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Gaming

‘Assassin’s Creed’ Painting Gets Its Final Stroke

Thanks to hundreds of gamers contributing to the Assassin’s Creed IV interactive painting promo, the finished artwork is now on digital display, two months before it will be shown in Le Musee de la Marine in Paris. To recap, fans of the franchise had the opportunity to take webcam pictures of their faces, and after an online vote, the winning pictures were transposed onto bodies in the painting. The campaign was spearheaded by Sid Lee Paris. And although the artistic nature of the project may not help with the game’s publicity all that much, it is cool that certain fans will be partially on display in a renowned museum. Assassin’s Creed IV for PS3 will come out on October 29, with versions for other systems to be released throughout November.

Soap Creative Extends Ubisoft’s ‘Splinter Cell Blacklist’ to Second-Screen

Toronto studio Ubisoft teamed up with Soap Creative to develop an integrated mobile companion to Splinter Cell Blacklist.

The game, released August 20th across PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U and PC platforms, is the latest in the popular Splinter Cell series, and marks the return of Tom Clancy’s Sam Fisher character. Soap Creative helped Ubisoft extend the game’s Strategic Mission Interface, while also adding three AAA mobile games that let players continue their Splinter Cell Blacklist experience while on the go. Ubisoft and Soap Creative hope that the mobile games will not only appeal to hardcore fans of the franchise by allowing them to earn currency transferable to Splinter Cell Blacklist, but also attract new gamers with an experience that can function independent of the console game.

“Companion experiences are creating new players and a broader universe for them to enjoy, even among the most established franchises,” says Matt Griswold, managing partner at Soap. Splinter Cell certainly qualifies as an established franchise, with a pretty large audience already willing to shell out for the latest in the series. The question is whether adding mobile games will help them convert new fans.

Here’s Heat’s New Brotastic ‘Born to Madden’ Spot

Although you have to wonder how necessary advertising the next Madden game really is, considering how football/gaming bros pretty much spend all summer salivating in anticipation of the pigskin franchise’s next release, Heat has put together a pretty brolarious spot for EA Sports’ 25th anniversary of the franchise.

In the second spot of the “Born to Madden” campaign (following the Arian Foster/Marshawn Lynch opus), directed by Wayne McClammy, it is revealed that the real inspiration for the NFL careers of Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson was a summer camp pact made in their youth to one day beat each other in Madden, as each other. The spot highlights some of the hardcore training Kaepernick and Wilson underwent, all so they could make the NFL, rise to star status, and play Madden NFL 25 against each other. So far Kaepernick and Wilson’s Madden sessions have led to only minor injuries, including a mild concussion suffered by Wilson from a stray thrown controller.

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Activision, 72andSunny Tap CollegeHumor Duo for ‘Call of Duty: Ghosts’ Trailer

In this Call of Duty: Ghosts trailer, Jake and Amir from CollegeHumor give us a preview of the action-packed prestige edition of the game. It includes a paracord strap, a Steelbook, and an HD Tactical Camera. “Naturally, we’re going to do what you do when you have a badass tactical camera strapped to your head,” the boys say. I realize I’m definitely not a video gamer when I have no idea what the next step will be. Parkour? Surveillance?

“We’re going to breach some stuff!!” Jake and Amir proceed to burst through doors, elevator doors, garden gates, and bathroom stalls, entering unexpected scenarios as they go. The best part is when they’re the uninvited guests at a little princess’s tea party. “Hi guys!” she squeaks, and we see them taking a moment to sip out of miniature purple plastic cups. The whole thing is a fun idea, far better than watching a fictional character slaughter everything in his path while the new Eminem single “Survival” plays. If only we all had disposable screen doors and wacky neighbors worthy of tactical camera footage. As it is, mothers should prepare for the onslaught of their teenage boys trying to karate chop the front door.

Check out the credits after the jump

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Venice Shop Makes an Arcade Game with Bloody Bears

Instead of comparing fuel band scores or enjoying an office taco Tuesday, Venice, CA-based agency Ted Perez + Associates banded together to create something that would push their boundaries as storytellers and technologists. Their idea was an arcade game, made from scratch. Their designers created the characters, their copywriters (presumably) wrote the words, and their programmers built the code. Altogether, they made Gnarnia, a Wii-enabled arcade game that tells the story of an idyllic camp invaded by pesky woodland creatures. Players have to shoot the animals to stay safe and win points.

