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Zynga Poker wins big as UK’s top-grossing iPhone app in 2012

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Social game has been out since mid-2010, but still out-earned all its rivals according to Apple’s App Store chart

Social games publisher Zynga had a difficult 2012, but a bright spot is the news that one of its games was the highest grossing iPhone game for the year on the UK and US App Stores.

Not a new game, though. Poker by Zynga was released in May 2010, but is sitting pretty in top spot in Apple’s Top Grossing iPhone games chart for 2012.

The chart was published today as part of Apple’s traditional end-of-year iTunes recap, which has been renamed from Rewind to simply Best of 2012 this year.

More than half the 99 iPhone apps listed in the Top Grossing chart are freemium games, with Kingdoms of Camelot and Bejeweled Blitz taking second and third places behind Poker by Zynga.

Fellow freemium games The Simpsons: Tapped Out (7), CSR Racing (9) and DragonVale (10) also make it into the top 10, alongside three social apps – (4), WhatsApp Messenger (5) and Badoo (8) – and navigation app TomTom UK & Ireland (6).

The highest grossing iPad app in the UK in 2012 was Apple’s own Pages word processor, followed by The Times, Kingdoms of Camelot, DragonVale, The Telegraph, The Guardian and Observer, QuickOffice Pro HD, Smurfs’ Village, Comics and The Sims FreePlay in the top 10.

Yes, three newspaper apps in the top 10, with The Sun (21), Daily Mail (25) and Sunday Times (38) also making it into the top half of that chart.

In terms of sheer downloads (rather than revenues), WhatsApp Messenger was the top paid app for iPhone in the UK, while Draw Something Free was the top free app. The most popular paid iPad app was Pages, while BBC iPlayer tops the free iPad apps chart.

Apple’s App Store editorial team have also chosen Editors’ Choice apps, choosing private rentals app Airbnb as their App of the Year, and another travel app, Hailo, as runner up. Rayman Jungle Run is Game of the Year, followed by Super Hexagon.

On iPad, productivity app Paper by FiftyThree is App of the Year, with cookery app Green Kitchen the runner up. Puzzle game The Room is iPad Game of the Year, followed by Eufloria HD.

Apple has also compiled themed recommendations of other recommended apps from 2012, which developers will be poring over to see if their own releases have been included, and if not, to gauge which developers and apps are currently favoured by the company.

Why is this news? Because the most lucrative day of the year for app developers is Christmas Day and the second most lucrative is Boxing Day – in both cases, because people have unwrapped new devices and are actively looking for apps to download.

In 2011, mobile analytics firm Flurry estimated that 242m iOS and Android apps were downloaded on 25 December that year, up 125% on the average daily volume earlier in the month.

Apple’s recommendations are likely to mean significant sales spikes for the paid apps chosen, a big boost for in-app purchases in the freemium ones, and increased traffic for those relying on advertising.

Google has yet to launch a similar end-of-year promotion on its Google Play store for Android, although it is also likely to be mulling its store-promotions strategy for the festive period.

With Apple’s list now public, attention on iOS will turn to a week of frenzied price-cutting and big-app releases leading up to 21 December, when Apple will freeze the App Store charts and stop putting new apps live until 28 December.

Apps and games riding high in the charts when they lock for Christmas can expect a bumper festive period.

The Best of 2012 charts are country-specific, so elsewhere in the world the rankings varied, and other apps were spotlighted by the App Store editors. For example, Poker by Zynga was still the top grossing iPhone app in the US, but DragonVale beat Pages to take top spot in the iPad rankings.








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Posted on December 13th, 2012 by  |  No Comments »

10 Best iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows Phone games this week

Beach Buggy Blitz, Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies, Gems With Friends, Super Hexagon and more

It’s time for our weekly roundup of the best new games for smartphones and tablets, including iOS, Android and Windows Phone this week.

Beach Buggy Blitz

Vector Unit’s bouncy driving game is a good showcase for the capabilities of Tegra-toting Android devices, including Google’s Nexus 7 tablet. It sees you racing through a beautiful-looking world smashing into scenery, collecting power-ups and unlocking new cars.Android

Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies

This latest mobile game in the CoD universe has been out for a while, but restricted to Sony Ericsson’s Xperia-branded Android devices. Now it’s available for all, with a choice of solo and local-multiplayer modes, as well as a 50-level Dead-Ops Arcade mode to romp through shooting everything that moves. And some things that don’t.Android

Gems With Friends

We’ve had Words, Scramble, Matching, Hanging and Chess. Now meet the fifth in Zynga’s mobile/social franchise: Gems With Friends. Yes, the title makes its inspiration clear: this is competitive match-three jewel-swapping following in the footsteps of Bejeweled Blitz. You can have up to 20 games on the go at once with friends or strangers.iPhone

Super Hexagon

Hardcore gamers are getting very excited about Super Hexagon, a game that many people will download, try and then give up on the grounds that it’s too hard and a bit boring. If you can get to grips with the difficulty of rotating a triangle around a hexagon to steer between onrushing walls, it gets less boring and becomes engrossing. With chiptunes.iPhone / iPad

Venture Towns

Another week, another new game from Japanese publisher Kairosoft – in this case, a port of the existing iOS Venture Towns game. The company’s formula remains the same: ruthlessly-addictive simulation mechanics with lots of levelling-up and resource-juggling. In this case, you’re making “your own metropolitan utopia”.Android

Crimson Dragon: Side Story

This week’s Xbox Live game on Windows Phones is already inspiring comparisons with Panzer Dragoon. It’s a shoot ‘em up, except with dragons rather than spaceships, and RPG-like elements where you breed the dragons and then level them up by playing the game, adding new skills along the way.Windows Phone

