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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.