Movile Releases Kid-Friendly Video App PlayKids TV

Mobile entertainment company Movile has launched PlayKids TV, a mobile video app targeted toward kids. The company has a history of distributing digital video content to Latin American countries on non-smartphones.

Movile has increasingly been looking into reaching into U.S. markets and designing apps for smartphones and tablets. PlayKids TV’s release in the U.S. is a jump in that direction.

In PlayKids TV, when a user opens the app, they are shown a train with a number of cars attached to it. Each of the cars represents a “show” that can be watched. Instead of streaming episodes, episodes are downloaded straight to the app. They can be watched repeatedly after downloading, even without an internet connection.

While the app is free to download, only the first episode of each of the initial five programs is available for free. Users need a subscription to the service to watch more episodes.

Movile plans to release more shows in addition to distributing the initial five episodes. The company could look to Netflix and Amazon for inspiratoin.  Both have initiatives to create and distribute programming to kids. Movile is targeting the same lucrative audience these two media giants are vying for, and their experience on mobile and history with kid-focused fare may give them an edge.

Source: TechCrunch

Kingdom Hearts 3 Announcement Ends Eight Years Of Waiting

After Kingdom Hearts 2 was released in 2005, the question on everyone’s mind was ‘When will Kingdom Hearts 3 grace our screens ‘ The PlayStation 3 came and went without any word of the next numbered entry. Eight years and four handheld games later, Kingdom Hearts 3 has finally been revealed for next gen consoles. There is no release date set yet, but gameplay footage and some story insight is a step in the right direction.

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Zynga, Pokki And Acer Team Up To Deliver Games

Zynga, Acer and desktop app Pokki have come together to develop a game arcade for Zynga’s vast library of games that will be pre-loaded onto new Acer PCs running Windows 8. Pokki, which was developed by SweetLabs, features desktop versions of popular mobile games such as Angry Birds and Cut The Rope, as well as a start menu app that easily brings all of the free apps together in one place. Ten of Zynga’s games will appear, including FarmVille 2 and Zynga Poker.

The new Zynga cabinet will allow users to install games with one click and play them on the desktop. The app also features a recommendation system that tailors decisions to what players would or wouldn’t like.

As Zynga begins to move its gaming reach beyond mobile and Facebook games, broadening its audience to PC users with prime placement in new Acer systems certainly fits that strategy nicely.  In response to the announcement on Tuesday, Zynga’s share price rose nearly eight percent over the course of the day.

Source: Forbes

Responsive Web Design Doesn’t Replace Apps

While having responsive design for a website is a great way to reach a huge audience, it isn’t the end-all solution for a site. Apps are still a very important part of a publisher’s toolkit for reaching out to as large an audience as possible. Having a single web design optimized for all of the possible devices and browsers isn’t easy, and apps developed for specific operating systems that run on multiple devices are still one of the best options.

According to AdWeek, a number of different news outlets including The New York Times and BuzzFeed utilize both responsive web design and apps in the distribution of their services. Having the option to use a dedicated app to view a publisher’s content is incredibly effective at reaching consumers who know the publisher and seek out their news on a daily basis, while having responsive design is more effective at reaching people who utilize links and sharing.

There is no perfect answer to whether responsive design or a dedicated app is better. Depending on the service, an app may be clearly better for getting word out. On the other hand, sometimes having an app may not reach as many people as a dedicated website would. The easiest way to reach the greatest audiences is to find a balance between a reliable app and a website that caters to as many potential users as possible.

Source: Adweek

Supergiant Games Leads Sony’s Indie Initiative

Supergiant games presented their newest game, Transistor, during Sony’s E3 conference. Transistor is their second game, and their first release since Bastion took the indie gaming world by storm in 2011. Similar to Bastion, Transistor is played from a third person perspective, and it was announced as part of Sony’s initiative to feature more indie games on the PS4. Transistor will see the light of day next year on the PS4.

Top Players In Mobile For May 2013

Editor’s note: Newzoo and Distimo have released monthly mobile game data for May 2013, listing top worldwide games and publishers for iOS App Store and Google Play.  New zoo’s Peter Warman contributes his analysis.

The top five iOS publishers have seen a shake up this month, with GungHo Online Entertainment storming up from the bottom of the chart in April to make number one, thanks to their Android and now iOS hit game Puzzles and Dragons.  They’re followed on the list by Supercell, and EA. Funzio have continued their climb up the charts and are now at the number six spot, pushing Gameloft down to number 7. Two publishers have re-entered the list – COLOPL, and NAMCO BANDAI.  Zynga has climbed one position this month and is now at number eight with five games in the top 200.

Source: Newzoo and Distimo. Rankings based on gross sales.

Focusing on iOS games, as mentioned Puzzle and Dragons from GungHo Online Entertainment is this month’s best performing game, replacing Finland-based Supercell’s Clash of Clans. This is the first time the Supercell hit, now at number three, hasn’t topped the charts since December 2012. Candy Crush Saga from has now climbed into second place. Hay Day, also from the Finnish publisher, remains at number four.

The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle Earth moved up from last month to take the number five spot. Megapolis from Social Quantum made the biggest climb up the charts, moving four places to number six. The Simpsons: Tapped Out is still proving a success, taking up two positions in the top 20 at number seven as well as number 14 for the exclusive North American version. Meanwhile, the social casino favorite, Poker by Zynga, fell down the list to number 20.

