YouTube Leads Gaming Video Traffic Over Twitch

When they’re not playing themselves, more gamers are watching video game content. And while Twitch will remain a big part of servicing that audience with live streams and archived content, a recent infographic from Newzoo indicates that YouTube makes up a tremendous part of that traffic.

Over 500 million gamers will be tuning in to YouTube for gaming videos this year, according to the study. A majority of these will come from the Asian Pacific market, rounding at nearly 200 million regular viewers.

Other pertinent statistics include:

  • Over 470 million gamers watch online gaming content on a regular basis. That accounts for 56 percent of all gamers across North and Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific.
  • Audience size is expected to grow past the 500 million mark within 2016.
  • Online video is more than twice as effective at reaching big spenders than television is; 35 percent use YouTube to discover new games, whereas only 14 percent discover new titles via TV commercials.
  • The average viewer of gaming content on YouTube is a 28 year old male who has a high income.
  • YouTube is the largest platform for VOD game content and half of U.S. gamers watch it more than once a month. Twitch, the most popular live game streaming platform, has the highest reach in Latin and North America.

Despite competition from Twitch, the report notes that YouTube “still dominates around the globe” by at least a 2:1 margin. In the U.S., half of all gamers watch videos on a consistent basis on Google’s video channel, compared to 21 percent watching them on Twitch. These numbers show even greater difference overseas. In France, for example, 49 percent of gamers watch YouTube on a regular basis, while only 9 percent tune in to Twitch.

“Online video is the biggest thing to hit the games market since the launch of the iPhone in 2007,” Newzoo CEO Peter Warman said of the study. “Games are evolving toward cross-screen transmedia franchises right now. A direct consequence is the increased focus on communities of both gamers and viewers. This is creating enormous new growth and marketing opportunities for game companies and will accelerate the disruption of traditional media.”

That said, Twitch is certainly no slouch, as Newzoo also notes, via Games Industry that, “While it is correct that YouTube is watched by a much higher group of gamers than Twitch, the difference between the two platforms should be clearly stated (VOD vs. Live) to provide a fairer comparison.”

This follows Twitch’s recent report regarding record numbers for 2015, which shows that it’s a strong competitor to YouTube, even with these statistics.

The streaming platform is also looking into expanding its video playback feature, which could potentially sway more viewers in its favor.

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How ‘Homefront: The Revolution’ Rises Up To Build A New Future

Originally published by THQ in 2011, Homefront took players to the future where the United States was occupied by global superpower North Korea. Players had to gather forces to fight against the Korean People’s Army (KPA) and help liberate the nation.

The rights to Homefront were auctioned off and purchased by Crytek when THQ declared bankruptcy. Homefront: The Revolution was announced before it was sold again in 2014 to Koch Media, Deep Silver’s parent company. But like the freedom fighters depicted in the game, the developers continued to work on the game with strong resolve, despite its perceived setbacks.

Homefront: The Revolution made its big debut last August with a trailer called “Thank You,” featuring a boy giving a speech at a school thanking the occupiers for giving his country a new sense of purpose, supported with scenes of violence and revolutionary activity. A few days later, audiences were given an early look at the gameplay within the Red Zone, with more gameplay shown in the months that followed. Homefront: The Revolution will still have players fighting for freedom against an occupying foreign power on American soil, but this time with an all-new story, setting (Philadelphia) and features like an open-world and four-player co-op.

[a]listdaily caught up with Huw Beynon, global brand manager at Deep Silver, to talk about how Homefront: The Revolution will rise up and create a whole new perception for the franchise.

Deep Silver_HuwBenyon_headshotWhat would you say sets Homefront: The Revolution apart from other shooters?

Homefront: The Revolution has a unique premise in gaming that continues to drive huge interest in the intellectual property. It delivers the emotional experience of a war on your own soil. The player is cast not as a super soldier, secret agent or trained professional, but as a freedom fighter with a powerful cause: to liberate an oppressed population. We deliver this premise through the gameplay experience of guerrilla warfare. This is not a linear shooter where your overpowered hero steadily grinds his way past waves of enemies. You have to master the art of guerrilla warfare – hit and run, infiltration and sabotage – all while using the environment and your improvised weaponry against a technologically and numerically superior force.

