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TECHNOLOGY

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 Introducing the “In-App Social Feed.”

For the first time ever, casual gamers can stay in their favorite games while staying up to date on entertainment, news, and their friends’ social posts.
Unlike a 2 apps on screen solution, the IASF can pull in multiple social networks, and can even interact with players’ games, streaming in user rewards and publisher messages.
The IASF is also the first universal solution for introducing native ads at scale to the most popular type of app in the world: games.
Read stories, comment, favorite, like… all without leaving the game.

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ABOUT us

We want to be your trusted source for premium casual games.

We’re all about games you know… whether it’s Solitaire, Slots, or a match-3 puzzler… but we add a little more to each.  Right now, we’re adding the Social Feed so you can stay connected to Facebook while you play your favorite games.

It’s games you know… done right.

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mobile JOBS

Mobile Games Junior Programmer – iphone/Android/Mobile

Mobile deluxe seeks junior Programmer to work on application development and Internal Development Platform. The ideal candidate will be an entry level programmer with training in Java or C/C++. BS in Computer Science or Engineering required. We are looking for bright individuals who want to continue their education on the job and learn how to do the right …See More

Senior Production Artist – Full time

Mobile Deluxe is currently seeking an amazing Senior Social Game Artist to make impactful and creative contributors to our future game products. As a Senior Artist at Mobile Deluxe you will be responsible for creating concepts and fully produced game assets in a range of game styles and on multiple game platforms …See More

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New edition to the Mobile Deluxe Universe coming soon!

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Prepare to win BIG with our latest edition to the Mobile Deluxe universe: 3-Reel Slots DELUXE!
Unlock the latest and greatest 3-Reel slot machines and spin your way to the top of worldwide leaderboards! Featuring premium graphics and a new level up system, you’ll feel more excitement than being at an actual casino! Bet big, win big, and discover slot machines with unique themes, betting limits, and paylines which are updated frequently. Coming soon to an appstore near you!
Until then, have some fun with the one and only Big Win Slots! which is updated with new machines monthly. For more updates, please visit us on the Big Win Slots Facebook page located here and don’t be afraid to drop us a line =)

 

 

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Big Win Slots Twitter/FB pages!

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As the seasons (finally) change to the one we’ve all been longing for, there are many things we can look forward to with summer’s arrival – the barbeques, the baseball, the beach, the fireworks – one thing you probably didn’t expect but will certainly welcome a few exciting changes at Mobile Deluxe.

We love each of our players, so it is our mission to do more to engage with you. That’s why we’re trying to foster social communities where our players can connect with one another, share your scores, discuss strategies, give your feedback to our team – and even trash talk about your winnings.

To make this happen, we’ll be unveiling Big Win Slots’ own Facebook and Twitter pages, in addition to our existing Mobile Deluxe and Solitaire Deluxe respective pages. We’ll be sharing the latest company news, industry news and events, and embarrassing photos of our CEO (shhh!) on our Mobile Deluxe pages.

To get updates on your favorite Mobile Deluxe games, you can visit the Solitaire Deluxe and Big Win Slots pages for up-to-date info, including game news, viral videos, tips and yes, GIVEAWAYS – after all, we know the way to your hearts (and Likes) are free coins.

Make sure to regularly visit our Mobile Deluxe as well. We’ll be sharing upcoming company announcements, insights from our team, and maybe even super exclusive information about upcoming GIVEAWAYS! From these social media enhancements to new product releases, we can ensure you Mobile Deluxe is going to bring you a fun summer. (The pool parties will probably help too.)12 Predictions for 2012

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Software patents are broken, and it’s hurting our economy

Josh Hartwell

We have an incentive system at work in the apps ecosystem. Angry Birds has been downloaded one billion times, Temple Run over 150 million. Other developers see the potential for great financial reward with their work, which encourages further development, risk taking, and invention. This benefits not only developers but also smartphone owners and our economy.

