据Book of Revenant tumblr报道，日本热门游戏《Puzzle & Dragons》最近也在其日语版本中发布了类似的公告，要求玩家如实汇报自己的年龄。
Eurogamer报道称英国开发商Big Bit则在iOS跑酷游戏《The Snowman and The Snowdog》中设置了20英磅的付费上限，当玩家所投入资金达到20英磅时，就可以解琐游戏中的一切内容，并且无需再投入任何金钱。
3）据venturebeat报道，《Candy Crush Saga》的一名开发者Tommy Palm在日前采访中透露，这款游戏下载量已经超过5亿次，King公司月活跃用户已超过2.82亿。
Palm称所有游戏都有一个自然的生命周期，休闲游戏的生命周期很长，他们在两年半前推出的Facebook游戏《Bubble Witch Saga》至今仍是该平台热作之一。
《Candy Crush Saga》团队最初只有三名成员，但之后就增加了许多为其更新的人员。
4）据gamasutra报道，元老级电子游戏美术设计师Akihiko Yoshida（在过去18年中为Square Enix设计了诸多游戏角色）日前通过一本美术书《The Art of Bravely》宣布离职。他在1995年加入Square Soft，曾参与开发《最终幻想策略版 》、《Tactics Ogre》以及《最终幻想14：新生国度》等游戏。
1）European and Japanese devs proactively capping in-app spending by minors
By Alex Wawro
There’s been a fair bit of news today about developers voluntarily setting age limits on in-app purchases, presumably in an attempt to mollify growing concerns that young people are being manipulated by freemium games into spending unseemly amounts of money on things like coin doublers or XP boosts.
First came a report from Siliconera that Tecmo Koei will be implementing monthly limits on in-game purchases in social and online games based on a player’s age.
These limits will go into effect sometime this year and prevent players under the age of 16 from spending more than 5,000 yen (roughly $50 US) per account per month, while those between the ages of 16 and 19 will have their monthly spending capped at 20,000 yen (nearly $200 US) per month. Anyone over the age of 19 is presumed to be mature enough to spend what they like and can pay without limits, which makes sense given that 20 is the age of majority in Japan.
Then a screenshot surfaced on the Book of Revenant tumblr showing what appears to be an in-game notification from the Japanese version of mobile money-making machine Puzzles & Dragons that outlines a remarkably similar series of payment limits based on age.
Neither Puzzle & Dragons developer GungHo Online nor Tecmo Koei seem to have a clear strategy in place for preventing players from just circumventing the limits by lying, though the Puzzle & Dragons notification does appear to include an earnest entreaty for players to be honest about their age.
Eurogamer did a good bit of follow-up reporting on the Tecmo Koei news, speaking to UK developer Big Bit about the unique pay cap in their spendthrift-friendly game The Snowman and The Snowdogg. It’s a free endless runner on iOS that lets you purchase upgrades with real money, up to a limit of £20 — once a player hits that limit, everything in the game unlocks and you simply can’t put any more money in. Eurogamer reports that Big Bit implemented the de facto spending cap to ensure the game doesn’t run afoul of the U.K.’s Office of Fair Trading, especially in light of their ongoing efforts to crack down on apps with overly manipulative in-app payment schemes.
These developers are volunteering to implement in-app spending caps as much to avoid running afoul of governing bodies like the OFT or the Japanese Consumer Affairs Agency as to keep young players from blowing their savings on freemium games. It begs the question of whether or not U.S. regulators like the FTC might ever consider taking similar steps to regulate the IAP market, especially in light of Apple’s decision earlier this year to reimburse parents who sued the company to recoup the millions of dollars their children had spent in Capcom’s infamous Smurfs Village mobile game.（source：gamasutra）
2）Cut the Rope 2 launching in two weeks — and it debuts exclusively on iOS
Misha Lyalin, the CEO of Russian mobile developer ZeptoLab, announced the Dec. 19 release date of Cut the Rope 2 at a press event Thursday night.
The sequel to the best-selling physics-based puzzle game will debut exclusively on iOS devices, at a limited time discounted price of 99 cents. This new adventure has franchise mascot Om Nom embarking on a journey to restore his collection of candies, which has been stolen by a mischievous gang of spiders. Lyalin described the game as hard but still definitely accessible to children, particularly through a story with many animated cutscenes and an interactive Om Nom on the main menu.
Cut the Rope 2 takes place over five themed worlds, each home to a new creature that can aid or hinder Om Nom. Forest stages house Roto, an orange critter that can carry objects up and down the screen. Junkyard stages feature Blue, a blob made up of self-multiplying copies. And the Sandy Dam hosts Lick, who can make secondary bridges with its long tongue. The final two creatures are Boo, a purple creature in Underground stages that can knock back Om Nom when they collide; and Toss, a spring-headed creature in the City Park stages.
Surpassing over 400 million downloads earlier this year, the Cut the Rope franchise (which includes the original game and both a time-traveling and recurring holiday spin-off) remains one of mobile gaming’s biggest hits. Lyalin also admitted to the studio’s surprise over the success of a series of animated shorts starring Om Nom, which has since turned into a successful merchandise line of stuffed toys and branded consumer products.（source：venturebeat）
3）Candy Crush Saga reaches new heights as designer explains its success
Candy Crush Saga has dominated the mobile charts and our finger touches during the past year as the world’s most popular mobile game.
Tommy Palm of King.
It’s a simple “match 3″ game akin to Bejeweled, where you line up three pieces of like-colored candy in a row to trigger a cascade of matches. It’s an addictive game that Time magazine recently profiled as a reason why parents forget to pick up their kids in school.
