Tag Archives: advertising

Articles of Interest

Raph calls out the McDonald’s Line Rider commercial, which I hadn’t seen yet. It’s a neat idea for an advertisement, and Raph draws on a few numbers to make the interesting point that Line Rider might be better known than the TV shows that host this advertisement.

Also from Raph, word that Habbo has reached 100m registered users worldwide. Quite a milestone.

Soren’s been on a bit of a “Spore creature watch” since the free creature creator was released. These particular creations will make any fan of Star Wars smile. (Take one guess as to the identity of the creatures before clicking the link. You probably won’t guess correctly.) Soren also points out that 500k creatures were created in two days. An auspicious beginning for a product that I really hope does tremendously well, commercially-speaking!

An account of the first meeting of CCP’s Council of Stellar Management, a democratically-elected group of players who meet with CCP twice a year to inform the future development of Eve Online.

An interview with Neil Young, who left EA to found an iPhone game publisher called Ngmoco. This quote caught my eye: “The iPhone, from a performance standpoint, is pretty close to a PSP, but unlike the PSP, it’s got a touchscreen, accelerometers, a camera, it’s location-aware, it’s got all of your media on it, it’s awake with you, it’s always on, and it’s always connected to the network. So if you think about the types of games and entertainment experiences that you can build on a platform like that, it’s got to get pretty exciting pretty quickly.”

The guys who made Duels.com (a mind-numbingly tedious — but very popular — web game) have taken their simple, asynchronous multiplayer design philosophy and applied it to baseball. The new game is called Baseball Boss. It’s in closed beta, so I haven’t had the chance to play, but something tells me Baseball Boss will be very successful. Accessible, short-session, asynch multiplayer gameplay and baseball (with its wide audience) seem like a good match to me.

Lots of people made fun of Activision for porting Guitar Hero to the DS. Looks like Activision got the last laugh: it sold 300k units, in North America only, in the first week.

Articles of Interest

Looks like a major publisher finally took notice of the tremendous popularity of Travian; the Heroes of Might and Magic franchise will be spinning out Kingdoms, a persistent, web-based strategy game. Speaking of Travian, those of you who appreciated my review of that game might enjoy a similar account from Rock, Paper, Shotgun. It’s a fun retelling of a long gameplay experience that petered out as abruptly as mine did. I like the clever way that Kieron describes the game, concluding with: “ultimately… I knew there were no Lions in Travian. It’s a game for Jackals.”

Nice post by Chris Anderson about how discount airlines are using alternate revenue mechanisms (the same way free games use alternate revenue mechanisms) to drive ticket costs way down.

Nexon is integrating retail outlets like Best Buy and 7-Eleven into Maplestory. Not just integrating them from a distribution perspective — I mean actually making virtual 7-Eleven stores part of the game, with “appropriately themed quests.” Huh? Allow me to redirect your attention to the Maplestory info page, the first sentence of which reads: “You can explore a totally new and unknown world you have never been to.” Irony is not dead; it’s just depressing. Every time a game company does something like this, it sets the entire industry back because advertisers are learning the wrong lessons about our medium.

Valve recently began selling Weighted Companion Cube plush toys, and they’re already sold out. I want one. 🙁

Every once in a while I’m really tickled by an ARG (in this case, one promoting the upcoming movie Dark Knight.) They sent players on a quest to find cakes in bakeries around the country; the cakes had phone numbers written on them in icing. When players called those phone numbers, the cakes themselves rang — cell phones were hidden inside them. 🙂

XNA 2.0 has shipped. Biggest improvement: multiplayer matchmaking.