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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Minecraft - Pocket Edition in One Million Virtual Pockets

March 5, 2012 -

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.

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AT&T Changes Throttling Policy Amid Customer Complaints

March 1, 2012 -

If you are an AT&T mobile customer with an unlimited data plan, then you know the painful truth about throttling. AT&T has been throttling - or slowing down - customers who have an unlimited plan and have hit a certain milestone amount of data usage. Customers using as little as 2 - 3 GB have had their connections slowed down to a point they considered unusable despite what AT&T has claimed.

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EA Mobile Will Not Re-Release Battlefield 3: Aftershock on iOS

March 1, 2012 -

On February 22 EA Mobile pulled its iOS Battlefield 3 spin-off game from the Apple App Store after users complained about the game's lack of depth and a number of serious issues including connection problems and control issues. Today Vox Games has been told by an EA Mobile rep that development on the game has been halted and permanently shelved - never to return to Apple's devices.

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AT&T Considers Charging App Makers, Services a Fee for Data Usage

February 28, 2012 -

AT&T has concocted a new way to deal with the rise of data usage among subscribers: charge app makers and bandwidth-eating services a fee. Those who supported the FCC's net neutrality rules (but publicly demanded stricter legislation on mobile carriers) are saying "I told you so" over this news. In a recent conversation with the Wall Street Journal, AT&T’s senior executive vice president of network and technology John Donovan, said that app makers might choose to pay for data in hopes of bringing in new customers.

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Google Reveals Latest Android Activation, App Download Numbers

February 27, 2012 -

According to Google's Mobile blog, 850,000 android devices are activated on a daily basis worldwide, and over 300 million have been activated to date. Google's SVP of mobile and digital content Andy Rubin revealed the numbers. Rubin also noted that more than 450,000 apps are now available on the Android Market, or three times the number of apps that were available last year. He also said that over 1 billion apps are downloaded every month. From the blog:

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AT&T Begins Selectively Throttling Smartphone Customers with Unlimited Data Plans

February 10, 2012 -

In 2011 AT&T warned its heavy data using mobile customers that it would reduce their connection speed if said usage inched in to the "top five percent." AT&T is defining that metric as anyone who uses more that 2.1 GB of data a month. As chronicled in this NYT blog post, one of AT&T's customers hit the 2.1 GB mark and had his connection throttled. The problem, that customer says, is that he has a data limit of 3GB a month because a legacy unlimited plan.

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Sleaker@EZK - I think some people are concerned beacuse it's a predatory technique targetted toward younger people that don't understand on top of offering the worst interest rates of any retailer around.07/30/2014 - 11:33am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/07/30/europe-gets-long-detained-shin-megami-tensei-4-at-cut-price/ "Sorry you had to wait a year for SMT4, would a price cut make it sting less?"07/30/2014 - 10:29am
NeenekoI would hope not. Though it is not unheard of for store specific cards to be pretty good.07/30/2014 - 8:17am
E. Zachary KnightDoes anyone, or at least any intelligent person, expect a retail branded credit card to be anything close to resembling a "good deal" on interest rates?07/30/2014 - 7:13am
SleakerGamestop articles popping up everywhere about their ludicrous new Credit card offerings at a whopping pre-approval for 26.9% APR07/29/2014 - 10:19pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/07/podcasting-patent-troll-we-tried-to-drop-lawsuit-against-adam-carolla/ the podcasting patent troll scum is trying to turn tail and run.07/29/2014 - 9:50pm
MaskedPixelanteOf course it's improved. At launch, Origin was scanning your entire hard drive, but now it's just scanning your browsing history. If that's not an improvement, I dunno what is!07/29/2014 - 8:59pm
Papa Midnighthttp://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/video-games/columns/experienced-points/12029-Has-EAs-Origin-Service-Improved-Any-Over-the-Last-Two-Years07/29/2014 - 8:25pm
Sora-ChanSo it's just a matter of having better emulation software. If it can be done with a 3DS game, with all the memory and what not it takes up, it can be done with a GBA title through emulation.07/29/2014 - 7:30pm
Sora-ChanOther VC titles for the NES and Gameboy had the same setup where you couldn't access the homescreen without quitting out of the game til a later update when those games were released for the public outside of the founder program.07/29/2014 - 7:28pm
Sora-Chanthe 3DS can, and does, run GBA games, as seen by the founder gifts, which included a number of GBA titles. As for running GBA games and still having access to the home screen, I beleive it's more of the game emulation software needs to be updated.07/29/2014 - 7:27pm
Matthew Wilsonthe 3ds already swaps os's with the original ds. plus I dont think people expect miverse interaction when playing a gba game.07/29/2014 - 6:06pm
MaskedPixelanteBut that's not the issue, the 3DS is perfectly capable of emulating GBA games. The problem is that it doesn't have enough available system resources to run it alongside the 3DS OS, and thus it doesn't have access to stuff like Miiverse and save states.07/29/2014 - 5:45pm
Matthew WilsonI am well aware that it requires more power, but if a GBA emulator could run well on a original psp, than it should work on a 3ds.07/29/2014 - 5:36pm
ZenThe reason the SNES could run Gameboy, or the Gamecube could run GBA was because their adapters included all of the necessary hardware to do it in the respective add-ons. The systems were just conduits for control inputs and video/sound/power.07/29/2014 - 4:51pm
ZenMatthew: Emulation takes more power than people realize to run a game properly. You can make something run on less, but Nintendo...as slow as they are at releasing them..makes them run as close to 100% as possible. Each game has its own emulator for it.07/29/2014 - 4:47pm
Matthew Wilsonkind of hard to believe since the 3ds is atleast as powerful as the gamecube hardware wise.07/29/2014 - 4:27pm
MaskedPixelanteYes, the 3DS has enough power to run 16-bit emulators, but not at the same time it's running the 3DS systems themselves. You could run the games, but you wouldn't get save states or Miiverse.07/29/2014 - 4:04pm
InfophileRunning GBA on 3DS shouldn't be hard. The DS had flashcarts sold for it that added just enough power to emulate GBA and SNES games, so the 3DS should have more than enough natively.07/29/2014 - 3:37pm
MaskedPixelanteIt's a bunch of people whining about boycotting/pirating Trails in the Sky FC because XSEED didn't license the Japanese dub track, which consists of about 10 lines per character.07/29/2014 - 11:27am
 

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