每日观察：关注Cygames游戏《Rage of Bahamut》（4.26）
3）据AllThingsD报道，CrowdStar首席执行官Peter Relan在最采访中表示，他们会继续运营《Happy Aquarium》等原先推出的Facebook游戏，但不会再发布新款PC端的Facebook游戏，CrowdStar将把100%的精力集中于移动平台。
4）据gamesbrief报道，由三人全职团队投入5万美元开发的《Design This Home》这款游戏最近晋升至英国、加拿大、澳大利亚及爱尔兰iOS应用营收榜单第5名，DAU达30万，“在全球每月创收100万美元”。
5）据pocketgamer报道，DeNA日前宣布由日本网页游戏开发商Cygames向Mobage平台推出的硬核游戏《Rage of Bahamut》最近在美国Google Play应用营收榜单登顶。
Kabam旗下手机游戏《Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the North》上线首月就突破100万次下载量，或将通过本次合作入驻Mobage平台；而Nimblebit新款航空模拟游戏《Pocket Planes》也将于今年夏天通过Mobage登陆Android平台。
8）据Techcrunch报道，Michael Arrington最近宣称Facebook正与HTC合作开发定制化的Android智能手机，该设备将针对Facebook独家研发，绑定所有的Facebook功能，但可能会排除Google Play、Gmail和Google Maps等功能，预计最早将于2012年第三季度发布。
9）苹果全球营销高级副总裁Philip Schiller日前宣布，苹果2011年全球开发者大会（简称WWDC 2012）将于6月11至15日在旧金山Moscone West中心举行（游戏邦注：该大会门票售价为1599美元，但门票已经售謦）。
1）Tablet sales to top 760M worldwide by 2016, and a third will be iPads
According to Forrester Research, tablets are rapidly becoming the primary device of choice for millions of people around the world. Sales of tablet computers in 2016 are predicted to hit 375 million, and 760 million tablets could be in use worldwide. Compared to the 56 million tablets purchased worldwide in 2011, that’s a compound annual-growth rate of 46 percent.
According to the report, Apple’s iPad, which notably created the tablet market just two years ago, will represent one-third of all tablet purchases by 2016. Meanwhile, Google’s Android operating system will actually see a net decline in market share due to the launch of Microsoft Windows 8. However, according to Forrester, Microsoft’s new tablet OS won’t really start taking off until 2014 because Microsoft will need time to create a fully captivating Windows Metro experience for its users.
So what will happen to all those PCs? Frank Gillett from Forrester had the following to say about desktops and laptops:
Our casual estimate is that there will be 2 billion PCs in use by 2016, despite growing tablet sales. That’s because tablets only partially cannibalize PCs. Eventually tablets will slow laptop sales but increase sales of desktop PCs. That’s because many people, especially information workers, will still need conventional PCs for any intensely creative work at a desk that requires a large display or significant processing power.
In order to address the lack of processing power in tablets, Forrester predicts a new consumer electronics device its calling a “Frame,” which is essentially a docking station for your tablet. These frames will give tablets increased power and more features, such as the ability to link up to TVs and other devices around the house.
Forrester also predicts that the majority of tablets have a three-year lifespan for most consumers, which will help fuel tablet sales starting in 2014. Of the 760 million tablets in use globally by 2016, one-third of them will be purchased by businesses, and 40 percent of sales will come from emerging markets.（source:venturebeat）
2）Tablet ownership in the West to triple by 2013, says report
by Tom Curtis
A new market report from analyst firm Futuresource Consulting predicts tablet sales will see a significant increase in the United States and Western Europe over next few years, with overall consumer ownership increasing by as much as 200 percent.
Futuresource reports that tablets reached an install base of nearly 52 million units in the consumer market by the end of 2011, and it expects that number to increase three-fold to 152 million units by 2013, with the majority of that growth occurring within the U.S.
Tablets are also becoming an increasingly important force in the app market, and according to the report, these platforms made up roughly 10 percent of all mobile app downloads in 2011 — this percentage is on track to double by 2016.
In addition, Futuresource notes that tablet owners are more likely to pay for apps than smartphone users, making that platform a particularly lucrative market for game and app development.
In terms of the divide between Apple’s iPad and competing tablet platforms, Futuresource predicts that Android manufacturers like Samsung, Amazon, and Asus will begin to catch up to Apple within the next few years, and produce devices that close the gap between iOS and Android platforms.（source:gamasutra）
3）Major social developer CrowdStar abandons Facebook for mobile
by Tom Curtis
When Facebook emerged as a viable game platform a few years ago, the California-based CrowdStar was among the first studios to find success on the social network. Things have changed quite a bit, however, as today the company revealed that is has decided to abandon Facebook in order to focus on making games for mobile devices.
