In a few days time, the Chinese (Lunar) New Year will ring in the year of the horse.
During the fabled race between the 12 animals of the zodiac, the horse tore off to an impressive start but was spooked by the clever snake hiding on its hoof.
The horse panicked - a reaction anyone whose not too keen on snakes would sympathise with - and fell into the seventh spot behind the snake's sixth place finish.
The lesson in all of this is, ostensibly, not to overact to unexpected troubles and hardships lest you allow them to distract you from your goals.
We'll all face setbacks in the year ahead, so let's make a (late) resolution to not pull a horse and react to them with dignity and grace. Also, let's try to be careful where we step.
Here ends the lesson, and here - too - begins our look back at the week that was on PocketGamer.biz.PG Connects
- Our global conference, PG Connects, kicks off on Monday and we have a few more speakers to highlight, among them Art Of Click's Wandrille Pruvot, ustwo's Neil McFarland, Thumbstar's Gareth Edmondson, Applifier's Mika Kuusisto, and Remote Control Productions's Hendrik Lesser.
- We have over 550 signed up to attend, but there's still a chance to register if you haven't yet!
Tools and platforms
- There was a lot Samsung talk this week, as the Korean tech titan noted that Tizen smartphones are unlikely to come to the US.
- And, unhappily, it's losing the US smartphone war to Apple as Cupertino locked down 42 percent of the market to Samsung's 22.
- While our Chart of the Week showed, unsurprisingly, that Samsung completely owned the American Android tablet market in this holiday season.
- On the handheld side, Nintendo glossed over the Wii U and hailed the 3DS as a "powerhouse" following a banner year for the system.
- Meanwhile, Unity announced that it would roll out support for the PS Vita in the upcoming Unity 4.3.
- And let's not forget the new guys. Social and messaging apps (LINE, Kakao, etc) grew by 203 percent in 2013, outpacing mobile game growth handily.
- Agawi lifted the curtain on its new AppGlimpse service that swaps out video ads with short, playable demos of games.
- Meanwhile, our Charticle looked at Gamevil's Monster Warlord and examined how its 11 supported languages help it generate $1.9 million a month.
- And the ceiling just keeps getting higher. Digi-Capital reckons mobile's growth will propel total games industry revenue up to $100 billion by 2017.
- But crowdfunding still remains fickle. The man behind Mutant Football League's Kickstarter said aiming for mobile 'sunk' his campaign on day one.
- Our Mobile Gaming Mavens mulled over the future of mobile in 2014 and hope that it's the year where everyone stops trying to be the next Supercell.
- Will Freeman gave some advice on how to get over the holiday hangover that is the rising CPI around the holidays.
- Dolce Vita founder Irina Vaganova sized up the industry and concluded that while big is good, only small teams are daring enough to take big risks.
- And we caught up with the pair behind the indie puzzler Lost Toys to shed some light on the making of the maudlin brain teaser.
- Rekoo's CFO Lisa Pan told us that her company's prepared to invest a lot of money and energy to make western games successful in China.
- While Game Insight's CEO Alisa Chumachenko laid out her company's plans to go broad and deep in 2014.
Funding, acquisitions, shutterings, and personnel
- Chinese in-app search outfit Wandoujia raised $120 million in a Series B investment round lead by SoftBank.
- While Kontagent raised $4.8 million in fresh financing, just ahead of its PlayHaven merger.
- On the unhappy side, Ouya dev U4iA shut down rather suddenly after three years of business.
- While Ouya's "invaluable" co-founder and VP of product development Muffi Ghadiali left the firm.
A Tale of Two Cities
This week we took an in-depth look at Malmö and Copenhagen.
- First, we examined how the two cities are spurring each other on to SmartPhone success.
- Then we looked at the stark differences between the big players and smaller studios that call the two cities home.
- Next, there was a look at the 'no biggy' attitude that surrounds big companies as they struggle.
- Finally, we took a look at the Danish indie scene and how it's ramping up to take down the big boys.