EA showed off several of their new titles at the St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco today at GDC 2013, one of which being their Blitz take on Tetris. Appropriately named Tetris Blitz, this has two-minute sessions of the classic tetromino-dropping gameplay. The smart brick placement controls from the controversial revamp of Tetris have been refined, with easy manual placement options as well. Powerups can be bought, with special weekly powerups also available. The game is planned for this spring for iOS as a free-to-play title.
Posts Tagged EA Mobile
Wow, what a month it’s been for racing fans. Specifically Real Racing fans! You might recall how we kicked things off with our three-part series documenting the history of the Real Racing series, Firemint’s (now Firemonkeys’) approach to designing the first two games, and a peek at Real Racing 3’s Time Shifted Multiplayer that everyone’s been talking about. If you don’t recall you should give them a read. You know, for science or something. Not because I wrote them and am proud of my work or anything.
Of course that was just the beginning. There was also our look at Real Racing 3’s first true hands-on demo. And of course that whole free-to-play business that turned into something of a debacle. Let’s not forget the seething jealousy that was undoubtedly felt when we all found out both New Zealand and Australia were getting the game a couple weeks earlier than the rest of the world!
Before we knew it, Real Racing 3 was only a week away. Our lord and master, Jeff Scott, really dug into the mathematics at play and analyzed the in-game economic structure, for better or for worse. Blake Grundman followed with a look at the top 5 drool-inducing rides players can get their hands on (thus far), and soon after that Carter Dotson stepped up with a look at the 5 most alluring real-world racetracks on offer. Finally, the week was capped off with Carter’s in-depth look at Time Shifted Multiplayer while Jeff hopped back in the driver’s seat (sorry, I’m only human) one last time to bestow his Real Racing wisdom with an impressive number of tips and tricks. We also reviewed it, of course.
Get Racing – we’ve got prizes!
Since it’s been something of a non-stop Real Racing 3 party here at 148Apps we wanted to draw things to a close with a bit of style. Which is why we’re going to capitalize on all the spirit of Time Shifted competition and challenge you, our readers, to a race. Specifically the Pure Stock Challenge, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Nissan Silvia (S15) Showcase Cup race pictured above. I think I’ve typed that out correctly. Why this event? Because it requires one of the first cars new players will have access to and doesn’t allow for any other; providing as even and easily accessible a playing field as we could find.
All you have to do is drive your heart out. Snap a screen shot (hit the Power and Home buttons on your iOS device at the same time) of your best time and post it in the comments below along with your Game Center username. We’ll pick random winners from all of the entries and post the results here on Monday (3/4) afternoon.
The prizes? We’ll give away three $10 iTunes gift cards to spend how you see fit. Although in the spirit of the contest we’d suggest something like, oh, maybe the Race Car Booster Pack that includes 65 gold and a 2010 Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR-X?
Update: We’ll contact our three winners via email. Thanks for playing and look for more Real Racing 3 contests coming up soon.
iPad Only App - Designed for iPad
Electronic Arts has put together a Daily Deal, starting with Risk: The Official Game for iPad at a significant 85% off discount. It’s available today only, so grab it for $0.99 while you can, before it jumps back up to $6.99.
BATTLE COMPUTER & REAL-WORLD ENEMIES
With 3 ways to play – all for up to 6 players – RISK for iPad is made to satisfy the competitive demands of true strategy gamers. Test your power against unforgiving computer-driven adversaries. Play all around the board against your greatest real-world rivals in an epic war game. Or collide head-to-head against your most personal opponent via local WiFi or Bluetooth.
Word Smack is, at its core, an asynchronous multiplayer word game where the highest score wins the match. Players will have to guess their assigned words using only a couple of hints and their personal spelling knowledge, with proper guesses leading to new words and potentially more points. Once they’ve exhausted their allotted 15 guesses their turn is over, however, so it pays to stop and think for a bit rather than charge blindly ahead. Of course that’s just the first round. The two that follow get progressively more difficult but also yield higher points. So really, it’s the final round that can make all the difference. Assuming someone hasn’t totally botched the first two, anyway.
Word Smack is due out this fall, and it won’t set you back a single pe–y.
Did the Battleship movie get you all pumped up and ready to take on some hostile aliens? Yeah, me neither. In fact it was fairly unimpressive. Classic Battleship, on the other hand, is all kinds of alright. EA Mobile’s upcoming Battleship Airstrike looks to sit somewhere in the middle, containing the spirit of the classic board game and coupling it with a faster-paced asynchronous multiplayer experience.
