Adult Swim Brings The Drive-In Theater Experience Back For Promotion

Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim spin-off network (which airs during late night all week long) is no stranger to giving its fans more than they expect, as it’s proven with its innovative Instagram program. Now, Adult Swim is bringing back the long-forgotten drive-in movie format for a newly introduced promotion one that’s bound to be a hit in time for the fall season.

Adweek has reported that the Adult Swim Drive-In, a six-week event that will visit 15 cities in the U.S., will kick off in September 17. Attendees 18 and up are welcome to attend (after RSVP’ing at the official Adult Swim site), and will be able to see a variety of unaired episodes from its programming line-up, including Rick and Morty, Robot Chicken, Squidbillies, Mike Tyson Mysteries and Tim and Eric’s Bedtime Stories, among others.

Viewers will be able to watch in comfort via an inflatable screen, and partake in trivia to win Adult Swim-related prizes. There will also be food trucks providing free food at each stop, along with a VIP viewing area (sponsored by Cricket Wireless) that includes free popcorn and candy from Hershey’s Jolly Rancher.

The tour will also tie in with the forthcoming horror-comedy Scout’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse in some stops, and Sony will provide a PlayStation Vue-labeled food truck, along with the opportunity to win PlayStation 4 consoles and bundle packs.

“Our strategy for events is to create something that allows our fans to connect with us and connect with each other, and to build on the strong relationship we’ve established with them through the linear network and our digital and social presence,” said Amantha Walden, senior director, talent and events, Adult Swim. “The Drive-In tour idea stemmed from our desire to create a fun, easily portable experience that focused on our content and gave our fans a special experience.”

“These events provide a fantastic opportunity to more closely align our advertising partners with the Adult Swim brand and help them to get in front of a desirable, hard-to-reach audience of millennial consumers,” said Joe Hogan, senior vice president of Turner Emerging Consumers ad sales at Turner Broadcasting.

The tour will cover a number of locations, including Pittsburgh (the first stop on the 17), Charlotte, Houston, San Antonio, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The final stop will be in Sacramento on Halloween, October 31.

Adult Swim tested out the drive-in concept before, at a previous event in Santa Monica back in March. Like its Fun House tour from last year, as well as the Adult Swim Block Parties and Ragbag of Jollification College Tour events before it, it turned out to be a big hit. The same is likely for the tour, especially with more popular faces like Rick and Morty (fast becoming one of the more entertaining shows on the network) and Mike Tyson.

Plus, customers won’t have to worry about wearing out their car battery a constant fear with some older drive-ins.

Now Hiring This Week: September 2nd

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Google Debuts New Logo

The times, they are a-changin’. After 17 years, Google has changed its routine logo into something a little more modern with the times — and that keeps its brand more consistent across the new divisions and product lines that resulted from Google’s recent reorganization.

After sticking with a logo that has kept a colorful but somewhat plain typeface for almost two decades, the company changed it this morning, going with a more contemporary appearance, but still keeping the same colorful motif, as you can see above.

VentureBeat initially reported on the logo, stating that Google changed it in an effort to revamp its “identity family,” so that people would be able to recognize it better in terms of design branding. This includes seeing it on computers, phones, televisions, watches and more. The video below highlights just how the logo has “evolved.”

As to why the change was specifically made, the company released the following statement:

“It doesn’t simply tell you that you’re using Google, but also shows you how Google is working for you. For example, new elements like a colorful Google mic help you identify and interact with Google whether you’re talking, tapping or typing. Meanwhile, we’re bidding adieu to the little blue ‘g’ icon and replacing it with a four-color ‘G’ that matches the logo.”

“This isn’t the first time we’ve changed our look and it probably won’t be the last, but we think today’s update is a great reflection of all the ways Google works for you across Search, Maps, Gmail, Chrome and many others. We think we’ve taken the best of Google (simple, uncluttered, colorful, friendly), and recast it not just for the Google of today, but for the Google of the future.”

The company also released a couple of animated GIF’s to show the subtle differences between the old and new logos, which can be found below.

