FAA Reconsidering Rules on Using Electronic Devices During Flights

August 29, 2012 -

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.

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Rights Groups Say AT&T's New Policy for FaceTime Violates Net Neutrality Rules

August 21, 2012 -

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.

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Gree Ponders Impact of 'Complete Gacha' Ban

August 15, 2012 -

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.

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Verizon App Store for Android Adds ESRB Ratings

August 14, 2012 -

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.

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Google Slashes Twenty Percent of Motorola's Work Force

August 13, 2012 -

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.

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id Software No Longer Developing Mobile Games

August 3, 2012 -

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."

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Verizon Wireless Fined by FCC for Blocking Tethering Apps on 4G Network

August 3, 2012 -

Earlier this week the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) fined Verizon Wireless $1.25 million for limiting its customers’ use of applications on its 4G network. In 2011, Free Press filed a formal complaint with the FCC against Verizon after reports indicated that Verizon had allegedly urged Google to remove some apps from its Android Market. These apps allowed Verizon subscribers to use tethering. Before these apps were available customers spent as much as $30 extra a month to tether.

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IGN Unloads GameSpy to Glu Mobile for $2.7 Million

August 2, 2012 -

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.

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Temple Run Downloaded 100 Million Times

August 2, 2012 -

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.

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EA's Firemint and IronMonkey Studios Merge to Become FireMonkeys

July 25, 2012 -

Electronic Arts has merged two of its mobile game development studios into one mega-studio in Australia. Firemint and IronMonkeys will be merged into a single studio now known as Firemonkeys studio.

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Dead Trigger Game Goes Free, Piracy Blamed

July 23, 2012 -

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.

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Uniloc Sues Minecraft Maker Mojang for Patent Infringement

July 23, 2012 -

Over the weekend it was revealed that Minecraft maker Mojang is being sued by a Luxembourg, Germany-based company called Uniloc for patent infringement. The company claims that Mojang violated a patent it holds related to a "system and method for preventing unauthorized access to electronic data".

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Ngmoco: Mobile, Freemium Will Kill Consoles in 5 - 10 Years

June 26, 2012 -

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.

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App Conference Call for Speakers

June 6, 2012 -

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.

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Latvian Firm Fined for Fake Android Apps

May 24, 2012 -

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.

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Japan Bans 'Complete Gacha' Mechanics in Games

May 18, 2012 -

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.

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Gree's Largest Shareholder Loses $700 Million on Government Regulation Fears

May 7, 2012 -

While most of us couldn't imagine having billions of dollars in profits, that doesn't take away the sting of losing $700 million that Gree CEO Yoshikazu Tanaka feels. According to this Kotaku report, over the weekend the Yomiuri Shimbun reported that the Japanese government could regulate online social games that have players paying extra money to try and win rare in-game items. The items in question are rare in-game idol cards. Players collect these cards in order to collect a whole deck. In Japan both Gree and DeNA use this reward system for their social games.

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Team Meat Expresses Hate for Freemium Mobile Games

May 7, 2012 -

"Hate" is a pretty strong way of describing something that you might find slightly off-putting but that's the word that Edmund McMillen of Team Meat describes "freemium games." The maker of Super Meat Boy recently said on his team blog that free-to-play mobile games have a "lack of respect for players."

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Virginia Attorney General and George Mason University Team Up to Fight Gang Recruitment with Games

May 3, 2012 -

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.

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Xbox 360, Windows 7 Banned in Germany

May 2, 2012 -

Motorola Mobility has won an injunction against Microsoft in Germany prohibiting the sale of products in the country including Windows 7 and the Xbox 360. The injunction is the latest punch thrown in a bitter patent lawsuit between Motorola and Microsoft

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Microsoft Dialing Sexy Back in Windows Phone Marketplace

May 2, 2012 -

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.

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Harmonix: We Don't Know Why Rock Band iOS App is Giving Users Expiration Warnings

May 2, 2012 -

Users of the iOS version of Rock Band were surprised to receive a notice from the game warning them that it was going to expire on May 31. First noted by this Reddit thread and pictured to your left, the notice warned users that the $4.99 app was going to expire at the end of the month, but iTunes is still selling the app without such a warning and EA is incommunicado on the story as of this writing.

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Report: Dena, Gree Plan Caps on In-Game Purchases for 16-19-year-olds in Japan

April 27, 2012 -

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.

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Microsoft Rejects Windows Phone Game Because 'Flushing Toilet Sounds' Offend Asians

April 20, 2012 -

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.

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Sony Acknowledges Xperia S 'Yellow Screen' Issue

April 3, 2012 -

According to a CNET UK report, Sony's Xperia S phone has a serious issue with heat that can turn the handset's screen yellow if it gets too hot. In a statement issued to CNET UK, Sony confirmed that it knows about the issue, but also said that the problem only affects a small number of Xperia S handsets.

