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PocketGamer.biz Week That Was: Boyfriend Maker blowout, Unity's great big gamble and an ode to OpenFeint

The past 7 days in bite-sized portions
Product: PocketGamer.biz | Publisher: Steel Media Ltd | Format: Android, iPhone, PG.Biz, iPad, Windows 8
PocketGamer.biz Android, thumbnail 1
'Delight' is a word that's brought up a lot in free-to-play circles. To hear some of the model's evangelists talk of it, you'd think that making a game that 'delights' was enough to guarantee you freemium success.

It's not as simple as that, though, and Punch Quest is an excellent disproof of this notion. Here's a game that delighted both players and reviewers alike, and was downloaded by hundreds of thousands of people.

But, crucially, it didn't make any money.

The story behind this game is explored in this week's PocketGamer.biz Making Of feature, in which Lee Bradley talks to RocketCat's Kepa Auwae about the game's successes and failures.

Auwae's conclusion is that the team had simply been "too generous with the progression system" for the freemium model to work. Whether that's an assessment you agree with, one thing is clear: to create a freemium success, you need more than just delight.

But that's quite enough talky-talky for one week. Let's move on to our bite-sized overview of the last seven days' worth of news.

Platform wars
  • Virtual dating app Boyfriend Maker is removed from the App Store after exhibiting sexually violent content, but it seemingly evaded Apple's notice for at least three months. 
  • Zynga UK's general manager Matthew Wiggins becomes the latest high-ranking employee to leave the embattled social giant. 
  • iQU's Fraser MacInnes argues that, despite what industry evangelists might say, the decision to go multiplatform is far from a no-brainer
  • Distimo pegs daily downloads on the newly launched Windows Store at three times higher than those Apple is seeing on the Mac App Store. 
  • Carter Dotson, a senior writer for 148Apps.com, argues that the 'OpenFeint fiasco' proves developers should never get comfortable with third-party APIs. 
  • In this week's edition of the PocketGamer.biz Charticle, we take a look at GREE's first-party titles, and find that they're not yet winning over gamers in the west. 
  • Halfbrick Studios teams up with analytics specialist OtherLevels in order to fine tune its push notifications, with a view to increasing player engagement and monetisation. 
  • Indie movement Selfpubd teams up with Tapitica to offer user acquisition and advertising options for its members. Founder Andy Rosic believes the partnership creates an "amazing offer" for devs. 
  • Changes to Unity's EULA could result in studios that monetise gambling games having to pay "six figure sums" in order to license the engine. 
Studio soundbites
  • Rovio: "At that point we considered going with another game as it didn't feel right. How the bird was flying and bouncing didn't feel organic at that time." 
  • Supercell: "Tablet is the ultimate game platform. Most of the gaming three to five years ahead will happen on that device." 
  • AppyNation: "One million downloads is a vanity number when all is said and done. We want to use those million people to build to ten million, and upwards." 
  • Breaktime: "The casual market is actually underserved when it comes to games that offer more immersive experiences. Casual gamers will engage with complex loops if delivered appropriately." 
  • King.com: "So yes, we do use a great deal of cross-promotion. We have found that focusing on the casual social genre has really helped here – many players play several of our games at the same time." 
Industry voices

Reviewer photo
James Nouch 1 December 2012
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