Report: Gree Lays off 30 Employees at San Francisco Office

May 10, 2013 -

Mobile games publisher Gree has laid off an estimated 30 employees from its San Francisco office according to reports on Develop and GII. While the exact number of employees let go was not confirmed, the layoffs have been. According to Gree COO Anil Dharni, the staff reduction is part of re-alignment of its U.S. operations.

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Develop Finds Majority of Apps Do Not Warn About In-App Purchases

May 9, 2013 -

An investigation examining 400 apps conducted by Develop shows that there is a lack of consistency in the way in-game purchases are presented on digital stores. The investigation follows the UK government agency the Office of Fair Trading’s recent announcement that it would investigate in-app purchases in children’s games.

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UK Government Plans to Revamp Consumer Laws Concerning Digital Content

May 8, 2013 -

If the laws being proposed by politicians in the UK this week were in place when SimCity and Diablo III launched, consumers would be able to get a refund. The BBC is reporting on plans to pass new laws that will make it easier for UK consumers to get a refund or a replacement product from companies when a digitally distributed video game, mobile app, or piece of entertainment content doesn't work they way it should at launch.

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Into the Dead App Passes 10 Millionth Download Mark

May 7, 2013 -

Mobile and social game developer PikPok announced that its newest original mobile game, Into the Dead has managed to sail past the 10 millionth download mark. The game was released in December of last year and is available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android. The game joins another PikPok title past 10 million downloads: Flick Kick Football. That game is contributing to the Flick Kick series of games, which has seen over 20 million downloads as of April.

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European Commission Issues Preliminary Antitrust Ruling Against Motorola Mobility

May 7, 2013 -

This week the European Commission issued a preliminary antitrust ruling against Google’s Motorola Mobility related to its heavy handed tactics against Apple in German Courts. The finding could ultimately lead to a large fine for Motorola (and by extension Google) and could lead to Motorola being forced to enter an agreement with competitors to license its patents for a reasonable royalty rate.

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T-Mobile Completes Acquisition of MetroPCS

May 1, 2013 -

The Associated Press is reporting that the country's fourth largest mobile carrier T-Mobile USA has completed the acquisition of rival mobile phone carrier MetroPCS. T-Mobile will add the company's estimated 9 million customers to its own 34 million users. While T-Mobile has no plans to make any immediate changes, the company does plan on shutting down MetroPCS’s network over the next two years.

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ITC Sides With Apple in Mobile Phone Sensor Patent Dispute

April 25, 2013 -

Apple has won another battle this month at the U.S. International Trade Commission. The ruling dismissed patent claims by Google's Motorola Mobility against Apple's iPhone. If Motorola had prevailed, the ITC could have instituted a ban on imports of the iPhone into the United States from Apple's manufacturers in China.

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Undisclosed Number of Layoffs Hit EA Mobile Studio

April 11, 2013 -

Electronic Arts has laid off a number of employees at its Montreal-based mobile game development studio, according to a Polygon report. The company says that these layoffs are part of an overall strategy to streamline operations, though the mobile studio seems to have been impacted the hardest in this latest round of job cuts. No word on whether EA is cutting jobs elsewhere.

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Almost 60K 'Low-Quality' Apps Purged from Google Play Store

April 10, 2013 -

Google has made a dramatic move in removing apps that are either non-compliant or engage in some way in the art of spam. According to Techcrunch the marketplace for Android apps has about 60,000 less titles to choose from. These titles were removed in the last couple of weeks of February, according to the tech web site.

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Lodsys Adds Four Companies to Patent Infringement Lawsuit

April 8, 2013 -

Lodsys, a company that seems to specialize only in filing patent infringement lawsuits, has added a number of new video game industry targets in the mobile games space. According to Ars Technica, Gameloft, Gamevil, BackFlip Studios, Pocket Gems and The Walt Disney Company are now named defendants for violating a patent the company holds related to technology used for in-app purchasing.