Imagine a typical game of Battleship. Each player takes their turn one shot at a time, trying to find their opponent and sink their fleet before they meet a similar fate. Battleship Airstrike ratchets the formula up a bit by allowing players to take multiple shots per turn. In addition to that, special limited use shots can be purchased with money earned through play in order to gain some possible advantages. Advantages such as destroying a ship with a single hit or deploying a kind of artillery sonar that doesn’t cause damage but will reveal vessel locations within a certain number of tiles.
Once a turn is completed – which may consist of several strategic bombings and even paying for repairs on your own damaged (damaged, not destroyed) ships – it’s all submitted to the servers and the opposition is alerted. Typical asynchronous multiplayer stuff, really. It’s more the mold-breaking multi shot turns and special shells (not to mention the possibility of repairs!) that make Battleship Airstrike enticing.
Battleship Airstrike should be out sometime this fall.
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
EA Mobile announced the first content update to its freemium title, The Simpsons: Tapped Out, today. Check out the new features below:
· New Characters – Laugh at the mishaps of others with Nelson (Haw-Haw!), admire the snapdragons with Martin, and shake down kids for lunch money with Kearney!
· New Buildings – Collect book fees with the Springfield Library, stare at Neptune with the Springfield Observatory, and collect welfare with the Muntz House.
· New Decorations – Enjoy the elegance of the broken down washer, broken down dryer, and shooting car of the Muntz house, or plant flowers and frolic in the butterfly tent with Martin.
· New Quests – Make Kearney dance a jig, serve detention with Nelson, and more!
Poker has kind of taken the country by storm over the past several years. It’s made its way into all manner of media, obviously including video games. So what makes this particular digital rendition of card-based gambling worth checking out? Quite a lot, it turns out.
All of the expected options are available in World Series of Poker, such as Texas Hold ‘Em and even Omaha Poker, but there’s a slew of more social-oriented features that are actually pretty awesome. Every player has an account that automatically tracks virtually every aspect of their games; thus helping them to better understand their own play style through statistics as well as allowing them to show off their skills with a number of different trophies such as special tournament rings.
It’s easy to tell what a player needs to work on (i.e. too much folding, not enough folding, etc.) at a glance, but what’s also cool is that really good players can gain access to a special league of games that are only available to others that have earned the same honor. In other words, seriously good poker players won’t have to worry about finding themselves in a game full of casual players. It’s also easy to find, invite, and join games that are already in progress. Each game is represented with a table, and players have only to tap an open seat to invite a buddy or two. And it’s just as easy to join a game.
I wasn’t able to procure any pricing information, but World Series of Poker will be available on the App Store “soon.”
A lot of people enjoy Scrabble. Like a lot. But while the current official iOS rendition is doing okay, it’s been in need of a little tweaking for a while. Well the time for tweaking is nigh.
The list of changes includes a much-improved user interface that not only looks nice but makes setting up matches and finding friends a lot easier. In fact, it makes the act of setting up a game into about as painless a process as I’ve seen yet. The chat features have also been updated, and even include some pretty wacky emoticons. There’s also a rather handy new feature that will allow players to see what other words they might have made with their letters after (emphasis on after) their turn is submitted, which should help to even out the playing field a little for the less spell-savvy while still keeping things fair during multiplayer matches.
However, the most exciting change by far has got to be the cross-platform integration. The Facebook rendition is already available, but once the iOS and Android updates are ready to roll out players will be able to get their spell on across all three platforms. This means PC/Mac users can play against iOS/Android users, and that one user’s account can span multiple devices. So one could play a few rounds on their mobile device, then come home and continue the game on the computer via Facebook. Effectively, just about anyone will be able to play Scrabble with just about anyone else just about anywhere.
Scrabble is already available and is free, but these changes won’t hit until sometime this summer. Do any of these changes have you current players excited? Then chime in below!
I’m not what anyone would consider a soccer fan, but that doesn’t keep me from appreciating all of the cool stuff players can expect to find in EA’s upcoming FIFA 13. This is, of course, in addition to the expected bullet-points such as improved graphics and such.
