1）据techcrunch报道，由夫妻团队Imangi Studios设计的《Temple Run》最近称雄美国iOS免费游戏榜单，下载量达2000万次，DAU也高达700万，尽管仅有1%的付费用户，但该游戏却仍能晋升营收榜单之首。
Imangi Studios成立于2008年，是App Store中的首批开发商之一，已推出10款游戏，团队中已新增一名美术人员，现在共有3名成员，正与其他开发者合作推出该游戏Android版本。《Temple Run》发布已有5个月，目前每天下载量为50万次。
3）据insidemobileapps报道，美国互动艺术与科学学院奖（The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences）组委会近日公布第15届年度入围名单（最终获奖名单将于2月9日D.I.C.E峰会上公布），EA成为表现最为瞩目的手机及社交游戏公司，《Contre Jour》（由EA Chillingo推出）、《死亡空间》（EA Mobile推出）被提名为年度最佳手机游戏，而《模拟人生社交版》（EA Playfish开发）则被提名为年度最佳社交游戏。
其他入围手机游戏大奖的作品包括：《无尽之剑2》（Epic Games）、《Tentacles》（微软游戏工作室）、《The Dark Meadow》（Phosphor Games Studio）；
其他入围社交游戏大奖的作品包括：《Army Attack》（Digital Chocolate）、《CastleVille》（Zynga）、《Gardens of Time》（迪士尼互动传媒）、《Triple Town》（游戏邦注：该游戏由Spry Fox开发，其Facebook版本将由迪士尼Playdom负责发行，图表中的信息尚未更新）；
入围休闲游戏大奖的作品包括：《Fruit Ninja Kinect》（由微软游戏工作室发行、Halfbrick开发）、《Tiny Wings》（Andreas IIiger）、《Jetpack Joyride》（Hafbrick自主发行及开发）、《Monsters Ate My Condo》（Adult Swim）、《Where’s My Water?》（迪士尼移动）。
4）据pocketgamer报道，法国发行商Gameloft最近发布的一款iOS免费游戏《Urban Crime》被指称为“复制粘贴以往的作品”，游戏中的相关场景——从街道到汽车以及行人，与Gameloft两年前发布的《Gangster:Miami Vindication》几乎如出一辙（详见以下对比图）。
不过游戏任务、剧情及UI与之前的作品有所区别，另外也剔除了原先作品中的暴力元素。《Urban Crime》最近在英国App Store平均得分为两颗星，从中可以看出用户并不欣赏Gameloft的这种做法。
5）德国开发商MobileBits投入近两年时间开发的免费增值RPG游戏《SoulCraft》将登陆Android、iOS和Windows Phone平台。该游戏采用工作室自主创建的Delta引擎，现已在Android Market推出测试版本。
1）Mobile Game Design: How Evil Monkeys Chased Temple Run To App Store #1
This is the story of how a husband and wife team designed a game with more daily active users than anything by Zynga. Now the #1 free iOS game, Imangi Studios reveals its Temple Run has hit 20 million downloads and 7 million DAU. Co-founder Natalia Luckyanova tells me how by designing Temple Run to be fun without having to pay, it became the top grossing iOS game despite only 1% of users monetizing.
The first step was making a game that resonated with users emotionally. You play as an explorer running through an ancient temple, constantly chased by a pack of skull-faced monkeys. This seems to trigger the latter half of the human fight or flight response. Luckyanova tells me tweets and word of mouth about how terrifying the monkeys are have helped Temple Run go viral.
“We wanted to make Temple Run feel like it was designed for iOS rather than ported from a console, where you’re using virtual joysticks” Luckyanova says. Temple Run can be played using just one hand, with swipes and tilts controlling the player. A single run through the temple takes 30 seconds to a few minutes. This makes it easy to dip in and try to beat your high score and run past the scores of friends, creating an addictive experience.
The key to Temple Run’s success is that it’s free and doesn’t hinge on in-app purchases. “There’s no barrier to downloading it, and it can be fully played without having to buy anything”. Users collect the in-game currency by picking up coins as they run, meaning they can earn any power-up or character in the store if they don’t want to purchase currency.