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Report: Supercell Valued at $800 Million

April 1, 2013 -

Finland-based free-to-play game studio Supercell is valued at around $800 million after its latest funding round. The developer behind the hit F2P mobile titles Clash of Clans and Hay Day sold off between 16 - 20 percent of its common shares for an estimated $100 - $150 million. The word on the street is that the company's latest investors include Institutional Venture Partners, Atomico and Index Ventures. The company allegedly got close to being valued at an even $1 billion, but fell just short of the mark.

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Watchdog Groups and Concerned Citizens Urge Lawmakers to Add an Exception to the DMCA for Unlocking Mobile Devices

March 28, 2013 -

A letter signed by 33 organizations and nine individuals asks the top ranking lawmakers in the House of Representatives (Reps. Bob Goodlatte and John Conyers) and the United States Senate (Sens. Patrick Leahy and Charles Grassley) to make an exception for unlocking electronic devices to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Recently a petition signed by over 110,000 Americans asked President Barack Obama's administration to make the same exception.

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OpenFeint Co-Founder to Debut Open Sourced Alternative at GDC

March 25, 2013 -

While GREE made a lot of developers upset when it discontinued the OpenFeint platform in December of last year, the co-founder of the social mobile platform will soon have something to replace it. Late last year GREE shut down the OpenFeint platform, feeling that Apple's GameCenter was dominating the space. Much to the chagrin of developers using that platform, they were not given enough time to migrate their game data to another platform and lost a lot of the user data they were storing in the OpenFeint cloud.

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Sony Unloads Stake in DeNa for $438 Million

March 4, 2013 -

Sony has decided to unload its holdings in mobile game developer and publisher DeNa, according to this Reuters report. Sony has reportedly sold all of its shares in the company to Japanese-based investment firm Nomura Securities for $438 million.

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Former Square Enix Exec Keiji Fujita Joins Adways Interactive

February 26, 2013 -

Former Square Enix and Taito executive Keiji Fujita has joined Japanese mobile ad network and game publisher Adways, the company announced today. Fujita will take the reins of the company's San Francisco office, which will serve as the home of the U.S. subsidiary, Adways Interactive. Keiji Fujita will serve as the Vice President of Game Business. The company also announced that it is looking for non-Japanese free-to-play mobile games to launch in the Japanese market. It will be on the hunt for such properties at Game Connection America 2013, where it will be present as an exhibitor.

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Judge Tells Apple and Samsung to Limit Scope of Claims in New Patent Infringement Case

February 22, 2013 -

At a hearing yesterday US District Judge Lucy Koh told Apple and Samsung that both sides need to limit their cases to 25 patent claims each, and no more than 25 allegedly infringing products could be listed. Judge Koh threatened to put the whole case on hold unless both sides narrow the case down and accused them of overbroad accusations.

"As this case as it is currently framed, I'm refusing to go forward," Koh said.

Just take your best shots," Koh said. "I don't want a lot of sausage filler."

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Phone Jailbreaking Petition Successfully Collects Required Signatures

February 21, 2013 -

Earlier in the week reported on a petition over at WhiteHouse.gov asking the administration to direct the Librarian of Congress to rescind the October 2012 decision that removed unlocking mobile phones (commonly referred to as jailbreaking) as an exception to the DMCA. The petition went on to ask the White House - if it could not compel the Librarian of Congress to change that decision - to champion a bill that makes unlocking phones permanently legal.

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Report: Mobile Game Puzzle & Dragons Earned $2 Million a Day in January

February 20, 2013 -

Free-to-play mobile game Puzzle & Dragons from Japanese developer and publisher GungHo Online Entertainment supposedly generated around $65 million during January - or about $2 million dollars a day. These startling sales figures come from data collected by Japanese industry consultant Serkan Toto, who reports that the puzzle and RPG hybrid title has generated around $65 million in sales on iOS and Android in Japan last month.

