Archive for the ‘Industry News’ Category

Dateline Nov. 12, 2002: Mark Nakamoto of W. New York Wins $1 Million Push, Nevada Prize

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

Mark Nakamoto, 24, of West New York, New Jersey, is the lucky viewer who claimed the $1,045,000 prize from the Push, Nevada Game, it was announced today by the ABC Television Network.

Nakomoto solved the >Push, Nevada” puzzle after watching the >Push, Nevada” series and the Final Clue, broadcast live during ABC’s >Monday Night Football” on October 28, which completed the information viewers needed to solve the puzzle. The Final Clue led viewers to a series of letters taken from the episode clues that, together with a cipher, corresponded to a telephone number. Less than two minutes after the final piece of the puzzle was broadcast, Nakamoto, an assistant editor for a Manhattan publishing company, was the first contestant to call the winning number.

Nakamoto wasn’t the only viewer to figure the puzzle out, just the quickest to respond. During the first 20 minutes after the Final Clue was broadcast, more than 500 people solved the puzzle and called the winning number. Within the first 24 hours, more than 10,000 viewers had called.

The Push, Nevada Game was the largest TV and online game of skill ever played in America (for a prize of over 1 million dollars). The TV portion of the game is in a class of its own, as it was the only nationwide game of skill that could be played and won by simply watching a TV show. An estimated number of players upwards of 600,000 participated in the game, based on a percentage of broadcast viewers and online numbers. Additionally, close to 200,000 of these players interacted with the online portion of the game, rivaling some of the largest online games in existence.

>Push, Nevada,” a mystery about a strange Nevada town where nothing is as it seems, had its last original airing on the ABC Television Network on October 24. Sean Bailey, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Chris Moore were executive producers of >Push, Nevada,” from LivePlanet in association with Touchstone Television.

LivePlanet creates, markets and distributes entertainment experiences that break down the barriers between traditional media, new media and the physical world. LivePlanet calls this new kind of entertainment experience >integrated media.” Ben Affleck, Sean Bailey, Matt Damon and Chris Moore founded LivePlanet in June 2000.

Dateline Oct. 22, 2002: TerraQuest ARG Planned with $250,000 Prize

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

MindQuest, based in Henderson, Nevada will be releasing their first interactive adventure, TerraQuest. This game, intended to run for about six months, will blend mystery and online interaction and reportedly offers a quarter million dollar prize. All the while offering a compelling and immersive experience for the players.

From the official website [formerly http://www.mind-quest.com]:

This fall, MindQuest will release its first interactive game, TerraQuest will be an interactive Internet game that blends the elements of mystery and intrigue with the quest of a lifetime. Players from around the world will be competing to be the first to solve the game and reap the rewards. For approximately (or “more than”) six months, this game of skill will challenge the intelligence, creativity, and dedication of the players, while it delivers an outstanding entertainment value.

About MindQuest
MindQuest Entertainment is an online interactive entertainment company that creates and produces games that are based upon skill and intelligence, rather than reflexes. As the first company to offer an online interactive game with substantial cash prizes, MindQuest will offer compelling entertainment to people over the age of 18 and from many countries around the world.

Founded: January 2002
Founder: Keith Griffin

Dateline Oct. 14, 2002: Marketers grumbling over Push, Nevada

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

Media buyers responsible for product placement in the soon to be defunct show Push, Nevada are now beginning to understand the risks involved with product placement contracts. With the premature cancellation of Push, advertisers feel that their products did not receive the exposure needed to show off specific features of their autos and cell phones.

In addition, due to sweepstakes laws, the show is running longer than warranted by advertisers to allow the $1 million prize to be awarded leaving the sponsors with advertising commitments and little audience to justify it.

From AdAge.com,

$4 million fee
In addition to the product placement deal with LivePlanet, Toyota and Sprint each bought three 30-second spots in the show from Walt Disney Co.’s ABC. Over the course of the series, this translates into about a $4 million deal for each advertiser above the placement fee.

The series was to run a scheduled 13 episodes. But after its premier, the show moved into the prime Thursday night lineup at 9 p.m. against hits Will & Grace on General Electric Co.’s NBC and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation on Viacom’s CBS. Ratings tanked. For its Oct. 3 episode, Push posted a weak 1.5 rating among adults ages 18 to 49, leading the network to cancel the series after its seventh episode.

