New Games Hit The App Store This Week With ‘The Room Three,’ ‘Bigfoot Hunter’ and More

We’re taking a look each week at what’s happening in the mobile space– what new games are out and a little bit about how they’re being marketed.

The Room Three (Fireproof Studios, $4.99, available for iOS)

Players that are fans of puzzle games would easily name The Room and its sequel as some of their favorite, especially given their detailed design. Now the series returns with The Room Three, complete with new puzzles to solve, and a solid atmospheric design and alternate endings. Fireproof’s previous Room games have been both critical favorites and best-sellers, with the series selling over 5.4 million copies to date across both platforms. The Room Three will no doubt follow suit, and has already earned a recommendation on Apple’s App Store as an “Editor’s Choice.” The trailer, located here, is chock full of suspense and melds cinematic shots with elements of gameplay.

The Room series has been a huge success for Fireproof Games, which now comprises 3 of 4 games they have produced. The developer has dipped their toes into VR with Omega Agent, a game created for Samsung Gear VR that promises “Secret agent training. With jetpacks,” is also puzzle-driven.

Bigfoot Hunter (R2 Games, free-to-play, available for iOS)

Fans of the classic game Pokémon Snap on Nintendo 64 have a lot to like about Bigfoot Hunter. In this newest effort from R2 Games, you’re tasked with taking pictures of Bigfoot and his friends, using a number of cameras and accessories to get the right one. The more good pictures taken, the more the player has the potential to unlock. Additional equipment can be purchased via in-game gems as well.

Bigfoot Hunter is the work of Dave Bisceglia, CEO of TapLap, and has earned awards at GamesBeat (winning first place) as well as Best Game at the recent GDC Next event. It definitely has that Pokémon Snap sort of appeal, but with a comical flair that appeals to kids of all ages.

With Bisceglia behind the game, Bigfoot Hunter should be receiving a fairly good media push over the next few days. The game is getting pretty good buzz on Twitter, with positive reviews and word-of-mouth.

The Peanuts Movie Official Storybook App (Cupcake Digital, $.99, available for iOS)

With The Peanuts Movie arriving in theaters today, Cupcake Digital has released a supplementary app that allows children (and fans of the characters created by Charles M. Schulz) to follow the storyline from the film, complete with narration. In addition, they can interact with coloring pages as well, adding stickers to each scene and even “partying” with particular characters from the Peanuts universe, including Snoopy in his “Joe Cool” guise.

Schulz’s work with The Peanuts has continued to appeal to young and old fans years after his death, and with the new movie receiving a huge promotional push (and set to take a second place finish behind the new James Bond film Spectre, with a reasonable box office draw), the app is sure to draw plenty of fans and the promotion behind The Peanuts Movie helps abundantly. Even “blockheads” will enjoy it.

Lego Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin (WB Games, $4.99, available for iOS)

Lego games have done well on the mobile front, thanks to releases like Lego Batman and Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga. This week, the original franchise Ninjago gets a turn with Shadow of Ronin, an adventure based on the popular series. In it, players will take on enemies both on foot and in vehicles, using special Spinjitzu powers and other abilities.

Like most Lego games, this one looks to be fun for kids and parents alike. The ninja theme is “cool” enough for older players to accept, and younger fans of Ninjago can get into it as well. Plus, if previous Lego titles are any indication, the gameplay should adapt quite easily to tablets, with two different styles virtual D-pad and casual available. Go, ninja, go!

The Lego name should help push the game, especially with the recent success of Lego Dimensions for consoles. The cartoon series also has a strong following, so that will tie in as well. We won’t be surprised if the game gets cross-promoted with the show as well.

Authenticity is Key to Reaching Millennials

It can be challenging for some marketers to reach out to millennials, leading to mixed messages in advertising.

Fortunately, there’s a right way, as detailed at a recent eMarketer Attention! event.

Speaking on the panel, Kathryn Minshew, founder of TheMuse (a career resource company), noted, “Millennials don’t follow the rules of marketing.” She then went into further detail talking about how the site effectively reached out to these audience, using unique methods for job marketing to younger people. This includes requirements such as job advertisers having professional photo and video taken at their offices, so that job seekers could see what kind of work atmosphere they have.

Hilary DuPont, social strategist for Chobani Greek Yogurt, suggested creating real-world experiences that would appeal to them. Instagram is a key way of doing this, but it helps to find an experience that’s tangible to them, before they go about sharing them.

Fatherly (a website for parents) co-founder Simon Isaacs added that a lot of millennials are entering a key market: parenthood. With that, marketers need to shift their efforts, going from first catering to the mothers to shifting towards how household chores and activities are being shared with younger kin.

