According to All Things D, Apple has secured the regulatory approvals it needs from China to bring the iPhone 5 to the region, and this morning the company announced a release date for the phone: Dec. 14. Apple will launch the iPhone 5 after it launches the Wi-Fi versions of the iPad Mini and its fourth-generation iPad on Dec. 7
Zynga Mobile's UK General Manager Matthew Wiggins has left the company after serving in the position for a little over a year and a half. Wiggins made the announcement that he was leaving the company via his personal blog.
"It's been quite a ride," Wiggins wrote. "I wish all the best for the good and talented people who I leave behind."
Veteran game designer Don Daglow wanted to make a smartphone-based baseball game called Tony La Russa's Baseball With Fans so he launched a Kickstarter appeal to raise $249,000. Unfortunately after only a week of activity, the project only managed to bring in about $2,440 of that goal from 23 backers.
Gree apologized today for how it handled the closure of OpenFeint - announced earlier this week. The company also said that it was sorry for putting developers that used the technology in a tough situation. Speaking to PocketGamer, SVP of marketing and developer relations Eros Resmini said that it had originally planned to give developers a full year to migrate to a new platform, but did not elaborate why it decided to pull the plug now. The planned shutdown was announced earlier in the year.
Speaking to the Wall Street Journal (registration required to read the story), Apple director Bill Campbell shared a story about a meeting with Zynga chief executive officer Mark Pincus, where he described his demeanor as discouraged and being almost in tears about the fate of the company he created.
Microsoft is building its own 7-inch gaming tablet, according to "multiple sources familiar with plans within Redmond" who have confirmed the details to The Verge. According to that report, the initial hardware planning for the Xbox Surface device is underway. The Verge describes it as a mini Xbox platform.
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.
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is not happy with the direction of Apple. He has called the company "arrogant' while speaking out against the iPhone 5's design in a recent interview with Tech Central.
Wozniak says that Apple is arrogant for refusing to make the iPhone 5 larger. The phone is a bit smaller than competitors' phones - like Samsung’s Galaxy S III. Wozniak thinks this is a big mistake.
T-Mobile and MetroPCS announced today that they have come to an agreement to merge the two companies. The combined entity will use the T-Mobile brand and will have a total of 42.5 million subscribers. While it won't change the dynamic of its current position in the U.S. market (it's #4), it will gain access to more space on the airwaves. T-Mobile USA’s German parent, Deutsche Telekom AG, will hold a 74 percent stake in the new entity, while MetroPCS Communications shareholders will own the remaining 26 percent.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has to do more to police and ensure mobile and broadband competition across the country, said FCC chairman Julius Genachowski in a speech earlier this week.
He also said that the agency must resist calls for various corners of government and the private sector to eliminate or phase out regulation of broadband and mobile carriers.
"Competition is the lifeblood of our free-market economy, driving private investment, innovation and consumer value," he said. "The more competition, the less need for regulation."
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.
While AT&T might be willing to take a lot of public heat for its stance on Apple's FaceTime application, Verizon Wireless is taking an entirely different tact. The company says that it will enable Apple's popular video communication apple on all data plans.
"All Verizon Wireless customers will be permitted to use the data-intensive application with no additional charges, including those remaining on unlimited data plans," said a company spokesperson. Sprint has also said it won't place any limits on FaceTime use.
Having bested Samsung in a U.S. court over patent infringement, Apple is putting its focus on defending itself against phone maker HTC, but it may have an uphill battle on its hands. As SlashGear points out in this article, Apple is not starting out on the best footing.
The Federal Communications Commission announced today that it will start monitoring and reporting on mobile broadband speeds across the country. The FCC said that it will begin a review process of mobile networks in the U.S. with a meeting on Sept. 21. The end goal is to provide consumers with a report card for those networks. The new effort is part of the FCC’s overall National Broadband Plan, and has gained support from both major wireless carriers and the CTIA.
The Kindle Fire has literally sold out, according to Amazon, and the Android-based device won't see a new production run. The company said that those who want a Kindle Fire but can't find it at retail will have to wait until later this year when Amazon releases a new version of the device. The device was originally released in November of last year and did pretty well by Amazon's own accounting.
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.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is considering getting rid of a ban on using electronic devices when an aircraft is below 10,000 feet. According to this PDF file from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the agency has announced a "request for comments" about the issue from the public and experts.
Two internet rights groups have cried foul on AT&T's plans for the video chat application FaceTime. The groups say that the iPhone app will violate net neutrality rules put in place by the Federal Communications Commission in late 2011. AT&T announced last week that it would only allow consumers to use the app on its 3G network if they subscribe to new shared data plans. Those subscribers who use the old individual data plans would only be allowed to use it via Wi-Fi networks.
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.
Google takes a break from suing other companies over phone designs using patents it acquired from Motorola to lay off 4,000 employees, or 20 percent of the company's work force. Google says that this reduction is part of a larger restructuring plan that will ultimately see the closure of one-third of Motorola’s 90 offices.
id Software co-founder and chief mad scientist John Carmack revealed during the keynote address at QuakeCon yesterday that his studio had to cease developing mobile games to focus on Quake 4. Carmack said that it had to close its mobile game operation and shelf whatever iOS projects it was working on to focus on other important priorities:
"It saddened me a lot to because I loved doing the mobile work," he said. "It was fun, it was fun for the company, it makes money but it's not a grand slam sort of thing."