games people play

Nintendo Wants You (to Want a 3DS)

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 12, 2011 04:05 PM

Nintendo can’t afford to relive the nightmare of last holiday season. In a world where money is already a little scarce, the company dealt itself a big financial blow when it couldn’t get its then brand-new 3DS handheld game completed in time to sell at the holidays last December. As a result, the Associated Press reports, Nintendo had “to slash its profit forecasts by more than half.” Ouch.

The device finally came out in Japan in February and in the States and Europe in March. Now 4.32 million of the things have been sold and the video-game maker would like to see some of their cash come holiday time.

In order to earn that, Nintendo “is readying an array of video games for the holidays in an aggressive attempt to make up for lost time,” the AP notes. Super Mario 3D (available Nov. 13) is proving a hot item judging by pre-orders, while fans are salivating over Tales of the Abyss, to cite just two examples.Continue reading...

doing good

Pizza Hut and Zynga Partner for Hunger Relief

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 27, 2011 12:04 PM

Pizza Hut, America’s largest pizza chain, 7,200 restaurants strong, has thrown down the gauntlet (again) against global hunger with "Share a Slice of Hope."

"Global hunger statistics are astounding, with nearly one billion people going days or weeks without a substantial meal," said Scott Bergren, Pizza Hut CEO in a release. "We want to make a difference and we're asking our customers and employees to 'Share a Slice of Hope' with those in need. Just $1 donated to the World Hunger Relief campaign feeds four children in need." 

Pizza Hut’s campaign, accessible on multiple donation channels including its website, has social gaming giant Zynga in its court for the first ever offline-to-online contribution rewards-based play.Continue reading...

games people play

Angry Birds Live: The Legal, and Illegal, Versions

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 27, 2011 11:01 AM

If you’re sick of incessantly staring at your mobile while madly pushing buttons to virtually chuck wingless birds at pigs in various structures with giant slingshots, Angry Birds Live is here.

If you were lucky enough to be in Singapore over the weekend, you may have caught the debut of the Angry Birds live crowd game. Rovio, in partnership with Singapore telco SingTel, worked with Uplause Ltd. to turn 50,000 Formula 1 Grand Prix fans into live controllers in a gigantic game of Angry Birds.

The co-branded event (see shaky video footage here) was the first in an ongoing partnership between Rovio and Uplause that's coming to major events around the world. Rovio CMO Peter Vesterbacka commented, “We think this new form of gaming will give fans a great opportunity to form a strong emotional connection with the characters.”

And on the unlicensed live Angry Birds front, trust China to take this to a new level.Continue reading...

video killed the _____ star

Netflix Launches Qwikster as Facebook Prepares Entertainment Hub

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 19, 2011 01:57 PM

The stock of Netflix has dropped nearly in half and thousands of subscribers have jumped ship since the company that essentially put video stores out of business announced that it would have a price increase two months ago.

On Sunday night, CEO Reed Hastings posted a mea culpa blog post and video (above) that stated "I messed up," adding, "It is clear from the feedback over the past two months that many members felt we lacked respect and humility in the way we announced the separation of DVD and streaming, and the price changes. That was certainly not our intent, and I offer my sincere apology."

Prices are returning to to what they were. Instead, the company’s DVD-by-mail service is going to be spun off and called Qwikster, which Hastings said wouldn't change the 12-year-old DVD service other than to create a distinct brand and website, Qwikster.com.

The Qwikster news comes as Facebook, where Hastings is a board member, is getting ready to announce a new media platform, according to the New York Times, which "will allow people to easily share their favorite music, television shows and movies, effectively making the basic profile page a primary entertainment hub."Continue reading...

viral buzz

Viral Video Watch: Gamer Commute

Posted by Michael Waltzer on September 15, 2011 05:25 PM

How long is your commute? What stops do you make on the way? Is it at all similar to a video game? FreddieW may be able to help you compare.

Trending on YouTube today, notching over 5.5 million views since launching  less than a week ago, is FreddieW's video "Gamer Commute." The video features a man on his way to work, but with a little twist — it appears he's in a video game. From jumping on moving cars to hijacking to a digital menu to pick out wardrobe, the video invites you to spot as many gaming references as you can.Continue reading...

sporting brands

Heineken Touts Legendary Football Players for UEFA

Posted by Michael Waltzer on September 13, 2011 03:56 PM

What better way is there to get people excited about a sport then by using beer? Especially a premium beer for a championship league? The NFL has Bud Light, and in Europe, the UEFA has Heineken.

On September 9th, Heineken International launched a new campaign, entitled "Legendary Football," for the 2011/2012 UEFA season.

The series stars five highly-respected footballers; Gianluigi Buffon, Rene Adler, Patrick Vieira, Clarence Seedorf and Ruud Van Nistelrooy, who between them possess almost 350 UEFA Champions League match appearances. Heineken aims to highlight the ‘stage’ of magical moments that UEFA Champions League and football legends create.Continue reading...

games people play

Angry Birds Fever Hits China Moon Festival, Wonderful Pistachios

Posted by Abe Sauer on September 13, 2011 11:58 AM

Can Angry Birds be stopped?

The mobile game that has reduced worker productivity in America by half (at least in my household) was already global, but now it's "glocalizing" as well to meet those new markets. For China's Autumn Festival, Rovio released a special "Moon Festival" theme for the game.Continue reading...

games people play

Electronic Arts’ Best Game: Avoiding Taxes

Posted by Anthony Zumpano on September 12, 2011 12:58 PM

When you contemplate the generous — some would say scandalous — tax breaks enjoyed by large companies, the benefiting brands you probably recall are multinational conglomerates like GE or “too big to fail” financial firms like Goldman Sachs.

But in addition to the kinds of brands that keep PR armies constantly marching in defense of their reputations, one sector that’s enjoyed extraordinary joy every April 15, according to the New York Times, is the gaming industry.

The Times focuses on Electronic Arts, which over the last five years paid $98 million in taxes – which sounds like a painful tax bill until you compute that if EA paid the full official US corporate tax rate of 35 percent, it would have shelled out $420 million on its $1.2 billion in profits.

Conspiracy theorists could claim that IRS agents are huge fans of EA’s Madden football game franchise, but the reality is that the company can take advantage of its three-headed brand identity: it’s a software-development brand, an entertainment brand, and an online retailing brand.Continue reading...

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