PocketGamer.biz Week That Was: BlackBerry's sell-off is off, Puzzle & Dragons surges in US, and Nokia spurs Windows Phone to success
Manufacturer: Steel Media
Format: Android, Blackberry, iPhone, PG.Biz, iPad, 3DS, PS Vita, Windows Phone, Windows 8
Old logic held that one should refrain from celebrating a deal or acting on a decision until after the ink's dried.
These days, deals are struck in all manner of creative ways - from handshakes to Facebook messages and LinkedIn invitations - with very few requiring actual ink to seal the deal.
That's why the volte-face
pulled by BlackBerry this week caught so many in the industry by surprise. We almost forgot that formal deals, the ones struck by many besuited folk with serious faces in cloistered meeting rooms, can still fall through like so much plans made over a round of drinks in the hours after a conference.
As unexpected as the BlackBerry news was, however, we didn't let it distract us from focusing our laser-like gaze on the events of the week that was.Tools and platforms
- The Marmalade 7 SDK is out now, and the cross-platform publishing tool promises a 'roadmap of changes'.
- As BlackBerry waned, Nokia zoomed - in the US at least, where its shares jumped sixfold to become the fourth largest smartphone manufacturer.
- Of course, Nokia's not doing too badly in Europe either. Data suggests Windows Phone now accounts for 1 in 10 smartphones there, and it's pulled ahead of iOS in Italy.
- And speaking of Windows Phone, Cocos2d-x adds support for Windows and Windows Phone.
- Meanwhile, corroborating what most of us expected, Google Play brings in 25 percent more downloads than the App Store - but iOS generates twice as much revenue.
- Elsewhere, the US-based PlayPhone hooked up with SingTel with designs on becoming the world's 'third app store'.
User acquisition and Retention
- Big Fish CEO Paul Thelen argues that F2P teams should not work on premium games, since the two models require very different approaches.
- After looking at Twilight and basketball, Plain Vanilla's CEO Thor Fridriksson talks about tying his company's fortunes to the creation of a trivia gaming platform.
- 100% Indie weighs in on the role of music's place in the world of mobile games.
- Translation's a tricky business, but Ackuna's looking to turn the game on its ear by offering a free, crowdsourced localisation solution.
- Our intrepid editor Keith Andrew opines that it's high time for consumers to wave goodbye to BlackBerry.
- And our own Peter Willington gave an amusing, if entirely too on-point, run down on the 10 types of people you'll run into at industry conferences.
Funding, start ups and acquisitions
- GungHo's stratospherically successful Puzzle & Dragons has roared its way past 2 million downloads in North America.
- Also in GungHo news, the follow-up to Puzzle & Dragons - Divine Gate - has secured 1 million downloads in its first few weeks on market.
- Our chart of the week examines Flurry's findings and notes that the number of devs in the 'million club' has doubled in 18 months.
- Looking to create the perfect app icon? George Osborn's got 5 suggestions for you to follow.
- And our Charticle for this week examines the rise of Ruzzle, a competitive word game that's been downloaded over 45 million times.
- BlackBerry abandoned its $4.7 billion planned sell off to Fairfax Holdings, and decides instead to raise $1 billion in funding. CEO Thorsten Heins is deposed from the top spot, but says he'll be "cheering from the sidelines".
- Also, do you remember the rumours that Lenovo was angling to buyout BlackBerry? Turns out the Canadian government put the kibosh on that due to 'National Security Concerns'.
- Ad giant Millennial Media has completed the acquisition of ad rival JumpTap in an attempt to redefine advertising.
- Canadian mobile incubator and accelerator Execution Labs has opened the doors for its second round of start-ups.
- And Japan-based messaging service LINE's generated $60 million from 39 games in FY13 Q3.
- Looking to secure a bigger piece of the Chinese Android app market, Qihoo 360 saw its share of Chinese search market grow to 21 percent.
LA was a hotbed of industry news and takeaways this past week. Here are some of the highlights:
- ZeptoLab's Semyon Voinov gave insight in how you can grow your game into a brand, using the adorable Om Nom as an example.
- Google's Todd Kerpelman reflected on what he's learned in the 6 months since Google Play Games' launch. Namely, achievements matter - 'but only if you do them right'.
- Nordeus' Nikola Cavic reassured developers that they can achieve global success without targeting the US.
- Gamesbrief's Nicholas Lovell argued that superfans (or whales, if you must) need freeloading players in order to feel special - so you should try to cater to both.
- Six to Start CEO Adrian Hon gave advice on how to Kickstart your game correctly, using Zombies, Run! as an example.
- And Square Enix shared some details on its indie publishing initiative, Collective, which appears to be focused only on PC games - for now.
- Finally, we helped the 1920's roar again with the help of Gamevil, Everyplay and Yandex. Take a look at the pictures from our party. No, seriously - go look, there are Tommy guns and flappers!
Pocket Gamer Connects conference is on track for January 20 - 21 in London, and we've revealed our first batch of confirmed speakers.
So far, King's Tommy Palm, Rovio CMO Peter Vesterbacka, Gamevil USA president Kyu Lee, Chukong GM Lei Zhang, and Harry Holmwood, CEO of Marvelous AQL are all on board - are you?
Visit the conference's page to secure your spot.