每日观察：关注App Store及Game Center等消息（6.7）
1）在5月26至27日的日本Infinity Ventures Summit大会上，DeNA公司宣布新任首席执行官Isao Moriyasu将于六月底正式上任。
DeNA曾发布了一系列以“royal”为题的社交游戏，其中第一款名为《Kaitou Royal》（游戏邦注：英文版本名为《Bandit Nation》，但已在2010年8月31日关闭）。这个“Royal”系列的游戏每月收益超过了10亿日元。该系列最近推出的是一款Android智能手机游戏《Ninja Royal》，据Moriyasu所称该项目最初的工作人员是个位数，一名全职策划人员，另一名是兼职策划，在三名工程师中有两个是刚毕业的新人。后来他们又新增了两名工程师，并在六个月内推出了该游戏。
2）据AppAdvice报道，开发者向iTunes App Store提交的应用已突破50万大关，目前该应用商店可供下载的产品也已超过40万款。但这些取自AppShopper的数据将苹果Mac App Store的5076款应用也计算入列，所以扣除这一数目后，App Store目前共有39万6401款iPhone和iPad应用，其可下载应用很快就将到达40万。
与Goowalla和Foursquare等地理签到服务一样，Heyzap用户如果多次在游戏中签到就可以赢取徽章奖励，争取成为该游戏的“王者”。Heyzap公司位于旧金山，成立于2009年，最近刚通过Union Square Ventures和其他天使投资者融资370万美元。
4）Zynga宣布推出新款“With Friends”系列手机社交游戏《Hanging With Friends》的iPhone和iPod Touch版本，该游戏目前已在加拿大App Store上架，不久将向全球市场发布。
该游戏是Zynga With Friends工作室（游戏邦注：Zynga在2010年12月收购iOS游戏开发商Newtoy及《Words With Friends》所有权后，组建了这个新的工作室）开发的首款作品，结合了《Scrabble》的游戏元素，为玩家提供独特的益智类玩法体验。其付费版本在促销期间的售价是99美分（促销期后将恢复2.99美元的原价），同时也推出了一个广告赞助的免费版本，不久后将植入微交易功能。
5）俄罗斯公司Game Insight宣布其Android手机游戏《Paradise Island》今年5月份的净收益达64万美元。根据第三方广告及分析服务供应商及一些顶级iOS开发商的数据显示，一款iOS游戏每月收益有可能超过300万美元，那么Android与iOS游戏的收益比例就是5：1。这种情况与其他手机游戏公司相似，Glu Mobile就曾表示，其Android手机游戏收益是iOS作品的八分之一至十分之一左右。
6）社交游戏开发商Playdom日前发布了其帝国建设题材的Facebook游戏《City of Wonder》的iOS版本，但与Zynga的iPhone版《FarmVille》不同的是，该版本并不含有Facebook Connect功能。有人认为，从这一细节可以看出，Playdom有可能意在推出专门的手机应用，全心开拓手机游戏市场，以弥补公司在Facebook平台的不足之处。
7）苹果于日前在旧金山举办的开发者大会上宣布，App Store目前下载量达140亿次（游戏邦注：今年1月份时突破100亿次，而Android Market至5月10日下载量为45亿次），苹果平台共为应用开发商创造了25亿美元收益（3月份时的数据是20亿美元），也就是说，在兑现三七开分成原则之前，iOS应用商店总营收为36亿美元。
8）据games报道，iTunes应用商店日前出现山寨版《Cafe World》、《Pet Society》和《CityVille》——一家名为Splashtop的公司推出了The Splashtop Remoto Desktop应用程序（售价经常在0.99至9.99美元之间起波动，这种行为很可疑），支持iPad用户通过Wi-Fi网络远程连接到自己的家庭电脑并在iPad上体验Facebook游戏，但这种方式的游戏体验效果极不理想，游戏加载速度过慢，玩家基本上每隔五分钟就会被卡住游戏进程。
10）苹果宣布将于今年秋季推出iOS 5更新版本以及Game Center升级功能。Game Center于去年9月问世，目前共有5000万注册用户（游戏邦注：据苹果所称，微软Xbox Live至今仅有3000万注册用户）。Game Center将通过iOS 5添加更多新功能，显示好友的好友积分情况，以及好友游戏推荐服务，支持用户直接通过Game Center下载游戏。
11）英国发行商Chillingo最近发布了一款售价0.99美元的新游戏《Feed Me Oil》，该游戏虽然出自小型开发商Holy Water Games之手，并且在6月2日才刚登台，但已经小有斩获，目前是iPhone付费应用榜单的亚军，在iPad榜单也排到第12名。
同时进入前10名的开发商包括日本工作室Media Vision（代表作《Chaos Rings》）、瑞典1337 Game Design（代表作《Dark Nebula》）、德国TheCodingMokeys（代表作《Carcasonne》）以及Rockstar（代表作《侠盗猎车手：唐人街》）。
14）据AppSpy报道，法国游戏发行商Gameloft最近通过Twitter透露，其首款采用Unreal Engine开发的游戏名称是《March of Heros》。我们暂时无法得知更多细节，但AppSpy猜测这款射击游戏有可能是《荣誉勋章》或《使命召唤》的翻版。
1）Mobage Shows How Small Teams Are Making 1 Billion Yen Revenue Per Month
by Hiroumi Mitani
The largest it industry conference by invitation, Infinity Ventures Summit[J] was held at Sapporo in May 26th and 27th. Among many sessions, the most surprising topic came out from the mouth of Isao Moriyasu, the executive of DeNA who promised to be the next CEO in the end of June.
