American McGee Walks Back Comments About EA's Marketing

January 23, 2013 -

Spicy Horse founder and Alice creator American McGee has walked back comments he made earlier in the week about how Electronic Arts handled the marketing for his game Alice: Madness Returns, according to GII. After receiving what McGee categorized as some "pissed messages" (emails) from unnamed EA employees, McGee decided that his earlier comments were not fair...

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Cliff Bleszinski Talks About The Charge of Marketing Toys Based on Mature Games to Children

January 22, 2013 -

In an in-depth interview with the artist formerly known as CliffyB (he asked everyone to call him Cliff Bleszinski, and not his nickname as you may recall), GamesBeat grills the former Gears of War designer about the game franchise, perceptions in some circles that he was a bit of a douche, and what he thought about former EGM editor Dan Hsu calling him a d*ck in a cover story.

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Spicy Horse Founder Offers Tough Criticism of EA's Marketing over Alice Sequel

January 21, 2013 -

Spicy Horse founder American McGee isn't pleased with EA's marketing team and the way it handled the sequel to one of his best games after his exit from id Software. Speaking at an "Ask Me Anything" over at Reddit recently, McGee complained about the way EA's marketing team has handled Alice: The Madness Returns.

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Deep Silver Apologizes for Statue in Dead Island Riptide Zombie Bait Edition

January 15, 2013 -

A special edition of Dead Island Riptide announced today has put publisher Deep Silver in some hot water with fans for some extras that many consider incredibly tasteless and gross. Deep Silver announced this morning the Dead Island: Riptide Zombie Bait Edition, which comes with a myriad of extras including a statue of a bloody headless and armless bikini clad female torso wearing the Union Jack colors. Another special edition of the game called the "Rigor Mortis" edition comes packed with zombie hula girl bobble figurine, a zombie arm bottle opener, and a wooden keychain.

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Dubbed a Success, Microsoft Promises More Xbox Live Ads

January 9, 2013 -

If you don't care too much for those ads on Xbox Live.. well too bad, because more are coming, according to Microsoft. Apparently taking a page from Hulu Plus where subscribers who pay a monthly subscription are still forced to watch ads, Microsoft says that the first wave of NUads (or "natural user-interface ads"), which were deployed in the fourth quarter of 2012, were "highly successful" and that it plans to put additional investment in the space.

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Jagex Spends £500k on Ad Campaign for Runescape

December 26, 2012 -

Jagex Software has decided to spend about half a million pounds on a fancy Runescape TV and marketing campaign. The marketing campaign running in theaters for the 12-year-old MMO is running during showings of The Hobbit in UK and Australian theaters. Publisher Jagex has also bought spots on TV and digital channels for a campaign that runs until January 6th. The TV campaign is being run on E4, Dave, Sky, FX, and Disney XD.

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EA Removes Links to Weapons Manufacturers from Warfighter Site

December 26, 2012 -

Remember that virtual showroom that linked Medal of Honor: Warfighter to real-life products from its gun maker marketing partners? Well Electronic Arts has decided that it needed to make some adjustments to that whole promotion/connection, according to this Polygon report..

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Square Enix Deploys, Then Pulls Questionable Hitman Absolution Facebook App

December 4, 2012 -

In what has to be a record take-down of a questionable piece of marketing, Square Enix pulled a Facebook app promoting Hitman Absolution two hours after it was deployed after a scathing report from Rock, Paper, Shotgun. The company later apologized for the app. The trouble began after RPS wrote about how "Hire Hitman" app allowed users to target and assassinate their Facebook friends, complete with death threats to your intended target.

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Play Halo 4, Get Rewards From American Express

November 2, 2012 -

American Express and Xbox have teamed up to offer "automatic real-time rewards" for playing Halo 4, according to this GamesBeat report. Players will be able to play Halo 4, complete levels and win rewards like cash back, coupons, and - if they are extra lucky - a trip to the 2013 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles.

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Serious Sam 3 Publisher Encourages Gamers to Criticize Medal of Honor for a Free Copy of Its Game

October 30, 2012 -

Serious Sam 3 publisher Devolver Digital is urging fans to openly criticize EA's newest Medal of Honor game for a free copy its first-person shooter.

"During this busy season of video game releases the team at Devolver Digital realize that not every game will live up to expectations. One such game has been Medal of Honor: Warfighter – yet another military shooter where cover is king and most folks spend their time peeking out from behind a wall or a strategically placed concrete barrier," a post on the Devolver site reads.

