PocketGamer.biz Week That Was: Supercell's worth $3 billion, no one wants a cheap iPhone, and Vancouver booms
The past 7 days in bite-sized portions
A few weeks back, I took this space to opine that 'the sun might be setting on the wild west days of gaming'.
That analogy was oddly prescient as it turns out, since this week saw what could arguably be considered the 'golden spike' moment of mobile gaming when Japanese companies SoftBank and GungHo Online Entertainment joined forces to purchase a 51 percent majority stake in Finnish success story, Supercell.
In addition to connecting the east and west just as the famed spike did at Promontory Summit back in 1869, the $1.5 billion Supercell deal will usher in a new age for what's possible in the world of mobile gaming.
We don't know what this new age has to offer just yet, but we have a good idea of what transpired during the week that was.Funding, start ups and acquisitions
- The big (big) news this week was how GungHo Online and SoftBank spent $1.5 billion to pick up a 51 percent stake in Clash of Clans developer Supercell.
- ...which some feel has the potential to 'shake up gaming' across the world, as investors note that 'this is no bubble'.
- Meanwhile, flush with 63 million monthly active users, Chinese outfit Chukong announced a $50 million series D funding round.
- Which gives it more than enough capital to look beyond China for its expansion.
- BlackBerry tries to reassure fears by telling its customers that it's here to stay.
- Apple's iPhone 5S is reportedly outselling the budget-friendly iPhone 5C by a margin of 2 to 1 in the US.
- And this relatively low demand for the 5C is reportedly leading Apple to cut orders.
- WeChat's Games Platform has a lot of potential, as Chinese outfit Tencent generates $1 million per day from one game.
- And while nothing's been formally announced yet, Microsoft hints pretty heavily at cross-platform play between the Xbox One and smartphones.
- Our Chart of the Week examines the growth of India, Thailand, and Indonesia - otherwise known as the three countries where you'll be able to engage up to 1.6 billion players.
- While our Charticles examined the (lack of) success that Despicable Me: Minion Rush found on Kakao and how The Drowning continues to sink despite 2 million downloads.
- Meanwhile, TrialPay's Chuck Yu gives advice on how to make money from your players while they’re eating.
- Clash of Clans once again seized the Top Grossing App spot for iOS while Puzzle & Dragons surged past Candy Crush Saga to secure the #1 position on Android.
- And finally, our Monetizer took a firm look at Clash of Clans in a quest to figure out if it's the gold standard for in-game currency conversion.
- Our Mobile Gaming Mavens give some tips on how to crack the App Store's "frozen" charts.
- Full Indie UK's Tim Wicksteed advises developers to play to their strengths and put themselves at the heart of the game design process.
- Our own Jon Jordan weighs on last week’s Gamevil-Com2us deal, noting that it's 'full of upside potential'.
- 148Apps's Carter Dotson says building trust is important if a free to play game wants to unlock a player's longterm value.
Discovery, User acquisition, and Retention
- GungHo's Puzzle & Dragons just hit 20 million users in Japan, but its growth appears to be slowing.
- AppLift picked up an additional $7 million in funding to continue its expansion as it refines its lifetime value optimization technology.
- While the 'Pinterest for Games', GamesGrabr, is giving potential backers a chance to become an investor for as little as £10.
- This week, James Nouch took a look at the vibrant gaming scene in Vancouver and talked without a couple of studios that have set up shop there.
- GREE's Steve Lin said it was Rain City's "robust creative community" that lead the Japanese gaming titan to set up shop in Vancouver.
- Josh Nilson of East Side Games explains why his studio stayed in the city through the rough economic times of 2012.