Having the gift of perfect hindsight is a mixed blessing.
Months ago, our own Jon Jordan opined that EA should have skipped over PopCap and bought NaturalMotion or MachineZone instead.
"...the benefit of hindsight suggests that EA should have been looking for upcoming - and then relatively cheap - F2P developers such as NaturalMotion or Machine Zone, both of which have demonstrated very strong commercial success over the past months."
Clearly, Zynga still saw tremendous value in NaturalMotion and snatched it up for roughly one sixth the amount of cash spent on the now-famous Supercell deal.
But the acquisition of the CSR Racing dev was just one of the major stories that happened over the past seven days. For the full picture, let's look back at the week that was.
Tools and platforms
- Research showed that Android commanded 79 percent of the smartphone market globally.
- ...but it's not a simple picture. Other research showed much of this growth was spurred on by 'Forked Android' handsets, which don't monetise for Google.
- Speaking of Android, reports came in that Amazon was cold-calling Google Play devs to lure them over to its own Appstore.
- Meanwhile, it shook out that only 1 in 3 successful gaming Kickstarters make it to their backers on time (if at all).
- Amazon made a pleasant change for HTML5 devs, as it now allows them to charge for their games on its Appstore.
- And our In-App Purchase Inspector took a look at the efficacy of Joe Danger Infinity's IAPs.
- While our Monetizer took the axe to Pocket Gems' Epic Empire.
- King's CEO Riccardo Zacconi fired back against the trademark backlash and allegations of game cloning.
- And Capcom outlined its 5 year plan to get to grips with mobile.
- Editor Keith Andrew shared his opinions and thoughts on The Very Big Indie Pitch, claiming mobile's still the market that matters.
- We also caught up with Kabam's Nathan Germick to look at the making of its latest strategy title Dark District.
- While Steel Media's Rob Hearn gave a light look at some of the stand-out business cards collected at PG Connects.
- Wilhelm That, COO of Playground Publishing, gave some insight on why Flurry's metrics are misleading developers.
- And Full Indie UK argued that devs need to be sure their game sites are geared up for the mobile age.
Discovery, user acquisition, and retention
- Our Chart of the Week examined how the 288 percent rise in US CPI is good news for the F2P industry.
- Facebook's mobile ads boosted its 2013 sales up 55 percent to $7.9 billion.
- And our Charticle examined how powerful Apple's Game of the Year accolade is to user acquisition and sales.
Funding, start ups, acquisitions, and shutterings
- Zynga snatched up NaturalMotion Games for $527 million.
- Google announced a deal to sell off Motorola Mobility to Lenovo for $2.9 billion.
- While Danish studio Progressive Media unexpectedly closed up shop, letting all employees go.
- And Shanda Games received $1.9 billion in funding to take it private.
- EA Mobile's Q3 FY14 were down 12 percent year-on-year despite the $130 lifetime revenue generated by The Simpsons: Tapped Out.
- Gameloft's 2013 revenue was up 12 percent year-on-year, despite missing its annual guidance.
- Apple had a record quarter seeing, revenue up 5.7 percent year-on-year ($57.6 billion), despite the slumping performance of the iPhone 5C
- And PocketGems saw its revenue climb 32 percent in the best year in its company history.
We celebrated the Lunar New Year with our annual three-part naming of the Top 30 Chinese Developers and a special focus on the Chinese mobile scene.
- #30 - 21, RenRen Games to RedAtoms
- #20 - 11, Hoolai Games to Magic Universe
- #10 - 1, China Mobile Games & Entertainment to Tencent Games
- We also heard that WeChat is heading for a 30 percent market share in 2014.
- While Wandoujia predicted that 2014 will mark the end of distribution fragmentation in China.
- And our Mobile Gaming Mavens hashed out what you'll need to take on China, "it's a tough market but the rewards on offer are great."
- Finally, PapayaMobile said Chinese devs will go global in 2014.