每日观察：关注《Clash of Clans》在日本市场表现（6.25）
1）据serkantoto报道，热门手机游戏《Clash of Clans》日前晋升至日本免费iPhone/iPad应用榜单之首，观察者认为出现这一情况并不令人意外，原因包括：
*日本人气最高的智能手机游戏《Puzzle & Dragons》目前正与《Clash of Clans》进行游戏内交叉推广合作；
*日本头号iOS应用网站AppBank在过去数周对《Clash of Clans》进行大篇幅的报道；
*《Clash of Clans》现在已进入日本市场；
*在此之前，该游戏开发商Supercell已经在日本推广英语版的《Clash of Clans》（游戏邦注：例如通过Facebook移动平台，用日语推广该游戏）
*最近其他非日语游戏也在该市场获得了一定成功（例如《Candy Crush Saga》和《Megapolis》）
该游戏目前在日本iPhone应用营收榜单仅位居第23名，在iPad榜单为第6名，但观察者认为这类F2P游戏一般都要经历相当长的时间才有可能将下载量转化为销售额，并且《Clash of Clans》的题材和美术风格也并不是很适合日本市场，所以这款游戏在日本的收益应该无法复制在美国市场的成功。
2）据pocketgamer报道，日本手机游戏开发商GungHo两名成员Tomotaka Motoyoshi、Daisuke Yamamoto在最近由Supercell举办的Free Your Play 2013大会上介绍了《Puzzle & Dragons》的开发背景。
苹果称App Store将向儿童家长推出4+、9+或12+的年龄分级，子女在家长不知情时在App Store中消费了30美元以下者，可获得5美元的iTunes礼券；而消费额超过30美元者，则将获得等额的iTunes积分。如果权益受损的用户已经没有iTunes帐号，则将获得足额的现金退款。
5）据Ars Technica报道，《雷神之锤3》设计师John Carmack在最近采访中赞扬了手机游戏对市场的贡献。
Line平台已登陆iOS、Android、Windows Phone等移动设备，在2013年第一季度收益达到5800万美元。Line Game于2012年7月上线，目前已推出33款游戏。（本文为游戏邦/gamerboom.com编译，拒绝任何不保留版权的转载，如需转载请联系：游戏邦）
1）Clash Of Clans Hits No. 1 In Japan’s Free Apps Ranking For iOS – But Success Won’t Last As Long As In The West
by Dr. Serkan Toto
This was bound to happen: mobile strategy hit game Clash Of Clans is Japan’s top free app on the iPhone as well as the iPad at the moment.
This is not really surprising, as
Japan’s most popular smartphone title Puzzle & Dragons is currently running an in-game promotion for Clash Of Clans (a so-called collaboration)
Japan’s top iOS app site AppBank has extensively covered and praised Clash Of Clans in the last few weeks
Clash Of Clans has now become available in Japanese
Maker Supercell has already been running ads for the English version of the game in this country before that (i.e. on Facebook mobile, in Japanese)
Apple Japan is heavily featuring the game in the iPhone and iPad App Store at the moment
Other non-Japanese games are seeing some form of success over here currently (most notably Candy Crush and Megapolis)
The question now is a) how sustainable this development is and b) how the free downloads will translate to sales.
Regarding a), my personal prediction is that Clash Of Clans will continue to remain high up in the download charts for a while – but that general interest in the game will wane much quicker than in the US, for example (where it’s still very strong).
Regarding b), Clash Of Clans is currently No. 23 in the top grossing app ranking for iPhone and No. 6 for iPad in Japan. It always takes time before downloads of F2P games translate to sales, but I think the title has good chances of making it into the top 10 on the iPhone charts (top 5 if things go extremely well) and quite possibly become a top 2 or 3 grossing app on the iPad.
But as in the downloads rankings, I think sales will go south – every game’s sales go down eventually, but my point is that this – for this title, in Japan – will happen relatively quick (even taking into account that Supercell has the financial resources to market the game aggressively over here, too).
So personally, I don’t see Clash Of Clans becoming such a cash-making machine as in the US and elsewhere, especially not in the long run: the title offers neither the right genre nor the right art style (or “feel”) for the Japanese market.
I hope I am wrong with my predictions, but what I do know is that if this game has a shot, it’s now: even Clash Of Clans will never again see the different kinds of promotion I listed up above coming together at the same time.（source：serkantoto）
2）Our team’s increased from 4 people to 20, says Puzzle & Dragons’ producer
by Jon Jordan
Last week, Finnish developer Supercell held its Free Your Play 2013 festival.
Tomotaka Motoyoshi and Daisuke Yamamoto from Puzzle & Dragons developer GungHo Online were two of the special guests.
After all, the two companies have just launched a cross-promotional push between their games that’s seen Clash of Clans rise to the top of the Japanese free iOS chart.
And we grabbed the two for a quick chat.
They explained how the original version of Puzzle & Dragons was developed by only four people, although that’s since increased to 20.
Still, producer Daisuke Yamamoto hopes it’s going to rise some more soon – he says he working really hard.（source：pocketgamer）
3）Android on the up: Google set to dominate smartphone and tablet market between now and 2014
by Matthew Diener
A report by Gartner suggests that the global Android market will more than double its 2012 performance by 2014.
After shipping 506 million smartphones and tablets in 2012, Gartner expects nearly 870 million Android mobile devices to ship in 2013, with almost 1.1 billion shipping in 2014.
For Apple, the picture is slightly less rosy: Gartner reckons around 355 million iOS smartphones, tablets and Mac OS devices will ship in 2014 – that’s up from an estimated 296 million in 2013 and 213 million in 2012.
In other words, looking at the 2012 – 2014 window, the market for Android will increase by almost 110 percent while the iOS market will increase by slightly less than 67 percent.
