该公司由两名前Facebook工程师Chak Ming Li和Perry Tam于2009年创立，旗下拥有顶级手机社交游戏工作室TeamLava，该团队的代表作包括《iMobsters》、《World War》、《Vampires Live》、《Pets Live》、《Bakery Story》、《Restaurant Story》、《Fashion Story》，这些游戏目前的DAU超过400万。该公司曾于本月初创造“1天收益100万美元”的成绩，今年的用户基数增长了300%。
3）谷歌及MySpace元老Ulf Waschbusch最近加入MySpace联合创始人Chris Dewolfe的社交游戏公司MindJolt团队，担任手机游戏产品主管，负责监管该公司内容的手机游戏开发工作，并领导位于布宜诺斯艾利斯的SGN工作室（游戏邦注：该工作室于今年初被MindJolt收购，代表作包括《Mini Tycoon Casino》、《Skies of Glory》）这个30人开发团队。
5）热门iPad游戏《凯西的精巧设计》（Casey’s Contraptions）的两名开发者Noel Llopis和Miguel Angel Friginal日前联合撰文指出，开发者应同时在所有iOS设备上发布游戏。
6）在5月份，亚马逊的一则招聘广告暗示该公司有意进军社交游戏领域，而最近谷歌也传出了类似的消息。据Engadget透露，谷歌目前也正开发一个未公开宣布，含有社交功能的游戏平台，即所谓的“Games at Google”。
该公司的广告启示称他们有意招聘一名负责处理“谷歌游戏发展战略”的产品经理，“设计游戏发行、搜索、玩家个性、游戏机制等发展策略”。但该广告并未明确这个所谓的游戏平台将通过Android移动设备，还是通过Chrome网页应有和商店发布，也并未指向任何具体的游戏开发内容，可见谷歌无意通过Games at Google推出第一方游戏产品。
除了韩国App Store没有“游戏”这一应用分类之外，其他国家的App Store最受抢手的产品均为游戏应用。
1）A New Mobile Social Games King In The U.S.? Former Facebookers Take Storm8 To 210 Million Downloads
On the heels of PopCap’s billion dollar acquisition comes some interesting news from the social games front: Game developer Storm8 is today announcing a few impressive stats. Among other things, the company is claiming that it has become the “largest mobile social games developer in the U.S.”, boasting over 210 million downloads across iOS and Android. While those numbers are certainly impressive, with Angry Birds raking in over 200 million downloads, I think Rovio, Zynga, PopCap, Outfit7 and quite a few others might have a thing or two to say about that, each of which has fairly sizable user bases in the U.S. Then again, Rovio is in fact Helsinki-based and Outfit7 is international as well so Storm8′s claim to American soil likely stands — at least in relation to the Angry Birds and Talking Tom Cat makers, respectively.
Co-founded in 2009 by Chak Ming Li and Perry Tam, both former Facebook engineers, Storm8 is most well known for being the creator of addicting role playing games on the iPhone, iPod Touch and Android devices — as well as for being the parent company of top mobile social game developer, TeamLava. According to Tam, who is also Storm8′s CEO, each game released by the Storm8-TeamLava group has reached the Top 10 on the App store free app category. Not too shabby.
The team’s suite of games, which includes titles like iMobsters, World War, Vampires Live, Pets Live, Bakery Story, Restaurant Story, and Fashion Story, is currently averaging over 4 million daily active users, Tam tells me.
What’s more, earlier this month during a promotional event, Storm8 reached a unique achievement: It had its first “million dollar day”, which of course is another way of saying that the company raked in $1 million in a single day thanks to in-app purchases made utilizing its freemium model.（source:techcrunch）
2）Hardcore iPhone game Infinity Blade lands on DeNA’s social gaming network
Japanese mobile games portal DeNA announced today it’s bringing the popular iPhone game Infinity Blade, one of the first mobile games geared toward hardcore gamers, to its mobile social network.
The game will be marketed as Infinity Blade X for Mobage. It will be free to play and supported by selling virtual goods in the game. Players can spend real-world dollars to buy better weapons, armor and spells that will help them progress through the game more quickly.
Infinity Blade was a commercial success for Epic Games, the company behind the game, and brought in more than $10 million in revenue. That’s pretty impressive given that the game costs $6 on the Apple App Store. Epic Games is known for games that push the limits of graphics on devices like its over-the-shoulder shooting game series Gears of War.
Mobage has around 28 million users and carries more than 1,000 games for smartphones, tablets and feature phones. By contrast, Zynga is the king of Facebook games and has barely started operations in the fast-growing mobile social game market in Japan. In a direct challenge to DeNA, Zynga launched a joint venture in Japan with SoftBank last year to build games for the Japanese market. DeNA has been growing at a blistering pace and could be on track to unseat Zynga as the top developer of social games for mobile devices.（source:venturebeat）
3）Mobile Veteran Ulf Waschbusch Joins Social Gaming Company MindJoll
by Frank Cifaldi
Google and MySpace veteran Ulf Waschbusch has joined MySpace co-founder Chris DeWolfe at his social gaming company MindJolt, where he will head the company’s internal mobile game development.
