Japanese game developer GungHo Entertainment has sold its stake in Supercell to its own parent company, SoftBank. GII reports that the Puzzle & Dragons developer sold its holdings in the Finnish studio because it wanted to focus more on emerging markets such as "China, Southeast Asia, and South America."
GungHo Online's popular mobile title Puzzles & Dragons, has been downloaded over 30 million times to-date in Japan. The news was revealed by industry veteran Dr. Serkan Toto, who cites a press release circulated by GungHo earlier this week.
That same press release says that Puzzle & Dragons has seen 4 million downloads in the U.S. and Canada, 2 million downloads in South Korea and 1 million downloads across Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Zabuza Labs has launched "Save Trees - A Game for Social Cause" for Android-based devices, a simple game that offers a message about conservation and protecting the environment. The game promises to entertain with simple gameplay mechanics while delivering a "social message" and educational information on trees.
The second game from Flappy Bird creator Dong Nguyen is called "Swing Copters," and will be released later this week. Nguyen removed Flappy Birds from the Apple app store and Google Play earlier this year over personal concerns that his game was "too addictive." He recently re-released the game on Amazon's Fire TV device. Nguyen also received a lot of unwanted attention from the media in his home country of Vietnam, which scared him and his family.
Kim Kardashian appeared on NBC's morning program The Today Show to defend her ultra popular mobile title Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. Last week New York Times best-selling author Ayelet Waldman took to Twitter to lambaste Kardashian, blaming her for her son spending $120 in the game for virtual goods. Waldman called her an "evil scumbag."
Social and mobile game maker Zynga posted a $63 million net loss for the second quarter of FY 2014. The company reported non-GAAP quarterly revenues of $153 million, with non-GAAP profits of $3 million - a bit better than the $6 million loss for the same period a year ago. Bookings, or virtual item sales, were $175 million, down 7 percent from the same period a year ago.
Zynga also reduced its full-year guidance on bookings to be between $695 million and $725 million, down from an earlier guidance between $770 million to $810 million.
Sony is no longer mucking around with Android devices. The company announced today that it will no longer support releasing games on Android devices through its PlayStation Mobile initiative. Instead the company will put its focus back on PS Vita and its micro-console, the PS Vita TV.
The company launched PlayStation Mobile in 2012, allowing developers to publish games on the Vita without having to jump through the hoops of certification on that platform. It also allowed for publishing games to PlayStation-certified Android devices.
Film company Lionsgate Entertainment has invested an undisclosed amount of capital in Finish developer Next Games. Next Games is a game studio based in Helsinki, Finland that was formed last year by former Rovio, Disney and Supercell developers. The studio raised $6 million in its first round of public funding, and is currently working on a free-to-play mobile game based on AMC's The Walking Dead show called No Man's Land and another undisclosed project.
Mind Candy founder and CEO Michael Acton Smith announced via a YouTube video that he is leaving the company. Smith founder the company in 2004 and saw great success with its popular mobile game Moshi Monsters. But smith says that the great success the company experienced forced him to spend less time developing games and more time handling the business side of things. His departure from the company is a return to getting back to the art of making games.
Glu Mobile's Kim Kardashian iOS game is set generate $200 million annual revenue for the company, according to one analyst. The game has already boosted the company's share price by 40 percent in less than a month, and according to what analyst Doug Creutz told Bloomberg, revenue from Glu's game Kim Kardashian: Hollywood could reach $200 million for the year.
According to a study highlighted in The Guardian, 85 percent of the top 50 grossing apps on Apple and Android stores across the world are games. The data comes from Midia Research, and shows that 84.9 percent of the 700 apps covered by the study were games, with the next nearest category being social networking and only accounting for around 4.1 percent.
"The app economy is, for now at least, a games economy," the report concludes.
Amazon is refusing to comply with a Federal Trade Commission settlement plan related to in-app purchases. Apple settled for $32.5 million in refunds to parents who claim they were billed for games and in-app content their children were playing on their mobile or tablet devices without their express consent. Apple was also ordered to change its billing practices to make sure that in-app purchases require consent from parents or device owners before transactions could be completed.
Gamasutra reports that one of the biggest game publishers in China, China Mobile Games and Entertainment Group has laid off several executives following allegations of bribery. The company laid off nine executives from their positions earlier this week, including President Shuling Ying.