The rise of the tablet
Gartner’s research also suggests that an estimated 202 million tablets are expected to ship across the globe this year, which is a 67.9 percent increase from 2012′s figure of 120 million shipped devices.
Smartphones are enjoying more modest growth in 2012, with 1.8 billion units expected to ship globally – a 4.3 percent increase over 2012′s figure of 1.75 billion units.
These growth trends are expected to continue into 2014, with tablet shipments increasing by 37 percent and smartphones shipments increasing by a 4.3 percent.
While the slower growth in tablet shipments between 2013 – 2014 might seem odd given the near 70 percent increase between 2012 – 2013, Gartner’s research director Ranjit Atwal says that it’s natural, noting that the life cycle of premium tablets are responsible for the figures.
“The increased availability of lower priced basic tablets, plus the value add shifting to software rather than hardware will result in the lifetimes of premium tablets extending as they remain active in the household for longer,” he concluded.（source：pocketgamer）
4）Family friendly: Apple details refund system for kids who made rogue in-app purchases
by Keith Andrew
Apple has lifted the lid on how its compensation system for parents of children who have made in-app purchases without their knowledge will work.
First proposed back in February, Apple’s ‘in-app purchase litigation administrator’ has pushed out an email detailing the practicalities of the system, with settlement options for refund requests given in full.
Devil in the detail
The compensation system is the result of a settlement with five parents in California who filed a lawsuit against Apple in 2011 after their children spent huge sums of money on in-app purchases.
Apple claims it will be open to parents of kids who spent money in games with age ratings of 4+, 9+ or 12+ before 2 May 2013.
The Cupertino giant has set aside a total of $100 million to deal with claims, with those who file for charges under $30 set to receive a $5 iTunes gift card.
Claims made for figures above that mark, however, will receive a refund in the form of iTunes credit for the full amount – providing the costs were amassed within a single 45 day period.
In this case, if the claimant no longer has an iTunes account, a full cash refund will be offered instead.
Also of note is the fact that only US residents will be eligible for compensation, with the litigation administrator noting that refunds are only being offered as part of the aforementioned class action settlement.
“If your iTunes account was charged for an in-app purchase made by a minor in a game app without your knowledge or permission, you could be entitled to benefits under a class action settlement,” details the administrator in the email, obtained by 9to5Mac.
“In a consolidated class action lawsuit pending against Apple, plaintiffs alleged that certain iOS applications distributed through the App Store allowed minors to charge iTunes accounts for in-app purchases of game currency without the account holders’ knowledge or permission.
“Apple denies all allegations and is entering into this settlement to avoid burdensome and costly litigation. The settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing.”（source：pocketgamer）
5）Carmack: mobile games offer ‘pure play’
By Kris Ligman
Speaking with Ars Technica, Quake III designer John Carmack lauds the advent of the mobile game development scene for what it has done for the market.
“I was really happy that when mobile came along with the more ‘pure’ games, they didn’t have to be a $50 game that had man-centuries in them,” Carmack tells Ars Technica. “You can have these small things that cost people a couple bucks.”
“I don’t have a lot of free time and I don’t have 50 hours for Skyrim. That’s not to take anything away from the massive titles, but it’s great to have this broad spectrum of gaming,” Carmack added.
A father of two, Carmack also looks to what his children are playing to inform his current preferences in games.
“I do wish the games that I made were more things that I could share with my sons,” he said. In addition to Quake III, Carmack is best known for his involvement developing Wolfenstein 3D and Doom. “It would be nice to make something that’s family friendly.”
Nevertheless, Carmack believes his time in the programming spotlight has passed, and it’s now up to the future generation of developers to explore the new design landscape.
“So many people can have such a large fraction of their life on the net: you have your challenges, entertainment, work, and they’re happening in an essentially virtual space. Is it such a dystopian thing after all?” （source：gamasutra）
6）Line’s Games Platform Hits 150 Million Downloads and Jumps 50% in 3 Months
By Camilla Noon
Line has announced that there have now been more than 150 cumulative downloads of games on its social gaming platform. The impressive milestone comes just three months after Line Game celebrated 100 million app downloads.
The Line service is available for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and more, and boasts more than 150 million registered users worldwide. It was one of the first to monetize mobile messaging — both through its games platform and virtual content, such as emoticon-like stickers — and it recorded an impressive $58 million in revenue for Q1 2013.
Launched in July 2012, Line Game allows iOS and Android users to play games with their friends via the Line app. Once both parties have downloaded a specific title (Line users can prompt friends to download particular games) they both load the game and are ready to go.
Currently there are 33 games available — that’s up from 17 titles three months ago.
The company highlights the progress of two games — Line Pop and Line Wind — which have passed 30 million and 10 million downloads, respectively. In celebration Line is running competitions to give away free stickers and virtual coins through the two apps.
Line makes money from its games by offering a range of in-app purchases, and tying the titles in to its mobile messaging service.
Japan-based Line was the first messenger to introduce games, but others have followed suit. Korea’s Kakao Talk launched a games platform last year — which is now see revenues of $30 million per month. US-based video chat service Tango became the first outside of Asia to add games when it launched with an initial two titles this month.
Line continues to experiment with new business models. It’s most recent being an in-app app store. Businesses and developers can pay to list their apps in the store, while users are incentivized to download apps to get free virtual coins.
Already established in Japan and boasting a growing presence in Southeast Asia, it is looking to other regions to continue to grow its user base. Line is targeting Europe, the US, China and Latin America, where it is already seeing traction. Earlier this month, it added support for German, Italian and Portuguese to its iOS app, hinting at a broader push in Europe.（source：socialgamesobserver）