PocketGamer.biz Week That Was: King guns for $5B IPO, BlackBerry selling for $4.7B, and did Apple sneak EA a 'truckload of money'?
By Matthew Diener 28 September 2013
PocketGamer.biz | Manufacturer:
Steel Media Ltd | Format:
Android, Blackberry, iPhone, PG.Biz, iPad, Windows Phone, Windows 8
Historians feel it's impolite to map out the military axioms of Sun Tzu onto business proceedings, but it's amazing how well they apply if you look at them correctly.
Over two millennia ago, Sun Tzu wrote "Whoever is first in the field and awaits the coming of the enemy, will be fresh for the fight; whoever is second in the field and has to hasten to battle will arrive exhausted."
BlackBerry learned the truth behind this painful lesson over the past seven days, as its attempt to take on Apple and Android (and even Microsoft) in the consumer market lead to a $965 million quarterly loss and a subsequent $4.7 billion takeover.
Yet if BlackBerry heeded Master Sun's advice and stuck to the field it knew (namely, enterprise business), it'd be entirely likely that some of 4,700 recently unemployed BlackBerry staffers would still have jobs.
Still, the BlackBerry bust was just one story that broke this week. To see the rest, we need to take a full look back at the week that was.
Tools and platforms
- OpenKit, the heir apparent to OpenFeint, hit the market this week as a 'truly social' cross-platform tool.
- In Japan, the Sega-lead cross promotion network 'Noah Pass' is projected to cut advertising costs by 80 percent per game.
- All that glitters is gold (and plastic) - Apple's combined iPhone 5S and 5C sales hit 9 million in the opening weekend.
- EA reportedly received 'a truckload of money' to delay the launch of Plants vs. Zombies 2 on Android, a claim that it later denied as 'an unfortunate misunderstanding'.
- Ben Cousins was bullish on The Drowning's ARPDAU, stating that it's monetising 'at the same level' as Candy Crush Saga.
- Meanwhile, our Monetizers this week took a firm look at the performance of Infinity Blade III, CastleVille Legends, and Cavemania.
- And EEDAR shares some figures on how extensively engaged players monetise - and why you should consider video-sharing in your game.
- Fraiser MacInnes shares his thoughts on where the future of 'shrunken' mobile games will lead.
- While Carter Dotson from 148Apps thinks that microconsoles might get out console'd by SteamOS.
- Neven Mrgan, the mind behind the iOS hit BlackBar, gives us some insight on how he found success creating a game that's 'App Store poison'.
- Our panel of Mobile Mavens wonder if mobile devs should aim to build GTA V style hype.
- TrailPay's Terry Angelos gives some tips on how developers can find success with reward videos.
- And PocketGamer.biz editor Keith Andrew opines that BlackBerry's demise offered 'no satisfaction' to those who saw its fight with Apple as futile.
- Full Indie UK's Trevor Klein gives his take on how to make the ultimate trailer for your indie game.
- GamesGrabr contends that now almost half of gamers rely on friend recommendations for new game discovery.
- In the UK, Microsoft and Creative England unveil a new Greenshoots fund of £250,000 to help indie games get developed - and noticed.
Funding, start ups and acquisitions
- The big news this week came from Canada, where BlackBerry announced that it's selling up and that Fairfax Financial Holdings will takeover for $4.7 billion.
- And Fairfax Financial is 'confident' that BlackBerry will be successful again.
- But, as expected, BlackBerry posted a near-$1 billion loss as Z10 sales slump hard.
- Elsewhere, Glu Mobile raised $14 million in a public stock offering in an attempt to break back into the black.
- And King's getting ready to Candy Crush the Nasdaq as it moves to file for an IPO in the US.
- The UK's Office of Fair Trade laid out eight proposed principles that it's hoping the development community will embrace to protect children from predatory IAP practices.
- UK trade association TIGA responded, saying that the OFT should be concerned with helping to build 'a sustainable industry' within Britain.
- And international law firm Taylor Wessing's Graham Hann says that developers have nothing to fear from the OFT's guidelines.