Posts Tagged ‘iPad’

Mobile gaming heats up with Exent’s GameTanium service for Android

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

As the gaming industry begins to include more and more mobile devices in the mix, gamers are clamoring for PC and/or console conveniences. One such convenience is gaming on demand, which, until now, most mobile devices have fallen short on. Exent is stepping in to meet this demand with their GameTanium for Android service. GameTanium is the first and only games on demand service offered for Android gamers, giving them unlimited, 24/7 access to over 100 Android games – all at one flat monthly date.

“Gamers can finally feed their APPetites with unlimited play of the world’s best games at their fingertips, no matter where they are,” stated Christina Kuzma, CMO of Exent. “We are excited to introduce the GameTanium service on Android. As we expand multi-platform support, users will be able to enjoy 24/7 gameplay on virtually any device of their choosing.”

The GameTanium for Android provides unlimited access to top shelf Android games, with new titles added on a weekly basis. Exent is promoting their expertise in merchandising and monetizing as a vehicle to help users find the games they want to play. Featured content, ratings, recommendations, and a massive collection of video trailers are amongst the tools employed to deliver gamers’ choices. How this ties into merchandising and monetization…remains to be seen.

Another way to think of GameTanium is via the subscription model. The “Flat monthly fee,” can be re-branded as subscription, thus allowing gamers this unlimited access to top titles. When the service launches this coming February, Exent will offer gamers a seven day free trial, and will employ PayPal for billing. Plans are under way to roll the service out to several other platforms and devices, including tablets (read:iPad) in early 2011. If Android arrives in February, and Exent is promising an “early 2011” delivery for other devices…are they just around the corner?

One of the most promising services offered by Exent’s GameTanium is the seamless, cross device gaming experience. Meaning, if you’re playing a title on your Android device during the commute, once you arrive at home, you can simply swap to your tablet device without losing a moment of gameplay.

Interested parties can have a view of Exent’s mobile gaming technologies at the upcoming Mobile World Congress this coming February 14-17 in Barcelona, Spain, or visiting their Play Anywhere demo.

 

Q3 sees record results for Apple

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Announced earlier this week, Apple reported their financial results for Q3 2010. In total, the company saw a record $15.7 billion in revenue, resulting in a net quarterly profit of $3.25 billion. When viewed from a YoY perspective, these numbers compare to $9.72 billion, with a net quarterly profit of $1.83 billion.

apple_moneyBreaking it down by products sold, Apple’s numbers look like so:

  • 3.47 million Macs were sold in Q3 2010 – this is a new quarterly record for Apple, and a 33 percent YoY increase
  • 8.4 million iPhones moved out the door in Q3 – a massive 61 percent increase in Year over Year growth.
  • 9.4 million iPods also found new homes – an 8 percent decline, however, remember that each iPhone sold includes iPod functionality inside.
  • 3.27 million iPads left the Apple warehouses – while the company only began offering the device to selected markets late in Q3.

Apple also notes that over half of corporate revenues arriving from international sales, clearly indicating that it’s not just The United States inhabitants that love Apple.

“It was a phenomenal quarter that exceeded our expectations all around, including the most successful product launch in Apple’s history with iPhone 4,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “iPad is off to a terrific start, more people are buying Macs than ever before, and we have amazing new products still to come this year.”

“We’re really pleased to have generated over $4 billion of cash during the quarter,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO. “Looking ahead to the fourth fiscal quarter of 2010, we expect revenue of about $18 billion and we expect diluted earnings per share of about $3.44″

The Apple Q3 financial results call can be listened to here, and will remain online for the next two weeks.

If there was any question about Apple’s dominance in today’s computing world, these Q3 results should quell any ney-sayers. And while Apple’s news alone is quite outstanding, I personally would love to know what percentage of these record breaking results arrived via Apple’s cut of all app, and their associated downloadable content, sales. With 21.07 million devices capable of app installations (assuming the iPods are all of the Touch variety), not only is that in itself a massive chunk of cash, but thanks to the longevity of the potential revenue streams derived from all app store purchases, these Q3 numbers are, in fact, much larger than they appear.

 

Zynga poised to release iPhone, iPad, and Android versions of FarmVille

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Spotted by the eagle-eyed folks at Superannuation, the URL’s FarmVilleiPad.com, FarmVilleiPhone.com, and FarmVilleAndroid.com have recently been snatched up. Three guesses as to who the registrant it.

