Google announced on Thursday that it is following in Facebook’s footsteps yet again by adding games to its Google+ social network. “We want to bring the nuance and richness of real-life sharing to the web,” the company said in a blog post. “That means giving you control over when you see games, how you play them and with whom you share your experiences.” Thankfully we won’t be bombarded with Farmville requests and updates on Mafia Wars: “games in Google+ are there when you want them and gone when you don’t,” the company said. A new ‘Games’ button will be added to the top of the Google+ stream that will bring users to the gaming page. Launch titles include Angry Birds, Bejeweled Blitz, Bubble Island, City of Wonder, Collapse! Blast, Crime City, Diamond Dash, Dragon Age Legends, Dragons of Atlantis, Edge World, Flood-It!, Monster World, Sudoku, Wild Ones, Zombie Lane and Zynga Poker. Google will be rolling out the update to its users gradually and it will be available to all users “soon.” More →
Lodsys, the company that has been accusing iOS and Android developers of illegally using its in-app purchasing technology, is now also targeting high-profile gaming firms such as Atari, Electronic Arts, Angry Birds lab Rovio, Square Enix and Take-Two Interactive. According to FOSS Patents, Lodsys had this to say about Rovio:
Defendant Rovio has infringed and continues to infringe, directly, indirectly, literally, under the doctrine of equivalents, contributorily, and/or through the inducement of other, one or more claims of the ’565 patent. Rovio makes, sells, uses, imports, and/or offers to sell infringing applications, including but not limited to Angry Birds for iPhone and Angry Birds for Android, which infringe at least claim 27 of ’565 patent under 35 U.S.C. § 271.
Read on for more. More →
Microsoft’s Windows Phone Marketplace is now home to more than 25,000 applications, according to the app tracking website WindowsPhoneAppList. That’s a rapid jump from the 18,000 applications that were available in May but it’s still a far cry from the competing app stores offered by Apple and Google. The Android Marketplace is populated with more than 200,000 applications, and Apple said in May that its iTunes App Store boasts more than 500,000 apps. The top-5 paid apps in the Windows Phone Marketplace are all games. Angry Birds is the most popular download, followed by Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode 1, Plants vs. Zombies, Doodle Jump, and Pac Man Championship Edition DX. Microsoft has yet to officially announce having reached the milestone. More →
Microsoft originally said that Rovio’s hit game Angry Birds would make its debut in May, but that date was later pushed until June 29th. That day is finally here and, as promised, the game is now available in the Windows Phone Marketplace. Oddly enough, the title will cost gamers $2.99 — quite a price hike over the free ad-supported version available on Android, and even the $0.99 price tag for iOS devices. Worse yet, it doesn’t appear that Angry Birds Seasons — which is being updated every month with new levels — is available. Hopefully that version will be available soon, too, but we wouldn’t hold our breath. Game on! More →
Rovio just pumped out the Mine and Dine update for Android, and its developers aren’t sitting still… on Tuesday the game publisher launched a teaser trailer for its new Angry Birds Seasons: Summer Pignic game. The short clip suggests that you’ll only have one bird on each level to knock out all of the pigs, which is definitely a tough twist on the standard fowl lineup. The update will be available for Android, webOS, iOS, and Symbian devices. Hit the jump for the full video. More →
Angry Birds for Android has been updated with a new Mine and Dine episode. Players can now fling birds at pigs across 45 challenging new levels, bringing the total number of playable levels to 255. In this update, the pigs have buried themselves underground in an effort to hide the bird eggs. You’ll need to take advantage of the landscape to hit every pig while collecting gems and grabbing all of the stolen eggs. The update is available for free in the Android Market now.