I interviewed one of its creators, Tommy Palm, via Skype for the Game Monetization USA Summit today about the saga behind the free-to-play game’s. He reported that Candy Crush Saga now has more than 500 million downloads and King itself has more than 282 million monthly active users now. The title has been played more than 150 billion times.
The game has put London-based King, which has studios where Palm works in Stockholm, Sweden, into an enviable spot in the mobile game industry. The company is reportedly getting ready for an initial public offering that could value the company at $5 billion, more than social gaming giant Zynga or Supercell, even though King has considerably fewer employees.
As Time noted, King has the first game that has been No. 1 on iOS, Android, and Facebook at the same time. Think Gaming, which releases gaming analytics, estimates that it takes in $875,382 per day.
Palm addressed some reasons why the game, which has 485 levels, has been so addictive. Among them, Candy Crush makes you wait. We are suckers for sweet talk. You can play with one hand.
There’s always more to play. You don’t have to pay, but if you want to, it’s easy. It taps into your inner child. It’s social. It’s an escape. It grows on you.
Palm also credited the rapid growth of smartphones and tablets. Candy Crush Saga is an offline game that you can play even if you don’t have a data connection, and it won’t kill your battery life either. A lot of other mobile games operate slowly because they rely on the better data connection.
Candy Crush Saga has tutorials that show you how do get better combinations, and it’s accessible. Palm plays it regularly with his mother.
“Most of the levels are not timed, so you can take your time playing it,” Palm said. “It doesn’t consume all of your mental bandwidth.”
It isn’t always in your face, asking you to buy virtual power-ups with real money. But it has leaderboards that encourage you to compete with your friends.
King is now expanding to new places for making games, such as a new studio in Berlin. It’s running TV ads in Japan. It has tons of fans on Facebook, and Palm says King’s games always do better the more social a player is.
But like Zynga and its Ville games, will Candy Crush Saga decline?
“All games have a natural lifespan. It’s been extremely fun to see how long it has gone on. We launched Bubble Witch Saga 2.5 years ago on Facebook, and it is still one of the top titles,” Palm said. “Casual games have great lifespans, we have a never-ending energy in coming up with new boosters and new levels.”
Users who have reached the top levels are like a train that is moving as the tracks are being laid before it. The original Candy Crush Saga team had just three members, but now there are a lot more people doing updates for the game.
Still, King is small, with only 550 employees. Zynga, by contrast, has around 2,300. King’s teams are staying small, so it’s still possible to have conversations between designers, artists, product managers and others.
Palm said that players like being challenged, so the last level in an episode will be the hardest. The game focuses on balancing luck and skill. He said he is proud that King has been cited for having a great working environment for employees.
As for free-to-play, Palm said, “Free-to-play is here to stay. It has been really well incorporated into the game. It’s important to find the balance of not being perceived as greedy but making money as well.”（source：venturebeat）
4）Veteran Square designer Akihiko Yoshida leaves after 18 years
By Mike Rose
Akihiko Yoshida, the veteran video game artist who has designed characters for Square Enix for nearly two decades, has announced his departure from the company in a rather unique manner.
The designer, who joined Square Soft back in 1995 and has worked on titles like Final Fantasy Tactics, Tactics Ogre and Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, announced he is leaving the company via an art book that came with the recently released Bravely Default: For the Sequel in Japan.
‘The Art of Bravely’ art book features a message from Yoshida, as reported by Siliconera, that explains, “This is a personal message of mine, but I’d like to say thank you for all the support these past 18 years. I have decided to leave Square Enix, but I believe our relationship will continue going on.”（source：gamasutra）
5）Two years on, Microsoft Studios Victoria shuts down
By Mike Rose
Nearly two years after Microsoft originally opened a game development studio in Victoria, Canada, the company has now shut the studio down, with around 30 jobs lost according to reports.
Microsoft Studios Victoria was opened at the beginning of 2012 and headed up by Christopher Robertson, although Microsoft did not say at the time what the new studio was working on, nor has it since then.
The company reasoned that Victoria was partway between Vancouver and Seattle, making it the perfect distance from Microsoft’s headquarters. However, nearly two years on the company has now told Times Colonist that it is looking to consolidate its resources.
“This was not an easy decision, but one guided by our desire to centralize development in our Vancouver studios,” it said in a statement. “We are working closely with all employees affected by this change to identify open positions in other studios, and we remain committed to doing business in British Columbia.”
Although Microsoft would not say exactly how many jobs were affected, or how many will be moved over to the Black Tusk studio in Vancouver, the report suggests that at least 30 staffers will be out of work.（source：gamasutra）
6）Americans opened 1.3 billion apps this year on Thanksgiving — a 68% jump
Thanksgiving is apparently the time to open apps as well as eat Turkey.
According to data released today by mobile analytics company Flurry, Americans initiated about 1.3 billion app sessions this year on Thanksgiving, a 68 percent jump from last year. The biggest winners were photo, video, and music apps, up 50 percent. Games were also up about 35 percent, while business and education apps, health and fitness apps, news apps, and travel apps all dropped by 20 percent or more.
In other words, we’re taking pictures, listening to music, playing games, and letting the outside world pass along.
“App usage overall in the U.S. spiked by 25% on Thanksgiving compared to the previous Thursday, and not just as a result of shopping app use,” Flurry data scientist Mary Ellen Gordon posted. “The overall pattern of app usage over the Thanksgiving weekend demonstrates that smartphones and tablets have become the first truly personal computers, changing their function as we change our routines.”
All told, app usage this year was triple the app usage from 2011.
That makes sense, of course: More of us have smartphones, and we’re using apps more often, compared to two years ago. Global smartphone sales just passed the 250 million mark in a single three-month period for the first time last quarter — more than half of the 418 million phones sold worldwide.
And in the U.S., smartphone penetration has passed 62 percent.（source：venturebeat）