Google Privacy Policy Breaks European Law, Says EU Justice Commissioner

Recent changes in Google’s privacy policy have received criticism from the U.S. Government. Now EU justice commissioner Viviane Reding has said that Google’s newly activated unified privacy policy is in breach of European privacy laws.

“They have come to the conclusion that they are deeply concerned, and that the new rules are not in accordance with the European law, and that the transparency rules have not been applied,” said Reding. “One is that nobody had been consulted, it is not in accordance with the law on transparency and it utilizes the data of private persons in order to hand it over to third parties, which is not what the users have agreed to. Protection of personal data is a basic rule of the European Union. It is inscribed in the treaties. It is not an if, it is a must.”

“Our privacy policy is now much easier to understand,” responded Google. “We’ve included the key parts from more than 60 product-specific notices into our main Google Privacy Policy – so there’s no longer any need to be your own mini search engine if you want to work out what’s going on.”

Source: GamesIndustry.biz

PS Vita Now Has Facebook App

Sony has released the Facebook app for the PlayStation Vita after a false start where the initially released version was criticized for being filled with bugs. Sony says that the issues were on Facebook’s side and have now been fixed.

“Facebook service for the PS Vita has been completely restored, and the Facebook app is now available for (free) download on the PS Store,” announced Sony.

Source: Twitter

3DS Dragon Quest Monsters Goes Slime Crazy

To support the 3D release of Dragon Quest Monsters, Square Enix has teamed with Nintendo to produce a special Ice White Nintendo 3DS. The 3DS bundle will retail for ¥20,490 ($255), so be sure to make arrangements to buy it now if you’re interested, since it will be sure to sell out quickly.

Source: Kotaku

Microsoft Unveils New Kinect Bundle

Microsoft has announced a new Xbox 360 Special Edition 4GB Kinect Family Bundle. The bundle will include a white Xbox 360 4GB console, white Xbox 360 wireless controller, Kinect Sports and Kinect Adventures and a glossy white Kinect sensor.

The bundle will also include a three month subscription to Xbox Live Gold and will cost $299.99 “while supplies last”.

 

Peter Diamandis: Abundance Is Our Future

Onstage at TED2012, Peter Diamandis makes a case that humans will invent, innovate and create ways to solve the significant challenges that loom over us. He also sees billions of potential gamers coming online very soon, so that’s great news for the game industry.

Gamevil Reaches 100 Million Download Mark

Gamevil has announced that it has reached 100 million downloads. The games Zenonia, Cartoon Wars, Baseball Superstars and Air Penguin were credited with leading to this success.

“Reaching 100 million downloads is a landmark for any mobile gaming company and we are so thankful to have such a strong fan base that has followed us through our multiple titles,” stated Kyu Lee, VP and Head of Gamevil USA, Inc. “We look forward to another successful year as we work hard to release new games that are fun, challenging and entertaining.”

The past six months have seen the fastest growth in the social and mobile game publisher’s history with a 109 percent overall growth from fiscal 2010 into 2011. To celebrate this download milestone, Gamevil is setting up a $10 million partner fund that will be used to help grow third-party publishing in the mobile market.

Virtual Goods: More Consumers Spending In 2011

Frank N. Magid Associates indicated in a study today that U.S. consumers purchased more than $2.3 billion in virtual goods from online games, digital media, and social networks in the last year, up significantly from $1.8 billion in 2009. Furthermore, one in four U.S. consumers between the ages of 15 and 24 purchased a virtual good in 2011, double the percentage when Magid last conducted its survey for the market in 2009.

“Purchasing virtual goods is truly becoming a mainstream activity as far as consumer entertainment behaviors are concerned,” says Magid Advisors president Mike Vorhaus.

35 percent of gamers bought a virtual good in 2011 on an average of $64; the number of gamers is up nearly 50 percent compared to the previous year and the amount spent is 28 percent more than they spent in 2009. Males under 24 saw nearly half polled purchase virtual goods in 2011, compared to around 15 percent for females in the same age group.

Source: Gamasutra

Crytek Working With Nexon For Warface

Crytek has announced that it has signed a deal with Nexon to publish its free-to-play shooter Warface in Korea and Taiwan. The German company has also secured publishing deals with Mail.RU and Tencent to publish the PC title in Russia and China, respectively.

“We’re excited to bring Warface to Korea and Taiwan together with Nexon, the best partner we could have wished for,” said Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli. “Nexon’s experience in running games-as-service combined with our high production values and hardcore gaming DNA, we believe we can revolutionize the genre that has been invented in Korea.”

PapayaMobile Makes A Social Splash

PapayaMobile has introduced their new development tool Social Splash. This tool allows developers to add Papaya’s social and monetization features to their games.

“This tool is for every developer that has felt abandoned by Flash and crowded out by Zynga,” said CEO Si Shen.  “We believe in helping HTML5 and Flash developers make the transition to mobile a seamless experience. Not only does this new tool decrease development time, but it also allows developers to launch their entire games catalog onto mobile without having to learn a new coding language.”

PapayaMobile also announced that it has surpassed 50 million users and seen 260 percent user growth in the last nine months.