Features

Hot Five: Ouya success still a long shot, how to market your mobile game, and Helsinki's rise to superstardom

Last week's top five stories

Hot Five: Ouya success still a long shot, how to market your mobile game, and Helsinki's rise to superstardom
|

Welcome to PocketGamer.biz's weekly rundown of the stories clocking up the hits, picking up the click-throughs and generally keeping the advertisers happy by serving up page views.

Or, if you'd prefer, the top five stories currently dominating our readers' attention.

Each week, we'll be counting down the biggest news from the previous seven days, giving just a glimpse of the industry's big issues, from five to one.

Helsinki is the 'centre of gravity for the future of games', says Supercell

Last week was Helsinki week, if you hadn't noticed, with PocketGamer.biz talking to the Finnish capital's finest to find out why the city has become such a mobile development hub.

Of note, then, was Supercell's take on Helsinki's rise – Supercell, of course, being the studio behind App Store cash cows Clash of Cans and Hay Day. According to CEO Ilkka Paananen, Helsinki is no short-term success.

"There's a long history of developing great mobile games in Helsinki, and we believe that mobile and particularly tablet are going to emerge as the ultimate game platform," said CEO

"That makes Helsinki the centre of gravity for the future of games - which is proven by how many mobile game companies are based here."

13 top tips for launching and marketing your game, by AppGratis CEO Simon Dawlat

It's one thing developing a game. It's quite another successfully launching it, as well as marketing it at the right audience both before and after release.

Last week saw Simon Dawlat – CEO of game discovery specialist AppGratis – give his top 13 tips for conquering both of the above.

"The App Store is like the old video game economy where three years of development can be killed by a one-day failed launch," detailed Dawlat in point one.

"So having a strong product combined with a serious launch strategy is the very beginning of not failing."

With 5 titles in co-production and Subway Surfers hitting 25 million DAUs, Kiloo shapes to become global hit factory

Have you heard of Kiloo? Almost under the radar, the Danish developer has climbed the rankings to stand on the cusp of becoming a major player – largely thanks to the success of one title, Subway Surfers.

Remarkably, Kiloo isn't even the game's sole developer, labelling itself as a 'co-producer' of a title that boasts 25 million daily active users from a total of 130 million downloads since May 2012.

Co-development, Kiloo creative director Simon Møller explained, is one of the secrets behind Kiloo's success, and is set to form the basis of the firm's future titles, too.

"There are so many good things about the model," Møller told us. "We don't want shares in other companies, and we don't want to be a big developer."

How Helsinki became the mobile industry's hit factory

Back to Helsinki week, and PocketGamer.biz contributor Joseph Barron's opening roundup of the scene in the Finnish capital drew in hits aplenty – perhaps owing to the city's stellar line-up.

Rovio. Grand Cru. Grey Area Labs. Boomlagoon. Supercell. RedLynx. That's not just a list of some of Helsinki's highflyers, but also a handy summary of all the studios who contributed to our run of features.

"The scene is super tight and people share what they learn with others," Grey Area Labs' CEO Ville Vesterinen told us, summing up Helsinki's rise.

"This is emphasised by the density of people who work in games versus other tech. The spirit gets amplified because games is the #1 industry in town. When a company makes it, they share the best practices and help others get ahead with them.

"People don't believe it's a zero sum game and it shows. Success begets success to the whole scene."

Stateside: Ouya talks a good game, but is it making it up as it goes along?

Topping our charts for the second week running is our weekly column from the guys over at 148Apps.com, with Carter Dotson last week turning his attention to Ouya.

Dotson was lucky enough to see Ouya founder Julie Uhrman detail the platform's future at a session at IGDA Chicago on 1 March.

His conclusion, however, was that, while Ouya "talks a good game", it has a long way to go before that potential is anywhere near being realised.

"Uhrman left developers with plenty of reasons to feel optimistic about what the company is doing, but – in reality – there's much about Ouya that is yet to be set in stone," said Dotson.

"For those looking for a fresh platform to disrupt the rest of the industry, Ouya is off to a good start and, while there are still plenty of reasons to wonder if it can be successful, the firm's public face gives plenty of reasons for its backers to be cheerful."