1）据gamezebo报道，越南手机游戏开发者Dong Nguyen日前通过Twitter发布的信息指出，他将把当前的热门游戏《Flappy Bird》（游戏邦注：它在过去2周的下载量已空破5000万次，跻身iOS和Google Play免费应用榜单第一名，日收益高达5万美元）从应用商店中移除，但却并未透露具体原因，仅表示此举无关法律问题，也并不打算出售《Flappy Bird》，他目前仍在制作游戏。
有人认为，该游戏空前的成功成了Dong Nyguyen不堪承受的压力，在此之前他曾请求媒体不要再骚扰他。但也有观察者指出，Dong Nguyen此举并非源于成功的压力，但很可能是因为担心这款游戏借鉴任天堂《马里奥》游戏灵感这一行为可能会被追究法律责任。
3）据gamasutra报道，在Polygon最近针对《街头霸王II》的开发者专访中，制作人Yoshiki Okamoto认为该游戏的成功很大程度上要归结于其设计师Akira Nishitani的功劳，他称Nishitani是一个天才，也很善于分析和研究游戏，这一点令他大为意外，并且改变了他对游戏设计的看法。
7）据gamasutra报道，谷歌Niantic Labs副总裁John Hanke近日宣布谷歌计划在明年向开发者开放现实世界的地图数据。他确认了谷歌将在2014年与特定的开发者合作，使用地理数据开发游戏，并将在2015年公开发布与此相关的完善API这一消息。
在2013年10月份，Niantic Labs产品经理Brandon Badger谈到谷歌开发《Ingress》这款增强现实手机游戏的项目时，曾经提到谷歌将创造一个允许开发者根据玩家所在地开发游戏的API，支持玩家使用现实地理数据发送信息或沟通。（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）Say goodbye to Flappy Bird: Creator says he’s taking the game down
By Jim Squires
If you haven’t gotten around to downloading Flappy Bird yet, you’d better get on that. By this time tomorrow, the app will be gone.
Creator Dong Nguyen broke the news on Twitter less than an hour ago. While no specific reason has been given, it seems as though the overwhelming success/press coverage/hatred that the game has seen over the last few weeks has broken the man down completely.
“I am sorry Flappy Bird users. 22 hours from now, I will take Flappy Bird down,” says Nguyen. “I just cannot take this anymore.”
In the tweets that followed, Nguyen goes on to say that it’s not related to any legal issues, he’s not looking to sell Flappy Bird, and that he still makes games.
I suppose that overwhelming success really is overwhelming.
Considering that Ngyuen has previously asked to be left alone and hasn’t been terribly quick to grant press interviews, it really does seem like the game is taking its toll on him. Still — $50,000 a day can buy an awful lot of therapy.
In a market where developers are constantly struggling for success, walking away from a #1 phenomenon seems like madness. Having said that, the game is still live right now – and it’s always possible that Dong might change his mind (or could even just be pulling our leg).
Here’s what I think: If I were Dong Nguyen, I’d be doing the same thing. Not because of the pressure, mind you, but because of the blatant “inspiration” the game draws from Nintendo. He says there isn’t a legal issue forcing him to remove the game yet, and I believe him – but I also think he must know that it’s only a matter of time. Don’t be surprised if you see the game disappear tomorrow and then reappear a few weeks down the road with a fresh, non Mario-inspired, coat of paint.（source：gamezebo）
2）In-app ads fastest growing sector of mobile advertising
Someday we may live in a world where ads aren’t pesky, interruptive distractions.
Spending on in-app advertising is expected to reach $17 billion by 2018, according to a report by Juniper Research. This amount is up dramatically from the $3.5 billion spent in 2013, and makes in-app advertising the fastest growing sector of the mobile advertising market.
Mobile advertising, to put it simply, is where the money is.
