Mobile Game Developer King Stops Ads

In-app advertisements have become a commonplace occurrence on many of the free-to-play games on any given app store. After all, even free game developers have to make money somehow. has now opted not to have intrusive ads in their games though, including the popular Candy Crush Saga. Instead of using ad revenue, King is hoping the incentives of purchasing items in-game through the use of real money will be a sufficient revenue stream to make a profit.

King is banking on their popularity and the allure of microtransactions to be enough to keep their company in the black. Without having to rely on the ad revenue that many other free-to-play developers use as their primary monetization, King hopes to provide a better game experience. This may be a smart move by King, seeing the profit they are currently making from microtransactions and acting upon it to build customer confidence. The risk is that the company is relying on more customers to play the game and buy items, with the assumption that without ads the games will attract more users. If users don’t really mind the ads, King may be leaving money on the table.



Smartphones And Tablets Quickly Growing In U.S. Homes

According to research firm Magid Advisors, 61 percent of Americans who have a stable connection to the Internet currently own a smartphone, and on top of that 44 percent own a form of tablet. This study shows that America has become a nation connected at all times – even on the go.

Tablet ownership breaks down into 59 percent of tablet owners owning some form of iPad, with the Kindle Fire having 31 percent of the share and Samsung’s tablets with a 19 percent share. Samsung’s tablets had the highest growth rate over the last year, though, moving up from a 13 percent share in 2012.

In the smartphone market, Android accounts for 53 percent of smartphone ownership in the U.S. As people and devices become increasingly mobile though, application development and marketing to the people who own these devices also has to come to the forefront. Facebook has already started to integrate app ads into its mobile Facebook, showing users applications that would be relevant to their interests. Over half of the U.S. is mobile now, and advertising has to become mobile with it.

Marketo CEM Aims To Make Marketing Easy

Marketo’s new software is based around three main principles, as stated in its demo video: Generating leads, accelerating the leads into becoming a customer, and increasing retention to bring in greater revenue. This is a marketing system that is meant to understand customers and create a dialogue. It utilizes various tools like mass emails, webinar setup, and page creation services to attempt to make using these three pillars of marketing simpler.

One of the most important parts of the software is its use of metrics. Marketo looks at the demographics being targeted, and gauges interest from them so marketers can focus on interested parties and bypass uninterested ones. In today’s social society, marketing isn’t just about telling people about a product: it’s about engaging with customers about the product. Marketo’s automation of some of the process is a step forward in the automation of engaging interested customers, but will it be able to synthesize actual interest in the customer

Game companies can use this not just for online sales, but also to help increase community satisfation and perhaps drive sales of virtual goods. These sorts of tools can have broad usefulness in the changing ways that games are being sold.



Rift Goes F2P, Trailer Shows Features

One of the last main holdouts of the pay to play model for MMORPGs (aside from the ever-present World of Warcraft), Rift has finally made the jump to free to play. To signify the jump and let new users know what awaits them in the game, developer Trion Worlds has released this trailer showing off some of the creatures and features of the game. The game can be downloaded at


Magic 2014 Duels Of The Planeswalkers E3 Trailer Shows Off Sealed, Deckbuilding

Among the features announced for the newest trailer for Wizards of the Coast’s yearly Magic the Gathering simulator were the ability to take part in sealed events, the ability to open packs for cards, and the long awaited ability to build full playable decks from scratch. The game is set to launch on Steam, Xbox Live, PSN, Apple’s App Store and Google Play this summer.


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Sony’s Greatness Awaits Trailer Has Pretty Much Everything

Sony’s new ad entitled Greatness Awaits has explosions, cities, jungles, racing, paint exploding out of buildings, hidden Bioshock references and pretty much anything else a gamer could ask for in an ad, including a motivational speech. Sony states that there are 35 easter eggs hidden in this ad waiting to be found as well, referencing games and Sony’s lineup.


Elder Scrolls Online Confirmed For Next Gen Consoles

Bethesda Software has officially announced that the newest, and first ever online, iteration of their long-running Elder Scrolls franchise will make its way to Xbox One and PlayStation 4. While The Elder Scrolls Online is an MMO, the developers claim that there are options for any style of play, whether gamers want to treat it as a solo experience, play it with friends, or partake in 100 person raids. The Elder Scrolls Online was previously announced to be on PC and Mac, but will now be aiming to reach the next-gen console market as well as the PC market when the game launches in Spring 2014.


Anki Shows Off Artificial Intelligence Chops In Car Racing Game

A new application and car racing toy from AI start-up Anki showed off the artificial intelligence software that Anki has been developing: and it features cars that learn. In a demonstration at WWDC, the startup showed off a game where little cars raced around a track onstage, and tried take one car out of the race. The competitors learned from the driving behavior of the victim, firing weapons and adapting to the racing style of the player.

While the game showed the effectiveness of artificial intelligence in games, the start-up wants to move beyond games into the development of robotics. In the meantime though, the racing game will be released in the fall and retail for about $200.

Source: GigaOm

Advertising Slow To Move To Online Media

According to a report from consulting firm PwC, ad spending online will be $5.9 billion in 2017 but despite the explosion in popularity and availability of online content, ad spending for TV will be at $81.6 billion. While YouTube and other video sharing services are pulling in record amounts of money from advertising on their sites, many advertisers are having an unwillingness to move from television to experiment with online advertising.

The cost of advertising on both TV and on the internet is growing as advertising budgets are being spread across both mediums. Even still, there is an odd disconnect as internet video continues to grow rapidly and reach wider audiences than TV. Moving into the future, eventually advertisers might see the potential in web advertising, as TV viewership dwindles and online video sites boom.

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Augmented Reality Racing Game Zooms Onto iPad

A new game from developer Dekko utilizes the power of augmented reality to allow players to race cars on any surface see-able through the viewfinder in their new game Tabletop Speed. Augmented reality, which involves using applications to overlay digital pieces onto real-world views has yet to come into its own, but Dekko is betting that AR’s day is just around the corner.

The game allows racers to race along a digitally projected track in either a single or multiplayer experience. While this may be a simple use of AR, the possibilities are endless for Dekko, who are experimenting with wearable tech like Google Glass. A future where we see Yelp data projected onto restaurants in our field of vision, or data about our favorite sports stars as they take the field may not be far off, but it all starts with technology like Tabletop Speed.


Source: TechCrunch