Playsmart Labs Inc. aims to explore children’s creativity both on and off tablets with the Creativas Design Studio app, which launches this month. The app invites users to join a group of talented young teenagers who are invited into an elite art school for creative designers. Over the course of 14 fully animated app-isodes, kids can follow the Creativas and be awarded for their creativity.
Play-Doh Jam is a mobile game that lets players squish their way to high scores in a colorful Play-Doh universe. The game was developed by Fat Pebble and is published by Backflip Studios in partnership with Hasbro Inc. Players use their finger to guide a virtual Play-Doh ball along, smashing targets along the way.
Herokins, from Little Heroes Technologies, is a line of wearable smart toys that foster shared experiences between parents and children. Herokins celebrates the adventure of learning through engaging StoryQuests that intrinsically motivate children to gain their independence while staying safe. The line features a mobile app, as well as two Bluetooth-enabled action figures, Axel McRed and Dr. Rose, which guide users on adventures that strengthen family bonds and facilitate learning.
Toymail Co., the creator of Mailmen toys and the Toymail app for iOS and Android, has received an investment by Amazon from the Alexa Fund and plans to integrate the Alexa Voice Service into its messaging platform for kids. Toymail will use the investment from the Alexa Fund for product research and to scale its SAS footprint.
Scopely, a publisher of free to play games on mobile and tablet devices, has joined with Hasbro Inc. to launch the Yahtzee with Buddies game, an officially licensed and free-to-play Yahtzee experience.
Yahtzee with Buddies boasts a new look and graphics, as well as intuitive game play intended to stay true to the feel of the original Yahtzee. Players can go head-to-head with family and friends, tracking the results through stats, or play on their own. The game also includes daily and weekly tournaments, allowing for competition with fans around the world.
Bandai Namco Games America Inc. has partnered with the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) to launch the Ms. Pac-Man Pink Ribbon Campaign in the fight against the second leading cause of cancer among U.S. women. Ms. Pac-Man will mascot the campaign, which will be anchored with new gameplay incentives across the video game publisher’s line of mobile titles. The campaign will raise funds for NBCF to help women and inspire hope to those affected by breast cancer through early detection, education, and support services.
The Ms. Pac-Man Ribbon Campaign will run until Oct. 31 and includes an exclusive new maze for sale across Ms. Pac-Man and Pac-Man iOS and Android titles. All proceeds from purchases on the new level will go directly to support the NBCF. The in-game user interface and artwork for game will change to a new pink ribbon theme for October alongside the new content.
Under the terms of the agreement, the Mojang team will join Microsoft Studios. Microsoft will acquire Mojang for $2.5 billion, and expects the acquisition to be break-even in fiscal year 2015 on a GAAP basis. Subject to customary closing conditions and any regulatory review, the acquisition is expected to close later this year.
Available across multiple platforms, players have downloaded Minecraft more than 100 million times, on PC alone, since its launch in 2009. Minecraft is also the most popular online game on Xbox, and the game’s community is among the most active in the industry, with more than 2 billion hours played on Xbox 360 alone in the past two years. [Read more...]
Under license from Hasbro Inc., Merriam-Webster will release the fifth edition of The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary, marking the dictionary’s first major update in nearly a decade. More than 5,000 new words will be added to the dictionary–including geocache, a word chosen by fans in the Scrabble Word Showdown earlier this year–making them all officially playable in the game. Players in the U.S. and Canada will now be able to rack up points with geocache and other words that have entered language recently, including beatbox, chillax, frenemy, hashtag, joypad, mixtape, mojito, ponzu, selfie, soju, sudoku, texter, vodcast, vlog, and yuzu. [Read more...]