Juniper predicted in October that mobile advertising will grow over 300 percent to $40 billion over the next five years. Facebook went from almost no mobile revenue, to a whopping 41 percent of its revenue coming from mobile apps, and a third of Google’s paid clicks are now on mobile devices.
Screen Shot 2014-01-06 at 1.07.17 PMWithin the world of mobile advertising, experts view in-app advertising as the future. App ad company MediaBrix found that in-app ads can yield 20 percent engagement and 2,000% higher click-through. Consumers would rather see ads than pay for apps, however banner ads are easy to ignore, and interruptive ads are irritating.
In-app advertising is [ideally] more effective because it enables advertisers to target people with the right ad at the right time — capturing their attention without being annoying, encouraging interaction, giving them greater control over the situation.
As VentureBeat’s John Koetsier put it, we like ads don’t suck, fit into our current context, and give us something we want. Shocking.
Juniper said advancements in “rich media ads” (meaning ads that expand when users click or roll over them, and provide interactive content) have contributed to the growth of in-app ads.
Rich media ad spend is expected to surpass display ad spend by 2018.
Another factor here is improved targeting capabilities.
The report’s author Sian Rowlands said that there is a clear trend towards “utilizing location-based advertising to drive greater relevance.” Advertisers and ad networks now have the ability to collect and process large amounts of consumer data, and quickly leverage that information into a targeted ad.
Finally, Juniper argues that tablets will “propel” spending on in-app ads. According to the report, smartphones currently account for around 70% of in-app adspend. CPMs (cost per 1,000 impressions) are higher with tablets than smartphones, particularly for rich media ads, and by 2018, the tablet/smartphone adspend split will be 50/50.（source：venturebeat）
3）How the genius of Street Fighter II’s game designer made it a hit
By Christian Nutt
“[Nishitani] is a genius, and he’s also great at analyzing and studying games… That really surprised me and changed the way I thought about game design.”
- Street Fighter II producer Yoshiki Okamoto
Polygon has today published a massive retrospective on influential fighting game Street Fighter II which clocks in at 18,000 words and features over 20 new interviews with developers who worked on the title.
For his part, producer Yoshiki Okamoto chalks up a lot of the game’s success to its designer, Akira Nishitani:
“[Nishitani] is a genius, and he’s also great at analyzing and studying games. At one point, I saw him spending time analyzing why it was so difficult to pull off a Shoryuken [special move] in the original Street Fighter — it’s really difficult to perform the command, but it inflicts a lot of damage if you do it right. And everybody just had that idea that a Shoryuken was tough to pull off but when you did it was very powerful. But Nishitani said, ‘It doesn’t have to be like that. If you could make it easier to perform, it would make the game look cooler and be less about luck.’ That really surprised me and changed the way I thought about game design,” says Okamoto.
Of course, the original Street Fighter is but a historical footnote, but its sequel reached unparalleled heights of popularity at the time of its release.（source：gamasutra）
4）World of Warcraft adds 200,000 subscribers after months of losses
The bleeding has stopped.
World of Warcraft is no longer losing monthly subscribers. The king of subscription-based online games is now holding steady at 7.8 million monthly paying members. That’s up 200,000 from the 7.6 subscribers the game boasted in November.
Blizzard’s beloved massively multiplayer online role-playing game is one of the few major subscription-based games that has millions of subscribers. Even while it is on a downward trend, the game is still one of the most successful titles on the market in terms of revenue thanks to its remaining subscribers.
In late 2010, World of Warcraft’s paying members peaked at 12 million. Since then, it has seen a steady decline.
Due to that decline, World of Warcraft’s is seeing diminished earnings for Activision’s bottom line. The publisher’s revenues through PC subscriptions, which World of Warcraft is a big chunk of, were down from $1.071 billion in 2012 to $805 million in 2013. That’s a 25 percent decrease year-over year.
Blizzard was working on an MMO successor to World of Warcraft tentatively called Titan. In May, GamesBeat reported that the company had decided to can the work it had put into the project so far and restart from scratch. The project is now not due to surface until 2016.