The popular and often copied Temple Run games on the Apple App Store have been downloaded one billion times, according to GII. Developed by Imangi Studios, Temple Run and Temple Run 2 are world-running platformer games that are extremely popular and have been cloned by other developers trying to cash in on the games' popularity.
Security software maker and security research firm AVAST Software have found several soccer apps that they describe as "ad-overloaded, data-hungry apps." As fans get ready for the World Cup to get underway in Brazil, the offering of soccer-related apps on the Google Play store is big; there are at least 125 different vuvuzela apps available. But AVAST Software is warning those keen to download these apps that some of them are wolves in sheep's' clothing.
Apple has pulled developer Manitoba Games' app about growing and dealing weed from its App Store. The game, called Weed Firm, was yanked from the Apple App Store because of its depiction of illegal activity, according to the developer. The game revolves around "the vicious and lawless career of Mr. Ted Growing," an expelled botany sophomore who decides to take over a pot growing operation. The goal of the game is to become the biggest pot dealer in town, by growing and selling to a cast of amusing and dangerous characters, all while avoiding the long arm of the law.
Flappy Birds will be coming back, and when it does it will be a multiplayer game, according to the CNBC program Closing Bell. Host Kelly Evans confirmed on Twitter that the game will release in August. When it is re-released it will offer a multiplayer component and "less addictive" gameplay. The last point is important to creator Dong Nguyen, who took his game offline because it ruined his simple life and because he felt it was too addictive.
Glu Mobile has acquired Diner Dash maker PlayFirst, according to this GII report. The transaction is expected to close this month. Glu Mobile bought the company by offering PlayFirst shareholders 3 million shares of the company's common stock and by taking on $3.55 million of PlayFirst's debt.
Security researchers at Malwarebytes has a new blog post up talking about the dangers of "sideloading apps," or bypassing the app store on your preferred Android-based device to install games. Malwarebytes say that this practice is "best avoided" because it makes it easier for malware makers to install something nefarious on your device.
Social and mobile game maker Zynga reported a first-quarter loss of $61 million, compared to a $25 million loss from its previous quarter and a profit of $4 million the same period a year ago. Zynga also announced that its founder Mark Pincus, who had already stepped down as its chief executive officer, would leave his role as chief product officer, basically ending his executive duties at the firm. Pincus remains the chairman of the board.
According to this Bloomberg report, Japanese mobile giant GungHo has four games earning nearly $1 million a month. Speaking to Bloomberg, GungHo CEO Kazuki Morishita said that the company has six profitable game, with four of them breaking ¥100 million ($980,000) every month.
Despite these numbers, Morishita expressed dissatisfaction to Bloomberg concerning its monthly earnings.
The mobile version of Mojang's popular open-world building game has hit a new milestone this week. According to a tweet from Mojang's Jens Bergensten, Minecraft: Pocket Edition has sold over 21 million copies to-date. We assume that this number includes paid iOS and Android versions of the game. Minecraft: Pocket Edition was released in August 2011, and arrived on iOS devices that same November.
In a recent interview with GamesBeat, The Tetris Company's Henk Rogers reveals that the mobile version of the classic puzzle game has been downloaded more than 425 million times. That figure does not include free-to-play versions of the game, which Rogers apparently is not a big fan of.
Developer Fireproof Games claims that it has sold more than five million copies of its mobile puzzler series The Room on Android and iOS. The second game in the series, The Room Two, launched in December of last year and has already surpassed more than 1.2 million in sales, according to Fireproof. Fireproof also claims that it has sold more than 4.2 million copies of the first game since it debuted in 2012. The first game is priced at $1, while The Room Two costs $3.
Flappy Bird is a simple game. Some might even call it boring.
But that certainly didn't stop it from becoming one of the most popular and talked about games on mobile stores for the past week or so.
But, it's gone now. Yep, creator Dong Nguyen decided to take his money-making ball and go home.
Maybe it's a cheeky joke that became reality or perhaps they are simply seizing the moment, but punk band Fall Out Boy has decided to get in on the Flappy Bird media frenzy by creating a parody game called "Fall Out Bird." It sounds like an April Fool's Day joke come early, but the game is a real thing, according to the BBC, and it will be released very soon.
On this week's show hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about whether video games should enter into the public domain, the Pennsylvania government's report on violent video games and real world violence, EA's possible manipulation of ratings for its free-to-play Dungeon Keeper game, and a discussion on Flappy Bird.. Download Episode 87 now: SuperPAC Episode 87 (1 hour, 11 minutes) 81 MB.