Helsinki one week, Stockholm the next, it's been a busy and typically jet-set seven days at PocketGamer.biz; the world of app stores, smartphone platforms, developments in mobile game making and assorted technology.
In one way or another, it's all been about money this week – whether in terms of how much developers are making on smartphone platforms, or the amount the firms behind those platforms are pulling in.
Arguably more interesting than the flood of financial results from manufacturers (and that's no exaggeration – prepare yourself for an onslaught typically reserved for Financial Times readers) was the combination of two reports with a freemium focus.
Early in the week, Flurry claimed the average price of an in-app purchase was $14 – a figure the firm said dismissed any notion that apps make only $1 or $2 a sale. It is, however, increasingly freemium that's generating revenue on major mobile marketplaces.
Distimo stated cash pulled in from such titles on the App Store has jumped ten fold in the last year, with more money made from freemium releases within the top 200 grossing games on the marketplace than from paid titles.Social strength
It's no wonder, then, that one of the biggest exponents of in-app purchases – social gaming – is going from strength to strength.
Major player DeNA has certainly had an eventful week, announcing big name backers days before launching its social network Mobage in both English speaking territories and China for the first time.
One said backer is No More Heroes man Suda 51, who revealed to the world he is working on the 'bloodiest social game ever' – a bold and original aim for the genre, if nothing else.
But the very nature of social gaming is evolving. New details released by Sony suggest PSP follow up PS Vita will have a far greater focus on social features, though just how they'll be delivered remains unclear.
One thing that is known is that PS Vita will launch into a handheld market in a spot of bother.
The release of Nintendo's quarterly financials – which saw the firm post a $324 million loss – revealed 3DS has so far failed to make a mark with the public.
Nintendo's response was to cut the price of the console by 40 percent, the theory being consumers have been waiting for the price to fall before picking one up.
Sony, with its business spread across a far wider base, has little reason to be any cheerier.
The company as a whole posted a net loss for the most recent quarter of $191 million, while operating income in the firm's Products & Services division – responsible for its PlayStation business, amongst others – fell by more than 94 percent.
Results in the mobile industry were comparatively mixed. Samsung posted a profit of $3.3 billion in its latest quarter, off the back of sales of 5.5 million Galaxy S II handsets. HTC too is having a good time of it – smartphone shipments at the firm have jumped 123 percent year on year.
In contrast, Motorola Mobility suffered a $56 million loss across the same period, and shipments of its debut Android tablet Xoom have only just passed 700,000. In similar trouble is LG, which recorded a $51 million loss, despite a rise in its smartphone shipments.
Indeed, so important are the number of devices shipped by each firm, that a virtual league table of mobile manufacturers – regularly provided by Strategy Analytics – made headlines the world over.
Apple garnered the most attention. The firm was proclaimed the world's top smartphone manufacturer – taking over from Nokia – as its shipments more than doubled to 20.3 million units in its latest quarter.
Figures collated by rival IDC, however, show the strength of Nokia's feature phone business means it remains the top manufacturer of all mobiles by some distance. The Finnish giant shipped 88.8 million handsets in its latest quarter, though that's down 20 percent from last year.
Perhaps the most entertaining and ultimately insightful news, however, came from PocketGamer.biz favourite Andrew John Smith, who heads up iOS developer Spilt Milk Studios.
In an exclusive email sent to the site, Smith took aim at Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Michael Pachter's claim that developers not willing to work unpaid overtime should get out of the industry.
"I've got to give a few words over to the enormously insensitive and out of touch garbage that Pachter has seen fit to dump all over the internet recently," Smith said in the email.
"This proves to me that he is a terrible analyst when the slightest exploration of the topic would’ve uncovered a ton of information to the contrary."
Until next week...