Dambuster Studios has created an amazing gameplay sandbox that differs radically from Zone to Zone. In the fall, we showed our Red Zone experience, and we saw a few media outlets pin it as an ‘urban Far Cry.’ After unveiling our “resistance mode” co-op experience, we heard ‘Left 4 Dead meets Freedom Fighters.’ The Yellow and Green Zones have yet to be revealed, so there’s a lot more to this game than first meets the eye.

Living in a country occupied by a foreign nation may be a sensitive topic for some, even though Homefront is science fiction. How has promotion for the game worked with that?

Homefront: The Revolution deals with serious themes, not just from history books, but events that are happening around the world today. We see oppression, occupation and civil war happening to ‘other people’ on the news. Homefront asks the question, ‘What if this happened on our own doorstep?’ That ‘what if’ premise of Homefront is one of the reasons why the I.P. is so compelling. A core pillar of the brand is, ‘The familiar has become alien.’ Homefront works when you see images of Americana twisted and subverted – whether it’s the burnt out yellow school bus being used as a roadblock, to the brick row houses of Philadelphia hung with KPA propaganda. I think our audience is smart enough to realize that this is a work of fiction, but that the themes that Homefront explores are mature, timely and relevant. So long as we don’t try to exploit our audience, I am confident we can engage and inspire them with our premise.

Were there other challenges in promoting the game?

Homefront: The Revolution is a complete reboot of an I.P. that had a somewhat checkered past. A major challenge has been overcoming some of the preconceptions that came with that. We saw real value in the brand because the premise is so unique and powerful, but we’ve had to constantly prove that our product is ahead from the previous iteration. The original Homefront was great at establishing the fiction, but as a gaming experience, it didn’t match the full potential. Homefront: The Revolution is a much more ambitious product, with close to 10 times the content in single player; we need to keep proving that to our core audience who deserve to know that their $60 will be well spent.

Another challenge to overcome is the back story. The first Homefront depicted an alternate future where the North Korea of today grew to become a superpower capable of invading the U.S. within 15 years. Understandably, this fantasy did not convince everyone! It’s been well documented that the original antagonist was supposed to be China and THQ got cold feet, making the switch at the eleventh hour, so there’s little credibility in the notion that the North Korea we know today, despite their sabre-rattling, could ever invade America.

When Deep Silver acquired the I.P., we saw the opportunity to rip up this back story and come up with something new. We’ve created an entire alternative history and future, based on a divergent point in the 1950s that turns the world order on its head. In Homefront: The Revolution, the U.S. has been occupied by North Korea – but the story of how this could happen is, I think, one of the most interesting things about the reboot that we’ll be showing in the coming weeks and months. Suffice to say, while the old fiction was a blunt instrument, we think the new back story is smart, extremely topical and ripe for a lot of interesting interpretation.

Homefront: The Revolution seems to have had a tumultuous development. Were you nervous that the history might be an impediment?

Homefront: The Revolution’s development is a lot more stable than most reports suggest. Underneath the I.P. auctions, acquisitions and name changes, this is the same team working from the same office space, mostly at the same desks, for the past five years ever since THQ first signed the project. The sale of the I.P. to Crytek in 2013 gave the studio the opportunity to pause, take stock and re-scope the game from solid ground. However ‘tumultuous’ it may have been perceived, the development path has resulted in a game that we cannot wait to unleash.

What did you learn from the recent closed beta?

This was a proper closed beta with real development goals, and as such, the beta was a massive success. We tested our matchmaking tools, stressed the servers and obtained hundreds of gigabytes of telemetry that will improve the final product and hopefully a smooth day-one experience for the consumer. We held the beta early for a reason, so we could get the data and give ourselves time to take action and improve the final product.

