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Microsoft and EA have just joined forces to create a dynamic ad platform for sports games on the Xbox 360 console and PCs. This means that next time you strap up to play Madden, the sponsorship banners and other ads you see will change.
In a way, this is kind of an improvement on reality. Can you imagine playing your favorite sport -- in the middle of Times Square? It's a dream for the overstimulated, possibly LSD-addled mind that hoped to become Joe Montana but never got past JV.
Madden 08, NASCAR 08, NHL 08, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 08, and Skate will feature the dynamic ads at outset. Non-Xbox and non-PC variations will go on wearing the static versions.
Ars Technica is bummed because this new stream of income doesn't mean a less expensive purchase for gamers. Yeah, sometimes it sucks to be on the receiving end.
Now this ought to be good. If you were even remotely considering attending the ad:tech conference at Navy Pier in Chicago July 31-August 1, there's something that just might solidify the decision for you. We've all been to various industry events and parties where, for whatever reason, co-workers eventually find themselves on some stage doing some strange thing providing endless humor and enjoyment for everyone in attendance. And, no, we're not talking about Arnold's Boston office pole dancing at a recent Christmas party. Though it might be interesting to see what all the booths babes would do if a giant pole appeared in the middle of the exhibit hall floor.
It's obviously not the real thing, but we're having fun with this new game Heat Fighter, a variation on the classic Street Fighter, created for Nestea by Lowe Roche, Toronto.
Players can be customized and the game has all the basic moves you'd expect in a fighting game, though the challengers (Solar, Cole and Mercury) don't seem super-challenging.
The little Nestea superchargers are a nice touch. We are actually kind of feening for some iced tea now.
After deluging us with Candystand-specific fun and games, the makers of the Wrigley's games have started a microsite for UK-based Airwaves gum. Check out Airwaves Pro.
It boasts user interactivity features, content sharing and laggage galore.
High off our last accolades, Candystand took the liberty of sharing its new air hockey game with us.
They promised it would be as addictive as ping-pong but it wasn't. It sucked, mainly because the hockey puck is controlled by the movement of your mouse and it sometimes takes awhile for it to catch up.
With that in mind, the British destroyed us more times than we want to relive.
Air hockey = FTL. And the music is horrible!
- Zenith Optimedia sees a 29 percent growth to $33.5 billion in online ad budgets for 2007 and 23 percent to $41.2 billion in 2008. Over the four year period 2006-2009, the organization predict an overall 82 percent increase for online advertising to 47.4 billion while all media growth for the period nets out to 13 percent growth.
- Sony and Nielsen hammering out a metrics method for online console gaming.
- Nokia has given Wieden + Kennedy the thankless job of handling it $300 million account just at Apple's iPhone is set to take over the world.
- Following the July 12 One Show Design Awards, the winners will be on display at the Chelsea Art Museum from July 13 to July 21. Viewing is open to the public or a fee.
While Candystand never built the carwash game we so generously recommended, we have to say they've been on top of things since the day they decided to push brands via advergames (it's a tough commitment to make).
In time for Wimbledon they serve us up some Match Point, a tennis game that, for its simplicity, is good fun to play.
Users can choose between a male and female character. Two clicks make a serve, and the ball is automatically hustled across the net when the player hovers close to it.
Gameplay is characteristically lag-free and we're working our way up from our first embarrassing love set. Booooo.
Interestingly, we couldn't quite remember what candy Match Point was pushing afterward, so we had to go back and check. Ohhh. Orbit White. The brand with the tennis-player-looking chick.
We get it.
Wired conducted coverage of a Web game called Fatworld, which aims - with the couch potato's favorite active medium - to lend insight on the "politics of nutrition."
Fatworld, which comes out this fall, was put together by Ian Bogost, a Georgia Tech professor who likes designing snarky little games that illuminate harsh realities. In Fatworld, gamers that make less-than-fantastic health choices can watch their characters bloom with food allergies, heart disease, diabetes and, predictably, death.
Other Bogost games sound equally awe-inspiring. In one called Disaffected!, which came out last year, players pose as Kinko's employees struggling to meet print orders while lazy colleagues make paper-filing errors.
Per a Bogost user review: "I could actually feel myself getting angry and depressed and my sense of self-worth going right through the floor."
Wow. Sounds suspiciously like life. We'll stick with collecting Sheeple blood, thanks.
Fresh off the heat of that spiffy Vector game they recently put together, Candystand hits us with this Free Kick game that challenges you to bend it like a certain Posh-loving soccer player we know.
It's simple and okay to play but just not as WoW as the previous offering. Plus we had to download a plug-in which is always annoying.
After reluctance on our part and a helluva lot of persistence on theirs, Scion finally won us over with their Want 2 B Square thing. We even almost dig the cars. Almost.
But if we had a scrap of distaste left for the dumpster-esque vehicles, it's wiped away with this new Little Deviant effort they've launched for the xD, put together by the same guys who built Want 2 B Square.
The game could ride on the merit of its description alone:
"Send the sheeple from the streets and find them in the highrises. Knock the stuffing out of them and collect their blood. It can be used to your benefit. Turn that awful bleating into awesome bleeding."
Violence against sheep? Shameless bloodlust? We'd leap into a Scion right now but we'll be distracted with the Deviant site for awhile. The goth vibe and sadistic humor remind us of old-school computer games like The Seventh Guest - a nice little throwback.