Seen as more of a social event, developers attend hackathons in order to network with fellow programmers, engineers and others. Yet many participants and companies may not realize the repercussions of the intellectual property created during these marathon coding events, as recently discussed by Harvard Business Review.
Some hackathons are held internally, where only company employees can participate. But when the gatherings are more collaborative, the ownership of the innovation and intellectual property is unclear, which can lead to problems about unequal contributions and rights to the patent. (more…)
Zynga today held its annual stockholders meeting in San Francisco, which heavily focused on the game company’s real-money gaming efforts, an anonymous shareholder told PandoDaily.
Zynga’s shareholder meeting comes one day after the company just laid off 18 percent of its staff (520 employees) and shut down three of its offices — Los Angeles, Dallas, and New York — including Omgpop‘s office. (more…)
As part yesterday’s staff purging at Zynga, which saw 520 employees lose their jobs, in other words 18 percent of its staff, Zynga shut down Draw Something developer Omgpop’s office, according to a report from The Verge.
Along with the layoffs, Zynga shut down its Los Angeles, Dallas, and New York offices. But, Zynga New York does include Omgpop, and now former Omgpop employees are making it public on Twitter that they are out of jobs. (more…)
Game 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…)
Zynga today let go 18 percent of its employees (approximately 520 people) after shutting down its Los Angeles, Dallas and New York City studios. The studios that were shut down was first reported by AllThingsD. A small portion of the 18 percent were let go from Zynga’s Los Angeles office, which saw 55 employees losing their jobs, according to a tweet from an artist at the Los Angeles studio. Empires & Allies, the first game for Facebook from the Los Angeles studio, will be shut down on June 17. The layoffs and cost cuts will be completed by August.
In February, Zynga closed it’s Baltimore studio as well as relocated its Mckinney, Texas and downtown Austin offices to its Dallas and North Austin Offices. The New York City offices saw consolidation as well, with the staff moving to the New York City mobile studio before being completely shut down today. In October 2012, Zynga laid off more than 100 employees, axing employees from its Chicago office, while completely closing down its Boston office. (more…)
Twitter today announced the launch of Vine, it’s 6-second video sharing app, for Android. Twitter also revealed that Vine (review) has reached 13 million downloads on iOS just five months after the launch of the app.
Twitter says the feature set between the iOS and Android versions is different, but it plans to get the Android version up to par with the iOS soon. Although, the Android version does launch with a zoom functionality that’s not present in the iOS version. Upcoming features for Vine include front-facing camera functionality, search, mentions and hashtags, Facebook sharing, and general bug fixes and performance improvements.
HitFox today announced that its mobile game marketing platform AppLift raised $13 million from venture capital and growth equity firm Prime Ventures. This is AppLift’s second round of funding, after recieving its first round of funding from HitFox, an incubator focused on investing and acquiring game distribtuion and user acquisition startups.
AppLift co-founder and U.S. general manager Hanno Fichtner told Inside Mobile Apps that AppLift is generating more than one million installs per game a month for their top publishing partners. He adds that one game in the top three on the top grossing apps chart from a particular publisher, which wasn’t named, is receiving the most installs from AppLift, even more than from Facebook or Google referrals. When we last heard about install figures from AppLift, the service was driving 10,000 installs per game a day, which is approximately 300,000 a month. (more…)
Mobile apps news roundup: Login with Amazon, Google Play app revenue catches up, Scopely hires former Zynga GM and more
Google Play Music coming to iOS soon, says Sundar Pichai – Google senior vice president of Android, Chrome, and Apps, Sundar Pichai announced at the AllThingsD D11 conference that the new Google Play Music service will be coming to iOS soon. Music streaming service Google Play Music is Google’s response to Apple’s iTunes and Spotify.
Amazon announces Login with Amazon, competes with Facebook Connect, Google+ Sign-In – Amazon announced a new service this week called Login with Amazon, which allows users to sign into apps, games, websites and other services using their existing Amazon credentials with just the click of a button. Most mobile apps integrate Facebook Connect, and Google recently announced Google+ Sign-In, so Amazon is entering a crowded log-in space.
