Finding the Perfect App to Play

You can log onto the Google Play Store and find millions of available apps at any given time. Some of these apps cost money to download, but there are tens of thousands of downloadable games that are totally free to make use of. The issue with finding games online is that it’s hard to distinguish between a good one and a bad one. If you’re spending your own money to download a game, you definitely need to know you’re getting your money’s worth.

 

When it comes to free downloadable games, it never hurts to try the game out. When downloading, make sure to deny any access the game wants to your bank account or device information. This prevents the chance of you accidentally spending money in a game you’re just trying out. You should also read the game’s reviews before making the decision to download it to your phone or tablet. Reviews give you insight into other people’s experiences, so you’ll essentially know what a game is like before you even have it on your phone and are playing it yourself.

 

Keep in mind that most free games have in-app purchases. These apps are often referred to as pay to play because it is difficult to level up in the game without eventually buying something. Games that cost money to download won’t often have in-app purchases, so you might be better off downloading one of these applications to save yourself money in the future. Free games can seem like a dream come true at first because of the fact that they don’t cost a penny, but you’ll find it frustrating to actually play because everything is limited to you. If you don’t like a game, delete it from your device and make sure to remove your cache memory so that it doesn’t take up any more of your storage space.

 


User Made Content is Finally Coming to Xbox One

When the Xbox One gaming console was first announced, long-time fans of the platform were excited to find out that users would have the ability to self publish games on the console’s dedicated marketplace. Many years and disappointed customers later, it looks like Microsoft is finally making good on its promise. The software giant announced last week that it will soon allow all users to sell games on the marketplace, a move that has left many people curious as to why the company is finally embracing user generated content.

 

Traditionally, making and selling video games has been strictly the domain of large studios and media conglomerates. It was considered common sense that video game consumers wanted flashy, gargantuan, Ziegfeld-esque productions, and the only companies that could produce the accompanying amounts of programming and marketing content had at the very least hundreds of employees at their disposal.

 

This game-making model has significant advantages. Creating and interweaving the assets, coding, and writing that go into big-budget games is a process that requires a lot of care and attention to detail, a requirement which is well satisfied by the many levels of oversight already built into large media companies. Large studios can also broker more advantageous contracts with distributors, which meant that they often have almost exclusive access to customers who buy their games physically, rather than online.

 

These factors kept large production games lucrative, even though they were massively expensive to produce. Big studios offset costs by claiming the lion’s share of the market, until small-budget indie games began to catch up. These games were less polished and more humble in scope, but could be produced quickly and therefore better matched consumer tastes upon publication.

 

The success and subsequently growing market share attributed to indie games have put larger game studios on the back foot. Microsoft’s latest announcement is emblematic of the efforts larger game studios are making to integrate independent game making into their media production strategies as they look toward the future of game design.


Leader in Social Gaming Facing Layoffs

The world of social gaming has provided users with a way to virtually experience various innovative gaming platforms with engaging social aspects integrated into the game itself. Game Show Network (GSN) Games have been one of the most highly-recognized developers of these social games in both the online and mobile gaming industries. Unfortunately, things have not been looking very promising for GSN Games in the social gaming world as of late due to a large amount of recent lay-offs their staff have been facing.

On January 25th, the company released a statement in regards to the potential layoffs and how it will impact their company as a whole. They mentioned their need to proceed with letting some staff members go in order to spend resources more wisely and efficiently. The statement implied that it will be an essential piece in ensuring that 2017 is still a productive year for them in regards to future plans. While no company is thrilled in having to let go of beloved team members, it seems as if it was a necessary move for GSN Games in order for them to proceed to be a successful name in the world of social gaming.

The number of GSN professionals said to have been laid off rests anywhere between 15-20. GSN’s CEO David Goldhill made sure to illustrate what talented members these individuals were, and how hard it is to let them go. Goldhill stated that the layoffs will only happen in select GSN offices across the nation, but they haven’t specifically addressed which offices in which they occurred. He did, however, address that the staff members that would be let go are a part of the quality assurance team, as well as the creative department. It is of course unfortunate that GSN has to face these difficult choices in letting go such diversely talented individuals on their team, but it so far unclear on how this will impact their stance in the social gaming industry. If what Goldhill predicts is true, it will end up saving resources, allowing them to become more prominent than ever in the social gaming world.


