created with just high-end iOS device support and it makes us optimistic that we’ll be able to create an even bigger splash with the game’s Android launch in Asia.

How important is it to bring back intelligence from Asia to the US when developing mobile games?

While the West is still dominant in regards to console and PC standalone games, Asia has significantly advanced its PC and mobile gaming in terms of business models, game mechanics and more. Rather than saying that we’re going to bring back intelligence from Asia, I would say that we need to learn from all regions (including Asia) and apply those lessons to create a game that can appeal to global audiences. Not every game or cultural product is able to adapt, but Vainglory certainly has the potential to be a mass market game across the globe.

‘DotA 2’ Compendium Builds New Prize Pool

xValve’s free-to-play DotA 2 has proven to be a formidable leader in the eSports world, as indicated by a huge multi-million dollar tournament last year, with another one set to take place for 2015. So how is the development team at Valve hoping to offer an even bigger prize pool than before Well, that’s easy – just turn to the community.

VentureBeat has reported that the developer has launched a new in-game package called The Compendium, which is available in two different price tiers — $10 and $27. Those who purchase this package not only get access to in-game goods, but also donate 25 percent of its purchase towards the prize pool for the forthcoming tournament.

It’s a business model that makes sense, seeing as how last year’s similar Compendium package managed to raise nearly $11 million in funds for The International 2014 tournament. So far, this year’s package has raised nearly $2 million, although more is likely to be raised in the months ahead as new unlockable items are added at higher price tiers.

eSports-related communities are more than happy to raise funds while scoring loot for themselves, although not all companies are looking for that sort of model. Riot Games, whose game League of Legends is much bigger than DotA 2, believes that players and fans shouldn’t contribute to a prize pool, as the company makes more than enough money to generate prizes itself. Riot provides the entirety of the prize money for its competitions, though the prize is smaller than DotA 2’s crowdfunded prize.

Regardless of how money is raised, DotA 2 should have another powerful year in the tournament front, with The International 2015 likely to sell out once again, between live attendees and those who wish to stream the tournament online. eSports games have generated a whopping $194 million in revenue this past year, and this year’s tournaments – between both The International and whatever Riot Games has planned for League – should easily eclipse that number. Research firm Newzoo believes that these games could generate $465 million by 2017 – that’s over double the money in a short time frame.

Let’s not forget the exposure of eSports games on other mediums as well. ESPN 2 recently got a huge viewership boost from airing the Heroes of the Dorm competition this past Sunday. And that’s not likely to be the last we see of eSports on the channel, given the popular response.

Marriott Moves Forward With Short Film

In an initiative that hopes to shy away from the usual advertising front, Marriott Content Studio has moved forward with its original programming plan, releasing a new trailer for its forthcoming short film French Kiss, which will debut on May 19, according to TubeFilter.

The film is described as a “mystical romance,” following a career-obsessive young man named Ethan (played by Tyler Ritter) who visits Paris for an innovation conference at the Champs Elysees Marriott hotel. While there, he finds a series of strange, magical clues left by a secret admirer named Margaux (played by French model Margot Luciarte), and begins pursuing her to see if she’s real or not – while catching a glimpse at the beauty of Paris along the way.

The trailer is below:

The film is part of the hotel chain’s new film program, which launched last month with the release of Two Bellmen. With it, Marriott hopes to reach out to millennial travelers, while at the same time promoting its chain of hotels worldwide. It’s a unique take on advertising, telling more of a story instead of just talking about the hotels in general.

The film is the work of producers Ian Sander and Kim Moses from Sander/Moses & SLAM Productions, which also worked on such popular TV shows as Profiler and Ghost Whisperer. John Gray, who executive produced Ghost during its run, directed it.

“I have known Kim and Ian for years and have admired their work as incredible, innovative storytellers who truly engage their audiences,” said David Beebe, vice president of creative and content marketing for Marriott Content Studio. “Much like the rest of their work, the first cut of the film shows the high quality, production values, and special effects that are so important to them and will capture the audience’s imagination. They were a natural fit for us and I am confident French Kiss will prove this collaboration a huge success when it’s released on May 19.”

The partner has proven good to work with for the studio, according to Moses. “Working with Marriott has made me realize even more than ever how exciting the opportunities are outside the traditional Hollywood content system and that the shift going on in the content business is headed for great changes because of the way the Marriott Content Studio is doing business.”

Even the actors enjoyed their time making the film. Said Ritter, “They supported the cast and crew both physically and creatively, keeping their doors open 24 hours a day for the shoot as well as for our stay. When you can wrap a full day of work and then find yourself in your room within to minutes, you know you are in a lucky spot.”

Here’s hoping that Marriott’s filmmaking kick keeps on going. In the meantime, you can see its work – current and upcoming – on its official YouTube channel.


EEDAR Pinpoints Keys To Mobile Game Success

Mobile games have a way of generating a big success in a short amount of time, as proven by DomiNations and other releases on the market. But what exactly goes into pinpointing said success for a mobile game EEDAR has a few answers.