Ideally our patent system would be humming alongside this app freight train, rewarding original and unique ideas, conferring exclusivity on the truly novel. Unfortunately, it has been doing the opposite in many cases, creating undue burdens on this vibrant sector due to a few bad actors. Developers have grown fearful of receiving letters from patent trolls seeking nominal license fees for seemingly unrelated patents, written long ago in many cases.

Our system facilitates, even encourages, the two business models of patent trolls. Some trolls seek overly broad patents and pursue large tech companies for hefty paydays. Other trolls seek similarly weak patents, but choose thousands of small tech companies as their quarry, seeking seemingly small “license” payments.  With both types the initial math is simple: convince the target company that fighting in court is hundreds of times more expensive than merely licensing the dubious patent, even if you win.

In 2011, for the first time ever, more information technology patent lawsuits were filed by non-practicing entities (NPEs) than by practicing entities. I don’t mean to imply that all NPE’s are bad actors.  To the contrary, they play a vital role in a properly functioning system. However, more NPE’s have turned to trolling, taking the tack of accumulating older technology patents, devising creative and over-broad interpretations of what exactly is covered by the patent, then threatening hundreds or thousands of practicing businesses with lawsuits if the patent is not licensed. The license fees are always nominal when compared to the cost of a federal court defense, which is what makes trolling such an attractive numbers game for these unscrupulous actors.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is in the business of granting patents. As a rule, it lets the courts handle everything else. But with an expensive legal system and the granting of overly broad patents, the current system is simply untenable for the average entrepreneur.

Congress attempted to address the problem in 2011 with the America Invents Act, which gives additional methods for patent invalidation. However, in many troll cases the patents are valid, they simply don’t pertain to the target company’s business. Trolls seek expansive and creative definitions of their patents’ scope, sometimes pretending that new technologies are analogous or equivalent to the old technologies that the patent actually covers.

The first step in the solution is simple. We must offer an alternative to the two current choices: a full-blown federal court defense or caving to the patent trolls’ demand for a license. The oft-proposed small claims court for patent matters needs to be implemented now. It should be set up as a one-defendant court so that trolls cannot sue multiple parties at one time. It should also be set up as a loser-pays court to bring the scales back in balance for the current patent system.

Further, threatened companies should be capable of bringing trolls to court pre-emptively, for a ruling regarding the scope of patents asserted by trolls against them. Such a system would preserve the rights of bona fide patent holders while discouraging the growing scourge of trolls that threaten to otherwise derail this vibrant and growing sector of our nation’s economy.

Our country’s spirit of entrepreneurship and our technological leadership have given rise to an incredible tech industry, and in particular, a booming apps ecosystem. As an entrepreneur, this has helped me create a vibrant company of more than 25 full and part time employees. Our patent system must work in concert with entrepreneurs, providing further incentives without undue burdens. Living under the threat of being sued for an irrelevant patent is no way to grow a business, or in this case, tens of thousands of businesses. I have immense faith in our entrepreneurs and startups. I am a believer in our intellectual property system, and I believe that we can and must change our patent system such that it is part of this growth engine—not part of the problem.

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13 Mobile & Tech Predictions for 2013

Josh Hartwell

It’s that time of year: time to make astrology-like generalities in the guise of concrete predictions for 2013.  My charts were decent last year, so I’ll try to repeat that performance, hopefully with a tad more specificity.  This is (most likely) not an exhaustive list of all that will happen in 2013.  Some notable omissions include developments that will take place in consumer privacy, patents, the broader economy, and the startup scene (such as LA being THE hotspot for venture capital this year).

