Warner Bros. releases ‘Getaway: Race to Glory’ game ahead of film’s theatrical release

The-Getaway-Racing-Game650Image credit Warner Bros.

Warner Bros. has announced the launch of its newest browser game, in celebration of the upcoming release of the Ethan Hawke, Selena Gomez film Getaway. The driving game “Getaway: Race to Glory” is now available to play in browsers, and gives players the chance to put their driving skills to the test across a variety of missions.

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BlueStacks introduces GamePop Mini, subscription based ‘free’ game console

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With many hardware developers looking to bring mobile gaming to the big screen, mobile virtualization company, BlueStacks, is announcing GamePop Mini, a second vehicle to deliver its GamePop mobile gaming service. The console will be provided for free as long as the user pays a $6.99 monthly subscription free. (more…)

ChronoBlade Open Beta Comes to Facebook This Month

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Photo via http://www.chronoblade.com/

nWay’s Facebook game ChronoBlade will come out of the dark and launch in open beta this month, the developer has announced.

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5th Planet Games launches Dawn of the Dragons for Android

5th Planet Games logoGame developer 5th Planet Games today launched Dawn of the Dragons for Android in North America (and worldwide later this week). The social MMO has come along way for the indie developer who first launched the title on Facebook back in May 2010, and later released for Kongregate and Armor Games.

We first heard about Dawn of Dragons flying its way to mobile for iOS in January, and then the game hit the Apple App Store weeks later in February (review). Chief mobile officer Rob Carroll told us that there’s no differences between the iOS and Android versions, but users can play simultaneously with other players on either platform. As for cross-platform play between the mobile offerings and the web-based versions, 5th Planet Games decided to not let the mobile and web versions talk to each other due to the game being developed in Adobe Air and to allow the mobile version to have its own exclusive content. Carroll also adds the Android port was published in partnership with 5th Planet Games by an unnamed publisher (the studio will announce details about the publisher soon). (more…)

King to launch Pet Rescue Saga on Mobile this summer; now has more than 70M DAU

New King logoThe London-based game studio behind Candy Crush Saga today announced that it’s launching Pet Rescue Saga on iOS and Android early this summer, while also revealing that it has more than 70 million daily active users (DAU) across all platforms — mobile, Facebook and web.

Pet Rescue Saga, which first launched on Facebook in October 2012, joins Candy Crush Saga and Bubble Witch Saga as the third mobile title from the U.K. company. Pet Rescue Saga is a match-3 puzzler in the same vein as the mega popular Candy Crush Saga. The title will launch with more than 72 levels, providing cross-platform gameplay across mobile and Facebook, meaning a user’s game state including their leaderboards, scores and progress remain synchronized. Cross-platform play has been a feature that has shown to be very successful for King’s mobile games so far. Pet Rescue Saga for mobile was developed by King’s Malmo studio.Pet Rescue Saga Facebook screenshot

King’s 70 DAU is significant because it topped Zynga’s 52 million DAU, which it announced during its latest earnings call. When comparing the companies, King is a private company with 450 employees, while on the other hand, Zynga is a public company with a much larger workforce. (more…)

Zynga releases Running With Friends

running with friendsSocial games developer and publisher Zynga today announced the release of its seventh game under the “With Friends” brand, an endless runner titled Running With Friends. The game should be available to download for free from the Apple App Store starting tonight and tomorrow morning.

Set in a cartoon-style re-imagining of Pamplona, Spain, the game puts players into the town’s famous Running of the Bulls Festival. Gameplay is very similar to Temple Run, Vector, Subway Surfers, and other games in the endless runner genre. It’s particular similar to the latter in that the device is oriented vertically, with the camera behind the character, allowing the player to swipe and tap in order to dodge obstacles across three lanes.

