观察者称本次价格调整与苹果iTunes Connect服务的定期维护有关，除英澳两国之外，墨西哥、瑞士、日本和挪威等国的App Store也将于近日进行售价调整。据MacStories博客调查所称，苹果App Store在不同地区的产品售价互有区别，例如在墨西哥的应用售价远低于美国，在瑞士和澳大利亚则是美国地区的两倍。
2）谷歌曾于今年5月宣布向网页版Android Market推出趋势分析、热门综合应用排名、热门新付费应用/新免费应用排名等服务，最近又宣布向手机版本Anroid Market开放这些新功能。除此之外，手机用户还可以通过Android Market获取书籍和电影内容。
他还指出，Outfit7最初的定位并非游戏公司，他们本身并非游戏玩家，游戏不是Outfit7的企业基因；他们只想创造能与用户产生情感联系的东西，Outfit7仍将专注于Talking Tom、Talking Ben等应用产品的发展。
5）手机游戏公司Pocket Gems（代表作包括《Tap Zoo》、《Tap Store》、《Tap Pet Hotel》）目前下载量超过4000万次，并称公司游戏已有40周时间位于App Store排行榜前列，今年新增40名成员。
Roth Capital Partners分析师Adam Krejcik表示，PopCap Games被收购是造成这一现象的主因，这证明社交及手机游戏公司对投资者具有相当的吸引力，EA收购PopCap的交易只会抬高PopCap这种级别游戏公司的估值。
7）据Venturebeat报道，Rovio有可能正筹备第二轮融资。在日前的GamesBeat 2011大会上，当主持人问及哪些公司正在融资时，Rovio全球品牌推广主管Wibe Wagemans举手表示他们一直在准备筹集资金。而Rovio投资者Rich Wong却开玩笑表示，他并未听说此事。Wagemans进一步补充称Rovio走的是快速发展路线，他们一直有兴趣筹集更多资金。
8）英国开发商Future Games of London最近推出了一个手机社交游戏平台Future Games Network，为其他开发商提供发行、销售和营销等服务的解决方案。该公司在美国、英国、中国、日本等地已有1800万用户，曾开发《Hungry Shark》、《Pool Club》和《Snooker Club》等iOS游戏。
1） Breaking: Apple Balances International App Store Prices
by Frank Cifaldi
Apple has tweaked the prices of its App Store apps – including games – as part of an update Wednesday, according to online reports, with slight price hikes in the UK complementing price decreases in Australia.
According to UK blog Pocket Gamer, apps have increased in price on a sliding scale: the UK equivalent of $0.99 apps have gone up from 59p to 69p, apps previously £1.19 are now £1.49, and at the higher end, £9.49 apps are now £10.99.
Interestingly, blog The Next Level reports that prices in Australia have gone down — $0.99-equivalent apps including Rovio’s Angry Birds have gone down from $1.19 Australian dollars to $0.99.
The pricing switches come as part of scheduled maintenance that took place today on the company’s iTunes Connect service.
Apple’s maintenance announcement made specific mention of App Store prices for Mexico, Switzerland, Japan and Norway in addition to the above-mentioned countries, meaning those regions may have seen adjustments today as well.
It is well known among international publishers on iTunes and the App Store that relative prices worldwide are off-balance: the average purchase price in Mexico is actually less comparitively than that in the United States, for example.
Meanwhile, prices in regions like Switzerland and Australia can be more than double the equivalent cost in the United States, according to research from blog MacStories.（source:gamasutra）
2）Android Market Makes Its New Grossing, Trending Charts Available on Devices
By Kim-Mai Cutler
The new discovery options Android Market showed off in May are now accessible on devices, not just on the website. This will give developers new access points to consumers in the store with categories for trending, top-grossing, top new paid and top new free apps. Consumers will also be able to read books and get movies too, but that’s less relevant to app developers.
Android Market has undergone two major overhauls this year. One revamp in February gave consumers the ability to download apps on the web and have them automatically transfer over to their devices.
The second revamp presented at Google’s I/O developer conference in May brought the trending, top-grossing, top new paid and top new free apps lists.
