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