Tag - PopCap
Electronic Arts has done another round of layoffs, this time affecting PopCap Games. The publisher declined to comment on the number of jobs affected by the layoff, but told Polygon in a statement that the jobs weren't from the PopCap HD team which was responsible for the recent Plants versus Zombies Garden Warfare. PopCap had been split into two teams in the previous month, one to focus on consoles and PC titles and the other for mobile titles. In a statement, General Manager John Vechey expressed his disappointment over the loss, but said that the layoffs were "necessary in order to stay on course with our future plans for mobile games, live services and new IP."
Game developer PopCap, known for titles such as Peggle and the Plants Versus Zombies series, is seeing two of its co-founders depart the company. CEO Dave Roberts and chief designer Jason Kapalka are leaving the studio they helped found, effective the week of January 6. PopCap's sole remaining co-founder, John Vechey, is slated to become the new general manager of the development house.
Popcap Games, a division of EA, announced a three-day promotion benefitting Autism Speaks, the world's leading autism awareness organization. During the promotion, Facebook Zuma Blitz players can purchase discounted "idols" which grant in-game power-ups to boost player's game performance at a discount, with proceeds going towards the autism advocacy agency.
Google ended a string of leaks Thursday afternoon with official game support on Google+. The primarily Flash-based games come from majors in web games and some from Facebook, including Zynga titles like Zynga Poker as well as Rovio's Angry Birds and PopCap's Bejeweled Blitz. In a direct jab at Facebook's tendency to put all updates on the main news feed, Google added that games, their status updates, and their achievements would only show in a Games tab.
EA has confirmed that it has established an agreement to acquire PopCap, a game publisher best known for mobile titles such as Plants vs. Zombies and Bejeweled. The buyout will cost EA at least $750 million, which includes $650 million in cash and $100 million in stock. PopCap will also be entitled to additional cash compensation based on EA's future earnings through the end of 2013.
Apple has reportedly rejected the first app released by PopCap's new game label, 4th & Battery. The app, titled Unpleasant Horse, features a dark horse that flies through the sky. Users advance in the game by eliminating birds or blasting other horses into a meat grinder. Apple is said to have blocked the release due to mature content.
As the iPad launch looms tomorrow, four new games have been launched for the new Apple platform. PopCap has launched its popular iPhone and Mac zombie fighting game, Plants vs. Zombies HD for iPad. The game pits the user against hordes of zombies using a variety of plants to fend them off. The iPad version adds larger graphics taking advantage of the iPad's display; it also gets exclusive achievements, 18 mini-games and the survival mode. The new iPad version is $10 and available now on the App Store.
Microsoft at its MIX10 developer event detailed some of how app development and sales will work for Windows Phone 7. Confirming that it's based on Silverlight and XNA, the mobile OS will fence off third-party apps from true native code but will give them access to all the key features: it will recognize accelerometers, cameras and multi-touch gestures. WP7 will also mirror iPhone development by using background push notification for those not allowed to multitask and include a general location service that any app can use.
(Update: Facebook disputes the figure) Apple is rapidly widening the gap between its app platform and Facebook, new data from Flurry found today. Although the gap was relatively small about five months into the app portals' respective lifespans, by the 1.5 year mark Apple now has more than twice as many apps. The iPhone App Store's 140,000 confirmed apps easily outweigh the 60,000 web-based apps of Facebook's social network.
PopCap's Plants vs. Zombies has set a record for a new iPhone app launch in its first nine days of availability. The new game has sold over 300,000 units in less than ten days on the App Store, topping the units and revenue charts within 24 hours of its launch. In less than ten days, the game has already grossed over $1 million.
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GoPro revenue drops, Karma drone delayed
Action camera maker GoPro announced its first quarter results on Thursday, and the news was largely bad. While unit sell-through of the cameras was close to the year-over-year compare, revenues dropped 49.5 percent from Q1 last year, though was slightly above the company's guidance. Overall, the company lost $107 million in GAAP net income, and margins declined to 32.5 percent from 45.1 percent in the year-ago quarter. The company further announced that it would be delaying its planned Karma drone product until this winter, which will likely further impact next quarter's results. The upside of the delay, said GoPro Founder and CEO Nicholas Woodman, is that the Karma will now benefit from debuting just before the holiday buying season. http://bit.ly/1OgpdgD
Netflix iOS app now offers cell-data controls
In a new update to its iOS app on Thursday, subscription entertainment service Netflix has introduced new user controls for streaming over cellular networks to prevent overages, throttling, or other usage issues caused by the high data rate of streamed HD video. Users can choose from a given amount of streaming video that "costs" 1GB of cellular data, which lowers video quality to allow as much as four hours of video per GB (the "automatic" setting provides three hours, while higher quality settings reduce the time to two hours, or one hour at the best setting). In addition, the updated app now offers more 3D Touch options from the app icon, beyond the "peek and pop" previews for video. http://apple.co/24AD1vR
Bentley launches app for Apple Watch
Carmaker Bentley now offers an Apple Watch app for its Bentayga SUV -- a vehicle with a starting price of $229,000 -- that offers some advanced automotive functions not previously seen in other car apps for Apple's wearable. The app allows Watch wearers to control various seat adjustments, environmental controls (including seat massage), and the entertainment system. In addition, various vehicle stats are available at a glance, including distance traveled and vehicle speed. The app is available free on the App Store. http://apple.co/24AyXvs
Lunch with Cook auction nets $515K
The Charitybuzz auction that offered lunch with Apple CEO Tim Cook at Apple HQ and a pair of passes to a future Apple event (winner's pick) has ended with a high bid of $515,000, the highest amount the annual auction has fetched since 2013. Proceeds of the auction will benefit Cook's preferred charity, the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights organization, where Cook was recently named to the board of directors. The winner, who was unnamed, will be responsible for their own transportation and accommodation, and Cook has up to a year to schedule the meeting -- making it possible that the winner will be among the first to dine with Cook in the new Campus 2 cafeteria, which is set to open along with the rest of the new facility early next year. http://bit.ly/236Wf9N
Free Windows 10 upgrade program ends July 29
Ending speculation, Microsoft has officially announced that it will end free Windows 10 upgrades on July 29, the one-year anniversary of the rollout of the OS. Following the 29th, Microsoft's ubiquitous OS will retail for $119 and up. http://bit.ly/1O0a7kA
US tech giants to candidates: support TPP
Tech giants including Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Uber are among thirteen major US corporations who have written an open letter to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton urging them to support the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal, reports Reuters. Although not yet made public, the letter also asks the candidates to make it easier for the companies to hire tech workers from overseas. Both are not happy with the TPP deal, although Trump is sterner in his opposition to any kind of trade deals between countries. Trump has not rejected outright the idea of importing high-tech talent from overseas, while Clinton has already voiced her support for the idea. http://reut.rs/1Wb0Zwq
Apple mandates June 1 app IPv6 support
Apple has set the deadline for IPv6 support for App Store-supplied software. On June 1, apps thast use a custom networking stack and that are submitted to the app store must support IPv6-only networks. The rule, announced last year as coming soon, will only affect a small portion of submitted applications that do not use the NSURLSession and CFNetwork APIs. http://apple.co/24yBTIY