FIFA 13 is indeed a great looking game. Player animations are incredibly smooth and their likenesses are captured eerily well considering this is an iOS game. Although they do have that creepy blank look that so many real world based character models tend to have. A bunch of smaller details will no doubt cause salivary glands to work overtime as well, including balls sporting the proper logos and all the tiny graphics typically found on a player’s jersey. And all of these fine details can be enjoyed up close and personal thanks to the game’s instant replay feature.
It doesn’t stop with tie visuals though. For the first time ever EA Sports Football Club will make its way into an iOS title. Even better, preexisting accounts will be carried over, so nobody will have to start from scratch on their iOS device. Of course my personal favorite addition is the way special skill shots and moves can be controlled via a second virtual stick on the right-hand side of the screen. Simply tap and drag in a given pattern or direction and the controlled player will start with the fancy footwork.
No information is available yet on pricing, but football (football, football) enthusiasts can expect to find FIFA 13 in the App Store sometime this fall.
Update: We received a response from EA that will at least make it possible to get Tetris for iPad back if you paid for the original version. Check the bottom of the post for more details.
EA Mobile has just released a new version of Tetris for the iPad. It uses the updated control method that the new iPhone/iPod touch version uses. That’s well and good. The new control method is actually one of the better improvements on Tetris I’ve seen. But the problem is, you have to re-buy it. Even if you bought the old Tetris, you have to re-buy this one and you don’t have access to the old app anymore.
Let’s say someone who has purchased Tetris for the iPad moves to a new iPad, or even gets a replacement under warranty. If that user, like many, doesn’t back up to iTunes on the desktop, they will no longer have access to the Tetris app they previously paid for.
Developers that want to put out new versions of apps and charge for them are more than welcome to. We’ll let consumers vote with their downloads on wether that is a good idea. But to make unavailable to download a previously purchased item? That’s a pure anti-customer, and obvious revenue-based decision.
The lack of an ability to download previously paid for digital goods, in the case an app, is the real problem. In the world of digital distribution, one where we are moving to a cloud-based backend and a Post-PC world, the apps and other digital media you buy in the App Store, you expect to be available forever. But the sad truth is, they are not available if the developer chooses to pull them. There are hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions of Tetris for iPad users that will find that out next time they upgrade devices and try to download the app.
And that is not the idea that Apple had when it introduced iTunes in the Cloud and subscribed to the Post-PC idea of the future.
This isn’t the first time EA has done this either. The original Bejeweled 2 has been pulled in favor of an IAP loaded version of the same just called Bejeweled. And of course, the same trick was played with Tetris for the iPhone/iPod touch.
And to make things even worse, the previous Tetris for the iPad was publicized and put on sale as recently as last week, in EA’s Easter app sale.
EA, please stop cheating your loyal and paying customers. There’s no reason they should be required to re-pay for new apps because the decision is made to update them. If they are happy with the old version, they should still have access to it.
Note that we have asked EA for comment on this, but due to multiple timing issues including deadlines, time zone differences, and our contact being out of the office, we have yet to hear back. We will update this post when we do get an official response.
Update: 4/13 We heard back from Alexis McDowel, PR Director for EA. The following is their response to our query on where Tetris for iPad the original version went.
As you know, the “old” version of Tetris was recently removed from the App Store in order to accommodate the new version of the game (which is also titled “Tetris” but has several new/different gameplay modes and features ), but consumers who have previously purchased Tetris should still have access to it via their “Purchased” account in the cloud—even if they’ve bought a new device and are trying to access the game from that newer device, it should be in there.
We just tried it on our end (i.e., trying to pull up the “old” purchased Tetris on a new device), and we were able to do it with by following these steps on our new device:
1) Click on App Store
3) Not on this iPad
4) Scroll through to find your title and download.
We also checked with one of our on-site support members and were told that your previous Tetris purchase should not go away as long as your firmware is updated—no sync to a desktop necessary.
So there you have it. I have verified this on my iPad and see that Tetris for iPad is available to download even though it’s no longer available in the App Store. In light of that, calling this cheating customers is way out of bounds. But confusing and annoying it most certainly is. Since the app can not be searched for in previous purchases for unknown reasons, this will still lead to many users thinking they need to pay for the new version. Confusing and annoying, yes.
EA Mobile and subsidiary publisher Chillingo were on hand at GDC to demo some of their upcoming mobile titles, including the sequel to one of the biggest iOS franchises, and a couple of interesting new independent titles.
