A swarm of public complaints and a high-profile protest from Michael Vick and the Humane Society drove the controversial Android game Dog Wars to come under heavy scrutiny. The app has disappeared from the online Market, but still appears on devices. The developers claimed yesterday that they removed it temporarily, not Google. But now the question is, what about the rest of the dog fighting games out there? Or games that generally depict some sort of animal violence, like a fleet of birds versus portly pigs? The blowup over Dog Wars has led to new disputes around mobile games. Where is the line drawn and how will the Market be regulated?
What can Google do about it?
These are all questions Google must answer in some fashion, especially as it stimulates business development throughout its mobile ecosystem. With the gaming industry settling comfortably into the mobile world, Android’s poised to generate a great deal of revenue, as long as it’s the platform of choice. To validate its mobile OS, Google’s expanding its game operation with a new unit called “Games at Google,” and seeking a Product Manager that can handle the job.
Social gaming platforms consolidate, team-up
Google’s not the only one building out its platform. Scoreloop, the cross-platform social gaming network, has teamed up with CSL Limited for global expansion. The Hong Kong-based CSL has launched its own social gaming service on Scoreloop’s system, marking the first time an operator has set up an end-to-end solution through Scoreloop. CSL users will get access to Scoreloop games, indirectly broadening Android games’ reach.
Things are intensifying for social game platform providers, forcing consolidation across the industry. DeNA and NTT DoCoMo are partnering up, delivering DeNA’s entire social gaming network, Mobage, to DoCoMo devices, Gamasutra reports. It’s another direct team-up that bypasses the Android Market, but still benefits from its growing popularity. The string of platform partnerships comes days after OpenFeint was acquired by GREE for $104 million.