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Game Informer the Third Largest Magazine in the U.S.

August 8, 2012 -

The popular video gaming magazine Game Informer is now the third largest magazine in the United States, with circulation jumping 37 percent over last year's circulation numbers thanks mostly to GameStop's PowerUp Rewards Pro card program.

"Game Informer's growth in circulation reflects a culmination of the popularity of video games, Game Informer's partnership with the successful GameStop PowerUp Rewards program, and last but not least, a high-in-quality 21-year publication that tries not to miss a beat," associate publisher Rob Borm, tells Bloomberg.

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CBS Interactive Inks Deal with TwitchTV and Major League Gaming

April 17, 2012 -

GameSpot and Giant Bomb owner CBS Interactive has inked a deal with Justin TV and Major League Gaming to bring advertising, promotions, and sponsorships to the game competition and game-streaming service. More importantly, it makes CBSi Games the exclusive online broadcaster of the Pro Circuit competitions.

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Nero Promotes New Album with Old School Beat 'Em Up

March 20, 2012 -

London based dub-step duo Nero have launched a "Live Rig" on their official website, which gives fans a chance to listen to their music while playing an 8-bit game aptly titled "NERO." The game, an 8-bit homage to Final Fight or Streets of Rage, lets players beat up various street thugs while listening to one of the groups many tunes.

Here's the intro text from the game:

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Wizard101 Creators to Keynote Digital Kids Conference

March 14, 2012 -

Wizard101 creators Todd Coleman and Josef Hall of KingsIsle Entertainment will be the keynote speakers at the sixth annual Digital Kids Conference, a two-day event that purports to provide companies with "the critical information they need to reach digital kids and connected youth through online and mobile technologies." Speakers from the NFL, Spin Master, Cartoon Network, Ubisoft, SOE, Cookie Jar, and many others will also deliver talks April 25-26, 2012 in Los Angeles.

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Sony to Launch $50 Million Marketing Plan for PS Vita

February 13, 2012 -

According to a report in the New York Times, Sony plans a $50 million marketing blitz to ensure that the PlayStation Vita sells well in regions outside of Japan. Sony's latest portable in a long line of hits and misses in the space hopes to capture some market share back from Nintendo and Apple. It started out well enough when it launched in Japan, but then sales of the PS Vita died down.

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Activision Turned MW3 Leak Into a Marketing Opportunity

January 20, 2012 -

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. According to an Ad Age report, Activision publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg said that the Modern Warfare 3 leak onto the Internet was his "first real crisis on the job” and forced the company to employ some unorthodox methods to soften the blow. He said that when the news broke the marketing department was called into a half-day meeting with risk management to discuss their options.

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U.S. Army Gets Branded Peripheral Line from CTA Digital

January 4, 2012 -

CTA Digital has revealed a new partnership with the U.S. Army to manufacture branded video game accessories. The company says that this is the first licensing agreement it has entered into. Oddly enough, tax payers may be saying the same thing. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The company will reveal three new U.S. Army branded gaming headsets, three rifle controllers, and a "battle ready backpack" for game console systems at CES in Las Vegas on January 10-13 (booth #31265).

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Marketing Firm Gets Fined for Homefront GDC Balloon Stunt

December 14, 2011 -

It might have seemed cute when marketing company TrashTalkFCM pitched the idea of releasing thousands of balloons into the San Francisco sky to promote Homefront during the Game Developers Conference earlier this year. But THQ realized as the balloons flew upwards and then inevitably fell down into the San Francisco Bay that maybe it wasn't such a great idea after all. The bad local and national publicity wasn't worth it.

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Report: IGA Worldwide Lays Off a Third of its Staff

December 12, 2011 -

The once promising in-game advertising agency IGA Worldwide continues to struggle, and has laid off nearly a third of its employees, according to a VentureBeat report.

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Rovio Reveals 'The Hunt for the Golden Pistachio'

December 1, 2011 -

How far will Rovio go to market Angry Birds? As far as they can, apparently. Besides the numerous licensing, marketing and merchandising deals, the high profile brand is being used as a cross-marketing tools for companies like Wonderful Pistachios.

