The PocketGamer.biz week that was: Losses for EA and Zynga, 100 million downloads for Temple Run, and the 'myth' of the 99c iOS gamer
By James Nouch 04 August 2012
PocketGamer.biz | Manufacturer:
Steel Media | Format:
Android, Facebook and social, iPhone, PG.Biz, iPad
This week, we caught up with the chaps from Telltale Games for a chat about the studio's latest iOS release – The Walking Dead
It's a game that I've been playing on the Xbox 360 – and greatly enjoying, I might add – so I was surprised to see that the iOS version is, to all intents and purposes, the same game.
It's an impressive feat of engineering, but this kind of console parity throws up some questions.
Mobile and home consoles are fundamentally different, after all. The games control differently, we interact with the experience differently and we play in different locations for different lengths of time.
And while a near $5 for each two-hour episode might seem like great value on the PS3 or 360, would iOS gamers be prepared to pay the same? Telltale Games' SVP of publishing Steve Allison seems to think they will.
"The idea of a 99c gamer on iOS is more myth than fact, it's the quality and depth of each product that will drive the right price for consumers," he explained in an interview with PocketGamer.biz.
That's an optimistic view of iOS users, to be sure, and one that will run contrary to the experience of many studios. After all, it's as likely to be The Walking Dead
's brand clout – rather than its quality and depth – that's encouraging App Store shoppers to fork out more.
But before that's enough chat. Instead, let's move on to our bite-sized overview of the last seven days' worth of news.Platform wars
- Ouya is our chance to bring indies into the living room, says former Call of Duty creative strategist Robert Bowling.
- As AppMobi launches its HTML5 wrapping tool openBuild, company CTO Sam Abadir tell us that Wooga should have come to AppMobi for help with Pocket Island.
- Android loses US market share to iOS, but remains top dog in the region for now.
- GREE's Japanese games are failing to attract users in the US, leaving some pessimistic about the firm's global ambitions.
- Crowdstar "saw the shift to mobile over a year before Facebook and Zynga did," argues CEO Peter Relan.
- It looks as though DeNA's decision to focus on China has paid off, as its Mobage platform reaches 5 million users in the region.
Funding, mergers and acquisitions
- GetJar's Gold virtual currency program attracts more than 10 million users in the five months since launch.
- Google tightens up its rules on in-app advertising, making studios responsible for the media that's shown in their apps.
- The 99c iOS gamer is a myth – gamers will pay more for quality, insists Telltale Games' SVP of publishing Steve Allison.
- EA didn't force the Firemint and IronMonkey merger that formed Firemonkeys, according to former Ironmonkey MD Tony Lay.
- Zombie Farm developer The Playforge is acquired by Saban Brands – a company that acquires transmedia brands in order to build them up further.
- Texan studio zGames wins Atari's Pong Indie Developer Challenge, bagging a $50,000 prize and a three-year revenue sharing deal for its soon-to-be-published reimaging of Pong.
- CEO Oli Christie explains how indie studio Neon Play manages to acquire users without hoards of cash.
- Flaregames partners with German broadcasting network ProSiebenSat.1, in a deal that will see Flaregames titles advertised on TV.
- GREE announces a new partnership with French mobile affiliate network MobParter, giving developers on its platform access to a fresh suite of promotion tools, as well as new app discovery and user acquisition tech.
- The PocketGamer.biz Mobile Gaming Mavens discuss, debate and argue about whether mobile should play host to 'console quality' gaming experiences.
- In part two of their regular game design column, the Pickford Brothers talk touch controls.
- Whether you like the company or not (and odds are you don't), it's still far too early to write off Zynga after it posted a $22.8 million net loss for Q2 2012.
- EA Mobile is a bright spark in EA's gloomy financial results, prompting PocketGamer.biz editor Jon Jordan to wonder if EA's woes are emblematic of a wider industry malaise.
- The9 VP Chris Shen presents the six trends in Asian gaming that are on their way to the west.
- One year after making its App Store debut, Temple Run has passed 100 million downloads. We spoke to Imangi's Keith Shepherd about its success, its imitators and the relative merits of the platforms it calls home.