The idea is fun, and I appreciate the mashup of a title. But in reviewing this project, I wonder a few things: first, could Ted Perez and his associates have used those 26 days it took to bring this project to life for something a bit more…productive? Maybe I’m a total grinch, but because this isn’t particularly funny or nuanced, it seems like a waste of time. And second (in an admittedly off-topic issue), the tiny text on their website makes me feel like I’m about to turn 40. If an ad agency is about storytelling and technology, they should manage to put their website’s font in black, size 12. And get someone with a non-monotonous voice to narrate future promotional videos.

Team One Declassifies More of ‘The Bureau: XCOM Declassified’

In April, we covered the first piece of ambiguous viral ad content for The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, a 2K Games and 2K Marin video game. We’re back to report another promo, titled “Orbit & The Asteroid,” and produced by Team One. This 90-second spot isn’t any less ambiguous than the first ad, most of it about a 1960s era creepy clown television show and the young boy who watches it. According to the creators, there are a number of easter eggs that contain clues for the future of the video game series. The game won’t be released until August 20, which means there are four weeks left for more curious marketing spots, creepy clowns and all. Credits after the jump.

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Here’s a PlayStation Ad for Winning Stuff Seen in a Different PlayStation Ad

During the NBA Finals last month, PlayStation debuted a new mini-film from BBH NY titled “Greatness Awaits” which featured a wide array of game characters and a whimsical narrator talking sternly to the camera (much like in this 2009 spot BBH NY did for Johnnie Walker). With over 5 million YouTube plays, the big budget ad was hailed as a mild success, falling somewhere between “Hedgehog Reacts to Fart” and “One Direction Crash Barbie’s Party! 1D Dolls Party All Night! OMG !.::Original Video::.

To the untrained eye, it would appear that the spot’s success was owed to its subtle nods to some of PlayStation’s biggest titles paired with the sort of over-the-top visual effects that gamers subsist upon. However, any true gamer knows that the ad’s success is owed predominantly to the elaborate costuming employed, causing PlayStation to make a second ad in order to offer the costumes as prizes of some sort. Yes, it’s an ad for an ad, or “Adception” if you will.

Anyway, gamers can bid of the costumes from the spot using trophy points or something that they earn by being good at video games. Then everyone will play dress-up and have a great time. Learn more at bidforgreatness.com and view credits after the jump.

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‘Assassin’s Creed’ Gets Face Time in Historical Painting

Ubisoft is still a few months away from the release of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, the sixth installment in its blockbuster video game franchise, but some recent teamwork with Sid Lee Paris will offer fans and future some customers some strangely artistic publicity. “Defy History,” an interactive art project that will be displayed in Le Musée de la Marine, will let users transpose facial webcam pictures onto a selection of characters that are part of a large historical painting. Before the painting is finished, people will be able to vote on the best faces, with the winners being included in the final product.

It’s hard to say why Ubisoft wanted to jump into this creative work, since the painting project is only tangentially related to Assassin’s Creed IV. Sometimes, companies and agencies overthink, especially for a game about an assassin pirate. If interested, you can find out more details about the picture posting here.

I miss the good ole days of Ezio. Credits after the jump.

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Johnny Two Shoes, W+K Concoct Chewing-Controlled Game for Stride Gum

In a cute take on motion controlled games, Stride Gum invites you to enter the world of Gumulon, where you’re represented by a “rebellious miner” named Ace. Ace, a strange green helmet-wearing thing, can only control the “intergalactic action” and ultimately vanquish the prehistoric cave beast if you concentrate on chewing while staring at your iPhone. When your jaw finally collapses after the strain of coercing Ace around the mine, the monster will eat Ace/you after seasoning you and taking a photo for posterity.

Watching the gameplay video makes this activity look like the dweebiest way to spend your day. I hope I never see someone sweating as they chew emphatically on the subway. This game should be played at home, if at all. Thankfully, Gumulon also comes in a touch version, should your mandibles tire of mining.

I will, however, give Stride’s effort points for novelty and its do-good nature. If we collectively achieve better breath through gamification, I can’t complain.

King James Kicks Off Video Game Reign with ‘NBA 2K14′

LeBron James may have a South Beach mansion full of trophies, but until yesterday, he had yet to accomplish one basketball-related goal: gracing the cover of a video game. NBA 2K14 won’t hit stores until the fall, but last night, viewers of the NBA Finals on ABC got to watch the introductory ad – created by Zambezi – where James announces his plan to join past coverboys like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. For 2K Sports, having the best basketball player in the world endorsing your basketball product is not too shabby, either.

Lost in all of this is the noble presence of Steve Kerr, once the foil to MJ in the NBA, and now, the foil to Marv Albert in NBA broadcasting. Kerr plays the role of “2K Investigator” in the commercial’s somewhat-lame hook. But when a six-foot white guy who couldn’t dunk gets into a basketball video game commercial, everyone wins.

Credits after the jump.

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