DeNA has been released series of games titled with the word “royal” proceeding after the launch of their first successful in-house social game “Kaitou Royal” (English title is “Bandit Nation”. Although being really successful in Japan, Bandit Nation closed on August 31, 2010).
Those games have same common denominators as a series, do missions, battle against other players, and collect treasures. All Royal titles has been achieved more than 1 billion yen ( 12 hundred million US dollars ) sale per month.
Ninja Royal is the latest royal series released for Android smartphone. Moriyasu announced they started to develop this title with only 3 staffs at the beginning; 1 planner for full time, one another planner partially working on this project, and 3 engineers. 2 out of 3 engineers were new graduates. Then they added 2 more engineers later and released this title within 6 months.
This is an incredible case representing well how DeNA is running a highly profitable business.（source:asiajin）
2）iPhone & iPad Available App Count Around 400,000 Now
By Todd Ogasawara
AppAdvice reported that sometime in the past few days, the number of apps submitted to the iTunes App Store passed the 500,000 mark and the number of apps available passed 400,000 milestone Breaking: 400,000 iOS Applications Now Available In The App Store
This is based on data from AppShopper. There is one problem, although a relatively small one, AppShopper includes apps from the recently opened Apple Mac OS X app store for their OS X desktop platform. This accounts for 5076 of the total count. So, if we subtract it out from the current total, there are 396,401 iOS apps for the iPhone and iPad available in the iTunes App Store. The 400,000 iOS app milestore will be reached soon. But, it hasn’t happened quite yet. Of course, it is not clear that my arithmetic is accurate either since AppShopper breaks out iOS apps in a way that doesn’t add up:
Total available iPhone apps = 361,295
Total available iPad apps = 98,037
This adds up to 459,332. AppShopper is probably including Universal apps that can display appropriately on both the iPhone and iPad touch twice in the iPhone category.
Of course, when you reach these kind of counts, a few thousand apps miscounted in either direction is just a percentage point (or two) blip.（source:socialtimes）
3）Game check-in app Heyzap lands on iPhone
Heyzap, an online network that lets gamers “check in” to games, has finally launched an app for the iPhone.
Heyzap is a little unusual because it’s a popular check-in application for games that first launched on Android devices before making its way to the iPhone store. Most applications seem to hit the iPhone App Store before they make it to other mobile application marketplaces. The app launched on the Android Marketplace in March and has been growing very quickly since.
