Microsoft Pacts on In-Game Ads, The Guild

dell takes a slice at apple with super thin latitude z dellz closed

Microsoft has landed an exclusive deal to distribute the second season of the “Internet cult hit” The Guild, and will be distributing the series’ 12-episode run via the Xbox Live Marketplace, MSN, and the company’s Zune Marketplace. The series will be sponsored by mobile operator Sprint. The first season of the show is being re-released across those platforms starting today; new episodes will begin appearing once a week beginning November 25. Episodes will be available for free.

The Guild is a Web-based scripted comedy written and produced by (and starring!) Felicia Day, who also appeared in Joss Whedon’s popular online effort Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-Long Blog. The series focuses on the antics and misadventures of a group of online gamers, and its first season was supported by viewer contributions via PayPal. Under the Microsoft distribution deal, Day is actually keeping her rights to the show while collecting a licensing fee; she held on to the show for more than a year, refusing to relinquish business or creative control of the series.

“I don’t exaggerate when we say that we had dozens of offers for the show,” Day wrote in the show’s blog, “But I was adamant that we be able to retain ownership of the show and have the creative freedom to keep the show close to its roots and to our fans.”

The deal makes The Guild the first show to be distributed worldwide simultaneously across Microsoft’s multiple distribution platforms, and marks a new installment in Microsoft’s efforts to expand its online video offerings into original scripted content.

In other news, Microsoft subsidiary Massive has inked a deal with game publisher THQ to run dynamic in-game advertising within THQ gaming titles, including the company’s successful Saints Row franchise. Saints Row 2, which shipped last month, will be one of the of the first titles to feature dynamic in-game ads from Massive. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Home Theater

Amazon’s next piece of hardware could turn your Fire TV into a DVR

Amazon is reportedly working on a new piece of hardware referred to as “Frank” within the company that would take on Tivo by adding DVR-style functionality to its Fire TV streaming devices.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix in August, from ‘Dark Tourist’ to 'Disenchantment'

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Movies & TV

'Star Wars: Resistance' TV series gets a trailer and premiere date

Disney has sky-high expectations for its Star Wars universe, with plenty of plans for the franchise on the big screen and television over the next few years. Here are all the upcoming movies and TV shows, both rumored and confirmed.
Movies & TV

David Harbour is 'taking risks' with Jim Hopper in 'Stranger Things' season 3

With a sophomore season as strong as its first, Stranger Things is now moving on to season 3. Here's everything we've learned so far about the Netflix series' upcoming third season.

Time to upgrade! Here are the best 4K TV deals for August 2018

There's no doubt that a good 4K smart TV is the best way to take your home entertainment setup to the next level so you can enjoy all of your favorite shows, movies, and games in glorious Ultra HD. We've got the best 4K TV deals right here.
Home Theater

The white van speaker scam explained, and how it moved to Craigslist and Facebook

The so-called white van speaker scam has been around for a long time, so why do people still get conned on a daily basis? We're here to arm you and your friends with the knowledge you need to see the hoax for what it is.
Home Theater

Become a master caster with these Google Chromecast tips and tricks

Google's Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra are the ultimate budget-friendly streaming devices for cord cutters. We've put together a list of our favorite tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your Chromecast.
Movies & TV

Out of TV shows to binge? Our staff picks the best flicks on Hulu right now

From classics to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Home Theater

Keep those albums sounding great by converting your vinyl to a digital format

There are all sorts of reasons for ripping records and storing them digitally, but what's the best way to do it? We cover the different types of equipment and software available for ripping records at any price in this guide.
Home Theater

They’re not just for gaming: Watch Blu-rays on the Xbox One S and Xbox One X

While the Xbox One S and Xbox One X boost the visuals of your games, they also can pull double-duty as Blu-ray players, but there's a bit of set up needed. Need help? Here's our guide on how to watch Blu-rays on the Xbox One S and X.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (August 2018)

Prime Video gives subscribers access to a host of great movies, but sifting through the massive library isn't easy. Lucky for you, we've sorted the wheat from the chaff. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

Amazon Prime brings more perks than just free two-day shipping. Subscribers get access to a huge library of TV shows to stream at no extra cost. Here are our favorite TV shows currently available on Amazon Prime.
Home Theater

Get your favorite sports in 4K and HDR with live TV streaming service FuboTV

If you’re looking for a live TV streaming service, but sports are the main draw for you, FuboTV could be exactly what you’re looking for. We’ve got everything you need to know about it right here.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in August 2018, from ‘Her’ to ‘Jurassic Park’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, subdued humor, or anything in between.