Interactive TV News Round-Up (VII): Visiware, Warner Bros., WPP Digital, Zugara, Nestle

The Dark Knight App Edition

--Visiware Launches "Hidden-Object" Interactive TV Game
--Warner Bros. Launches "App Editions" of "Inception" and "The Dark Knight"
--WPP Digital Combines Schematic, Bridge Worldwide, BLUE and Quasar into New Interactive Marketing Agency
--Zugara Creates Two Augmented Reality Advergames for Nestle

Due to the large volume of news generated over the past two days, we are covering stories in this issue in summary/round-up format.

  • Paris-based interactive TV games company, Visiware, has launched a new, hidden-object puzzle game, entitled "Hidden Objects: Holdup in New York," for its internationally deployed ITV games service, Playin'TV. "This new game, offering an original storyline and high-quality graphics and animations, takes the player into a universe filled with intrigue and mystery," the company states in its press materials. "An antique shop has been burglarized. A crime scene must be inspected. Tracks must be followed and the culprits found. Welcome to the world of special agent Jessica Blanchet, Playin'TV's new heroine. Easy and simple to play, this game is suitable for the entire family. The aim of the game is straightforward: find all the hidden clues to solve the mystery. Two game modes are available: 1) 'Time mode': allows the player to take part in the channel's competitions. 2) 'Relax mode': to play with no time limit. Four episodes are available for amateur detectives, and a more complete version can be played by those who prefer a greater challenge; 1st episode: 'The price of success'; 2nd episode: 'A deserted street'; 3rd episode: 'A garage in the dark'; 4th episode: 'A surprise visit.' The game will be progressively broadcast on the following networks: In France on Numericable (Channel 171), Darty Box THD (Channel 47) and Auchan Box (Channel 47). In other countries on Bell TV (Canada), Telus Satellite TV (Canada), Sky Italia (Italy), Sky TV (New Zealand) and many more."
  • Warner Bros. Digital Distribution, the studio's VOD and EST arm, has announced the launch of free "App Editions" of the movies, "Inception" and "The Dark Knight" for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. "App Editions provide a fully loaded, connected viewing experience that gives consumers the first five minutes of a feature film and a portion of bonus content that can include games, trivia, soundtracks and soundboards," the company explains in its press materials. "The entire feature film can be unlocked via an in-app purchase, which enables downloading and unlimited streaming, as well as access to the entire array of bonus content available within the app. The 'Inception' and 'The Dark Knight' App Editions are available in over 30 territories, including some which previously did not have access to films through iTunes including China, Brazil and the Netherlands. They contain fully customized menus in 16 languages including Japanese, Greek and Russian and also provide consumers movie subtitles in 34 languages ranging from Arabic to Ukrainian (streamed via WiFi). While watching the film, fans can also connect with friends by sharing their favorite movie quotes through Facebook and Twitter and watch a feed of social networking chatter directly related to the movie in real-time." Warner Bros describes "Inception: App Edition" as follows: "'Inception: App Edition' will not only allow fans to download or stream the blockbuster film, they can also enjoy exclusive bonus materials including three never-before-released tracks from the Academy Award-nominated score composed by Hans Zimmer that can be streamed via Airplay. The app also includes concept art, productions stills, movie poster artwork, bonus video showing a behind-the-scenes look at how Christopher Nolan's unique vision was brought to life, and copies of 'The PASIV Device Instruction Manual' and 'The Cobol Job' comic." The company describes "The Dark Knight: App Edition" as follows: "'The Dark Knight: App Edition,' protected by Widevine, allows consumers to download a permanent copy of the film to their iPhone, iPod touch or iPad, or stream it through the app. They can watch over three hours of bonus clips; explore a rich gallery of photos and trailers; test their film knowledge with interactive video trivia; listen to memorable one-liners and export them as ringtones; post Twitter and Facebook updates; and monitor relevant movie buzz in real time." A demo video of "The Dark Knight: App Edition" is embedded above.
  • WPP Digital has announced the launch of Possible Worldwide, a global interactive marketing agency that it is forming by combining its subsidiaries Schematic, Bridge Worldwide, BLUE and Quasar. According to the company, Possible Worldwide will aim to "create meaningful and measurable interactive marketing for the world's largest brands," and will have 1,000 employees in 18 offices around the world. It will be headed up by former Schematic CEO, Trevor Kaufman. According to WPP Digital, the new company will "develop solutions across the full range of digital media including mobile, Web, television, digital-out-of-home, tablet, touch, online advertising and social media, bringing technology and creativity together in new ways that drive consumer interest and business growth."
  • Augmented reality company, Zugara, contacted [itvt] Thursday to let us know about two webcam-based/motion-controlled AR advergames it recently created for Nestle's Juicy Juice brand. According to the company, the games remove "barriers to entry" for gamers because they were built in Flash ("so the gamer is not forced to download anything prior to playing [and] can start interacting immediately") and are markerless ("the game does not need to print or find a marker to engage with the augmented reality experience"). The games--which can be played here--are "Fruit Ensemble" (described by Zugara as "a rhythm-based game where the player must use their hands to tap fruit, that appears randomly around them, in time with the music") and "Fruit Mixer Studio" (described by Zugara as allowing players to "tap fruit to mix and record unique beats that can be saved to a desktop or sent directly to a mobile phone as a ringtone"). A demo video of the games is embedded below.
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North America