Mobile app roundup: Windows Phone, Namco Bandai and Minecraft – Pocket Edition

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By Kathleen De Vere Comments

Analysts predict Windows Phone market share to equal iOS by 2015 - Market research firm iSuppli is predicting in three years Microsoft’s Windows Phone will have a 16.7 percent share of the smartphone market, putting the platform in a dead heat with Apple’s iOS, which is expected to hold 16.6 percent of the smartphone market by 2015. The firm is predicting Android’s market share will be 58.1 percent at that time.

Sterne Agee: Zynga loses $150 to acquire every new paid customer – According to Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia, Zynga has spent $120 million on new player acquisition so far this fiscal year, or $150 for every new paying customer according to his interview with Develop.

Gameloft’s first Unreal Engine 3 game coming to iOS soon – According to a report by Pocket Gamer, Gameloft is nearing completion on its first Unreal Engine 3 game, which will be out in the first half of the year. Epic’s Unreal Engine 3 is a high quality graphics engine originally designed to run on game consoles but has been making inroads into mobile development. Epic’s own Infinity Blade franchise uses the engine.

Grand Theft Auto 3 most pirated game on Android - Rockstar’s popular port of its PS2 classic Grand Theft Auto 3 is the most pirated game on Android according to a survey of popular torrents site by Electricpig. The game normally costs $4.99.

Angry Birds celebrates Chinese New Year, talks with Kanye West - Rovio has once again turned to China as the inspiration for the latest update to Angry Birds Seasons, releasing 15 new levels and swapping the game’s mighty eagle for a mighty dragon. In other Rovio news, British tabloid newspaper The Sun is reporting Kanye West had a brainstorming meeter with the company, reportedly discussing ways West could work with the Angry Birds creators.

Namco Bandai: free-to-play damaging game industry – Gamespot is reporting that Olivier Comte, Namco Bandai’s SVP for Europe has come out swinging against the free-to-play model, saying games that follow the model aren’t high quality, and that low-cost games lower the perceived value of games, ultimately harming publishers.

Nexon licenses Unity - Tokyo-headquartered gaming company Nexon has signed a deal to license Unity’s game development platform, reports Develop. According to a statement from Nexon, the company will be using Unity to develop multi-platform content.

ngmoco:) Sweden studio to grow to 20 people, ship game within a year – Ben Cousins, the head of ngmoco:)’s Stockholm studio has told Gamasutra the studio’s goal is to increase headcount to between 15 and 20 people and ship its first game within one year. The studio has made the news recently after making several high profile hires of games industry veterans.

Minecraft – Pocket Edition hits 700,000 downloads - Mojang’s business developer Daniel Kaplan has revealed the mobile version of Minecraft has racked up more than 700,000 downloads since its release. Kaplan did not specify the breakdown between iOS and Android downloads, but did acknowledge that Google’s $0.10 sale had distorted the game’s Android sales figures. According to Kaplan, Mojang sells approximately 5000 mobile copies of the game every day.

Amazon loses $2 on every Kindle Fire - According to new reports, Amazon loses $2 on the hardware for every Kindle Fire, but as All Things D reports, Amazon is able to sell the tablet at a loss as each sale generates $136 in revenue from the sale of digital media.

Ogmento’s AR basketball game King of the Court seeing long playtimes - Ogmento is reporting its officially licensed NBA game King of the Court has seen high rates of engagement, with the average user session lasting more than seven minutes, well above the two to three minute industry average.

[Launch] Booyah launches Pet Town on iOS –  Booyah has launched a new iOS city building game with location-based elements called Pet Town. According to Booyah, 3.6 million people have played its other location-based city building game, My Town 2 — building more than 2.5 million real-world business in the game and making more than 3.4 billion interactions with real-world businesses.