Most of us would know exactly what the phrases ’slug bug’, ‘punch bug’ or ‘punch beetle’ mean. They’re normally associated with sudden shrieks and a punch in the arm. I’m talking about that old car game that created hours of fun for any kid on a boring car journey. The object of the game was to be the first to spot a Volkswagen Beetle, call out ’slug bug’ and punch the other player in the arm. Using Google Street View Imagery via the Google Maps API, Volkswagen has brought this much-loved, old tradition into the modern digital world. Now anyone, anywhere can play the game without ever having to be in a car.
Facebook introduced Payer Promotions earlier this year, an API that helps developers get players to pay more in games by offering special discounts and offers to specific users on a game’s virtual currency. Facebook has now launched a new API that determines whether a user is eligible for the Payer Promotion offered in the game.
Earlier this month, hacker Alexey V. Borodin discovered a method that allows some iOS app users to make “In-App Purchases” for FREE. Because Apple does not link purchases directly to individual customers or devices, a single receipt can be used for multiple transactions. Borodin’s method takes advantage of this fact by fooling iOS apps into accepting fake purchase receipts and bypassing Apple’s authentication servers.
A new API aims to capitalize on the social gaming phenomenon by giving app developers an even better way to monetize their audiences. Rather than simply selling upgrades and virtual goods, players can also incorporate gambling. Betable, which today is announcing the beta of its Betable API, handles the money, regulations and gambling logic.
Roar Engine selected Urban Airships push-messaging system to complement its cross-platform game mechanics and virtual products management API. The Roar Engine API will itself integrate with the Urban Airship API to send notifications to gamers.
Californians have long had the ability to track lottery updates on their mobile phones, or get updates via the lottery’s Twitter account. However, with the release of the CA Lottery API, developers may have entered the scene as California’s latest player of the odds.
In recent months, Facebook has been working on finding new and improved ways of increasing user discovery and engagement with games built on the Facebook Graph API. Facebook has recently added games stories in the news feed that show users the games their friends are playing the most, as well as a games timeline unit and a games-only activity feed on the home page.