According to data collected through a new TIGA survey of "new" British game developers, there appears to be a trend towards making games more for the PC. According to the trade group representing British game developers, more than half of all new developers launched in the UK during 2014 are primarily focused on the PC, showing that some are moving away from mobile game development. Around 52 percent of British games companies started in 2014 are focused on the PC, versus 35 percent on mobile.
Apple isn't admitting that it didn't anything wrong when it pulled a bunch of historical games from the Apple App store yesterday because they featured the confederate flag, but according to this TechCrunch report, the company is working with developers to reinstate them as we type this.
According to what an Apple rep. tells TechCrunch, they only meant to remove games that use the flag in a way that promotes hate or harm.
Bethesda Softworks gleefully announced this morning that Fallout Shelter – the company's free-to-play iOS app set in Fallout universe - is the top downloaded game in 48 countries and the top downloaded app of any kind in 25 countries following its release last week. Fallout Shelter also remains the number 1 most downloaded free game on the App Store. In the first week following its release, play sessions of Fallout Shelter have surpassed 70 million times a day by fans globally, according to Bethesda.
Game design students at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois have released a mobile game to show the effects of blood sugar imbalances in those with type 2 diabetes. The game is called Coco’s Cove, and puts players in control of a cute little monkey in a multi-level puzzle game that illustrates the ups and downs of someone diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. A subtle gameplay mechanic changes how the player moves through the level in a light-hearted, amusing way.
XPRIZE announced this morning that it is teaming up with the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to launch a $7 million global competition to develop mobile applications for adults that will cause the "greatest increase in literacy skills in just 12 months."
Mojang’s popular world building game Minecraft continues to dominate the iOS charts, taking the number one slots on the iPhone and iPad Top Ten best-selling game charts for the week ending May 18, according to MCV.
Mojang's hit mobile game managed to beat out Snowman’s Alto’s Adventure on both charts for the week.
Former Rovio head of games Jami Laes has revealed the "other opportunities" he decided to pursue after he left the Angry Birds maker in January. Laes has launched a new mobile gaming company called Futureplay Games, with plans to develop games that focus on the "view-to-play" model for monetization. "View-to-play" gives players access to gameplay after watching monetized video ads.
Laes thinks this approach to monetization will be easier for players to accept.
Mobile games publisher GREE has shut down its Vancouver studio, according to a tweet from GREE Vancouver's studio head, Steve Lin highlighted in this Gamasutra report - as well as a blog post from GREE International COO Andrew Sheppard.
MCV reports that UK-based mobile game developer Space Ape has released its second title, a strategy game called Rival Kingdoms. The most interesting aspect of the game is that game scribe Rhianna Pratchett lent her pen to the work. You may know her better for her writing in such high profile game titles as Tomb Raider (2013), Mirror’s Edge, Thief, Heavenly Sword, Prince of Persia and the Overlord series.
Mobile analytics firm App Annie announced today that it has acquired Vancouver-based competitor Mobidia for an undisclosed amount of money and stock. In a blog post announcing the deal, App Annie said that the acquisition will help it expand its reach deeper into international markets though the integration of data and talent from Mobidia.
The company's office in Vancouver currently employs 30 people. App Annie will rename the office "App Annie Canada."
Tencent has acquired a 14.6 percent stake in mobile game developer Glu Mobile for an estimated $126 million payout to the company, according to this GamesBeat report.
In an article entitled "The 2048 guys stole my iPhone game" over on Medium, indie mobile developer and Palette L.L.C. founder Matt Akins (who is also the founder of Tapped, "an online community built around iOS game development education") tells the harrowing tale of how he sought help with promoting an iOS game only to have it (allegedly) stolen by Paris-based mobile publisher Ketchapp.
Two games featuring former NBA all-star Shaquiille O'Neal have been released for mobile devices and Facebook via MyVegas apps. O'Neal is the latest celebrity to get in the business of releasing a self-branded game, joining the likes of Kim Kardashian and other stars who want to cash in on the mobile and social gaming space. O'Neal's two games are "CaddyShaq," and "ShaqJack" - both were developed by PlayStudio for iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, and Facebook.
Apparently NBC Late Night host Jimmy Fallon is in the business of making games for iOS platforms. Fallon's first game through his freshly revealed company Sparklehorse is called Tedzy for iOS devices. The goal of the game is to collect feathers for Tedzy’s pillow so he can get a good night's sleep. The game is free to download and play.
Tedzy is an arcade game where the title character travels down dream roads to collect feathers. Tedzy can jump, spin from road to road and collect power-ups.
