1）据pocketgamer报道，EA Mobile于近日在伦敦获得Mobile Entertainment颁发的“2011年最佳手机游戏发行商”大奖，该公司曾于2007、2008、2009年获此奖项，而EA在2010年10月收购的Chillingo也在去年摘走这项桂冠。
2）据彭博社报道，本周刚宣布获批采用游戏订阅服务的Big Fish Games公司日前表示苹果撤销了这项决定，并移除了Big Fish在App Store的一款支持玩家无限体验其iOS游戏的应用，但却并没有说明原因。
据Big Fish创始人Paul Thelen所称，他们之前确实是经过数周的努力，才让应用获准通过苹果的审核，他们打算继续与苹果交涉询问原因。
3）手机游戏开发商Z2Live最近发布新款iOS免费增值游戏《Battle Nations》。该公司之前的《Trade Nations》（社交城建游戏）和《Metalstorm:Online》（3D空战游戏）经常跻身iOS应用营收榜单前列，而本次发布的《Battle Nations》则是这两者的合体，支持玩家建设自己的城市 ，并与其他玩家或电脑设置的敌军决斗。
该公司首席运营官Lou Fasulo表示，他们从玩家反馈中获取了游戏灵感，因为不少《Trade Nations》玩家总想攻击自己的邻居，但这种玩法并不适合这款游戏的风格，所以他们决定依此开发一款全新的游戏。另外，《Battle Nations》还运用了《Metalstorm:Online》的PvP、单人模式设置以及玩家匹配机制。
5）Konami最近向App Store发布问世30年的经典游戏《Frogger》iOS版本，该版本游戏包含三个新模式：Turbo、Nighttime和Inferno，添加了Facebook Connect功能，支持玩家通过划动、点触和倾斜方式控制游戏，并通过积分排行榜与他们比拼成就。
6）前Ubisoft Reflections工作室经理Gareth和Martin Edmondson近日宣布，他们加入手机游戏发行商Thumbstar Games团队。
Gareth Edmondson于1984年与其兄弟Martin成立了Ubisoft Reflections，他在这家育碧子公司已任职十多年时间。现在Martin将任Thumbstar首席创意总监，而Gareth则成为该公司首席执行官，二人均加入该公司董事会。
7）DeNA近日宣布与旗下平台Mobage最具实力的第三方游戏开发商gloops结为战略合作伙伴关系，“双方将共享社交游戏开发和运营资源”，gloops将于明年向Mobage Global平台发布其热门社交卡牌游戏《Legend Cards》（游戏邦注：gloops最近刚向Facebook移动平台发布这款游戏的英语版）。
8）日本社交游戏平台GREE高管David McCarthy最近的Develop Liverpool大会上发言表示，GREE平台最热门游戏是RPG，所占比例达21%，其次是爱情题材游戏，占比18%。
1）EA Mobile wins ME’s Best Mobile Games Publisher award for the 5th year running
by Matt Sakuraoka-Gilman
For the fifth year running, EA Mobile has been voted ‘Best Mobile Games Publisher’ by Mobile Entertainment, with the award being dished out at the 2011 ceremony hosted last night at the Royal Garden Hotel in London.
EA Mobile has previously won the award in 2007, 2008, and 2009, whilst Chillingo, purchased by EA in October 2010, received the award in the same year.
The winners of the Mobile Entertainment awards are chosen by a secret jury of 400 carefully selected content business executives.
“Our focus has always been on delivering the highest quality games across devices,” said Bernard Kim, senior veep of sales and marketing at EA Interactive.
“That’s not an easy mission but it’s extremely rewarding to know we’re bringing the best entertainment to our fans.”
To celebrate with consumers the winners are holding a ‘Big Thanks’ sale, wherein games across iPad, iPhone, and Android will be available at reduced prices.
Games featured on other devices, including Amazon’s Kindle, Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, and the BlackBerry Playbook will also receive price cuts during the sale, between now (November 24) and January 2012.（source:pocketgamer）
2）Apple Pulls Big Fish Subscription-Based Game Portal From App Store
by Mike Rose
Following news earlier this week that Seattle’s Big Fish Games had received approval from Apple to launch what was the first subscription-based gaming portal on iOS devices, the company has now confirmed that Apple has reversed the move and pulled the app from the App Store.
The app allowed users to pay a monthly subscription for dozens of iOS games on demand for unlimited play.
However, according to a Bloomberg report, Apple has now pulled the app from its online store, and did not give Big Fish Games a reason for the reversal.
