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games people play

Product Placement: Edge Shaving Cream Gets Into...Video Games?

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 7, 2014 10:21 AM

Video game enthusiasts may not be known for their grooming skills, but that hasn’t stopped Edge Shave Gel from cutting a deal with the makers of the popular game Assassin’s Creed.

With the Nov. 11 release of the game's latest version, players will now have the chance to unlock in-game content with codes found on limited-edition cans of Edge, according to a release from Edge parent company Energizer Holdings.Continue reading...

games people play

Hasbro Innovates with 3D Printed Ponies, Social Media Monopoly

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 12, 2014 11:19 AM

Hasbro is stepping out with new digital initiatives to position the gaming brand at the forefront of personlized play.  

One of the most exciting franchise updates has come to Monopoly. The latest iteration of the classic boardgame is My Monopoly, which lets players customize graphics and property names, Chance Cards, Community Chest Cards and tokens using photos from Facebook, Instagram, Flickr and Shutterfly.

In the UK, fans of Monopoly were invited to play an experiential version of the game at London's Westfield Stratford shopping center. Shoppers used their smartphones to select a "mover" and upload a photo, followed by a chance to see their personalized player take a turn after they shook their phone like it were dice.Continue reading...

games people play

Mobile-Focused Zynga Hopes to Turn the Tide with Sports Games

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 8, 2014 01:41 PM

Video game maker Zynga is trying to turn back the clock to get back to its gaming hayday, but its latest earnings report didn't provide much confidence. The brand reported a loss of $62.5 million in the quarter, and revenue was below expectations at $153.2 million. 

It's a time of transition for the brand that was at the top of its game for the past few years, riding on the wild success of Facebook-based games like FarmVille and Words With Friends before playing hours and sales started to slide. Now, the company plans to focus on mobile gaming over desktop. After all, as CEO Don Mattrick told analysts, “About 32 percent of time spend blended between smartphones and tablets is spent having fun.”

Just six weeks ago, Zynga released FarmVille 2: Country Escape, and Mattrick told shareholders that the company realized it missed a major opportunity to capitalize on the rise of mobile gaming back when it launched the original FarmVille—an opportunity that Mattrick vowed the company won't miss again.

"We’re cleaning up some of those misses and getting to a point of view on what categories are important and how to build great teams, great leaders and go after it in the mid-term but in a persistent way,” Mattrick said.Continue reading...

games people play

Nintendo Outlook Worsens as it Falls Behind in Evolving Gaming Market

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 31, 2014 01:37 PM

Nintendo could use a video-game superhero to come to life and help save its fortunes. The company is still struggling despite Wii U sales tripling in the last quarter.  

510,000 Wii U consoles were sold in the quarter while Nintendo’s 3DS sales fell 41 percent over the previous year, dropping to below a million, according to TechCrunch.

Part of the issue is that Nintendo won’t allow its games to be played on mobile devices, holding on tight to its 3DS handheld gaming platform. "The handheld device market is pretty much shrinking because smartphones have the same screen size and you cannot use the device for anything else other than gaming," Eva Hunyadi, research analyst at Juniper Research, told CNBC. "Handheld games are shrinking and probably going to get close to exiting the market by 2019."Continue reading...

games people play

Sony Powers Up PlayStation and Virtual Reality at E3

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 10, 2014 12:57 PM

E3, the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo, is underway in Los Angeles, with one brand already making noise with major announcements: Sony. 

Its presentation, featuring the anticipatory tagline "Greatness Awaits," was both a games extravaganza and consistent attack on Microsoft’s Xbox One. Sony Computer Entertainment president and group CEO Andrew House went out of his way to point out that playing on the PS4 means getting “the highest visual quality” and that games “look better” on the Sony system, according to TIME

Beyond a slew of new and updated games for the PS4, Sony had a few hardware items to show off including PlayStation TV, which is now available in Japan and is coming this fall to North America and Europe.

Essentially a rebranding of Vita TV, the $99 PlayStation TV will "let you play Vita games as well as original PlayStation classics, let you stream games from your PS4 to a second TV and offer access to PlayStation Now, Sony’s PS3 games-streaming service, which Sony says will be available in open beta on the PS4 in the US and Canada beginning July 31.”Continue reading...

games people play

Standing Firm on Mobile Denial, Nintendo Looks to Focus on Health and Fitness

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 5, 2014 06:51 PM

While the rest of the gaming industry scratches its head over why Nintendo chooses to eschew the fast-growing mobile gaming category, Nintendo has instead turned its focus to an almost equally hot industry—health and fitness.

Nintendo President Satoru Iwata told investors Monday that the company is redefining “entertainment” to include "health."

“We have set health as the theme for our first step and we will try to use our strength as an entertainment company to create unique approaches that expand this business,” Iwata wrote. "What Nintendo will try to achieve in the next 10 years is a platform business that improves people’s quality of life in enjoyable ways.”Continue reading...

games people play

Japan's Edge In Mobile Gaming

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 12, 2013 10:05 AM

Japan is arguably the leader in the psychology of mobile gaming. “In Japan, each downloaded game earns three times the global average on Apple devices and six times the world-wide norm on Android devices, according to an App Annie report out yesterday.  

“Better than any other country, Japan's mobile game makers have cracked the revenue code despite having few world-wide megahits,” says The Wall Street Journal. “The secret: an industry that is constantly experimenting with new ways to master the psychology of mobile payments.”  

Cash from global games has placed Japan ahead of the U.S. in app revenue on phones and tablets overall, and App Annie reports that in October 2012, Japanese gamers spent 30 percent less than U.S. consumers on gaming apps, but this October, it reversed to roughly 30 percent more spent. Continue reading...

games people play

Microsoft’s Xbox One Wins Black Friday Battle Despite Another Marketing Mess-Up

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 2, 2013 06:39 PM

Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4 were both released in the weeks before Black Friday in the hopes of generating some early holiday sales. But whatever happened ahead of the biggest shopping weekend of the year is now forgotten, as Microsoft's Xbox systems have emerged as the clear winner in console sales. 

According to Escapist Magazine, Xbox One and Xbox 360 accounted for 61 percent of all gaming consoles sold on Black Friday. So where was Sony? The company’s PS3 and PS4 systems were responsible for 30 percent of the sales, but the consoles were also apparently understocked, according to analyst Jon Brelig. "Microsoft's success can be largely attributed to limited availability of the PS4, in addition to Walmart discounting the Xbox 360 down to $99 for Black Friday," he said.

The Black Friday victory may be sweet for Microsoft, but that doesn’t mean the company gets a free PR pass. Microsoft, which has had a few marketing hiccups lately, had to apologize to the gaming public for a marketing coup that many felt was sexist.Continue reading...

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