Report: Gree Lays off 30 Employees at San Francisco Office

May 10, 2013 -

Mobile games publisher Gree has laid off an estimated 30 employees from its San Francisco office according to reports on Develop and GII. While the exact number of employees let go was not confirmed, the layoffs have been. According to Gree COO Anil Dharni, the staff reduction is part of re-alignment of its U.S. operations.

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Develop Finds Majority of Apps Do Not Warn About In-App Purchases

May 9, 2013 -

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.

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UK Government Plans to Revamp Consumer Laws Concerning Digital Content

May 8, 2013 -

If the laws being proposed by politicians in the UK this week were in place when SimCity and Diablo III launched, consumers would be able to get a refund. The BBC is reporting on plans to pass new laws that will make it easier for UK consumers to get a refund or a replacement product from companies when a digitally distributed video game, mobile app, or piece of entertainment content doesn't work they way it should at launch.

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Into the Dead App Passes 10 Millionth Download Mark

May 7, 2013 -

Mobile and social game developer PikPok announced that its newest original mobile game, Into the Dead has managed to sail past the 10 millionth download mark. The game was released in December of last year and is available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android. The game joins another PikPok title past 10 million downloads: Flick Kick Football. That game is contributing to the Flick Kick series of games, which has seen over 20 million downloads as of April.

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Undisclosed Number of Layoffs Hit EA Mobile Studio

April 11, 2013 -

Electronic Arts has laid off a number of employees at its Montreal-based mobile game development studio, according to a Polygon report. The company says that these layoffs are part of an overall strategy to streamline operations, though the mobile studio seems to have been impacted the hardest in this latest round of job cuts. No word on whether EA is cutting jobs elsewhere.

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Almost 60K 'Low-Quality' Apps Purged from Google Play Store

April 10, 2013 -

Google has made a dramatic move in removing apps that are either non-compliant or engage in some way in the art of spam. According to Techcrunch the marketplace for Android apps has about 60,000 less titles to choose from. These titles were removed in the last couple of weeks of February, according to the tech web site.

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Lodsys Adds Four Companies to Patent Infringement Lawsuit

April 8, 2013 -

Lodsys, a company that seems to specialize only in filing patent infringement lawsuits, has added a number of new video game industry targets in the mobile games space. According to Ars Technica, Gameloft, Gamevil, BackFlip Studios, Pocket Gems and The Walt Disney Company are now named defendants for violating a patent the company holds related to technology used for in-app purchasing.

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Report: Supercell Valued at $800 Million

April 1, 2013 -

Finland-based free-to-play game studio Supercell is valued at around $800 million after its latest funding round. The developer behind the hit F2P mobile titles Clash of Clans and Hay Day sold off between 16 - 20 percent of its common shares for an estimated $100 - $150 million. The word on the street is that the company's latest investors include Institutional Venture Partners, Atomico and Index Ventures. The company allegedly got close to being valued at an even $1 billion, but fell just short of the mark.

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OpenFeint Co-Founder to Debut Open Sourced Alternative at GDC

March 25, 2013 -

While GREE made a lot of developers upset when it discontinued the OpenFeint platform in December of last year, the co-founder of the social mobile platform will soon have something to replace it. Late last year GREE shut down the OpenFeint platform, feeling that Apple's GameCenter was dominating the space. Much to the chagrin of developers using that platform, they were not given enough time to migrate their game data to another platform and lost a lot of the user data they were storing in the OpenFeint cloud.

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CDC Asks Plague Inc. Maker to Give Lecture in March

March 8, 2013 -

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.

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Sony Unloads Stake in DeNa for $438 Million

March 4, 2013 -

Sony has decided to unload its holdings in mobile game developer and publisher DeNa, according to this Reuters report. Sony has reportedly sold all of its shares in the company to Japanese-based investment firm Nomura Securities for $438 million.

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Former Square Enix Exec Keiji Fujita Joins Adways Interactive

February 26, 2013 -

Former Square Enix and Taito executive Keiji Fujita has joined Japanese mobile ad network and game publisher Adways, the company announced today. Fujita will take the reins of the company's San Francisco office, which will serve as the home of the U.S. subsidiary, Adways Interactive. Keiji Fujita will serve as the Vice President of Game Business. The company also announced that it is looking for non-Japanese free-to-play mobile games to launch in the Japanese market. It will be on the hunt for such properties at Game Connection America 2013, where it will be present as an exhibitor.

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Report: Mobile Game Puzzle & Dragons Earned $2 Million a Day in January

February 20, 2013 -

Free-to-play mobile game Puzzle & Dragons from Japanese developer and publisher GungHo Online Entertainment supposedly generated around $65 million during January - or about $2 million dollars a day. These startling sales figures come from data collected by Japanese industry consultant Serkan Toto, who reports that the puzzle and RPG hybrid title has generated around $65 million in sales on iOS and Android in Japan last month.