We also learned that today’s consumer expects ‘beta’ software to closely resemble the final product quality; a lot of recent alphas/betas have only reinforced that idea. And you can’t argue against that. The consumer is right. We have to prove to them that the game they spend $60 on will be of the highest quality. I’m confident we will do that long before the May 17 release.

Brands That Stole the Show At the Academy Awards

Last night’s telecast of The Academy Awards was a huge hit, with millions of viewers tuning in. Spotlight got the big win as Best Picture, Leonardo DiCaprio finally won Best Actor for his performance in The Revenant and Mad Max: Fury Road scored six of the golden statuettes. But they weren’t the only big winners from Sunday’s show, as several brands got big boosts from the event, too.


In 2014, Ellen DeGeneres earned a huge social media victory when her star-filled selfie reached 255,00 tweets per minute, setting a new record. However, Leonardo DiCaprio winning a Best Actor award for The Revenant made short work of it, as his acceptance speech managed to draw a whopping 444,000 tweets per minute.

Thousands of fans tweeted out support for DiCaprio, as well as various memes and GIFs paying tribute to the actor. His glass-raising gesture from The Great Gatsby was an oft-seen highlight.



Not everything surrounding the Oscars was about the show itself. Android debuted a powerful (yet adorable) new advertisement that took the issue of bullying head-on. Featuring characters based on a rock, paper and scissors (like in the old childhood game), the ad has the three befriending one another as others attempt to push them around. It’s set to the tune of John Parr’s ’80s classic “Man In Motion (St. Elmo’s Fire).”

The ad saw a ton of responses on Twitter, with many viewers applauding its approach and its message: “Be together. Not the same.”

The Girl Scouts

The Girl Scouts took center stage at one point, as Chris Rock brought out a bunch of girls to sell cookies to the guests in attendance. It was a sweet moment, and it made for even better ones on social media when stars Christian Bale and Matt Damon shared a box.

The show ended on a positive note, raising over $65,000 in purchases and creating a huge push for the Girl Scouts.

Honda Civic

Even though it wasn’t an official sponsor of the show, Honda got some considerable love from comedian Louis C.K., who gave the Civic a little nod during his presentation of the Best Documentary Short Subject.

“This is the one Academy Award that has the opportunity to change a life,” he notes. “I’m happy for all of you, but you came here winners and you’re leaving millionaires.

“These people – this is documentary short film. It’s not even documentary feature,” he continued. “You cannot make a dime on this. These people will never be rich for as long as they live. So, this Oscar means something. All they do is tell stories that are important.”

He then joked that, “This Oscar is going home in a Honda Civic,” to much delight of the audience.

Honda responded in kind with the tweet below.

Warner Bros.

Even though there were no new reveals shown during the telecast, Warner Bros. hyped the forthcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice film (in theaters on March 25) on Jimmy Kimmel Live following the Academy Awards.

Along with an appearance by Batman himself, Ben Affleck smuggled his Academy Award-nominated buddy Matt Damon, Jimmy’s “sworn nemesis,” in his coat. The show also featured a humorous clip based around the film. The short features Affleck, Henry Cavill and Jesse Eisenberg having a discussion while Kimmel attempts to intervene, realizing that he’s in the presence of Batman and Superman. Meanwhile, everyone else pays no mind. The clip ends with Kimmel being knocked straight into Mars … where Damon’s character from The Martian is waiting.

Pokémon Celebrates Turning 20 In Style

It’s hard to believe that the Pokémon franchise is celebrating its 20th anniversary. The series initially got its start in 1996 with the release of Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue for the Game Boy, which led to more game releases, a popular television series that vastly expanded the brand, big-screen films and trading cards that would become a hot commodity for millions of fans around the world.

The 20th anniversary of a franchise this significant deserves a grand celebration—Feb. 27 was the official birthday. These are some highlights.

Devoted fan page

Accompanying the social media push and the #Pokemon20 hashtag, the Pokémon Company also launched a dedicated website where they showcased the love of all things Pokémon. These included pictures and videos that talked about the first time fans played the game, favorite memories and delicious looking food.

