Ah, the Great App Store Pricing Debate. For years people have been arguing over the cost of mobile games. What constitutes “too much?” Where’s the line when it comes to free-to-play monetization techniques? Should developers have deep discounts and temporary giveaways? Should consumers simply expect everything to go on sale and wait accordingly?
The recent Dungeon Keeper debacle is a good example of this. Gamers and critics alike have railed against it for using various monetization techniques and associating itself with the classic PC strategy series, and many point to it as an unpleasant indication of where the video game industry (especially mobile) is headed. It’s an issue that’s almost as complicated as the initial Freemium vs. Premium debate; so let’s take a closer look at everything and try to make sense of it all.
Posted by Rob Rich on February 20th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
The seedy and entertaining world of Gangstar Vegas has just has another infusion of content. A recent update has added seven new alien invasion themed missions, 9 vehicles, 12 weapons, costumes (helloooooo denim shorts!), and jetpacks. Jetpacks!
The update is available now, and you can check out some of the new stuff in video form below. Gangstar Vegas can be found on the App Store for $2.99.
Posted by Andrew Stevens on January 29th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Order & Chaos Online has received its 18th update, adding two new dungeons: The Ruins of Vliya Temple and The Fate of Collapse. Along with the new dungeons comes a brand new story arc that will be continued throughout multiple upcoming updates as players hunt down the Archbishop of the Flame Abbey. The update also brings new items and mounts that celebrate the Chinese New year and Valentine’s Day.
Posted by Rob Rich on January 28th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
One of the App Store’s most popular dungeon crawlers is upping the ante yet again with a new update. Now Dungeon Hunter 4 players who have beaten the game can take their end-game character back to the beginning and fight their way through an even tougher Hardcore Mode (complete with its own leaderboards, naturally). For even further incentive to keep playing, the loot system for end-game players has been improved and the level cap has been pushed up from 100 to 120.
If you’ve been looking for an excuse to go back to Valenthia, or even if you haven’t made the trip yet, you can download Dungeon Hunter 4 or its update right now for free.
Posted by Rob Rich on January 28th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
People really love Minions, don’t they? Well there’s still no shortage of love to go around as Gameloft has released an update to Despicable Me: Minion Rush that manages to pay even further tribute to the little yellow bean-people.
This latest update adds an all new area to run through (Downtown), as well as a new secret area (The Bank of Evil). New minion costumes and funny little “moments” have also been added. In addition, costumes can be upgraded to earn more points, and there are a bunch of new missions to compete. It’s a good day to be a minion.
Posted by Rob Rich on January 24th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Gameloft’s World at Arms has been tweaked recently. The list of changes includes a refined Lottery with more balanced rewards and improved drop rates, a total of six new buildings, the ability for players to transfer their game save to other devices via social networks (i.e. Facebook, etc), and some UI adjustments.
And big honkin’ mechs. Can’t forget about the big honkin’ mechs. The Hyperion Robots can equip four different kinds of gear; each with a different skill. The Suppressor boosts the damage of nearby friendly units, the Warlord will add explosive damage to enemies, the Commander weakens enemies so that they take more damage when they attack your forces, and the Sweeper can unleash a broad attack to damage large groups of enemies.
You can download or update World at Arms right now for free.
Posted by Andrew Stevens on January 9th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Asphalt 8: Airborne gets a sporty new look in its latest update with the addition of the LaFerrari, 2014 Pagani Huayra, and Lykan HyperSport. Daily Bonuses and Multiplayer Win Streaks also provide a bigger payout as the more you play and win, the bigger the bonuses and rewards you’ll receive.
Posted by Andrew Stevens on December 11th, 2013 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Gameloft has released updates for all three of its Order & Chaos titles. This includes Order & Chaos Online, which adds a new dungeon for players over level 70 and more gem slots on weapons for upgrading.
Heroes of Order & Chaos celebrates its first year anniversary by adding two new heroes (Evistix, the Bone Stalker, and Nuutt, the Child of the Forest), while Order & Chaos Duels adds new cards based on Elementals and Chinese Mythology.
Posted by Andrew Stevens on December 6th, 2013 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Blitz Brigade – Online multiplayer shooting action! gets a blitzin’ new update for the Holiday season. No, it doesn’t include the actual reindeer Blitzen but an update that consists of two new skill sets per class. It also includes new sci-fi style weapons to fire at your enemies and new contracts that reward players upon completion.
Asphalt 8: Airborne is most certainly one of the more enjoyable racing titles we’ve seen this year and is personally one of my favorite games of 2013. I’ve spent many hours racing, jumping, and knocking out opponents. However, I never played long enough to unlock two of the game’s best and most expensive cars, which players either need to invest an insane amount of time in to unlock or put down close to 100 dollars to unlock with credit.
