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Major Console Publishers Konami And Square Enix Announce New Mobile-First Strategies

If you owned a game console at any point in the last thirty years, you've probably at least heard of Konami, Squaresoft, and Enix. If you consider yourself a gamer, you probably know their major franchises by heart. Castlevania. Final Fantasy. Dragon Warrior. Metal Gear. Konami and Square Enix are giants of gaming, at one point standing toe-to-toe with companies like EA and Nintendo, dominating the console landscape and releasing some of the most beloved video games of all time.

The times, they are a changing.


Earlier this week, Konami president Hideki Hayakawa told an interviewer from Nikkei Trendy Net that his company would "pursue mobile games aggressively...

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[Update: Changelog Posted] Play Newsstand 3.4 Rolls Out With Some UI Tweaks, Information Sharing With Publishers, And More [APK Teardown + Download]

It seems like forever since we've talked about an update to Newsstand, but we get to change that with today's bump to version 3.4. In terms of user-facing features, this release is essentially focused on visual changes. Adjustments have been made to the navigation drawer, some icons, and at least one button. The potentially bigger news comes via a teardown that reveals Newsstand will enable customers to share details and verify their subscriptions with publishers, and that Google may be testing in-content advertisements for some content.

What's New

Changelog Posted

It's been a few days, but Google just posted the changelog to Newsstand 3.4, and it looks like a lot of algorithm changes.

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Some Mobile Game Publishers Are Forcing Developers To Go Free-To-Play (And Pay-To-Win) Or Go Home

Free-to-play is a divisive topic in the games industry right now. Some developers and publishers, especially in the mobile gaming world, love it - free games get downloaded more, and they have the potential to bring in more revenue. Gamers used to the "pay once, pay forever" model of games and software in general over the last 30 years think it's changing the industry and damaging both the economics and the mechanics of gaming itself.

But at the end of the day, the decision of how to make a game, how to monetize it, and whether or not to adopt that tempting, lucrative, and divisive "pay to win" model should rest with the people actually making the game.

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Zynga Purchases NaturalMotion, Developer Of CSR Racing And Backbreaker Football, For $527 Million

Yesterday social gaming giant Zynga purchased NaturalMotion, developers of notable mobile games including the CSR Racing series, Backbreaker Football, and the official Jenga game for iOS and Android. TechCrunch reports that the $527 million purchase includes $391 million in cash and 39.8 million shares of Zynga stock. NaturalMotion operates offices in London, Oxford, Brighton, and San Francisco. 

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Zynga has plenty of apps for iOS and Android, notably Words With Friends and the official sequel to Draw Something (which Zynga got from another acquisition, OMGPop). But the company's stock price has been lagging below the $5 mark for over a year, about a third of their post-IPO high.

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Google Reaches Deal With European Music Publishers, Adding 5.5 Million Works To The Play Store

Just one week after bringing Play Music to France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK, Google has reached a major licensing deal with Armonia, a music licensing initiative that represents an alliance of publishers from across Europe. The deal will give Play customers access to Armonia's 5.5 million musical works licensed across over 30 countries.


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