PopCap has taken some criticism for jumping on the free-to-play bandwagon with Plants vs. Zombies 2 (which was released this week on iOS), but PopCap CEO Dave Roberts says that free-to-play isn't all that different from the business model it started with more than a decade ago.
The Obama administration has lifted an International Trade Commission ban on older models of Apple's iOS devices (iPhones and iPads). As a general rule, presidents do not intervene in cases handled by the ITC - the last time an ITC ban was overturned was in 1987. The news was revealed over the weekend by U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, who announced that he would stop both an import ban and a cease-and-desist order that would have required Apple to remove the products from shelves.
In an interview with GamesBeat, EA's Frank Gibeau revealed a couple of interesting facts about the company. The first fact he revealed is that Apple was the company's biggest partner in the last quarter, raking in an estimated $90 million in app sales. The game that made the most money for EA on iOS devices was The Simpsons: Tapped Out. EA's sales through Apple's Store represented about 18 percent of its business.
Apple has done a pretty good job of keeping emulator software apps off of its iOS devices, mainly because it believes that such software encourages piracy, but a new app that allows users to emulate Nintendo games has managed to find a loophole. The program is called GBA4iOS, and as its name implies, it allows you to emulate Game Boy Advance games on iOS devices such as iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. The software was created by Riley Testut, who also created a Super NES emulator for iOS devices.
In Episode 60 of the Super Podcast Action Committee, hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about the latest SHIELD Act, the many letters of Treehouse Avatar Technologies, Nintendo's EVO misstep, Square Enix's bad idea to deal with jailbroken iOS devices, and fake geek girls. Download Episode 60 now: SuperPAC Episode 60 (1 hour, 13 minutes) 59.1 MB.
With Apple's App Store celebrating five years in business, Apple has decided to release its list of the best selling games and apps for the iPhone and iPad. It should come as no surprise that Rovio's Angry Birds is all over these lists. The original game is the number one best-selling paid app on iPhone. In fact, various versions of the game are on the Best Selling Paid App charts for both devices and Angry Birds HD Free is #4 on the Most Popular Free Apps chart for iPad.
Other popular titles include Fruit Ninja, Cut The Rope, Words With Friends, and Temple Run.
As part of a settlement deal back in February, Apple agreed to pay settlements to parents whose children supposedly bought in-app purchases in kids' games on iOS "accidently" and without their parents' consent. Now the company has provided a means for claiming compensation. Apple has launched a dedicated website where parents can claim either a $5 iTunes Store credit or iTunes credit equal to the amount of in-app purchases made with a 45-day period.
On May 3 Apple said that it was very close to hitting 50 billion app download mark on its App store. Today the company announced that its App Store has surpassed the milestone - which they point out does not include re-downloads of apps or updates by users. While we do not know the exact data and time this milestone was met, we do know who the person was that downloaded the 5 billionth app: Ohio's Brandon Ashmore. Apple awarded him a $10,000 App Store gift card, and his app of choice - the word game Say the Same Thing by Space Inch.
An investigation examining 400 apps conducted by Develop shows that there is a lack of consistency in the way in-game purchases are presented on digital stores. The investigation follows the UK government agency the Office of Fair Trading’s recent announcement that it would investigate in-app purchases in children’s games.
Courthouse News reports that Apple's plan to settle with parents over its failure to get parental consent before minors made purchases in various apps has been approved by a federal court. Apple's settlement would provide all class members with a minimum $5 iTunes store credit (or cash payment for those who no longer have an iTunes account), according to court documents.
Apple announced today that its app store is nearing the 50 billion app download mark. Since its launch, the Apple App Store has seen almost 50 billion downloads of various apps for its iOS devices. Apple also announced that the person who downloads the 50 billionth app will receive a $10,000 App Store gift card, while $500 gift cards will be given to the individuals who download the first 50 after that milestone.
Game Developer Vlambeer can't seem to catch a break when it comes to other developers cloning their games. Their latest game to be cloned on the Apple App Store is Vlambeer's upcoming title Luftrausers. SkyFar is very similar to Vlambeer's game - in fact, except for a few minor aesthetics it looks identical to Vlambeer's game.
Apple has refused to include Auroch Digital's Endgame: Syria on the Apple App Store and has removed Sweatshop HD - a collaboration between U.K. studio Littleloud and Channel 4, according to this Polygon report. Both games, it seems are a little too controversial for Apple.
