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.

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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.

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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.

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EA Calls PopCap Games Layoffs Part of a Shift Away From Social

August 30, 2012 -

Speaking to Bloomberg, President of EA Labels Frank Gibeau commented on the layoffs at Peggle and Plants v. Zombies developer PopCap Games. Gibeau said that the main reason for the cuts was to make the studio more efficient and part of a move away from social game development.

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Gree Ponders Impact of 'Complete Gacha' Ban

August 15, 2012 -

Casual game maker Gree announced in April of this year that it would enforce a new policy that restricted how much 16 - 17-year-old consumers could spend on in-app purchases. The self-regulating policy came in response to government worries that Japan's youth in that age range were spending ridiculous amounts of money on in-game purchases. Gree put a spending cap on people ages 16 - 19 at around $125 per month on virtual items and a cap of around $60 on those younger than 16 years of age.

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Verizon App Store for Android Adds ESRB Ratings

August 14, 2012 -

While other App stores such as Google Play and Apple App Store have eschewed the ESRB ratings system here in the United States in favor of their own internal systems, Verizon is taking a different tact. Verizon has been slowly adding the ESRB ratings system for all of the gaming apps in the Verizon App Store for its supported Android devices.

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IGN Unloads GameSpy to Glu Mobile for $2.7 Million

August 2, 2012 -

Mobile entertainment company Glu Mobile has purchased GameSpy from News Corp. for about $2.7 million in stock. The online multiplayer and matchmaking technology company was bought by IGN in 2004 for roughly $57 million. Later IGN and its properties were purchased by News Corp.

"Our acquisition of GameSpy brings Glu industry-recognized leadership in online, cross-platform technology infrastructure," said Niccolo de Masi, the CEO of Glu.

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Temple Run Downloaded 100 Million Times

August 2, 2012 -

Here's a feel good story for the day - at least for developer Imangi Studios: it's ultra-popular iOS and Android game, Temple Run, is ... ultra-popular. According to a press release issued by the company today, Temple Run has been downloaded over 100 million times in the last year, with over 68 million downloads on iOS devices, and on 32 million Android devices.

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Google Play Cracks Down on Deceptive Apps and Games

August 1, 2012 -

The party is over for game developers that use "deceptive names or icons" that cause confusion or blatantly trick consumers into believing that a product represents a particular brand on the Google Play Store. Google has updated its developer program policy agreement for its Google Play Android store with a warning to developers trying to trick customers: "Apps must not have names or icons that appear confusingly similar to existing products."

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2012 Game Developers Choice Online Awards Nominees Announced

July 27, 2012 -

Nominees for the 2012 Game Developers Choice Online Awards have been announced, with Star Wars: The Old Republic picking up the most in six different categories. Other games picking up multiple nominations this year include League of Legends, World of Warcraft, Rage Of Bahamut, Empires & Allies, Realm of the Mad God, Rift, CastleVille, The Sims Social, and Draw Something.

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EA's Firemint and IronMonkey Studios Merge to Become FireMonkeys

July 25, 2012 -

Electronic Arts has merged two of its mobile game development studios into one mega-studio in Australia. Firemint and IronMonkeys will be merged into a single studio now known as Firemonkeys studio.

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Help Angela Merkel Flip Out in LeaderFlip

July 25, 2012 -

It isn't particularly sophisticated, but klutzGames' Windows Phone 7 release of LeaderFlip does let players (particularly those in Germany) have a bit of fun with Chancellor of Germany and Chairwoman of the Christian Democratic Union Angela Merkel -- I mean Angie Makel. The game lets you play as a caricature of the German Chancellor who you must send to the moon by flipping her upwards on platforms using a simple game mechanic and a variety of power-ups that include beer, sausage, and beans.

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Dead Trigger Game Goes Free, Piracy Blamed

July 23, 2012 -

In a statement on Facebook, game developer Madfinger Games claims that the piracy rate for its Android zombie shooting game was "unbelievably high." The game had been priced at a mere 99 cents, but the developers say that the low price point didn’t stop pirates from stealing the game and using it for free.

As a result the company has announced that the Android version of the game is now completely free to play and enjoy. When we say free, we do not mean "free-to-play," for the record.

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Uniloc Sues Minecraft Maker Mojang for Patent Infringement

July 23, 2012 -

Over the weekend it was revealed that Minecraft maker Mojang is being sued by a Luxembourg, Germany-based company called Uniloc for patent infringement. The company claims that Mojang violated a patent it holds related to a "system and method for preventing unauthorized access to electronic data".

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Ngmoco: Mobile, Freemium Will Kill Consoles in 5 - 10 Years

June 26, 2012 -

Ben Cousins, general manager of Ngmoco, recently gave a keynote at GDC Taipei where he offered his predictions on the five big trends in the game industry across the next 5-10 years. One of the big trends that will change the industry will be freemium and mobile, according to Cousins. In his keynote he claims that the combination of mobile and freemium games will ultimately kill off the home console.

