The BlackBerry 10 Game Port-A-Thon ends: Success is the word of the day!

By James Richardson on 18 Nov 2012 01:42 pm EST

This weekend RIM's game Port-A-Thon took place which we told you about earlier in the month. To cut to the chase the event was a huge success. Although I don't have confirmed figures it is pretty safe to say that a few thousand apps were ported over to BlackBerry 10 from other operating systems which is a sign that BB10 is getting the dev community super excited.

The 36 hour long online event was organised by Lou Gazzola and he stayed awake and moderated for the duration (He must have got through a shed load of Red Bull and coffee)- so kudos to him. With over 1400 registrations for the event it was certain to be a busy day and a half and that it was. During the marathon session there were consistently 120+ devs online at any one time - all eager to get their apps ported over with the assistance of a team of crack experts from RIM.

Aaron Ardiri who is RIM's Principal Developer Evangelist for EMEA spent a massive amount of time online assisting developers and also doing live demonstrations, including submitting a few of his own games so online devs could see the process. Jean-Claude from Ovogame, who we featured recently, also got involved and was the only external developer to participate on behalf of RIM - where he talked about his experience developing for BB10 which if you remember only started very recently.

And we are not just talking about each dev submitting one game for BlackBerry 10 - many went big and I know for a fact that several devs submitted in excess of 15 applications! One even managed 24!

Twitter was also buzzing from the event. If you check out #BBGotGame you will see how popular the Port-A-Thon was and also how positive the feedback was from developers.

BovioSoft ‏@boviosoft
Great support from RIM folks!, got all games ready for BB10 :) #BBGotGame

AntonSpir ‏@spirospir
#BBGotGame was a fantastic experience. Great BB community which deserves my attention.

Camilo Palomeque ‏@HTML5CONSOLE
Just finished #BBGotGame, 36 hours of game coding madness...Great job to the entire RIM team and #bbdevs

Earlier today I spoke with Florian Erlemann who has been developing for the PlayBook since the tablet was released. Although only 18 years of age now he has already had in excess of 100,000 downloads of his apps - so I reached out to him for his thoughts on the Port-A-Thon and this is what he had to say:

Since I'm so young, the Port-A-Thon gave me big opportunities. I always wanted to go to the USA, especially San Francisco so as I saw this event I told a friend of mine (Andre Meyer, 17) that we have to get 10 or more games in. That was two days before the event actually. Then we met and thought about ideas we could bring to bb10 fast. We ended up with 15 ideas. 

We started working from Thursday to Sunday - with almost no sleep. We had about 3 apps ready before Friday so after school we instantly started working again. Sunday, 6AM we finished with 15 apps submitted!

We're hoping that this hard work could make our dream come true and with the money and the rewards we could go to San Francisco. Now we're waiting for BlackBerry to approve our games and we hope to be under the first ten to submit more than 10 apps to be eligible. 

The BlackBerry support was awesome, not only during this weekend. As a developer, you can't find any support as good as this. 

Once again the RIM developer team have kicked butt - something that seems to be so common in the run up to BlackBerry 10 launching. From day one Thorsten Heins said the company would do everything possible to support developers and he certainly looks like a man of his word. With less than 73 days until the official event from RIM, it looks like the new platform is set to launch with a huge amount of applications/games available - something that could be make or break for the new OS.

Once again - nice work RIM. Bring on 2013.

Reader comments

The BlackBerry 10 Game Port-A-Thon ends: Success is the word of the day!


Nothing less is expected,keep up the Good work RIM. I love this new relationship and it can only get better. I do hope RIM keeps this up, If you have developers support you will definitely get the consumer support. I just cant wait to see whats in store for us consumers (other than the fact that we get the best smartphone on the planet)... Trade-In-YourOldBerry-A-Thon?

Oh also i must also mention this... while im sure your intentions are noble Florian Erlemann, seeing that you've been developing for the playbook for so long. I really hope you spend more time on your apps even if approved by RIM. It'd be ashame to see Blackberry App world filled with 50% of the useless apps (no offense) thats in the Appstore or Google Play at launch. Im looking for thoughtfully, creative and well developed apps at the launch of BB10. I do hope the filtering process is a little more strict on RIMs side because the playbook has a few thousand useless junk already (ebooks)

It's good to hear. I'm sure devs will be very interested if all of them knew how RIM cares about them and how it's easy to port their apps to AppWorld, especially when they knew their apps will attract more people than Apple or Android markets.

I know for a fact that I have spent more money on bb apps than any other platform. Devs will see a huge uptick in sales by porting to BB10. BlackBerry enthusiasts tend not to mind paying for apps.

My wife and I spend about $20 a month on playbook apps. Now that we don't have to pay blockbuster rates for movies anymore we use that money on apps. We will be supporting BB10 devs heavily!