Many games make it extremely difficult to complete the later levels or competing directly against other players if you haven’t paid. In contrast, Temple Run focuses on an accessible user experience that boosts retention and sharing, with just 1% choosing to pay. This allowed it to become the top grossing iOS game through massive traction, instead of topping out around 1 million DAU with 4% monetizing like other games.
Founded in 2008, Imangi Studios was one of the first developers in the App Store. It’s since released 10 games including the small hit Harbor Master, and hired an artist bringing the team to 3. Temple Run has been out for just 5 months, but now receives 500,000 downloads a day.
Luckyanova says “It’s a very hit driven business, and a hit like this really funds your studio for years. We’re trying to keep it going by updating the game on a regular basis with new power-ups and characters to keep people engaged.”
Rather than bring complication in-house, Imangi has partnered with another developer to build out Temple Run for Android. After all, evil monkeys are platform agnostic, so Temple Run should be too.（source:techcrunch）
2）Zynga’s New Game ZombieSmash is Probably From an Undisclosed Acquisition
A game from Zynga called ZombieSmash popped up on our radar this evening.
Curiously, its owner used to be named GameDoctors, an independent studio from Bielefeld, Germany founded by two brothers three years ago. But the owner’s name just changed to Zynga, even though the app has been out for nearly two years. Zynga has not immediately replied to requests for comment.
It may be a sign that Zynga acquired GameDoctors or a sign that the company is starting to publish third-party iOS games. In the prospectus last month for Zynga’s initial public offering, the company said it acquired two companies between the end of the third quarter and Dec. 15 for an aggregate purchase price of $4.9 million. The most likely explanation — though not confirmed yet — is that this is one of them.
Alternately, Zynga has made number of hires suggesting a move toward publishing. It recently poached Sony’s Rob Dyer, who now heads partner publishing. In September, it also hired Disney game publishing exec Adam Sussman, who used to work at EA Mobile.
Publishing could help defray the risks of being a hits-driven business and help the company cultivate relationships with independent studios it may one day eventually want to acquire. It would also put it in competition with EA’s Chillingo label and with other dual game developers and publishers like 6Waves-LOLApps.（source:insidemobileapps）
3）EA Leads Academy of Interactive Arts & Science Award Nominations for Mobile and Social Games
Kathleen De Vere
Electronic Arts’ new focus on mobile and social gaming appears to be paying off for the company, both financially and critically. The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences has announced the finalists for the 15th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards with EA picking up more mobile and social game award nominations than any other publisher or developer.
EA picked up two of the five nominations for Mobile Game of the Year, getting nods for Contre Jour (published by Chillingo) and Dead Space. Epic Game’s Infinity Blade II, Microsoft Studios and Press Play’s Tentacles and Phosphor Games’ The Dark Meadow rounded out the nominations.
On Facebook, EA’s highly popular Facebook game The Sims Social was nominated for Social Networking Game of the Year, with Digital Chocolate’s Army Attack, Zynga’s CastleVille, Disney’s Gardens of Time and Spry Fox’s Triple Town filling out the rest of the pack.
The Academy also chose to include mobile apps in its Casual Game of the Year award, nominating Halfbrick and Microsoft’s Fruit Ninja Kinect, Andreas Illiger’s Tiny Wings, Halfbrick’s Jetpack Joyride, Adult Swim’s Monsters Ate My Condo and Disney’s Where’s My Water? for the honor.（source:insidemobileapps）
4）Gameloft’s free-to-play shocker Urban Crime is rehash of old Gangstar game
by Keith Andrew
No stranger to accusations of plagiarism, Gameloft has made a name for itself in recent years by mirroring some of the biggest console games with its own mobile releases – N.O.V.A. and Modern Combat, just to name a few.
The scandal surrounding its most recent iPhone and iPad release, however, centres on the suggestion it’s a cut-and-paste job of one of its existing titles.
Free-to-play release Urban Crime charges players with making a name for themselves for all the wrong reasons on the streets of Miami, killing rival gang members one after another until the city is theirs.
The only problem is, those very same streets popped up almost two years ago in Gameloft’s Gangstar: Miami Vindication.