FarmVille_iPadFair enough, trick question, as Zynga was not specifically named as the registrants of these domains, Superannuation did confirm that whomever purchased the above mentioned URL’s also registered FarmVille.com. Connecting the dots between the two isn’t that far of a leap. Also of interest, FarmVilleSMS.com was also registered, further implicating Zynga, as one of their few mobile gaming apps, Mafia Wars, also functions and can be played via SMS.

There’ve been no leaks in the way of screenshots or other media (the above image is merely speculation), so at this point it’s up in the air as to what the interface and gameplay will look like. Given the wide and rising popularity of ngmoco’s ‘We Rule’, a free-to-play strategy/farming game for iPhone, again, not a giant leap to guess that Zynga would approach the gameplay in a similar manner.

This mobile version of FarmVille would be Zynga’s entry to the iPad and Android market. While the above mentioned ngmoco, by contrast, has been heavily invested and committed to the iPhone mobile gaming platform, Zynga has has their own reservations. Just shy of one year prior, Zynga head honcho Mark Pincus commented to PocketGamer.biz, “…the jury’s still out on how well the platform is going to monetize.” This was pre-OS 3.0/microtransactions, and it looks like someone is obviously changing their tune.

And although FarmVille has enjoyed massive success on Facebook, it should be interesting if they can light the same fire on mobile gaming devices. 9 month ago, I would have said, “Baby, Light my Fire.” However, given Zynga’s proverbial dragging of the feet to get into the game, they’re already a step behind what other games developers have been working on for quite some time now.

 

Apple iPhone OS 4 – Game Changer?

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Last Thursday, Apple capitalized on the buzz surrounding their newest device, the iPad, with an announcement of a “coming soon” OS 4.0 for the companies’ popular iPhone device. The iPad runs on a modified version of this operating system. While the word on the street was all about the multitasking, the lesser discussed inclusion in the 4.0 OS is Apple’s Game Center.

The Game Center is Apple’s introduction of a social gaming network that will reside within the mobile device. In other words, think about the social (and associated purchasing options) features that consoles such as the Xbox 360 and PS3 offer, but all on the go. The Game Center will allow for friend invites, a number of multiplayer game options, as well as leaderboards and matchmaking features.

While Apple has previously stated that they’re serious about games, particularly in regard to the iPhone, this is Cupertino’s first rock solid “above and beyond” feature that definitively backs this statement up. Clearly, this is Apple’s attempt not only to bring gamers together, and presumably push more product, but also to cut in on the action that Facebook has been enjoying for quite some time now.

While the details in Thursday’s announcement were vague at best (possibly contributing to the lack of buzz), the beta release of the OS is slated to include a preview of the Game Center for developers, and include a set of APIs, thus allowing devs to start taking advantage of the newest features offered.

And since the iPad is already running a very similar OS, it’s not a far leap to assume that iPad owners’ behaviors and usage patterns would be similar to iPhone users’. Low and behold, a look at some initial demographics back this theory up. Clearly Games are dominating both of Apple’s portable devices. Now throw some social matching making and friend connections in there, and the avalanche of dollars is poised and ready.
ipadstatistics_april10

And now for the bad.

In theory, Apple’s Game Center is amazing, and should open up hundreds, if not thousands of new opportunities for not only games developers, but developers of all apps. That is, however, if you’re welling to write them all in C/C++/Objective-C. This tiny little snipped, aka clause 3.3.1, has already sparked a debate, with points and counterpoints coming from Jobs himself.

The problem herein, is that a vast majority of today’s games run on a third party engine. And while Apple says that they want to get into the game of games, already limiting the ways and means of getting into the club is a bit counter productive. Yes, developers will bend to Apple’s mighty ways, as they are the keeper of the proverbial castle, but it does show a bit of their obtuseness and arrogance, especially when trying to cater to a crowd that’s traditionally been PC or none-at-all based.

 

Gameloft launches eight iPad specific titles

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

With the Apple iPad making it’s triumphant splash on the market, it’s time to take a look at the social games developers that are undoubtedly lining up in droves to cash in. One such games maker is Gameloft, who last Friday announced not one, not two, but eight specific titles that are ready and waiting for new iPad users to dive right into.

Gameloft iPad

Keeping in mind that the iPad is (arguably) just a giant iPod Touch, at least in respect to the (modified) operating system, games developers are poised to make a killing with social apps. Remember, the current iPhone OS incorporates microtransactions, as does the iPad. While there’s no specific mention of microtransactions in Gameloft’s releases, a number of them are ripe for the option. Gameloft’s lineup includes: N.O.V.A. Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance, Modern Combat: Sandstorm, Dungeon Hunter, Asphalt 5, UNO, NFL 2010, Let’s Golf, and Real Football 2010.

