SOURCE: BrandIntel

November 19, 2007 12:30 ET

Halo 3 Discussion High Among Casual Gamers According to New BrandIntel Report

TORONTO--(Marketwire - November 19, 2007) - A new report from BrandIntel, a leader in online market intelligence solutions, found that while Halo 3 has historically appealed to a more hardcore gaming audience, it has recently generated significant awareness and engagement in the casual gaming community prior to and after its release on September 25. The BrandIntel report, titled "Halo 3: Consumer Insight Monitor," analyzed consumer sentiment and discussion share around Halo 3 as well as Guitar Hero 3: Legends of Rock, a game title that appeals to the more casual gamer. While Halo 3 performed as expected in the hardcore community, it over-achieved in the casual gaming community, indicating that the game has been successful in generating broader interest and potentially points to the long-term success for not only the game series, but for Xbox 360 as well.

Based on analysis of consumer-created content, the "Halo 3 Report" captures data from January 1, 2007 to October 4, 2007. Additional key findings from the study include:

--  In the months leading up to Halo 3's release, there was a positive
    correlation between Halo 3's and Xbox 360's discussion levels -- as Halo
    3's discussion increased, so too did the Xbox 360's engagement with the
    casual community.
--  Sentiment for the Xbox 360 also improved, indicating that gamers who
    were previously unsure about purchasing the console, are more convinced
    that it's a worthy purchase.
--  Sentiment in the casual community for both Halo 3 and Guitar Hero 3
    was very positive, with an average of 3.9 and 4.0, respectively.
--  Although Guitar Hero 3 has the advantage of generating traction on
    casual gaming sites, Halo 3 still managed to generate a greater amount of
    discussion among casual communities.  In August and September 2007, Halo
    3's casual discussion more than doubled discussion volume around Guitar
    Hero 3.
    

The BrandIntel "Halo 3 Report" provides research, marketing, communications and customer relationship management executives with actionable information to support decision-making through a better understanding of consumer usage behavior, as well as industry trends and influences. The report highlights the video games and manufacturers that have generated the most positive discussion and sentiment in online consumer communities such as blogs, discussion forums and other social media sites on the Internet. For this report, BrandIntel tracked more than 78,000 raw search results on the Internet and refined those results through technological filters and human analysis to utilize only the highest quality data -- totaling more than 5,600 consumer mentions on Halo 3 and Guitar Hero 3. This report follows BrandIntel's September 2007 "Top Video Games Consoles Report," which found that although Xbox 360 held the top spot with hardcore gamers, Nintendo Wii had the highest intent to purchase scores and appeals to a broader consumer base due to its price, innovation and ease of use.

"As seen with the success of the Nintendo Wii, gaming manufacturers are beginning to understand the importance of engaging a casual gaming audience, as this group can be a vital demographic in driving sales and new market opportunities," said Alan Dean, vice president of Business Innovation at BrandIntel. "Once gaming manufacturers begin to see the sales results that the casual gaming community can deliver, particularly after the 2007 holiday season, I believe manufacturers will respond by developing more game titles geared towards this particular group."

Using award-winning Internet monitoring technology combined with the power of human analysis, BrandIntel detects, analyzes and generates intelligence on tens of thousands of relevant comments about the gaming industry on a daily basis. The company scans the entire scope of the Internet and analyzes the most pertinent content to measure for assigned sentiment scores and share of discussion, rating the physical and emotional value of the results (positive or negative) to produce the relevant categorization records of information in all its reports. As a result, BrandIntel gaming customers are provided with the most reliable data possible to leverage in the decision-making process regarding their brands.

To view a summary of the report, visit www.brandintel.com

About BrandIntel (www.brandintel.com)

BrandIntel, a Brandimensions Inc. company, translates consumer-created content into reliable intelligence, enabling businesses to advance the science of decision making. The company offers an information-delivery platform combining human intelligence with award-winning technology for the most trusted market data in the industry. The BrandIntel data helps businesses validate critical business decisions, uncover new opportunities for value creation, and get closer to customers. BrandIntel works with Fortune 1000 companies and is headquartered in Toronto, Canada, with offices in the United States.

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