Close inspection reveals Miami Vindication’s entire setting – from the game’s city streets, to the cars and people that populate it – has been picked up and dropped into Urban Crime.
You can see this from the comparison screens below, with Gangstar: Miami Vindication above and Urban Crime below.
Only the missions and plot have been ditched, with Gameloft instead attempting to layer freemium-friendly elements – and new UI – into a game that’s showing its age graphically.
Also, by hacking out Miami Vindication’s plot, Gameloft has stripped the game’s violence of all context, resulting in a crude take on gang culture that’s often hard to bear
Early disdain for such an approach is not hard to find: Urban Crime currently sports a two star rating on the UK App Store, with players taking a dislike to both Gameloft’s attempt to rehash an old release – one which, as Pocket Gamer readers will know, didn’t win all too many plaudits itself – and its efforts to covert what was a paid game into a freemium one.（source:pocketgamer）
5）F2P action RPG SoulCraft now available in open beta for Tegra 2 and 3 devices
by Jon Jordan
German developer MobileBits has been working away on its free-to-play action RPG game SoulCraft for almost two years.
Created using its own Delta Engine, when finished, it will be available for Android, iOS and Windows Phone – the technology being the only game engine that supports all three platforms.
But it’s not quite finished yet.
And that’s where you come in, at least if you have an Android device using Nvidia’s Tegra 2 or Tegra 3 chips.
A beta version of SoulCraft is now available from Android Market so you can get a taste of how the game will play – the point being you then go to the feedback section of the website and complete the detailed survey.
As for the full game that will be released, it lets you choose between playing as a human rogue, an angel brawler or a demon mage in a three-way battle for supremacy. You can only play as the angel in the beta.
The controls are twin stick-based, with plenty of weapon and magic action as you attempt to destroy the spawning enemies before you.
Interestingly, the settings are based on real locations including Venice, Hamburg, New York, Tokyo and Washington, while the game modes are Time Run, Arena, Hellgate, Crystal Defense and Boss Fight.
Through each of these, you’ll build up experience and in-game currency so you can level up your character.
Hey, good lookin’
What MobileBits is really stressing, however, is the console-quality of the game’s graphics, which include buzzwords such as high-end shaders, particle effects and complex lighting.
Given Nvidia’s support for the game, there will also be an optimised version for Tegra 3 devices with higher resolution models and textures making use of its quad-core architecture.
“Working with Nvidia, we were able to bring real console-quality gaming to mobile with no compromises,” said Karsten Wysk, MobileBits’ CEO.
“We can’t wait for consumers to experience SoulCraft’s action, gameplay and out-of-this-world graphics, and give us feedback during the open beta so we can make the game even better.”
You can get the beta version of the game from Android Market [link].
It expected the final version will be released for Android, iOS and Windows Phone sometime in February, depending on the feedback provided.
You can get some idea how SoulCraft looks and plays in the following video.（source:pocketgamer）
6）Zynga’s Twitter becomes useful, gives away free in-game items
by Brandy Shaul
Perhaps it’s just me, but I’ve never thought of Twitter as the best place for Zynga to communicate with its fans. After all, every game has its own Fan Page on Facebook just for that purpose – communication, and if we’re spending time on Twitter, we’re not actively playing Facebook games, right? Either way, Zynga has decided to capitalize on the massive social network, 140 characters at a time.
If you’ve never thought about following Zynga on Twitter before, you now finally have some real incentive to do so, as the company has started giving away in-game items back on Facebook via links on its Twitter feed. So far, these bonuses seem to be focused pretty centrally on CityVille, as we’ve received free bundles of XP, Bonus Crew and Zoning Permits, just to name a few.
It’s possible that if more players start to follow the stream, or even request items, that more games could start to receive bonuses, so it’s worth keeping track of what’s going on. Either way, these prize links are only active for a limited amount of time, so you really will need to stay on top of things to make sure you can claim every item available to you. If you’re a big fan of Twitter anyway, that probably won’t seem like a big deal, but for everyone else, I suppose you can always bookmark the page and check it once per day to see if there’s anything to grab. Good luck claiming these items!（source:games）