Mobile apps news roundup: Line removes gifts, GungHo bigger than Nintendo and more

Puzzle & Dragons creator GungHo reaches $15.1B market cap; higher than Nintendo — As pointed out by industry watcher Dr. Serkan Toto, GungHo Online Entertainment’s market cap, the Japanese company behind the wildly success mobile game Puzzle & Dragons, reached as high as 1.54 trillion yen ($15.1 billion) on Monday on the Osaka Stock Exchange, higher than Nintendo’s market cap of 1.53 trillion yen ($15.0 billion). It’s highly lucrative puzzle and RPG title currently has 13 million downloads in Japan, while pulling in $113 million in sales in April.

Apple clamps down on Line, users can no longer send virtual items as gifts — Japanese company Line Corp.’s removed a gift sharing feature from its iOS version of messaging app Line at the request of Apple. Prior to the removal, users could send other users stickers, a special emoji that’s been highly lucrative for the company to the tune of $58.9 million in revenue for Q1 2013, with 30 percent (approximately $17.4 million) of that revenue from stickers. Line recently surpassed the 150 million worldwide user mark.

Sonic The Hedgehog debuts on Android — Game developer and publisher Sega announced that the 16-bit Genesis classic Sonic The Hedgehog has launched on Android. The game, which was already available on iOS, is now available to download from the iTunes App Store for $2.99.

Kabam to implement Google+ Sign-In — Social game developer Kabam announced that it will be the first games company to implement Google+ Sign-In. The new integration will provide users with a simple and secure sign-in process on and the ability to engage users with interactive posts, which allow players to share content and prompt friends to take specific actions in their games.

Former New York Times digital and mobile products manager joins EA’s Board of Directors — Game developer and publisher Electronic Arts has appointed Denise F. Warren to its Board of Directors. Warren is executive vice president of the digital products and services group and former chief advertising officer at The New York Times Company. The announcement comes on the heels of EA’s Q4 2013 earnings report which revealed the company earned $104 million in revenue from mobile, and its increasing focus on mobile and digital products.