  1. Consoles have to be rethought.
    • Perhaps Microsoft or Sony can cleverly integrate with Android.  Otherwise, continued death spiral.
  2. Google will buy Facebook.
    • They may not, but they do realize that as we become more integrated with our devices, context, intent, and synthesis will be huge differentiators in search, and social is a big element of those.
  3. There will be better social integrations into the mobile app shopping and searching experience.
    • Search and discovery continues to be a huge headache/opportunity for all app developers.  Amazon has a huge (and under-reported) potential edge here.
  4. Me2 Games will be the norm.
    • And this is good.  This is how industries move forward.  A dozen subtle changes from a dozen games in one genre is the same as a dozen changes in one game from a seemingly new genre… the latter just feels outsized because it happens at once from a single source.  Likewise, new blogs will start, new restaurants will open, and so will new coffee shops.
  5. We’ll be no closer to legalized mobile gaming in the US at the end of the year.
    • This had a lot more momentum when states felt like they needed a lot more money.
  6. UA rates for mobile games will stabilize.
    • December 2012 was less expensive per user than December 2011.  We’re seeing more devices, and more channels for UA.  I think we’re also seeing game publishers recalculate LTV’s and/or the timeframe in which LTV’s are earned, and ratcheting down some UA thresholds.
  7. Mobile game publishers will continue to stratify.
    • First, there’s been a real stranglehold on the prized feature slots by just a few publishers this year.  (I don’t know how much more encouragement I need to download N.O.V.A.3)  Second, with all the focus on how much SuperCell is making at the top of the charts, there wasn’t as much focus on their daily marketing spend of $60,000.  I’m not sure how much that equates to per month, but I bet it’s more than most devs spend on user acquisition in a lifetime.
  8. Activision’s market cap will come down this year, but they’ll still be #1.
    • Toys… physical goods, are their biggest growth segment… which is fine, just not fine for a video game company.  And they simply haven’t ventured into mobile in a significant enough way.
  9. Zynga will figure out how to run games with fewer people (or at least, they better).
    • Incredible that they have to shutter games with the number of people (a lot) and the number of games (a few) they had (mind boggling).  They consciously went down the path of recruiting from the biggest, heaviest, oldest-schooliest console publisher, and brought all of those bad old traits to their previously nimble, disruptive company.  Their focus for the future appears to be doubling down on this bet, which is not a recipe for success.
  10. RIM doesn’t return to prominence.
    • In a Q4 interview, one of their dev relations managers said that they already had all of the important devs on board for BB10.  Wow.  I hope other developers didn’t read the same article.  But even then, does getting all the same software that’s available on iOS, Amazon and Android enable them to regain market share?
  11. Neither does THQ.
    • They have an opportunity to reformulate as a nimble, novel company… but they seem to be staying the course of heavy games (big development, big license, big retail price) on heavy devices.
  12. Apple will tout device security with the iPhone 5s.
    • They usually focus on more cool-consumer features, but this is a big advantage for them in 2013.
  13. Mobile Web vs. Apps will still not be a debate.
    • It’s apps.  It’s native.  (It’s freemium and ads, too; I heard that was still being debated.)

 

Posted in News and Mentions

Pirate’s Booty

Respectable Laine Baker

As a faithful nerd, I made haste to get home quickly today to install and play my piping-hot, release-day copy of Blizzard’s new RPG, Diablo 3. Unfortunately, millions of other PC and Mac gamers had the same intentions I did, and the game’s servers were down for maintenance, due to unexpected heavy loads.

While Diablo 3 features a robust single-player game in addition to its multiplayer universe, it does require a constant internet connection to play, even in single-player mode. This helps support battle.net’s drop-in, drop-out co/op mode, and also serves as a convenient form of DRM (Digital Rights Management). DRM is a controversial tool in publisher’s ever-increasing fight against piracy.

Sadly, the combination of the requirement of the game to be in connection with Activision/Blizzard’s servers in order to even play a single-player game left me enjoying the music of Diablo’s title screen, instead of slashing my way through dungeons in search of treasure.

Surely, there must be a better way!