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Kickstarter Goes Mobile on Apple Devices

February 14, 2013 -

Popular crowd funding platform Kickstarter has launched an app for iOS devices today that allows users to have more streamlined access to their favorite projects. The app promises the community the ability to "discover new projects, watch project videos, and get updates from projects and your friends." For project creators looking to get some funding from the community the app allows you to "stay connected with your backers, track your project’s progress, and post updates from wherever you are."

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Ouya Getting Games From Double Fine, Words With Friends Creator

February 7, 2013 -

If you are one of the many thousands that backed the Ouya Kickstarter or plan on getting one of the tiny Android based home console systems when it hits retail in June then you should be happy to hear that Double Fine and the Word With Friends co-creator are working on games for it.

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Chillingo Announces 100% Indie Developer Program

February 6, 2013 -

Chillingo founders Joe Wee and Chris Byatte announced jointly on EA's blog the launch of a new indie developer program that highlights quality independently developed mobile titles through the company's third party mobile publishing services. The program is called 100% Indie and its core is located at www.100percentindie.com.

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Mobile Game Publisher GREE Announces New Partner Funding Program

February 5, 2013 -

Mobile game developer and publisher GREE announced details on a new $10 million fund to invest in and foster long-term relationships with "talented developers in the free-to-play mobile games industry." The fund is appropriately called the GREE Partners Fund, and will be administered by GREE International’s VP of Publishing and Partners, Jim Ying. The fund will allow GREE to invest an aggregate of $10 million through equity investments of $1 million or more.

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S2 Games Moves Near Kalamazoo, Michigan

January 15, 2013 -

During 2012 S2 Games, the developers behind the popular MOBA Heroes of Newerth, doubled its workforce and launched a mobile gaming division called iGames. To make room for these latest additions and continued growth of the company in 2013, S2 announced that it has relocated its headquarters to a corporate suite in the Portage Trade Centre, outside Kalamazoo, Michigan.

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Pirate iOS App Store and Related Services Go Dark

December 31, 2012 -

Hackulous closed its doors for good, according to a report from TorrentFreak. The entire community that catered to offering cracked apps for Apple's iOS devices seems to have unceremoniously died or shut down yesterday. This includes Apptrackr, the web-based partner index for cracked apps; and Installous, an app used by millions to transfer those cracked apps to iOS devices.

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FTC Report Criticizes Data Collection and Sharing Practices of Kid App Developers

December 11, 2012 -

The Federal Trade Commission released a report on Monday that came to the conclusion that the majority of mobile apps aimed at children collect and transmit data that they shouldn't such as the device being used - and they do not disclose this fact to the parents. According to the report, around 60 percent of 400 popular kids’ apps made for phones and tablets running Android and iOS transmitted information about the device to the app’s developer or to a third party such as an ad network.

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Rebellion Apologizes for Sniper Elite Multiplayer Servers Being Shut Down 'Without Their Consent'

December 10, 2012 -

UK developer Rebellion finds itself in a tough situation this morning. Multiplayer servers for its Sniper Elite game have been shut down at the request of Glu, but Rebellion claims it was not informed about the servers being closed. The company has apologized to owners of the game and is telling the community that the decision was made without its consent.

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Indie Developer Slams Microsoft, Windows RT Marketplace

December 7, 2012 -

Paul Johnson from UK-based developer Rubicon has deleted a scathing rant posted earlier today aimed at Windows RT and Microsoft claiming that his game Great Big War Game made just £52 from the Windows RT marketplace in its first week on sale. Johnson claims that the Windows RT port cost his company an estimated £10,000.

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Layoffs Hit OpenFeint Owner GREE

December 7, 2012 -

Mobile games publisher and developer GREE has laid off 25 employees today. The layoffs are directly tied to the shut down of its mobile social gaming platform, OpenFeint.

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Apple's Latest iOS Devices Coming to China in December

November 30, 2012 -

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

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Zynga Mobile UK GM Exits Company

November 27, 2012 -

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."

