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每日观察:关注Playdom项目侵犯儿童隐私等消息(5.16)

发布时间:2011-05-16 17:08:37 Tags:,,,

1)迪士尼旗下的社交游戏公司Playdom最近被FTC(美国联邦贸易委员会)起诉,原因是该公司运营的一个虚拟世界(游戏邦注:该项目原为Acclaim公司运营,Playdom在2010年收购了Acclaim,而迪士尼又在去年收购了Playdom)违反了COPPA(儿童在线隐私保护法案)的相关规定。

FTC同时起诉了Playdom和Acclaim前首席执行官Howard Marks,因为该公司的一些儿童游戏项目非法搜集儿童个人信息。据FTC资料显示,在2006年至2010年,大约40.3万名儿童注册了Acclaim的大众游戏帐号,其中一款名为《Pony Stars》的儿童游戏注册用户为82.1万人。

PonyStars

Pony Stars

除了缴纳300万美元的罚金,Playdom已被FTC列入被禁名单,虽然《Pony Stars》已经在2010年12月1日被关闭,但Playdom目前至少还在Facebook平台运营一款Acclaim游戏《RockFREE》。已离开Playdom的Howard Marks最近新成立了一家名为Gamezee的手机游戏公司。

2)Axiom Telecom公司与EA最近签署合作协议,将把EA手机游戏引进阿拉伯联合酋长国。这些合作的手机游戏内容包括《极品飞车》、《Hot Pursuit》、《模拟人生》、《3 Ambitions》、《俄罗斯方块》、《Madden NFL 11》以及《宝石迷阵》。当地手机用户可通过Axiom Telecom商店或以短信形式下载这些游戏,用户可采用每周或每月订阅形式,在该服务期内无限下载手机游戏。Axiom Telecom成立于1997年,目前在中东地区的销售点超过了3200个。

tap the frog

tap the frog

3)Playfo公司日前宣布其iPhone/iPad游戏《Tap The Frog》在莫斯科荣获2011年Flash GAMM大会的“最佳手机游戏”大奖,以及FWA(Favourtie Website Awards)的“Mobile of the day”奖项。《Tap The Fg》是一款含有16个迷你游戏,考验玩家反应速度的手机游戏。据该公司所称,该游戏在法国、德国、澳大利亚、意大利、俄罗斯、波兰、以色列、西班牙、比利时、卢森堡、奥地利、新加坡、印度尼西亚等国的App Store快速上升至游戏榜单的第一位,平均评价得分是4.8或5分。该游戏的Flash版本名为《Click The Frog》,自发布以来用户超过了200万;其iOS版本的游戏原先售价是0.99美元,但最近推出了限时免费促销活动。(游戏邦注:Flash GaMM是一个关于Flash、社交及手机游戏开发商的行业分享大会,FWA则是一个关于互联网项目的重要奖项。)

4)有传闻称亚马逊将于今年底推出运行Android操作系统的平板电脑,而该公司首席执行官JeffBezos的回应却是“敬请期待”。有观察者认为,Bezos的说法暗示了关于亚马逊平板电脑的消息很可能成真,而且它不会取代Kindle电子阅读器,而是与Kindle并列的另一种设备。

SOE-logo

SOE-logo

5)据games报道,索尼日前开始恢复PlayStation Network服务,支持所有的PS3用户升级系统,添加隐私安全保护功能以及更改用户密码,索尼在线娱乐的多数MMO游戏以及Facebook游戏也开始恢复运营。Facebook用户现在已可重新体验《Wildlife Refuge》,但《Dungeon Overlord》却仍然不免一些加载问题,据称索尼在线娱乐未来还会针对其Facebook游戏添加一些免费道具或奖励。

6)据USA Today爆料,社交网站巨头Facebook最近雇佣公关公司Burson-Marsteller展开反谷歌行动,让后者在最近一段时间发布不少指责谷歌“Social Circle”功能的文章,试图指责谷歌从Facebook方面搜集信息的策略,以便在谷歌、微软、Facebook和苹果利用互联网优势挖掘用户数据的大战中取得微妙的战略平衡。

7)新西兰在线游戏项目SmallWorlds日前获得TradeMe创始人Sam Morgan等投资者的250万美元资金,该游戏项目计划在今年扩充20名成员,并利用这笔资金开拓非英语市场,优化游戏在Facebook等社交网站上的运营。该游戏于2008年上线,预计2013年该项目将创收1亿美元。据市场调研公司报告显示,社交网络平台的在线游戏去年创收10亿美元,预计2015年有可能达到50亿美元。(本文为游戏邦/gamerboom.com编译,转载请注明来源:游戏邦)

1)Playdom Hit With $3 Million Settlement In FTC COPPA Case

by Christian Nutt

The Disney Interactive social games subsidiary Playdom has settled with the FTC over claims that virtual worlds operated by Acclaim, which it acquired in 2010, violated rules protecting kids online.