Currently, Gameloft is riding the “new” wave, capitalizing on a number of the iPad’s unique interface. Noting that the screen resolution of the iPad is 1024 x 768 (remember that one?), HD gaming has now come to the portable platform. All of Gameloft’s iPad specific applications have a much higher level of detail. For example, their Real Football 2010 has been completely remastered to include HD resolution grass, textures, characters, and animations.

Likewise, Gameloft’s N.O.V.A. Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance App utilizes the iPad’s control features, allowing users to open an airlock door by rotating three fingers, as well as sliding buttons to make various object move, elevators for example.

Where Gameloft expects the iPad to excel is in level of complexity now available. That’s not to say that a number of iPhone apps are not highly detailed, but rather the more powerful iPad allows for greater flexibility. Increased depth of field, complex map layouts, and more intense action sequences can be found in their iPad specific applications. For example, the N.O.V.A. title allows for multi-target acquisition, activated via a user-drawn grid that serves as the targeting method for an in-game rocket launcher.

Finally, we all know that gaming is fun, but even more so when doing it with friends. Gameloft’s iPad titles will be easier and more attractive for multiplayer gaming. One of my personal favorite casual/social games produced by Gameloft, UNO, allows for up to four players to compete against each other on one iPad by selecting “One Device Multiplayer” mode. Likewise, for multiple device play, UNO also allows friends on different iPads or iPhones to connect for local and online Wi-Fi gameplay.

“With iPhone and iPod touch, Apple changed the way consumers perceive and interact with their devices and created a revolutionary era for the mobile gaming industry,” said Michel Guillemot, president of Gameloft. “We are taking full advantage of all the new possibilities and features iPad is bringing to developers with games that will once again transform the digital gaming experience.”

 

iPad arrives – Devs spring into action

Friday, January 29th, 2010

What would this week be without at least a mention of Apple’s latest creation (and announcement) the iPad. While there’s plenty of material out there ranging from why to Colbert’s bold proclamation “Give me an iPad”, the iPad has at least gotten a reaction, good or bad, out of pretty much everyone even remotely connected to the handheld electronics device field. Considering the proliferation of mobile phones, the iPhone in particular, this would encompass a wide majority of folks.

213722-3But what does the iPad mean for games developers? An entirely new playing field. A number of games houses reacted almost immediately to the announcement, with the overwhelming consensus positive and indicating that they’re already hard at work on iPad ready apps.

iPhone dev studios OpenFeint and Scoreloop were two of the first on the scene, clearly having someone waiting, literally, on Mr. Jobs’ every word, just waiting for the cue to click and release the info to the world. Scoreloop says that they’ll have an iPad specific upgrade from their popular Astro Ranch iPhone game that will take advantage of the iPad’s increased screen real estate, appropriately titled Astro Ranch HD. While not pointing to specific examples, OpenFeint Chairman Peter Relan states, “We have plans for some really special features for the iPad that will make social gaming even more immersive.”

Ok, so far so good. New platform, new, tailored games for this platform….now, show me the money. Ngmoco, who took full advantage of Apple’s decision to allow microtransactions within iPhone games, said that their freemium first person shooter, Eliminate would port well from iPhone to iPad, and that their currently-in-development co-op version of Eliminate would do the same. Likewise, EA demoed their Need for Speed Shift title at the Apple announcement and confirmed that they already have a number of titles in the works for the forthcoming iPad. EA did not confirm that these titles will contain microtransaction elements, but given their proven commitment to the business model and gaming associations, it’s very likely.

I mention above that the iPad announcement creates an entirely new playing field for devs. And while the opinions have been wildly circulating, the one that keeps showing up on my radar is “But…it’s just a big iPod.” Certainly from an esthetic point of view this comment has merit. However, once the device is in hand, as Kotaku had access to, it’s quite clear that this is no iPod. While Kotaku editors has trouble controlling the majority of games they tested on the iPad, they did report that menu driven games, such as EA’s The Sims 3 played very well. What this indicates is that an entirely new sub-genre of social, casual, and all around ‘games’ may develop as studios rush to push out iPad read/compatible games. Apple currently does not allow the sale of virtual currencies within the games operating on their platforms (there are however a number of ways around this), they have confirmed that the iPad will support in-app transactions through the iPhone OS 3.2.

Apple’s iPad is expected to begin shipping in late March of this year. Should be a VERY exciting summer.