Google tightens Play Store policies around weed, sex, hate, and loot

Google is taking a tougher stance on apps featuring things such as marijuana, sex, loot boxes, and hate speech with new Play Store policies.

Part of Google’s reasoning behind the changes is to protect young minds from being influenced by apps and games they stumble across.

Developers now have to define target age groups for their apps in the Play Console. When minors are included, new ‘Designed for Families’ policies must be applied.

Google provides some examples of common violations:

  • Apps that promote play for children in their...

By Ryan Daws, 30 May 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, App Stores, Gaming, Industry, Mobile, Platforms.

EA demos ‘next-gen’ hair in Frostbite, because you’re worth it

EA has demonstrated how 'next-gen' hair will look when using the company's Frostbite graphics engine.

The impressive demo shows a creepy mannequin walking and the hair reacting naturally to both movement and light changes. Such detail on each strand is something to behold.

EA's technical achievement is the result of dedicating a small team to the task at its DICE and Criterion studios.

Back in 2012, Disney released its hit animation movie Brave. While many will have watched unaware, the curly...

By Ryan Daws, 24 May 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Gaming, Industry.

Sony and Microsoft will partner on cloud, AI, and semiconductors

In a contender for the decade’s most surprising partnership, Sony and Microsoft have agreed to work together on cloud and AI technologies.

AI and cloud are increasingly vital technologies, and Sony isn’t exactly considered a leader in either. It’s easy to see what Sony is getting out of the partnership, but less so what Microsoft sees in the collaboration.

Microsoft and Sony are each other’s biggest competitor in the gaming space. Gaming is shifting towards cloud streaming, as shown by...

By Ryan Daws, 17 May 2019, 0 comments. Categories: AI, Cloud, Devices, Enterprise, Gaming, Industry.

Snapchat’s new platform delivers Mario Party-like games

Snap is launching a gaming platform which delivers a Mario Party-like experience for users while unlocking a new revenue stream for developers.

Mario Party, if you haven't played it, offers a series of minigames that are catered to multiplayer. Snap wants to harness that social experience to keep users on its platform.

The ‘Snap Games’ platform started from a late-2017 acquisition of Australian game studio Pretty Great. The studio was originally created by former Halfbrick talent which many...

By Ryan Daws, 05 April 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Gaming, iOS, Mobile, Platforms.

Opinion: Apple Arcade follows industry shift to gaming subscriptions

Apple Arcade is Cupertino’s jab at following the industry shift into providing unlimited access to games through a subscription model.

Gaming is among the last of the core entertainment industries to switch to such a model. Music is now primarily accessed through services like Spotify and Apple Music, while video is served by companies such as Netflix and Hulu. Even books are heading in that direction with services Like Kindle Unlimited.

Apple is the first platform-holder to debut the model on mobile....

By Ryan Daws, 27 March 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, Gaming, Industry, iOS, Mobile.

GDC: Microsoft wants to bake Xbox Live into mobile games

Microsoft used this year's Game Developers Conference (GDC) to make a case for integrating Xbox Live features into Android and iOS titles.

The first of the aforementioned features is called ‘Trusted Gaming Identity’ and it's used to improve the sign-in experience.

Using the same Microsoft account used elsewhere, Trusted Gaming Identity supports: two-factor authentication for improved security, access to payment and billing options, and parental controls.

Custom achievements can be...

By Ryan Daws, 22 March 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Gaming, Industry, Mobile, Platforms.

Phil Spencer: Google Stadia is impressive, but Xbox will ‘go big’ at E3

Xbox boss Phil Spencer his circulated an internal memo following the Google Stadia announcement promising that Microsoft will ‘go big’ at this year's E3 conference.

Microsoft has been working on a Google Stadia-like equivalent called xCloud for some time now and recently showed it off in a smaller demo. Google got the jump on Xbox by taking Stadia to the big stage at GDC yesterday.

In his memo, Spencer admitted that Stadia was impressive but had little surprises beyond...

By Ryan Daws, 20 March 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Cloud, Gaming, Industry, Platforms.

Opinion: Google is ready to become a major force in gaming

Google has made several moves which suggest it plans on doubling-down its gaming efforts to become a major industry player.

The company’s ambition to enter the gaming space is no secret. A patent for a Google gaming controller, which hopefully will be more comfortable than it looks by the time it reaches consumers’ hands, can already be found

By Ryan Daws, 13 March 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Gaming, Industry, Platforms.

‘Android Game SDK’ is a joint project between Google and Unity

Google is partnering with Unity on a dedicated ‘Android Game SDK’ project with the goal of improving game development efficiency.

Android is the most popular mobile operating system in the world, so it’s little surprise many game developers want to put their work in front of its audience. Google is more than happy to oblige and continues to find ways to invest in Android game development.

The project itself is based on the Android...

By Ryan Daws, 18 January 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, API, Development Tools, Gaming, Mobile, Platforms.

UK games industry expects strong 2019, expanding workforce

While resisting the ‘despite Brexit’ often accompanying positive UK stories, a study has found the British games industry expects strong growth in 2019.

Games trade association TIGA has released its latest Business Opinion Survey. Around 60 companies were questioned for the survey about their plans for the coming year.

The strongest indicator of growth is employment. Over three-quarters (77%) of businesses plan to expand their workforce in 2019, an increase of nine percent over last...

By Ryan Daws, 11 January 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Gaming, Industry.