Monthly Archives: October 2011
A week ago, Disney’s “Where’s My Water?” was updated to version 1.1.0.
“Change is Good” features 20 new levels with new collectables and a new way to play — the Fluid Converter! Turn Polluted Water and Toxic Ooze into Fresh Water and vice versa. While Cranky’s anger grows (like water on algae), Swampy only wants to take a clean shower!
It is great to see that they are adding levels for free, as well as adding new game aspects. “Where’s My Water?” has certainly been embraced by iPhone and iPad users, and has already inspired a web-series of videos.
There is no doubt that Walt Disney’s iPhone/iPad video game Where’s My Water? has been hugely popular. It would seem that Disney feels there is enough popularity for there to be a 12 episode, Swampy based web series. It will be interesting to see how well this is accepted.
“D23 talks with the game’s creative lead, Timothy FitzRandolph, about where he came up with the idea and how a flood of downloads has made it an overnight success.”
I just found cool little article on Touringplans.com, about Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Mobile Program Going Live. Apparently, Disney will send you SMS messages with info and tips about the event. Go check out the Touring Plans article, as they are updating it with the content of the tweets. You can find the article HERE.
Official Site: Disney
Pirates of the Caribbean: Master of the Seas, is a strategy adventure game for your iPad and iPhone. While many of the Wheres My Water and Angry Birds games are more puzzle and skill based, Master of the Seas is much more like World of Warcraft or Neverwinter Nights, in which you are trying to buy weapons and gain experience points. There is also a social aspect to the game, as you can connect with Facebook friends and/or other people playing the game. As part of the game you need to acquire crew, which can cost “gems” or can be other people playing the game. Considering the cost of buying a crew member, there is a strong incentive to team up with other players.
Now it is time to become “Master of the Seas”, by conquering other ships in battle and plundering islands. The ship battles entail you firing upon other players, and naturally incurring your own damage as well. You’ll spend Stamina, and Health, which are all consumable and refilled by gold or time.
While plundering the islands, you are faced with quests which will require you to make choices of how to accomplish them. While working on quests, you gain experience points and gold at the cost of Energy. Much like Stamina and Health, Energy can be replenished with time or spending Gems that you collect.
When I first started playing the game, I was a little confused and surprised by the game play. As I poked around and started to play with it, it quickly became addictive. I did run into a weird issue where I get an error mess saying “This game is not recognized by Game Center”. Either Disney decided not to participate in Game Center, or I have somehow managed to do something wrong. The game has great graphics and very smooth motion while wandering from island to island. If you like these strategy type games, you should give it a try since it is FREE! I didn’t give it 5 stars, due to the repeated errors about Game Center and some early confusion of how to use the game. They are already on version 1.0.2, so they seem to be working on bugs and making improvements.
We have talked about the Instagram iPhone app, including ways people are using the app in the parks.
An inventive group have now created Casetagram, to make iPhone cases based on your Instagram photos. Their online design tool allows you to choose different layouts, filters, and white or transparent case. This custom iPhone case can be yours for $34.95, which is about average in comparison to the cases available on the Apple Store. Overall, it seems like a very reasonable price for such a customized product.
Considering so many people are taking pictures of their Disney trips with Instagram, this could be a great way to make a souvenir of your travels.
During Apple’s big press day on October 4th, they announced their new app “Cards.” There are already several apps available which provide similar services. It seems as if Apple is going more for quality than cost. The cards will be printed using letterpress on cotton stock paper. U.S. customers can send a card within the U.S. for $2.99 including postage, or $4.99 anywhere else in the world.
Since the app utilizes photos from your phone, I can certainly see this as something people will use when touring Disney Parks. This would be a great way to send a “Wish You Were Here!” postcard to friends and family back home. Maybe you’ll send a picture of the family in front of Sleeping Beauty’s castle at Disneyland, or your child riding Dumbo at Walt Disney World. It might be interesting if they provide special backgrounds or character images if the GPS shows you are in or near a Disney Park.
In July of 2010, Disney purchased Playdom for $763.2 Million. There was a lot of speculation about what we would see from the Disney and Playdom combo. At the time of the acquisition, Playdom was a hot company with a promising future. News from the Playdom teams has been relatively quiet, and nowhere near what had been anticipated. Some delays were certainly the result of Facebook changing their requirements of game developers.
Playdom execs believe the company has finally reorganized, and are planning on making a big splash in what many worried was a dead pool.
Playdom hopes it will prosper by bringing new concepts to social gaming and also by leveraging Disney’s big brands to catch players’ attention.
It makes sense that it would take time to get integrated into the Disney engine, and prepare marketing strategies around their powerful brands. I’m sure that there was some employee turnover after a big buyout, and it wouldn’t have helped the situation either. I’m anxious to see what they have queued up, as it sounds like there will be a lot more coming from Playdom soon.
For many years, Disney has been expanding their market-share around the world, in areas other than traditional media or theme parks. Interestingly, Disney’s activities in India keep popping up in the news this year. We’ve seen Disney’s desire to fully acquire and reshape UTV Software Communications, into a private firm. We also saw Disney release three films from India, to the North American market.
Today we receive word that Disney is going to buy-out the rest of Indiagames, which they already have a large investment in. Indiagames is one of the major gaming developers in India, with popular iPad and iPhone games. This seems like a smart move, as they have clearly had a strong interest in acquiring mobile and social game companies. Perhaps some people think that it is odd for Disney to be expanding in a market that is very different than its roots? Much like China, India is a market that is rapidly growing and is especially growing in the mobile arena. With India having over a billion people, it has more than 3 (if not 4) times the market size than that of the United States (~300MM) alone. You will see many different industries, especially technology based, targeting India’s growing consumer base. India is rapidly adopting high-speed mobile infrastructure, perhaps at even higher rate than the United States.
On October 2nd, 2011, Disney officially welcomed Rapunzel as the 10th Disney Princess. To help celebrate this momentous addition of a princess, Disney has launched the “Disney Princess – Royal Party” iPad App. The iPad app includes activities such as puzzles, reading, and coloring. As one might expect, this app is severely targeted towards girls.
It is an interesting choice to launch such an app for a specific occasion. I would have expected that the app would be free for a special celebration, the notes in iTunes imply that this is a special introductory offer. I would consider an app like this to top out at the current $4.99. We’ll see how consumers react to the current offering, and any future price increases.
Price : $4.99 w/ indications of an increase.
Official Site : http://www.disneybookapps.com/