The first full week of 2014 has drawn to a close, and predicted trends are already starting to make themselves manifest.
Despite the banner year reported by Apple for App Store revenue, it looks like smaller studios - particularly those in the indie space - are going to face a difficult road in the months ahead as they struggle to find traction.
Meanwhile, BlackBerry's pulling away from the consumer space and an increasing number of eyes are paying attention to Microsoft’s Windows Phone.
2013 certainly was an exciting year, but 2014 might just put it to shame.PG Connects
- A new year means that our global conference, PG Connects, is only 10 days away. We have a few more speakers to highlight, this week, namely Nordeus' Nikola Cavic, Storm8's Perry Tam, Animoca's Robby Yung, Mediatonic's Paul Croft, and gumi Europe's Nicolas Godement-Berline.
Tools and platforms
- The PS Vita might take GDC by storm as Tearaway earned an impressive five (out of eight) GDC Awards nominations.
- Following the billion-dollar Z10 flop, BlackBerry is sounding a retreat from the consumer space and will favour keyboards over touchscreens for its future devices.
- All eyes are on Indonesia as Chinese mobile social platform WeChat wades in against Kakao and LINE.
- Meanwhile, Rovio and Vanguard give some insight into their years on Windows Phone.
- And on the topic of Microsoft's mobile platform, App Annie's added Windows Phone to its analytics roster.
- Apple makes inroads into China, Samsung projects a 6 percent profit drop.
- Colopl continues to edge closer to domination in Japan, as Quiz RPG tops 17 million users.
- The App Store generated more than $10 billion in net sales for developers last year, which is why Apple called 2013 "the best year ever for the App Store".
- We had various Monetizer specials this week - one looked at eight games with "very weird" IAP economies while another categorised F2P games via their average IAP price.
- As a counterpoint to the Monetizer, we launched a new feature, The In-App Purchase Inspector, which gave a deep, qualitative look at the IAPs in Gameloft's Minion Rush.
- Meanwhile, Fiksu announced Fiksu Retargeting - a cross-platform service aimed at activating lapsed users.
- Editor Keith Andrew sees the PlayStation 4 as the console that can break down mobile's barriers and reckons PlayStation Now is the beginning of something big.
- While Carter Dotson from 148Apps says video sharing is "the future" for mobile developers.
- Oscar Clark warns that while data is good, not all data is created equal.
- Kirk Mckeand sat down with 17-bit Studios to get the nitty gritty on the making of the cross-platform aracde hit Skulls of the Shogun.
Funding, start ups, acquisitions, and shutterings
- 2014 started off on a sad note for Toki Tori dev Two Tribes when it announced it'd be shutting down operations to 'reboot' as a publisher.
- GamesGrabr, meanwhile, raised £175,000 in crowdfunding as 178 investors saw the value in the social platform billed as 'the Pinterest for games'.
- Chinese mobile publisher and tech company MorningTec raised $8.2 million from Haitong Leading Capital Management.