In a recent interview with tech site AllThingsD, CrowdStar CEO Peter Relan said, “We are maintaining the old games, like Happy Aquarium, but we don’t build new Facebook PC games any more — we are 100 percent focused on mobile.”
He added that in 2011, 90 percent of CrowdStar’s revenue came from Facebook, though that ratio has shifted over the past several months, and by the end of 2012 Relan expects mobile games to make up the vast majority of Crowdstar’s revenue.
While the CEO didn’t explain why his company has moved away from Facebook altogether, its social games on the platform have certainly suffered a decline in performance as CrowdStar moved into the mobile realm.
Just a few years ago, the company sat among the top three Facebook developers in terms of monthly active users, right alongside current giants like Zynga and PlayFish. Today, however, the company doesn’t even make the top 10.
Over on the mobile side, things have fared a bit better — CrowdStar’s teen focused iOS game Social Girl (pictured) saw a successful launch in December, and the company has built up its mobile offerings with games like Top Girl, Tower Town, and more.
Given its shift away from Facebook, however, CrowdStar has seemingly abandoned the “Project Trident” initiative it introduced in October, which divided CrowdStar’s business into three key realms: Global markets, mobile games, and Facebook.（source:gamasutra）
4）A $50k IOS game grossing $1m per month
Tweet Have you heard of Design This Home? I hadn’t.
But it’s in the top 5 of the Top Grossing Apps in the UK, Canada, Australia and Ireland, with 300,000 DAUs and is “set to gross $1m per month worldwide”.
Not bad for a game made by three full-time team members and a cost of around $50,000.
I’m not sure how they got to the position, but the company has other apps with a total of 10 million installs, so I’m guessing that there was a heavy element of cross-promotion from other apps. If you you know how they grew, do let me know.（source:gamesbrief）
5）Despite less than 500k downloads, Rage of Bahamut shows high ARPU, tops US Google Play grossing chart
by Jon Jordan
Card-battling games have been all the rage for Japanese mobile players during the past year, and now companies are trying to push the genre global.
For example, GREE’s first US-developed free-to-play game was the card-based (if not true card-battler) Zombie Jombie.
And arch-rival DeNA admitted during its Q2 earning call that it had missed out on the trend in terms of its first party development.
However, it’s now basking in the news that Rage of Bahamut, which was originally developed by Japanese outfit Cygames for browsers, and released on DeNa’s Mobage platform as an app, has reached the top of Google Play’s top grossing chart in the US.
It has over one million players in Japan and according to Google Play is in the 100,000 – 500,000 download category (at time of writing).
This suggests it’s generating much higher than average ARPU. Perhaps it’s not surprising given its hardcore audience, and that something which will encourage the glut of social mobile publishers – Machine Zone, Kabam, Funzio etc – who are looking to target this niche audience.
“Rage of Bahamut demonstrates that Japanese developers’ expertise in social games can be applied effectively overseas,” said Isao Moriyasu, DeNA’s president.
“The success that the title has achieved also shows that a browser-based game can generate a remarkable average revenue per user in the West with the right game design and the savvy in introducing apps to the marketplace.”
Neil Young, CEO of US subsidiary ngmoco, added, “We are carefully looking at titles that can successfully cross over East and West territories and selectively introducing games on Mobage that have the right ingredients.”（source:pocketgamer）
6）Kabam and Nimblebit to add to the Mobage network this summer
By Josh Wittenkeller
If you thought DeNA’s deal with Disney was their last big expansion, you’d better think again. With recent announcements from both Kabam and Nimblebit in partnership with the DeNA-owned Mobage social gaming network, one of Android’s largest social gaming services is bound to get even larger.
The Mobage network, already home to Android hits like Tiny Tower, Ninja Royale, and Skyfall, just announced a partnership with Kabam that would bring new titles to the network this summer.
“We are focused on selecting the best-in-breed games for the diverse Mobage catalog,” said Neil Young, CEO, ngmoco and director, DeNA. “We have been impressed with Kabam’s success with hardcore social games on the web and iOS and are excited to partner with them to bring some of their biggest franchises to Android.”
Kabam’s recent foray into the mobile market with Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the North has been incredibly successful, with over one million downloads in its first month of availability. With the Kingdoms of Camelot franchise at nearly 20 million users, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the series finding a new home in the Mobage kingdom soon.
