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Newsbriefs: Advergaming Networks, Indie Showcases, Playing For Cash

[UPDATED: 3:00pm PST] Today's regularly updated newsbriefs include news of Skyworks and Zodiac Interactive creating a set-top advergaming network, ECD Systems announcing its Indie Game Developers Showcase, and the imminent launch of play-for-cash <
[UPDATED: 3:00pm PST] Today's regularly updated newsbriefs include news of Skyworks and Zodiac Interactive creating a set-top advergaming network, ECD Systems announcing its Indie Game Developers Showcase, and the imminent launch of play-for-cash Counter-Strike site tournament.com. - Set-top box game publisher Zodiac Interactive and developer Skyworks Technologies (ex-Activision designer David Crane [Pitfall!, Little Computer People] serves as Skyworks' chief technical officer) have announced a partnership to design, develop and deploy new dual-platform advergames for online and set-top box distribution, with an expected debut of the new games to over 13 million set-top subscribers in 2007. The two companies have said the partnership will create the largest iTV ad-supported game network in the world. Examples of the companies' technologies include pre-roll ads, and in-game actions with players "inquiring about a pizza in the pizza-branded game" that could "trigger an email to the player with a store coupon that can be used to try the product." Said Zodiac Interactive’s EVP of sales and marketing Rick Howe, “Advergames are compelling, sponsored interactive content that enables leading brands to attract large, targeted audiences and effectively promote their brands across multiple platforms. We are pleased to have this relationship with Skyworks Technologies, who pioneered the concept of Advergaming in 1996.” - Digital Armor and FairShare Social Networking Engine developer ECD Systems has announced that its Indie Game Developers Showcase, with a number of action, sports, puzzle and strategy games by amateurs, students and pros, has opened online for voting. The voting will run between May 1st and July 20th, and will finish with a combination of both popular vote and a panel of judges, with winners of the showcase announced at this year's Austin Game Conference on September 5-7. More information on the Showcase will be found on the official Indie Game Developers Showcase website. - Norwich, U.K.'s Tournament.com has announced that its service will enter final beta this Wednesday, May the 2nd. The site functions as a licensed online PC gaming competition, with players competing for real cash. Players are able to stake $10 per match and place a maximum of $150 in their account each month, as well as check the stats of competitors before agreeing to a match. The site has also announced that it has entered into an agreement making it the only officially licensed arena to host Half-Life 2: Deathmatch and Counter-Strike: Source games for cash prizes, and is expected to go live for the public in May. More information can be found via its official website.

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