Social Gaming Apps Boost Casino and Film Industry Profits

Chairman Films and the Pala Casino Spa and Resort in California are among the latest companies that have chosen to invest in social gaming platforms to increase their bottom line. These two firms are betting on the power of social gaming to promote their business ventures and increase engagement among their customers and social media followers.

In the case of Chairman Films, the company has entered into an agreement with World Poker Fund Holdings, an established social gaming platform developer, to produce a new television series. The idea is to create a new brand named “Four Kings,” which will also be the name of the series. In producing Four Kings, Chairman Films hopes to showcase the social gaming apps developed by World Poker Fund Holdings while adding an interactive aspect to the series.

As a television show, Four Kings will look into the lives of a group of friends living in Las Vegas. The four friends have chosen to make gambling and hedonism their lives; they may win some and lose some, but their friendship never weakens.

In the case of Pala Casino, the San Diego resort property is adding more social gaming titles to its existing platform. Through MyPalaCasino.com, guests of the resort have been able to play classic casino table games since November. The new additions include horse and dog racing as well as a velodrome simulation.

The social gaming strategy being utilized by Pala Casino intends to give guests the opportunity to earn points that they can redeem for perks when they stay at the resort.


Social VR Gaming Could Soon Become A Real Thing With Subdream Studios

Game developer Subdream Studios has turned its focus toward developing virtual reality multiplayer games designed for use with popular head-mounted displays like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.

Entrepreneur Jikhan Jung and his team has already released three free-to-play multiplayer VR games last year under a previous company. Downloads for those games have already exceeded 100,000 across VR devices.

Now his team has spun off into their own venture and are raising funds with a plan to release their first title in Spring this year. According to Jung, the game has a social lobby for people to hang out and play several multiplayer games together. It almost sounds like Facebook in virtual reality.

Subdream has stated their focus is on multiplayer games that seek to replicate experiences people have in the real world. Think meeting up with your friends for a game of soccer but having a chat in the park first. That seems to be what they’re going for. They’ve already announced that among the games within the game will be shooting, rhythm, and racing games. Jung mentioned that the games will be designed for quick gaming sessions and will be playable in about 10 minutes. They will also feature some kind of leaderboard.

The company has announced plans to develop for both VR arcades and the home user. Jung also wants to be a part of VR eSports, if that ever becomes a thing. Jung believes it definitely could be on the horizon sooner than we think.


Teslabs Makes a Social Gaming Experience out of Your Tesla

Tesla drivers have a handful of cool apps. Already in their hands have been remote control and Supercharger apps. Now, they get one that’s a little more fun and hopes to increase the Tesla driving experience by making it more fun.

New York-based HappyFunCorp, founded by two Tesla owners, has released a beta for a new app called Teslab. The idea is simple. You drive your Tesla while running the app, and you can collect awards based on how you drive and how far. Supercharger users can compete to become “mayor” of a given location, and the company even has a leaderboard to highlight the farthest-driving drivers in any 24-hour period.

They also give out efficiency awards which reward efficient driving and punish lead-footed ones. Instead, those drivers can win awards for the most Superchargers visited in one trip. Users can “follow” other users of the app to compare their stats to others and even engage in some healthy competition with their achievements.

Teslab does more than just provide fun awards. There’s also analytics providing drivers with their battery level, lock status, and charge history. The app also reportedly tries to spot phantom drain issues, issues where battery drains mysteriously while the car is powered off.

Teslab is currently in a closed beta, and the developers announce that they have plenty more features in store as development continues.


Virtual Reality Will Be Used in Social Gaming

Virtual reality is a technology that has been around for many years. However, it is just starting to be used in the social gaming industry. There are some gaming companies that feel the potential of virtual reality is untapped. This is why they are investing a considerable amount of money to create games that utilize this type of technology. One of the companies that is progressing at a faster rate than their competitors is called Kite & Lightning. Their headquarters are in Los Angeles. The company had managed to convince several key investors to finance their virtual reality game development to the tune of $2.5 million. It remains to be seen what type of games they will try to develop. They have not commented on their plans in terms of the plot or characters that their games will include.

There have been previous attempts to create social gaming titles using virtual reality technology. However, none of them really caught on the way the companies that designed them were hoping. Probably the most notable of these games was called “Toybox” designed by Oculus. The concept of the game involved sharing a space with other players while all of you manipulate various toys that are located in the environment that surrounds you.

