Two interesting tidbits of C&C news dropped through the inbox today.

Firstly EA are launching a cross-platform C&C that supports web and mobile apps, furthermore they use the infamous words “free to play” and note that it is also an MMO. As long as you expect fully to spend real money in-game, I imagine it could be a good thing. The closed Beta is starting as of now, so head over to the website and get signed up.

Secondly Command & Conquer Generals 2 is in the works, and there are two very good reasons to keep an eye out:

  • Bioware are developing the game
  • The game will run on Frostbite2
Colour me excited, even though we have no images yet.

Press releases after the break.  Continue reading

Twitter just exploded.  Five of the top ten trending phrases are regarding the death of Apple founder, programmer and life-long gadget innovator, Steve Jobs.

Apple announced Jobs’ passing with the following statement:

“We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today. Steve’s brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve. His greatest love was for his wife, Laurene, and his family. Our hearts go out to them and to all who were touched by his extraordinary gifts.”

Jobs was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2004, and in 2009 underwent a liver transplant.  He took a leave of absence earlier this year to focus on his health, and only a few weeks ago resigned his position as CEO of Apple for the same reason.

As one of the main developers of the iconic Apple II, Steve Jobs was an important figure in the history of personal computers.  His later introduction of the iPod revolutionised (and, it must be said, popularised) mobile media gadgetry.  The subsequent offspring of the iPod; the iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad, are now among the world’s most popular gaming devices.

On a personal note, some of my first gaming experiences were on an Apple IIe.  Even this Nokia-toting Windows purist may have shed a little tear at this news ;(

Posted in iOS.

Inspired by a Masher discussion this week on the forums I thought I’d take a crack at short-burst mobile games and Australian developer Halfbrick. From Fruit Ninja to Jetpack Joyride Halfbrick’s games ooze with slick and polish, and have found quite the audience. But with rounds that last an average of a minute*, and one button controls, are these games treating us like idiots with short attention spans?

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Bad things are going down in the Australasian games industry. Overworked and underpaid appears to be the ongoing pattern. Not only have we had ex-employees come forward from Team Bondi in Sydney, but now other developers have come out of the woodwork. One such disgruntled employee comes from a relatively new Gameloft studio, based in our very own city of Auckland. Some weeks ex-employee Glenn Watson would be working 100-120 hours in a never-ending crunch mode. He even cites an instance where a junior programmer worked for 24-hours straight.

Read the Games On Net article where former Head Studio Programmer, Glenn Watson describes his harrowing experience working for Gameloft Auckland, and why he decided to leave. It’s a sad state of affairs for the games industry that’s for sure. Let’s hope that by informing the public and bringing these issues to light, game producers will finally begin to clean up their acts.

Some great posts from Team ZATAOGM over the last few weeks. So here I am once again. I didn’t think we’d make it this far with all the internal bickering

— That’s right. You aren’t exactly the easiest person to deal with.
Oh, you’re still here. I think you’ll find it’s the other way around mister. Anyhow, just before we get started —

— Here we go again.
Hey, now this won’t take long. Something I recently learned when it comes to games is that you can’t really stop midway through. I have on occasion continued a long dormant save file, and my play-through of Mass Effect is the perfect example, but it is far from the norm. The best solution to half-finished games is to finish them to begin with!

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When developers Mobile1Up ported Lemmings to the iPhone last year, the project was short-lived. As reported by Touch Arcade, The Lemmings IP is currently owned by Sony, and they didn’t like the idea of an unofficial port — not one bit.

Mobile1Up were not deterred. Earlier this month they released a recreation of the original Lemmings, level for level, using their own graphics, sound effects, and music. The adorable green-haired Lemmings are replaced with cavemen in the aptly named app, Caveman, available on iOS devices, including iPad. Supposedly it doesn’t infringe on copyrights, but if you’ve been wanting that Lemmings experience on your Apple device, you might want to go pick it up sooner rather than later – you know, just in case.

A Logo

The humble Commodore Amiga and the Bitmap Brothers – if ever there was a match made in heaven this was it, a development team with it’s own very particular style and the ability to milk limited hardware for every ounce of ability.

The combination delivered some of the most enduring games and franchises of that particular generation and some personal favourites of mine, which as noted in a recent post are reportedly on their way back to me via the iOS store.

Speedball 2 Evolution is the first step.

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iOS & Android
In what should come as a surprise to no one, a recent report by Flurry shows the increasing market share of both Google’s Android OS and Apple’s iOS in both the overall and portable gaming market in the United States.

Overall, there was no massive jump: iOS and Android comprised 5% of all gaming revenue in 2009, which jumped to 8% in 2010. However, it’s worth nothing that this growth came solely at the expense of portable gaming (the Nintendo DS and PSP, in particular), as console revenue share actually increased during this timeframe. So, to get a better idea of the effect of Android and iOS, Flurry also took a more detailed look at portable gaming in general.

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