Me too. Have and will continue to buy quality apps, especially native. I must say though the experience of the ___________ player is much improved now too, so hopefully that becomes a way for devs to become familiar with the BB community and start to develop specifically for it. I think the BB10 platform will have the most to offer in terms of creative headroom for devs and ease of development vs. The other platforms and hopefully that means devs will start to bring their ideas here first for the premium rendition and then port the other way.............hey a guy can dream!
Loving the stream of awesome news! Keep up the great work!

This is Excellent news to hear. I'm still looking and waiting for a top of the line picture editing app for my Playbook that's more like Adobe Lightroom. Maybe I need to learn how to develop and put something out there.

Proud owner of a BlackBerry Playbook & Torch

Oh dear, if Florian is being held up as the future of BB10 then it's time to buy an iphone.
Search app world for Imagyne and you will see what I mean.

How is it complaining when one of the biggest complaints - no pun intended - against Blackberry has been the lack of quality applications from name-brand, first-party, lead designers?

While the numbers of developers who participated here are impressive; it would have been nice to see, or find out at least, which developers specifically were there? For example, were Big Fish Games, Zen Studios, Namco, Cave Studios, Sega, Square-Enix, Chair Entertainment, Fireproof Games, and so forth there? If not, are they supporting BB10? Has RIM reached out to them? Are they even aware that BB10 is coming out?

This is not meant to be critical of what was achieved, but it has been clear for a while that many independent developers - both game and non-game developers - are working on bringing material to BB10.

What is not so clear is whether or not first party developers are doing so as well.

Well first, some of us do find it interesting that an 18 year old is having success writing apps and making money on it. Good for Florian. He is inspirational and highlights the spirit of the independent developer. Second, the port-a-thon is all about helping the independent developer. It's not about the big boys. As to whether the big shops will show up, I think the answer is yes. While RIM is being coy with names, certainly every indication seems to points to developer buy in. Let's face it, how hard is it to port over a game. A few days of work and bam a new revenue stream. It's not rocket science.

Apparently it is rocket science given the lack of first party developers supporting the Playbook with some outrightly indicating that it isn't worth it to port over their applications even though it is easy to do so.

Again its not to take away from independent developers - I am impressed by what was accomplished and they certainly contribute alot to BlackBerry. But until name brand developers support BB10, it will have a hard time competing in the real world - not the fanboy world - the real one. For as soon as a consumer is told, "that app is not available on BlackBerry" they will move on.

The point of this? It's high time for RIM to stop being coy with what's going on with mainstream developers. Who specifically is on board? What specific apps are going to be available at launch? We know what's happening with the independents, but why the big secrecy regarding the mainstream ones?

Then RIM has decided to wait for strategic reasons until Jan 30th to reveal who and what is in the launch library of apps? Why walk around until then with ur dickout?
You wouldn't choose to do that would you?......

So what you are saying is that RIM should tell you everything ahead of time. For what reason? How would this build into a marketing strategy? Well, the answer is that it doesn't.

RIM has been deservably racked over the coals for sloppy to inept marketing. This poor performance can be directly tied to the former CEOs who had a problem keeping their lips zipped. I think they have learned their lesson in spades.

So, why in God's name do you want them to repeat these same mistakes? When you market a new product, it is about building anticipation. It is a methodological step by step process. Why do you think RIM has been getting alot of free press lately. It is because people want to know. You take that away by making mindless announcements and the press moves on to the next flavor of the day. That is how it works.

Apps are apps my friend, you should go threw the App Store and google play and see the amount of pointless apps on there. I will buy some of his games including 1979 snake.

If there were 1400 people and they all did 15 apps, that's more then 20,000 apps in 36 hours, that's fan-mother fucking- tastic .

James, the author, will use whatever he can to try and promote BB10, he was probably hoping that you wouldn't be aware of Florian's apps.

Florian is 18 years old and going through school. I find it interesting that someone so young is developing Apps. Good on him. I don't expect him to write a top shelf App first time out. Sort of obvious, don't you think?

Personally, I think we should encourage young people that show energy and drive. They're what keeps moving the world forward. He is trying to make a positive contribution. And your claim to fame is what? Just make something up.

For those of you who haven't had the pleasure to try the NEW BB10 software as of yet ..... let me tell you this. This super phone is awesome. End of story.

It will blow any other OS out of the water. You will see people lining up for this one. 20 - 30 - 40 million phones the first quarter ... easily. There was an analyst that just said ... "If you are ready to upgrade, or get a smart phone, hold off until BB10. It will be worth the wait."

People will be smashing their iPhones and Droids on the cement so they can get a BB10. You watch.

He is excited about the new platform. Good for him. Break is over, can you go get me my burgers and fries now?

Go Devs! Go RIM!
No one can say RIM hasn't gone the extra mile to court devs and give them the best tools!
BB 10 - FTW!