The PocketGamer.biz week that was: Nokia's 4 million spark, 2 ex-Ensemble start ups emerge, and Ouya's still breaking records

The past 7 days in bite-sized portions

The PocketGamer.biz week that was: Nokia's 4 million spark, 2 ex-Ensemble start ups emerge, and Ouya's still breaking records

We're now entering week two of Ouya fever, and despite attracting scepticism, suspicion and ire in equal portions, more than 41,000 backers have now $5.2 million and growing to the project's Kickstarter page.

At least $10,000 of that total came from German developer HandyGames, which stumped up the cash as a demonstration of its faith in the console.

"We see the chances and opportunities in platforms like Ouya," explained CEO Christopher Kassulke. "There aren't many pioneers around like us."

And HandyGames isn't the only developer that's embraced the Ouya. Astrogun is readying a launch title for the system, and CEO Xander Davis describes Ouya as a device that "rescues us away from snacking gameplay design and back to the core."

Misgivings aside, it's easy to see what they're excited about – the opportunity to build a game for people's living rooms without spending millions of dollars. That's how most people grew up playing games, and it's a site that's never been easy for small studios to infiltrate.

But whether that opportunity will ever actually be realised is another question entirely. Rather than getting bogged down in asking it, let's move on to our bite-sized overview of the last seven days' worth of news.

Platform wars
  • Fujifilm becomes the latest in a long line of multi-billion dollar companies to bring an IP infringement lawsuit against Android.
  • Boonce programmer Garry McMahon argues that Windows Phone 8's break with the current Windows Phone platform is a 'necessary evil.'
  • For the first time, Android overtakes iOS as the most popular platform for mobile advertisers using the Adfonic network.
  • RIM begins accepting BB 10 app submissions, and its roadmap suggests developers will get their hands on the Gold release of the OS in November.
Funding and acquisitions
  • Ouya breaks records, becoming the fastest Kickstarter project to raise $1 million in pledges, and the best funded Kickstarter effort to date.
  • Real rewards network Kiip raises $11 million in B Series funding round, and CEO Brian Wong tells us that 50 percent of the developers Kiip works with don't use any other advertising services.
  • French publisher BulkyPix announces $3 million development fund to invest in independent multi-platform studios.
Start ups
  • BitMonster, the studio formed by Gears of War 3 senior gameplay designer Lee Perry, announces it's licensed the Unreal 3 engine to bring triple-A production values to iOS.
  • Ensemble and Robot co-founder Tony Goodman reveals his new mobile studio, PeopleFun.
  • Another group of former Ensemble employees launch another mobile studio, BonusXP, and co-founder Dave Pottinger explains the team's plan to bring extra polish to mobile development.
  • Flexion's monetisation wrapper platform sees Q2 customer growth up 223 percent to a lifetime total of 160 million customers.
  • StartApp's Android monetisation platform reaches 150 million downloads, and daily SDK installs exceed 1.25 million.
  • Nextpeer looks to boost developer revenue with new multiplayer wager product.
App discovery
  • PocketGamer.biz talks to PapayaMobile UK GM Chris Hanage about its non-incentivised cross-promotion Android game network.
  • Appromoter launches an app discovery service designed specifically for journalists.
  • Apsalar launches ApEngage, which enables developers to more efficiently manage their acquisition budgets...
  • ...And CEO Michael Oiknine explains to why you shouldn't spend your user acquisition budget at the end of Zynga's financial quarter.
Industry voices

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