So, what does purchasing those two vehicles do to the game experience and is the increased speed worth the payout for those who decide to purchase instead of play? I collected some credits and purchased the Mercedes-Benz Silver Lightning (325,000 credits) and the Koenigsegg Agera R (375,000 credits). My first reaction was “holy shazbot, Batman! It’s fast!” – getting an increase of close to 100 mph is certainly felt.
Koenigsegg Agera R
All of a sudden the tracks become much smaller and shorter. It’s not just about faster vehicles, because each course is now a new challenge to master as the increased speeds can get players from one section to the next in a much quicker fashion. Also, with the increased speed each turn on every course becomes more challenging, requiring better reaction time as players need to make sure to hit it perfectly or they’ll crash. These faster vehicles certainly enhance the experience and make for a far more intense time than with slower cars. Every turn needs to be hit with near perfection, and it’s possible to keep the boost going for quite some time on certain courses that have the items lined up correctly for that.
The increased speed is great as it’s exciting to hit those jumps to spin longer and jump higher and further. It’s great taking them online too, though I didn’t have enough credit left over to fully upgrade them after spending the 700,000. That set me back a bit against some of the competition who clearly poured time or money into the game.
Mercedes-Benz Silver Lightning
Overall, fans who wish to invest their time or money will be met with increased excitement when running with the Mercedes and Koenigsegg cars. Things move much quicker and it requires expert knowledge of the tracks and the game’s controls to ideally navigate the courses to perfection. I had a good time running with these vehicles and think others will greatly enjoy them as well. Remember, speed doesn’t just enhance the vehicles but also the course, making it a new experience to race through.
GT Racing 2 is another game I decided to take a drive with using its top vehicle. The Bugatti Veyron costs 5772 credits, which costs around $40 just by itself. Users can spend $50 to get 7500 credits or $100 to get 16000 credits. So basically, $100 would buy 3 of the 7 elite vehicles.
I played the beginning of the campaign with the first available vehicle, though never got to far beyond that. So going from what’s pretty much the slowest car in the game to the absolute fastest is something that should be noted.
At first, I absolutely hated using the Bugatti to race around with as I was expecting the fastest and most expensive car in the game to be fun to use. Each race I would end up all over the road, hitting the left side of the wall and then the right side as the car has some serious sensitivity issues and lacks solid control. The poor controls had such a negative impact on me at first, but I ended up sticking with it and changed the control sensitivity in the options to 0. This ended up helping a lot more with the control of the vehicle, even though it was still very jolty experience.
I also thought the game might be a bit broken at those high speeds, because it wasn’t just me that was all over the road at times. I’ve seen the computer go running straight into the wall without turning, which makes me wonder if it’s the speed or something else entirely. Some races just felt off, between the competition and the handling of the vehicle. After a while of racing with the Bugatti I was able to get a better grasp of its handling, which led to a more enjoyable race even though I still find the wall on several occasions. It’s certainly a difficult beast to handle.
It’s just not the easiest experience out there. Depending on the track, the high speeds require a lot more use of the brake. Of course, having brake assistance is a big help at these high speeds but without it the brakes become an even more important factor on courses that have continuous tight turns. That was another new challenge that came about: trying to quickly turn left while braking and then quickly turn right and tap brake with the other thumb.
I feel the handling of the Bugatti is difficult, but also think the high speeds are tough on some of these tracks. So, instead of purchasing another one of the high end cars with close to the same speed I decided to slow it down a bit and chose a lower tier vehicle. I went with the Citroen Survolt, a car that’s still plenty fast but not too over the top. The few races I participated in with that vehicle were far more interesting and felt better and more natural. Of course the car handles a lot differently anyway, but the slower speed makes turning and sensitivity less of an issue. Basically, what I’ve learned from this experience is that players are in for a challenging time when racing with high speed vehicles.
GT Racing 2 feels a bit demanding with how easy it is to go through a ton of credit. Spending cash might be worth it on the lower tier vehicles for those who enjoy the game, but I would question putting cash towards the high end vehicles. Especially if players want to keep it at a more casual and enjoyable experience. The high speeds are really challenging and can be very frustrating at times – and not in a good way.
I do look forward to trying it out once again with a gamepad instead of touchscreen. I think it might have a better effect on the controls. We’ll have to wait and see about that one.
Gameloft has released new screens for its upcoming WWII tactical shooter, Brothers in Arms 3. The game is set to feature a number of levels that include both indoor and outdoor environments with varying weather conditions. It’s expected to release in early 2014.