The application is designed to help iPhone — and Android — users find new games on the App Store based on what games their friends are playing. The iPhone application is much like the Android application — its main landing page features a news feed that shows what games people have checked into recently and what badges they have picked up for their check-ins. Users can view the most popular games based on the number of people who have checked into them and can see “tips” that other Heyzap users have left for individual games.
The app checks what games users have recently played and allows them to check into those games after playing them rather than giving them an option to check into the game with a push notification. That’s unlike Apple’s existing social gaming layer, the Game Center, which sits on top of games and gives players a way to quickly check which of their friends are playing a game and set up games with them. That means the technology to do so is probably there, it just isn’t being used by Heyzap or it isn’t available to developers.
Though checking into games is part of the app’s core experience, it can be a little fickle. After playing a round of Plants vs. Zombies, I jumped out to check into it on Heyzap only to find that the app wasn’t in my list of recently played games. I tried playing the game again and still wasn’t able to find it on my list of recently played games, even after restarting the Heyzap app. Most of the games I tried — Lumines, Crayon Physics, Sonic the Hedgehog and Mirror’s Edge — did not work with the application. Though that’s because the game detection part of the application is very new and still has a few bugs to work out, Heyzap co-founder Jude Gomila said.
“You can still check in by looking for games in the feed and searching for the games,” Gomila said. “We just want to make this as seamless and perfect for users as possible.”
The application pulls data from an iPhone user’s contact book to find contacts on Heyzap automatically. As soon as I created an account and logged in (I didn’t connect with Facebook, which is one option for the app), I was already following five or so people who were using the application. It didn’t prompt me to browse the list of contacts, which is a little unfortunate because there are several hundred sensitive entries that I might not want the application automatically perusing and syncing up with its main servers. But for everyday users, the feature can be extremely useful because it’s one less thing to worry about when installing and signing up for a new service.
Heyzap users can earn badges for checking into games multiple times, much like other location-based service applications like Gowalla and Foursquare. The person who checks into a game the most becomes “the boss” of the game, though it isn’t immediately apparent what kind of perks come with that title other than bragging rights. (That, and the knowledge that all your followers now know you’re obsessed with flinging angry-looking birds at buildings and pigs.)
The company was founded in 2009 and is based in San Francisco, Calif. Its founders took the company through Y Combinator in the 2009 winter class. It has raised around $3.7 million to date from Union Square Ventures and other angel investors.（source:venturebeat）
4）Zynga Announces Hanging With Friends for iOS
By AJ Glasser
Zynga announced the next “With Friends” mobile title today in the form of Hanging With Friends, a social mobile version of the word game Hangman for iPhone and iPod Touch. The app is live in Canadian App Store as of today and will launch globally “in the coming days.”
This is the first game out of the Zynga With Friends studio, which was was formed in December 2010 when Zynga acquired mobile developer Newtoy and its Scrabble-esque iOS game, Words With Friends. At that time, we thought Zyna might focus its mobile efforts more on paid apps as opposed to free-to-play apps, which seems plausible considering that Words With Friends grosses better than Zynga’s free-to-play FarmVille app. Zynga, however, recently acquired talent from mobile developer Wonderland Studios, which made a name for itself with free-to-play iOS game, GodFinger.
Though modeled on the classic word game Hangman, Hanging With Friends incorporates elements from Scrabble to form a unique puzzle-like gameplay experience. Players choose an animated cartoon-y avatar with various facial expressions that change as game-play progresses. A match begins with the player’s avatar suspended over a hazard, such as lava, hanging from a cluster of five balloons. When a player starts a round, they are given the choice of a random assortment of letter tiles to place along a row of spaces. Like Words With Friends, some of those spaces contain score bonuses like “Double Word,” which the player can collect only by placing a letter on that tile in sequence with a word.（source:insidesocialgames）
5）What Does A Top-Grossing Android Game Make? $640,000 A Month, Says Game Insight
By Kim-Mai Cutler
Game Insight, which makes Android’s top-grossing app in the U.S., U.K. and Canada, said its hit title “Paradise Island” raked in $640,000 in net revenue this May.