In his new role as the head of mobile products, Waschbusch will develop the company’s mobile product strategy and marketing initiatives, and will lead a thirty-person development team at the company’s Benuos Aires-based SGN studio (Mini Tycoon Casino, Skies of Glory), which the company acquired earlier this year.
“The opportunity to join MindJolt and lead the SGN studio was an opportunity I couldn’t refuse,” said Waschbusch. “Creating an ecosystem that benefits from social, web and mobile interconnectedness is a visionary idea, and one that I am firmly committed to. My contribution will be to drive the quality and sophistication of SGN games.”
Waschbusch is also a veteran of T-Mobile and, most recently, developed product strategy at Chinese PC game company Garena.
“The acquisition of SGN in April 2011 provided MindJolt with a talented game studio with a roster of hit mobile games,” said MindJolt CEO Chris DeWolfe. “In tapping mobile industry veteran Ulf Waschbusch to lead that team, we are confident that our social mobile games will continue to engage and impress mobile game fans.”
In addition to SGN, MindJolt also recently acquired online game network Hallpass Media, which operates sites that include WordGames.com, VirtualPets.com and StickGames.com. （source:gamasutra）
4）GameSalad unleashes HTML5 game creator — no coding required
Game development tool-maker GameSalad announced it is releasing a suite of applications that will let game developers create a game for HTML5-powered browsers.
The company sells a suite of tools that let game developers create games with a drag-and-drop user interface. It makes it easy for users to develop their own games even if they don’t know any programming languages. It removes the barrier to entry for developing games for the iPhone, Android-powered mobile devices and now web browsers. HTML5 also works on most mobile browsers, eliminating the need to create a specific app for each mobile operating system.
The web development tools will be optimized for the latest fleet of browsers like Firefox 5 and Chrome. But they will also support Canvas, which means that web surfers on older browsers will still be able to play the games as long as the browsers support HTML5. After a developer creates a game, they can embed the game in any web site with an embed code similar to the way YouTube has embed options.
Google will feature a few games created with GameSalad’s HTML5 tool on the Chrome Store. Like Angry Birds — which also made its debut on the Chrome Store after an HTML5 version came out — the Chrome Store will feature high-resolution versions of the games produced by Game Salad. The performance difference between HTML5 and native applications is also narrowing, which should make HTML5 a more appealing arena for game development, said GameSalad chief executive Steve Felter.
“We’ve seen that performance gap narrow to the point that it’s approaching parity,” he said. “With all the tech companies focusing on developing the standard, the gap will be effectively negated over time.”
GameSalad’s tools can be used to make games for Apple iOS devices, the Mac, and the web. Developers have used GameSalad to create more than 18,000 games to date. The software is free to try to includes all the tools to create a game. GameSalad also has a “professional” version, which gives developers access to iAds and other tools that help them make money off the games, that costs around $500 a year.（source:venturebeat）
5）Casey’s Contraptions Dev: Launch On All iOS Devices Simultaneously
Noel Llopis, one of the developers behind Snappy Touch’s successful iPad game Casey’s Contraptions, said in a new Gamasutra feature postmortem that in hindsight, the game should have launched simultaneously on all iOS devices.
The postmortem is co-authored by Miguel Angel Friginal, the game’s other primary developer.
“The initial prototype of Casey’s Contraptions was running on an iPhone. While it showed a lot of promise and it was fun to assemble contraptions even that early on, it was clearly begging for more screen space,” write Llopis and Friginal.
Given that the game is centered around physics puzzle in which players manipulate objects, the two write, “The iPad was the obvious platform of choice. Its large screen can display very nicely detailed graphics, and allows for very natural, direct manipulation of items. It was a perfect fit for Casey’s Contraptions.”
However, only 14 million iPads have been sold — compared to 185 million iPhone and iPod Touch devices. “Especially for a game that relies on the social component, getting a critical mass of users playing at the same time, sharing solutions, and sending levels is very important. We definitely stormed up the iPad charts, but that still left the majority of iOS users not being able to purchase our game.”
The team didn’t have a “good reason” not to wait for the iPhone version to be ready to launch — just the fact that “we were itching to get the game out.”
They do note, however, that “an iPad-first launch seemed like the way to go” due to the potential effect of the launch on their server infrastructure. “In hindsight, we would have been better off waiting to launch both versions at the same time (or almost the same time, maybe a week or two apart at most).”
With the upcoming launch of the iPhone version, which will include a free content update for all players, “we’ll try to repeat the same strong launch we had on the iPad. The idea is to get everybody who’s already bought the game playing again, along with all the new iPhone players, and create that critical mass,” they write.（source:gamasutra）
6）Social gaming venture ‘Games at Google’ unveiled by job vacancy
by Keith Andrew
Back in May, a job vacancy posted by online retailer Amazon suggested that the firm was looking move into the social gaming arena.
