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The PocketGamer.biz week that was: 5 million iPhone 5s, 25 billion Android apps and the 2012 F2P Summit

The past 7 days in bite-sized portions
Product: PocketGamer.biz | Publisher: Steel Media Ltd | Format: Android, Blackberry, iPhone, PG.Biz, iPad, Windows Phone
PocketGamer.biz Blackberry, thumbnail 1
With this week playing host to the latest F2P Summit in London's trendy Shoreditch, I thought this would be the right time and place in which to have a good natter about free-to-play gaming.

But PocketGamer.biz editor Keith Andrew has beaten me to it, simultaneously delivering an articulate defence of the freemium business model and robbing me of a topic of discussion.

Rather than dwelling on my thwarted intentions, however, I thought I'd consider at the issue from another angle.

As Mr. Andrew points out, the great freemium debate is over. And, in case you missed it, freemium won. It takes no more than a cursory glance at the App Store top grossing games charts to see that freemium is a success story, not an encroaching fad.

But that's not to say that I'm unsympathetic to the complaints of freemium haters. Many freemium titles are bad games that nag for ratings and cash. Many feel exploitative on a basic level.

Nonetheless, the point is, it's not an essential characteristic of the model, and those who argue otherwise have mistaken their bad experience with individuals for evidence of a bad category. No wonder Boss Alien's Jason Avent likened freemium haters to xenophobes.

I'd argue that freemium, then, is a neutral thing – neither good nor bad.

Implementation is the key, and it is design that makes the difference between money-grubbing horror show and great (profitable) game. But that's enough noise from me – let's move on to our bite-sized overview of the last seven days' worth of news.

Platform wars
  • Apple announces that more than 5 million iPhone 5s were sold during its first weekend on shelves, comfortably surpassing the 4 million total set by the iPhone 4S on its debut weekend. 
  • CEO Victoria Trofimova explains how redesigning for iPad saw the ARPDAU double for Nordcurrent's 101-in-1 Games
  • Barnes & Noble announces a pair of low-price, high resolution tablets for the UK market: the Nook HD and the Nook HD+
  • "The BlackBerry platform offers a significant revenue opportunity for developers," according to Marmalade CTO Tim Closs.
  • Google announces that more than 25 billion apps have now been downloaded from Google Play. 
Discovery and user acquisition
Industry voices
  • The PocketGamer.biz mobile mavens debate the future of mobile, making a few wild predictions along the way. 
  • Will Luton stepped down as creative director of Mobile Pie last week, so we catch up with him to discuss what's next and how the industry's changed during his time making mobile games.
  • The sense of anticlimax surrounding the iPhone 5 unveiling highlights the industry's sense of entitlement, says iQU's Fraser MacInnes.
F2P Summit
Click here for all of PocketGamer.biz's coverage from the F2P Summit 2012 in one handy list.

Reviewer photo
James Nouch 29 September 2012
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