The PocketGamer.biz week that was: Let's bask in Facebook's billions, Gamevil booms, and is PS Vita the next Dreamcast?
By James Nouch 19 May 2012
PocketGamer.biz | Manufacturer:
Steel Media Ltd | Format:
Android, iPhone, PG.Biz, iPad, PS Vita, Windows Phone
On Friday afternoon, Facebook became a public company with the sale of 421 million shares.
You could almost hear the billions whizzing around.
But as our editor Jon Jordan points out, the social network's IPO isn't just good news for founder Mark Zuckerberg and company – it's good news for the entire technology industry, including mobile games.
But while we love the odd billion as much as the next pundit, Facebook's IPO wasn't the only story in town. Elsewhere we saw Samsung assert its dominance in the smartphone arena, Sony's PS Vita struggle, and Apple's various legal battles continue to make headlines.
Here's a quick roundup that to get you up-to-speed while minimising your time away from checking the Facebook share price.
Funding and acquisitions
- Zynga acquires female-focused casual dev Wild Needle for undisclosed sum.
- Dundee-based iOS dev Serious Parody raises £1 million to establish a new studio.
- Triple-A console developers from Disney, Gearbox, and Junction Point join up to form Fun Machine, making games for tablets, smartphones and smart TVs.
- Zombies, Run! developer outlines its Kickstarter project's journey to the App Store.
- We think Rovio's acquisition of the Casey's Contraptions IP is a canny move, but Rovio can't afford to get the game wrong.
- Gartner's Q1 2012 figures peg Samsung as no. 1 mobile OEM and smartphone maker, and reveals a feature phone drop-off.
- Android dominates in US and Europe thanks to strong sales of Samsung and HTC smartphones.
- After 10 weeks on sale, UK PS Vita sales are less than a third of PSP at same point.
- We think PS Vita risks becoming this generation's Dreamcast, 'doomed to delight the hardcore while the masses spend their money elsewhere.'
- Chinese search specialist Baidu is to release a low-cost 1,000 yuan ($160) smartphone.
- Sterne Agree analyst claims Apple is winding down iPhone orders in preparation for launch of new model.
- HP is to re-enter tablet market with a Windows 8-powered device.
- Gameloft's Ludovic Blondel thinks RIM must convince consumers that the BlackBerry is a powerful device.
- Apple's successful appeal means it's now likely to pursue a sales ban of Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.
- Court also orders Apple and HTC into settlement talks over patent infringement cases.
- But HTC One X and Evo 4G blocked from entering US thanks to their ongoing patent dispute with Apple.
- Superdata research shows social gamers are spending less, but more are converting to paying players.
- Fishlabs' Michael Schade explains the 'painful decision' to add IAP to Galaxy on Fire.
- The switch to free-to-play sees Gamevil's Q1 FY2012 sales up 160 percent year-on-year.
- Zynga uses Canadian launch of Zombie Swipeout as monetisation testbed, with a paid version and an ad-supported version.
- CMO of mobile ad company Velti reckons Facebook could generate up to $2 billion a year from its mobile app.
- Playmesh's Shawn Foust on what location-based games get wrong, and how to do better.
- iQU's Fraser MacInnes on why big user numbers are almost always nonsense, or else misrepresentative.