New Report Gets Tough On Developers

After embarking on an investigation into the mechanics and trends of 38 child-orientated mobile applications earlier this year, motivated by the startling statistic that the game-playing experiences and subsequent in-app purchases of children cost their parents on average £30 million per month ,UK watchdog, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), has published a report on its findings, in which it lays out a set of guidelines and principles for games developers. A document that features eight main rules that the OFT expects British developers to meet, the report’s main focus centres on improving the clarity and honesty of applications that can be purchased through either Apple or Google’s stores.

Mainly aimed at the proponents of the popular freemium gaming business model, the OFT’s first principle requires games to feature disclaimers that explicitly state that where a game may be downloaded for free, it may also require users to spend real money on unlocking certain elements of the game. This idea, however, already operates on Apple and it would be fairer to suggest that if the games played by children were policed more effectively by their parents, a much fewer number of people would be greeted with devastating bills. Indeed, in a recent survey carried out by the Entertainment Software Rating Board, parents admitted that they watched and regulated the in-game activities of their children a definitive 97% of the time. So it seems that lax and ‘laissez faire’ parents are actually in the minority, with tech-savvy mums and dads keeping close tabs on their iPads, tablets and Smartphones.

Another important guideline sketched out in the OFT’s report does, however, shine a light onto how children can rack up their disgruntled parents’ payments. In a scathing comment, the document accuses certain developers of ‘exploiting a child’s inherent inexperience, vulnerability and credulity’, lambasting the guilty parties for manipulating language and misleading their players. Some games, the OFT claims in its dissection of ‘child-friendly’ applications, play on the emotions and insecurities of children. Examples include suggesting, through in-game messages, that characters may become unhappy or sad unless food is bought for them (with real money) or implying that in-game popularity can only be acquired through the purchase of a new item of clothing. Implications of children being responsible for the death, sadness or lack of progression of their characters or worlds in order to encourage spending can be seen as highly unethical and when married with the relative non-understanding a small child has of the value of currency in the real world, is definitely exploitative. Certain games will also neglect to inform their players that instead of purchasing, a user can wait an allotted time for a level to be unlocked.

Although a fair plucking of the heartstrings or tapping into the human fear of rejection and unpopularity are quite often hallmarks of big business marketing campaigns, observe the classic Lynx formula of advertisements where a social pariah earns attention and affection by using deodorant, the idea that these tactics are being embraced by child-friendly games developers seems questionable. In other cases, children’s games that feature add-ons that can be purchased for such fees as £69.99 merely reflect how the mobile games market is adopting the premium prices of traditional video games, but choosing to charge during game play as opposed to before it.

Unsurprisingly, as the mobile apps market is ultimately a profit-making venture (in the same ilk as all businesses), many have spoken out against these potential enforcements. Whilst largely agreeing with the OFT’s advocation of an increased responsibility over the interests and happiness of their consumers, trade group, UKIE, has stressed that this tightening of boundaries may ‘stifle the creativity of developers or prevent the growth of the games industry.’ It can certainly be disputed as to what extent the adoption of a clearer and less underhand approach to gaming will ‘stifle creativity’ as this should not affect the complexity and inventiveness of a game but it is easy to see that for some developers, economy and ethics will make for strange bedfellows and could cause a considerable rupture in the worth of the British mobile games industry and its contribution to the overall global gaming market.

The OFT’s publication may prove to be a victory for the enraged consumer but a bad omen for the games developer that will herald the beginning of more restrictive marketing strategies and criteria.

dojit-notify : what problem does it solve?

The average cell phone has 41 apps on it according to the recent Nielsen report.

The average person with a iphone or android device plays games between 7 am and 10 am,  so the major group of players are probable commuting to work or school.

So the average person at around 7am has the choice of 40 competing games or apps?

As a games developer, What are you going to do about it?

How are you going to make sure they choice your game or app?

dojit-notify solves this problem!

So we at dojit wanted to send them a push notification message, not just any old message about some random stuff thought up by the marketing department, but a message about the game, about the point in the game they were playing which ensures we help them get the most out of their commute.

These players have some time to enjoy and its important they do it in your game and purchase the upgrade while they are at it. The push notification provides them a context aware message nudging them into action, into playing your game.

So we designed dojit-notify for game developers, a context aware push notification service which is a solution provided to game developers, check out developer.dojit.com for more details.

A New Experience – Working in the games industry

Hey there, Usman here!

This is a new experience for me and you could say a dream come true. I’ve always wanted to work in the games industry in some capacity and now I have the chance. Dojit has given me the opportunity work as Marketing assistant and join a talented team to learn and earn some valuable experience with.

I have experience working with top brand names in the technology industry, companies like Microsoft, Lenovo and Samsung, training staff members in PC World and John Lewis on new products such as Windows 8, Lenovo Yoga Book and Samsung Galaxy S4. This has been a good experience as you can bring great product awareness to the staff members and raise sales, which will help both store and the company represented. It also brings brand awareness to the customers; they experience new technology products and learn something new as they come into the store. Now, with the opportunity of working in the games industry, it will take my experience to the next level and advance my career.

Now on to the fun stuff! I love video games! I have been a gamer since the days of the Super Nintendo. Playing Super Mario and Legend of Zelda: Link To The Past early morning before school was the most enjoyable experience’s I had. Getting that once stage further in Mario or finding that heart peace or killing a boss in Zelda was what I lived for back then. Then I moved onto the N64, PS1 and we entered the 3D era. Seeing Link and Mario characters and worlds in fully 3D changed the way we all looked at games.

