2012 in review: James Nouch, PocketGamer.biz
In which he discusses games, booze and freemium
As we look back over the past 12 months and forward to the next 12, we've asked the great and the good in the mobile gaming industry for their opinions.
But in a striking lapse of judgement, we've also allowed PocketGamer.biz news editor James Nouch an opinion.
Pocket Gamer: What do you think was the most significant event for the mobile games industry in 2012?
James Nouch: It seemed as though the path to financial success in the App Store really locked down during 2012. The rise of freemium has been much discussed, but it's still notable that the top grossing games charts are almost exclusively populated by big brands and freemium titles.
While the freemium model still seems to rankle with some, its dominance is now undeniable.
One of the most significant events for the industry in 2012 was the news that CSR Racing had generated $12 million in its first month on sale, followed a few months later by the announcement that Supercell was raking in $500,000 a day from its portfolio of just two titles.
What was your favourite mobile game of the year?
Back at the start of 2012, I skirted dangerously close to clinical addiction following the launch of Super Crate Box. A few months later, Spell Sword started gobbling up my free time. I then shifted my compulsion towards MotoHeroz (which I am cack at).
I reckon Rayman Jungle Run was probably the best mobile game of 2012, but it's not my favourite. That accolade goes to Justin Smith's Realistic Summer Sports Simulator – easily the most endearingly daft thing I played this year on any format.
What do you predict will be the most important trends in 2013?
I think that 2013 will be the year that Android really ups its game. Google's Nexus line now offers a cohesive set of well-priced, flagship products and the operating system itself has improved significantly throughout 2012.
[James himself currently dances to the tune of a Nexus 7.]
As Google Play expands and the OS gains ground in developing markets, it seems likely that we'll see more opportunities – and more great games – on Android.
What's your New Year's resolution and what resolution would you enforce on the industry?
My New Year's resolution is simply to be a healthier person. Given the fact that my three main hobbies are sitting, eating and imbibing liquor, I don't anticipate getting very far with this.
As for the industry, I'd like to see the issue of discovery kicked into touch in 2013. The app stores' continued reliance on rankings and featured spots is looking increasingly outdated, considering we're playing games on these small, socially-connected, wireless supercomputers.
Oh, and while we're talking enforcement, wouldn't it be great to see fewer app store clones in 2013?
Yes it would, so let's have a crackdown on design theft rather than another cryptically-worded update to developer terms. Yes, I'm looking at you, Apple.
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