Dusk of Dragons: Survivors has been making waves since it splashed down on mobile at the beginning of September. Developed by Core Games, Dusk of Dragons: Survivors is a huge sandbox survival title with more than 100,000 organic downloads to …
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- If it ends in "Saga," it's not hard to guess what studio is behind the latest craze on Facebook. This week King launched Diamond Digger Saga on the social network, a Collapse-style match-3 game about digging deep in search of treasure.The mechanics seem pretty straightforward. Water enters through the top of the board, and you'll need to clear away blocks to help it reach an exit at the bottom. Each stage has a finite number of boards to guide the water through before you reach the treasure-filled bottom.There's no word yet on a mobile release, though considering King's standard M.O., we figure it's only a matter of time.It's also worth noting that there's already a game on the App Store called Diamond Digger that launched in January, so… hooo boy.Check back next week for our full review.
- Back in October I had a chance to visit King's studio in Stockholm. I was mainly there to check out an upcoming game and absorb the culture, but as is often the case when talking with mobile-minded developers, the conversation eventually moved to Asia: the great white whale of gaming markets. How do you break into it? And how do you get to be #1?This week King answered that question, at least as far as China is concerned - and based on my chats with the team, the move they've made isn't the least bit surprising (and really, it's the one any developer looking for success in the Asian market should consider). But what was it? Read on to find out!As always, thanks to our pals at Laohu.com for providing Gamezebo readers with a roundup of the biggest gaming news to hit China each week.
- Here's something I bet you weren't expecting: Albert Ransom's trademark troubles are officially a thing of the past.Ransom, whose company Runsome Apps created CandySwipe, has been fighting King's Candy Crush Saga trademark since long before "candygate" became a buzzword. And when King applied for the US trademark on the word CANDY, Ransom swore he'd fight that too.King fired a returning shot by purchasing the trademark rights to Candy Crusher, a 2004 game, and using those older rights to try and have Ransom's mark on CandySwipe revoked.In a word, things were getting ugly.But as of today, that ugliness is a thing of the past. Ransom has informed Gamezebo that he and King have "amicably resolved" their dispute. He has withdrawn his opposition against the Candy Crush Saga mark, and in turn King has withdrawn their counterclaim against CandySwipe. "Both our games can continue to coexist without confusing players," reads an official statement on candyswipe.com.
- This quote from ever colorful CNBC personality Jim Cramer after King Digital stock began trading on the New York Stock Exchange earlier today should give you a hint:"It's a Stephen King horror story," Cramer said. "It might be Misery, it could be even Cujo."While there are plenty more (and better) puns that could be made from comparing the King IPO to the works of the master of horror, it's clearly not been a good first day for the company best known as the developer of Candy Crush Saga. After pricing its stock at $22.50 a share, King Digital has seen its stock price fall to as low as $19.08 in its first morning of public trading. As I write this, it's currently at $20.06 a share, down 10.8 percent on the day.
- Let's face facts: nobody likes King's attempts to trademark the word CANDY. When the story first broke back in January, it was a public relations nightmare for King. In an attempt to protect their Candy Crush Saga IP, they obtained the trademark for the word CANDY in the EU, and were trying to do the same in the US.The games community - and indie developers, in particular - were quite vocal in their opposition to King's tomfoolery. But few have managed to take any sort of meaningful action, and those who've tried have been shut down in the most unseemly of ways. Just ask Albert Ransom.It took a body as big as the IGDA to seemingly pressure King to withdraw its trademark application on the word CANDY in the US.But what about outside of the US? To really make an impact in the EU, it was going to require a company that could bring out the big guns. Somebody with a game that's attained the same kind of household name recognition as King's Candy Crush Saga has. Someone like ZeptoLab, creators of Cut the Rope.On March 20th, ZeptoLab filed a claim in London that, if successful, will see King's EU trademark registration on the word CANDY cancelled.
- For a substance so sweet, it's surprising how bad a taste the word CANDY has left in people's mouths this year. And it all started in January, when it was revealed by Gamezebo that King (Candy Crush Saga) held the European trademark on the word CANDY, and was in the process of obtaining a similar mark in the US.But now, Kotaku reports, that trademark filing has been withdrawn."Yesterday, King filed for abandonment of the trademark in the United States," Kotaku's Jason Schreier writes. "When reached by Kotaku, King confirmed the trademark abandonment but declined to comment."
- While a lot of individual developers have voiced concerns about King's trademark filings (as first reported by Gamezebo back in January), there hasn't been an official, collective show of opposition to what's transpired - at least not until right now.The International Game Developer's Association has just released the following statement from Executive Director Kate Edwards and their Board of Directors, regarding their stance on King's actions around protecting their IP with trademark law;
- Back in September, King was rumored to have taken the first steps towards offering an IPO when by filing an S-1 Form with the SEC (which, it turns out, wasn't true). Today they're taking one of the last. The company announced this morning in a press release that they have "filed a Form F-1 with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission relating to a proposed initial public offering of ordinary shares."This doesn't mean those share are for sale quite yet - or that we even know how many of them there will be or their initial price - but we're closer to finding out. The F-1 provides investors with all of the information they might need before making a decision regarding King stock. You can read the whole thing here.Once the IPO is live, King plans to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "KING," and a whole bevvy of business names will be acting as joint book-running managers: J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, MofA Merrill Lynch, Barclays Capital Inc., Deitsche Bank Securities Inc., and RBC Captial Markets, LLC. The first three of these will act as representatives of the underwriters in addition to book-running managers.How the stock will perform once it is live, though, is anybody's guess. Some might be quick to point to the rise and fall of Zynga (ZNGA) as a cautionary tale for investors, but despite their similar nature in some respects (both are providers of free-to-play games, and both were #1 in that market at the time of their filing), the two are incredibly different companies.