Flappy Bird to return?

It's now been a month since developer Dong Nguyen took the decision to remove flappy bird from both the App Store and Google Play Store. The move was met with a wave of speculation about the reasons behind the decision ranging from things such as a lawsuit threat from Nintendo and death threats from angry gamers. However the developer continued to stick to his original story about his reasons and stated that it was due to people overusing the game and the amount of criticism and attention he had received as a result of creating flappy bird. Dong was hounded by the media after creating flappy bird and was apparently overwhelmed with the amount of requests from press organizations.

Not long after flappy bird was taken down a plethora of copycat apps flooded the App Store and Google Play with developers trying to cash in on the success of flappy bird including myself, though mine was more for fun and I didn’t try to monetize it either. Apple and Google have since taken action and are removing some of these apps that are either too similar or use the word ‘flappy’ in the title, that being said there are still a large number of these available to download in each store.

Just as we were all beginning to move on and forget about flappy bird and the news coverage had all but died a death, Flappy Bird is again back in the limelight after the magazine Rolling Stone managed to bag an interview with the 28 year old Vietnam developer. The interview is very interesting and talks about the reasons for creating flappy bird and the inspirations behind the app as well as revealing that Dong is considering re-releasing the app again but this time it would include a warning about safety and not over playing the game and the importance of taking regular breaks (sounds more like long distance driving advice) whether or not this comes to fruition remains to be seen and we have to question whether anybody really cares whether or not the app makes a return. The world of technology and apps moves very quickly and what is hot one week may not necessarily be hot the next. Personally I think flappy bird has flown the nest and that’s where it should be left, if Dong Nguyen decided to release a new game though that would be a different matter.



Havok introduces free 3D game development engine

Havok has announced that their 3D gaming Vision engine, Physics and Animation suites, and their award winning AI tools will now be free for "leading" mobile platforms under their new Project Anarchy initiative. If you play games, you already know about Havok. They're the folks who make the tools behind games like the Assassin's Creed, Halo, and Skyrim franchises, and are used by some of the biggest names in gaming, like EA, Bethesda, and Bungie.

The download also includes game samples and tutorials for mobile developers, and there will be a complete online community to "encourage free sharing and collaborative development of extensions and customizations by the community." Ross O’Dwyer, head of developer relations at Havok, says:

We’re really delighted to be able to offer these professional grade tools to mobile developers for free and we look forward to supporting the mobile game development community to make some stunning games with the technology over the next few years.

[Source: AndroidCentral]

Google Play Birthday Celebration Includes Game, Movie Sales

Today is Google Play’s first birthday. That might sound a bit confusing, because prior to calling it that the store was simply named the “Android Market.”

Google’s celebrating by highlighting a number of free games (some of which were always free, such as Zenonia 5), and offering discounts on movies, music and books. The pilot of Breaking Bad is free for example, and Kung Fu Panda is available for just $2.99.

There’s nothing too juicy to be had, but we wish Google Play a happy first birthday anyway.

[Source: TechnoBuffalo]

How Online Games Have Improved Over The Past Few Years

Online games, they have been around for a long time now and despite online games receiving a lot of negative comments, I personally lap them up. Talking on a personal note here, I like the enjoyment of playing an online game. There is nothing better than sitting in the comfort of your own home and playing a game against a friend who could be at the other side of the world.
When online games first surfaced they were sketchy and nobody really knew what they were. However, in the world today everybody knows what online games are. They certainly have improved over the years.
One major reason for the rapid growth in online gaming is HTML5 language. HTML5 is a markup language that is used for structuring and presenting content on the internet. It is a vital part of the World Wide Web as we know it today. The previous version was HTML4.0.1, that came out in 1999. It is open source and it is completely free. HTML5 is quickly turning into a great game development platform. Over the past few years we have seen the gaming quality really shine and this is all down to HTML5. The real winners here are the consumers, with developers really pushing the boundaries and bringing us the likes of Casino Games, that not only entertain, but could also bring us some good fortune too.
In the future, I would like to see HTML5 becomming more and more common. The only way in which this is possible is if developers start using it to push the boundaries of the code to create even more fantastic online games. I would really like to see this type of game becoming more immersive. I want to be in the game, not be in a room playing a game.
What do you think about this topic? Are you a gamer? What's your preferred gaming platform? We would love to hear your thoughts, please leave them below.

HMV shops could be bought by administration survivor Game

HMV could be thrown a lifeline from an unlikely source: Game. The video games retailer survived administration last year, but is considering buying branches of HMV as the music chain crashes into oblivion.

Game boss Martyn Gibbs says it's interested in buying a selected number of stores, but hasn't confirmed numbers. He probably has two that he wants but doesn't fancy anything for the third.

