Two5Six Conference Tackles Intersection of Gaming, Tech, Culture
Over the weekend, Kill Screen, a gaming and culture publication, hosted its first Two5Six Conference, which brought various video game and technology developers under the same roof at the Invisible Dog Art Center in Brooklyn, NY.
According to a report by Pingdom, there are 1.1 billion smartphones in the world, each consuming about 500 megabytes of data every month. That is a lot of people with ability to communicate on the go. Thus, mobile advertising space has been the hot topic in the digital media industry. IGAWorks approached Wonacott to handle the launch announcement for its new mobile ad platform, adPOPcorn, in partnership with KakaoTalk, a global messaging app giant with 90 million registered users.read on
Via one of our favorite sites, Buzzfeed, this week, we caught wind of Amy’s Baking Company Boutique & Bistro, an Arizona bakery whose owners came under fire for taking to their company’s Facebook page to direct angry tirades at commenters. The bakery was recently featured on Gordon Ramsay’s “Kitchen Nightmares” show, but Ramsay quit for the first time in the show’s history because the owners were so difficult to work with. Here’s just a snippet of what he had to deal with:
[via Fox Broadcasting]
We got to talking in the office, and wondered what we would do in this situation if we represented these people. After all, dealing with difficult clients is something PR practitioners will always have to deal with; granted, this is a unique case, but there are always precautions and approaches that can be taken to help prevent a crisis – or, address it as it happens.
*Disclaimer: Inappropriate language included belowread on
The pressure is mounting as E3 nears – can you feel it? There are just 31 days until the big day and a slew of press conferences from the industry’s leaders are going to set the stage for the upcoming holiday season. This week, publisher giants Activision and EA made headlines from what was revealed in their respective earnings calls.read on
Experts from around the growing world of mobile games are coming together for the second annual Mobile Gaming USA West conference in San Francisco next week. The event was created specifically to address the challenges that mobile game developers and publishers are facing as they look to thrive in a constantly evolving marketplace.
Our own Mark Van Lommel, account director and video games PR extraordinaire, will lead a Lighting Talk as part of the Independent’s Day portion of the conference. His talk, “Mind Your Marketing,” will cover PR, social media, and promotional tips, tricks, and tools that indie developers can utilize to effectively market their mobile games, without breaking the bank.
We also are pleased to announce Stephen Saiz, general manager of mobile, Majesco Entertainment, will speak on the “Open for Business: Best practices for hiring talent in the growing mobile gaming economy” panel, discussing the overwhelming demand for new employees who specialize in the creation, monetization and marketing of mobile games.
If you’re planning on attending the conference, make sure to swing by to catch these two in action!
That’s right – it’s May 4, aka Star Wars Day! Since we needed a professional excuse to incorporate this seemingly unrelated related topic into our blog, we decided to draw some key learnings from the Star Wars movies as they related to P.R. and/or Wonacott Communications to share with you. We asked around the office for some thoughts on what Star Wars has taught us in our careers and our lives – here’s what we heard.
It may not quite be summer yet, but with E3 right around the corner and blockbuster movies like “Iron Man 3” hitting your local cinema, it sure is starting to feel like it. We’ve noticed the trend lately of China’s increased influence when it comes to entertainment, and not just how the nation can prompt Hollywood executives to create China-specific edits of big movies. In a forecast by Niko Partners, China’s PC online market is poised to hit $11.9 billion in revenues in 2013, up a phenomenal 28 percent from 2012. That is a crazy amount of growth when compared with the sluggish videogame market in the U.S., but perhaps the kickoff of the next generation of home consoles will change all that.read on
With E3 kicking off in less than seven weeks on June 11, all of the major players in the video games industry are busy preparing to announce their latest news to a global audience of investors, partners, media and fans. After last year’s largely lackluster E3, this year is shaping up to be unforgettable, and the whole world will be watching.read on
You might remember that Jason Wonacott offered up some tips for PR intern candidates a few months ago; well, we’re once again on the prowl, and if you’re looking to apply (here or anywhere else), I wanted to provide a few tips in my own words that I think can help get you started. What makes me qualified? I started my career here as an intern so I’m familiar with the process first-hand, and my post as “Master Jedi”/intern coordinator is a result of some great teachings from my superiors over the years.
As such, I like to run what I unofficially call “The Jedi Academy,” or my personal version of a mentorship program. Learning the
ways of the Force foundations of public relations is not something that happens overnight, but is an ongoing growth process, and I’m still learning every day. The longer you have to train, the better prepared you’ll be to take on the challenges, both good and bad, that come with being a PR practitioner. See below for some tips from yours truly on searching/interviewing for a PR internship.