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Chillingo Announces 100% Indie Developer Program

February 6, 2013 -

Chillingo founders Joe Wee and Chris Byatte announced jointly on EA's blog the launch of a new indie developer program that highlights quality independently developed mobile titles through the company's third party mobile publishing services. The program is called 100% Indie and its core is located at www.100percentindie.com.

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Mobile Game Publisher GREE Announces New Partner Funding Program

February 5, 2013 -

Mobile game developer and publisher GREE announced details on a new $10 million fund to invest in and foster long-term relationships with "talented developers in the free-to-play mobile games industry." The fund is appropriately called the GREE Partners Fund, and will be administered by GREE International’s VP of Publishing and Partners, Jim Ying. The fund will allow GREE to invest an aggregate of $10 million through equity investments of $1 million or more.

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FTC Report Criticizes Data Collection and Sharing Practices of Kid App Developers

December 11, 2012 -

The Federal Trade Commission released a report on Monday that came to the conclusion that the majority of mobile apps aimed at children collect and transmit data that they shouldn't such as the device being used - and they do not disclose this fact to the parents. According to the report, around 60 percent of 400 popular kids’ apps made for phones and tablets running Android and iOS transmitted information about the device to the app’s developer or to a third party such as an ad network.

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Rebellion Apologizes for Sniper Elite Multiplayer Servers Being Shut Down 'Without Their Consent'

December 10, 2012 -

UK developer Rebellion finds itself in a tough situation this morning. Multiplayer servers for its Sniper Elite game have been shut down at the request of Glu, but Rebellion claims it was not informed about the servers being closed. The company has apologized to owners of the game and is telling the community that the decision was made without its consent.

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Indie Developer Slams Microsoft, Windows RT Marketplace

December 7, 2012 -

Paul Johnson from UK-based developer Rubicon has deleted a scathing rant posted earlier today aimed at Windows RT and Microsoft claiming that his game Great Big War Game made just £52 from the Windows RT marketplace in its first week on sale. Johnson claims that the Windows RT port cost his company an estimated £10,000.

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Layoffs Hit OpenFeint Owner GREE

December 7, 2012 -

Mobile games publisher and developer GREE has laid off 25 employees today. The layoffs are directly tied to the shut down of its mobile social gaming platform, OpenFeint.

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Zynga Mobile UK GM Exits Company

November 27, 2012 -

Zynga Mobile's UK General Manager Matthew Wiggins has left the company after serving in the position for a little over a year and a half. Wiggins made the announcement that he was leaving the company via his personal blog.

"It's been quite a ride," Wiggins wrote. "I wish all the best for the good and talented people who I leave behind."

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Don Daglow Suspends Kickstarter Campaign for Tony La Russa's Baseball With Fans

November 27, 2012 -

Veteran game designer Don Daglow wanted to make a smartphone-based baseball game called Tony La Russa's Baseball With Fans so he launched a Kickstarter appeal to raise $249,000. Unfortunately after only a week of activity, the project only managed to bring in about $2,440 of that goal from 23 backers.

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Gree Apologizes to Developers for OpenFeint Shutdown

November 23, 2012 -

Gree apologized today for how it handled the closure of OpenFeint - announced earlier this week. The company also said that it was sorry for putting developers that used the technology in a tough situation. Speaking to PocketGamer, SVP of marketing and developer relations Eros Resmini said that it had originally planned to give developers a full year to migrate to a new platform, but did not elaborate why it decided to pull the plug now. The planned shutdown was announced earlier in the year.

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Zynga to Shut Down Two Titles, Plan to Close 11 Additional Games in the Future

November 5, 2012 -

Zynga will shut down two of its games in early December, with plans to close 11 additional titles later on down the road. This news follows word that the company would close its Boston offices and reduce five percent of its workforce from offices in Austin, the UK, and Japan.

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Whack a Candidate: Election' 12 Released

October 31, 2012 -

A new game for Android devices called Whack a Candidate: Election' 12 charges you with suppressing the vote of the political party you don't like by whacking them in the face with the "Hammer of Justice." The game is much like whack-a-mole but the field is a map of the United States. When a candidate or their vice-presidential running mate pops up on the map you whack them with a hammer to stop them from scoring votes in a given state.

Real-Money Gambling Hits UK Mobile Devices With Big Fish Casino

October 30, 2012 -

Big Fish Games has launched the first real-money gambling game in the United Kingdom through a partnership with Betable. The Big Fish Casino U.K. app lets players gamble for fun or make best with real cash via a new slot machine title. The game uses technology from Betable, a company hoping to take advantage of even more social mobile games in the future by enabling online gambling options.

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Spry Fox Secures Yeti Town IP as Part of 6Waves Settlement

October 15, 2012 -

Last Thursday we broke the story that social and mobile game developers Spry Fox and 6Waves had quietly settled a lawsuit related to their respective mobile titles, Triple Town and Yeti Town. In its original lawsuit Spry Fox accused 6Waves' Lolapps of blatantly copying its match-three game Triple Town when it released its game Yeti Town.

