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

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
iOS + Android + PS Vita ...

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.
Funding and acquisitions
  • 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.
Industry voices
  • 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 discovery
  • 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.
Legal wrangles
  • Apple must defend itself against a class action lawsuit alleging that the company allowed advertisers to secretly track iOS user activity.
Apple's WWDC
  • 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.