Mobile Games

How to Win In the Mobile App Download War

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First-mover advantage is going to play a big role for mobile app developers in the coming years, as these developers look to build their career and companies around the swelling volume of downloads coming out of mobile app stores. According to a Gartner research report released in the past week, the number of annual downloads from mobile app stores is expected to reach 268.7 billion by 2017, more than four times the level of last year. And of those downloads,… continue…

Why I Stopped Playing Candy Crush Saga

Posted In Living in Tech
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Ramin Shokrizade’s article in GamaSutra on the top F2P monetization tricks was the reason I quit King’s Candy Crush Saga in July after playing it nearly every day since January. I’d got up to about level 133, not even half way through the 300+ levels the game offers, but had struggled a lot on some of the ones I’d recently hit. I’m not quite the target demographic (80 percent of Candy Crush Saga players are women) but I’ve always enjoyed… continue…

Why Game Engines Spell Trouble for Indie Developers

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Seduction comes in many forms, including game engines. Virtually in a matter of weeks, people who’ve never crunched code can churn out a mobile game. It’s that ease of use, on top of a basic engine’s cheap cost, that’s prompting newbies to create games and game companies. But as with anything, cheap and easy can have its pitfalls. “As with any business development, individuals need to go into the creation of a new enterprise with their eyes open, realizing all… continue…

Mobile Game Landscape Gets More Complicated

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Despite all the hype surrounding mobile games — and all the money companies are investing in efforts to push them — the business model to support them hasn’t yet made itself evident. You’d think that would give some running room to independent developers who’ve got a clever approach to attracting, keeping and making money off of players. But that’s more easily said than done, especially when the industry’s leaders are putting a lot of effort into remaking themselves. Part of… continue…

Zynga Layoffs to Hit 18 Percent of Workforce

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Zynga is planning to cut a whopping 18 percent of its workforce by August, the struggling social media game developer said Monday. The across-the-board cuts will hit “all functions” of the company and include closure of various office locations. Zynga expects to layoff approximately 520 employees worldwide and says the bulk of the cuts will occur by the end of the summer. “While our Farmville Franchise continues to perform well, other games are underperforming,” says Zynga, which has struggled to move… continue…

Final Chapter: LucasArts Employees Hold Wake

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The bar’s name says it all: The Final Final. That’s where LucasArts employees gathered Friday night to hold a wake, following the death of their game studio earlier in the week. At Final Final in San Francisco, a large gathering of LucasArts employees and former LucasArts workers shared drinks and tears, from recalling memories of creating such notable cult games like Monkey Island to mourning the loss of games whose lives were cut short, like Star Wars 1313 and Star Wars: First… continue…

How to Sell Your iOS App Without Spending a Lot

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Apple iOS developers suffering from download envy may find a fix in Michael Sanford’s advice. Sanford, the CEO of iOS gaming company FlipSide5 and whose Touch Hockey app ranked among the top 20 downloads in the history of the iPhone, has the right credentials to give advice. “During the holidays last year, about 20 companies received roughly 80 percent of all the revenue in the App Store,” he pointed out to me. “If you weren’t part of this group, you… continue…

NVIDIA’s Tegra 4 Could Reshape Mobile Gaming

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NVIDIA’s Tegra SoC platform has always been interesting, but with the next generation 22-nm Tegra 4 boasting six times the graphical processing power as its quad core predecessor, it’s gone from interesting to exciting. The Tegra 4 achieves this boost thanks to 72 custom GeForce GPU cores, which allow the chip to power higher-resolution displays at higher frame rates. It will be the first SoC to make use of ARM’s 1.9-GHz Cortex-A15 (Tegra 3 had a 1.7-GHz processor), which is… continue…

Tactus Adds On-Demand Buttons to Touchscreens

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If you’re not impressed by what’s been going on — or not going on — with smartphone technology over the past few years, good news: It looks like the days of incremental devie upgrades are numbered. More consumers seem to think that faster processors, thinner chassis, bigger screens and better camera just don’ it. And, yes, I’m looking at you, Apple. But a touchscreen with on-demand physical buttons? Oh yes, please. At CES 2013, California-based Tactus showed off an invention… continue…

Less Spending, More Playing: Gaming on the Cheap

Posted In Living in Tech
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We love video games. We love them so much that in 2011 we spent nearly $25 billion on games, hardware and accessories, according to the Entertainment Software Association. And by “we,” I mean consumers in the United States alone. Of course, one reason we spend that much is because gaming is expensive. A new game for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 can cost as much as $60, and you can expect to spend more than $50 for a new title for Sony’s… continue…