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Forbes: New Activision Promotion 'Nothing Short of Unholy'

September 28, 2011 -

An article in Forbes calls a new promotion from Pepsi and Activision "nothing short of unholy." The promotion, "Rank Up XP," gives Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 players extra time in-game to earn double experience by purchasing Pepsi products (Doritos and Mountain Dew) and redeeming codes from the packaging. The experience comes in various allotments of time; a 20 oz Mountain Dew will earn players 15 minutes, for example.

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Nick Chester Leaves Destructoid to Join Harmonix

September 16, 2011 -

Destructoid's Nick Chester has left the building to dance his pants off at a new gig. In an open letter to the community Chester announced that he would be leaving the popular web site to become a publicist for Cambridge, Ma.-based music game giant Harmonix. Here's some of what Chester had to say to the Destructoid community:

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New Book, Gamification By Design, Showcased at Gamification Summit

August 19, 2011 -

Gamification expert Gabe Zichermann will showcase his second book, Gamification By Design, at The Gamification Summit September 15-16 in New York City. The new release, which launched on Amazon.com today, will be on sale during the Summit. Zichermann will also host a concentrated design session filled with "revelations and profound insights" learned from his work with the world’s biggest brands, hottest startups and a range of non-profits.

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Indie Rental Stores Promote 'Video Store Day'

August 18, 2011 -

Independent video rental stores across the U.S. and Canada are banding together for a common cause: to promote a Video Store Day Oct. 15. The goal of this special day is to show the public that there are still alternatives to rental kiosks like Redbox and from Blockbuster, and streaming entertainment services such as Netflix and Hulu. Clearly local video rental stores have taken a savage beating at the hands of those juggernauts.

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We Dare Footage Shows PEGI Rating May Be Appropriate

March 12, 2011 -

This actual gameplay footage from We Dare, the sassy, saucy, and apparently badly marketed game from Ubisoft shows that the game is probably rated appropriately in Europe. In other words, harmless fun and not necessarily harmless "adult" fun. So if that's the case and the game is appropriate, then the blame for all the fervor over the game's content has to go to Ubisoft’s marketing department, who released a commercial making the game look like a way to get another couple to have a four-way...

Anyway, check out the video and see why We Dare is about as sexually charged as an episode of the Golden Girls.. Thanks to Andrew Eisen for the video link.

13 comments

THQ's Balloon Release Angers San Francisco Residents

March 3, 2011 -

C|Net reports that the citizens of San Francisco are apparently ticked off at THQ - and by extension its partner GameStop - for releasing hundreds of balloons into the sky as part of a mock protest of North Korea - part of a marketing ploy for its new game Homefront. The balloon release happened during the Game Developers Conference. Many of the balloons had a postcard-size flyer attached to it advertising the game. People in the downtown area saw the balloons soaring in the sky, but were disgusted as they watched them land in the San Francisco Bay. That is when some residents began to express their anger. The anger was aimed at GameStop, which was a promotional partner with THQ and whose name appeared on the balloons.

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THQ Plans Fake Protest to Promote Homefront at GDC

March 1, 2011 -

THQ is apparently planning a crazy promotional event at GDC for its soon-to-be-released action game Homefront. According to SF Weekly, THQ has hired actors to pose as anti-North Korean protesters, march across the Golden Gate bridge, down the streets of San Francisco, and stopping across the street from GDC at Yerba Buena Gardens.

It seems odd to decry North Korea's "human rights violations" to promote a video game, but THQ's marketing department didn't consult us. The staged promotional event will also feature speeches by global experts, musical performances, and the launch of 10,000 balloons. Nothing says "we've been invaded" like a bunch of balloons, after all.

The "event" will take place on Wednesday in San Francisco.

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Extra Credits Chastises EA's Marketing

February 24, 2011 -

From fake protesters to scaring the crap out of your mom, EA has cut loose with some, shall we say, odd marketing choices of late.  Oh sure, there’s no such thing as bad press and EA’s games certainly aren’t hurting for attention but irking the people who actually buy your games in addition to the people who routinely lambast them might not be the best move.

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Editorial: Your Mom Hates Dead Space 2, But Who Cares?

February 3, 2011 -

In an editorial entitled "Your mom will hate 'Dead Space 2,' but does anyone care?," writer Tim Dunn ponders why EA's marketing department has used a technique usually used for teens and children for a mature rated game. Further, he wonders why EA would even think about using such a campaign when the Supreme Court is hearing a case about keeping ultra violent video games out of the hands of you children.

