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More console game favorites are heading to Android, with the upcoming release of Pokemon this summer. The hit Nintendo game will get new life in the mobile age, with the official Pokemon Company announcing their plans to release an Android and iOS version in Japan this summer. According to Phandroid, the game will be centered around music from the Pokemon Black and White TV series, and will consist of timed taps to play a Pokemon card, possibly synced to the music. There doesn’t appear to be any plans for a U.S. release, though Pokemon would probably do well to expand internationally. Mobile platforms like Android have proven great revivals for classic console games, and even Sony recognizes this potential, launching a gaming Android device of its own.
Zipline launches cross-platform SDK for game developers
The Pokemon Company clearly sees the benefits of a cross-platform release, acknowledging both Android and iOS as viable marketplaces for mobile game distribution. The competition is creating a sub-industry all its own, many offering developer tools for creating, porting and hosting mobile games. Zipline Games is the latest to open a developer platform, making a special appeal to game developers. It offers cloud-based services and support for Lua programming, and has already signed up some notable publishers including Nay Games, maker of Bubble Ball.
Amazon Appstore may not be the best alternative for game developers
While Android and iOS are the two major branches for mobile platform development, Android’s success has spawned a series of third part app stores as well. The Amazon Appstore is the most notable, especially for game releases. The burgeoning marketplace has had exclusive game releases, and runs special promotions for certain titles. But the Android Market alternative may not be everything game developers, especially indie game developers, hope for. Bithack, makers of the well-received Android game Apparatus, have pulled their game from the Amazon Appstore just days after running a promo in the third-party marketplace.
Bithack cites a string of issues with the Amazon Appstore, including the inability to contact customers directly or reply to their comments if they have a problem and need help. There’s also the slow review process, and a lack of proper refunding for buyers. Mobile marketplaces are still relatively new, and as Amazon looks to undercut the official Android Market with promos and exclusives, the industry as a whole must find a way to create its own standards. Even the Android Market is still undergoing regular updates, as Google seeks a balance for its own pricing and refund policies for widespread appeal.