Train2Game news: Sony development kit brings brings Android and PlayStation together


Train2Game students could use the same development kit to produce games for handhelds and smartphones. That is if during their future careers they ever get their hands on the new SDK from Sony

Dubbed the ‘PlayStation Suite’ the development kit allows developers to produce games for PlayStation handhelds and Android devices including smartphones and tablet computers.

In theory, it’ll allow developers to release a single game across a variety of different mobile and handheld platforms including the PlayStation Vita, which you can read more about here on the Train2Game blog.

Other Sony platforms the Android games can be released on include the Xperia Play smartphone, two Sony tablet computers and any future ‘PlayStation certified’ hardware.

“By supporting development for multiple devices and by adopting libraries to create a variety of content not only limited to games, PS Suite SDK will not only help developers save their cost in creating new content but also allow them to efficiently create their content on one SDK and without having to create on several different SDKs” said Sony.

The PlayStation Suite will begin to be used by selected developers from November, but games developed using the SDK won’t be able to be released until next Spring, when the PlayStation Vita is expected to launch in the West.

Last month the Train2Game blog reported that Sony were handing PlayStation Vita kits to indie developers.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on a combined SDK for PlayStation and Android? Will it encourage developers to produce games for a wider variety of platforms?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: Develop]

Train2Game news: Android downloads top 6 billion


Train2Game students will be highly aware of the massive impact the iPhone and its app store has had on the games industry, with some claiming that the success makes Apple a threat to consoles.

However, apple isn’t the only player in mobile gaming with Android operated smartphones growing in popularity. And these Android users are also downloading apps with over 6 billion apps and games installed according to market research firm Research2Guidence.

Interesting its weather based apps that generate the most income from paid downloads in the Android marketplace, with games ranking at No.7 but the fastest growing type of download.

Developers have struggled to make profit from Android apps, the Rsearch2Guidence studies suggest that this is starting to improve.

As previously reported by the Train2Game blog, one third of UK population uses smartphones and it’s a number that continues to grow. And while the iPhone continues to dominate the smartphone market, increasing numbers of people are using Android devices.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on Android? Is it an operating system you’d consider developing for?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: Gamasutra]

Train2Game news: Free-to-play games generate 65% of App store revenue


Train2Game students with plans to develop mobile games may be interested in the following statistic; free-to-play games now bring in 65% of the revenue in the iTunes App store.

That’s according to a report by Flurry Games GM Jeferson Valadares that tracked over 90,000 apps and showed that at the start of the year free-to-play games brought in just 39% of revenue.

It could encourage Train2Game students to develop free-to-play titles of their own.

“When you make your game free and add in-app purchases, two powerful things can happen: first, more people will likely try your game since you’ve made the ante zero,” writes Valadares.

“And second, you will likely take more total money, since different players can now spend different amounts depending on their engagement and preferences. It’s not unheard of for individual players to spend into the tens of thousands in a game they like,” he continues

“Although this means that more than 90% of players will not spend a single penny, it also means that players who love your game spend much more than the $0.99 you were considering charging for the app.”

Valadares adds that free-to-play is “here to stay” This evidence for this is significant, with the Train2Game blog even reporting that EA believe it can be as profitable as triple-a

In an interview with the Train2Game blog last year, games industry consultant and Gamesbrief founder, told us that free-to-play generates more revenue.

“The guys who are making more money are allowing people – if they like the game – to keep upgrading. And instead of the maximum amount of that money you can make from customer being 99c you can make $5, in some cases $30.” Lovell told the Train2Game blog.

“There’s a game called Pocket Frogs which has in app purchases of values of 99 cent, $4.99 & £29.99. Only 8% of people by the $29.99, but in revenue terms, more than half their revenue comes from those bigger packs.  And most businesses stop at the 99c level, they would make a tenth of the revenue of Pocket Frogs.”

Last week, the Train2Game blog reported that Smurfs’ Village is ‘changing the market’ for mobile games.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the growth of free-to-play? Is it here to stay?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: Industry Gamers via]

Former Rockstar Game Designer founds indie studio

In a move that’ll remind Train2Game students of the ever growing appeal of mobile games, a former Rockstar Game Designer has founded a new studio for producing them.

Anthony Gowland’s micro-studio Mainly About Games will concentrate on developing web an mobile games, with the first coming in the form of Tealy & Orangey, a web-based puzzle platformer

“With the varied distribution opportunities now available to developers, it felt like the perfect time to move away from AAA development,” explained Gowland”

And in similar comments made by games industry veteran Jon Hare during the Third Official Train2Game webinar in October last year, the former Rockstar Game Designer believes small teams can make very successful games.

“It’s totally viable for a small team, or even a single dedicated guy, to create and market a successful game independently. My passion is in creating small titles that have solid gameplay hooks and big budget polish.”

And in news that could theoretically benefit Train2Game student run game development teams, Mainly About Games will also offer consultation services.

“Each year there are a lot of games that are very good, when they could have been great. Playing through them you often get the impression that it’s the little details that are missing or have been overlooked.” said Gowland.

“I think there’s a real benefit to having an outsider with a proven track record play through your game with a fresh pair of eyes.”

Anthony Gowland previously worked as a Game Designer on titles including Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars and Red Dead Redemption. For an interesting look behind the scenes of Red Dead Redemption, see the Train2Game blog.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the move? What does a Game Designer with Triple A experience moving into mobile say about the industry right now?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.


Angry Birds hits 200 million downloads – a reminder to Train2Game students how big mobile gaming is!

Casual mobile game Angry Birds, which as the Train2Game blog reported reached 100 million downloads in March, has now already been downloaded over 200 million times.

That’s according to developer Rovio, with their various versions of Angry Birds currently available on iPhone, iPad, Android devices, PC, PlayStation 3, PSP and Mac.

As reported by the Train2Game blog, the popularity of the game has even led to Angry Birds merchandise being sold on the High Street.

We have seen more growth and engagement with Angry Birds games and merchandise across all markets,” said Rovio CEO Mikael Hed.

“The growing numbers of fans give us more incentive to keep creating more fresh, fun and engaging Angry Birds experiences and making them available to everyone.”

He also noted that Rovio is “very, very profitable,” and expects the company to make revenue of 50 to 100 Euros this year.

Angry Birds is a huge piece of evidence for those studying Train2Game courses about the ever rising impact of mobile games. As reported by the Train2Game blog, Rovio themselves believe that the gravity of the games industry is shifting towards mobile.

And the Train2Game blog has previously mentioned how developing mobile games could potentially be a route for Train2Game students into the games industry.

For more information about mobile gaming, see the Train2Game blog interview with games industry analyst Nicholas Lovell from December last year.

What are your thoughts on the success of Angry Birds? What is the games appeal? Does its success encourage you to develop mobile games?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: Industry Gamers]