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Hot Five: How to top Clash of Clans, TinyCo tightens its belt, and what you have to do to get in a journo's good books

Last week's top five stories

Hot Five: How to top Clash of Clans, TinyCo tightens its belt, and what you have to do to get in a journo's good books
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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.

How to court the press at industry events in 5 simple steps

Any developer who pays out to attend an industry event is acutely aware that they need to get their money's worth.

Networking is always a crucial element of any games industry shebang, and managing to grab the attention of a journalist – usually surrounded my similarly like-minded folk – is no easy task.

On hand last week, then, was Pocket Gamer handheld editor Peter Willington, who – while reporting from Casual Connect in Kiev – took it upon himself to detail his top tips for making connections with games journalists at events.

You can check them out here.

Clash of the clan makers: Space Ape on building the world's #2 mobile RTS

How do you tap into and, if at all possible, build on the audience amassed by Supercell's Clash of Clans?

UK studio Space Ape has set about doing just that with the Unity-powered Samurai Siege for iOS and Android at the end of September, gaining around one million downloads and 250,000 daily players to-date.

"We respect Clash of Clans a lot, but there are many refinements you can bring to the mobile multiplayer RTS space," detailed CEO John Earner.

"After all, Clash stands on the shoulders of titles such as Starcraft and Backyard Monsters."

Aiming free-to-play games at kids is like selling supermarket chickens for £2

For the third week running, one developer's declaration that the commodification of games thanks to the rise of free-to-play is equivalent to the farming of cheap chickens on a massive scale has proved popular on PocketGamer.biz.

It's hard to tell whether readers agree with said assessment, or whether – as would appear more likely – the sheer nonsense of it has ruffled a few (excuse the pun) feathers.

Feel free to let us know what side of the debate you fall on in the comments section below.

Free-to-play author Will Luton joins TinyCo as developer instigates not-so-tiny layoffs

Two stories rolled into one here: The start of last week saw developer TinyCo lift the lid on its new hire: free-to-play author, former Mobile Pie creative director and occasional PocketGamer.biz columnist Will Luton.

"I wanted to take the leap over the Atlantic with my partner and I wanted to be back making games with global reach," detailed Luton of his appointment.

"That meant joining an organisation with a scale that would allow me to create games for a billion people and a company whose future I could shape and believe in."

One day later, however, and the press jumped on a far less positive story: TinyCo was to lay off 27 employees as part of a wider strategic shift within the company set to be outlined in the following weeks.

"To execute against this strategy, we decided to consolidate game development out of our SF office and reduce our staff," detailed the firm.

"Laying people off sucks, especially since TinyCo has always been a breeding ground for great friendships."

Supercell: The developer that's shut down without having to shut down

Last week's debate by the Mavens – our collection of mobile's most insightful minds – about Supercell's decision to sell 51 percent of its business to Japanese powerhouses SoftBank and GungHo Online generated the most clicks.

Of most interest was the fact that the $1.5 billion investment effectively valued Supercell at a whopping $3 billion.

"I don't think that Supercell's was valuation was high - I think is was on the conservative side," offered Andreas Vahsen of machineworks.

"What Supercell did was akin to the running joke 'What do do you do after you had a megahit'? Answer: Shut the company down.

"Well, it didn't shut it down, but it's in the same position as if it had. - $240 million richer per founder."

Keith Andrew
Keith Andrew
With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font. He's also Pocket Gamer's resident football gaming expert and, thanks to his work on PG.biz, monitors the market share of all mobile OSes on a daily basis.