EA Mobile showed off Flight Control Rocket, Firemint’s next entry in their popular path management series. The core gameplay is the same as the original Flight Control: draw lines from ships to their landing points. However, the game now takes place in space (and it boasts a 70′s-esque sci-fi theme to go along with it), and new elements like snake ships that are connected, ships that split in two, and ships that drop drones as they fly by. The game also has bots that can be leveled up, and used as game modifiers, to enable bonuses or to make the game slightly easier. The game is planned for iPhone and iPad, and will be available later this month.
Chillingo and React Entertainment showed off The Act, which is inspired by games like Dragon’s Lair where the graphics are all hand-drawn animation. The game has its origins in an arcade game that was canceled in 2007 that was recently revived for the iPhone. Unlike Dragon’s Lair, where the player had little control over what the protagonist did, in this one, players can swipe left to right in varying degrees to control what they do. For example, in the demo’s opening sequence, the player must try to woo a lovely woman, the object of the protagonist’s affection, at a Casablanca-esque club in a dream sequence. The player must swipe left and right to control the intensity of his actions, from pretending to ignore her, to eventually dancing for her, but not going too far as to jump on her, or to perform the always-classy pelvic thrust.
Next, there was another Chillingo-published title, Air Mail. This game has players flying around beautiful fantasy worlds, performing missions in their biplane. There is no direct combat, no guns being fired, as missions involving dropping off packages, putting out fires with a water bucket that must be refilled, and similar missions of that ilk. As well, there are high score modes that involve limited-time and endless missions, and a free exploration mode with secrets to discover. This game was developed in Unity, and there are plans to bring it to non-iOS platforms as well.
EA and Firemint’s Spy Mouse has an update out now that’s designed to be more appropriate for this time of year, with Valentine’s Day coming up. Love is in the air, and while the cats in Agent Squeek’s life are still out to keep him from getting his cheese, everything is a lot more lovey-dovey. The app icon shows not a stern and focused Agent Squeek, but a more charmed Agent Squeek, presenting delicious chocolate for a willing suitor. The whole menu is now Valentine’s-themed, which means that it’s more pink and heart-filled. In-game, the cheese crumbs that give bonus points are now hearts. As well, those cats now get hearts over their head when they spy Agent Squeek, broken heart icons when the try to grab him and miss. Plus, when they do get him, it’s now a heart-filled dust cloud. Okay. This alternate interpretation of Spy Mouse update is available now for both iPhone/iPod touch and iPad versions of the game.
Released: 2011-08-25 :: Category: Games
EA are well-known for their sales on the App Store. Usually, around some kind of holiday, there’s a sale on many EA Mobile games, often dropping games from $6.99 down to $0.99. So what is EA Mobile supposed to do with this time of year, referred to as the “holiday season?” Have an entire month of price cuts and deals, apparently. Thus, EA Mobile has begun their “Daily Deals” program.
The Daily Deals have kicked off with games dropping to the lowest price point possible: free! The first two free games were The Sims Medieval for iPhone/iPod touch, and Shift 2: Unleashed for both iPhone/iPod touch and iPad. As well, Battlefield 2: Bad Company went on sale for $1.99 for iPhone/iPod touch, and $4.99 for iPad; these are 33% and 50% discounts off the regular price, respectively. As per the title of the program, EA is claiming that there will be new deals each day, although for the first weekend of the promotion these deals remained in effect.
EA is offering a web app for users to keep track of the promotion at their EA Daily Deals web page. A new deal will be made available each day at 9:00 am PST (GMT -8), and EA says that they will vary from more free games, to deep discounts on paid titles.
While people love deep discounts on iOS games, and I myself am not excluded, I have to wonder if the current state of the mobile game business, where those who wish to sell games at premium price points are unable to do so because companies like EA can afford to drop their prices to deep discounts like this. In many ways, it’s led to situations like the release of the new Tetris game, which relies heavily on IAP monetization, which is something some vocal users have been staunchly against. Massive regular sales on titles like this might be why that kind of situation is now occurring, and why sales like this exist, because it is difficult to sell titles at price points above $0.99, or even free. When EA, one of the companies that can actually sell titles at higher prices is so willing to have these kinds of fire sales with massive promotion, it does not necessarily portend well for the future of premium-priced apps on the App Store.
