Once a thief
Well steam my punk, the original Grand Daddy of sneak-em-ups has returned to show the young pretenders he can still stealth attack with the best. Provided he as access to a hot bath, Ralgex, and six weeks of physio after nearly two decades of primarily walking in crouch mode. His knees must be killing him.
Quite simply, without the Thief series, there’d be no stealth gaming. And its influence is still felt in games developers now – especially as the franchise has moved to the safe pair of hands that is Eidos Montreal, which did a sterling resuscitation job on Deus Ex three years ago.
This year the team went full multi-platform and next-gen for Thief 2014, keeping the game immersed in the fantasy Victorian steam-punk aesthetic – a collection of words set to rouse your Geekdar (patent pending) to max.
So we connected Eidos Montreal with True Achievements, one of the best UK tracking sites for core gamers on Xbox One. Check our rollover rich media ad below:
World’s first brickbuster?
Lego is the Teflon franchise that keeps on giving. For me and millions of parents, we live its plastic pleasures vicariously through our kids. For kids discovering Lego for the first time, it’s what it’s always been: creative expression in its purest form. And with nearly 600 billion bricks already built, opportunities for multi-media brand tie-ins are never more than a brick away.
So I’m sending a back pat to Lego, being careful not to knock off anyone’s plug-in polymer moldable hair-do, for teaming up with Warner Bros. Pictures to bring us the The Lego Movie. Not only did Warner and Lego give the job to Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the writing and directing team behind Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, they also gave them complete creative freedom. The result is a unanimous critical smash that’s garnered 97% positive ratings on Rotten Tomatoes so far.
From Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings to DC and Marvel, the film is a labyrinth of intellectual property cameos – we’re left wondering how middle management legal depts. ever signed it off. But we’re pleased because it means we can give you this brilliant Lego rollover ad from our great partners at Spil Games.
We’re really proud to say the Venatus team has been shortlisted as a finalist in the MCV Awards 2014 for the Media Sales Team category. We submitted our proposal for MCV and our work on the launch of EA’s Battlefield 4 campaign. Over 250 companies lobbied for consideration and after thorough deliberation MCV whittled those down into the shortlist – with over 100 different UK games firms now in the running for a MCV Award. The MCV Awards recognise success and innovation in the UK games business, across retail, digital sales, marketing and publishing. And the judging panel of over 100 UK games professionals will soon be invited to vote for the winners with the ceremony taking place in early April. Get your penguin suits on boys and starch those pants – well done us!
EA was looking for an ad sales house partner to sell-in multi-platform splash and messaging for core gamers and outreach beyond in a noisy market at a busy time. Communicate on-brand message on time and on budget. Push beyond 18-34 key demographic core gamers with lifestyle outreach, using brand evangelism to take BF4 above and beyond.
As Europe’s largest gaming ad sales house, we have access to millions of unique gamers on our books. That means we helped EA with on-brand outreach, targeting the right gamers on the right platform at the right time. We incentivised core gamers for our client and targeted to help engage new users through our end-to-end integrated ad campaigns.
Happy advertisers, happy publishers, happy gamers.
Mad rabbids disease
Well myxomatosis, Nickelodeon and Ubisoft have brought Rabbids Invasion to Spil Games. Rabbids is a franchise offshoot from the sublimely surreal Rayman – a superbly executed platformer, which plays like a homage to whacked-out euro-animations from the 1970s.
Bearing more than a resemblance to psycho-bunnies on Ritalin in a good way, the Rabbids initially invaded Rayman and were so successful, Ubisoft gave them a platform of their own. Realising the market potential of Rabbids, Ubisoft then teamed up with our very own Aardman Animations for some shorts and a CGI pilot. The result retained more than enough idiosyncratic Gallic zaniness now injected with Aardman’s charm assault to get Nickelodeon to commission a full series.
To make some noise around the UK launch of Rabbids Invasion, we set them loose on the digital ad space over at Spil Games’ A Game. Check out the takeover floor ad below:
Well click my bait…no it isn’t
Last week, I fancied some light reading and it was a coin toss between two books. One was the first ever self-help book called, naturally enough, “Self-Help”. Released in 1859, Self-Help was a moral chaperone to Victorian mores and moren’ts – work with puritanical zeal, convert Bongo Bongo land to Christianity and keep wifey in the kitchen slash bedroom. So instead I opted for something pulpier: the Department for Culture Media and Sport’s (DCMS) Creative Industries Economic Estimates report for January 2014. I am a sucker for a good read.
The Government report collates data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to “measure the direct economic contribution of the Creative Industries to the UK economy”. Buried deep in the bowels of Annex C, sub appendix 2, on page 28 was this belter on the UK games industry:
“Gross Value Added (GVA) estimates for the computer games industry in the UK was £540 million in 2012. This represents a large increase on 2008. However, GVA was even higher in 2011, £946 million.”
In other words, the report claims the UK games industry has almost halved in just one year. If that isn’t title of the year based on a cauldron brew of suspect data analytics –I don’t know what is. And stranger still, except for Develop Online and Games Industry Biz, there’s been no coverage. I’ve been waiting for a media assault by UK developers, publishers, advertisers and their respective PR companies but this industry damaging statement seems seem to have slipped under the radar.
And things unravel further when the DCMS report states this:
“The computer games industry in the UK had employment of around 15,000 in 2012. This estimate was 18.8 per cent higher than in 2011, when there were 13,000 jobs in the computer games industry.”
So more jobs but less money in the same year? Then the ONS stats go completely off the hook when the DCMS damns its own report – in its own report:
“Data at this level of detail are volatile and dependent on survey data and should be treated with caution.”
What? So not only is the ONS data inherently flawed but, according to Develop, it transpires that many companies haven’t even been included in the research. So why release this nonsense in the first place? All it’ll achieve is making share-holders flighty while knocking investor confidence.
There are trade bodies like UKIE, already challenging the report and the DCMS absolutely needs to be called to account by everyone in the UK games industry, which is in ruddy good health. That’ll learn me for reading pulp fiction. Next time I’ll stick to sports auto-biographies.