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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
According to new data released by app analytics firm Flurry, 1.2 billion applications were downloaded for Android and iOS devices between December 25 and December 31. Earlier in the week the group predicted that in that same period it expected new Android and iOS device activations to be right around 6.8 million. Now they are saying that the number is probably closer to 20 million.
An interesting report on ShackNews reveals that some PC modifications created for Grand Theft Auto III will actually work with the recently released Android and iOS versions of the game. While the process of getting them to work is a bit cumbersome and might be complicated for some users, the results can lead to importing new cars, textures, songs, and more into the game.
Amazon said today that Kindle has been selling more than a million units a week, and that Kindle Fire is the biggest product launch in the company's history. Dave Limp, vice president of Amazon Kindle, said that Kindle Fire "is the most successful product" Amazon's ever launched and that it's been Amazon's best-selling product for 11 straight weeks. He didn't give details.
On Tuesday Microsoft revealed an app store for Windows 8 apps. Some of the features being touted by Microsoft's Antoine Leblond at the time included an app discovery system inside and outside of the online marketplace, built-in app trials, support for x86 and ARM-based hardware, and a flexible business model. What he didn't talk too much about were the store's new terms of service. A section of it informs users that the company reserves the right to remotely "kill" or "remove" access to apps for security or legal reasons.
The ESRB and CTIA have finally revealed details on the voluntary rating system for mobile apps that was revealed last week. The ratings system currently has the support of six major mobile service and hardware providers including AT&T, Microsoft, Sprint, T-Mobile USA, U.S. Cellular and Verizon Wireless. Apple and Google did not throw their support behind the new ratings system because they already have their own process and system in place - and it has been refined to their satisfaction.
The Entertainment Software Review Board (ESRB) has teamed up with trade group Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association to create a standardized rating system for mobile applications and games. The ESRB says that the new ratings system will be "based on age-appropriateness of their content and context," according to Gamasutra. An official announcement on the new ratings system will take place next Tuesday in Washington, DC.
Ford is sponsoring what it calls the "largest Words with Friends" game ever to promote its all-new Ford Escape. The public gaming event will take place tomorrow at 11:00pm - Wednesday at 12:00am at Hollywood Blvd and Highland Ave or on the company's Facebook page via a livestream.
Zipline Games CEO Todd Hooper isn't buying into all the hype of HTML5 being a great platform for mobile game development. In a lengthy interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Hooper said that excitement about HTML5 is being created by forces outside of the games industry, giving a false impression of its importance to developers.
French mobile publisher Gameloft acknowledged on Thursday that a security breach forced it to temporarily take down one of its web sites. Reports began surfacing on the company's forums earlier this week, suggesting that the GameloftLive.com Web site had been experiencing problems and that some accounts had been compromised. After a poster suggested that users stay away from the site and that Gameloft fix the problem, the web site was taken down.
Android piracy rates for Appy Entertainment’s Facefighter game app were 2,330 percent higher than on the iOS version of its game, according to studio exec Steven Sargent. The Appy exec said the developer also had problems with the compatibility of smartphones, with the first customer complaint coming within hours of FaceFighter’s release.