Microsoft Will Introduce Web-Based Xbox Mobile Game Store

Microsoft Xbox President Sarah Bond announced the company plans to launch a web-based mobile game store in July, creating a new rival for Google Play and Apple’s App Store. Speaking at the Bloomberg Technology Summit, Bond said the web venue was selected so a single store could serve all users in all countries, “independent of the policies of closed ecosystem stores.” Initially the focus will be on Microsoft games, opening later to other publishers. “This web-based store is the first step in our journey to building a trusted app store with its roots in gaming,” Microsoft said in a post-even statement. Continue reading Microsoft Will Introduce Web-Based Xbox Mobile Game Store

Nintendo Set to Shutter 3DS and Wii U Online Services April 8

Nintendo is planning to cease online play for the 3DS portable game unit and the Wii U console as of April 8. The company had previously announced it would discontinue the services sometime in April. Now it says as of 4:00 p.m. PDT “online co-operative play, Internet rankings and data distribution” for the platforms will be ending. For the foreseeable future, players can continue to download updates and games they had previously purchased games for the foreseeable future. But Nintendo says it may shutter connected ops sooner “if an event occurs that would make it difficult to continue online services.” Continue reading Nintendo Set to Shutter 3DS and Wii U Online Services April 8

Court Rules in Favor of Epic Games in Google Antitrust Case

Epic Games has prevailed against Google in U.S. District Court, scoring a victory in the 2020 lawsuit filed against the search giant over antitrust behavior related to its Google Play store. Epic claims that Google leverages control over the Android mobile operating system to require content creators who want a presence on an estimated 71 percent of the world’s smartphones to sell through the Play Store. The verdict “proves Google’s app store practices are illegal and they abuse their monopoly to extract exorbitant fees, stifle competition and reduce innovation,” Epic wrote of the win. Google disagrees with the ruling and says it plans to appeal. Continue reading Court Rules in Favor of Epic Games in Google Antitrust Case

Google Updates Policies Regarding Blockchain in Play Store

Google has updated transaction policies to allow for blockchain-based digital content, such as NFTs, to be placed within content distributed through its mobile software marketplace Google Play. Google has been slow to warm to blockchain integration, and the new approach comes with strict transparency requirements. If tokenized digital assets are part of an app or game “developers must declare this clearly,” Google explains, adding that “developers may not promote or glamorize any potential earning from playing or trading activities.” These stipulations intend to prevent the hype that has attached itself to so much blockchain activity from infiltrating Google Play. Continue reading Google Updates Policies Regarding Blockchain in Play Store

Microsoft Plans to Launch Its Own Mobile Games App Store

If it overcomes regulatory hurdles and completes its $75 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, Microsoft plans to launch a mobile app store for games to challenge Apple and Google, according to Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Games. The EU’s Digital Markets Act mandates that the makers of Android devices and iPhones must make their mobile platforms accessible to app stores by third parties, with enforcement beginning in March 2024. That means Microsoft could open a mobile app store as soon as next year, adapting the company’s Xbox and Game Pass apps to accommodate sales to mobile devices. Continue reading Microsoft Plans to Launch Its Own Mobile Games App Store

Netflix Expands Games Push, Announces New Titles for 2023

Netflix is ramping up its game plans, with 40 new titles in the pipeline for release in 2023. In total, the company has 16 games being developed internally, and 70 underway with outside partners. These range from casual challenges to triple A adventures, according to Netflix, which says its goal is a broad portfolio “because we believe everyone can find joy in games if they discover the one that is right for them.” Netflix has brought 55 titles to market since its first releases in late 2021, making them available as part of its monthly streaming subscription fee. Continue reading Netflix Expands Games Push, Announces New Titles for 2023

Blizzard Entertainment to Suspend Game Access for NetEase

Activision Blizzard’s Blizzard Entertainment has hit an impasse with licensee NetEase and will as of next week be suspending “most Blizzard game services in mainland China due to the expiration” of current agreements. The arrangement encompasses popular titles such as “World of Warcraft,” “Hearthstone” and “Diablo III.” Blizzard has worked with Chinese video game publisher NetEase since 2008. “The two parties have not reached a deal to renew the agreements that is consistent with Blizzard’s operating principles and commitments to players and employees,” Blizzard said in a statement. Continue reading Blizzard Entertainment to Suspend Game Access for NetEase

‘Angry Birds FPS’ Offers New Experience for Magic Leap One

Magic Leap says its newly released Magic Leap One Creator Edition mixed reality glasses are “like living in the future ahead of everyone else.” Journalists got a sneak peek of the mixed reality “Angry Birds” on the Magic Leap goggles. On October 9-10 at the first L.E.A.P. developers conference in Los Angeles, the company will show off more apps and more of the interface. One reviewer added that the company is “taking a leap of faith” that the applications will be compelling enough to convince many users to shell out $2,295. Continue reading ‘Angry Birds FPS’ Offers New Experience for Magic Leap One

Wall Street Responds to Backlash Over Snapchat’s Redesign

It remains to be seen if recent outcry over the new version of Snapchat will negatively affect Snap Inc.’s numbers in the long term. The company is in the middle of contending with backlash from its users, of whom 1.2 million signed a petition to revert the social media app to its former version. Snap Inc. launched the new version last month with the intention of expanding its business beyond the teen and young adult audience — its current core audience. While many are concerned, specific negative effects are not yet evident.

Continue reading Wall Street Responds to Backlash Over Snapchat’s Redesign

Live Mobile Trivia Game ‘HQ’ Gives Away Money, Goes Viral

A new live mobile game called “HQ” is giving away real money and adding something new to the genre. The iOS game is the brainchild of Vine creators Rus Yusupov and Colin Kroll, and combines elements of current popular game shows, including “Jeopardy!” and “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” The game goes live daily at 3:00 pm and 9:00 pm ET, and lasts for 13 minutes as one of two hosts (either New York comedian Scott Rogowsky or British on-air personality Sharon Carpenter) shoots off 12 multiple choice questions that range in difficulty and topic. Continue reading Live Mobile Trivia Game ‘HQ’ Gives Away Money, Goes Viral

Pop Star Taylor Swift to Release Mobile Game Later This Year

Move over, Kim Kardashian. Taylor Swift is entering the mobile gaming space with the help of game publisher Glu Mobile, which has created popular games for Kim Kardashian and Katy Perry. Swift’s first mobile game is expected to be released in late 2016. The announcement gave investors some confidence and Glu Mobile’s stock jumped 29 percent in after-hours trading. Glu Mobile’s “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood” mobile game generated $43 million in its first three months. Continue reading Pop Star Taylor Swift to Release Mobile Game Later This Year

Disney Bringing ‘Star Wars’ to Games, Cable, and Theme Parks

Disney is making a major push with its “Star Wars”-themed properties. Disney Interactive announced “Star Wars: Commander” yesterday, a new free-to-play game designed for mobile devices. And while construction plans are underway for “Star Wars”-themed “lands” at Disney theme parks, the Disney Channel announced this week it would debut animated movie “Star Wars Rebels: Spark of Rebellion” on October 3, and the Disney XD channel plans to premiere its “Star Wars Rebels” series ten days later. Continue reading Disney Bringing ‘Star Wars’ to Games, Cable, and Theme Parks