Search Specialist, Mindshare North America
1. Ubisoft’s ShapeUp: Fitness games until now have been pretty dull. They typically have a digital instructor that gives commands and the player follows along. ShapeUp takes a whole new look at what can be done in this genre. The game projects the player’s image into the game and records it, so they can go back and challenge their past self. The actual fitness part has been turned into arcade mini games, which makes this new approach appealing to gamers and fitness fans alike. Using this game, brands can be more visible while a player improves their health.
2. Ubisoft Dance Central: I’m not really into dance games anymore (DDR was my jam back in the day) but the technology for this game is pretty amazing. You don’t even need a console; just a smartphone and a TV with smart capabilities. You can have up to 20 people playing at once, all connected to the Ubisoft server and one phone projecting the app to the TV to follow along. This gives the opportunity for brands to advertise in a smartphone game that projects to a big screen, delivering messaging to more than one set of eyes and an engaged audience.
3. VR: That means Virtual Reality and there are 2 devices that are trailblazing the path for this new experience/technology: The Morpheus by Sony and the Oculus by Facebook. I have yet to try the Oculus but the tour I was given for Morpheus was amazing. The potential for brands with these devices is endless including delivering virtual experiences of products, destinations, services and allowing the consumer to try ’it’ out before a purchase.
4. The Sims: The ever-expanding world of The Sims continues to become more and more immersive. Brands have a really unique opportunity to integrate themselves into the players’ world; be it product placement for house hold items such as vacuums (Sims have to clean too), paper towels or even insurance. With the coming expansion of sim- pets, a particular dog food could even be inserted into the game. Producing this strong engagement places the brand at the forefront of consumers’ mind when they are making purchase decision outside the game.
5. Super Smash Brothers and Amiibos: The latest iteration of the famed series comes to the Wii U and the handheld 3DS. This version is going to include NFC figures called Amiibos. There isn’t too much known about these figures but if they are anything like Disney Infinity or Skylander they will allow players to unlock additional content with each purchase. Brands have an opening here to be the one to give that additional content to the player. Secondly, the first Super Smash Bros Wii U tournament was held at the conference yesterday. This paves the way for more to come and opportunities for brands to sponsor professional players.