While his comments might seems a little overblown, he points out some valid concerns as well. He mentions mature games such as Heavy Rain and Red Dead Redemption, which carry a mature rating because they are telling stories and tackling topics that are geared towards adults. The Dead Space 2 campaign plays on "juvenile notions of maturity gamers have worked hard to change." In other words, the marketing for the game takes that fight a step back.

Here is more from Dunn:

Design an App to Connect with Retailers, Win Cold, Hard Cash

December 15, 2010 -

The Intel AppUpM developer program and UK-based Dixons Retail PLC are in search of an app that enables users to interact with products from one or all of its retail sites - Currys and PC World - from home. The app can be a game, a 3D design tool, augmented reality, or whatever else developers want to build - as long as it meets the aforementioned criteria. The winning app will be judged on how much it engages users and on the level of interaction it creates with the stores or their products.

To get started, join Intel AppUp developer program, create an abstract, and pass it along to the challenge site. The top six developers with the best abstracts will then be asked to develop their app. All six developers will win at least $8,000 once the program validates their completed app. The best one wins $15,000 and receives additional exposure through promotions by Dixons and Intel AppUp.

The deadline is December 15.

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Is King right? Should all games adopt the free-to-play model?:

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Matthew Wilsonit is a game worth playing if you have a pc/360/ps304/20/2014 - 9:34pm
MaskedPixelantehttps://twitter.com/IGLevine/status/457552538343325696 The Lutece Twins show up in some of the most unlikely of places.04/20/2014 - 2:44pm
Andrew EisenAs it happens, Chinatown Wars is the only GTA game I've played.04/19/2014 - 10:43am
Papa MidnightWith GTA5 (to date) failing to even provide indication of a PC release, I'm realising that this might be the first GTA game that I have not played (outside of Chinatown Wars) since the series inception.04/19/2014 - 8:14am
IanCSo im guessing a bunch of edutainment games, which a lot of people elsewhere are going gaga over, dot count as classics? Okay. If you don't mind me, i have a sudden urge to play Putt Putt....04/19/2014 - 6:15am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/04/18/playstation-99-cent-sale-discounts-tokyo-jungle-super-stardust/ Weekend long PSN flash sale. So much stuff is 99 cents for the rest of the weekend.04/18/2014 - 5:59pm
Adam802http://www.polygon.com/2014/4/18/5627928/newtown-video-game-addiction-forum04/18/2014 - 4:14pm
Matthew Wilsonit is a video talking about why certain games/products/consoles do well, and others do not. he back it up with solid research.04/18/2014 - 3:56pm
Andrew EisenI'm not keen on blind links. What is it?04/18/2014 - 3:45pm
Matthew Wilsonthis is worth a whatch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyXcr6sDRtw&list=PL35FE5C4B157509C904/18/2014 - 3:43pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 3: Night Dive was brought to the attention of the public by a massive game recovery, and yet most of their released catalogue consists of games that other people did the hard work of getting re-released.04/17/2014 - 8:46pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 2: If Humongous Entertainment wanted their stuff on Steam, why didn't they talk to their parent company, which does have a number of games published on Steam?04/17/2014 - 8:45pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 1: When Night Dive spent the better part of a year teasing the return of true classics, having their big content dump be edutainment is kind of a kick in the stomach.04/17/2014 - 8:44pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.giantbomb.com/articles/jeff-gerstmann-heads-to-new-york-takes-questions/1100-4900/ He talks about the future games press and the games industry. It is worth your time even though it is a bit long, and stay for the QA. There are some good QA04/17/2014 - 5:28pm
IanCErm so they shouldn't sell edutainment at all? Why?04/17/2014 - 4:42pm
MaskedPixelanteNot that linkable, go onto Steam and there's stuff like Pajama Sam on the front-page, courtesy of Night Dive.04/17/2014 - 4:13pm
Andrew EisenOkay, again, please, please, PLEASE get in a habit of linking to whatever you're talking about.04/17/2014 - 4:05pm
MaskedPixelanteAnother round of Night Dive teasing and promising turns out to be stupid edutainment games. Thanks for wasting all our time, guys. See you never.04/17/2014 - 3:44pm
Matthew WilsonAgain the consequences were not only foreseeable, but very likely. anyone who understood supply demand curvs knew that was going to happen. SF has been a econ/trade hub for the last hundred years.04/17/2014 - 2:45pm
Andrew EisenMixedPixelante - Would you like to expand on that?04/17/2014 - 2:43pm
 

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