This week, mobile games continue to gain in popularity. According to a Venture Beat story, “SuperData said the digital games category - which includes mobile, social and online games - was stable in March, up 1.1 percent from February.” The market research organization also found that mobile game revenues in the U.S. were up by 7 percent to reach $157 million in March. However even with this bump, mobile revenues still don’t beat out revenues for free-to-play MMOs. Jason Coston, a senior analyst at Interpet says, ”In the US, 48 million people are actively engaged in smartphone and tablet gaming, more than double the 23 million playing free-to-play MMOs on PC, but the average spend is so much weaker for mobile games that the two business models generate comparable revenues." The semi-annual GameByte study from Interpret indicates that mobile and tablet players on average spend 92 cents a month on full game apps and just 79 cents a month on in-game items.read on
Interactive entertainment developer Music Mastermind announced a new partnership today with top independent games publisher Chillingo, which will distribute music creation game Zya for iOS this summer.read on
This week, Blizzard Entertainment announced its acquisition of IGN Pro League’s technology, assets and staff members. The move allows IGN to focus squarely on its editorial mission while giving Blizzard the resources it needs to continue building out a major eSports presence. In a statement by Peer Schneider, IGN executive vice president, "With the continuing evolution of the eSports space and the renewed focus on our core media brand, we made the decision to sell the IGN Pro League technology and assets and become agnostic in our competitive gaming coverage. Following Blizzard’s acquisition of IPL assets, IGN will partner with multiple organizations and cover their events."read on
This week several changes took place at some of the largest game publishers: Disney announced its decision to shut down LucasArts. The publisher will shift its model from developing games internally through LucasArts, to focusing on licensing the “Star Wars” brand. At Square Enix, Yosuke Matsuda is set to take over as president in June and plans to review the whole company, after former president Yoichi Wada’s departure last week. In further Square Enix news, its Los Angeles office has eliminated positions in its marketing, public relations, accounting and IT departments as part of a corporate restructuring. Mike Fischer, CEO at Square Enix America, is rumored to be let go in May.read on
Today is the last day of GDC. During the week exciting announcements were made, valuable information was shared through a plethora of informative panels and winners were revealed for the 13th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards - with Journey sweeping the competition. Out of the ten awards, the game won six for Game of the Year, Innovation Award, Best Audio, Best Downloadable Game, Best Game Design, and Best Visual Arts. Sony gave away more details on the upcoming PlayStation 4. According to Sony Senior Staff Engineer Chris Norden, "The core gamers are our primary audience and are fundamental to PS4 gaming. They're the most engaged users and they're very important advocates for the platform. PS4 is architect-ed around their expectations. At the same time, we want to create a platform that can sail through a broad audience. The interface is designed to be fun, appealing, and accessible to the entire household." Another aspect of the next-gen console that he highlighted was that it will have a large hard drive, but did not reveal any details on the specifications.read on
Today kicks off two major, back-to-back videogame industry events: PAX East starts today and runs through the weekend in Boston, and GDC starts on Monday, March 25 and runs throughout next week in San Francisco. Excitement is building as publishers reveal what will be shown at PAX East – Nintendo announced their lineup of seven Wii U and nine Nintendo 3DS titles, including Nintendo Land and Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate. Ubisoft posted a message on its Might and Magic X website encouraging attendees to meet them at PAX East, and Blizzard announced that a PlayStation 3 version of Diablo III will be available to play at the consumer-focused show as well. With GDC right around the corner, I’m excited to see what new game and tech announcements will happen and who will bring home some Game Developer Choice Awards.read on
As a public relations professional, it is essential to keep informed and stay on top of the news. We regularly monitor our clients’ and their competitors’ news so that we can conduct analyses and create specialized PR strategies based on the media landscape or react as needed. A tool that helps us do our job well for this particular purpose is a great search engine.
Recently, Microsoft’s CEO Bill Gates participated in an Ask Me Anything (AMA) interview on Reddit where he openly answered questions on all topics, including one that questioned the quality of Microsoft’s Bing search engine. When asked “Do you guys really use Bing? I mean seriously...,” Gates challenged the community to take the “Bing challenge” and responded with, “Seriously Bing is the better product at this point. Try the challenge. I am biased but the work to make Bing better has been amazing.”
His confidence in the search engine piqued my curiosity, and I set forth on the challenge.read on
My fellow tech geeks and entertainment junkies – the time has come and gone – South by Southwest (SXSW) wrapped Sunday night. The festival included the best the entertainment industry has to offer in music, film and emerging technologies. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to attend the festival. However, by means of PR support to our client, Music Mastermind (the company was at SXSW with their mobile music creation app, Zya, and we were sure to place the app on TechHive’s radar during their time at the festival) as well as Google Alerts and Twitter, I felt as though I was in Austin, TX. Here are some of the highlights at SXSW:read on
Samsung was center stage (literally, holding a press event at Radio City Music Hall) of the technology media world late last week with the unveiling of its next flagship smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S4. Does the phone live up to the hype, and will I be getting one? Let’s take a look at the hype versus what Samsung decided to reveal.
<Courtesy of Samsung Mobile>read on
Over the past few years, eSports have continued to grow in popularity. This week, Major League Gaming CEO Sundance Giovanni spoke with Polygon and Forbes about the future of pro-gaming. He predicts that eSports will continue to grow in North America and Europe, eventually rising to the same level of popularity as currently seen in game-crazed South Korea.read on
This is pretty awesome: We’re looking for a strong mid-career level PR freelancer/contractor who can do it all, with an emphasis on media relations (pitching and placement) and writing (bylined articles, press materials, etc.). For the right person this could be a long term relationship with a steady flow of base hours/work each month. We tend to integrate our contractors into our account teams and treat them like one of the family.read on