The PocketGamer.biz week that was: Pocket Gamer touches down at WWDC 2012, Android hits 900,000 daily activations as Nokia culls 10,000 jobs
The past 7 days in bite-sized portions
While freemium may be increasingly prevalent in the world of mobile gaming, it's easy to forget the naked hostility with which many so-called 'core' gamers still regard the concept.
Veteran game designer Peter Molyneux isn't the hostile sort, though, and earlier this week he was claiming "amazing things can happen" when a monetisation model is well designed and well implemented.
And he's putting his money where his mouth is - the first game from his new studio 22Cans will be a free-to-play title backed by in-app purchases, the most expensive of which is £50,000.
Molyneux isn't alone, either. Valve has embraced free-to-play with Team Fortress 2 and Dota 2, Crytek's hopped aboard the wagon as well, and this week saw EA and PlayStation both edging closer to freemium.
So while some are still bemoaning 'pay-to-win' mechanics and arguing about the devaluation of gaming properties, others are enjoying the spoils of a model that removes the barrier between player and play - whether on console, PC, or mobile.
Anyway, that's enough yabbering for now. Without further ado, here's our bite-sized overview of the important industry happenings of the last seven days.Platform wars
- GREE begins courting Western gamers with the launch of its first global website - Come Play GREE.
- Flurry research shows almost 70 percent of new apps are being developed for iOS...
- ...Despite the fact that more than 900,000 Android devices are now being activated each day...
- ...and Android apps are downloaded more than iPhone apps in every one of the EU5 nations.
- Intel claims that multi-core processors are often 'a detriment' to Android handsets, since the platform simply isn't optimised to take advantage of their power.
- More than 100,000 apps have now been published to the Windows Phone Marketplace, and over 12,000 of them are games.
- Ubisoft proudcer Andreane Meunier reckons GREE is the perfect platform to bring the hardcore Assassin's Creed brand to smartphones.
- Cowen & Co. analyst Doug Creutz claims Zynga lost 5 million daily active users on Facebook last month, and its playerbase is migrating to mobile.
- It's too early to write off the PS Vita, argues Ubisoft's Tony Key, and big releases will see increasing consumer interest around Christmas 2012.
- Microsoft will make an 'important announcement' on 18 June, with speculation suggesting a first-party Windows 8 tablet reveal.
- Wooga and PopCap have pulled games from Google+, with a Wooga representative explaining the games simply have 'a much larger following on Facebook.
- Facebook has acquired the team behind Pieceable - a tool that lets businesses demo native iOS apps in a web browser - for an undisclosed sum.
- Activision has partnered with Flurry to launch publishing initiative for indie devs on iOS and Android.
- Rumours suggested that Nokia was looking to sell its luxury phone brand Vertu to a European private equity firm...
- ...Which is exactly what happened - although the news came as the Finnish firm lowered it Q2 2012 outlook and announced plans to cut 10,000 jobs by the end of 2013.
- Pocket Gamer editor in chief Kristan Reed argues that E3 desperately needs to change if it's to actually represent the games industry.
- PocketGamer.biz editor Jon Jordan ponders the reasoning behind the lack of exciting reveals at WWDC 2012.
- Glu CEO Niccolo de Masi claims that HTML5 won't be a viable alternative a to native apps for another five or ten years.
- iQU's Fraser MacInnes provides a one-stop guide to mobile and marketing acronyms.
- TIGA CEO Dr Richard Wilson has declared that self-publishing is the 'future of gaming.'
- EA has announced that most of its future mobile games be freemium, a move which SVP and group general manager Nick Earl believes will lead to better games.
- PapayaMobile's Oscar Clark discusses freemium game design and player psychology in a guest column for PocketGamer.biz
- Industry veteran Peter Molyneux argues that 'amazing things can happen' when freemium is done right, and his latest project will test the 'morality of monetisation.'
- All new Pocket Gems titles for Android will exclusively use W3i's monetisation platform.
- Halfbrick partners with app monetisation exchange inneractive to launch a free version of Fruit Ninja on Nokia Store.
- Sony's flirting with freemium for PlayStation Mobile - a platform which SCEE head Jim Ryan claims will cut out the app store 'junk.'
- App store 'complacency' and a lack of innovation when it comes to discoverability means that two-thirds of apps fail to reach 1,000 downloads in their first year, claims Canalys.
- Since Facebook App Center plans to place its top-rated apps front and centre, it will randomly poll users for ratings in order to prevent rating manipulation.
- Russian publisher i-Free Innovations launches an app discovery platform for Android.
- Apple must defend itself against a class action lawsuit alleging that the company allowed advertisers to secretly track iOS user activity.
- Apple announced that 30 billion iOS apps have been downloaded from the App Store, and $5 billion has been paid out to developers since its launch.
- Apple is launching Game Center on OS X, and will support real-time cross-platform multiplayer between iOS and Macs.
- Although a sneaky snap let the cat out of the bag ahead of time, Apple revealed iOS 6 at WWDC ahead of the operating system's autumn launch.