Mobile App Roundup: YCombinator, Gameloft and Swampy the Alligator

Older Gamers Buy More Virtual Goods – Mobile gaming company MocoSpace has found that the older the player, the more likely they are to purchase virtual goods. While gamers over 45 played the least, they were also the most likely to buy in-game goods. According to MocoSpace’s study the age groups break down as follows:

  • 18-25: 10% of gamers bought virtual goods
  • 25-35: 22% of gamers bought virtual goods
  • 35-45: 50% of gamers bought virtual goods
  • 45+: 70% of gamers bought virtual goods

YCombinator Founder Un-invites Pro-SOPA Companies from YC Demo Day – TechCrunch is reporting that YCombinator founder Paul Graham is protesting SOPA by un-inviting pro-SOPA companies from the YCombinator Demo Day. When asked about the tactic, he responded, “If these companies are so clueless about technology that they think SOPA is a good idea, how could they be good investors?”

Gameloft Backtracks to Paid App – Gameloft has made the unusual move of switching its free-to-play iOS game, Hero of Sparta II, back to a paid model after players complained about the ads. The company posted an apology and explanation on its Facebook page.

Women’s Only Mobile Accelerator Launches – A new accelerator program is looking to give women more opportunities in technology. Women Innovate Mobile will offer mobile app companies funding, mentoring, support and free office space in New York City — but in order to qualify, the companies must have a female co-founder. The application deadline for the accelerator is February 1st, 2012.

Disney Has Big Plans for Swampy The Alligator – Disney Mobile’s general manager Bart Decrem has revealed that the entertainment company will be soon be making merchandise and backstory videos for Swampy the Alligator, the hero of its hit mobile game, Where’s My Water. The game has performed well on iOS since its release, and is currently the #55 top grossing app, according to AppData. The newly released free version of the game is the #14 free app.

Amazon Looks for Holiday Bump on Digital Sales – Online retailer Amazon.com is predicting its busiest week ever for digital sales. Last year, in the week between Christmas Eve and December 30th Amazon customers purchased three times more digital content than the weekly average, and the retailer is expecting an even busier week this year thanks to the popularity of its Kindle Fire tablet.

ZeptoLab Adds Cut the Rope Comic Book – Russian developer ZeptoLab is the latest iOS developer to take its popular game into new merchandising areas. The company has teamed with Ape Entertainment to create an iPhone/iPad comic book series that follows the exploits of Om Nom. The first issue is free and additional issues will be available as $1.99 in-app purchases.

Point Inside “Gamifies” for the Holidays – Indoor navigation and map app Point Inside has added a virtual game of monopoly to its service as a holiday promotion. Until the end of the year users can claim real-world locations with the app with a chance to win $1000.

Fierce Wombat Games Licenses “Geek Culture IP” – San Jose based Fierce Wombat Games announced this week that it had licenses a “geek culture IP” for a Mac, PC and iPad game that will be released early next year. The company was founded in 2010 and is lead by former 2K vice president Graeme Bayless.

[Funding] WI Harper Group Invests in HTML5 Leader Leiyoo – Chinese VC firm WI Harper has invested an undisclosed amount of Series A funding in fellow Chinese company Leiyoo. The company holds several HTML 5patents and is developing a proprietary HTML5-based platform for mobile phones and social networks.

[Funding] Appconomy Nets $10 million in Series A – Appconomy, makers of the mobile marketing and commerce service AppWallet, has raised a $10 million dollar round of Series A funding to accelerate the company’s Chinese operations. The round was lead by Shanghai-based Qiming Ventures.

[Release] Capcom Classic Mega Man X Now on iOS – Capcom’s classic Super Nintendo title Mega Man X is now available on the iPhone featuring new graphics, Game Center Achievements an in-app purchases, much to the chagrin of some longtime fans. The game is $4.99.

[Release] Nexon Releases MapleStory iOS Spin-off – Nexon has released another iOS game based on its taken its hit MapleStory Franchise. MapleStory: Cave Crawlers joins MapleStory: Thief Edition and MapleStory: Cygnus Knights Edition in the App store.

[Release] Words With Friends With Nooks – Zynga’s ultra-popular cross-platform scrabble game, Words With Friends is now available on the Barnes & Noble Nook eReader. The game was previously available on Android, iOS, Facebook, Google+, Tencent, Google TV and the Kindle Fire.