“Everyone who’s going anywhere is going mobile, and that means making things more streamlined, easier to read and more intuitive to interact with. Google’s new makeover makes the most of this, with simplified letterforms, iconic imagery and colorful, eye-catching animations. Bravo, Google,” said Ayzenberg’s Stu Pope, regarding the rebranding.

The news comes on the heels of the company’s recent Alphabet announcement, which will bring another parent company into the fold sometime over the next few months. How that will be effective has yet to be seen, but we’re likely to see more details — and not just the cryptic “G is for Google” — very soon.

Adult Women Are the Biggest Demographic In Gaming

Women may still be in the minority among workers in the games industry, but women have been rapidly becoming an ever bigger part of the gaming audience. The latest report from the Entertainment Software Association, they’re clearly gaining ground, and among all gamers women are 48 percent of the total. More than that, once you break up gamers into age ranges, women are doing extraordinarily well.

As reported by the Daily Dot, the ESA states that adult women are now the largest single demographic in the gaming community. Women over the age of 18 represent 36 percent of the overall gaming population, compared to the second largest demographic, adult men over 18 (at 35 percent of the total).

This is mainly due to the introduction of various platforms to play on, including social games on mobile, as well as casual games on PC’s being the real attention getters.

Older women are getting in on the gaming action as well. The study indicates that women over 50 managed to jump by 32 percent between 2012 and 2013. In addition, the audience for computer and video games now appears to be split right down the middle almost, with 50-50 between male and female audiences.

As you can see by this chart, the numbers certainly add up — and age also plays a factor as well, with more women over 36 plus years of age gaming more than those under 18.

Casual computer games seem to be the most popular with females, as online and mobile puzzle games, board games, trivia games and card games, all show a huge spike in popularity.

In terms of general audience size, the U.S. has an impressive amount overall, with 59 percent of Americans playing some form of games, while 51 percent of all U.S. households have some form of game console, like the Xbox One and/or PlayStation 4.

 

Image source

How ‘Disney Infinity’ Appeals To All Audiences

Disney Infinity 3.0 is now available in stores, and, as with previous games, it promises a hefty amount of gameplay options based on interactive toys as well as the popular Star Wars license. But its appeal is widespread, not only with older fans of the series and kids, but also male and female audiences.

GamesIndustry International recently spoke with Disney Interactive s video president of production John Vignocchi about the latest release in the series. He admitted that the developers behind the game (including Ninja Theory and Sumo Digital, working on particular sections of Infinity) underestimated the appeal of the game, figuring it would be around 70 percent male and 30 percent female.

It actually evened out. With Disney s IP treasure chest of powerful and strong female characters, we actually are seeing a split with Infinity that s more 50 percent boys and 50 percent girls, he explained.

With young Jedi Ahsoka Tano included in the game s Starter Pack, and other characters, like Princess Leia and a female lead from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, being introduced in the next few months, that female presence is stronger than ever.

Speaking with GuideLive, Vignocchi explained, “Infinity has become what’s known as the pivotal four-quadrant brand, which in the Walt Disney Company is something that speaks to males and females, old and young. We have as many non-parent adults and parents playing Disney Infinity as we do 6-12 year-olds and teens.”

And the appeal doesn t just lie with Infinity, either. Other games, like Skylanders SuperChargers and Lego Dimensions, could have such an appeal as well. In fact, Vignocchi even praised Dimensions, indicating that increased competition with these toy games would actually expand the market, rather than flooding it with unnecessary product.

The Star Wars franchise in itself has proven to be appealing to all sorts of groups, and marketing partners with the forthcoming The Force Awakens suggests that LucasArts is reaching out to more than one type of audience, with partners that not only include Subway and Verizon, but also make-up brands, like Covergirl and Max Factor.

Disney Infinity 3.0 is available now for various consoles.