The FTC had filed a case against Playdom and Howard Marks, former Acclaim CEO, over the fact that several of the company’s games — including some targeted specifically to children, including Pony Stars — improperly collected and distributed children’s personal information under U.S. law.

According to the FTC’s press release, between 2006 and 2010, approximately 403,000 children registered for its general-audience games, while an additional 821,000 users registered for Pony Stars.

These games were not COPPA compliant when operated by Acclaim, which was acquired by Playdom in May 2010. Playdom, in turn, was acquired by Disney in July of that year.

COPPA, or the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, governs how websites and online services collect and treat children’s personal information online in the U.S.

The FTC’s complaint alleges that Playdom collected children’s ages and email addresses from them, and then enabled them to publicly post this and other sensitive information — such as their full names and instant messenger contact info — without obtaining the proper consent from parents. The FTC notes that in addition to COPPA, this is also in violation of Playdom’s own policies.

Beyond the $3 million penalty, which the company has agreed to pay, Playdom is now permanently barred by the FTC from violating COPPA and misrepresenting its information practices regarding children.

At the time of the Acclaim acquisition, Marks served as the head of Playdom’s Acclaim studio, though the company soon after shut down most of the Acclaim titles — which were largely free-to-play client-based MMOs.

Pony Stars shut down on December 1, 2010, according to a notice on its website. Playdom still operates at least one Acclaim title — Facebook-based music title RockFREE — though it is not listed on Playdom’s website.

Marks, no longer with Playdom, recently founded mobile games startup Gamezee. (source:gamasutra

2)Axiom, EA ink deal to offer mobile games

Mobile and smartphone users can now have wider access to their favourite electronic games

Dubai: Mobile and smartphone users can now have wider access to their favourite electronic games even on the go under a new agreement between Axiom Telecom and global games firm Electronic Arts (EA). The former has inked a deal to allow it to exclusively provide mobile Electronic Arts content to UAE subscribers.

Some of the games available online include Need for Speed, Hot Pursuit, The Sims, 3 Ambitions, Tetris, Madden NFL 11 and Bejeweled. Faisal Al Bannai, CEO of Axiom Telecom, said “providing unique and exciting experiences to customers has always been at the heart of everything we do at Axiom Telecom. Our agreement with EA is an extension of that philosophy. We have already activated the programme in our stores.”

“Customers can buy a voucher from our stores and SMS the pin number to our server. With this, they receive an electronic catalogue from which they can download a game.

“This is a fantastic offer because customers can buy seven or 30 days subscription and download unlimited games during this period. Or they can download the game from etisalat portal.”

Axiom Telecom is pinning big hopes on the new agreement with EA which is expected to bolster the electronic gaming portion of its business. “We are expecting to grow our gaming business by 500 per cent,” said Al Bannai.

“This agreement will give EA access to Axiom’s vast customer base as well as benefit from the footfall in Axiom Telecom stores.”

Axiom Telecom, which has more than 3,200 points of sale across the Middle East, was formed in 1997 as a distributor of mobile devices, accessories and telecom services.(source:gulfnews

3)Tap The Frog Wins Awards

Playfo today is proud to announce that their iPhone/iPad game Tap The Frog won “Best mobile game” award at Flash GAMM 2011 in Moscow and “Mobile of the day” at FWA (Favourite Website Awards). Tap The Frog is based on the simple and fun collection of 16 mini-games that challenge the player during the gaming experience. Each mini-game is unique and designed to test reaction and quickness of the player. Tap The Frog offers simple one-touch gameplay, featuring cute graphics with adorable music and sound effects, as well as Game Center support.

“This is a great success of our game!” – said Vitaliy Onishenko, Playfo CEO. “We decided to celebrate recognition and allow more people to enjoy our game – so we reduced price to $0.00 in App Store for few days!”