Source: Newzoo and Distimo. Rankings based on gross sales.

Looking at the Google Play store, the top five Android publishers also changed dramatically this month. LINE Corporation remains the top publisher with LINE WIND runner, its most successful game. GungHo Online Entertainment climbed four positions to number two, and COLOPL  moved up from number six to third place. The April chart’s second and third place publishers, CJ E&M Corp. and Mobage, are now at fourth and fifth., EA Swiss Earl, Kabam and Gameloft remain the only Western publishers in a still Asian-dominated list for Android chart toppers.

Source: Newzoo and Distimo. Rankings based on gross sales.

Puzzle and Dragons was once again the best performing game for Google Play store in terms of revenues, but the rest of the list saw a dramatic shake up. LINE WIND runner from LINE Corporation, last month’s number seven, is now the number two game. Last month’s number 13 game from COLOPL is at number three.

The other top five games in April all fell down the list in May.  The April chart’s number two Android game from WeMade Entertainment fell four positions to number six.  The number four game from CJ E&M fell to 11th place.  April’s fifth place game from Fincon fell to number 15.

Source: Newzoo and Distimo. Rankings based on gross sales.

About the Author

Peter Warman is CEO and co-founder of Newzoo, the games market research and consulting firm servicing clients across all game business models and regions.




TT Game’s New LEGO Game Based On New IP

TT Games is very experienced in working with LEGO versions of established franchises, including the likes of Star Wars, DC, and Indiana Jones. With their new game, Legends of Chima: Laval’s Journey, they are working within LEGO’s new original frachise. The trailer shows off the action-puzzle based gameplay and gag humor TT Games is known for. The game is out today for 3DS and PS Vita.


Babes, Mayhem And Dubstep In Deadpool Launch Trailer

On the eve of its release, a new trailer for High Moon Studio’s Deadpool has surfaced. The trailer shows how the Deadpool comic’s trademark writing has crossed over into video game form. Cable, Wolverine and other heroes and villains also make an appearance, and of course it wouldn’t be a video game trailer without dubstep. Deadpool is out in stores today for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. Send dubstep, guns, and babes – Deadpool’s ready to rumble!

Alamo’s New Games Market To Moms, Families

In a bid to keep families engaged on the road while advertising to those families, Alamo Rent-A-Car has released a series of mobile apps designed for family road trips. Alamo has teamed up with several ‘mom’ bloggers to create and push these apps, in addition to promoted tweets and Facebook posts from Alamo. Four of these games can be played from the AlamoGames2Go web app, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Vine by using the hashtag #AlamoGames2Go.

The four games are Alamoding, PixPursuit, SnapFamily, and Alamovie. Each of the apps involves using picture or video to capture family moments, which can then can be submitted for a chance to win every week or to win a $5000 grand prize. In addition to the contests being held by Alamo’s apps, the participating mom bloggers will be holding contests as well.

An increasingly growing part of social networks is mothers. Alamo is attempting to break into this market by creating these applications and games for families and marketing them to mothers. Alamo will be tracking the success of these games as the campaign goes on by noting how much attention and participation the games get.

Source: Adweek

The Death Of Vine May Be Greatly Exaggerated

The following is a reprint of an article for iMedia Connection by Keith Pape, VP social & emerging media at Ayzenberg Group.

With the launch of Instagram Video yesterday, many pundits have already announced the death of Twitter’s video service, Vine. It seems that anytime Facebook jumps into a new niche, there is the threat that a smaller offering will be crushed under their weight (of ad spend to gain adoption).

The fact that Instagram video is integrated into their existing application certainly helps their cause by gaining access to an existing install base, but Foursquare has certainly shown that a mere entry into a space (such as online check-in) isn’t a guaranteed death sentence. The key to Instagram’s success and their greatest differentiation is certainly their filtering options. Filtering turns any point-and-shoot photographer into Ansel Adams with the push of a button. I’m not sure the same is true for video. There is much more to consider when creating a short-form video; and just adding on a lighting filter at the end may not make up for aggressive movement, bad composition or poor aim.

From a functionality standpoint, I do admit I love that they came out with iOS and Android the same day. The ability to use both camera views (front and rear) is a godsend, and having the option for a slightly longer form —while being able to stop anytime I want and move on to filter and share — is quite refreshing.

The key for Vine is to find its differentiation, much as Foursquare has done for check-in. How can they find a new feature or audience niche that finds Vine to be the special sauce they need Vine will need to pivot quickly on their business model to stay relevant. I don’t really see them as an underdog (as they are a division of Twitter) but as a first mover, I do root for them to make some quick changes and I’m still hopeful for an innovative and competitive future.

What do you think I’ve taken a few already and see not necessarily innovation, but certainly a more full-featured experience. What have you shot What do you think Vine’s next move could be? Leave a comment or send me a tweet and let’s keep this conversation going.

About the Author

Keith Pape leads social, mobile and emerging media opportunities, as well as strategy and creative execution at Ayzenberg Group.  He is a senior digital marketing executive with 14+ years of experience driving business growth, leading teams, launching brands and products, and achieving results through creative, results-driven and technology-enabled marketing. 

Source: iMedia