Microsoft Announces Xbox One Elite Bundle

Microsoft is no stranger to producing successful results with its Xbox One system bundles, packaging them with a number of extras, including special editions with games such as Sunset Overdrive and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. With its latest bundle, however, it doesn t just pack in a particular game it packs in a way to change how players could game.

Per its Xbox Wire page, the company has announced a new Xbox One Elite bundle, which features a number of tweaks that make it the most advance console it s sold to date. The system includes a 1TB hybrid SSD/hard drive, which optimizes system performance so you can get to the action up to 20 percent faster from energy-saving mode. In addition, it also comes with an Xbox One Elite controller, which was announced earlier this year at E3. With it, players can tweak their game performance with a number of customizable options, including interchangeable paddles, further customization with the Xbox Accessories app, Hair Trigger Locks and high-performance construction to provide an unparalleled experience every time you game.

This is one of the few instances where a company has sold a game bundle based more on hardware optimization than a special bundle, although Microsoft will still have those available as well, including specially designed systems based on forthcoming releases like Forza Motorsport 6 and Halo 5: Guardians, both due this holiday season.

In addition, if successful, this upgrade could very well be seen in all Xbox One consoles moving forward, since the additional hard drive space (compared to the usual 500GB that most systems come with) would be convenient for gameplay, and the promise of enhanced speed with loading could convince a few skeptics to give it a shot. The only question is the price, as the bundle will sell for $499 much higher than the usual $349-$399 the system has been selling for. Of course, the Elite controller by itself will be retailing for $149, so this bundle represents a pretty good deal.

 

Facebook Reacts To Reaching A New Landmark

Facebook has certainly produced big social numbers in the past, but now it s reached a pivotal point, with the announcement that it s hit a billion users in a single day.

Social Times reported on the story, which states that the site reached a billion connected users within the span of a single day. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and co-founder for the site, detailed his thoughts in this blog post:

We just passed an important milestone. For the first time ever, 1 billion people used Facebook in a single day.

On Monday, one in seven people on Earth used Facebook to connect with their friends and family.

When we talk about our financials, we use average numbers, but this is different. This was the first time we reached this milestone, and it s just the beginning of connecting the whole world.

I m so proud of our community for the progress we ve made. Our community stands for giving every person a voice, for promoting understanding and for including everyone in the opportunities of our modern world.

A more open and connected world is a better world. It brings stronger relationships with those you love, a stronger economy with more opportunities and a stronger society that reflects all of our values.

Thank you for being part of our community and for everything you ve done to help us reach this milestone. I’m looking forward to seeing what we accomplish together.

In addition, a post on the site repeated the life event. 1,000,000,000 People, Together: Today, for the first time, 1 billion of us connected and had the potential to connect and share ideas, thoughts and dreams. And no matter where we were, or what we did, we all did it together. This post on the site {link no longer active} also breaks down how vital the billion point really is.

Chief product officer Chris Cox also wrote {link no longer active} about reaching the milestone, thanking various employees and users in the process.

So, what does this mean for the site? Well, obviously, it indicates that social media is still as strong as ever, not only with advertisers and marketers, but also users. But it could also mark a turning point for it, indicating that an even larger audience could come on board in the months ahead, with the introduction of various new mobile devices (including the new iPhones being revealed next week) and other features that promise to make the social experience (and the advertising with it) more streamlined.

Congrats to Facebook now let s see where it goes from here, shall we

‘Borderlands’ Headed To Movie Screens

The movie business has been getting pretty serious lately about making films based on games we already have Warcraft and Assassin’s Creed movies on the way, and even Nintendo is thinking seriously about movies based on its games. Now they will be joined by Borderlands, being created by a partnership between game developer Gearbox Software and Lionsgate Films.

“We believe that we’ve brought together the right partners, the ideal creative team and the perfect property to launch a new motion picture tentpole for a global audience,” Lionsgate Motion Picture Group co-chairs Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement. The deal was negotiated by Lionsgate’s Peter Levin and Patricia Laucella, along with Summit Entertainment’s Geoff Shaevitz.