Google also added personalized recommendations for apps, akin to what Apple has done with its Genius recommendations in the iOS app store. Google also said it would bring a developers’ list, highlighting the top companies building for the platform and a curated “Editor’s Choice” section.（source:insidemobileapps）
3）Games creator Outfit7 hits 150M downloads, doesn’t want funding
Outfit7 announced at GamesBeat today that they have hit 150M downloads between their iOS and Android offerings. Additionally, they have no interest in receiving funding.
“We get a round of funding every month,” said Outfit7 chief officer Andrej Nabergoj. He means that the profits grossed from in-app purchases are more than enough to sustain Outfit7’s growth.
Goes to show, even with massive, fast-paced growth, you can bootstrap for a long time.
The growth is real. Aside from their downloads total, Outfit7 recently partnered with William Morris Entertainment’s Ari Emanuel, who inspired the HBO Entourage character Ari Gold, to expand their brand into traditional media. Also signed is licensing agency, Beanstalk.
Most interesting is Outfit7’s view of themselves as a gaming company. “We didn’t want to make a game in the first place. We’re not gamers. It’s not our DNA,” said Nabergoj. “We wanted to do something that was really connecting with people on an emotional basis.”
People seem to be connecting like they hope. A couple in Denmark was married by Talking Tom. The app helps a family understand their daughter who has cerebral pualsy utilizing Tom’s high pitched and faster voice. Outift7 is even seeing half a million personal messages being sent using a Talking Friend video as the message content.
“Our characters speak all languages in the world,” explained Nabergoj. It is easy for anyone to connect. In fact, Outfit7’s biggest market is Asia, with the US following as their biggest single market.
Nabergoj hinted that going forward, Outfit7 will focus on Talking Tom, Talking Ben and a third character. Outift7 remains hush hush on the new friend, but says he will be on the Outfit7 mainstage.（source:venturebeat）
4）Rovio: We Could Be Worth ‘North Of Popcap’
by Kyle Orland
While Rovio is not currently seeking a buyout, the company’s VP of franchise development Ville Heijari says the Finland studio could be worth somewhere “north of Popcap” and its recent $750 million purchase by EA.
In an interview with Eurogamer, Heijari said the Angry Birds maker has been approached many times about potential buyouts, but has preferred to focus on “growing this company and moving into different areas of business beyond games.”
While Heijari admitted that every company has its price, he said Rovio has “set the bar pretty high from early on,” a move that has led to no “really relevant discussion of whether somebody is going to buy us.”
If it was to get bought, though, Heijari said Rovio’s value could be “somewhere, I dunno, maybe north of PopCap.”
In the interview, Heijari also fought back against the idea that Rovio is overly dependent on a single game, pointing out that the Angry Birds series has evolved through the Seasons and Rio releases and stressing “a lot of different stuff in the pipepine.”
He also disputed the idea that high market valuations for companies like Popcap and Zynga are the result of a bubble mentality in the mobile/social/casual game spaces.
“I dunno, if the price is right for EA, then it must be right!” he laughed. “These kinds of price tags just go to show that the value is also perceived.”
In March, Rovio chairman Kaj Hed said the company was aiming for a U.S. stock IPO sometime in the next five years.（source:gamasutra）
5）Tap Zoo Maker Pocket Gems Passes 40 Million Downloads Cross-Catalog
by Frank Cifaldi
Games from free-to-play mobile games company Pocket Gems (Tap Zoo, Tap Store, Tap Pet Hotel) have been downloaded over 40 million times, the company said Wednesday.
In addition, the company says it is celebrating other achievements revolving around the number 40, namely that it has held a top 10 position in the App Store’s top grossing charts for 40 weeks, has hired 40 new employees this year, and has had the popular Tap Zoo on the market for 44 weeks.
“We are extremely proud of what we’ve achieved in just under two years,” Daniel Terry, CEO, Pocket Gems, said. “We’ve got a great team, and now that we’ve been able increase our pool of talented people we’re even more excited about what we have in the pipeline to deliver in the coming year.”
San Francisco-based Pocket Gems was founded in 2009. Its six titles for iOS devices have each held prominent spots in the App Store’s top ten.