Over a month later, the same appears to be true for Google, with Engadget having unearthed an opening at the company that makes specific reference to the development of a gaming platform with social features.
Playing with Google
The ad in question, cites a new, previously unannounced venture from the web giant, dubbed ‘Games at Google’.
It claims the successful application will have the “rare opportunity to grow a brand new business” as product manager for “Google’s gaming strategy”.
“You will design strategies for game distribution and discovery, player identity, game mechanics, and more,” the add reads.
“In addition to designing a great user experience and building out key partnerships, you will be significantly influencing Google’s social platform as you work directly with a critical set of early adopters, game developers.”
It’s not yet clear whether said platform will be delivered across Android handsets, or whether it’s a platform designed to tap into Chrome – building on the firm’s existing web store.
The ad makes no reference to the actual development of games, however, suggesting Google has no intention of releasing first party titles via Games at Google, whatever the platform proves to be.（source:pocketgamer）
7）Chillingo’s Dead Space-worrier D.A.R.K. out now for iOS, temporarily 59p/99c
by Matt Gilman
Chillingo’s space-horror game D.A.R.K., which we first saw in April, has just hit the New Zealand App Store.
While we were initially surprised that Chillingo (the publisher responsible for cutesy affairs like Storm in a Teacup and Cut the Rope) was dipping its space boots into the survival-horror genre, we were optimistic that it could provide genuine scares with its haunting sound design and switches between out-and-out gun toting and exploratory horror sections.
The game puts you in the suit of a D.A.R.K squadron space marine tasked with discovering what happened to the space sailors who have mysteriously gone silent on board the USS Storm Bringer.
While the story might not be winning any plaudits for originality, it comes with a promising package of gameplay features.
We’re excited by the prospect of a single-player campaign providing “hours on end” of play time and gameplay blending action, puzzle, and RPG-like character upgrades to personalise your space cadet.
D.A.R.K. is available on the New Zealand App Store now at the 66 per cent-off introductory rate of $1.29, which means it’ll be 59p/99c when it hits the UK and US later on.（source:pocketgamer）
9）Distimo: China Now The Second Largest iPhone App Market After The U.S.
After reporting the Android Market’s increasing rate of growth in April’s research, app store analytics company Distimo is releasing a new study that focuses on Apple’s App Store development in Asia. The company took a look at iOS app data in China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
One of the key findings from the report is that while some Western countries witnesses a decrease in download volume (France and Germany), iPhone app download volume in Asian countries has grown significantly in the past six months in the Apple App Store. In fact, Distimo says that China recently became the second largest market after the United States. That’s pretty fast growth considering Apple only opened a tailored App Store for China last Fall.
Compared to the relatively small size of the population, South Korea is seeing increased traction in iPhone app download volume. In fact, download volume is higher than in Germany and France. Interestingly, the Games category is absent in the Apple App Store for iPhone in South Korea, so all downloads are allocated to non-Games. In other countries, the Games category is without exception, the largest.
However, the proportion of paid downloads and the overall revenue still lag behind that of the United States and Europe. Distimo reports that customers in Asian markets are more inclined to download a free version of an app vs. pay for an ad-free version. The average download volume of the 300 most popular applications (free and paid) in all Asian countries combined is about equal to the average volume in the United States.
But for paid applications only, this ratio drops to one-third, showing that iPhone users in the United States are more eager to pay for applications. Excluding Japan, this figure even drops to one-sixth.
Distimo says that Japan actually generates the majority of the revenue in Asia regarding iPhone apps. The total revenue in Asia is about two-thirds of the revenue in the United States. This figure is higher than one-third due to the higher average selling prices of the 300 most popular applications in Asia ($2.62) compared to the United States ($1.48).
Moreover, in-app purchases have not yet taken off in Asia. For example, in China only 34% of the revenue from the 200 top grossing applications originates from applications that feature in-app purchase. But that doesn’t mean that in-app purchases could quickly scale in Asian markets in the coming year. In the U.S., in-app payments nearly doubled in a year. Distimo says in June 2010, revenue from applications that feature in-app purchase in the United States was only 39%, however by May 2011 it increased to 68%.
Distimo reports that the majority of the most popular iPhone applications in Asia are only popular in Asia, but in some Asian countries worldwide popular applications prevail. Popular regional only content are KungFu Food-Panda, and Birzzle.
It also appears that these localized apps are more popular in Asia. In Asian countries, an average of 34% of the most popular applications are only popular within the region. In the United States and Europe, only 20% of the applications are aimed specifically at North America and Europe, respectively.
And in Asia, localization is also segmented by country. iPhone users in China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan have a preference for applications aimed at the region. In China for example, 65% of the 300 most popular free applications are regionally popular only. In South Korea, 87% of free and 78% of paid applications are regionally aimed, respectively.
But, Distimo says in general, localization appears to be key to becoming popular especially when considering countries like China, South Korea, and Japan. In countries like India and Indonesia, localization appears to be less popular.（source:techcrunch）