In addition to building new relationships, it seems Mobage’s current partners are here to stay as well. Nimblebit, creators of the multi-million seller Tiny Tower, have announced that their upcoming airline sim Pocket Planes will be swooping in to Android devices courtesy of Mobage this Summer.
By both attracting new faces and retaining the trust of old ones, Mobage seems to be in perfect position to make a huge impact. Their over 25 million user base continues to grow, allowing ngmoco to support their platform with superior connectivity support.
So, what’s next? With DeNA’s constant growth, it likely won’t be long before Mobage starts to make as big an impact on iOS as it has on Android.（source:gamezebo）
7）UDID ban could reduce developer ad revenues by 24 per cent
by Tim Green
True cost of Apple restrictions revealed.
Apple has outlawed some apps that use the unique device identifier, or UDID, in response to concerns about consumer privacy.
This has left developers with a choice to make about how best to track consumer behaviour in order to maximise the effectiveness of ads – and thereby increase revenue.
Now, a report by MoPub says mobile ad impressions without UDID bring in 24 per cent less revenue than those that use it.
It also found publisher inventory with UDIDs that were sent to advertisers earned an average eCPM of 0.76 cents, compared to 0.58 cents for those ad impressions without the unique device identification.
All very alarming for developers, especially those using free ad-funded models. Of course, there are alternatives to UDID and many developers are exploring them, but many more are continuing to use UDID data until Apple’s position is clear.（source:mobile-ent）
8）The Facebook Phone Rumor Is Back
Once upon a time Michael Arrington broke the news that Facebook was developing its own phone. That was in 2010. However in a followup interview with TechCrunch, Mark Zuckerberg killed the notion, saying they’re pursuing a horizontal strategy that will put a social layer on top of existing platforms. “We’re not trying to compete with Apple or the Droid or any other hardware manufacturer for that matter,” he said.
But now, two years later, that strategy may have changed.
A new report hit today stating that Facebook and HTC are co-developing a customized Android smartphone. This phone, said to be developed exclusively for Facebook, would integrate all of the social network’s functions into the mobile platform. Per unnamed industry sources, the device would launch at the earliest in the third quarter of 2012.
Since Arrington’s first post on the device, such a phone has yet to hit the market even though Facebook has worked closely with HTC and INQ on phones with deep Facebook integration. But those were underpowered Android phones with Facebook buttons and not devices Facebook would want to champion. Then, late last year, a new report rekindled the Facebook Phone fire.
The mobile landscape has changed drastically since Zuckerberg shot down our initial report. Smartphones are now outselling feature phones in key markets. Android is the dominant mobile platform and the cost of quality hardware has dropped. Plus, and perhaps the most importantly, the Amazon Kindle Fire has shown that you do not need Google services to be a success.
Today’s report seems to suggest that the so-called Facebook Phone would use a completely customized Android OS. There’s a real possibility that HTC and Facebook will opt for a complete reskinning of the OS, thus forgoing Google services such as Google Play, Gmail, and Google Maps. That might be a deal breaker for some potential buyers, but the Facebook brand is arguably as strong as Google’s. A proper Facebook Phone can standalone.
HTC’s latest handsets show that the manufacturer has upped its game. The hardware is spectacular and HTC’s Sense 4.0 Android overlay is equally as impressive. HTC has the goods to build an industry-leading handset. If this phone really exists, it’s set to be something special.
The latest report states that this phone will not come out prior to the third quarter. Even that target might be optimistic. Given this rumor’s track record, it’s probably best not to delay a phone purchase to hold out for this device.（source:techcrunch）
9）Apple announces WWDC 2012 will kick off 11 June in San Francisco
by Jon Jordan
Following its stellar Q2 figures, Apple has followed up, announcing its 2012 Worldwide Developers Conference.
The annual event is once again being held at the Moscone West center in San Francisco from 11 – 15 June.
Focused on providing Apple developers with technical sessions on its iOS and OS X platforms, there’s already speculation that the company will be announcing a new iPhone alongside iOS 6.
Some are also hoping to get information about its much-rumoured TV push.
Place to learn
“We have a great WWDC planned this year and can’t wait to share the latest news about iOS and OS X Mountain Lion with developers,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s SVP of worldwide marketing.
“The iOS platform has created an entirely new industry with fantastic opportunities for developers across the country and around the world.”
As well as more than 100 technical sessions, there will be more than 1,000 Apple staff running hands-on labs. The conference also runs the Apple Design Awards.
No doubt, tickets (costing $1599) have already sold out, but all technical sessions will be available on the Apple Developer website.（source:pocketgamer）
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