The report also pointed out how many millennials tend to use ad-blockers, indicating that a change is necessary for advertising to be more effective with them. 63 percent of those polled stated that they use some form of ad-blocking, while 33 percent don’t. That’s a contrast difference, indicating there’s still a hefty audience to reach out to.

eMarketer also broke down Instagram user penetration by age group over the next few years. Older audiences didn’t fare as well as the 25-34 market, which sat at 48.1 percent in 2014, and could grow as high as 66.4 percent by 2019. However, the 12-17 age audience shows the biggest numbers, going from 87.4 percent this past year, and set to rise to 91.7 percent in just a few years’ time.

It’s a key time for marketers to find a program that fits millennials’ needs, without pandering to them to the point of turn-off.

Activision Blizzard Is Taking Steps To Become a Full-Blown Entertainment Company

Fans went wild over the new Warcraft trailer, which debuted at BlizzCon 2015 today during the keynote presentation. However, the preceding Activision Blizzard Investor Day presentation revealed that this movie is just the beginning.

Activision Blizzard, publisher of popular games like Call of Duty and the forthcoming Overwatch, announced the formation of Activision Blizzard Studios, a division completely devoted to creating original films and TV shows based on its franchises. It’s completely separate from the partnership with Universal for Warcraft, but has similar goals: to bring popular game franchises to new mediums.

Nick Van Dyk,Co-President of Activision Blizzard Studios, reveals that one of the upcoming projects is to bring the Call of Duty franchise to movie screens. This includes forming a “robust cinematic universe,” and will include “a series of Call of Duty feature films as well as the possibility of television adaptations.” However, the studio will take its time with this franchise, and we won’t see the first release until at least 2018 or 2019. In the meantime, fans can have fun by playing Call of Duty: Black Ops III, which released today.

call of duty movie

For more family-friendly entertainment, there’s Skylanders Academy, a new animated series based on the best-selling interactive toy and game series. The show is currently in production, although a broadcast partner hasn’t been revealed just yet. Futurama writer Eric Rogers is on board as the main show runner, and the cast features a number of superstars, including Justin Long as the iconic Spyro the Dragon, Ashley Tisdale as Stealth Elm and comedian Norm McDonald, as Glumshanks. The series is expected to debut sometime in mid-2016.

skylanders tv show

Only Nick Van Dyk, formerly a Disney executive, will lead Activision Blizzard Studios alongside another top creative executive who will be announced soon.

“Activision Blizzard is home to some of the most successful entertainment franchises in history, across any medium. With the launch of Activision Blizzard Studios, our engaged fans can now watch the games they love come to life across film and television,” said Bobby Kotick, Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard. “Activision Blizzard Studios is yet another way we’re celebrating our players and fans, and we expect that our film and television productions will entertain and delight whole new audiences, as well. I’m excited that Nick and his team will be leading this important new growth opportunity for Activision Blizzard.

“We intend to approach film and television development with the same unwavering commitment to excellence we are known for in game development,” he added.

“Activision Blizzard Studios has the unique advantage of starting with a library of world-class intellectual property that includes some of the largest franchises which have not yet been developed in film and television,” Van Dyk added. “Our library spans more than 30 years of global entertainment culture and, in the last 12 months alone, fans of Activision Blizzard properties have played and watched our games online for more than 13 billion hours. This gives us a huge, passionate and deeply-engaged audience that is hungry for more great content built from the universes they already know and love-and which are extremely broad in their appeal.”

This is another big announcement for Activision this week, as the company confirmed just a few days ago that it purchased mobile game publisher King for an estimated $5.9 billion. If the trailer for Warcraft, which can be seen below, is any sort of indicator, we can expect big things from Activision Blizzard Studios.

10 Pinterest Influencers You Need To Know

This past summer, Pinterest hit 100 million users, which is impressive considering their userbase was just half of that a year and a half ago. With Promoted Pins and easy-to-use Buy buttons, the platform has attracted the attention of many marketers. Beyond brands harnessing these utilities themselves, many have been keen on opportunities to partner with “Pinfluencers”. VH1 for example got over 600k new followers based on an influencer-created pin in just a week which generated a brand lift of 40 percent for the campaign.

So who are these Pinfluencers and what are they doing on the platform Let us enlighten you.

Capcom’s Matt Dahlgren: “ESports Is A Huge Priority For Us”

Street Fighter V is the first Street Fighter game that’s been created with eSports in mind,” said Capcom’s Matt Dahlgren. Capcom recently launched the Capcom Pro Tour, created as a destination for competitive Street Fighter gaming. “We’re going through tremendous growth, even on this second season. We’ve pretty much doubled in size compared to the first season.”

Events have been key to fostering Street Fighter‘s competitive community. Capcom now partners with over 40 events globally and in December, they’ll be holding the 3rd Capcom Cup. This year’s event is going to be a big one, and a landmark eSports moment for fighting games. “This December at Capcom Cup will be the first time a a fighting game player walks away with a six figure paycheck from a single win.”

