2）社交游戏开发商Crowdstar近日与亚马逊合作，在后者平板电脑Kindle Fire上独家发售《Top Girl》Android版本（为期2周时间）。这款以女性用户为主的免费游戏之前在iOS平台大受欢迎，但最近人气有所下滑，在美国iOS营收排行榜单中居于第53名。
在此之前，Cowdstar还曾与韩国游戏门户网站NHN合作，将Facebook游戏《It Girl》和手机游戏《Top Girl》引进日本、韩国和中国市场。
这款名为《The Hunt for the Golden Pistachio》网页游戏（已入驻Angry Birds.com网站）由Rovio与Wonderful Pistachios内部代理机构联合开发，前两个关卡向所有用户开放服务，但其他三个关卡需要用户输入Wonderful Pistachios特制包装袋上的Get Crackin代码，或者通过Facebook、Twitter分享相关信息方可体验游戏。
该工作室目前有25名成员，核心成员包括前BioWare/Pandemic首席执行官Greg Richardson、Zynga游戏设计师（《CityVille》首席设计师）John Yoo、EA2D副总裁Mark Spenner和前EA副总裁兼首席技术官David O’Connor。
Wilson称雅达利正寻找和招聘“最出色”的专业人才加快推动公司的转型，其新款iOS游戏《Breakout: Boost》将于12月8日登陆App Store。
6）谷歌开发倡导者Paul Kinlan在最近的Evolve London 2011大会上发言表示，Chrome web store已有2亿用户，它是一个理想的内容发布渠道；Chorme用户玩《世界高尔夫巡回赛》网页版的时间比其他版本多23%，并且比普通玩家多147%。
Chrome web store最近推出了一项当前仅向美国地区开放的支付服务，其中包括按月和按年订阅的付费选项，以及普通的付费和IAP模式，谷歌仅从中抽成5%。
1）Blue vs. Pink: What Role Does Gender Play In Mobile Phone Usage?
By Alicia Eler
A new study by Compete shows that women are adopting smartphones more quickly than men. In 2011, women outnumbered men in a study of smartphone owners by gender. This goes directly against findings in 2010, at which point there were more male than female smartphone owners. Of the types of activities done on smartphones, female-identified smartphone owners were more interested in sending text messages, accessing social networks, playing games, sharing photos and videos, conducting financial transactions and shopping online than their male counterparts. A greater percentage of men surveyed were more interested in streaming content (movies/TV) and making dinner reservations than female smartphone owners.
Of course, this study falls into the same space that all gender-specific studies from big research firms do. It conflates sex (biological and physiological characteristics that define men and women) and gender (socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women). These definitions of sex and gender are from the World Health Organization.
This study sees a clear distinction between “male” and “female,” and asserts that boys will be boys, and girls will be girls. It seems to de-emphasize gender-neutral phone features like sending text messages, access to social networks, long battery life and camera/video which score about the same across gender lines.
What if marketers thought more about the Kinsey scale and variations in gender instead of going by the same old hum-drum heteronormative model that conflates gender and sex?
For example, what about people who identify sex-wise as “female” but, if you asked them about their gender, they would respond with “boy” or “male”? How about people whose sex is male, but their gender is located more in the “girl” or “female” side of the gender spectrum? And how about folks who don’t see themselves in either realm? This study chooses to ignore them. Perhaps those concepts are too difficult for traditional marketers to grasp. If you want to go by a “two-gender” system, you’ll still find the results to this study fascinating and indicative of a much scarier trend: That we’re still living in the 1950′s.
What women really want more than their male counterparts, it says, is personal email access and pre-installed games. These results are in line with a study earlier this year from Flurry, which found that mobile gamers are more heavily female (53%) than traditional gamers (40% female).
Male smartphone owners are apparently most interested in fast Internet browsing, WiFi, speakerphone, touchscreen, high screen quality, GPS, music players, ability to search contents of the phone, QWERTY keyboard, memory card slot, ability to run more than one app at a time, integrated app store, access to 4G network and access to corporate email.
Basically, the study suggests that women want to use their smartphones for fun and personal use while men are busy conducting business on their phones. By these standards, it looks like things haven’t changed a bit since the 1950s.（source:readwriteweb）
2）Crowdstar Moves to Android with Limited Kindle Fire Exclusivity for Top Girl
Kathleen De Vere
Crowdstar is making the leap to Android by taking its flagship mobile game Top Girl first to Kindle Fire as a two-week exclusive and then to all Android devices. The female-focused, free-to-play game had been a solid performer for Crowdstar, but has been declining in popularity. It’s now #53 on the top-grossing charts for iOS in the U.S. market.
Top Girl is an almost satirically materialist game where players become women who must work jobs at a modeling agency to earn cash. With their income, they can buy virtual clothes to look gorgeous and attract and care for virtual boyfriends.
The company is following many of its peers like Zynga, Pocket Gems and TinyCo to the Android platform, which has rapidly gained traction this year, surpassing Apple’s iOS in terms of U.S. mobile subscribers, according to data services like Comscore. A few of them have also similarly managed to negotiate deals with Amazon to get an exclusivity period on the company’s hardware products. Ahead of launching the Kindle Fire, Amazon negotiated day one availability for games from Rovio, Gameloft, Zynga and EA.