The company also promised that particular posts that made their way to Instagram with the hashtag could receive “something special” — perhaps a memento to celebrate the franchise’s 20th anniversary.

Twitch takeover

Throughout the entire weekend, the team at Twitch streamed a marathon of Pokémon-based programming, which drew a large community of viewers. At one point, the marathon even managed to attract 72,000 concurrent fans watching its programming, and it also became a huge draw on social media with thousands of #Pokemon20 tweets.

Considering that Twitch gained huge popularity with “Twitch Plays Pokémon,” where multiple users entered chat messages that translated into game commands, it makes sense that the streaming would take part in the immense celebration for the franchise.


Pokémon‘s special day

To celebrate the anniversary of the series, the Pokémon Company hosted a special event with various stores, including GameStop and Toys“R”Us, which offered various goodies for fans to collect. These included a special mythical Pokémon poster with the purchase of any product, and special foil cards featuring familiar Pokémon characters such as Pikachu and Magikarp. Special events also took place at a special pop-up shop at JapanLA, as well as Nintendo’s New York store, with fun activities for all ages.

Super exposure

The Super Bowl was center stage for Pokémon this year, as a commercial celebrated the 20-year legacy of the franchise. Looking to inspire with the catch phrase “I can do that,” the commercial transitions to an up-and-coming Pokémon trainer preparing for battle, while a hopeful parent looks on and encourages his kid to give it a try.

Afternoon soirée

Who says the Pokémon franchise is just for kids? On Saturday in West Hollywood, actress Drew Barrymore hosted a special Pokémon event, working as brand ambassador in the hopes of introducing the franchise to a new medium: fashion.


“I like the fact that I’ve been around forever and Pokémon has been around forever,” she told the The Daily Beast. “I think what they’re doing with fashion is very current with what Moschino and Opening Ceremony and Rodarte are doing. There’s a playfulness that we’re now allowed to have in fashion again, for the first time in years.”

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Bring on the games

It wouldn’t be a proper celebration of Pokémon if there weren’t any games coming out this year. Fortunately, both Nintendo and the Pokémon Company have plenty lined up.

Nintendo got the anniversary weekend started off on the right foot with the re-release of Pokémon Red Version, Pokémon Blue Version and Pokémon Yellow Version: Special Pikachu Edition for its Nintendo 3DS handhelds through its eShop. So far, the games are selling well with the nostalgic Pokémon community.

Those looking for on-the-go Pokémon action, but don’t own a 3DS, are in luck. Last year, Niantic announced an augmented reality game for mobile devices, Pokémon GO!, which is set to release for iOS and Android. Anticipation is very high, and fans can’t wait to “catch ’em all” in real-world environments.

On March 18, consumers will see the release of Pokken Tournament for Wii U, a Pokémon-themed fighting game that also includes elements from Tekken (thus the name). The game will feature a variety of characters battling in 3D fighting action. Given the collaboration with Bandai Namco, the game is gaining big buzz leading into its release, and will be included in the forthcoming EVO tournament, which will take place in Las Vegas this July.

Nintendo has also announced Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon, the first new games in the franchise since Pokémon X and came out in 2013. It’s expected to arrive during the holidays for the Nintendo 3DS, as detailed in the latest episode of Nintendo Direct.

No matter what fans are into on the Pokémon front, there’s something for everyone as the celebration for its 20th anniversary continues.

Consumers Unsure Of Data Safety With Advertisers

With constant fear of identity theft, sharing information is still a sizable concern with a plethora of consumers. That may explain why some are a little unsure about sharing it with marketers.

A recent study conducted by Syniverse (per Fortune) indicates that 75 percent of consumers polled stated that they don’t trust brands, even those that are well-known, with their information. What’s more, 55 percent have stated that their trust has been betrayed in one form or another.

Concern isn’t limited to the United States, as the poll was conducted across international markets that include Brazil, Britain and South Korea.