This gives developers a sense of the current upper revenue bound on the Android platform. For comparison’s sake, it’s possible for a game on iOS to earn more than $3 million per month, according to conversations we’ve had with leading third-party advertising and analytics providers and top developers.
So with these assumptions, we’re looking at a 5:1 ratio when comparing potential run-rates on both platforms for a single game right now.
This is pretty consistent with what we’ve heard from other developers. Earlier this month, Glu Mobile said its Android portfolio of games was making one-eighth to one-tenth of what its iOS titles were making. The company’s chief executive Niccolo de Masi also told us that he anticipates that the company’s Android apps will make about one-half of what its iOS titles make by year-end.
Moscow-based Game Insight said the app broke 1 million installs mark in the title’s first three weeks and now has 3 million users, according to company manager Vera Konysheva. The game is a classic casual sim title, where players build and manage a resort where they can earn revenue from pleasing virtual tourists.
The game monetizes through in-app purchases of virtual currency which can speed up actions in the game. It’s classic social-gaming style monetization, which only became recently possible on Android Market thanks to Google’s launch of in-app billing at the end of the first quarter. The Moscow-based company has about 200 employees and 11 studios. We’ve reviewed a few of their previous titles here, including MyClinic and The Syndicate HD.（source:insidemobileapps）
6）Playdom’s City of Wonder on iPhone: Conquer the world wherever
by Joe Osborne
Looking for a taste of world domination on the go? Of course you are, you tyrant you. Luckily for you, Playdom has released City of Wonder, it’s Civilization-like empire-building Facebook game, to iOS devices. And better yet, it’s absolutely free. (Though, Playdom couldn’t help themselves but throw in some micro-transactions as well. However, unlike Zynga’s version of FarmVille for iPhone, this edition of CoW is not Facebook-connected.
For Playdom to release a dedicated mobile app and neglect to include Facebook Connect could be telling of where the company is headed. Keep in mind, Playdom has had limited success on Facebook save the recent Gardens of Time, so a refocusing on mobile might be a good idea for its survival. Then again, we’ve no idea what the company is up to, and this might simply be an experiment in a relatively new market for Playdom.
The game features full animation and much of the same dynamics you’ve come to love in CoW. (Scratch that: We’ve come to love–it was on our list of Top Facebook Games in 2010.) The game appears to source a network of iPhone players for friends, creating another Facebook-like dynamic of helping friends and potentially harming them later. The game also seems to feature full research trees and its very own economy. This is City of Wonder for Facebook, but on your iPhone … and without the Facebook.（source:games）
7）Apple Says It Has Paid $2.5 Billion to Developers, Seen 14 Billion iOS App Downloads
By Kim-Mai Cutler
Apple revealed a few key statistics about momentum in the iOS ecosystem today at its San Francisco developer conference today.
First off, there have been 14 billion downloads of apps, up from 10 billion in January. Android, in comparison, had seen 4.5 billion app installs as of May 10, up from 3 billion announced three weeks earlier on its earnings call. Based on these numbers, it’s possible that both platforms are now at the same runrate in terms of app downloads.
Apple also said it has paid a cumulative $2.5 billion out to developers, up from the $2 billion figure it shared in March. That suggests that the company has seen $3.6 billion in iOS app store revenue to date before the 70 percent cut is paid out to developers.
The company also added it has 225 million accounts and credit cards on file, on the back of more than 200 million cumulative iOS devices sold. Google said on May 10 that it had seen 100 million devices activated.（source:insidemobileapps）
8）Don’t be fooled: CityVille, Pet Society and Cafe World are not available for iPad
by Brandy Shaul
Here’s a bit of a PSA, Facebook players. If you search the iTunes store for your favorite Facebook games, you’ll likely be surprised to find that there are supposedly three available to play: Cafe World, Pet Society and CityVille. How is this the case, when neither developer (Zynga and Playfish) has released these games officially? It’s simple – Splashtop Inc. has created misleading apps on the iTunes App Store to try and lure you into purchasing their remote desktop application for iPad.