Grow tired of the same old Tetris on iPhone? The current version dates back to 2008 (fun fact: the game used to cost $9.99), so it may just be proper time for a new version of the game. Well, EA is hard at work on a new Tetris that will help mix things up. First, a brand new visual look offers a glowing design that colorizes each individual piece. A new rank feature appears to be in place, to allow players to reach the tile of “Tetrismaster.” The ability to earn coins to spend on in-game poweruos is also now available, potentially keying in on this being a free-to-play release, or even just a premium release supported by in-app purchases as well. Details are very scant at this moment, as no release date, potential iPad availability, or anything beyond these screenshots is currently available, but we will have more on this new Tetris release as they come in.
EA Mobile and Firemint’s mousey hero Agent Squeek is now about to stealthily and cheesily sneaking around on the iPad in the recently released SPY mouse HD. The game, which topped the iPhone/iPod touch charts upon its release, has been re-worked to take advantage of the iPad. The game’s art and graphics are optimized to shine on the bigger screen, and the line drawing controls are more accurate thanks to the iPad’s massive screen. The iPad version features the same number of levels as the iPhone/iPod touch version, but the game boasts exclusive new content for the iPad version. Otherwise, this is the same hybrid of line drawing, popularized by Firemint’s Flight Control, and stealth action gameplay. Players control Agent Squeek by drawing lines that he walks along; however, he must avoid cats and other traps that get in the way between him and his beloved cheese. SPY mouse HD is available now for the iPad.
Create and customize a wildlife reserve. Manage various park minutiae. Upgrade facilities and inhabitants in order to bring in the big bucks. It sounds fairly typical of a good number of freemium park sims, but Fantasy Safari twists it up a bit. By adding fantasy creatures, naturally.
Dragons, frozen wolves, phoenixes and more. It’s a bit of a departure from the usual fare, to say the least. Now, thanks to EA Mobile, we can all try our hand at running our own zoo full of non-existent animals. 40 different non-existent animals, at that. 40 non-existent animals that can learn new abilities (i.e. fire breathing) as savvy players futz with their enclosures.
Anyone looking to try their hand at managing a theme park/zoo with a bit more… “flavor” can do so right now. Fantasy Safari is already on the App Store and, like most (read: all) free-to-play titles it doesn’t require any money to get started.
Money, it’s a gas; grab that cash with both hands and make a stash!
On This Episode:
Who We Are:
How to Listen:
Apps Mentioned in this Episode:
Released: 2008-07-11 :: Category: Games
Released: 2010-04-01 :: Category: Games
Mirror's Edge for the iPhone and iPod touch may have been late, but it provides a great parkour-influenced platformer that even improves on what the console games did, but it does not last very long.
Read The Full Review »
RISK is an epic, sprawling strategy game with a diehard following. But while this app delivers the core of what makes Risk fun, it's also lacking in important areas. No global multiplayer, house rules, or extra maps make this port one of dubious value.
Read The Full Review »
Reckless Racing, from Pixelbite and Polarbit, soon to be published by EA, was originally called Deliverence when we first looked at it in March. Since then, Polarbit have adjusted the release, the name, and decided to release it as an EA Partner release. Which is all well and good as the game seems pretty much unchanged other than the name. It’s all here, the multiple play modes, different control modes, online multiplayer (take note EA), and fantastic realism. Though it does look like they had to get rid of the orange Dukes of Hazard General Lee look-alike car and replace it with a blue one. Oh well.
First, a little recap. Reckless Racing is a top down, 3/4 view racer with up to 6 cars on the track at once. You control your racer around 12 different tracks in three different play modes (Dirt Rally, Hot Lap, Delivery). The game is rendered in really nice 3D — both the cars and the scenery. Really looking forward to the online multiplayer — this should be interesting. It didn’t appear that it was using any of the known social gaming networks (OpenFeint, Plus+, etc.) and could either be a custom one or details are just hidden.
Dirt Rally is a progressive career mode where you get medals for winning races and that leads to unlocking more and more race tracks (12 in total). Hot Lap has you competing for the fastest time in a lap. And the interesting Delivery mode has you hook up a trailer to your car — which causes all kinds of interesting driving. Delivering your trailer contents (or what’s left of them) at the end of the race and within a time limit nets you a dollar amount (the more that stays in the trailer, the more you earn).
More good news today though — even though it wasn’t available to take a look at, Reckless Racing will also be coming to the iPad. From the screenshots (see below), it looks pretty fantastic on the iPad, I can’t wait to try it. Here’s the original video when the game was still called Deliverance.
Reckless Racing will be out sometime this summer. Considering it has to be almost done, I hope that really means soon!