While it may be similar to other endless runners, Running With Friends is also adding several new features to the formula to keep it fresh. The social element of games has always been Zynga’s primary concern and Running With Friends is no different, allowing users to do as the title suggests and play with their friends asynchronously. The level for each round of the game is randomly generated, but players who compete with friends will compete over the same randomly generated level. The player who gets the highest score by running farther and collecting more stars, wins.

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Skillz brings real-money gaming to the U.S.

skillz-logoReal-money gaming is now reality in the U.S. with Skillz, a first-of-its-kind multiplayer tournament platform, whivh gives players the chance to compete for real money and virtual currency in mobile games of skill. The platform launched today in beta for Android.

“We’re bringing real-money gaming to the U.S. right now, and we’re the first people to do that,” Andrew Paradise, co-founder and CEO of Skillz, tells Inside Mobile Apps.

Skillz enables games of skill to be played in cash tournaments in 36 states — such as California, New York, Texas and more — as well as virtual currency tournaments in any game worldwide. All a mobile developer has to do to enable cash and free multiplayer tournaments is integrate Skillz’s SDK, which can be implemented in as short as an hour to three work days.

Skillz legal states games of skill

Skillz has come out of stealth with 10 developers with 10 games on board, including Gnarly Games with GnarBike Trials, Spooky House Studios with Bubble Explode, Rocketmind with Big Sport Fishing 3D Lite and more. The first batch of titles run the gamut genre-wise, with genres like endless runners, bubble shooters, mini golf and more.

The obvious question to ask is how did Skillz make real-money gaming legal in the U.S.? The easiest answer is that real-money gaming via a skills competition has been legal for years in most states. First, it’s important to define the difference between a skill versus a chance game. On one end of the spectrum is a skill game like chess and on the other end is a chance game like roulette. The legal definition of a skilled game is if a skilled player predominantly beats an unskilled player about 75 percent of the time. Examples of games of skill where a cash competition is legal include chess tournaments, running marathons, golf tournaments, fishing tournaments, esports tournaments for games like StarCraft 2 and Call of Duty, even the arcade game Golden Tee, and more.

“One of the things we created is a way to statistically verify the level of skill versus chance in a game, and so one of the things we do is plug in these virtual currency tournaments into a given game and then we’ll run virtual currency tournaments and gather data,” Paradise says. “Basically, we can look at how often skilled players beat unskilled players and then determine if a game is skill versus chance.” (more…)

Zynga launches Draw Something 2

DS2Logo_02

Yesterday, during Zynga’s Q1 2013 earning call, CEP Mark Pincus announced the launch of Draw Something 2. The game is available to download for free exclusively on the Apple App Store. An Android version is coming soon.

The first Draw Something was a simple draw-and-guess game where players compete against each other to create pictures based on stimulus words. The game won the award for Best Social Network Game at last night’s Game Developer’s Choice Online Awards ceremony. It was the first time Zynga managed to take home a GDC Online Award, even though its games have been nominated for the past two years.

Draw Something 2 introduces a live feed where players can share, ‘like’ or comment on drawings, and follow friends, artists and celebrities. It also adds a collection of new drawing tools like new patterns, textures and colors.

Television personality Ryan Seacrest first revealed the existence of Draw Something 2 in March, when he posted a screenshot from the game to his Twitter account. Seacrest and Draw Something have long been associated with one another, especially following the revelation that Seacrest was producing a Draw Something-themed gameshow for CBS. Former Zynga vice president and Omgpop CEO Dan Porter was quick to confirm Seacret’s claim that the public was checking out some legit Draw Something 2 artwork, responding with the game’s official logo.

Liked Drawing

Zynga’s acquisition of Omgpop made some serious headlines last year, especially since the deal was reportedly worth somewhere around $200 million. Earlier this month, shortly after the announcement of Draw Something 2, we also learned that Zynga’s New York office general manager Dan Porter and former CEO and founder of OMGPOP had left Zynga.