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GREE CEO Predicts a Bleak Future for PCs

September 21, 2012 -

We've all heard the story about how the PC is doomed and PC gaming will soon be a thing of the past, so it's not surprising that a company like GREE (whose bread and butter is mobile games) says that the future of the traditional PC is basically doomed.

GREE CEO Yoshikazu Tanaka highlighted some of the changes that will be important to the gaming industry in his keynote speech at the Tokyo Game Show. He may have some valid points.

"The line between PC and mobile has blurred, and that's a trend for this year," he said at the Tokyo Game Show.

4 comments | Read more

Kickstarter Campaign for iMpulse Launches

September 20, 2012 -

The official Kickstarter campaign for iMpulse launched this morning, with the aim of raising some much needed capital for this pocket-sized Bluetooth controller designed specifically for iOS and Android-based gaming.

2 comments | Read more

Three Walt Disney Company Executives to Keynote App Conference

September 14, 2012 -

Engage Digital announced that three different divisions of The Walt Disney Company will take part in The App Conference by providing a "unique and powerful keynote" at the event. The App Conference takes place October 18-19, 2012 in Santa Clara, California.

In its second year, the App Conference focuses on application development, marketing and revenue generation on mobile and tablet devices. The conference program features two tracks covering the important elements of product and business strategies in the mobile space.

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iOS Developer Outs 'Pay-for-Review' Sites

August 30, 2012 -

One developer who is angry over web sites charging for expedited reviews of mobile game apps has decided to publicly call the web sites out. Luckily most people who consider themselves even casual gamers have never heard of these web sites, but apparently they have been running a racket for quite some time.

3 comments | Read more

 
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james_fudgeDon't hit me *cowers behind Andrew*09/20/2014 - 3:20pm
ConsterYou take that back right now, james, or else. *shakes fist menacingly*09/20/2014 - 3:00pm
james_fudgeOur community is awesome. We can have a debate without threatening to kill each other.09/20/2014 - 2:50pm
Andrew EisenNo one's crossed a line but I just want to remind you all to keep discussions civil.09/20/2014 - 1:54pm
Craig R.tldr: I'm a gamer, and imo those who support GamerGate should feel free to take a flying leap off a cliff.09/20/2014 - 1:27pm
Craig R.Not only that, I'm pretty sure that if actual studies were done, you'd still deny them, Sleaker. After all, it's not what you'd want to hear to support your rose-colored view of GamerGate.09/20/2014 - 1:18pm
Craig R.There IS an issue. Nor do we need a study to show that if you deny it then you're part of the problem.09/20/2014 - 1:17pm
Sleakersimply oust people that do harass others.09/20/2014 - 11:34am
Sleaker@Conster - I can say the same thing if you think there's been more than a handful. Until there's an actual study on rates no one can claim to know how widespread the incidence of harassment is. Thus the best we can do is 'there might be an issue' and...09/20/2014 - 11:33am
ConsterSleaker: if you think there's only been "a handful of" incidents, you have your head stuck *somewhere* - I'm assuming it's sand.09/20/2014 - 5:38am
prh99Most of it's agitprop clickbait anyway.09/20/2014 - 5:27am
prh99A good reason to stop reading reguardless of view pointhttp://www.theguardian.com/media/2013/apr/12/news-is-bad-rolf-dobelli.09/20/2014 - 5:22am
Andrew EisenWell this is unique! A musical critique of the Factual Feminist's "Are Video Games Sexist?" video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-K4s7cV4Us409/20/2014 - 2:41am
Andrew EisenSome locked threads. Some let them be. So, no, I'm not seeing a problem here. No corruption. No collusion. No ethical problem with privately discussing ethics.09/20/2014 - 12:48am
Andrew EisenAnd still, in the end, Tito made up his own mind on how to handle his site. All 150 or so members went off to handle their own sites in their own ways. Some talked about it. Some didn't. Some changed disclosure policies. Some didn't.09/20/2014 - 12:40am
Andrew EisenThere were two comments other than Kochera and Tito's. One pointed out the Escapist Code of Conduct, another comment was in support of Tito.09/20/2014 - 12:40am
Andrew EisenKochera privately expressed his disagreement on how Tito decided to do something. No, I don't consider that crossing a line nor do I consider the exchange an example of the group pressuring him.09/20/2014 - 12:36am
Kronotechnical reasons. Anyways, I need to get to sleep as well.09/20/2014 - 12:29am
KronoAnd he wasn't the only one pushing Tito to censor the thread. If Tito had bowed to peer pressure, we likely wouldn't have gotten this http://goo.gl/vKiYtR which grew out of that thread. Said thread also lasted until a new one needed to be made for09/20/2014 - 12:28am
Krono@Andrew So it's an example of Kuchera crossing the line from reporter to advocate. And an example of the group pressuring for censorship.09/20/2014 - 12:21am
 

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