BlackBerry has never been afraid to throw incentives at a problem. When their app store was lacking, they made it easier than ever for developers to contribute apps. Now they’ve gone from just 16,000 apps to 105,000 apps.
Now, BlackBerry has announced that they’ll apply a similar tactic to BlackBerry app games. In an effort to quickly develop great games for their OS, BlackBerry is literally throwing money at the problem. And anyone with a game idea should hop on while the gravy train is still in town.
At this point in the game, RIM can’t afford to make a wrong move. The big-screen spec-heavy smartphone revolution has all but tanked BlackBerry in the U.S.
And while BlackBerry still has a loyal business client base in Europe, they’re going to have to grow if they want to survive. The vehicle for that growth will have to be BlackBerry 10. If the OS tanks or customers don’t bite, RIM may be down for the count.
That’s an uncomfortable position for a company to be in. But BlackBerry seems to be gearing itself up to meet the challenge. Instead of rushing out a new model to catch the quickly approaching holiday shopping season, RIM is feverishly working away on the new BlackBerry Arista and BB10 to make them the best…ever maybe.
One of the most exciting whispers of news to come from the Canadian company is the Port-a-Thon. For 36 hours, BlackBerry promises cold, hard cash to any app game developer who develops a new game for BlackBerry or develops a BlackBerry port for an existing game.
Each successfully submitted and approved app will net the developer $100. App developers are limited to 20 apps, but that could mean $2,000 for people with a number of really great ideas. And that’s not all.
If more than 2 of your apps are approved, you get a free BlackBerry Playbook on top of the money. If more than 5 of your apps get approved, you get a free Dev Alpha Device (plus the Playbook plus the cash). If 10 of your apps get approved you get the cash, the swag and a ticket to the 2013 Game Developers Conference (while supplies last).
To help you meet the kind of successful submission numbers that mean big payoffs, BlackBerry will be making employees and tech experts available to help developers build and port their games.
For those looking to break into a competitive industry, this is really a once in a lifetime opportunity. BlackBerry’s developer site already offers lots of hand-holding, tutorials, videos and even a mini university. And now there’s staff on hand to help out. It seems hard to go wrong.
The BlackBerry Port-a-Thon is scheduled to start on November 16th. And we can’t wait to see the kind of innovation that it yields. Those who take a (another?) chance on BlackBerry 10 may be rewarded with some of the newest, most innovative games on the market.
But the BB10 debut is still quite far away. If you’re looking for a more immediate gaming experience, we suggest checking out some of the unlocked phones at GSM Nation. There are plenty of high-spec phones at reasonable prices. Buy one now and you’ll have enough money leftover to buy into BlackBerry come 2013.