“The assumption is that end users will willingly share personal data in return for personalized services,” the report indicates. “But it looks like this assumption is wrong.”

That may explain the recent rise in ad-blocking services, both across desktop and mobile devices, as consumers look to keep their information secure.

The survey also points out that half of those polled have lost faith in mobile telecommunication operators to keep their data safe and use it responsibly, again bringing up potential security issues.

Only 14 percent of consumers stated they wanted to share information like location and interactions, while 30 percent said they weren’t willing to share any personal information whatsoever.

“Retailers, hoteliers, financial institutions and mobile operators need to rethink their approach to harvesting, managing and using private data,” the report concluded.

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Instagram Continues To Shine With Double-Digit Growth

It looked like Instagram might lose some of its advertising business earlier this year. However, it appears that prediction was a bit premature, as a new eMarketer report shows that it seems to be moving along just fine.

The social media channel will see steady traffic from consumers, with 89.4 million Americans logging into the site at least once a month, about a third of all mobile phone users. That will grow even further next year, as it’s expected to jump up to 51.8 percent of all social network users, pushing it past the 50 percent mark for the first time.

Instagram is expected to grow just over 15 percent in 2016. That will end up being nearly 27 million users in four years, which is double the users expected for Twitter and bigger than most social media sites available.

Millennials are still flocking to the service like crazy, with 48.2 million expected to join Instagram this year. However, the number will blossom even more by 2019, as two-thirds of all millennial smartphone users are likely to use the platform in one form or another.

“Instagram and its parent company, Facebook, know that mobile has changed the way people — especially millennials and Gen X-ers — communicate, share and get information,” said eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson. “That’s why they are leading the way in helping marketers reach this audience.”

A good chunk of that business will come from mobile. Around 9.5 percent of Facebook’s worldwide mobile ad revenues (20.1 percent for the U.S.) will come from Instagram alone, which will grow to 14 percent worldwide (and 28 percent in the U.S.) by next year.

“Instagram has a lot of momentum with advertisers, and its revenue is increasing rapidly,” said Williamson. “For marketers that want to target mobile millennials, Instagram is an attractive option.”

How Brands Can Learn More From Listening

A recent report from eMarketertitled “Social Listening for U.S. Brands: Deriving Actionable Insights from Conversations,” discusses the key points of gaining insight from consumers through social media.

Listening goes beyond monitoring; extending attention to social media conversations can be relevant, even if they don’t always include direct mention of the brand. (There are specifically designed webinars, like the “Learn the Earned Media Values for Social and Digital Endorsements” that help with that.)

However, a June 2015 poll shows that 39.2 percent of marketing executives agree that most data obtained through social media monitoring isn’t actionable, while 37.4 percent disagree.

social media monitoring

This brings up the point of how “social listening is looking at conversations that are happening outside of owned channels,” according to James Cooper, director of solutions development and social media intelligence for ICUC. “You can mine all of that data, all of those conversations that are happening on a plethora of social networks and blog sites online” for “actionable insights and information.”

According to a June 2015 Wayin report, the biggest reasons why companies aren’t mining deep into social data are:

  • Limited budget or resources, which makes up 47 percent of responses
  • Lack of quick staff response (43 percent)
  • Lack of search analytic tools (41 percent)
  • Lengthy content creation process (38 percent)

Sometimes it’s about finding the right question to ask, according to Erik Huddleston, CEO of public relations analytics software provider TrendKite. “Instead of saying, tell me everything every time the word X appears on any social networks … companies who employ social listening need to be micro in their ask.” Sometimes, looking at conversations that involve business cases or trends can make all the difference.

Real-time marketing can play a huge part, and the response window is pretty solid, according to the report. Of those polled, 49 percent usually respond within minutes, while only 8 percent can take a matter of days. 

Expediency can go a long way. A January 2015 poll conducted by AYTM Market Research indicates that, when it comes to customer service:

  • Nearly 20 percent of respondents feel that 30 minutes to respond via social media is a quick time.
  • 16.9 percent feel that five minutes is far better.
  • A select few, 3.9 percent, said that over seven hours is an acceptable time.