Paul Thelen, founder of Big Fish, explained, “We were notified that the app was removed. We’re trying to follow up with Apple to try to figure out what happened.”
Thelen noted that the company had been working with Apple for several weeks on the deal to make sure it met App Store requirements, and said that Apple had seen the press release for the app before it was sent out.
“It was officially approved,” he explained, noting that he is currently looking to find out what went wrong from Apple. （source:gamasutra）
3）Z2Live expands Trade Nations brand with launch of free-to-play strategy game Battle Nations
With the launch of Battle Nations on iOS, developer Z2Live is hoping to repeat the success that has made it a force in the free-to-play games market.
Seattle-based Z2Live might not be as well-known as other mobile developers like Angry Birds maker Rovio, but the studio’s first two games — Trade Nations and Metalstorm: Online — can regularly be found near the top of the highest-grossing app charts on iOS (iPod, iPhone, iPad). Now the developer is following that up with the recent launch of Battle Nations. As it does so, the company is finding ways to stand out in a sea of mobile game developers. That’s increasingly hard to do.
Whereas its previous games focused on vastly different markets — Trade Nations is a social city-building game while Metalstorm is a 3D air-combat game — Z2Live’s latest game is somewhat of a blend of the two, letting players build up a military city and engage in strategic combat with both other players and computer controlled armies.
The idea behind the game was actually inspired by feedback from players.
“Players have consistently wanted to attack their neighbors,” Z2Live chief operating officer Lou Fasulo told VentureBeat, “but this didn’t feel like the right game play expansion for Trade Nations so we decided to build an entire new title around the concept. This also created an opportunity for us to put our learnings from Trade Nations to work in a new title.”
He added, “Our experience with Metalstorm also contributed both technologies and design best practices. Specifically, Metalstorm taught us a lot about the relative importance of player-versus-player and single player content. It also provided some of the underlying technology for the Battle Nations battle system. You can’t see it as a player, but when you engage other players in Battle Nations random PvP matches, Metalstorm’s match making technology is under the hood.”（source:venturebeat）
4）Gameloft announces iPad titles for Jetstar’s rental program
By Mike Thompson
If you’ve got a flight coming up with Jetstar Airways, odds are that you’ll have a relatively long flight. However, instead of subjecting you to boring repeats of Friends or censored versions of your favorite Hollywood blockbusters, the airline has announced that it’s going to start renting out in-flight iPads to keep you entertained. Not only that, but Gameloft has revealed that these devices will come pre-loaded with some of its best titles.
Starting in December, five Gameloft titles will be available on the rentable iPads: Real Football, Shrek Kart, Avatar, UNO and N.O.V.A.: Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance.
Meanwhile, the following titles will become available during the first quarter of 2012: GT Racing: Motor Academy, Brain Challenge, Blokus, Iron Man 2, Let’s Golf! 2, The Settlers and Asphalt 5.
The new in-flight iPad rentals is set to begin over the next few weeks on select Jetstar flights. Initial flights with this program will include “Australian domestic, trans Tasman and short-haul international flights between Australia and New Zealand.” Passengers on flights longer than two hours will be able to rent iPads for somewhere between A$10 and A$15.（source:gamezebo）
5）Frogger may be 30 years old, but he’s leaping onto the iPhone for free
by Joe Osborne
Look, for an amphibian that insists on leaping into oncoming traffic, Frogger is damn old. But Frogger turns 30 this year, and he’s determined to ring in the milestone with a bang. Konami has released Frogger Free for iOS on the App Store, a Facebook-connected version of the classic (with three new modes, mind you) for the ultimate price of zero dollars and zero cents.
For ultimate nostalgia trip, players can enjoy Frogger in all its retro glory with multiple control styles including swipe, touch and tilt. Those control options extend into the game’s three new gameplay modes: Turbo, Nighttime and Inferno. Turbo we imagine simply sends those cars and trucks into overdrive, while Nighttime seems to simply change the color scheme.
Inferno, however, leaves a trail of flames in Frogger’s wake that limits players’ moves as they lead more frogs across the highway.
This version of Frogger features and Facebook Connect, meaning players can share their accomplishments with their friends across local, friendly and global leaderboards. The game also features 10 achievements for players to collect, but we all know none will be as prestigious as surpassing the ultimate high score: 896,980 points. This game follows Frogger’s first original game on Facebook, Frogger Pinball. With two new, free ways to celebrate how Frogger’s miraculous survival of 30 years of jay-hopping, you pretty much have no excuse.（source:games）
6）Ubisoft Reflections Duo Join Mobile Games Publisher Thumbstar
by Mike Rose
Former Ubisoft Reflections managers Gareth and Martin Edmondson today revealed that they have joined mobile games publisher Thumbstar Games.