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App Conference Call for Speakers

June 6, 2012 -

Engage Digital has issued a call for speakers for the second annual App Conference on October 18-19, 2012 in Santa Clara, CA. Those interested in sharing their expertise with the app development and business community can submit their pitches here.

The deadline is June 11. The event caters to app developers on various platforms including game developers.

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Trip Hawkins Steps Down as Digital Chocolate CEO

May 29, 2012 -

Electronic Arts co-founder Trip Hawkins announced via his official blog that he will step down from the role of CEO at mobile games company Digital Chocolate. Hawkins says that he will take an advisory role with the company he helped found.

"I am transitioning now into a consulting and advisory relationship with Digital Chocolate. For its next stage of growth, Digital Chocolate is narrowing its focus and it made sense to get more streamlined."

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Latvian Firm Fined for Fake Android Apps

May 24, 2012 -

The BBC reports that a Latvian company has been fined £50,000 over smartphone apps it created that tricked people into receiving premium rate text messages. What's worse is that these apps pretended to be legitimate versions of hit apps such as Angry Birds and Cut The Rope. More than 1,000 people received bills after downloading the fake versions of games. Naturally they were upset about this and complained.

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Japan Bans 'Complete Gacha' Mechanics in Games

May 18, 2012 -

The government of Japan has decided that it needs to ban 'complete gacha' mechanics in video games, particularly those used by companies like Namco Bandai, Gree and DeNa. Japan's Consumer Affairs Agency will ban 'complete gacha' mechanics because they see it as encouraging the addictive nature of gambling.

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Virginia Attorney General and George Mason University Team Up to Fight Gang Recruitment with Games

May 3, 2012 -

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R-VA) and George Mason University President Alan Merten announced the creation of a series of interactive and educational computer and mobile phone game applications that teach youngsters about the risks and consequences of joining gangs. The goal of these programs is easy enough: to slow down gang recruitment levels in the state.

During the spring semester, GMU students used their programming skills and tapped into the attorney general’s office information of gangs to create several games and apps.

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Microsoft Dialing Sexy Back in Windows Phone Marketplace

May 2, 2012 -

Microsoft has decided that it’s time to eliminate some of the "racier" apps that are available on Windows Phone 7's app store. The announcement was made by Todd Brix, Microsoft's senior director for Windows Marketplace, on the company's blog.

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Report: Dena, Gree Plan Caps on In-Game Purchases for 16-19-year-olds in Japan

April 27, 2012 -

Casual game giants Dena and Gree have agreed to enforce a new policy that will restrict how much 16 - 17 year-old consumers can spend on in-app purchases, according to a news report from Japan Times. The new self-regulating policy, according to that report, is in response to reports that Japan's youth in that age range are spending ridiculous amounts of money on in-game purchases. The company's might also be trying to avoid national in-app spending laws in Japan.

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Microsoft Rejects Windows Phone Game Because 'Flushing Toilet Sounds' Offend Asians

April 20, 2012 -

A game called Occupied Forever can't get certified from Microsoft for release in China because the flushing sounds it contains apparently offend Asians. At least that's what Austrian indie developer Christian Zangl claims Microsoft told him when they rejected his game from Windows Phone Marketplace in the region.

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Draw Something App Sees 20 Million Downloads in Five Weeks

March 13, 2012 -

How do you get a multiplayer app about drawing pictures with a friend to be downloaded 20 million times? We have no idea, and it seems like the company that makes Draw Something has no clue as to why the app is really popular either. OMGPOP's CEO Dan Porter told Business Insider that the app has racked up over 20 million downloads in only five weeks - it was released on February 1.

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Minecraft - Pocket Edition in One Million Virtual Pockets

March 5, 2012 -

The Apple iOS and Android versions of Minecraft: Pocket Edition have sold more than one million copies, according to a tweet from Mojang developer Daniel Kaplan. The mobile version of the popular world-building game debuted exclusively on Soy's Xperia, but was released on all Android platforms, and later on iOS.

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EA Mobile Will Not Re-Release Battlefield 3: Aftershock on iOS

March 1, 2012 -

On February 22 EA Mobile pulled its iOS Battlefield 3 spin-off game from the Apple App Store after users complained about the game's lack of depth and a number of serious issues including connection problems and control issues. Today Vox Games has been told by an EA Mobile rep that development on the game has been halted and permanently shelved - never to return to Apple's devices.