The success of a social media campaign can also come down to select targets, like engagement, audience, website traffic and customer satisfaction. It also depends on the size of the employment group, as 81 percent of small companies believe engagement is a big factor, compared to 85 percent of those with over a thousand employees.

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How ‘UFC 2’ Will Deliver A Knockout Fighting Experience

After scoring the iconic athletes Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor for the cover, EA Sports UFC 2 is out to continue winning players over with five new modes and an even greater sense of realism.

Chief among the new content is a Live Events mode, which ties in with real-world UFC fights. Then there’s Knockout mode, which does away with submissions in favor of straight kickboxing until an opponent falls unconscious — perfect for UFC 2‘s newest special character, Mike Tyson. The famous boxer will be reimagined as an MMA fighter, and appears as two versions: Iron Mike Tyson, at the start of his career, and the more experienced Legendary Mike Tyson.

[a]listdaily talked to Brian Hayes, creative director for UFC 2, about connecting the game to real-world events and what it takes to deliver a knockout game experience.

maxresdefaultTell us about Live Events … 

Live Events is a completely new feature, born out of looking at the telemetry from UFC 1, and we saw that more players were playing on weekends when there was a fight. And on those weekends, we saw more usage of the fighters fighting on that card. So, we wanted to make something that would help people engage with real-world events.

We open up a live event when a UFC event comes up, and there are two things you can do. First, you can play it as a fantasy pick ’em game. So, I can make a pick and say, ‘I think Stephen Thompson is going to knock out Johny Hendricks in the first round.’ If Thompson ends up knocking him out in the third round, I get points for predicting the win, but only a certain amount, because I didn’t get the round right. Those points can be used to buy packs for UFC Ultimate Team.

The other thing I can do is make the prediction, then play that round against the (computer). Regardless of what happens in the real-world fight, I get bonus points if I make my prediction happen in the game.

Live mode actually lets you play with the fighters that are in the upcoming event, and when it’s over, you get rewards and can check out leaderboards to see how you stack up against online friends. So, it’s a pretty cool tie-in with what’s happening with the UFC.

Do you have any kind of promotional partnership with the UFC for Live Events?

It’s to be determined, but there’s certainly opportunity. We open up a Live Event a week or two before the actual event happens, so players will have plenty of time to make their picks and predictions. At a very base level, we could give them the data regarding what fans are predicting in a fight that we hope they’d work that into the broadcast. They could talk about the most popular UFC 2 predictions before the fight happens. We could also give them in-game footage of that result as a pre-visual of the fight.

But we are definitely looking at events as they relate to Ultimate Team mode, where the announcer might say, ‘Check out UFC 2 Ultimate Team for the latest move of the night,’ at the end of an event. In a matter of hours, there will be new content and special moves, based on what happened during the event, that will be available for a limited time.

Can you go into more detail about the Ultimate Team mode?

It’s different from Madden, FIFA or NHL Ultimate Team, because this isn’t a team sport. But it lets you create up to five fighters that can become a team in the tradition of MMA teams that train together. Basically, you create a fighter, fight with that fighter, and win or lose, you earn in-game coins for purchasing fight packs.

Inside of these fight packs are new moves to equip your fighter with fighter perks, attribute boosts (consumable items to boost fighter ratings), training and fitness items. There’s a huge catalogue of in-game moves to customize fighters with, along with unique moves based on what happened at a recent UFC event.

As each one of your fighters gets better, your team levels goes up, so you can put more high level moves on your fighter. The other thing is, you don’t have to play online. You can play single-player Ultimate Team, but you’ll be playing CPU-controlled avatars of other users. If you have a full team of five fighters, they’ll earn coins for you if they’re used to fight other people in single player.

Can UFC 2 recreate the 13-second McGregor vs. Aldo fight?

