This past week saw two wild departures from convention which might have large ramifications for the industry - one made by a company and one by an individual.
On the company side, Nintendo unveiled a new handheld model, the 2DS that aims to bring more young (or cheaper) gamers into the 3DS ecosystem by dropping the pricepoint and dispensing with the 3D visuals.
On the individual side, Google's VP in charge of Android product management Hugo Barra left the US-based company to take a new VP position at booming Chinese smartphone manufacturer, Xiaomi.
Both Nintendo and Barra are known for their savvy and understanding of market trends, and they have their own reasons for these radical departures.
Whether or not they'll bear success down the line remains to be seen, but until that time let’s look back at the week that was.
Tools and platforms
- Nintendo unveils its new mobile handheld, the 2DS - which is like a 3DS, minus the 3D and signature clamshell design.
- After picking up former Android VP Hugo Barra from Google, Xiaomi reports 1 billion downloads on its Android App Store.
- Looking to make a 2D game? YoYo Games says GameMaker: Studio is still your best bet.
- Looking to make a 3D game? Autodesk's new Maya LT art package starts from $35 a month.
- SponsorPay gives its take on what three gaming monetisation trends will shape the future of mobile advertising.
- Our Charticle this week looks at the 'slow-growing' success of Plants vs Zombies 2.
- And the laser-like focus of our Monetizer is turned on Asphalt 8 to see just how successful it's been off the line.
- Meanwhile, Amazon lifts the lid on a new deal that lets devs sell real-world items in-game and get 6% of the revenue.
- And King files a lawsuit against 6waves for allegedly copying two of its hit 'Saga' games.
- Editor-at-large Jon Jordan sees Nintendo's unveiling of the 2DS as a purely defensive tactic.
- While Owlchemy Labs' Alex Schwartz argues against porting console games to mobile and suggests instead that we clone them.
- Byron Atkinson-Jones talks about hiring a PR agency and argues that you shouldn't attempt to do everything yourself.
- 148Apps' Carter Dotson thinks it's high time for developers to step up and fulfil the potential of tablet gaming.
- And US correspondent Matt Diener argues for the importance of music and audio in mobile gaming.
User acquisition and Retention
- Our Chart of the Week notes that Facebook's ad muscle has pushed user acquisition costs up to a two-year high.
- Playnomics announced its new Churn Predictor which aims to help reduce financial burden of losing and reacquiring players.
- GREE's Jori Persall shed light on how GREE and IUGO boosted Knights & Dragons 30-day retention by 50 percent.
- FreeAppADay vendor ICS Mobile reveals its new celebrity-backed AppXchange platform.
Unity and Unite 2013
Keith was flying into Vancouver this week, and Unity news was flying out of Vancouver this week during the annual Unite conference. Here are some of the biggest stories.
- Editor Keith Andrew grills Unity CEO David Helgason about its decision to become a proper publisher.
- Here's now the news about Unity's decision to turn publisher broke.
- While Transfluent partners with Unity for rapid localisation thanks to a new plug-in.
- Facebook unveiled a new Unity SDK that allows for porting of Unity games to the social network with a few simple clicks.
- And we have details on the new Unity Cloud analytics and marketing tool announced at Unite 2013.
- Finally, Unity reckons that 100 apps powered by Unity are installed every second.