games people play

Ninteno's Wii U is a Hit Out of the Box

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 27, 2012 04:17 PM

Conventional wisdom in recent months has had it that the video-game-console business is a dying one. Even though it still brings in big bucks, the culture is changing and people are playing games in different ways thanks to the proliferation of mobile devices and smartphones.

As noted by the New York Times, Nintendo — one of the game-console industry’s biggest names — really needs the new Wii U, a combo of a more audacious Wii and a tabletish gamepad that allows for multiscreen gaming adventures, to be a mega-hit. And it is looking like the company's launch campaign is paying off. Video game retailer GameStop opened 3,000 of its stores Friday at midnight to kick off Black Friday and promptly sold out of all of its Wii U consoles, the Times reports.

Reggie Fils-Aime, president of Nintendo of America subsequently told the NYT that the new console is selling in the U.S. as well as the original Wii did when it launched. More than 400,000 units flew out of stores in its first week on the market, which ended Saturday. The original Wii had sold 475,000 in that same time. “We are essentially sold out at retail,” Fils-Aime said. “As soon as we replenish product to retailers, it sells out immediately.”Continue reading...

games people play

Old Spice Taps Dikembe Mutombo to Save World Before Mayan Calendar Deadline

Posted by Shirley Brady on November 21, 2012 05:45 PM

With December 21st the Mayan calendar's end of the world deadline (finished your holiday shopping yet?), Old Spice today revealed on Twitter and Facebook the latest installment in the digital portion of its Believe in Your Smellf campaign: a video game called Dikembe Mutombo's 4 1/2 Weeks to Save the World, which features the retired NBA star and a sub machine gun with pickle laser. One Facebook commenter called it a "truly awesome time waster" — we'll let you judge for yourself. Credit, as with previous Old Spice campaigns, to Wieden + Kennedy Portland.Continue reading...

games people play

American Airlines App Pits Passengers Against Each Other in Trivia Battle

Posted by Shirley Brady on November 19, 2012 12:04 PM

Who needs in-flight entertainment when passengers can entertain each other? American Airlines' iPad app has been upgraded to add "Know It All," a free trivia game that pits fliers on Wi Fi-equipped flights against each other, in addition to passengers on other flights and players on the ground. The app is also updated for iPhone and iPod touch.

According to AA's press release, "From Nov. 19 to Dec. 31, 2012, fans who have "liked" American's Facebook page can register for a chance to win a weekly drawing for 100,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles. In addition, registrants who have downloaded the iPad app and played Know It All will be featured on a Facebook leaderboard. Each week, the Know It All player with the top score will receive an extra entry for the 100,000 bonus miles."

Download the app here.

game change

Streaming Media: Captive Media Raises Funding for Urinal Game Consoles

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 13, 2012 03:22 PM

UK ad tech startup Captive Media, as its name implies, is looking to reach captive audiences — which may explain why it's looking to bring marketers into the loo. The Chelmsford, England-based firm made a splash last year when its urinal-mounted-and-controlled game console appeared on the British version of Dragon’s Den as the first hands-free video gaming console of its kind. That appearance prompted Ogilvy and other British companies to sign up for a trial.

It just raised $700,000 in seed funding to expand its network of interactive units to even more bars, hotels and airports. How they work brings a whole new meaning to P.O.S. — the game action is controlled by aiming left and right. An infrared beam enables simple games and quizzes to be “pee-controlled” with nothing installed on the urinal itself other than washable stickers as points of desired interaction. According to its research, the average man spends 55 seconds at a urinal – 55 golden, undivided seconds with eyes focused straight ahead — so why not onto your brand or campaign?Continue reading...

game change

Guitar Hero Co-Creator May Be New Hero to Mobile Gamers

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 9, 2012 05:52 PM

Game developers are hoping that consumers will continue buying game consoles for their TVs as well as separate mobile gaming devices for their needs when they are on the run. But the work of one gentleman who has made a veritable boatload of cash from the gaming world may help bring those worlds together, much to the chagrin of gaming companies.

Charles Huang is the co-creator of Guitar Hero and now he’s at the helm of Green Throttle Games, which is “creating a new virtual game console for the television based on mobile phones and without the actual game console,” according to

The plan is for the controller, which should hit store shelves next year, to work with Android smartphones and tablets. The controller will connect wirelessly with the smartphone or tablet, which will be connected to the TV with a cable. That way, gamers can play the same game on their phones as they are playing on the TV.Continue reading...

games people play

The Halo Effect: Halo 4 Sets Records with Movie-Style Release

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 9, 2012 02:27 PM

"Halo 4" launched globally this week, becoming the biggest launch in the history of the franchise, selling 3.1 million units on its "opening day." The release even surpassed The Avengers, and expected to break all previous day-one entertainment sales records for the year.

Hundreds of thousands of fans lined up at 10,000 stores in more than 40 countries to be among the first players, with movie-style "premiere" events held in Seattle, Paris, London, Berlin, Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai and Sydney. They featured private screenings of the live-action digital series “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn,” photo opps with the Master Chief, and meet-and-greets with the game’s creators, Microsoft Studios’ 343 Industries, the internal Microsoft group tasked with maintaining the Xbox exclusive franchise.

“‘Halo 4’ marks a rebirth and a new beginning for one of the most beloved and iconic franchises in the modern history of entertainment,” stated Phil Spencer, corporate VP of Microsoft Studios. “Over the past decade, the ‘Halo’ franchise has become a bona fide pop culture phenomenon, and ‘Halo 4’ promises to take the franchise to a new level and set the stage for the next decade of ‘Halo.’”

For those non-gamers, the “Halo” franchise began with “Halo: Combat Evolved” in 2001 and the record-breaking, critically acclaimed franchise has sold more than 46 million copies, grossed $3 billion worldwide, and driven more than 5 billion hours of gameplay by people connected to Xbox LIVE. Even American Express partnered with Xbox to tap into gamers.Continue reading...

games people play

American Express Goes Gaming on Xbox

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 5, 2012 10:02 AM

In the challenging world of gaming console marketing, American Express has launched a co-branded experience that combines activity-based advertising and digital partnerships, building on AMEX's success with Foursquare, Facebook and Twitter.

The blue chip brand is taking its Card Sync technology to Microsoft’s Xbox LIVE’s “Halo 4” to unlock content and offers for U.S. cardmembers and for U.K. cardmembers.

Cardmembers can sync their Card to their Xbox LIVE Gamertag on their Xbox 360 console by logging in here (U.S.) and here (U.K.) to receive an Access Code, real-time, to enter in the American Express digital experience tile in the Game Marketplace in the Games section of the Xbox 360 dashboard, then share their Xbox LIVE Gamertag to be directed to the offer dashboard.Continue reading...

games people play

Nintendo Kicks Off US Wii U Marketing

Posted by Shirley Brady on November 1, 2012 02:02 PM

Following last week's UK kick-off, Nintendo released its Wii U campaign today for the US, with the spot above touting its new home game console (and a view of the future in which players apparently live in cubes). It also kicked off a cross-promotional partnership with Burger King: between now and December 2nd, kids can collect ten Wii U and Mario themed toys with the purchase of a Kids Meal. The Wii U, a follow-up to the Wii, will debut on Nov. 18 starting at $299.

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