I’ve knocked out people pretty quickly, and finished fights in as few as 22 seconds, but that fight was a one-punch knockout. That’s virtually impossible in the game. The chances of a straight one-punch knockout are about the same as they are in the real UFC, and the only person I’ve seen do it is Conor McGregor.

Maybe one or two other guys have done it, but if you look at how many fights there have been in UFC history, and how many happened in under 15 seconds … you end up with very small odds.

Even with Mike Tyson in the match?

He can finish guys quickly, if he lands punches. Yes, he is devastatingly powerful in this game. He can’t do any takedowns, doesn’t have any submissions and can’t do any kicks, but his punches are the most devastating in the game.

What inspired you to include Mike Tyson in the game?

It’s very similar to the Bruce Lee integration last year. We wanted to include somebody a little bit ‘out there,’ but not too far out there. We try to stay in the realm of famed combat sport athletes. Even though Bruce Lee didn’t fight, there’s nobody else in history who has had a greater impact on martial arts as a discipline and sport.

Mike Tyson is still one of the most recognizable athletes in the world. He was in his heyday right around the time the UFC was starting. So, there was the question of what would have happened if Mike Tyson was at UFC 1 instead of Art Jimmerson — the boxer who came in wearing one glove and got tapped out by Royce Gracie. Would it have gone differently?

Back in the day, everyone was asking the question: ‘Do you think you can take a punch from Mike Tyson?’ So, we decided to bring this to life a little bit. It’s fun to put Mike Tyson in that space, and play a career mode that builds him up not as a boxer, but as a devastating mixed martial artist.

Tyson is also good friends with [UFC president] Dana White and is a huge fan of the UFC. So we thought if we approached him, he’d probably dig it. Sure enough, he did.

Who’s more likely to win the most — Iron Mike Tyson or Legendary Mike Tyson?

Definitely Iron Mike Tyson, because he’s younger, faster and slightly more powerful. Legendary Mike Tyson is more experienced, but in a sport like UFC — where things can be ended in a single punch — Iron Mike Tyson does a little better. But they’re both plenty dangerous.


EA Sports UFC 2 releases on March 15.



What Marketers Need To Know About Mobile World Congress 2016

The Mobile World Congress, which took place in Barcelona, celebrated everything mobile across several days of panels, demonstrations and other activities. From the event, certain trends emerged that marketers will want to take note of. Here’s a quick rundown.

Ad-blocking and ad selling continue to clash

We discussed the growing concern over mobile ad blocking this week, and it continued to be a hot topic during a panel at MWC. The panelists went back and forth about the value (or consequence) that comes from utilizing ad-blocking on mobile.

Roi Carthy, chief marketing officer for Shine – a company that blocks ads for its 14 million subscribers – explained that it’s the “single biggest threat to online advertising.”

“It may be blunt, but we believe our strategy is about helping expedite a solution,” he explained.

Some are concerned by these solutions, like fellow panelist Benjamin Faes, Google’s managing director of media and platform, who felt these solutions were punishing publishers.

Allie Kline, CMO for AOL, explained that companies should be less concerned about ads that are being stopped and instead focus more on consumer-friendly ads that they wouldn’t want to block.

That’s not an easy solution, according to Pete Blackshaw, vice president of digital and social media for Nestlé. “How do we figure out the right win-win model?” he asked. “We can’t ignore publishers, but we have to be sensitive to consumers. So how do we seize the moment?”


Virtual reality finds a big presence

Even with bigger units like the Oculus and PlayStation VR set to arrive this year, more companies are pushing for a virtual reality experience on mobile.

LG introduced a virtual reality headset called the 360 VR that is already getting buzz, while South Korea’s SK Telecom is also receiving a lot of attention.

This, on top of Google’s recently proposed headset and Samsung’s Gear VR (which is being given away with Galaxy S7 pre-orders), indicates that consumers are more than willing to give mobile virtual reality a shot – especially if it comes at a fraction of the price of the more deluxe headsets, like HTC Vive’s $799 model.