Civil War: 1863

Talking of old-school games, Civil War: 1863 is a neat attempt to give the war game genre a 2012 touchscreen spin. It’s a turn-based game where you control the Union or Confederate armies, with two eight-mission campaigns to play through, and a couple more available via in-app purchase for 69p a pop. A pass’n’play mode supports two-player battling too.iPhone / iPad


Damp Gnat’s Wonderputt may be new on the App Store, but it’s already won recognition in the Develop and IGF industry awards for its lovely visuals. It’s a mini-golf game with a fantastical structure and feel: “Cows, toads, ski slopes, torpedos and a sprinkle of alien abduction for good measure”. Its 18 holes will leave you wanting more, in a good way.iPad

Galaxy Empire

Korean publisher Gamevil’s latest Android game wants you to “conquer the galaxy, one planet at a time”. Which involves a mixture of resource management, invasion and diplomacy, all wrapped into a science-fiction setting. The community features are what could give this long-term appeal for Android gamers.Android

Shufflepuck Cantina

Agharta Studio is the developer behind the creative 1112 games on iOS. It’s new game adopts a Space Western theme, but is focused on air hockey. The game promises nine alien opponents, more than 40 gadgets to collect and 250 missions to work your way through, with more to come in future updates.iPhone / iPad

That’s our selection this week, but what new games have you been playing on your smartphone or tablet? Make your recommendations by posting a comment.




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Stuart Dredge © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds is updated several times every day with all latest Free Slim PS3 news.

Posted on September 13th, 2012 by  |  No Comments »

Former DJ Hero developers set sights on mobile with 8linQ – Console news

UK studio is preparing to release its first iPhone music game, armed with major label tracks

UK startup 8linQ is hoping to spearhead a new wave of music games for smartphones and tablets, with its first game Say What?! due to be released on 20 July for iPhone armed with a licensing deal with major label Sony Music Entertainment.

The company is a joint venture between three partners: Music In Colour, Reactify and Metropolis Group. The first of those is a music production company formed by former staff from FreestyleGames, which developed the DJ Hero console games, while the latter is one of the most prestigious recording studios in the world.

Based at the studio complex in London, 8linQ has been working on Say What?! for several months, culminating in its launch next week with playable tracks from artists including Calvin Harris, Scouting for Girls, the Zutons and The Nolans.

“The music business needs to capture a new audience,” says joint managing director Chris Lee. “Rather than make a game then license the music, this is much more of a partnership. We think there is a great opportunity to leverage the mobile platform to build something that reaches a wider audience, and monetises music.”

Say What?! takes a different approach to DJ Hero and other console music games like Guitar Hero. Lee says that 8linQ’s key aim was to avoid any assumption that the game’s players will be experienced gamers.

The game uses a scrolling collection of icons, which relate to individual highlighted words within the lyrics to the current song, which are displayed above. If the word ‘I’ is highlighted, the player might have to tap on an eye icon, for example, while ‘down’ might be the cue to tap on a downward-facing arrow.

At higher difficulty levels, the clues get more cryptic. “There will be puns left, right and centre that take you a good five seconds to crack what the icon is representing,” explains Yuli Levtov, the game’s designer, and founder of the third partner in the joint venture: generative music studio Reactify Music.

“It’s almost a Generation Game mechanic: a simple layer that lives over the music,” says Lee. “We’re not trying to be cleverer than that. This is about something that appeals in its simplicity, and we’re trying not to niche it. It should appeal as much to 8-13 year-old girls as it does to 30-40 year-old males.”

Lee adds that Say What?! was inspired by iOS games like Cut the Rope and Trainyard. “They’re cute, you’re allowed to fail and it doesn’t matter,” he says. “Far too many games can fall into the trap of having a game mechanic based on failure, and the fear of failure driving you to do stuff. We don’t think that’s what the mobile audience wants.”

Say What?! will be free to download with four included tracks: one from a big Sony Music artist, and three from emerging acts signed to Music In Colour. Tracks from Sony – and ultimately other labels too – will be sold via in-app payments of £1.19 per song.

It’s the second example this month of a major label selling music within this kind of game, following EMI’s deal with Facebook games publisher MXP4. Downloads within Say What will be chart-eligible too.

“It will be a great story if you can take a catalogue title – a single that was released 20 or 30 years ago – and see it get into the top 10 with 100,000 downloads because it’s in a game,” says Ian Brenchley, joint managing director of 8linQ and managing director at Metropolis Group. “This is the merging of music and software in a really nice evolutionary form, that monetises music in a different way.”

Lee says that making games for iOS has been a fresh challenge for the team members who cut their teeth on DJ Hero and other console games.

“I love the immediacy of being able to create content,” he says. “Development cycles are so much shorter, and you get that immediacy of feedback too, where you can watch how your consumer is playing, react and develop new features. We have designed this game so that if we get a song at 9am, we can have it for sale by 9am the next day.”

Say What?! will also be the first game to be promoted using the Future Games Network, a service that is being launched by another UK developer, Future Games of London. The idea behind the network is to promote other developers’ iOS games to FGOL’s existing community of 18 million players.

It’s a good example of the promotional networks that are springing up around apps and games, just as 8linQ is an example of the kind of partnerships that are emerging as companies from different creative industries target the apps market.





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Calvin Harris

Scouting for Girls

The Zutons

Stuart Dredge © Guardian News & Media Limited 2011 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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Posted on July 13th, 2011 by  |  No Comments »