The Splashtop Remote Desktop application allows you to connect to your home computer remotely, by sharing the same Wi-Fi network. The app’s price frequently (almost daily) fluctuates between $0.99 and $9.99 (part one of their questionable activities), and while the application does technically work to allow you to play Facebook games on your iPad, it is a slow, and definitely not ideal setup. That’s how these Facebook apps would work on your own iPad.
Splashtop’s Pet Society, Cafe World and CityVille apps are just extensions of this paid service (they even offer a FarmVille version, but that real, official app is free anyway!). The apps range in price from free to $1.99, depending on the day (rotating constantly to catch unsuspecting shoppers), and to make matters worse, you’ll be limited to five minutes in each session.
By the time you wait for your games to load over the agonizingly slow connection, you’ll be left with no time to play the games at all. That leaves you to… guess what? Buy Splashtop’s full Remote Desktop app. Please gamers, don’t fall for this scheme!
Playfish and Zynga would be the first to announce when and if they were developing versions of these games for use on portable systems (in fact, EA has announced Pet Society Vacation for iPhone), and in the meantime you’re better off sitting down at a real computer to play your games as normal. Sure, Splashtop isn’t technically scamming anyone out of money, but their methods are questionable at best (each of these apps’ reviews are clearly fake) and they shouldn’t be rewarded for their efforts.
Are there other fake Facebook gaming applications that we should know about? Help your fellow gamers avoid wasting money and time by sharing them with us in the comments! （source:games）
9）ComScore: Android Keeps Growing, Apple iOS Slides By RIM’s BlackBerry OS
by Jordan Crook
Recent figures from ComScore pretty much reflect what we already know: Google’s Android OS continues to grow, while RIM’s BlackBerry platform has fallen behind Apple’s iOS to the number three spot. Based on just how many Android handsets are currently in the market, it’s no surprise that Android takes the cake for this quarter.
From January 31 to the end of April, the U.S. smartphone market grew a whopping 13 percent, with Google controlling the majority 36.4 percent, up 5 percent from last quarter. With RIM falling by nearly 5 percent this quarter to a 25.7 percent market share, Apple snuck in to take the second place spot. Meanwhile, HP’s webOS, Microsoft’s WP7, and Nokia’s Symbian are way behind. At 6.7 percent market share, Windows Mobile lost some turf this quarter, down 1.3 percent from last quarter. HP’s webOS holds just 2.6 percent of the market, and Symbian didn’t even make ComScore’s top five platforms.
As far as manufacturer’s are concerned, Samsung still takes the top spot with a 24.5 percent market share, despite a tiny loss this quarter of 0.4 percent. LG and Motorola keep their second and third place ranks, respectively, while Apple managed to slip by RIM on the hardware side of things, as well, to take the fourth place spot. （source:mobilecrunch）
10）Apple Unveils iOS 5′s ‘Socialized’ Game Center, iCloud Syncing
by Eric Caoili
Apple revealed changes it will introduce in its iOS 5 update coming this fall, including additions meant to offer a more “socialized” Game Center, and details for its cloud-based service.
Since the social gaming network launched for iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad in September 2010, Game Center has attracted 50 million registered users — Apple took care to point out that Microsoft’s Xbox Live service has only 30 million users.
When the company releases iOS 5 later this year, Game Center will receive several enhancements, including a cummulative point system added to the current achievements setup (similar to Xbox Live’s Gamerscores).