Hit the jump for more screen shots from the iPhone and iPad versions of Reckless Racing.
Continue reading Hands-On Preview: Reckless Racing from Pixelbite and Polarbit »
A lot has been said about mobile fragmentation in the Android world which is filled with a bunch of different devices with different specifications and different versions of the Android OS. This leads to lots of exceptions in the Android app marketplace and isn’t good for consumers. That problem has been, until now, not a big issue for iPhone and iPod Touch users. While there’s been a split between iPhone/iPod Touch and iPad applications, it can be argued that they really are different platforms sharing the same OS.
But now, EA spins everyone around and multiplies consumer confusion in the App Store by creating a new fracture. They have released an iPhone 4 only version of their NCAA Football game along with a version for older models. They further add to the confusion by using the tag HD on it, something already in use by most developers as a designation for iPad applications. While I am of the opinion that these decisions are downright consumer hostile and I question EA’s motives, I also have to wonder why Apple would let them do something that causes such consumer confusion and leads to greater fragmentation of the iOS App Store.
Is the iOS a single platform or multiple platforms? Apple greatly prefers Universal applications that work on all iOS devices and suggests them to developers over having multiple versions of the same applications for iPhone and iPad. Yet in this instance they have approved the exact same app for two different models of the same platform, the iPhone. We’ve heard stories in the past of Apple rejecting iPad specific versions of apps that don’t provide extra functionality over their iPhone versions. Instead Apple have suggested that the developers create universal versions. Yet this game, an exact duplicate with just higher resolution graphics was approved, fragmenting the iPhone App Store. That confuses consumers and sets a precedent I hope doesn’t hold up.
There could be a case to be made to releasing a game that was only compatible with the iPhone 4 due to hardware specific requirements. We saw a handful of games that were only compatible with the iPhone 3GS due to processor speed or specific hardware accelerated graphics requirements. I’m sure we’ll see more with the higher power and hardware changes of the iPhone 4. But this game is not an iPhone 4 only game, there is another version of the exact same game, but for older hardware released separately.
“We do see a difference between iPhone 3G/3GS and iPhone 4. For EA, it’s important that we create our games for the unique capabilities of each platform or device including NCAA Football maximizing iPhone 4′s high quality graphics.” commented Michelle Jacob, Head of Global PR for EA Mobile when I asked for comment on the release of two different iPhone versions of the game. But to me, this just doesn’t make any sense as there’s absolutely no technical reason to create an iPhone 4 specific version of a game to take advantage of the higher quality graphics.
This is the first time we’ve seen a large developer release multiple versions of an app for different iPhone versions. The generally accepted practice is to release a single application for the iOS4 iPhone and iPod Touch platform that takes advantage of the hardware it runs on while degrading properly for lower performance devices. That leaves this as being a purely business decision and a bad one at that.
Let’s take a look at Real Racing from Firemint for an example of how developers have been addressing adding features to their applications for the iPhone 4. One universal application for all iPhone and iPod Touch devices, from a company with fewer employees than the EA campus cafeteria has. And it takes great advantage of the Retina Display on the iPhone 4 and anti-aliasing on the 3GS and degrades nicely for older devices. This is the what consumers want and it makes sense. The iPad and the iPhone/iPod Touch can logically be called different platforms. The iPhone 3GS and the iPhone 4 can not. When upgrading devices you shouldn’t be required to re-purchase apps for them to take advantage of the new hardware. This hasn’t been the practice in the past and I hope it’s not in the future.
Doesn’t this create consumer confusion? “We certainly don’t want to create any consumer confusion. We think we’re quite clear in distinguishing between the two versions of NCAA Football and giving consumers a choice.” But confusion is what we are seeing. If we look at the ratings in iTunes for the iPhone 4 version of NCAA Football, 12 of the 28 comments as of Monday evening are from users who have purchased the app for incompatible devices.
The real reason for the consumer confusion is that EA is doing something that iTunes, and therefore the App Store, doesn’t really support. There’s no filter for what you buy when using iTunes on the desktop. You could purchase any apps you wish even if you have never connected an iOS device to iTunes. When you click Buy App on the iPhone 4 specific version of NCAA Football, it doesn’t check to make sure you have an iPhone 4, it just takes the money from your account and delivers the app.