The argument against DRM is that it merely delays piracy instead of preventing it. Pirates will eventually figure out a way around the game’s copy protection, and the legal users, who shelled out hard-earned bucks for gaming’s equivalent of a Box-Office MegaHit!!! are the ones who end up screwed in the end. But PC publishers have seen their market share, shelf space, and revenues drop dramatically with the advent of widespread broadband connections offering quick downloads, and torrent sites cropping up everyday, which let the average Joe illegally download today’s hottest game in hours, just as easily as browsing cat videos on YouTube. Is this the death of PC gaming?

Publishers and Developers aren’t stupid! We don’t like spending thousands of hours of hard work on a product just to give it away. It’s not fair to us, and it’s not fair to the countless players out there who feel there is value in the entertainment games bring. (Thank you!) So what do you see? A massive drop-off in the amount of AAA titles that make it to the PC – once the leader in the entire video games industry! Publishers of the bigger titles have moved almost completely to the console – it’s much harder to pirate there, due to the proprietary media formats and focused OS of the current generation of consoles. Piracy on console DOES exist, of course, especially for the portable devices (Nintendo DS, Sony PSP), but it is far less widespread than piracy on the PC.

Smaller publishers, and even the big boys, have also jumped into the new frontier of Mobile and Social gaming, and its groundbreaking “freemium” model. With “freemium” titles, the game itself is free-to-play. Users spend money on in-game items, such as virtual currency, weapons, outfits, levels, and other game-enhancing devices. Facebook games, led by Zynga, and their proliferation of “-Ville” games, make the majority of their money on IAP (In-App Purchases). Zynga has turned into a powerhouse publisher, with not a single paid title to their name, and little to no piracy woes.

Console games have begun to tap into this growing market as well – Call of Duty has their “Elite” service which offers hardcore gamers enhanced stats, strategies, and content, and EA Sports has done great business with their collectible card in-game purchases. Not only games can be freemium – Microsoft’s Skype, a free chat client, is one of the biggest programs in the world. It offers free users basic voice, video, and text chat, and offers premium users group video, screen-sharing, and other “Pro” features. It’s the “Premium” in “Freemium”.

Back to the PC, Valve Software’s Team Fortress 2, a quite-heralded multiplayer shooter, went free-to-play after several years of being a paid title. The game was supported by a rich library of purchasable hats, weapons, and trinkets, that the majority of players did not purchase. These items were available in-game as random drops, but could be purchased for real money. Only a small percent of players in Free-to-Play games actually purchase items – less than 5%, but with a big enough user base, that translates into some serious revenue for the publisher and developer!

How much revenue? 12 times! TWELVE TIMES! 12x! That’s 6×2! 3×4! 4×3! That’s after making the game itself completely free. Making the game free-to-play ensures that the pirates and legal consumers are on the same page – NOBODY pays for the game, to play at least.

Oh, and that thing about PC gaming dying due to piracy and a shift to consoles? Not anytime soon. PC Games currently make up nearly 50% of the TOTAL video game market share, based on revenue. A big reason for that? A little company called Zynga, and those cute little Facebook games! Zynga alone makes up nearly 5% of the PC market, the majority of which from IAPs!

Does free-to-play solve all of the piracy fears the gaming industry faces? No. There are some games that simply don’t have monetization methods in place for free titles – the traditional single-player RPG, strategy games, and platformers, specifically, rely on a “closed” experience – the user progresses through a full, linear game, which typically comes with beautiful graphics, an immersive score, and the big budget which comes with beautiful graphics and an immersive score. These titles benefit from a full retail package, at a full price – which is why they have moved completely to console, and haven’t dominated mobile, social, or PC gaming recently. (There are exceptions to this, of course, such as the Elder Scrolls and Fallout series on PC, and the glut of strategy-lite games on mobile).

The real solution to piracy is for humans to never pirate. No stealing, ever. But we know that with a minimization of risk (anonymous clicks vs. holding up a store with a handgun), supreme availability (torrentzarefree, lolz!), and a wide selection of media, software piracy is probably here to stay. The free-to-play solution offers a great benefit for almost every platform and genre. It allows publishers of all sizes to make money, kicks pirates down a notch, and will be here to stay as well!

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