Apple enticing games publishers with promotion deals in return for exclusivity

Game Center WWDC 2013

The Wall Street Journal has published a report saying that both Apple and Google are actively pursuing exclusivity deals with game developers. Whispers of these type of arrangements surfaced last year, with reports highlighting a partnership between Apple and EA for Plants vs Zombies 2.

The Journal confirms that Apple’s exclusivity deals do not include monetary payments. In return, the companies offer “premium placement” (such as featured spots on the home page) for launching first on their platform.

In regard to the Plants vs Zombies’ deal, the report says EA gave Apple agreed about two months of exclusivity.

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Report: EA Games server compromised, hackers stealing Apple ID, credit card & Origin account info

Update: EA said in a statement that it’s investigating the reports (via TheVerge):

“Privacy and security are of the utmost importance to us, and we are currently investigating this report… We’ve taken immediate steps to disable any attempts to misuse EA domains…”

According to a report from internet security and research company Netcraft, hackers have compromised an EA Games server and are currently using it to host a phishing site that steals Apple IDs and more from unsuspecting users. The company published its report today and says it contacted EA yesterday to report the discovery, but as of publishing the compromised server and the phishing site stealing Apple IDs were still online.

Netcraft claims the phishing site being hosted on EA’s servers not only asks for an Apple ID and password but also the user’s “full name, card number, expiration date, verification code, date of birth, phone number, mother’s maiden name, plus other details that would be useful to a fraudster.” Netcraft also reports that EA Games is being targeted in other phishing attacks that are attempting to steal user data from its Origin game distribution service: Read more

Apps & updates: Real Racing 3 trailer, Twitter, HopStop, more

Real Racing 3: EA officially announced the next title in its Real Racing series, which is now being handled by developer Firemonkeys (recent merger of Firemint and and IronMonkey), and also released the rather impressive announcement trailer above featuring pre-alpha footage. More info is coming later this year but there is additional Porsche footage on the game’s Facebook page if you can’t wait. A little bit of what to expect from Real Racing 3 below:

REAL CARS

Gamers will enjoy graphics that have been meticulously hand crafted to produce photorealistic visuals as they zoom around in cars from manufacturers like Porsche, Dodge and Audi.

REAL TRACKS

For the first time in the series, Real Racing 3 will also include a full lineup of real world tracks from the top names around the world including Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Silverstone. With a 22 car grid, gamers will be able to pit themselves against 21 other drivers in one race.

REAL RACING EXPERIENCE

Fans can experience the glory of championship racing on real tracks recreating the full race-day pressure and environment in a game that harnesses the full power of mobile hardware to produce a beautiful racing environment.

Twitter version 4.3.2: The Twitter iOS app was updated today with improved pull to refresh and infinite scroll “in enhanced events experience,” unfortunately we still await an update to the official Mac client while the Tweetbot for Mac alpha received a ton of new features in its latest update last night.

Wash Post version 2.0.0:The Washington Post’s official iPhone app received a big update today with a brand new design and tons of new features including live weather conditions, 7 day forecasts, weather alerts, real-time traffic updates, metro arrival times and schedules for the DC Metro area, and more. Also included is Retina display enhancements for all full links within articles, graphics, and galleries.

HopStop Transit Directions version 1.2.1: We told you about an update to the HopStop iPhone app for transit directions in NYC, Boston, Chicago, and San Fran, and today its app with support for 100′s of cities throughout the US, Canada, and Europe was updated with the London Underground map and support for the following new markets:

- Arrive by Directions and Schedules Search!

- New markets: Palm Springs, Burlington VT, Fresno, Missoula, Orlando

- London Underground map has been added

- Various bug fixes and improvements

Top Google searches in 2011: iPad 3, iPhone 5, Steve Jobs and yes – Rebecca Black

As originally reported on our sister blog, the search Goliath has published its annual list of top search queries, a tradition that started eleven years ago. It comes as little surprise that ‘iPad 3′ and ‘iPhone 5′ were among the fastest-growing search terms of the past year. More specifically, ‘iPhone 5′ was the sixth fastest-growing search term on Google.com in 2011, while ‘iPad 3′ ranked tenth.

Feverish iPhone 5 speculation hit its highest point in search the week of September 25, just a week ahead of the October 4 iPhone 4S presser. Searches for ‘iPhone 5′ rose 1,658 percent between 2010 and 2011, easily outnumbering those for the iPhone 4S, as seen in the above chart from the Zeitgeist site. Searches for ‘Steve Jobs’ grew 982 percent in 2011, enough to score the ninth spot.

Called Zeitgeist, the project “sorts billions of Google searches to capture the year’s ten fastest-rising global queries and the rest of the spirit of 2011″, per the official Google blog post. In a testament to the popularity of the Kindle Fire, positioned as an inexpensive iPad alternative, Amazon’s tablet placed ahead of Apple’s new phone, the iPhone 4S, which ranked second in the fastest-rising consumer electronics category, followed by the HTC Sensation, the Samsung Nexus Prime, Sony NPG and the yet-to-be-released iPad 3 (#9).

Two unreleased products piquing such a commanding interest – the cell phone that never materialized and the forthcoming tablet – wow, talk about the power of the Apple hype machine. More below the fold.

Apple’s late co-founder Steve Jobs made the list (mark 1:50) was the ninth fastest-growing search term on Google.com in 2011.

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