As for Crowdstar, this fits into the company’s plan to diversify off Facebook and into international markets through the Project Trident initiative. The first phase of that was a partnership with South Korean game portal NHN to bring It Girl and Top girl to Japan, South Korea and China.（source:insidemobileapps）
3）Rovio links up with Wonderful Pistachios for branded Angry Birds browser game, The Hunt for the Golden Pistachio
by Jon Jordan
Rovio’s previously played around with branding – most notably with the Fox film tie-in Angry Birds Rio – but it’s never done a pure advergame. Until now.
Hooking up with Wonderful Pistachios – a company it’s already been involved via an advertising deal in the US – the Finnish developer entertainment brand has come up with what is calls a ‘custom, fully integrated, branded game’.
Developed in conjunction with Wonderful Pistachios’ inhouse agency, it’s a browser-based game entitled The Hunt for the Golden Pistachio.
The first two levels open for everyone to play, while the remaining three levels are only accessible by entering a ‘Get Crackin’ code found on specially marked bags of Wonderful Pistachios, or sharing aspects of the game via Facebook and Twitter.
These levels contain hidden in-game Golden Pistachios that may result in real-life rewards, ranging from free pistachios and Angry Birds plush toys to $25,000 cash. These are only available to US residents over the age of 18.
This element will run until 31 December, after which all five levels will be unlocked for players.
“The ubiquitous consumer adoption of Angry Birds and pistachios makes this partnership a natural fit,” said Marc Seguin, senior director of marketing, North America for Wonderful Pistachios.
“We’re excited to give consumers the snacks they crave with pistachios and feed the frenzy for new Angry Birds content with the launch of this game.”
“We’re delighted to be working with Wonderful Pistachios,” added Peter Vesterbacka, Rovio’s CMO. “We think our fans will get a kick out of cracking pistachios and playing their favourite game for the opportunity to win great prizes.”（source:pocketgamer）
4）Former BioWare CEO’s Mobile, Browser Start-Up Raises $15M
by Tom Curtis
Rumble Entertainment, a studio founded by a group of BioWare, Zynga, and EA veterans, announced today that it has secured $15 million in its first funding round, which it will put towards the development of mobile and browser-based games, reports VentureBeat.
The studio was initially founded in September by former BioWare/Pandemic CEO Greg Richardson, with other company partners including Zynga game designer and CityVille lead designer John Yoo, EA2D vice president Mark Spenner and former EA VP and CTO David O’Connor. The studio currently hosts 25 employees, most of whom have experience working at other major game developers.
With the team’s range of experience in traditional and social game development, Rumble aims to create games that bridge the gap between console gaming appeal with the convenience of social and mobile platforms.
Company CEO Richardson told VentureBeat, “The future of video games points not at the casual audience, but rather people who know they love video games.” He added that Rumble hopes to “successfully marry what makes console and PC games wonderful in terms of engagement and immersion with the lifestyle of not always being in front of a big-screen television.”
Rumble Entertainment is currently working on two different titles, the first of which is planned to debut early next year. In addition, the company plans to offer its own publishing platform, through which other developers will be able release their games.（source:gamasutra）
5）Atari hires Marvel man Gui Karyo as EVP as firm’s mobile move marches on
by Matt Sakuraoka-Gilman
With Atari’s move into mobile social developer set to be cemented by the launch of Breakout: Boost on iOS, the publisher has seen fit to strengthen itself internally, hiring former former Mindspark, Majesco, and Marvel veteran Gui Karyo.
Following the appointment of several other key figures to the firm, Kayro joins the company as EVP of development and operations, tasked with overseeing product development, operations and Atari’s website.
Change or die
“There’s no other way to maintain long-term viability,” said Atari CEO Jim Wilson, talking with TechCrunch about the firm’s mobile push.
“Atari can’t rest on its laurels, we have to stay relevant.”
The firm’s transition to mobile development is financially palpable too, with revenue from digital downloads having risen by 64 percent to $10.5 million for the first half of 2011.
That’s up from the $6.3 million posted at the same time last year – a figure that helped shrink the firm’s operating loss by 61 percent to $2.6 million.
Currently, Wilson highlights that Atari is looking for “the best and brightest” new staff to help accelerate its transition, with new content to come from the company expected to be original IP.
Breakout: Boost will hit the App Store on December 8.（source:pocketgamer）
6）Evolve London 2011: Google’s Paul Kinlan on why iOS and Android developers should also be targeting the Chrome web store
by Jon Jordan
There are plenty of app stores, so what’s the point of Google’s Chrome web store?
On one level, of course, it’s just another place to find web apps and games, albeit one that’s built directly into the Chrome browser.
But according to Paul Kinlan, one of Google’s developer advocates, “With 200 million users, it’s a great channel for distribution.”
Indeed, in his talk – ‘Taking advantage of the Chrome web store to distribute web games’ – at the Evolve London 2011 conference, he revealed that according to developer WGT, Chrome users of its World Golf Tour web game played 23 percent more and spent 147 percent more than average players
Get your 95:5 rev split here
And Google is certainly getting aggressive about the opportunity.
It’s rolling out a payment platform – US-only at present – which includes monthly and annual subscriptions options, well as the usual paid and in-app purchases. Google takes 5 percent of this revenue.
Something else that’s different with the Chrome web store is the feedback mechanism; you have to logged into Google to install an app, enabling direct communication between player and developer (unlike with the Apple App Store).
“Giving developers the ability to respond to feedback is something new for Chrome and isn’t on other stores. It’s a really powerful thing,” Kinlan said.
Other ways that Google is looking to build out the store is through tools that can convert native iOS and Android games into a Chrome-friendly format.
In the case of Android, Google itself is developing the Playn platform, although it requires you to have developed your Android app in a particular manner. （source:pocketgamer）