That’s not soon enough for media buyers. “They should have canceled it now and taken it off [completely],” said Steve Sternberg, senior vice president and director of Audience Analysis of Magna Global USA, “rather than announce its cancellation now and show three additional episodes.”

Typically, networks pull shows with consistent ratings declines after three episodes.
Another veteran media executive said if the show ended sooner, advertisers could have taken back money or received make-goods sooner.

Sweepstakes rules
But ABC and LivePlanet have to keep the show going because the plot line, which follows the travails of IRS agent Jim Prufrock, ties in with a sweepstakes that awards $1 million to a viewer who solves the murder mystery in the show. Sweepstakes laws state the money must be given away.

“We want viewers of Push to see the outcome of Prufrock’s investigation, and airing it through the seventh episode will give closure to the storyline,” said Susan Lyne, president of ABC Entertainment, in a statement. Revised contests rules will be revealed soon on abc.com.

Push has the distinction of the first cancellation of the fall season, and ABC is still working on its turnaround.

Dateline Oct. 10, 2002: Push Nevada Cancelled

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

According to Variety, Push, Nevada, the beleaguered show airing against CSI and NBC’s Must See TV will be formally cancelled this morning. The Oct. 24 episode will be the final episode.

The show, produced by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s production company, Live Planet, has struggled for audience since it first aired. ABC premiered the show on a Tuesday night and repeated the episode in its regular time slot hoping to jump start the audience.

It seems that even a $1 million prize was not enough to generate sufficient viewers to keep the show alive. Push posted a 3.2/5 rating last week putting it in 93rd place for the Prime Time on the major broadcast networks. Reportedly, even SpongeBob SquarePants, a cable children’s show on Nickelodeon is posting better numbers.

Push, Nevada was created as a hybrid television show, online game with the intention of giving away over $1 million to the first lucky viewer to solve the mystery of Push. Although all of the hints and clues are completely contained in the actual show, Live Planet created a number of websites to supplement the show and provide interactive content during the week.

The official Message Board has over 9100 members. Even though the clues were made blatantly obvious, almost 40% of those polled by ABC felt lost and presumably were not sure about the answers.

ABC is allowing Push sufficient air time to provide the clues necessary to complete the hunt for the million dollar prize. As a result of the cancellation, the final episode and presumably next weeks episodes will be changed to insert the clues. A quick check of tvguide.com shows that the final episode has not yet been named.

Dateline Oct. 5, 2002: Action Game to be coreleased with new Quentin Tarantino Film

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

According to the BBC News, Quentin Tarantino’s next film, Kill Bill will be released along with a new action video game from Black Label Games.

Tarantino will be the game’s creative consultant, providing exclusive footage from the film. The William Morris Agency served as the agency that made the match between Miramax and BLG.

The kung fu action film stars Uma Thurman, Daryl Hannah David Carradine and Lucy Liu. Uma Thurman is a former assassin betrayed by her boss Bill. After four years in a coma, she swears vengeance and goes against his team of deadly assassins. The film is expected to be Taratino’s mega-comeback movie.

Under a deal with Miramax, the game will be released to coincide with the video and DVD. A novel based on the movie will also be published in June 2003

The film is due for release October 2003.

Dateline Oct. 5, 2002: Action Game to be coreleased with new Quentin Tarantino Film

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

According to the BBC News, Quentin Tarantino’s next film, Kill Bill will be released along with a new action video game from Black Label Games.

Tarantino will be the game’s creative consultant, providing exclusive footage from the film. The William Morris Agency served as the agency that made the match between Miramax and BLG.

The kung fu action film stars Uma Thurman, Daryl Hannah, David Carradine and Lucy Liu. Uma Thurman is a former assassin betrayed by her boss Bill. After four years in a coma, she swears vengeance and goes against his team of deadly assassins. The film is expected to be Taratino’s mega-comeback movie.

Under a deal with Miramax, the game will be released to coincide with the video and DVD. A novel based on the movie will also be published in June 2003

The film is due for release October 2003.

Dateline Oct. 4, 2002: Has Toyota dropped their Push, Nevada sponsorship?

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

All references to Toyota and Toyota of Push are now gone from the websites associated with the game for ABC’s Push, Nevada. Also, Toyota’s Push Dealership promo site for the game now automatically redirects visitors to the main Toyota website.

The first change was noticed late afternoon of October 3rd when the site toyotaofpush.com started automatically forwarding visitors to toyota.com.

Later in the evening of the 3rd, the main Push Times website removed the advertising links for Toyota. The change was made as part of the regular update that occurs after each episode airs on Thursday nights.

