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GDC: PopCap hints at iPad HD reveal

Contestabile says devs will scramble to add high res updates to App Store

During his GDC talk on Bejeweled Blitz, PopCap's franchise manager Giordano Bruno Contestabile hinted at the Apple news that everyone is expecting, the reveal of the iPad HD.

"I think that tomorrow every game developer will have to scramble to get a new higher res version of their Apple games on the store," he said, while discussing plans for the premium version of Bejeweled.

"It will be very important to do so, and that's something we absolutely want to address."

GDC is currently wild with rumours about the Apple event tomorrow, with the iPad HD at the centre of discussions.

The comments came as Contestabile was talking about the success of Bejeweled Blitz, and the challenges of releasing and managing a premium and a freemium product alongside each other.

He also compared the game's performance on iOS and Facebook, with surprising results.

"Every single important metric on iOS is performing 2X what it does on Facebook," he said.

This is despite the fact that the iOS version (which was launched some time after the Facebook version) has 33 users for every 100 Facebook users.

"People spend on average an hour playing Blitz on iPhone. In retention, percentage of paying users, they're all double."

He said this was partly due to the omnipresent nature of mobile, and gave out a statistic that 20 per cent of mobile gaming happens on the toilet, but also the bite size nature of the game. He also suggested that Apple's billing system was a crucial factor, every player already has a credit card attached to the game, making smaller purchases easier.

Bejeweled Blitz currently has around 10.8 million monthly active users on Facebook and is at number 13 in the chart for top grossing iPhone apps. Contestabile predicted this would rise to top five tomorrow with the release of a new promotion for the game.

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Latest comments (3)

Peter Dwyer Games Designer/Developer 4 years ago
"Contestabile says devs will scramble to add high res updates to App Store"

Why?

Genuine question there. Given that the new iPad will not be in consumer hands in any quantity for a while. What does anyone gain to do a high resolution version of their games. All it does is cost them money with zero chance of return.

Unless there are other more compelling reasons to get an iPad3 I am doubtful amny will even bother with the upgrade.
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Thomas Dolby Project Manager / Lead Programmer, Ai Solve4 years ago
@Peter
"iPad3 I am doubtful amny will even bother with the upgrade."

You do realise you're talking about an Apple product right? I'm no Apple fan but I'm not questioning that everyone and their grandma will probably blindly rush out to get the iPad 3, even if it literally is only a resolution upgrade. And the first thing they'll all do is try to find the biggest shiniest app to put on it.
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David Spender Lead Programmer 4 years ago
Also @Peter

I'm really surprised you would comment that no one will 'bother with' and upgrade. Its pretty obvious that the iPad3 will sell millions and in a short time period. Those that have a head start will do better than those that sit on their hands and pretend the new iPad is not a solid platform for development.

The gain is also obvious. There will likely be some stamp on each app that is optimally compatible with the iPad HD and everyone will be looking for those apps to test out their shiny new toy.
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