Dahlgren gave some insight into their collaborative relationship with Twitch when it comes to eSports. “Twitch is a huge partner of Capcom. We’re actually 50/50 partners of Capcom Pro Tour, so it’s not Capcom effort, it’s a Capcom/Twitch effort.”

“They’re making the right moves when it comes to eSports and the rest of the publishers are paying attention and they’re growing up that aspect of their business.”

Capcom has been working closely with influential streaming talent to market their games. “There’s a tremendous amount of reach when it comes to dealing with live streamers and we’re paying attention to the ones that are out there pushing our products and we’d like to work with them more and better yet on the Capcom Pro Tour. We hire them out to handle some of our broadcasts. It’s very integral to our strategy.”





Sprite Finds Snapchat Success With Two Million Views

There has been some questions in the past as to whether or not companies can find success using Snapchat, especially considering how temporary advertisements are with it. Regardless, that hasn’t stopped big name partners from stepping up, like Sony in promoting the upcoming James Bond film, Spectre. Now Sprite is running its own unique Snapchat campaign.

Digiday reports that the soft drink manufacturer recently launched a promotion in Brazil, where millions of cans had Sprite’s Snapchat QR code on them. As a result, users could scan one of the 15 different images to connect with Web celebrities via Sprite-based stories and other features.

The promotion has paid off in a big way, with the ads being viewed over 2.3 million times in just two days’ time, according to those behind it. However it’s difficult to account for the unique viewer numbers, since view counts on Snapchat don’t reflect a total audience, as some view the ads more than once.

Even though Snapchat has paired with companies in the past on promotions, this is the first time that Snapchat QR codes have been physically put onto a product.

snapchat qr

Who Were Television’s Biggest Video Game Ad Spenders in October?

Despite the rise of cord cutters, television is still one of the best ways to reach shoppers during the holiday season. Video game advertising has strongly embraced TV ads last month to promote hot console titles coming out this fall.

VentureBeat reports that, for the month of October, console games hold four of the top five spender spots in the gaming industry. In total, 35 gaming brands ran a total of 97 commercials about 22,000 times on television, for a total of $72 million in airtime.

The companies that top the list include Activision, which leads the charge with 22.9 percent, thanks to hit titles like Guitar Hero: Live and Call of Duty: Black Ops III. In second place is Microsoft at 14 percent, which has been heavily pushing Halo 5: Guardians with cinematic ads, along with promotion for Rise of the Tomb Raider, which arrives next week. Following in third is Ubisoft with 12.6 percent in promoting Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, and Sony in fourth with Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection (pictured above) as its big holiday push.

Activision spent about $15 million with the two spots for Guitar Hero Live and Black Ops III, and got 22 percent of the digital response for the entirety of the month as a result. Due to this, it’s likely to continue TV promoting, especially now that it recently acquired mobile giant King for $5.9 billion. The Guitar Hero: Live spot, featuring Lenny Kravitz and actor James Franco, is below.

Meanwhile, Microsoft came close behind with its live-action Halo 5: Guardians ads, with three in total running over the course of the month. Its “Launch” trailer got the most television plays, airing 472 times during the month. That ad can be seen below.

Ubisoft’s “Save London” ads for Assassin’s Creed Syndicate gave it an easy win in third place, running nearly 500 times over the month. Meanwhile, Just Dance 2016 also got some promotion, with five ads running throughout October.

Sony’s big push for Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection helps prepare for the release of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End next year. The company accounted for over five percent of the overall ad-spend for the month between the game ads and promoting its PlayStation Vue game streaming service, even though it’s available in limited markets right now.

Finally, GungHo made the bottom part of the top spenders list, but still managed to gain good numbers with its “Subway Fight” ad for Puzzle & Dragons, which aired over 2,000 times in October with a 5.35 percent share of ad spending for the month.

November’s list will probably look very similar. With the upcoming releases of Call of Duty Black Ops III and Rise of the Tomb Raider, Activision and Microsoft will probably be in the top five again as we draw closer to the holiday.

‘Halo 5: Guardians’ Sets World Records

Microsoft has gone all out when it comes to promoting the mega-sequel Halo 5: Guardians, which includes hosting a worldwide global celebration with a six-hour live-streaming event and an elaborate TV campaign that hinted at a conflict between veteran Master Chief and newcomer character, Spartan Locke. It looks like this has all paid off, since not only is Guardians a huge financial success, but its marketing blitz earned a spot in the Guinness World Records in the process.

Halo 5: Guardians has generated over $400 million in global sales in its first week, topping the previous record of $300 million set by Halo 4 back in 2012. This makes Guardians the “biggest Halo launch to date,” pushing the overall franchise lifetime revenue to over $5 billion. These sales numbers also include hardware bundles, such as the special Halo 5 Xbox One package, which retails for for $499.

