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EA, Amazon Appstore bet big on Android games

by Kristen Nicole

With games being one of the more established sectors of the mobile space, it seems my weekly roundup of Android game news is increasingly revolving around the expanding ecosystem. From browser to mobile, mobile to TV, there’s more ways than ever to play your favorite games. EA is well aware of this cross-device interplay, bringing its POGO game portal to the Android platform.

The browser-based catalog wasn’t initially slated for Android integration, but EA’s made the effort to port its more popular titles to Android in a bundled app. POGO Games features Poppit!, Word Whomp, Turbo 21, Sweet Tooth 2 and World Class Solitaire, which you’ll need to unlock. From the new POGO app you can access your existing profile, which tracks your earned tokens and rankings, and high scores can be shared on Facebook. Club POGO members also have access to some 40 games on Android as part of their subscription service.

Amazon is also well aware of the potential in Android games, having released the option for in-app purchases to developers this week. Games have been a driving factor in app monetization, and in-app purchases have proven successful with Android games in particular. When the Amazon Appstore launched last year, there was no way for app publishers to include in-app purchases, but it’s now been integrated with Amazon’s 1-Click purchasing for seamless integration. A number of games have already incorporated the new service, including titles from Disney, Glu Mobile, ZeptoLab, Gameloft and G5 Entertainment. It’s a promising move for Amazon’s curated storefront, which reportedly generates more revenue per user than Google’s own Play store.

Smart TVs and tablets bring Android games to life

On the device side, Android games are making their way to more TVs and tablets. Lenovo’s coming out with their K-series smart TVs, pioneering Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich for the home entertainment staple. You’ll get an app store and advanced control options, including voice-recognition and motion-sensing provided by a game controller and a regular remote. Toshiba’s new 13-inch Excite tablet is also one of the biggest devices slotted for release this year, targeting home use for reading recipes in the kitchen, watching movies on the sofa, and of course, playing games.