PapayaMobile Launches Incubator Contest – PapayaMobile has created a mobile game incubator called the The Game Academy. The incubator will not provide seed funding, but will instead provide office space and mentorship. At the end of the four month program the best game will win 100,000 installs.
$100 Million Year for Angry Birds – Reuters is reporting that Rovio earned nearly $100 million in revenue in 2011. Rovio’s marketing chief Peter Vesterbacka provided the figure to Finnish paper Tekniikka & Talous. Vesterbacka also revealed the franchise has now exceeded 600 million downloads.
Apple Drops Prices on iAds to $400k - The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple is dropping the minimum commitment on its iAd service to $400,000, down from the $1 million minimum commitment that the company originally required. According to the WSJ, the US mobile ad market will bring in $630 million in revenue this year. Google controls 24 percent of the market with AdMob, Millennial Media has 17 percent and Apple has 15 percent.
Lees Out as Head of Windows Phone Division - Microsoft’s Windows Phone president Andy Lees is being moved to an as yet undefined position, and will be replaced by VP Terry Myerson according to an internal Microsoft memo leaked to AllThingsD. Lees and Myerson will retain their current titles. Currently Windows Phones are a distant third place in smartphone market share.
Pocket Gems & Rovio Have Highest Grossing Apps in 2011 - Apple may have chosen NimbleBit’s Tiny Tower as its game of the year, but Pocket Gems and Rovio may be the real winners. Pocket Gems’ free-to-play game Tap Zoo was the highest grossing iPhone app of the year, and Rovio’s paid title Angry Birds was the highest grossing iPad app of the year.
DeNA Teams with Alibaba to Expand Mobage in China – DeNA is expanding the Chinese reach of its Mobage network in China. The Japanese company has signed a deal with the Alibaba Group to pre-load the mobile-social gaming network on K-touch W800 Android smartphones. Chinese developers will now be able access to DeNA’s ngCore game development engine through Alibaba’s cloud service, AliCloud.
Beeline Bringing Shrek to iOS – Capcom’s Beeline Interactive division has announced it will be creating a free-to-play game based on DreamWork’s Shrek series. Shrek’s Fairytale Kingdom will be available in the first half of 2012.
Mobile Malware Threat Growing - According to a new report from mobile security company Lookout, the mobile malware industry will be profitable in 2012, especially on Android, where users now have a 4 percent chance of downloading malicious apps. In total the company has identified more than 1000 infected applications, double the amount it had found in July. In related news, VentureBeat is reporting that Google has just removed 22 apps from the Android store. The apps posed as legitimate apps and then accessed the phone’s sim card to send and charge users for fraudulent texts.
Indonesia Threatens RIM Over BBM Service – TechCrunch is reporting that Indonesia is the latest country to threaten to shut down RIM’s services in the country unless RIM sets up BBM servers in the country. RIM’s popular BlackBerry Messenger service (BBM) is a secure messaging service that governments cannot easily monitor as the data is processed in Canada.
OfferMobi Reports 2011 Mobile Ad Stats – Mobile marketing affiliate network OfferMobi has announced its mobile ad network generated 4 billion impressions and 40 million clicks in 2011. Overall consumers now spend 65 minutes a day looking at mobile devices, according to a new study from research firm eMarketer.
Former EA Staffers Form PlaySide – Employees of EA’s shutter Visceral Melbourne studio have united to form a new Australian mobile development studio called Playside according to Gamasutra. The studio will be headed by Gerry Sakkas, a former game designer.
Happy “Birdday” Angry Birds - Angry Birds turned two on December 11th and Rovio is celebrating the milestone with a an iOS update on December 18th that will add special Birthday themed levels and achievements to Angry Birds. According to the Angry Birds blog, other platforms will follow soon. In other Angry Birds news, Kotaku is reporting that Rovio’s latest venture is Angry Birds themed playground equipment. Two Finnish towns will be the first to see an Angry Birds themed playground, but Rovio is targeting the asian market for the new toys.
[Update] WebOS Not Dead, Just Open Source – HP has announced it will not be shelving its WebOS software, and it will instead will be making the code open source.
[Funding] xAD Nets $9 Million – US based local-mobile ad network xAD has raised an additional $9 million in funding from Emergence Capital Partners and its existing investors SoftBank Capital, Palisades Ventures and Silicon Valley Bank. The company will be using the new funding to improve and expand xAD’s technology and tools.
[Launch] PopCap Brings Best Sellers to Android Market – PopCap’s smash iOS hits Peggle and Plants vs. Zombies are now officially available in the Android marketplace. Plants vs. Zombies was previously available in the Amazon marketplace.