In the meantime, Blizzard is exploring the free-to-play sector with games like its recently launched collectible-card game Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft and the upcoming multiplayer online battler Heroes of the Storm.（source：venturebeat）
5）AR market to be worth $1.2B by 2015, thanks to games
By Mike Rose
Thanks to the ongoing uprise of augmented reality video games, the AR market will hit total worldwide revenues of $1.2 billion by 2015, up from $180 million in 2013.
That’s according to a new report from Juniper Research. The research firm says that games are the largest factor in this market explosion — games accounted for more than 40 percent of AR downloads in 2013, and the firm says this can only increase in the foreseeable future.
And Juniper forecasts that AR revenues won’t stop there. Within 5-6 years, the company believes that annual AR revenues from all potential sectors, including games, lifestyle applications, enterprise and general entertainment apps, will each see in excess of $1 billion in revenue, making the AR market rather significant.
Revenues will be primarily driven by apps and games on smartphones and tablets, continues the report, although wearable AR devices like Google Glass and Samsung’s rumored smart glasses will provide “considerable potential for AR app monetization” for developers.
In terms of people utilizing AR apps and games, Juniper estimates that by 2018 there will be around 200 million AR users. （source：gamasutra）
6）Empathy: ‘The super-tool that helps you in game development’
By Christian Nutt
“I’m here today to talk to you about caring,” Robin Hunicke — developer on The Sims franchise, Glitch, and the wildly successful Journey — told the audience at the D.I.C.E. Summit today.
She called empathy “the super-tool that helps you in game development.”
“We spent a lot of time on Journey thinking about the people who were going to play our game, and the experience they were going to have. We wanted it to be genuine and authentic.”
She said that the team at Thatgamecompany “wanted it to provide real value” to players. And so they did: The game won tons of awards, critical and financial success, and importantly to Hunicke, many fans who were deeply touched by the game.
“What does [real value] mean? Caring about the people who will experience your game. Instead of thinking them as eyeballs and downloads and installs, or even a walking wallet, you’re thinking of that person — that customer — as people. People like you. Maybe even your friends and family.”
Hunicke said that “in this act, we are only limited by our imagination — our ability to imagine those people as people we genuinely care about.”
And there’s good reason to do so: “Games made by people who care about people are the ones that people talk about,” said Hunicke. “They’re the ones that go viral,” she said, with “huge success out of scale of their marketing budgets or their teams.” Her examples? Broken Age, Gone Home, and League of Legends.
Lately, Hunicke has been collaborating with Keita Takahashi, the creator of the Katamari Damacy franchise, on a new game — which has taught her much, she said. “This game is about people, people of all shapes and sizes learning to connect with each other to make the world a better place.” This is important, she said, because “it’s about when you learn to care about people and see them as people like you that you have a better time in life. You are less concerned about the things we think as grown-up, and relate to the world more like a child.”
Building games with empathy for the audience, she said, means that “you can reach people who aren’t like you. And you can evangelize to them without talking about features or a specific genre.” Said Hunicke, “You should appeal to something deeper than the level of mechanics: feelings.” （source：gamasutra）
7）Google sharing map data with game developers, releasing full API by 2015
By Alex Wawro
Newsbrief: Google’s Vice President of Niantic Labs John Hanke announced today that Google plans to make its trove of real-world map data available to game developers within the next year.
The announcement was part of Hanke’s DICE Summit talk about Google’s augmented reality mobile game Ingress. During the talk Hanke confirmed that Google will be working with a select group of developers in 2014 to build games using geographic data culled from Ingress, with a full API expected to release to the public in 2015.
This confirms some of what Niantic Labs product manager Brandon Badger told us last October about Google’s plans for Ingress, which included crafting an API that allows developers to build games that could change based on where the player is located, allow players to send messages or otherwise communicate using real-world geography, and more. （source：gamasutra）