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.
A new report from the United Nations' International Telecommunication Union (ITU) predicts that an estimated 3.2 billion people of the world's 7.2 billion people will be online by the end of 2015. About 2 billion of those people using the Internet will be in the developing world, but only 89 million will be in countries such as Somalia and Nepal.
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.
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.
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.
Zynga CEO Don Mattrick is leaving the social games company and heading to Canada for a new opportunity, according to an announcement by the company today. He'll be replaced with a familiar face who sat in Mattrick's chair prior to him joining the company. Mattrick will be replaced with Zynga founder and former CEO Mark Pincus, who vacated the position to make room for Mattrick in July of 2013. Mattrick was the head of Microsoft's Xbox division prior to joining Zynga, and prior to joining Microsoft in 2007, he served as the President of Worldwide Studios for Electronic Arts.
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.
Japanese mobile gaming powerhouse DeNA said that it wants to make 3 million yen (roughly $25.02 million) a month off of games built through its partnership with Nintendo. Nintendo and DeNA announced the partnership on March 17 and revealed that the first game through this partnership would be released on mobile platforms by the end of this year. Speaking to Reuters, DeNA Chief Executive Isao Moriyasu said that his company wants to make games that hundreds of millions of people will play.
Ars Technica reports that a federal judge has ruled that the Federal Trade Commission does have jurisdiction to sue AT&T for allegedly throttling customers. In its argument before the federal court, AT&T - who hates net neutrality and didn't want to be classified as a common carrier - said that the FTC did not have jurisdiction to take it to court because it is... a common carrier.
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.
Here's a disconcerting report from Ars Technica about how AT&T is still throttling mobile unlimited data plan customers and the FCC probably won't do much to stop them - at least for now. And all of this is after the fact that the FCC put tighter restrictions on throttling in its late February meeting. It did not however specifically use the term "ban."
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.
While some mobile carriers are proclaiming that the sky will fall if the FCC approves measures to reclassify broadband and mobile as common carriers under Title II of the Telecommunications Act (in effect giving it the legal authority to regulate both industries) at the end of the month, mobile phone service provider T-Mobile seems to be taking all of it in stride.
Sega's mobile arm Sega Networks announced today that it has acquired independent developer Demiurge Studios. Sega says that this purchase is part of series of investments in the "Western market." Sega Network also announced that it has taken a major stake in San Francisco start-up Ignited Artists and London-based Space Ape Games.
Sega did not reveal financial details on any of these deals.
The FCC will vote in its late February meeting to reclassify broadband under Title II of the Telecommunications Act and will seek to ban supposed "fast lane" deals as well. The announcement was made today in an editorial written by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler published on Wired.
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.
Mobile game publisher Kabam has acquired Los Angeles-based studios Magic Pixel Games and TapZen, the company announced today. TapZen and Magic Pixel are best known for their collaboration on the iOS game This Means War. Magic Pixel's credits include iOS titles Outcast Odyssey and Stick to It, and the PS 3 game Carnival Island. TapZen founder and former Zynga chief creative officer Mike Verdu has also joined the company.
Nintendo is teaming up with free-to-play and mobile powerhouse GungHo Online to create a specially branded version of the ultra popular mobile title Puzzle & Dragons. The game, Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition for Nintendo 3DS will retain the formula of GungHo's popular game but will also feature several iconic Mario characters including Mario, Luigi, Peach, Toad, and Bowser. The game is scheduled for release in Japan on April 29. Nintendo did not say whether the game will be released outside of Japan or not.