Two other companies that want to integrate virtual reality tech into the social gaming experience are Linden Lab and High Fidelity. Both of the projects they are currently working on are quite ambitious. Their goal is to create a vast universe that players can get lost in. Needless to say, projects of this size will be very expensive and take quite a few years to complete. However, both companies remain confident that the demand for outstanding virtual reality games will continue for years to come. It remains to be seen if this is true.


The Switch Will Be Used For Online Social Gaming

It has been announced that Nintendo will be adding an online service to their new Switch console. A subscription to their service will be needed in order to play online games on their console.

They will also release a smartphone app that will accompany their Switch console. This application will allow users to chat and keep track of their online contacts in Nintendo’s network. The app will also allow users to set up gaming appointments and send gaming invitations.

There will be free game giveaways as an incentive to sign up to the service. There will also be discounts given when purchasing new games or down-loadable content.

Nintendo will give out the service for free upon release but they have plans of adding a paid subscription. Gamers can still buy games from their online shop without a subscription. Those with expired subscriptions may also contact their friends.

The Nintendo Switch has a worldwide release date this March. It was officially announced in just October of 2016. The switch is a hybrid of a tablet and a normal gaming console that hooks up to the television. The controllers are also foldable into a traditional game controller and a remote. The game controllers will also have motion sensors just like the Wii.

Some of their flagship games will include a new Fire Emblem game, Splatoon 2, Super Mario Odyssey, Mario Kart and other familiar titles. Call of Duty will also be releasing a title for the console.

Many game stores are taking preorder payments for the Switch. It has been reported that many Game Stop stores have been completely sold out of their preorders. Even many of the online sellers have been sold out in the United States. There are still some accessories and games that are still available for preorder at the moment.


Social Gaming’s Future With Augmented and Virtual Reality

The term “social gaming” can be applied widely to a huge variety of online games that enable or require social experiences. It could apply to almost every type of digital game today, from a simple mobile app to a AAA blockbuster. Using in most cases either a smartphone or tablet computer, augmented reality (AR) adds to a user’s own reality with graphics, video, sound or other digital elements. In contrast, virtual reality (VR) immerses a user within a digital environment. Powered by these new platforms, the future of social gaming will undoubtedly be bright, as unique game ideas will emerge that challenge our concept of what gaming can be.

With the release of several products in 2016, AR and VR are set to leave the niche market and enter the mainstream. It was an amazing year for these new technologies, as several exciting products landed in stores. Facebook’s eagerly anticipated Oculus Rift and HTC’s Vive VR headset made their debuts, and there are a number of well reviewed games for both systems. But due to the high price point of these products and the lack of killer-app games, experts predict that much of the growth in VR and AR over the next few years will be in the mobile market.

Seemingly out of nowhere, AR finally hit the mainstream this past summer with the release of the wildly popular Pokemon Go app. This AR game uses a smartphone’s camera, GPS locator, accelerometer, and compass to encourage users to walk about in their towns, and points beyond, in search of the various cartoon Pokemon that appear on their phone’s screen. Pokemon Go presents an intriguing glimpse of what a truly social AR or VR game could be.


Regulation Is Needed in the World of Social Gaming

Social gaming has taken the online world by storm. Millions of people devote some of their time to social gaming on a daily basis. There has been some concern involving some of the games that people are playing. A large number of social gaming platforms include games that contain an element of gambling in them. They might not be your typical casino games. However, people need to put money at risk for the opportunity to win money. Needless to say, it is very easy for people to get carried away and lose a lot of money playing games like this.

A recent panel called Responsible Gambling Innovation made a statement at the World Regulatory Briefing. They basically said that the regulation of social gaming is needed throughout the entire industry as a result of the many games where money can be gambled and lost. They were particularly concerned about the young people who are the most likely to play these games and lose money. The panel believes that regulation will help to prevent these young people from making the mistake of becoming addicted to these games.

The amount of money to be made in the social gaming industry is truly enormous. Caesars Palace recently sold a social gaming company they owned called Playtika. The sale price was well over $4 billion. The companies in this industry are making a killing without any regulation. It goes without saying that they will not be thrilled about the idea of a regulatory body looking over their shoulder. However, many people believe that the regulation of social gaming is the only way to keep the companies honest and protect vulnerable players. It does not appear as if regulation will be coming any time soon. Many legal hurdles will need to be cleared before that can happen.