Jumping all the way to current generation, gaming has changed a lot; we live in an always-connected world, connecting us to people all over in online multiplayer games. We’ve also entered a time of casual games. Games we can play on our mobile phones or in Facebook on a web browser. People do not have the time to put in hours into games on their consoles or PC’s but can spend 10mins on their commute playing Farmville or Candy Crush Saga.  The casual games I am playing at the moment are Angry Birds Star Wars and Plants Vs Zombies. It’s very satisfying to get past a level in a short amount of time and easy to pick up again.

Hope you enjoyed my first post, will be hoping to bring you fun and informative content in the future

Home Bear – A Kid Friendly Game

 

At dojit we know everyone likes Bears, especially cuddly teddy bears. So we had to build a bear, Home Bear, so that everyone can love bears too.

So how have we done this?

Game Play – The game starts with easy to complete tutorial levels which are based on a Dream World. Here you can learn how to use the kids friendly tools :  Ladder, Pillow, Party Balloon, Space Hooper, Marsh Mellow and Platform Bridge. These levels then get more complex, developing into puzzles which require careful thought to complete using a preselected amount of tools.

Languages – For a truly international audience we have developed the game to work in Chinese (中国游戏), English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. This allows children throughout the world to be able to play and enjoy Home Bear.

Phone, Tablet, Pad Support – At launch we aim to support Google Android and Apple devices which is the majority of smartphones in the world. During the first quarter of 2013 we will add support for Chinese, Windows phone. Take a look at www.home-bear.com/devices/

Free to Play and Paid Versions – By offering free play versions, kids can develop their knowledge and skills, allowing dojit to market the game to the casual games market. A paid version is offered which requires no further payments and ensures that children cannot add items to the users bill. Take a look at www.home-bear.com/download/

Support – Through our online support site www.dojit.com/support/ we can provide help, treats and tips on how to play the game.

 

Through this strategy we can help children throughout the world play and enjoy our game throughout 2013. As Home Bear Game is the first game to be launched by dojit games, developing games which are none violent and aimed at casual players who want to enjoy games.

An upcoming Dojit game…Soccer Zillionaire

The Vision

Soccer Zillionaire, alas a working title, will be a mobile app that merges fantasy football and board games. And who doesn’t love a good board game? As Zynga have proved recently, by landing Farmville Hungry Hungry Herd in Argos, board games are still going strong. And when mixing football into the premise, things become even more thrilling.

Game play

The aim of the game will be to collect the best cards and effectively play your team in order to win win win! Soccer Zillionaire will handle up to 4 teams providing hours of entertainment with a collection of friends.

Another benefit of this game is that it relies on pass and play emphasising the social ability of the app. Although, if you are travelling, or perhaps a little bored, you can playalone against the computer to keep your skills up!

The players will move their way around the board by rolling a dice. They can buy any team mates they land on and transfer with their opponents later in the game. Each team mate on a card will have a rating showing how well the player will play in that position. This provides the player with the urge to gain the team members possible, at any cost.

The game will end when an ecstatic individual wins the final league!

3 Reasons Why YOU Should be Excited…

Easily Playable

The instructions are simple and can be followed with ease.

Interactive

You can play against your friends and chuckle, with glee and triumph, when you start winning with your amazing strategy.

Challenge

The chances of winning will rely heavily on your tactics. Juggling your player cards carefully will greatly improve your chances of winning. Who doesn’t love a good challenge?

If you’re a fan of football, board games or a strategy player, this game will be for you. Keep an eye out for updates, since this app will soon be coming to a device near you!

dojit games studio launches

BIRMINGHAM, UK. April 19, 2012 – Dojit is a new games publisher and developer of handheld games. Its core focus is on the casual, female market and those who are new to handheld games. This growing market has been increasing by around 20% per year for the last five years. It is an important section of the global games market not only in respect of the vast number of people who fit into this category but because of the revenue opportunities it offers. The total market size is currently estimated to be larger than $3 billion annually.

Dojit Limited was founded by mobile games veteran, David Bozward who has been developing mobile games since 1999. He has launched over 50 titles into the global market place in the last 13 years. David said “The handheld games market place is maturing to a state whereby you have worldwide distribution, a selection of business models and opportunities to create new brands within the casual games space. Dojit will take this ground where other studios have failed to understood the consumer needs. “

The first three titles are in production. The first title, Home Bear, has a launch date of early June 2012. It will be launched on Apple, Apple and Apple devices. The company will also ensure it captures the international market by developing games in at least 8 different languages which ensures it addresses the core growth markets in handheld games. The other titles will follow later in the summer with more planned for the future.

The company will be able to scale through the development of online technology which moves forward through the players social interactions and the management of consumer points. This and other innovations will enable Dojit to take handheld gaming to the next level.

About Dojit Limited,

Dojit is a publisher and developer of downloadable games for the apple, android and windows platforms. Established in 2012, we are providing global titles targeted at the casual gamers of smartphone, pads and online TV devices. Our titles are sold through open market places such as Apple’s App Store, Google’s Market Place and closed market places dedicated to either a device or national mobile operator. Our mission is to continuously improve our games, be the best social and viral games marketer in the world and have lots of fun every single day. We hope this comes out in our games, how we deal with our customer and partners and more importantly the enjoyment we can share with you. Dojit is based at www.dojit.com and also Faraday Wharf,  Holt Street, Birmingham, West Midlands B7 4BB, UK

dojit games launch (PDF Version)