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Goth_SkunkAnd at long last, I think I'm finally done.06/30/2015 - 3:08am
Goth_SkunkAnd if those progressive games fail to make any headway in the market, don't blame gamer culture for not being cultured enough to appreciate the product. Own up to the fact that the game either sucks, is not interesting, or both.06/30/2015 - 3:06am
Goth_Skunknor suggest that the games industry and culture is rife with toxicity because of it and needs to change for the good of the medium. There is room in the market for progressive games to co-exist with games like Hatred, not replace them outright.06/30/2015 - 3:04am
Goth_SkunkAnd if the overly violent content of most AAA games or the perceived mistreatment of women in such games bothers one, by all means criticize it, but do not under any circumstances suggest that it such content shouldn't exist or be promoted,06/30/2015 - 3:02am
Goth_SkunkGames, for the most part, let you do this! You can be the man or woman you're not. You can escape reality and immerse yourself in the experience. And that's wonderful! I play as female characters all the time in games I play, when the option is available.06/30/2015 - 2:59am
Goth_SkunkA choice that nature denied transgender people at birth! People don't undergo gender reassignment because they want to be transgender; they undergo gender reassignment because they want to be the gender they identify with!06/30/2015 - 2:52am
Goth_SkunkBut I think it gets silly when people start asking for the ability to play as a transgender protagonist. I mean, why would one do that? One usually has the option to create a character that's either a man or a woman, gay or straight. You have the choice!06/30/2015 - 2:50am
Goth_Skunkfirst two games, a move which was ultimately corrected in the 3rd game. By extension, Dragon Age has always had the option, and good on it!06/30/2015 - 2:45am
Goth_SkunkBut it certainly is good to see developers entertain the allowance of allowing the player to develop their protagonist to be homosexual if they want. The Mass Effect series was criticized rightly for not allowing a male homosexual romance plot in the06/30/2015 - 2:44am
Goth_Skunkand only just by the slimmest of margins. Homosexuality is sadly still a hot button controversy in the USA, which makes developing a noteworthy game with a hardcoded homosexual lead or theme a dangerous risk to take.06/30/2015 - 2:37am
Goth_SkunkThe United States is the largest single customer base for video games in the world, and it only just mandated by rule of its Supreme Court that marriage ought to be just as much an inalienable right for homosexuals as it is for heterosexuals,06/30/2015 - 2:35am
Goth_SkunkFor example, it would be difficult for a developer to produce a AAA quality game where the protagonist is hardcoded to be MtF transgender, and convince enough people to buy it in order to make it worth its production costs.06/30/2015 - 2:31am
Goth_SkunkNo Mecha, not woe unto those who ask for representation. By all means, ask and be represented. I don't have an issue with it, nor would I say anyone in GamerGate does either. But be reasonable about asking too.06/30/2015 - 2:27am
Goth_Skunkthat would've made Benedict Arnold raise a glass in toast.06/30/2015 - 2:25am
MechaCrashGamers are more than straight white men, but woe unto those who actually ask for representation!06/30/2015 - 2:24am
Goth_SkunkBut Games Journalism, who in the past has stood up for gamers and developers, when their hobby was under attack by idealogues and governments for being overly violent, suddenly switched sides in a move06/30/2015 - 2:24am
Goth_SkunkYet the media continues to push that narrative, and they will continue to do so until their medium dies out from obscelesence or when the old guard retires and is replaced by people who were raised by gamers, people who know the score.06/30/2015 - 2:20am
Goth_SkunkGamerGate, by my view, is far more diverse and inclusive that the purveying culture surrounding games journalism right now. The stereotypical gamer is a straight white male, but GamerGate has shown, time and time again, that this is not really the case.06/30/2015 - 2:18am
Goth_SkunkAfter all, you did just call it a "problem."06/30/2015 - 2:15am
Goth_SkunkAs opposed to setting the bar high, creating a culture clique that promotes exclusivity rather than inclusivity. Cronyism rather than diversity. Do you feel that inclusivity and diversity are just buzzwords to be used whenever convenient?06/30/2015 - 2:12am
 

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