New data from App Annie suggests that China is now the leader in iOS app downloads for the first quarter of 2015. China is followed by the U.S., Japan, the UK, and Russia. Only the U.S. and China saw any movement during the quarter. App Annie's data shows that the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in China is responsible for the big shift in iOS app downloads.
After securing a major deal with Nintendo to bring popular IPs to mobile devices, DeNA has decided to initiate some layoffs at one of its Canadian development studios, according to GamesBeat. The first signs that something serious was going on at the DeNA Vancouver studio was when David Phan, the product manager at DeNA Studios Canada revealed on Twitter that he and other employees were let go.
Nexon has acquired Boolean Games, GII reports. Boolean is best known for developing the Dark Avenger series of games. In total the series has enjoyed 30 million downloads worldwide since its launch in May, 2013. The first Dark Avengers game has earned around $1 million in revenue to-date. The sequel, Darkness Reborn, was launched in November of 2014 and has been downloaded 10 million times.
Social casino games and cash tournament company GSN Games has acquired social casino game studio rival Idle Gaming. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. GSN Games said in a press release announcing the deal today that the acquisition adds both "high-quality talent and mobile platform technologies that support GSN Games’ long-term strategic growth."
Nintendo president Satoru Iwata insisted in a Q&A session (translated to English) following the major announcement last week about entering the mobile space that his company was not pressured into bringing its IP to an outside platform. But last year a large block of investors pushed hard for Nintendo to brings its IP to the lucrative mobile space - a suggestion the company strongly resisted at the time.
Yesterday we reported on artist Kevin Konrad Hanna's claims that mobile gaming giant Kabam copied elements from his graphic novel, "Creature Academy: The Legacy," when it repurposed the Korean mobile game "Taming Monster" (originally developed by South Korean mobile games company Netmarble Games Corp.) and re-released it under the name Creature Academy in North America.
Sword and Tower game-maker Lilith Games (also known in Shanghai as Lilith Technology) is suing game developer uCool of Menlo Park, California in federal court, claiming that the company's mobile game Heroes Charge violates its copyrights. Court documents for the case were not available as of this writing. The civil case was filed in the California Northern District Court and seeks a jury trial. The case (Lilith Games Co. Ltd. v. uCool, Inc. et al) has been assigned to District Court Judge Donna M. Ryu.
Artist Kevin Konrad Hanna claims in a new comic (you read that right) that mobile and web game company Kabam copied his graphic novel Creature Academy to create its game of the same name.
Nintendo announced today at a press conference in Japan that it has partnered with Japanese mobile game company DeNA to develop and deploy games for smart phones and tablets that utilize Nintendo's vast library of intellectual properties. Nintendo has been, up until now, resistant to put its IP on platforms it doesn't own, but it's likely that big shareholders have finally forced the company to see the light.
Sony announced that it plans to shut down PlayStation Mobile store on July 15 - though you'll still be able to buy content via browser until Sept. 10. In-app purchases of games already purchased and re-downloading purchased content will be discontinued after Sept 10 as well, the company noted in its announcement. The PlayStation Mobile Developer Portal will shut down a few months later on Nov. 30.
Customers who purchased content through PlayStation Mobile will still be able to continue playing it but they'll have to do a few things first.
Square Enix has shut down the mobile studio Smileworks in Indonesia - a mere 18 months after it opened its doors. The company confirmed in a statement to GII that all 14 of the people the small studio employed are now out of work as well. Square Enix opened the Surabaya, Java-based Smileworks studio 18 months ago in hopes of developing mobile game content for Indonesia. Apparently the studio did not live up to Square Enix's expectations.
EA Mobile claims that titles in its mobile games catalog have been collectively downloaded two billion times. That milestone was reached earlier in the week, according to EA.
To celebrate this milestone, EA Mobile is giving away in-game content in several of its titles. By playing any of the titles list below (which are available on Android and iOS) between now and December 17, you'll get some extra goodies.
- Madden NFL Mobile: Booster Pack (gold, silver, and bronze players)
The U.K.-based Advertising Standards Authority has decided pursue a complaint against Gameloft over one parent's complaint that its free-to-play mobile game Littlest Pet Shop is specifically designed to exploit children by "coercing them" into making in-app purchases.
While the ASA's ruling acknowledged that the Gameloft game targeted young children, it also noted that the developers of the game put enough warnings in place so that both parents and the player would know about the microtransaction scheme and could oversee their children's use of it.
According to this GamesBeat report, Glu Mobile has filed a lawsuit against mobile game studio Hothead Games for allegedly copying its popular Deer Hunter 2014 mobile game with its game Kill Shot. In Kill Shot, you don't hunt animals; you play as a sniper that hunts enemy targets. But Glu alleges in a federal lawsuit filed in the San Francisco court that Hothead’s game violates copyright and trade infringement laws.