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Mazda And Xbox To Launch 2016 Mx-5

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By Author: Raymond Hillberg
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The Mazda MX-5 Miata is a big deal for the Japanese automaker here in the U.S. and the rest of the planet. The MX-5 is the best-selling roadster in the world, so it’s hardly a surprise that the manufacturer is pulling out all the stops to promote the new 2016 model year of this iconic little sports car. The 2016 model is being promoted in conjunction with Xbox, which will mean this is the second consecutive year that Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) has teamed up with the gaming giant to promote a new model. This year’s tie-up saw Forza Horizon 2 players getting the chance to enter the Mazda MX-5 Livery Design Contest, which was made available through the Mazda branded hub on both the Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

The competition was to design the livery for the 1994 model year version of the MX-5 that appears in the game, with the two finalists being awarded a trip in March to South by Southwest 2015 for the final of this design showdown. The eventual winner is set to walk away with a new 55-inch curved TV, an audio music system, an Xbox One Kinect console and a MadCatz Racing Wheel worth somewhere in the region of a cool $3,499. Perhaps the biggest prize of all though, will see the winning design made available to all Xbox One and Xbox 360 users in the Forza Horizon 2 game as a free gift.

Russell Wager, the vice president of marketing at MNAO, commented, "In addition to shining the spotlight on the 2016 Mazda MX-5 through the partnership, we also wanted to give Forza fans a way to engage and pick up some cool prizes and see their work featured in the game. Fans of the Mazda MX-5 are some of the most passionate enthusiasts out there and we look forward to seeing the creativity that comes from this contest."

A judging panel of representatives from Microsoft, Mazda and Turn 10 Studios was put together to decide on as many as five potential semi-finalists, with all entries being judged on a 100-point scale. The available 100 points were allocated with a potential 33 points available for originality, up to 33 points for aesthetic design, and a further 34 points up for grabs for technical proficiency. The successful semi-finalists’ efforts will be posted on the Mazda hub on Xbox Live from January 26, 2015 through February 12, 2015 for the public to vote on, with the two submissions with the most votes going through to the final at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas.

The final decision on the winner will be made by the automaker’s director of design Derek Jenkins, Xbox Live’s Major Nelson and Forest Byrd from TC9700Gaming.

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