Bitstrips dominating app charts as users create over 30M avatars

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If your Facebook feed has been taken over by Bitstrips, you’re not alone, as the Toronto-based social comic strip producer just announced their initial numbers, and they’re staggering, to say the least. In just over two months since the Bitstrips app launched on iOS and Android, there have been over 30 million avatars created, rocketing Bitstrips up the charts to the number one app spot in over 40 countries, and the number one entertainment app in over 90 countries.

In fact, there have been over a quarter of a million avatars created in the following cities alone: Mexico City, Chicago, Hong Kong, Lima, and London.

“It feels like we transformed the Internet into a comic strip,” says BA, aka Jacob Blackstock, Co-Founder, CEO & Creative Director of Bitstrips. “The numbers we’re releasing really blew us away. We expected it to grow, but the daily reality blew away our monthly projections.

“I think one of the reasons it’s really taken off is that comics are universally loved. Even if you’re not into comic books, you’re into the Sunday Funnies.” (more…)

Insider Q&A: Win COO Yaniv Leven

Image via Win

Image via Win

When Win COO Yaniv Leven looks at the social casino space, he sees plenty of competition in the slots and bingo games his company produces, but he also sees a huge opening in the lucrative world of sports betting.

Leven and Win hope to jump into this space in early 2014, looking for fans who talk trash about each other’s favorite soccer clubs to put their virtual money where their mouths are, tracking results as you bet on the biggest games each week in the real world, even enabling gamers to bet their fake currency in simulated match-ups when there are no real games to be played. (more…)

Cheeky Bingo HD launches worldwide on iPad

Image via Win

Image via Win

Like your bingo both social and sassy? Win and Murka launched the free-to-play Cheeky Bingo HD worldwide this week on iPad, taking advantage of the retina display to showcase the popular hostess Cheeky like you’ve never seen her before. (more…)

Fancred 2 looks to become social media destination for sports fans

Image via Fancred

Image via Fancred

Talking sports on social networks can be a frustrating experience. From your ranting rage-post on Colin Kaepernick’s troubles reading defenses being pushed down by a picture of your cousin’s dog eating pancakes, to trying to explain the justification of picking up a penalty flag after it was already thrown on the last play of the game in just 140 characters, sports fans just don’t have an ideal outlet to type away their daily cheers and jeers.

That’s where Boston-based Fancred steps in, treating each team as a community onto themselves, and letting sports fans have their own place (with their own people) to vent. (more…)

Kixeye opens Portland office

Image via Kixeye

Image via Kixeye

Blockbuster combat strategy game developer Kixeye continues to expand at a rapid rate, opening up a new office in Portland, Oregon to serve as the company’s main consumer advocacy center for all games. (more…)

Insider Q&A: Bee Cave Games’ Jeremy Strauser and Erik Bethke

Blackjack Casino

In just over a year, Austin-based Bee Cave Games has become a big-time player in the virtual casino market with their blockbuster app, Blackjack Casino.

Then again, when you look at the company’s roster of employees, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. COO Jeremy Strauser spent 16 years at EA Sports, working on both the Madden and NCAA franchises before heading to Zynga to spearhead Texas Hold‘em, Zynga Elite Slots, and Zynga Bingo. At CEO for BCG, Erik Bethke is another old-school gaming vet, having founded GoPets before moving on to work on games like Mafia Wars and FarmVille. (more…)

Nextt launches as the ‘anti-social’ network

Nextt

While social networks like Facebook connect you to past friends, and Twitter is a vessel for thoughts of the present, Nextt is an app/private network that helps plan events with your real friends (not of the Fakebook variety) for the future. (more…)

Mobile Evolution: The Importance of Standalone Apps

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Today’s guest post comes to us from Geoff Cook, co-founder and CEO of MeetMe, a leading social network for meeting new people in the US and the public market leader for social discovery (NYSE MKT: MEET). MeetMe is building a portfolio of mobile social apps and recently launched two: Charm and Unsaid. Cook will also be a featured speaker at this year’s Inside Mobile Apps conference, joining a panel on Leveraging App Discovery. 

In the beginning, a developer created a web site, then she created a mobile app based on that web site. Today, she creates a portfolio of mobile apps without regard to the web site. The industry has learned the bigness of the small-screen opportunity and evolved to capture it.

The social app landscape on mobile is marked by single-use-case standalone apps – apps like Snapchat, Vine, Instagram, and Tinder. Indeed, the largest social developers recognize that standalone app innovation must occur alongside improvements to the core product – Facebook with Instagram and Messenger; IAC with Tinder; and Twitter with Vine. (more…)

Insider Q&A: GameHouse’s Ken Murphy

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Seattle-based GameHouse has been one of the most dominant casual game developers, publishers, and distributors for years, boasting a playlist of popular titles including Bayou Blast and Slotorama.

“GameHouse was one of the earliest developers of casual games, so back in 2004, when RealNetworks looked to expand, GameHouse was their very first acquisition,” explains Ken Murphy, VP GameHouse Studios. “Fast forward over the years, and our business expanded into mobile gaming and social mobile gaming, and we came to the determination that the GameHouse brand itself was really a terrific one to keep going to market with.

“We developed a lot of great brand equity, and we were better known as a gaming brand than RealNetworks was, so we transitioned all of RealNetwork’s game activities over to the GameHouse brand, and that’s how we’ve been going to market the last three or four years exclusively.”

A strategy that has paid off with millions of casual gamers, including one of the largest bases of female gamers of any game company on the market. (more…)

Google’s Ingress to exit beta December 14

Ingress

Image via Google

Google’s Niantic Labs announced a series of fresh developments today surrounding their geo-location augmented reality game, Ingress, including the news that the game will not only exit beta on December 14, but that Google has officially dropped the invitation code requirement, making the game available now to all Android users. (more…)

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