The company provided its latest gaming analysis report, which can be downloaded for free. In it, it breaks down what goes into the success of a mobile game, based on two general items – social tools and word of mouth.

“As acquisition costs rise, word of mouth and social in-game hooks are a must for success,” reads the report.

The first part breaks down features that gamers enjoy discussing, with controls that are easy to learn taking the top spot with 43 percent, followed by lots of content (41 percent) and gameplay that is challenging (40 percent). As for the bottom three components, they consist of long gameplay sessions (26 percent), short gameplay sessions (24 percent) and large community or good social features (21 percent).

Sharing plays a big part in getting the buzz around on a good mobile game as well. 38 percent of friends tell their friends about the game verbally, either in person or through social networks. Meanwhile, 29 percent go the extra mile and post a gameplay clip, so they can show them what they’re talking about. And 22 percent give the game an official rating on a storefront, either through the App Store or Google Play.

So what’s the big feature that becomes a huge selling point for mobile games EEDAR believes it’s being able to share gameplay clips. “More attention needs to be paid to building in functionality for sharing gameplay footage,” it explains. Game consoles these days have no problem doing that, as both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 have the capability of recording live gameplay clips, which can be converted for either streaming or video posting via YouTube. Mobile games haven’t quite reached that ground yet, but some developers are certainly striving to.

Check out the full graphic from EEDAR below to get a better idea of percentiles, and don’t forget to check out the full report here.

Daybreak’s Candace Brenner Talks Gaming Independence

Gaming companies can change within the blink of an eye, based on an acquisition or seeking out a new direction following the success of a popular franchise. For years, Sony Online Entertainment worked on a number of games that have become fan favorites, including DC Online Universe and Everquest II.

But changes are eventual for companies, and Sony Online Entertainment was acquired by investment firm Columbus Nova and transformed into a new independent brand called Daybreak Game Company. Now, it has a whole new direction, one that it hopes will find a definitive place in today’s game industry.

Daybreak’s director of global brand marketing, Candace Brenner, recently had a chance to sit down with us to talk about the company’s new direction, as well as what it hopes to accomplish in today’s jam-packed industry.

Has your marketing strategy changed now that you are an independent company If so, how?

The last couple of months have been an amazing ride. The energy, the excitement, maybe even a little bit of nervousness has been palpable. As we went through the whole rebranding (new logo, new website, etc.), we talked a lot internally about what the transition would look like and where we were headed. We had that rare opportunity to really tear down and rebuild. But in the end, I think we found that it was less about changing our strategy or fundamentally changing who we were and more about letting our real self shine through. We’ve always been a little rebellious, a little ambitious and a lot of fun. I think now we’re not trying to obscure that but rather embrace it. We try to talk to our players one to one without the typical marketing pretense or fluffy words. We try to really connect with the player and deliver an experience that reminds them why they play games.

Do you see free-to-play games as the way forward for MMORPGs, or do you plan to experiment with other monetization strategies?

We don’t approach game development with a one-size-fits-all approach. What works for one game, doesn’t work for the next, and we all know that the gaming landscape is ever-evolving. The good news is that Daybreak is nimble and willing to try new things. We’ve been in the business of games for nearly two decades, so we intend to use that experience in conjunction with our independent spirit to make smart, progressive decisions.

In previous interviews, Daybreak mentioned the development of games across multiple platforms — Is this about extending current IP to new platforms or developing new IP?

I think the first thing that people think to ask is: Are you going to develop for the Xbox, It’s the obvious question since we’ve been a part of Sony. The easy answer to that is YES! We are definitely looking forward to finding new fans and players on new platforms and yes, that means Xbox, but it could mean mobile and tablet, or whatever other platform the future brings too. And developing new IP’s Absolutely! We have such a creative and passionate group, we are always thinking of new ideas.

The company is known for large scale, persistently on, community driven games — Will future games continue to be developed with this type of thinking?

As part of our mission statement, we talk about creating lasting communities. That part is something that will always be a part of who we are. The type of game or session length or scale may change over time but we love the idea of focusing on building our communities. From EverQuest to H1Z1 and everything in between, it still feels cool when someone tells me that we were their first love. So what type of thinking goes into the development of our games We want everyone to feel that moment and find ways to recreate that moment whenever we can.


We certainly wish Daybreak the best of luck with their new direction. To learn more about the company, visit their page here.

Complex Unveils New Immersive Video Studio

by Jessica Klein

At its pseudo-NewFront event today at YouTube Space NYComplex announced that it’s partnering with 360, a virtual reality and 360-degree video company.

Through the partnership, the media company is launching Complex 360 Studios, which will let them publish 360-degree and VR content “day-and-date,” according to the company’s founder and chief brand officer, Marc Ecko. This content will appear across Complex’s Facebook page and YouTube channel in addition to the publisher’s own 360 video player.

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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 for the latest news and stories, delivered right to your inbox.