However, Microsoft’s six-hour live broadcast did more than increase hype for the long-awaited sequel than anything else. Guinness World Records officially recognized it as the “Most Watched Video Game Launch Broadcast” in history. Aired on both the Xbox YouTube channel on and Xbox One game consoles, over 330,000 unique streams were accounted for, and 5.5 million views were garnered by the end of the first week.

The broadcast deserved the attention, since it featured a variety of original content for fans to enjoy. They included behind-the-scenes interviews with the development team, talks with actor Nathan Fillion (who voices the character Buck), and a sneak peek at a new animated series based on Halo: The Fall of Reach, which launches sometime next year.

Halo 5: Guardians is Microsoft’s biggest weapon in the upcoming holiday sales war. Other big draws include various console bundles such as the new Xbox One Elite package, along with popular game exclusives like racing simulator Forza Motorsport 6 and the highly-anticipated Rise of the Tomb Raider, which arrives next week. For now, Halo is doing a fantastic job with rocking the world.

How Tribeca Games is Kicking Off with ‘League of Legends’

Tribeca Games is an initiative launched by Tribeca Enterprises. Similar to how the Tribeca Film Festival (which drew in over 467,000 attendees last April) celebrates movies, Tribeca Games showcases the artistry, innovation and storytelling of video games through events and partnerships. Its inaugural event — ‘Tribeca Games Presents The Craft And Creative Of League Of Legends‘ “ is set to take place on November 13th in New York City, and will feature Riot Games, developer of League of Legends, one of the most popular games and eSports in the world.

More than 67 million worldwide play League of Legends each month, and the game recently finished its 2015 World Championship, where $2,130,000 in cash prizes were awarded to winning teams. Additionally, Riot Games connects with its vast community through initiatives like its filmmaking team, which has produced two documentaries spotlighting its players.

[a]listdaily speaks to Patty Newburger, Executive Vice President at Tribeca Enterprises and Riot Games to learn more details about the up-and-coming video gaming event.Â

Patty Newburger headshot

Newburger explains that, “At Tribeca, we celebrate storytelling, and we feel that some of the best stories and creative are found in gaming. Beyond being one of the most played games in the world, League of Legend’s ongoing evolution lends itself to extraordinary creative in and around the game. From the design, to music, to art, to champion creation, the creative process behind the game is truly unique and has captured the imagination of a large and highly-engaged community.

In addition to having a massive playerbase, League of Legends has a passionate community, and we wanted to make sure that we featured the game in the most authentic way possible. This is why we worked directly with Riot Games on programming the event. By working closely with Riot’s team and inviting Riot’s creative talent to share their process, we are able to ensure that attendees will get an organic behind-the-scenes look into the creation of the game.”

At the same time, Riot Games expressed that it was “honored to be part of the inaugural Tribeca Games event. Tribeca is such a respected group in the film industry that it’s exciting to see them extend their entertainment reach into gaming. Participating in the event is a unique opportunity for us.

With Tribeca’s focus on storytelling, events like Tribeca Games allow us to explore the creative side of making games. It’s an opportunity to dive a little deeper into discussing craft and how we think about the process of game development. Hopefully those insights can inspire future developers or even just help connect us better to players.”

“With the launch of Tribeca Games, people are excited that Tribeca now has a platform dedicated to gaming,” Newburger adds, when asked about the response to Tribeca Games event in comparison to the Tribeca Film Festival. “Audiences know Tribeca as a brand that elevates creative voices — whether it be through our Festival’s film screenings, our Tribeca Talks program, music events, tech exhibits, and so on. The gaming industry attracts some of the best creative talent around, which is what we’re looking forward to showcasing through Tribeca Games.”

The Tribeca Games event works to celebrate League of Legends and its diverse fanbase, all the while bringing its fans closer to the developers. “Riot Games” mission is to aspire to be the most player-focused game company in the world,” the company explains. “It’s a trait we look for in potential Rioters and a value that’s reinforced all the time internally. If everyone’s thinking about the impact of their work on players and using that as their guide, we believe it will drive positive results. Attracting a large number of players is a byproduct of that effort.”

IIJERiiCHOII Talks Brand-Influencer Alignment

“I love to work with brands,” says Tucker, a Twitch and YouTube streaming personality more widely known as iijeriichoii. “There’s a time and place for everything. You can’t just brand everything and be like a walking billboard. At the same time, nobody should feel like they shouldn’t reach out or work with brands and companies because of some stigma.”

Tucker is careful when it comes to selecting which brands he works with, citing Monster Energy and El Gato. “They get it. They understand how advertising fits into the new media.”