Today, the other main site, the Push Chamber of Commerce, was updated to remove references to Toyota. This change was noticed first around 6:15 P.M. ET.

No official word or press releases have been issued from either ABC or Toyota. It is pretty common knowledge that ABC is having a difficult time attaining the ratings they anticipated for Push. Last nights numbers, according to Zap2It were 3.2/5 which is substantially lower than many other shows canceled by ABC in the past.

Dateline Oct. 1, 2002: Hitchhiker’s Guide Goes Hollywood

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

The long rumored script for Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy initially written by Douglas Adams prior to his untimely death has been picked up by Hollywood and will reportedly be made into a major motion picture directed by Jay Roach of Austin Powers fame.’, ‘Karey Kirkpatrick, who also collaborated on the script for the UK blockbuster Chicken Run, is reportedly creating a finished script from Adams’ original screenplay for Spyglass Entertainment. Originally, the film was to be released by Disney Studios. Before they put the film on the backburner, the budget was reportedly $85-$100 million.

Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy (affectionately called H2G2 by fans) was originally a trilogy and then expanded to a total of six books, the last completed posthumously. It is still referred to as a trilogy.

Over 15 millions books have been printed. The H2G2 franchise now includes a BBC Radio Series and a hit UK television series.

In the world of gaming, H2G2 was released as a character-based Interactive Fiction game in 1984 by Infocom. The original game can still be played online at douglasadams.com (java required). Also, a new game for the XBox and PC is currently in development by PAN Interactive. It combines action, adventure and comedy into an immersive gaming environment faithful to Adams’ multi-million selling book.

The movie has not begun filming yet and no release date has been announced.

Dateline Oct 1, 2002: Can Push go the distance or even make it to Halloween?

Friday, December 14th, 2007

According to the LA Times, Push, Nevada is on really shaky ground and may be cancelled after Episode 4.

According to the article [http://www.latimes.com/business/custom/cotown/la-et-lowry1oct01001427.story?null] (free registration required),

. . . the network already faces some serious problems. The interactive drama “Push, Nevada” may top that list, plummeting 45% from the previous week against CBS and NBC’s Thursday heavyweights.ABC officials have said the program will run at least one more time but haven’t committed beyond that.

It is unclear how ABC will handle the prize of $1,045,000 that was to be awarded at the end of the series to a single viewer. The rules of their promotion allow them to accelerate the clues or reconstitute the game in a different format to award the prize.

Whether this means the game would become strictly web-based or simply shortened in some manner is unclear.

What is clear is that ABC took a huge risk with the show by putting it against blockbusters like CSI and NBC’s Must See TV. CSI reportedly exceeded 30 million viewers for the first time with their season opener and NBC also posted strong numbers.

According to Newsday [http://www.newsday.com/entertainment/local/newyork/…], ABC is also considering re-airing the show on sister cable channel ABC Family or moving the show to completely to cable.

ABC has locked in some big sponsors and might have an alternate agenda in this grand experiment, so the likelihood of cancellation is probably less certain than for a traditional show. Only time will tell.

Dateline Sep 24, 2002: ARGN to close forums on Sept 26.

Friday, December 14th, 2007

Sadly, ARGN has announced that their forums will no longer be available for new posts as of 9/26/02. Existing posts will remain available as an archive.

Following is the entire, original message.

The following is an email sent to you by an administrator of “Alternate Reality Gaming Network”.
If this message is spam, contains abusive or other comments you find offensive please contact the webmaster of the board at the following address:

admin@argn.com

Include this full email (particularly the headers).

Message sent to you follows:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ARGN Forums to Close

ARGN will be closing its forums section effective Thursday, Sept 26th, 2002, due to numerous issues, including but not limited to lack of adequate bandwidth/traffic capacity, and our sincere desire not to compete with www.collectivedetective.org.

However, the hard work of all our members will not be lost. All message threads will continue to be accessible as is, for reference as an archive into the foreseeable future, but no new content
will be added after this Thursday.

This decision has not been an easy one to make, and we hope that our members will understand and support this decision. It is the members that have made the community a special one and we would
like thank each and every one of you for your support of ARGN. We’ve had a great run, and it’s been a privilege to serve you all. As for now, I need to take a break :)

Please refer to the ARGN Terms of Service before posting any questions or comments in response to this announcement.

Sincerely,

Steve Peters
ARGN Site Administrator