“Developing and launching games is a team effort, and we’re proud of the great work the Zynga New York team has done with Draw Something 2,” said Zynga chief operating office David Ko, in a statement. “Our follow up to the original hit is even more social and engaging, and we’re excited to get it into the hands of our players globally. We thank Dan Porter for his efforts in making the Draw Something franchise a success and wish him well in his future endeavors. We’re proud to see talent like Sean Kelly take a bigger leadership role as the head of our New York studio and lead the team to the global launch of Draw Something 2.”

Sean Kelly, who’s been with the company since 2009, stepped in for Porter as the head of Zynga’s New York studio. Kelly’s official title is the vice president of mobile and general manager of Zynga New York, reporting to Zynga’s senior vice president of mobile Travis Boatman.

Inside Social Games will publish a full review of Draw Something 2 soon.

Digital Chocolate launches real-money gaming title Slots! Pocket UK

slots-pocket-uk-logoSocial-mobile gaming developer Digital Chocolate today launched its first real-money gaming title Slots! Pocket UK for iOS in the U.K.

Powered by real-money gaming platform Betable, Slots! Pocket UK is a slots game that allows U.K. users the option to wager either real money or virtual currency and chips on pulls of the slot machine. Betable first announced its partnership with Digital Chocolate back in November 2012. Digital Chocolate is one of 10 developers so far to partner with Betable for its real-money gaming platform, which is still a private beta program. Betable handles all the real-money aspects of the game on the backend, including compliance, fraud prevention, identity checks, wagering, and gambling results, while Digital Chocolate can focus on the development of the actual game. In order for players to gamble with real money, they must be authenticated with Betable by signing up, depositing money, and more.Slots Pocket UK screenshot 1

“[Betable] helped us leapfrog the whole race into real-money gaming by allowing us to partner with them on their platform, and of course, they have the license in the U.K. to do real-money gaming,” Jason Loia, chief operating officer of Digital Chocolate, told Inside Mobile Apps.

Continue reading on Inside Mobile Apps.

Social games friday news roundup: Zynga’s new card game, Square Enix’s new crime game and more

zoovale

Pangalore announces ZooVale — Social role-playing games developer Pangalore announced ZooVale, a cross-platform HTML5 title featuring animal characters rendered in cartoon-style 2D graphics. The game will allow players to build a village and breed animals to fight an evil witch. The game will be available on desktops and mobile devices via Pangalore’s portal.

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Lorne Abony Joins Glu Mobile – Mobile game developer and publisher Glu Mobile announced that Mood Media Corporation’s CEO and Chairman Lorne Abony has joined the company’s board of directors as its chairman of strategy committee. Glu also announced that Matthew Drapkin of Becker Drapkin Partners has stepped down as an Independent Director.

ZyngaLogo

Zynga releases War of the Fallen – The social gaming giant has released its latest card battler game War of the Fallen. It follows Zynga’s previous card game, Ayakashi: Ghost Guild, but is developed specifically with western markets in mind. One way in which the game aims to appeal to new players is by better explaining the underlying rules of the genre that are taken for granted in eastern markets, where card battle and collecting games are more popular. The game also encourages social interaction with Guild Force, a mechanic which boosts the player’s abilities when they connect and play with friends.

Square-enix-logo-002

TAITO, Square Enix releases Crime Connection — Square Enix subsidiary TAITO announced the release of Crime Connection, a crime-themed city management sim. The game, which will be released worldwide using GREE’s platform, is available to download from the Apple App Store and Google Play.

wadjet eye

Gemini Rue hits iOS — The award winning indie adventure game developed by Wadjet Eye Games Gemini Rue is now available to download from the Apple App Store for a special price of $3.99 (normally $4.99). Developed by Joshua Nuernberger, Gemini Rue is set in a bleak future dominated by the corrupt Boryokudan crime syndicate. Alternating between ex-assassin Azriel Odin and hospital inmate Delta-Six, players must uncover the secrets both protagonists are guarding and uncover their unlikely bond.

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