Gameloft is quickly getting down to business with the new controllers coming to iOS as they’ve added support for both Logitech and MOGA controllers. Dungeon Hunter 4 and Gangstar Vegas are two titles that work with both controllers, while Asphalt 8: Airborne currently works only with Logitech’s controller.
“At Gameloft, we continue our involvement in the Apple ecosystem by introducing Dungeon Hunter 4 and Gangstar Vegas for the iOS 7 extended controller API and Asphalt 8: Airborne for the standard controller,” said Baudouin Corman, Gameloft VP of Publishing for the Americas. “Our goal is to be at the forefront of mobile gaming innovation, and by supporting Apple in this next step, we are supporting the ever-evolving iOS gaming landscape.”
Posted by Andrew Stevens on November 13th, 2013 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Iron Man 3 – The Official Game gets a new update that brings three new suits to the game: The Mark 15 Sneaky, Mark 24 Tank, and the exclusive tournament prize, Mark 31 Piston. The update also adds a new location that lets gamers battle out in space, and levels now have different branching directions for users to take. So make sure to download the update and check out the new paths!
Posted by Andrew Stevens on November 12th, 2013 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Dungeon Hunter 4 has gotten a new update that makes a bloody mess of things! That’s right, this latest update unleashes weekly tournaments for players to participate in called the Blood Matches. Players are able to compete on leaderboards, win special items, and more. Also, for those who are sporting a new iPad Air, the update takes advantage of the latest iPad with new graphical enhancements. Check it out, hunters!
Posted by Andrew Stevens on November 4th, 2013 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Asphalt 8: Airborne is now available for free, forever. This means you don’t need to rush to the App Store to download this game, though I couldn’t imagine why you wouldn’t want to as it’s one of the best racers available on iOS. So jump on your favorite iOS device and and begin downloading this game! You’ll absoultely enjoy the high-flying arcade racing satisfaction that it offers!
That’s not all as Asphalt 8 has also received an update that adds new cars, new limited-time cups to race in, and 7 new reverse tracks for multiplayer. There are even new boosters available for when you go screaming high into the skies above! Woohoo!
Posted by Andrew Stevens on October 31st, 2013 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
It’s time to join Thor in this new free-to-play action/adventure title from Gameloft. Thor: The Dark World is now available on the App Store, giving players access to over 90 missions and a survival mode. It’s time to summon helpful warriors and upgrade their abilities while freeing the realms from danger. Bolt on over to the App Store and give it a download!
Posted by Andrew Stevens on October 18th, 2013 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
My Little Pony – Friendship is Magic gets the new Equestria Girls update, bringing a new dance mini-game to the app. So get ready to break out your dance moves while playing with Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, Apple Jack, or Fluttersky; each of which have 4 new outfits with different in-game bonuses. Now go get your groove on to three new songs!
GT Racing 2 is Gameloft’s first concerted take at entering the free-to-play racing simulation market, one notably established by Real Racing 3 earlier this year. Much like EA and Firemonkeys’ title, Gameloft is currently doing a limited-region test for the game. I practiced my “ehs” and “aboots” and got my hands on this game before its worldwide release, with hands-on video below in this edition of It Came From Canada!
This is a game that quite clearly lives in Real Racing 3’s shadow. This is first apparent visually: the game is going for a detailed, realistic look, and even just the color scheme seems to evoke what Firemonkeys tried to do earlier this year, though blue skies will always be blue skies. However, the game launches with courses that take place at night, including one that takes place on the roads around Mt. Rainier at night.
The game definitely feels much like a simulation: braking is very important so as to not skid out of control. There are braking assists enabled by default, but learning how to drive without them so as to take the proper racing line – which is an actual displayable line in this game – is clearly of great importance.
There’s an asynchronous multiplayer mode which puts players up against the times of other racers to compete for pride, handily quantified in RP, and in-game currency. It’s not apparent on first tests if players are racing against actual ghosts of racers, as Real Racing 3’s Time Shifted Multiplayer claimed to do, or if they’re just racing against their times, as Time Shifted Multiplayer seemed to be in practice. Still, it should be less confusing since it’s a segregated mode from the standard single-player progression, which is packed with a wide variety of race types to take part in. Real cars with some damage have made it in the game as well.
The game is free-to-play, and thankfully there’s no waiting to repair one’s car, just wait timers for upgrades. Of course there are cars and upgrades to buy with the two-tier upgrade system. How well it plays for those who don’t spend is yet to be seen.