HMV has around 235 branches. Sources say there are around 40 HMV branches in places where there's no branch of Game, so they could well be targets.

Game isn't the only player interested in HMV. The Financial Times reports there have been as many as 50 expressions of interest in buying the company. 

4,000 jobs are at risk if the 91-year-old music and movie chain doesn't make it. Administrators Deloitte were called in at the start of the week, suspending online sales and refusing to accept gift cards -- prompting anger from the many gift card-holding customers left out of pocket. If you do have a gift card, you're at the back of the queue to get your money back from HMV, but if they were bought with a credit or debit card you could get your money back; check out our guide to your legal rights and what you can do.

Game has itself circled the drain in recent times, entering administration last March and closing a whopping 300 stores. The gaming chain was bought by investment firm OpCapita and is now in much better shape; after a better holiday season than expected, it's set to hit this year revenue targets.

Not every shop is so lucky: CometJessops and Blockbuster have all entered administration in the last few weeks.

[Source: CNET]

GAME sells Steam vouchers in its UK stores, sees no dramatic tension in that whatsoever

GAME is certainly up for trying new things after getting a second chance at life, and today it becomes the first store in the UK to offer Steam Wallet Codes for purchase. You can buy £5, £10, £20 or £50's worth, and until December 7th, you can get a 33 percent bump in trade-in value, should you put the credit towards codes. Customers can also browse the entire Steam catalog on tablets dotted around the shop floor. While the vouchers will obviously make good gifts this holiday, and also appeal to those who don't want Steam knowing their card details, we're not sure how smart a move this is. We imagine there are still a few keyboard-and-mouse gamers out there who don't use Steam, but once GAME shows them the light, will they ever set foot in there again?

[Source: Engadget]

GameFly's digital distribution client officially exits beta, celebrates with free copies of Bioshock

After nearly a year of testing, GameFly is ready to pull the beta qualifier off of its PC game distribution client. The desktop software serves not only as a digital storefront for PC games, but also as a queue management program for subscribers to GameFly's game-by-mail service. Active members get free access to a few hundred "Unlimited PC Play" titles as well -- offering subscribers a wide range of games from Diner Dash to Assassin's Creed. The official release doesn't differ from the beta in any significant way, but GameFly and 2K games is celebrating its launch by doling out free copies of Bioshock to anyone willing to give the platform a test drive.

[Source: Engadget]

Curiosity lands at the App Store, in the massively multiplayer cube-chipping category

Peter Molyneux's first creation since Lionhead, is now live on the App Store, presenting gamers with a humungous cube composed of billions of tiny cubelets. Curiosity's virtual block needs to be stripped down layer by layer through collective effort, to reach the center and reveal "something life-challengingly amazing". There's no sign of the expected tear-inducing paid DLC; instead, you pay for power-ups using coins earned by tapping away at the game. 100 of those coins will let you see the stats screen, while 3 billion will reward you with the Diamond Chisel -- the ultimate tool for block-whacking. Based on our brief time at the grindstone, it's safe to say the game's impact won't be as profound as that of the other Curiosity, but its social aspects have some interesting potential -- not least using Facebook to locate friends who are playing and compare each other's progress. The game is available free at the App Store if you'd like to leave your mark.

[Source: Engadet]

Sony PS Vita Launches at GAME Oxford Street

The 22nd February 2012 is finally here and GAME in Oxford Street, London held a special midnight launch event. Check out my full review of the Sony PS Vita by clicking here and check out the launch photos below.

Duke Nukem to appear at GAME, Oxford Street tomorrow

Ahead of the eagerly anticipated launch of Duke Nukem Forever next month (10th June), GAME are hosting the real life character in their Oxford Street store between 3.00pm and 5.45pm on 11th May.
This is the first time that lookalike has appeared in public.
The immortal character will be giving away free t-shirts, magazine and badges, as well as completing public signings and posing for photos in the flagship store.
GAME have secured the only UK exclusive available for the launch of Duke Nukem Forever, entitled ‘Duke’s Big Package!’, which is free to all customers when they pre-order the game at GAME on Xbox 360, PS3 or PC. The preorder bonus includes: Ego Boost; extend Duke’s ‘ego’ health bar, Big Heads; play with oversized characters and six in-game t-shirts.
Head of UK PR for GAME, Neil Ashurst said:
“Duke Nukem is 20-years-old this year and the release of the fantastic new game, Duke Nukem Forever is the perfect way to celebrate his birthday. Ahead of the launch, we’ve got our own Duke in-store, in his first ever-public appearance and we know that our customers are really excited to meet their hero in real life!”