Week that was

PocketGamer.biz Week That Was: Angry Birds infographics, crowdfunding critics and dubious boyfriends

PocketGamer.biz Week That Was: Angry Birds infographics, crowdfunding critics and dubious boyfriends
Apple's walled garden approach to app store management brings with it a certain set of expectations.

The Cupertino giant is notoriously fussy about checking each and every application that goes on sale on the App Store, and so – perhaps unfairly – it's newsworthy when something slips through the cracks.

This is a topic Carter Dotson explored for us in some detail this week, in a column that highlighted Apple's checkered track-record of certification.

But just days after that was published, a more serious example of Apple's certification shortcomings appeared.
Boyfriend Maker has a 4+ age rating, and promises players the chance to "create and chat with your dream boyfriend!" In effect, the app is a simple chat bot accompanied by a customisable on-screen avatar.

The bot's tendency to produce bizarre non-sequiturs has made it a social media hit, but users also report that it's prone to producing explicitly sexual and violent responses.

Given the game's intended audience, this is clearly inappropriate. However, seeing as chat has been part of the app since an update in August, Boyfriend Maker has seemingly avoided Apple's detection for quite some time.

At the time of writing, Boyfriend Maker has not been pulled from sale or updated to remove its offensive content. Now that the app's making headlines, it'll be interesting to see how swiftly Apple can eject it from the walled garden. 

Platform wars


  • In this week's edition of the PocketGamer.biz Charticle, we take a look at the Bloons series, and ask whether the franchise can remain buoyant with a $2.99 price tag. 

  • PocketGamer.biz editor Keith Andrew pens an ode to CSR Racing, and explains how Boss Alien's drag-racing debut has become the darling of the free-to-play scene. 

  • Editor-at-large Jon Jordan has been indulging his love for financial reports this week, and he explains what Glu's results tell us about monetisation, competition and success rates in mobile gaming. 

  • The latest PocketGamer.biz infographic charts the success of Angry Birds Star Wars. I don't want to spoil it for you, but the game's done rather well. 

  • King.com sees a tenfold increase in ad revenue thanks to a new focus on incentivised video. 

Studio soundbites

  • Rovio: "We want to be the first entertainment brand with one billion fans." 

  • NaturalMotion: "Whoever can truly delight their players is going to be much more successful than big spenders on user acquisition." 

  • TeePee Games: "GamesGrabr is all about discovering new content from gamers that have similar interests to you, it's not about a top 50 chart, or a promotional banner." 

  • Gumi: "We are going to IPO. I don’t want to sell my company to others." 

  • GREE: "I want to personally apologise to developers that we've put in this tough situation."

Industry voices

  • Is Curiosity a calamity? The PocketGamer.biz Mobile Gaming Mavens discuss 22Cans' debut experiment.

  • In a two-part series, Simon Parkin examines the impact that icon design can have on a game's success. First, Parkin surveys the opinions of some of the biggest names in mobile gaming, before sitting down for a one-on-one chat with Neon Play's Oli Christie

  • In the latest instalment of the Kempt Games' developer diary, Alexander Lee explains a peril of democratic development – when your players send you back to the drawing board. 

  • Pocket Gamer editor-in-chief Kristan Reed takes a look at the Wii U GamePad, and wonders whether it's good enough for an audience accustomed to high-resolution multitouch smartphones and tablets. 

  • PocketGamer.biz news editor James Nouch takes a look at Kickstarter fatigue, as crowdfunding campaigns from industry veterans inspire critical responses. 

Staff Writer

PocketGamer.biz's news editor 2012-2013


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