GT Racing 2 does seem to borrow a lot from Real Racing 3 at a quick glance, but its little tweaks could make for it to be a satisfying contender for the checkered flag, if not at least finishing somewhere on the podium. No clue on when it leaves the Canadian garages, but it may be soon, if all the server work and monetization balance checks out for Gameloft.
GT Racing 2 is on its way and Gameloft wants to make sure we have all the right stats to help us get even more excited for the game. Driving head-to-head against Real Racing 3, check out some of GT Racing 2′s numbers in comparison:
GT Racing 2 has 67 cars at launch and a total of 35 manufacturers while Real Racing 3 has 67 cars after 3 updates and only 16 manufacturers. GT Racing 2 features 13 tracks compared to Real Racing 3′s 10 tracks. Also, for those who like a little more change in the weather, GT Racing 2 has day, night, twilight, and rain, while Real Racing 3 only has day and twilight.
I look forward to learning more and actually getting my hands on with GT Racing 2. We’ll wait to see how well it handles on those 13 tracks before getting any more excited.
Now that the craziness that is Asphalt 8 is out of their system, Gameloft is bringing a more realistic racer to the App Store this fall. GT Racing 2: The Real Car Experience takes a less arcadey and more simulationy approach to its cars (all 67 of them, from 35 different manufacturers) and real world tracks. I’m just guessing here, but it might have something to do with their teaming up with Mercedes-Benz.
We don’t know much else about it at this point except that it’s due out this fall – and it looks pretty sweet – but we’ll do our best to stay on top of it!
Posted by Andrew Stevens on September 11th, 2013 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Blitz Brigade – Online multiplayer shooting action! gets a brand new update that adds a capture the flag mode for players to compete in. Also, and thankfully, a new map by the name of “Cathedral” has made its way into the update, which is available in Domination, Team Deathmatch, and Capture the Flag modes. I’m happy there is a new map, but only one? Really?
Still, for those who are dedicated to the few maps, the update has also brought new weapons for each class. So, give the trailer a quick view below and then go capture that flag!
Gameloft’s high speed racing title is about to be flying high on iOS devices as Asphalt 8: Airborne releases next week, August 22nd. The game features a new graphics engine that will make all those races and crazy stunts look even more beautiful. Also, while Asphalt 8 works fine on iPad 2 or later and iPhone 4 or later, it’s still recommended that you play it on the iPhone 5 or iPad 4, reports Pocket Gamer.
Posted by Andrew Stevens on August 8th, 2013 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
There is a new update in town that brings 11 brand-new missions to Gameloft’s Gangstar Vegas, including two new types; Skydive and Delivery. Along with that are 3 new vehicles: the Sand Soldier, Mojave Maw, and Badland Bully. And a sawed-off shotgun. The update also brings a new lower price of $4.99, which is available now for a limited time only.
Time to make a grand entrance by skydiving into Vegas!
Posted by Andrew Stevens on August 7th, 2013 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Gameloft kicks off the new season of NFL action with NFL Pro 2014: The Ultimate Football Simulation. The free-to-play game allows you to play as your favorite team (no actual player names though) while leading them through the 2014 season and, hopefully, taking them all the way to the Super Bowl. Gameloft has also touched up on the visuals to make it an even more realistic experience, or so they say.
Make sure to log on to Facebook to compete against friends for the top spot on the Facebook leaderboards. Also, share your progress on Facebook to let your friends know just how good you are on the field.
Gameloft has teamed up with Marvel once again, this time to bring Thor: The Dark World to the App Store. The new game is inspired by the upcoming movie, which will launch simultaneously this fall. The free-to-play game features over 100 missions against Marauders and Dark Elves as Thor must fight to bring order to the Nine Worlds.
“Thor: The Dark World – The Official Game will allow fans of the franchise to play as one of Marvel’s most iconic Super Heroes in a game of epic scope and beauty.” said Javon Frazier, VP Games Marketing at Marvel, in a press release. “With this new game, we are further expanding the successful relationship between Marvel and Gameloft.”
Gameloft is celebrating a new milestone today as it just reached the 10 million fan mark on its Facebook page, which was originally created back in 2009. September 2011 marked one million “Likes” and not even a full two years later they have amassed over 9 million more “Likes.” That’s pretty quick.
“We’re very proud to have reached 10 million fans on our Facebook page. This is the result of our fans’ dedication and the unique relationship we’ve formed with them,” states Benoit Pourgaton, Marketing Director at Gameloft, in a press release. “We thank our fans for all the suggestions and comments they share with us each day, allowing us to improve ourselves and deliver in return the best experience possible in all our games. We’ll continue to develop and strengthen this close bond with all our fans!”