The Borderlands franchise has sold over 26 million copies since launching in 2009, and those numbers sound pretty attractive to filmmakers. The adaptation will be spearheaded by veteran Avi Arad and his son Ari Arad, whose credits include Iron Man, Spider-Man, X-Men and more. “Borderlands has a unique story-driven narrative energy and rich multi-dimensional characters that position it to become a singular motion picture event,” the Arads said in a statement.

Will we be seeing more movies made from successful video games That seems like a pretty solid bet, though of course we’ll have to see how the latest crop of movies turns out audiences. If they movies can attract any reasonable percentage of the gameplaying fan base, though, success seems well within reach.

DeNA’s Mirrativ App Livestreams Any Content

The mobile livestreaming space has been heating up this year, with Perisocpe and Meerkat getting traction while other apps like Mobcrush and Kamcord focus on gaming. Now Japan’s mobile game giant DeNA is entering the mobile livestreaming business with Mirrativ, its Android app that streams any game or app on your device.

The great benefit of Mirrativ is that it does away with cables or attachments to PCs in order to stream just three clicks and you’re sending whatever’s on your Anrdoid device screen to the world. Broadcasters can also add their face or voice to the stream with use of the front-facing camera. Unlike some other streaming apps, Mirrativ isn’t limited to pre-selected apps it just takes whatever’s on the screen and broadcasts it.

DeNA told TechCrunch that an iOS version is coming soon, but that will be limited to watch streams and not broadcasting them. TechCrunch opines that DeNA may have run into problems trying to livestream on iOS, though the introduction of iOS 9 with its ReplayKit API may well make that possible for developers to implement.

Mirrativ is available now in a limited beta before the full launch next month. With its ease of setup (it takes just seconds to get a broadcast going once you are set up, according to VentureBeat‘s hands-on experience), Mirrativ could give Periscope and Meerkat some interesting competition, especially by being able to put your own face and voice on top of what you are streaming. One lack right now, though, is there’s no easy way to capture what you’re streaming hopefully that capability will be added in the future, which would make this extremely useful indeed to all sorts of users.

Mirrativ and other livestreaming apps on mobile will no doubt drive video on mobile even further into becoming a common part of the mobile experience.

Mobile Grabs More Attention, But Games Lag

The mobile revolution continues to transform the media industry, and analytics firm Flurry (now a Yahoo subsidiary has some hard numbers from American mobile device users to show the details. In the second quarter of 2015, “American consumers spent, on average, 3 hrs and 40 minutes per day on their mobile devices. That is a 35 percent increase in time spent from one year ago and a 24 percent increase from Q4 2014. In just six short months, the average time American consumers spend on their phones each day increased by 43 minutes,” said SVP publishing Simon Khalaf in a blog post.

 

There are 175 million Americans with at least one mobile device now, and since November of 2014 that aggregate is spending an extra 125 million hours per day on their devices. That’s an impressive growth after seven years of growth, and it’s made mobile the top media channel for Americans — at least by time spent per day.

How that time is spent is also important. Only 10 percent of it is spent in a mobile browser, so apps are obviously king. Social, Messaging, and Entertainment are more than 50 percent of mobile time, growing an amazing 240 percent year over year. Part of that growth came at the expense of gaming, with its share declining from 32 percent of mobile time to 15 percent (dropping from 52 minutes per day to 33 minutes per day).

Khalaf believes that drop in gaming is due to three factors: lack of new hits, millennials shifting to watching games instead of playing, and gamers spending more time on fewer games by buying their way to the top.

 

 

It is somewhat daunting when you realize, as VentureBeat pointed out, that the top-grossing games of 2015 are mostly the same as the top-grossing games of a few years ago. The top tiers of mobile gaming seem to be very hard to break into, and if people are spending less time playing mobile games, where’s your opportunity to make money Any problem usually also represents an opportunity, and in this case it’s breaking through the clutter and the boredom with more innovative and engaging mobile games. Where these games will come from and what they will look like is unknown, but the opportunity is there — and there’s certainly no lack of companies trying to take advantage of that opportunity.