Distimo’s April 2013 report: Google Play’s app revenue market share up 8% since November, DeNA sees even revenue from both major app stores – App tracking company Distimos April 2013 report revealed that Google Play’s app revenue market share between the two major app stores — Google Play and the Apple App Store — moved from 19 percent to 27 percent since November 2012, an 8 percent increase. One particular developer that’s generating nearly an equal amount of money on both app stores is DeNA. Games from the mobile-social gaming giant generated more than $5.1 million on Google Play in April and $5.6 million on the Apple App Store.
Line adds first video game makers to its platform in Square Enix, Konami, Koei Tecmo – Japan’s leading messaging app Line, which has 160 million users worldwide now, has been very selective with adding games to its games platform for Line. Line is still closed to third-party game developers, but the company has recently brought on games from Square Enix, Konami and Koei Tecmo.
Puzzle & Dragons reaches 14M users – Developer GungHo’s Puzzle & Dragons is showing no signs of slow down. The puzzle and RPG hybrid added a million players in under three weeks again — for the 12 time in a row.
Scopely hires former Zynga GM Reed Shaffner – Interactive content company Scopely added former Zynga general manager Reed Shaffner to head its product team. Shaffner will be tasked with overseeing games from the Los Angeles-based company’s developer partners as well as its infrastructure.
Mobile apps news roundup: Mobile revenues surpasses handhelds, Adelphic appoints new CEO, Disney launches Where’s My Summer? and more
HasOffers raises $9.4M round of funding – Affiliate marketing company HasOffers announced a $9.4 million round of funding led by Accel Partners. HasOffers is known for its third-party tracking service MobileAppTracking, which allows app developers to track ad networks, seeing exactly what networks resulted in user acquisition. Other participants in this round of funding included RealNetworks founder Rob Glaser and Founder’s Co-op partner Chris Devore.
App Annie and IDC portable gaming report Q1 2013: Smartphone and tablet revenues increase threefold – In a new report on mobile gaming, research firms App Annie and IDC revealed that smartphone and tablet revenues from Google Play and the Apple App Store increased threefold compared to handhelds, while also surpassing traditional handhelds in total revenue. For the first time, Google Play surpassed the Apple App Store in total downloads, but the Apple App Store remained the leader in revenue.
Adelphic taps Michael Collins as CEO – Adelphic announced that former CEO at WPP-owned mobile marketing agency Joule was tapped as the new CEO for the mobile ad startup. Adelphic is known for helping mobile advertisers find the most ideal audiences for their ads, addressing the inconsistent ID for mobile users by analyzing different signals that allow Adelphic to predic a user’s demographic information.
Payvia to acquire Mogreet – Carrier-based mobile billing startup Payvia revealed it’s buying Mogreet, a mobile marketing company which delivers campaigns through text, video and picture messaging services. Acquisition terms were not disclosed.
PlayFirst brings Diner Dash to Android – Resource manager Diner Dash, from developer PlayFirst, made its way to Google Play this week. PlayFirst also revealed that its Dash franchise reached more than 700 million downloads across all platforms globally.
Disney launches Where’s My Summer? – Disney Interactive launched Where’s My Summer? yesterday for iOS (coming soon to Android). The physics-based puzzler features Perry the Paltypus from Disney’s animated TV show Phineas and Ferb who also stars in the hit mobile title Where’s My Perry? The game is packed with 12 new limited-time levels.
Elephant Mouse launches Star Trek Rivals – Developer Elephant Mouse launched collectible card battler Star Trek Rivals (free) last week for iOS. The game features characters and ships from the two most recent Star Trek films — Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness.
Chillingo partners with Ninja Theory to publish Fightback for mobile – Mobile game developer and publisher announced a partnership with Ninja Theory, the developer behind the recently released DmC: Devil May Cry for consoles. Chillingo will publish the Cambridge, U.K.-based indie studio’s first mobile game, Fightback for iOS and Android.
DeNA releases ShowStopper Basketball – DeNA, in partnership with GameCloud Studios, launched ShowStopper Basketball this week for iOS. The game is a basketball action simulator, putting users in charge of their own teams to coach them in real-time on the court.
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