The more “socialized” Game Center will also enable users to see who their friends are following (“friends of friends”), receive friend and game recommendations, download games from within the service, and more, according to Technologizer.（source:gamasutra）
11）Feed Me Oil – Feed Me Oil is a new $0.99 game from U.K.-based Chillingo, an independent mobile developer and publisher who is also a division of Electronic Arts. Its direct developer, however, is small developer Holy Water Games, with this titles team consisting of only a handful of individuals. Though it was only released June 2nd, the game is already #2 on the top paid iPhone app charts and #12 for iPad. The bizarre-looking game is a physics puzzle app in which users must utilize various physics-enabled objects to direct a flow of oil into the mouths of strange, giant creatures.（source:insidemobileapps）
12）6 of the top 10 most highly rated developers in 2010 made iPhone and iPad games
by Chris Schilling
Industry website Develop has revealed its annual ‘Develop 100’ list, representing the most successful studios working in the games industry today. And, startlingly, over half the list is made up of iOS developers, with App Store titles taking up six of the top ten places.
The Develop list, which is rated solely on each studio’s 2010 Metacritic performance, has World of Goo creator 2D Boy in second place, just ahead of ZeptoLab, developer of casual smash Cut the Rope.
Also in the top ten are Japanese studio Media Vision (for Chaos Rings), Sweden’s 1337 Game Design (Dark Nebula) and Germany is represented by TheCodingMonkeys (Carcasonne). Rockstar Leeds also features thanks to the superb iOS version of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars.
Over 50 of the developers featured in the full list develop for iPhone and iPad, with the vast majority being independent – a significant indicator of the seismic shift generated by the boom in mobile gaming.（source:pocketgamer）
13.EA to take on Steam with launch of Origin distribution network
by Keith Andrew
Strictly speaking more of a relaunch than the roll out of an entirely new service, the unveiling of Origin – EA’s new download service – appears to have been staged with Steam in mind.
The new games distribution service will be available either on the web (via Origin.com) or via a new desktop application, featuring 150 games from both EA and what’s described as ‘partner’ studios.
However, rather than merely focusing on the PC market, EA has stated that Origin will also target smartphones with a new range of social features.
“Origin is a game service with two fundamental features,” said EA’s senior VP of global online, David DeMartini.
“It’s a download service for the very best content from EA and its partners. It also offers a social function which, over time, will connect a player’s profile with friends lists and a cross-platform feed that shows what your friends are playing and where.”
Such fuctions will also be integrated into EA’s smartphone line up, iPhone and Android the most likely formats to benefit.
Either way, it appears EA has set its sites on expanding Origin across as much of its content as is possible.
“This is our first step in the evolution of Origin, and in the weeks and months ahead we will look to enhance the features and services as well as an expanded range of content,” added DeMartini.
“From exclusive demos to full-game downloads, Origin is the place consumers will go for the best game experiences.” （source:pocketgamer）
14）March of Heroes Will Be Gameloft’s First Unreal Engine Game
by Matthew Gilman
Perpetual copycats (though we won’t hold that against them) Gameloft have finally given us a nugget regarding their much-anticipated Unreal Engine-based outing.
The name of the game March of Heroes was announced by the Paris-headquartered studio via Twitter…and that is pretty much that, I’m afraid.
We can expect more details, however, from the fast-approaching E3 conference in Los Angeles, but until then it’s up to us to interpret the title ourselves.
We reckon it’ll either be a WW2-based shooter in the vein of Medal of Honour or Call of Duty, or it’ll be a superhero inspired walking simulator.（source:appspy）
15）Mobile games make up 12% of daily play time in US, as big as MMOs claims Newzoo
by Keith Andrew
It might not seem an impressive stat upon first glance, but given the relative length of the majority of mobile games, the suggestion they account for as much play time as MMOs is nothing to be sniffed at.
That’s the conclusion made by Newzoo from stats drawn from its national gamers survey, pooling data from players across the US.
Competiting with the big boys
Numbers suggest that, when it comes to dominating our time, mobile games are still outperformed by those on PC/Mac (boxed and downloaded games combined) and console.
However, with a 12 percent share of our game time across the course of the day, time spent on mobile games is now equivalent to that spent on MMOs.
Such ‘traditional’ platforms are no longer the dominant force, however.
Playing games across the web – via social networks or ‘casual websites’ – is now the most popular medium, accounting for 39 percent of the 215 million hours of play time 145 million people amass every day.（source:pocketgamer）