Ridiculous Fishing and Serious Sam: Random Encounter developer Vlambeer says that "non-evil" free-to-play game design is almost impossible and that game developers should not be afraid to price their games at $3. Vlambeer's Ridiculous Fishing, which almost saw the studio go under during development, went live last week on Apple's App Store and garnered strong sales and critical acclaim from fans and critics.
Indie strategy developer and publisher Slitherine has signed a licensing deal with Games Workshop to develop a new strategy title set in the popular Warhammer 40,000 universe. While Slitherine says that details of the deal (including the content and features of the game) have not yet been announced, development is already underway on multiple platforms.
Polygon has an interesting interview with Plague Inc. developer James Vaughan, who reveals to the publication that he has been asked to speak to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia. Plague Inc. is a unique strategy game for iOS that lets the play take control of a deadly pathogen and infect one person - patient zero - with the end goal being to spread the plague to every corner of the globe.
It looks like Apple has just gotten its hand slapped away from Samsung's cookie jar - according to a report this morning on AllThingsD. Judge Lucy Koh, the judge overseeing the Apple-Samsung patent trial threw out part of the billion dollar verdict Apple had previously won in the long-running case and ordered a new trial to determine damages for patent infringement.
Your young son or daughter comes home and asks the one question you worried that you would inevitably have to answer since the day they were born into this world: "Where do babies come from?" Well as Apple used to be fond of saying, there's now an "app for that." It's called Birdees, and it is an educational app for iOS devices created by Vancouver-based educational entertainment software developer GoTo Educational Technology Inc.
Apple has agreed to settle a class action lawsuit related to children inadvertently making purchases in the Apple Store for iOS devices, according to Reuters. The class action lawsuit concerned customers who were charged when their children downloaded applications from the company's online store.
Popular crowd funding platform Kickstarter has launched an app for iOS devices today that allows users to have more streamlined access to their favorite projects. The app promises the community the ability to "discover new projects, watch project videos, and get updates from projects and your friends." For project creators looking to get some funding from the community the app allows you to "stay connected with your backers, track your project’s progress, and post updates from wherever you are."
The Tetris Company announced that the New Jersey District Court has delivered the company final judgment in its case against game maker Xio. The company filed the lawsuit in 2009 alleging that Xio's game Mino for iOS infringed on the copyrights and trade dress rights of Tetris. The court ultimately sided with The Tetris Company, which owns the licensing rights to the popular franchise.
The designer of an iOS game that focuses on Syria's ongoing civil war is defending his game and explaining why he created it in the first place: to inform those people around the world who might be ignorant about the conflict. The game, Endgame Syria, is decidedly pro rebel forces and gives players choices like negotiating peace with President Bashar Assad's regime or sending jihadist fighters to kill the pro-government military forces.
When the NRA-branded iOS app NRA: Practice Range launched earlier this week (nearly on the one month anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting that took place in Newtown Connecticut on December 14, 2012) it carried a rating of ages 4+.
It's hard to argue against a culture of violence influencing children when you release an iOS app that teaches kids ages 4+ how to aim a gun and more accurately shoot. Not that the newly released NRA-licensed game developed by MEDL Mobile, Inc. will turn your tiny tot into a killing machine - nor does the game include any type of violent content save the ability to fire a handgun at human shaped targets and clay targets. And to its credit, the game also offers plenty of safety tips for players to keep them from doing stupid things - we assume - in real life.
Apple announced that its App store saw 2 billion downloads in December, along with a number of other milestones that happened in 2012. All in all, the numbers show that Apple's app Store had a pretty good year. According to data released by Apple, 40 billion apps have been downloaded since the store opened in 2008; 20 billion of those downloads occurred in 2012; there are now 775,000 iOS apps available in the store; there are over 500 million active iTunes accounts; and app developers have made $7 billion dollars from the 70 percent cut they get of sales - since 2008.
Hackulous closed its doors for good, according to a report from TorrentFreak. The entire community that catered to offering cracked apps for Apple's iOS devices seems to have unceremoniously died or shut down yesterday. This includes Apptrackr, the web-based partner index for cracked apps; and Installous, an app used by millions to transfer those cracked apps to iOS devices.