PocketGamer.biz Week That Was: A new age for Zynga, Microsoft formally acquires Nokia, and Kabam bullish about IPO
Manufacturer: Steel Media
Format: Android, iPhone, iPad, 3DS, PS Vita, Windows Phone, Windows 8
Welcome to PocketGamer.biz's weekly rundown of the past 168 hours in the gaming industry.
A lot can happen in a given week, and it's natural for some stories to slip past the most eagle-eyed among us. Luckily for you, we're here - as ever - to present the stories that we feel made the biggest impact over the past seven days.
If you're looking for a quick snapshot of the major trends and news in the mobile gaming space, you've come to the right column. Now grab a hot cup of your caffeinated beverage of choice, sit back, and let us guide you through the week that was.
- PG Connects is coming to Helsinki on June 16, and we already have Lima Sky, Ubisoft, King, Nordeus, Rovio, and Wargaming (among many, many others) signed up to speak. Looking to attend? Click here to book your spot.
- We also shed some light on a few of our speakers, namely Next Games CEO Temmu Huuhtanen and Nafna Games GM Nadav Barkama.
- And, if you’re an indie, you might want to take a look at what you need to do to secure a spot in our I Love Indie Showcase
Tools and Platforms
- Two have become one - Microsoft has officially acquired Nokia's devices and services business.
- TIGA unveiled the details of its summertime UK Games Tax Relief Tour, where it will walk developers through what’s needed to qualify for the incentives.
- And UKIE announced a new "How To" event aimed at teaching developers to create games for a distracted audience.
- AppsFire CEO Ouriel Ohyaon gave us some details on Brichter-San, a new ad solution that puts ads in the white space of a pull-to-refresh gesture.
- While Vungle CEO Zain Jaffer told us what we can expect from the new video ad exchange service, Vungle Exchange.
- Our In-App Purchase Inspector took a look at Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff, and found it’s not above asking $430 for a Stewie statue.
- While our Charticle wondered if Monument Vally rose or fell in the global App Store charts.
- Our Monetizer, meanwhile, looked at the performance of Glu's Frontline Commando 2.
- Torsten Reil, CEO of NaturalMotion, shed some light on his company acquisition by Zynga - noting that it's all about putting quality first.
- And we caught up with Aeria Games CEO Lan Hoang to discuss why it decided to sell its PC business to rebrand as the F2P mobile company PlayNext.
- Meanwhile, Oscar Clarke shared his thoughts on why you should consider releasing a paid game.
- Josh Rinsky of Motility Ads opined on why you need to think about TV ads for your mobile game (hint: they're big in Japan).
- And Jim Rainey of Midverse Studios explained why you need to focus on your game’s deep engagement.
- Glispa MD Tim Nilsson discussed how Brazil, Russia, India, and China (BRIC nations) are building F2P success - and what challenges you can expect if you want to move into those territories.
- While Vili Lehdonvirta of the University of Oxford used Supercell's Hay Day as a prime example of how not to make a player-to-player economy.
- Bossa Studio's Roberta Lucca explained how Surgeon Simulator's viral growth amassed 2.3 million YouTube videos.
User acquisition, retention, and discovery
- Surprising no one, Apple and Google were revealed to offer devs promotional spots in return for exclusivity.
Funding, acquisitions, personnel, and shutterings
- Zynga founder Mark Pincus has left, and Alex Garden stepped up to become head of studios.
- Eager to Candy Crush the lucrative Japanese smartphone gaming market, King announced the opening of a Tokyo studio.
- While Unity opened a Moscow office to offer support for Russian developers.
- Kabam, meanwhile, is bullish about its IPO chances - but it's 'following its own timeline'.
- And in China, Perfect World spent $100 million in an attempt to make a move on its rival, Shanda Games.
- Zynga may have a new direction, but its heading there as its Q1 2014 sales dropped 36 percent to $168 million.