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Rovio Buys Futuremark Games Studio

March 27, 2012 -

Angry Birds maker Rovio has acquired Futuremark Games Studio for an undisclosed amount of money, according to an announcement made by the company today. Rovio says that this acquisition is part of its "rapid expansion" into entertainment, publishing, animation, and retail. Futuremark Games Company develops games such as Shattered Horizon, Hungribles, and Unstoppable Gorg. Last summer Rovio purchased Kombo Animation Studio.

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Research: Freemium Games Drive Mobile Game Sales, Usage

March 27, 2012 -

New data from research firm Newzoo reveals that more than 100 million consumers in the United States are playing games on various hand-held and mobile devices including smartphones, tablets, and iPods. The amount of users playing games on portable devices has grown by more than a third compared to last year, according to Newzoo data. In Europe smartphone and tablet gamers (from seven key territories) has also increased to 70 million, a 15 percent year-over-year increase.

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Verizon Offers Net Neutrality Resolution to Shareholders, Urges Them to Reject It

March 23, 2012 -

Following last month's ruling by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that wireless carriers must give their shareholders an opportunity to vote on net neutrality rules, Verizon has brought the issue to shareholders in a new resolution. At the same time, the company’s board of directors is strongly urging its shareholders to reject the resolution.

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Amazon Appstore Sells "Millions" of Apps

March 16, 2012 -

One year after launching its Appstore, Amazon offers around 1,000 games and apps, and that it has sold "millions" of them to Kindle Fire and Android device owners. The company did not give a specific number. While it's a good start, Amazon's App Store is way behind Google's 300,000 apps and 10 billion downloads, and the Apple's 585,000 apps and 25 billion downloads.

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Draw Something App Sees 20 Million Downloads in Five Weeks

March 13, 2012 -

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.

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Is King right? Should all games adopt the free-to-play model?:

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Andrew EisenAs it happens, Chinatown Wars is the only GTA game I've played.04/19/2014 - 10:43am
Papa MidnightWith GTA5 (to date) failing to even provide indication of a PC release, I'm realising that this might be the first GTA game that I have not played (outside of Chinatown Wars) since the series inception.04/19/2014 - 8:14am
IanCSo im guessing a bunch of edutainment games, which a lot of people elsewhere are going gaga over, dot count as classics? Okay. If you don't mind me, i have a sudden urge to play Putt Putt....04/19/2014 - 6:15am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/04/18/playstation-99-cent-sale-discounts-tokyo-jungle-super-stardust/ Weekend long PSN flash sale. So much stuff is 99 cents for the rest of the weekend.04/18/2014 - 5:59pm
Adam802http://www.polygon.com/2014/4/18/5627928/newtown-video-game-addiction-forum04/18/2014 - 4:14pm
Matthew Wilsonit is a video talking about why certain games/products/consoles do well, and others do not. he back it up with solid research.04/18/2014 - 3:56pm
Andrew EisenI'm not keen on blind links. What is it?04/18/2014 - 3:45pm
Matthew Wilsonthis is worth a whatch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyXcr6sDRtw&list=PL35FE5C4B157509C904/18/2014 - 3:43pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 3: Night Dive was brought to the attention of the public by a massive game recovery, and yet most of their released catalogue consists of games that other people did the hard work of getting re-released.04/17/2014 - 8:46pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 2: If Humongous Entertainment wanted their stuff on Steam, why didn't they talk to their parent company, which does have a number of games published on Steam?04/17/2014 - 8:45pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 1: When Night Dive spent the better part of a year teasing the return of true classics, having their big content dump be edutainment is kind of a kick in the stomach.04/17/2014 - 8:44pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.giantbomb.com/articles/jeff-gerstmann-heads-to-new-york-takes-questions/1100-4900/ He talks about the future games press and the games industry. It is worth your time even though it is a bit long, and stay for the QA. There are some good QA04/17/2014 - 5:28pm
IanCErm so they shouldn't sell edutainment at all? Why?04/17/2014 - 4:42pm
MaskedPixelanteNot that linkable, go onto Steam and there's stuff like Pajama Sam on the front-page, courtesy of Night Dive.04/17/2014 - 4:13pm
Andrew EisenOkay, again, please, please, PLEASE get in a habit of linking to whatever you're talking about.04/17/2014 - 4:05pm
MaskedPixelanteAnother round of Night Dive teasing and promising turns out to be stupid edutainment games. Thanks for wasting all our time, guys. See you never.04/17/2014 - 3:44pm
Matthew WilsonAgain the consequences were not only foreseeable, but very likely. anyone who understood supply demand curvs knew that was going to happen. SF has been a econ/trade hub for the last hundred years.04/17/2014 - 2:45pm
Andrew EisenMixedPixelante - Would you like to expand on that?04/17/2014 - 2:43pm
MaskedPixelanteWell, I am officially done with Night Dive Studios. Unless they can bring something worthwhile back, I'm never buying another game from them.04/17/2014 - 2:29pm
PHX Corphttp://www.msnbc.com/ronan-farrow/watch/video-games-continue-to-break-the-mold-229561923638 Ronan Farrow Daily on Video games breaking the mold04/17/2014 - 2:13pm
 

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