Ms. Jacob continues “If anything, we are hurting ourselves by offering two apps – our overall rankings for the title are split. But again, we feel it is important to give consumers that choice.” Sometimes choice isn’t a good thing when it isn’t done to serve consumers. And I think that’s what we have here. Consumers want choice, but not when it’s so easy for them to make bad choices. What consumers really want it convenience. It should just work and work well. This release method does not work for consumers.
The comment that they are sacrificing overall ranking is very true and makes this an even odder decision. Had they released a single application compatible with all devices and enhanced for the iPhone 4 they would have increased their rank in the top selling app lists by having all sales for a single application instead of two different apps. This is something that can lead to a waterfall effect — the higher up the top selling lists you are the more people see it and therefore the more that buy it.
iPhone 4 is not HD. And how about the odd choice to name the app with the HD tag? That’s something that has become the de-facto standard designation for iPad applications. (Even though none of the iOS devices are really HD resolution.) Adding that designation to an iPhone 4 only application is even more confusing. Perhaps EA know something we don’t know yet with the convergence of the iOS 4 for iPad and iPhone. Maybe that will lead to apps on the iPhone 4 and iPad being closer tied? I doubt that’s the reason. Probably just a inexperienced marketing person decided that was the best way to designate the special version. Bad choice.
Isn’t the Apple approval process supposed to stop bad developer moves like this? The question I keep coming back to is why would Apple let them do this? Why would Apple let EA fracture the App Store market further and confuse consumers by doing something like this — something that iTunes doesn’t fully support? I have to think that it’s a mistake or they are just testing the waters.
But isn’t this going to hurt Apple? One of the most appealing things about the iOS App Store is that once you purchase an app, it’s yours. You can install it on as many devices as you buy. When you upgrade your devices, the apps come with you. And traditionally, developers have updated applications for updates in hardware and new versions of the iPhone OS / iOS. This throws that practice up in the air. If I buy the NCAA Football for my iPhone 4, it won’t work on my iPad or iPod Touch. I have to either purchase the lower quality version which suffers on the iPhone 4, or purchase 2 versions. Neither option is good for consumers — both options are good for EA.
What is EA really doing by releasing NCAA Football like this? They are probably just testing the waters to see what direction the market will head and if consumers will be ok with this. I really hope it’s not their plan for future releases. And I hope that Apple will restrict any developer from doing this in the future. It hurts users which in turn hurts Apple hardware sales and in the end, all developers.
Are you for this method of app release? Against it? If you want to let EA know what you think of this decision, head on over to their Facebook page or Twitter stream and leave a message with your thoughts. And of course you are always welcome to leave a comment below.
Penny pinchers, grab your iTunes gift cards: EA Mobile is having a fantastic $0.99 sale. Starting at 9 PM EST on Monday and lasting for 48 hours, the sale features EA Mobile’s top fourteen App Store games for a mere $0.99 each. Sports fans will be especially happy, but from classic board games to EA’s Need for Speed titles, there’s a lot of variety. If you’ve been eying any EA games lately, be sure to grab ‘em while you can.
The games on sale are:
Released: 2010-04-30 :: Category: Games :: Action
Released: 2009-04-30 :: Category:
Released: 2009-09-09 :: Category: Games :: Sports
Released: 2009-10-26 :: Category: Games :: Simulation
Released: 2009-12-18 :: Category: Games
Released: 2009-05-05 :: Category: Games
Released: 2009-11-02 :: Category: Games
Released: 2008-12-16 :: Category: Games :: Strategy
Released: 2009-08-13 :: Category: Games
Released: 2009-05-15 :: Category: Games
Released: 2009-11-27 :: Category: Games
Released: 2008-11-14 :: Category: Games
Released: 2009-04-23 :: Category: Games
Dragon’s Lair, originally released in 1983, is a classic video game what was of a genre that never really took off. It was the first video game to use a branched laserdisc technology, where all of the on screen game came from a laserdisc player. It was especially amazing technology because it helped surpass the very limited graphics resolutions of the time, but it did introduce some great limitations in the game play. The user would move the joystick at certain times, times that were prompted on screen, and this would branch the user to a new video track. The game works in a similar fashion to the way that games that come with some DVD releases work these days.
With all of its shortcomings of this style of game, the game was beautiful. Animated by a former Disney artist, Don Bluth, the game is really spectacular looking, but very difficult to complete. Take a look at the screens below for an idea of what the game will look like. It’s expected soon and will be published by EA Mobile.