“Our froggy game hopped really fast into Top #1 in App Store games category in France, Germany, Australia, Italy, Russia, Poland, Israel, Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria, Singapore, Indonesia and few other countries!” – said Sergey Romanyuk, lead producer, Mentals LLC. “Average rating in App Store is 4.8/5 – people are enjoying the game and it was already recognized by some great awards. Prepare for update with new rocky levels!”

Tap The Frog is small but awesome speed test game. The Flash version of that game, named Click The Frog, was played by more than 2.000.000 players since launch. Tap The Frog runs on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch and its usual price is $0.99, which is reduced to free for short period of time.

Flash GAMM is the meeting for professional flash, social and mobile games developers. The aim of the conference is to share experience, contacts and ideas. The meeting is mainly for producers, programmers, game artists as well as for other representatives of game industry and investors. FWA stands for Favourite Website Awards, an industry recognised internet award program and inspirational portal, established in May 2000.(source:prmac

4)Amazon boss Jeff Bezos on those Android tablet rumours: ‘Stay tuned’

by Stuart Dredge

But it’s likely to complement rather than cannibalise the Kindle e-reader.

There are persistent rumours that Amazon may launch its own Android-powered tablet later this year, to go head to head with Apple’s iPad 2. So what does Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos have to say about it? “Stay tuned.”

That’s the comment Bezos made in an interview with Consumer Reports, where he hinted that any such device will not be a replacement for the Kindle e-reader, but will instead sit alongside it.

“We will always be very mindful that we will want a dedicated reading device. In terms of any other product introductions, I shouldn’t answer.” However, he went on to say that “I hate the term ‘killer’, as in one device killing another in the marketplace.”(source:mobile-ent

5)Sony in the process of restoring SOE Facebook games

by Brandy Shaul

Late last night, Sony began the systematic restoration of its PlayStation Network service, allowing all PS3 users the chance to upgrade their systems for added security, along with changing their passwords. Following suit, Sony Online Entertainment’s many MMOs have started being restored as well – including those games that are on Facebook.

As of this writing, games like Wildlife Refuge are once again playable, while Dungeon Overlord still seems to be suffering from loading issues. SOE has launched a massive “Welcome back” program detailing most of their online games, but unfortunately, Facebook-specific games don’t seem to have made the cut. While it’s true that free items or bonuses might be added to each specific Facebook game in the future, your best bet would be to check the Facebook fan pages for each of your played apps in order to keep track of any offers that may or may not come.

It’s a disappointing outcome, to be sure. While the company’s Facebook games may not have the large player bases as their paid subscription games, should they not receive anything for the company’s forced downtime? We’ll make sure to stay on top of things and will let you know if the current system is updated for Facebook-specific games as well.(source:games

6)Facebook embroiled in Google smear campaign

by Mat Bettinson

Social networking giant hired PR firm to drum up anti-Google press

Facebook hired public relations firm Burson-Marsteller to try get the press onside regarding Google’s strategy of collecting information from Facebook.

The episode began to unfold on Tuesday when USA Today reported on the Burson-Marsteller representatives which had offered to ghost write opinion piece articles criticising Google’s ‘Social Circle’ feature.

The paper was at the time unaware of the Burson-Marsteller client but said that the campaign highlighted the “delicate balancing act Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Apple face as they rush to profit from cutting-edge Internet services that tap into consumer data.”

Today the Daily Beast revealed the client as none-other than social networking giant Facebook.(source:casualgaming

7)Sam Morgan leads $2.5m investment round

By Hamish Fletcher

TradeMe founder Sam Morgan has led a $2.5 million funding round in SmallWorlds, an Auckland-based online game with 6.5 million registered players.

As well as pouring capital into SmallWorlds, Morgan has also been appointed to the company’s board.

Morgan said SmallWorlds, which plans to employ another 20 staff this year, is a good position to grow.

“Online businesses like this are hugely scalable and can grow incredibly quickly while maintaining high margins,” he said.

This latest investment will be used to expand SmallWorlds into non-English markets and to improve the game’s integration with social networking sites like Facebook.

Morgan said New Zealand would do well to capitalise on the online gaming industry.

“Gaming is a huge export opportunity for New Zealand, occupying a sweetspot between technology and creativity. It’s easy to draw parallels with an internationally recognised company like Weta Digital, who also successfully combine these two elements,” he said.

SmallWorlds was launched in 2008 and hopes to be a $100 million earner by 2013.

Online games played on social networking sites earned US$1 billion last year and are predicted to be worth US$5 billion by 2015.(source:nzherald


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