BB DevCon 11: 'We're turbo charging our games catalog,' says RIM's Chris Smith:

#bbdevcon Thanks to Marmalade, Unity and ShiVa3D

BB DevCon 11: 'We're turbo charging our games catalog,' says RIM's Chris Smith:
One of the surprising aspect of the BlackBerry Developer Conference in San Francisco has been the focus on gaming; RIM previously being more enterprise-centric.

Kicking off the technical keynote, Anders Jeppsson, who's RIM's head of gaming - he was part of the TaT acquisition, previously CEO of Swedish developer SouthEnd - pointed out how the company was making it easier for developers to get their content up and running on BBX (the new name for its QNX OS).

"Hardcore games don't need to be native," he said.

"You can also use HTML5 or Adobe Air. It's all about making the right experience for your audience."

Getting social

Talking up social gaming on Blackberry was Marc Gumpinger, senior director gaming platform.

Previously CEO of Scoreloop, which RIM acquired in June, Gumpinger announced that Scoreloop now supports BBX natively with the beta release of its SDK.

This adds the platform to Scoreloop's current support for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and bada, providing broad cross-platform social features such as leaderboards and challenges.

Gumpinger revealed that to-date, Scoreloop has 80 million users and has hosted 750 million sessions, and 5 billion high scores.

Help from my friends

The other big element of the RIM's games focus is way BBX is being supported by thirdparty middleware technologies.

UK outfit Marmalade was the first to natively support BBX, with CEO Alex Caccia revealing that "a whole raft" of Marmalade-powered games were coming out on BBX soon, including NaturalMotion's Backbreaker Football and ZeptoLabs' Cut the Rope.

Unity is another provider supporting BBX, with veep of business development Oren Tversky saying that 30 Unity-powered games due out for PlayBook in the next six months as part of its Union program.

The final middleware company to get a nod out was French outfit ShiVa3D, which will be adding support for BBX in November.

The first BBX game using the engine will be DVide Arts' Earth and Legend, which is currently out on iOS, Android and webOS.

"We're turbo charging our games catalog," said Christopher Smith, RIM's senior director of R&D for the BlackBerry Development Platform.
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A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.