Top 10 most popular PocketGamer.biz stories of 2012

The headlines that grabbed your attention

Top 10 most popular PocketGamer.biz stories of 2012

The annual PocketGamer.biz top 10 serves two very important purposes.

It reflects the tastes of our industry readership. These are the stories that were the most popular with our audience of mobile gaming professionals, and therefore a reasonable reflection of the state of the industry in 2012.

And it's something we can put up on the site over the Christmas break, while we're all busy over-eating, over-drinking and arguing with our extended families.

We let you consider which is really the most important....

10. Opinion: 'Doritosgate' paranoia risks running games journalism into the ground

As scandals go, this one had a terrible name. In October 2012, 'Doritosgate' began with a Eurogamer column interrogating the cosy relationships between games journalists and PR reps. Names were named, and, in response, legal threats were allegedly made.

A period of self-evaluation followed in the gaming press, and certain sites set out new editorial guidelines. Going against the grain, however, PocketGamer.biz editor Keith Andrew argued that restrictive guidelines could do more harm than good.

And after all, he argues, turning down free drinks at a publisher event is a bit of a hollow gesture, really, when your publication is funded by publisher ad spending…

9. Complexity of Clonegate underlined as Temple Jump pulled from App Store but Tiny Tower-inspired Pixel Story remains

Cloning was a near-constant presence throughout 2012, but the platform holders' responses to infringements were far from consistent. Zynga's Dream Heights was roundly criticised for its similarities to Tiny Tower, for instance, but remains available for download to this day. Scores of other imitators weren't so lucky.

Temple Run, naturally, attracted more than its share of copycats, many of which tried to trick consumers through similar names and app icons. One example was Temple Jump, a game with a strikingly familiar title and icon. Was it too similar? Apple thought so, but you can judge for yourself.

8. Clash of Clans and Hay Day pulling in $500,000 a day for Supercell

At the time of writing, Clash of Clans has been in the top 10 of the App Store's top grossing charts for more than three months.

So it's no surprise to hear that its creator – Finnish developer Supercell – is doing rather well. What took people by surprise, perhaps, is just how very well.

With just two games to its name, Supercell managed to generate $500,000 in revenue each day. And since that story went live, Supercell's titles have been performing even better, so that figure can only have grown.

7. Sexually loaded virtual dating app Boyfriend Maker pulled from App Store

Boyfriend Maker is essentially a customisable avatar and a rather basic chat-bot, but it briefly became a social media sensation.

The chat-bot's tendency to produce jarring non-sequiturs led to laughs aplenty, but Boyfriend Maker could also generate violent sexual content that was clearly inappropriate for an app rated 4+.

Following a PocketGamer.biz investigation, the app was removed from sale. A look through Boyfriend Maker's update notes shows that the chat component was added to the app via an update in August 2012.

In other words, it would seem that this app escaped Apple's notice for months, raising questions about the Cupertino company's ability to moderate its increasingly crowded App Store.

6. 21 game changing biz trends from GDC 2012 you need to know

PocketGamer.biz editor-at-large Jon Jordan knows a thing or two about the conference scene. His globetrotting lifestyle sees him attending industry events worldwide, but the 2012 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco proved an especially rich source of news, views and opinon.

So much so, that Jordan was forced to abandon his usual top 10 format of post-conference summary. Instead, he compiled a list of 21 game changing biz trends from GDC 2012.

It's a comprehensive collection of distilled conference wisdom, and it unsurprisingly proved to be one of the most-read stories of the year.

5. Boasting 35 million players a month, Gameloft announces all its future games will include in-app purchases

2012 was the year that freemium truly took root, and a glance at the App Store's top grossing charts shows just how successful the model has become.

But Gameloft hasn't ditched paid releases yet. Perhaps that's because it's targeting a different player segment with its blockbuster-style, console-inspired games.

Whatever the reason, it was a watershed moment when Gameloft announced that all of its future games will include in-app purchases, and be "heavily social." Core gamers groaned, no doubt, but the French publisher was following a much larger trend – one that ran throughout 2012.

4. Apple unveils 5th generation iPod touch

2012 was a pivotal 12 months for Apple, too. Following Steve Jobs' death in October 2011, this was the first full year with Tim Cook at the helm. What's more, the company unveiled the biggest revisions it's ever made to the iOS range.

As well as launching the iPad Mini and stretching the iPhone, Apple also updated the iPod touch for the first time in two years.

And it was a strange revision, really. The device features the same impressive 4-inch display found on the iPhone 5 and the A5 chip found in the iPhone 4S.

The range's new starting price, however, is now $299. That's rather steep for a device that's previously done well with teenagers who can't afford an iPhone.

3. Opinion: PS Vita risks becoming this generation's Dreamcast

The PlayStation Vita is a powerful handheld console, equipped with superb physical controls and a suite of touch-based inputs to boot. As if all that wasn't enough, it's capable of producing console quality visuals, too. But it isn't selling.

Pocket Gamer editor-in-chief Kristan Reed argues that it's the console's inflexibility that's dissuading consumers. Players are accustomed to cross-device compatibility and generous ecosystems, so Sony's insistence on region-locks, high prices and proprietary memory makes the Vita a tough sell.

Reed stresses that these are all issues that Sony could fix, but right now, the Vita is on track to become this generation's Dreamcast – a beloved device that never generates mass-appeal.

2. Is Apple clamping down on third-party app promotion services?

Apple has built a formidable application ecosystem on iOS, but the Cupertino company remains curiously aloof when it comes to outlining the rules of its App Store, and inconsistent in its enforcement of them.

A case in point was clause 2.25. This revision to the App Store guidelines was introduced quietly in October 2012, and suggested an imminent crackdown on third-party app promotions.

This was a policy change with potentially far-reaching consequences for hundreds of mobile gaming businesses, and Apple was characteristically mute on the implications.

PocketGamer.biz editor Keith Andrew was left to investigate.

1. East Side Games on why it's not afraid of DeNA, GREE and TinyCo setting up shop in Vancouver

Vancouver is rapidly emerging as a global capital of social-mobile gaming, with companies such as GREE, DeNA and TinyCo all setting up shop in the area during 2012.

It's been fertile ground for start-ups too, and there are still a handful of triple-A console developers operating in the region.

In amongst all of this is East Side Games, which describes itself as 'Canda's largest indie.' Despite being dwarfed on all sides by massive corporations, East Side remains unperturbed.

In fact, COO Josh Nilson and mobile producer Jacob Krarup explained that it's the studio's indie culture and 'no-bullshit' philosophy that marks East Side Games out.

And it was an explanation that certainly chimed with the wider internet - and no doubt fuelled by the viral fumes from players of its DopeFarm Facebook game - it was by far the most read article on PocketGamer.biz during 2012.