McDonald’s is sponsoring an ARG called The Lost Ring in partnership with the Olympic Games. It may prove to be the most diverse ARG ever launched (no surprise, given the context.) Lots of puzzles in different languages and set in different countries, requiring international cooperation. Cool stuff. 🙂
Accenture Careers, a Second Life-based employee recruiting initiative, launched this month. It offers “fun tests” that visitors can take, and it is implied that Accenture’s HR people might well be watching and reaching out to visitors who catch their attention.
BuildABearville.com hit one million users after its first month, and has now surpassed two million. The toy-turned-virtual-world trend continues. I wonder how many toy brands will NOT have virtual worlds associated with them five years from now? (I also wonder how many will flame out in the face of such intense competition, given that many of these virtual worlds won’t do much to differentiate themselves?)
Apparently Xbox 360 sales have jumped 36% in the UK since March 14th’s price cut. Hooray for us. 😉
Via Henry, a study comparing the online behavior of US and Chinese teens. Some of the results: almost five times as many Chinese as American respondents said they have a parallel life online (61% vs. 13%). More than half the Chinese sample (51%) said they have adopted a completely different persona in some of their online interactions, compared with only 17 percent of Americans. Lots more interesting stuff in there.
Interesting article advocating for greater use of social media within corporations. Crux of the argument: the top talent of the future will be repelled by potential employers that don’t make significant use of the same media technologies that potential employees use in their daily lives. Quote: “You’re at home…you’re Twittering, posting to your family’s blog and using Google Apps to set up your family’s annual vacation. You go into the office and you’re liberated by…email?” Yet again, this makes me think about the use of video games as employee attractors. (Why should advergames be targeted at consumers alone?)
Steve Meretzky is priceless. Who else could depress you for six minutes and fifty seconds, then make it all worthwhile in less than ten remaining? This video is worth watching. (And Steve, you’re so right.)
Here’s a milestone in the evolution of free video games: EA has announced that an upcoming title in the Battlefield franchise will be part of the company’s new “Play 4 Free” series of games. Revenue to be derived from advertising and microtransactions.
Tom Buscaglia offers some advice to independent developers when negotiating with publishers. His bottom line: don’t forget to ask for your share of ancillary revenue.
Nabeel Hyatt notices an interesting (if unsurprising) statistic: of the top 100 most active Facebook applications, games do not perform statistically better than the average application, but multiplayer games such as Warbook and Scrabulous average 11.4% active daily users, a good 30% higher than the average top Facebook app (8.01%). Given that the very purpose of Facebook is to connect you with others, this makes perfect sense.