The company recently secured $5 million from Sequoia Capital and others.（source:gamasutra）
6）Gaming Stocks Up On Popcap Acquisition News
by Kyle Orland
Traders are pushing up the price of major mobile developer Glu Mobile and other gaming companies one day after Electronic Arts announced it would purchase casual developer Popcap games for $750 million.
Share of Glu stock were up over 9 percent to $5.68 just after noon, down slightly from a peak of $5.87 per share earlier in the day, its highest trading price since mid-2008.
Other gaming companies also seem to be seeing an immediate boost: shares in mobile developer Gameloft were up just over 2 percent to $6.85 on the French Stock Exchange today, and NASDAQ shares for casual-focused game-maker Majesco were up 5.67 percent to $3.14
“The acquisition of PopCap Games within the sector is the primary driver,” Roth Capital Partners analyst Adam Krejcik told Reuters. “It further validates the interest and value in social and mobile gaming companies and the multiples companies are willing to pay for.”
“This transaction only heightens speculation for peer companies of PopCap,” he continued.（source:gamasutra）
7）Updated: Is Angry Birds maker Rovio in the process of raising more funding?
[Update: Another audience member also asked if Rovio was raising money, to which a representative of the company said it was serious about raising money.]
Angry Birds maker Rovio might be in the process of raising another round of funding.
When asked what companies were raising money, Rovio’s head of global brand advertising Wibe Wagemans raised his hand. When asked whether the company was raising money on stage, he said the company was always looking for funding.
“That’s news to me,” joked Accel partner and Rovio investor Rich Wong.
And when a member of the audience went up to ask Wagemans if he was serious about raising money, he said the company was serious. The whole hoopla went down at a presentation at the GamesBeat 2011 conference in San Francisco, Calif., today.
“We’re in fast growth mode, so we’re always on the lookout for good money,” Wagemans said. “We’re always interested.”
Angry Birds is a popular game on mobile devices where players fling birds at structures to try to destroy pigs. It started on smartphones like the iPhone and on tablets like the iPad. It has since expanded to a large number of other platforms like web browsers and TV boxes that are powered by operating systems like Android.
The company finished raising its last round of money – $42 million — in March this year. Rovio has been expanding through 2010 and 2011 and currently has 50 employees in Finland.（source:venturebeat）
8）Future Games of London launches 18 million-strong game network to aid indie studios
by Keith Andrew
Tapping into its userbase of 18 million people spread across 77 different countries, including including USA, UK, China, Japan and Hong Kong, UK developer Future Games of London has launched a network designed to aid fellow studios.
The appropriately named Future Games Network intends to provide services in all areas bar publishing, including both distribution and marketing solutions.
Hands on, hands off
The developer has been able to foster success of its own with iOS releases such as Hungry Shark, Pool Club and Snooker Club – experience it now believes it can put to good use.
“We’ll essentially be acting as agents, not publishers, allowing our developer partners to retain and control their IP rights and responsibilities,” said MD Ian Harper.
“The aim of FGN is to support our partners’ fantastic games with heavy promotion that would be prohibitively expensive by other means.”
Using the network is free upfront, with FGOL taking a cut of sales, minus what it calls “legitimately incurred costs such as marketing, porting, etc”.（source:pocketgamer）
9）InMobi: 78 Percent Of Mobile Ads In North America Are On Smartphones
Mobile ads in North America are reaching an inflection point. In the second quarter of 2011, 78 percent of total mobile ad impressions on ad network InMobi were on smartphones (as opposed to older feature phones), up from 67 percent in the first quarter, according to a new report it is putting out. “We expect 90% of ads by end of Q4 on a smart platform,” says VP of global research and marketing James Lamberti. And half of those ads will be inside apps.
Total mobile ad impressions in the U.S. grew 40 percent, driven by the 65 percent growth in smartphone ads. Globally, the percentage of smartphone ads was much smaller, only 38 percent, up from 32 percent in the first quarter.
InMobi, which served 18.7 billion mobile ads in North America in the second quarter, also reports on the breakdown by OS. Android leads with 33.2 percent, but it lost share to iOS which grew to 29.3 percent (RIM has 13.9 percent, also down). In January, Android had 37 percent share and iOS had 23 percent. （source:techcrunch）