It came to light last week that Gareth Edmondson had left the Ubisoft subsidiary after working there for more than 10 years. The company was originally founded by his brother Martin in 1984.
The duo have now confirmed that they are taking leading roles at Thumbstar: Martin has joined as the chief creative officer, while Gareth has taken the role of CEO. Both are joining the company’s board of directors.
Thumbstar said in a statement that the brothers will be looking to “drive the company’s creative direction and IP creation.”
Martin Kitney, COO of Thumbstar, said “We are delighted to welcome Martin and Gareth to the Board. Their collective experience of making video games adds a powerful new dimension to Thumbstar.”
Martin Edmondson added, “I am very proud to have been involved with Thumbstar since its formation, and I’m now particularly looking forward to getting back to my primary passion for original IP creation in such a dynamic and rapidly growing space.”
Thumbstar also noted that it has secured a “significant investment” as a means of growing its current publishing activities, although it did not state exactly how much this investment was.（source:gamasutra）
7）DeNA Announces Strategic Partnership With gloops [Social Games]
by Dr. Serkan Toto
Every social gaming platform needs strong third-party developers, and the strongest of them all (on Mobage) is gloops – reason enough for DeNA to announce a strategic partnership with the Tokyo-based company today.
Under the deal, DeNA and gloops will “mutually share social games development and operation know-how for future games”. For example, gloops will release its popular social card game Legend Cards on Mobage Global next year.
I am probably not the only one finding it weird that the same title was released 2 days ago on Facebook Mobile in English.
DeNA says that among all third-party social game providers on Mobage, gloops is the biggest as far as virtual item sales are concerned (which is the reason why I assume gloops will go IPO next year).
To be more concrete, gloops is racking up 2 billion yen (US$26 million) in sales every month – and its games have been available on Mobage only so far. By way of comparison: Mixi as a platform provider has made only US$10.4 million in social gaming charges in the entire last quarter.
gloops is currently employing 200 people in Tokyo, San Francisco and Hanoi. The company’s games have 10 million users across Mobage.（source:serkantoto）
8）How to make a successful Japanese mobile game
“You might not recognise them as games,” David McCarthy, a member of the EMEA Developer Relations team at GREE, warned at Develop Liverpool this morning, in a talk that described how GREE rules the Japanese social mobile game market.
Though RPGs are the dominant genre in GREE’s output at 21 per cent, romance is a close second at 18. The RPGs are card battle games, romance games essentially read like romance novels, and overall most are based on collection at their core. As such, he said GREE’s games are more casual and pervasive – they’re advertised on TV with celebrities – than their counterparts in the west.
GREE is Japan’s premier social and mobile game publisher, boasting 22 million users in the territory, and following its acquisition of the OpenFeint social platform in April this year, has expanded to 155 million globally. It’s now trying to make in-roads into western markets, and to attract western developers to produce games for its platform.
GREE’s metrics-driven process seems mechanical, with correct targeting imperative – taking in aspects like genre, art and game flow – as well as making them easily and rewardingly social. Its template for new game pitches details name, genre, target, selling points, game model (flow), social, original features and monetisation model.
Tsuri Star, for instance, is a simple free to play, social fishing game in which players select a fishing spot, cast, hook and catch. They can compete with friends and amass collections of caught fish. Dragon Collection, which has been one of GREE’s most popular games, benefits from its self explanatory name and easy to understand game flow. 45 per cent of its players are women.
The key to maintaining players, McCarthy said, is a good tutorial during which players don’t quit and a simple and painless UI. Tanken Dorirando, for example, usually only gives three options on a screen – buy card, go on quest, play with friends – so it can be played on a crowded train with a single finger in short bursts.
And login bonuses, which reward players for logging in at specific times in the day with random items or XP boosts, can sustain daily user metrics. Obviously, the games feature item purchases, but McCarthy warned that players need to be given reasons to buy them – “carrot and stick”. Make them nice looking, but give players a taste of failure to make the items’ uses attractive, while also ensuring that they are clear.
The west can support a similar market, McCarthy maintained, suggesting that the western market might become closer to Japan’s in future.（source:next-gen）