During the Mobile 2.0 Europe – openIDEAS conference in Europe this week, Rovio’s Peter Vesterbacka said that the smash hit game Angry Birds is now downloaded more than one million times per day. Rovio has said that before — in October 2010 the firm proclaimed that the Android version was downloaded 2 million times in 2 days — but it’s certainly a feat for that trend to continue 8 months later. Vesterbacka attributed the game’s runaway success to strong branding, but we also think it’s due to Rovio’s consistent game updates and continued drive to get the game on nearly every mobile platform, including iOS, Android, webOS, and soon Windows Phone. More →
We can’t say this is the most exciting use of NFC technology we’ve seen in recent history, but at least the team behind Rovio’s Angry Birds franchise is trying to breathe new life into the lab’s aging fowl. Last week at the MeeGo conference, Rovio was on hand showing off a new game called Angry Birds Magic. While details are slim for the time being, the firm did show off a nifty new feature — by simply tapping two Nokia C7 smartphones together while running the new Angry Birds game, five new levels are instantly unlocked. The implementation is neat but the concept isn’t overly exciting, so we hope Rovio can fan things out a bit and add some more novel NFC functionality before launching the game. Hit the break for a video of Angry Birds Magic’s NFC capabilities in action. More →
Despite early reports that Rovio would push Angry Birds for Windows Phone out of the nest on May 25th, Microsoft said on Wednesday that the game won’t launch until June 29th. The good news is that there will be plenty of other new titles to hold Windows Phone users over. Hydro Thunder Go will debut on May 25th, Doodle Jump lands on June 1st, geoDefense will launch on June 8th, Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode 1 will be available on June 15th, and Plants vs Zombies will launch on June 22nd. Microsoft didn’t clarify why it pushed the launch out, but we suspect it’s just in an effort to offer a new game every week. Don’t forget: we’ll be reporting live from Microsoft’s Windows Phone press event in New York City next Tuesday at 10am, where we’ll hear more details on the platform. More →
Rovio Mobile, the firm behind the hit game Angry Birds, has set a goal to seek an initial public offering (IPO) sometime during the next 2-3 years, Reuters is reporting. The firm raised $42 million in Series A funding earlier this year, and its Angry Birds franchise has spread across multiple platforms including Android, iOS, webOS — and you can even play it in your web browser. As such, Rovio has increased its staff from 12 employees to 100 employees this year. “I see that this is only beneficial for us in terms of making the company more structured and more focused on creating it into a proper large organization, having grown from a company of 12,” Rovio’s CEO Mikael Hed said during the Reuters Global Technology Summit in Paris. In May, Rovio’s board chairman expressed interest in seeking an IPO in New York. More →
When Rovio announced Angry Birds Rio, the game publisher promised it would offer a new episodic update each month through November. Later this week, Rovio will begin to follow through on that promise when it introduces Angry Birds Rio: Beach Volleyball. The update will provide 30 new levels and more achievements. It will presumably launch across the multiple platforms on which Angry Birds Rio is available, including webOS, Android, and iOS. Hit the jump for a video preview of Beach Volleyball. More →
iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users have a sick obsession. No, not their tendency to adore their iOS devices a bit more than might be considered healthy — they love birds. Right now, the top five paid apps in Apple’s App Store all revolve around fat little birds being hurled across the screen. Some are being thrown at things and others try to avoid things, but all of them have one thing in common beyond the fact that they’re fowl: these games are as casual as casual games can be. As companies begin to focus on more immersive mobile gaming, one can’t help but wonder if the bulk of mobile gamers are ready for the transition to a more sophisticated brand of gaming. It could just be that they’re happier watching birds glide across the screen atop different backgrounds over, and over, and over again.
During a meeting with Microsoft VP Joe Belfiore, AllThingsD was able to confirm that Rovio’s smash hit Angry Birds game will be available for Windows Phone 7 devices beginning on May 25th. That will leave BlackBerry OS as the last modern operating system to lack support for the title. Belfiore didn’t comment on how much the game would cost, but we hope it’s in the free to $0.99 range. Rovio has launched a number of seasonal updates to Angry Birds and most recently published Angry Birds Rio. It remains unclear which version will hit the Windows Marketplace. More →