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Google Reveals Latest Android Activation, App Download Numbers

February 27, 2012 -

According to Google's Mobile blog, 850,000 android devices are activated on a daily basis worldwide, and over 300 million have been activated to date. Google's SVP of mobile and digital content Andy Rubin revealed the numbers. Rubin also noted that more than 450,000 apps are now available on the Android Market, or three times the number of apps that were available last year. He also said that over 1 billion apps are downloaded every month. From the blog:

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Guest Editorial: Kevin Dent on Lolapps v. Spry Fox

February 1, 2012 -

By Kevin Dent

I started to play Triple Town as of last weekend; I had a blast and even more so when I see that they were actively supporting it with frequent updates. Then I started to hear some rumblings in the industry about how another game basically ripped it off.

Since then, we have seen Spry Fox issue proceedings against Lolapps. Most of us have read about it and shook our heads; I want to take the rhetoric out of it. I wanted to just look at the basic facts.

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Apple Targets Apptrackr with DMCA Take-Downs

January 4, 2012 -

Those who use jailbroken iPhones and enjoy pirating software are in for a rude awakening as Apple uses the DMCA to take out a frequently used service - Apptrackr. According to Apptrackr developer "Dissident," Apple has sent what he calls "huge takedown notices" to cut off access to pirated apps found through the software. Apptrackr has decided to move the physical location of its servers outside the United States to get around Apple's legal maneuvers and is also employing a form of redirection to avoid "direct" links to infringing content.

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MaskedPixelanteNumber 3: Night Dive was brought to the attention of the public by a massive game recovery, and yet most of their released catalogue consists of games that other people did the hard work of getting re-released.04/17/2014 - 8:46pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 2: If Humongous Entertainment wanted their stuff on Steam, why didn't they talk to their parent company, which does have a number of games published on Steam?04/17/2014 - 8:45pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 1: When Night Dive spent the better part of a year teasing the return of true classics, having their big content dump be edutainment is kind of a kick in the stomach.04/17/2014 - 8:44pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.giantbomb.com/articles/jeff-gerstmann-heads-to-new-york-takes-questions/1100-4900/ He talks about the future games press and the games industry. It is worth your time even though it is a bit long, and stay for the QA. There are some good QA04/17/2014 - 5:28pm
IanCErm so they shouldn't sell edutainment at all? Why?04/17/2014 - 4:42pm
MaskedPixelanteNot that linkable, go onto Steam and there's stuff like Pajama Sam on the front-page, courtesy of Night Dive.04/17/2014 - 4:13pm
Andrew EisenOkay, again, please, please, PLEASE get in a habit of linking to whatever you're talking about.04/17/2014 - 4:05pm
MaskedPixelanteAnother round of Night Dive teasing and promising turns out to be stupid edutainment games. Thanks for wasting all our time, guys. See you never.04/17/2014 - 3:44pm
Matthew WilsonAgain the consequences were not only foreseeable, but very likely. anyone who understood supply demand curvs knew that was going to happen. SF has been a econ/trade hub for the last hundred years.04/17/2014 - 2:45pm
Andrew EisenMixedPixelante - Would you like to expand on that?04/17/2014 - 2:43pm
MaskedPixelanteWell, I am officially done with Night Dive Studios. Unless they can bring something worthwhile back, I'm never buying another game from them.04/17/2014 - 2:29pm
PHX Corphttp://www.msnbc.com/ronan-farrow/watch/video-games-continue-to-break-the-mold-229561923638 Ronan Farrow Daily on Video games breaking the mold04/17/2014 - 2:13pm
NeenekoAh yes, because by building something nice they were just asking for people to come push them out. Consequences are protested all the time when other people are implementing them.04/17/2014 - 2:06pm
Matthew Wilsonok than they should not protest when the consequences of that choice occur.04/17/2014 - 1:06pm
NeenekoIf people want tall buildings, plenty of other cities with them. Part of freedom and markets is communities deciding what they do and do not want built in their collective space.04/17/2014 - 12:55pm
Sora-ChanI realize that they have ways getting around it, but one reason might be due to earthquakes.04/17/2014 - 4:42am
Matthew WilsonSF is a tech/ economic/ trade center it should be mostly tail building. this whole problem is because of the lack of tail buildings. How would having tail apartment buildings destroy SF? having tail buildings has not runed other cities around the US/world04/16/2014 - 10:51pm
Matthew WilsonAgain the issue is you can not build upwards anywhere in SF at the moment, and no you would not. You would bring prices to where they should have been before the market distortion. those prices are not economic or socially healthy.04/16/2014 - 10:46pm
ZippyDSMleeYou still wind up pushing people out of the non high rise aeras but tis least damage you can do all things considered.04/16/2014 - 10:26pm
ZippyDSMleeANd by mindlessly building upward you make it like every place else hurting property prices,ect,ect. You'll have to slowly segment the region into aeras where you will never build upward then alow some aeras to build upward.04/16/2014 - 10:25pm
 

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