The Internet of Things continues to grow

More Internet-enabled appliances were introduced at the MWC, and while some items are questionable (do we really need a Fitbit for dogs?), it all ties in to a much bigger picture.

Research firm Gartner noted that the market for these devices will reach $101 billion this year, a 30 percent increase over the $78 billion spent last year. This includes smart refrigerators and other gadgets that will utilize an Internet connection.

Whether these devices really take off has yet to be seen, but curiosity is paying off at the event, with thousands of attendees checking out these savvy gadgets.


5G is taking the mobile market to the next level

4G is a pretty solid connection speed for mobile carriers these days, but that isn’t stopping research from going into the next level, as several telecom operators began offering demonstrations of 5G support.

However, it’s still a ways off from market, as the first 5G ultra-fast mobile networks aren’t set to begin testing until 2018.

Still, marketers may want to start getting ready to hype this feature, as it’ll be the next big thing when it comes to convenience with smartphones, especially for those that want to watch streaming TV or quickly complete downloads of favorite games or other apps. Lower latency and reaction times are expected to be key features as well.

Expect more details as testing gets closer, by about this time next year. In the meantime, a Chinese telecommunications company called Huawei is already playing around with the idea of 4.5G, a faster speed it intends to test out sometime this year. It probably won’t be as highly anticipated as 5G, but to some consumers, faster is faster.

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‘ADR1FT’ Mixes Beauty, Danger And Destruction

Imagine the movie Gravity as a video game experience, and you’ll have some idea of what ADR1FT is all about. The debut game, developed by Three One Zero, has already made quite an impression, especially since it will also have virtual reality support to create a deep, beautiful and unforgettable experience. ADR1FT launches on March 28 for PC as a non-VR game, with Oculus Rift support and console releases at a later date.

The developer has also partnered with iam8bit to create a special collector’s edition, a 756-piece jigsaw puzzle, a packet of dehydrated astronaut ice cream and an embroidered space station patch that fits into the game’s fiction.

[a]listdaily talked to Adam Orth, creative director at Three One Zero, to find out what goes into promoting a weightless “lost in space” experience.

How would you describe ADR1FT to someone who has never heard of it?

ADR1FT is a narrative-driven FPX (first-person experience) about an astronaut who wakes up floating amongst the debris of a destroyed space station with no memory and a damaged EVA suit slowly leaking oxygen. Your goals in ADR1FT are to simply stay alive and get home safely. Along the way, you discover the stories of the crew members that didn’t survive the catastrophe and eventually learn about yourself and what caused the destruction.

How have you been getting the word out about ADR1FT?

We’ve been fortunate that the concept and premise is immediately compelling and that we can back it up with amazing software. Showing the VR version of ADR1FT to press and at trade shows has really gotten the word out, far past the normal game press. VR is definitely something people are interested in and we are able to give them an incredible experience.

Has promoting ADR1FT both as a regular game and VR experience been challenging?

The real challenge we’ve had is that our VR experience is in such high-demand, most people don’t know that the game will be available non-VR as well. We’ve been surprised how loud the VR excitement has been. It has almost completely drowned out the other way you can play ADR1FT.

In what ways does using an Oculus Rift to play enhance the experience?

Selling the fantasy of being an astronaut in peril is hard. VR has allowed us to tap into the primal emotions of people within a universal subject. How you really feel about space comes through when you are playing ADR1FT. It’s magical that hardware can do that.

Has virtual reality impacted the way ADR1FT was designed and promoted?

Developing ADR1FT for VR and non-VR was challenging in the way that we always had to consider things that were basically unknown and untested. We have a very smart team and we made bets based on our experience. Most paid off, some didn’t. That’s what’s kind of exciting about VR. Exploring the unknown and finding new things by searching in the darkness.


How did you and iam8bit partner to come up with the collector’s edition package?

I’ve been a huge fan of iam8bit for years and they approached us. I couldn’t say “yes” fast enough. They make really unique presentations of known products and turn them into something entirely new without compromising the soul and integrity of the original product.