To be perfectly blunt, we expected this week to be something of a snooze.
It's late March and, given it's the week after GDC, we figured everyone in the industry would either be nursing their hangovers from the convention or furiously sending follow-up emails to contacts made over late night drinks and discussions.
Then Facebook dropped a bombshell on the industry by announcing its proposed acquisition of VR firm Oculus for the cool sum of $2 billion.
As if that wasn't enough, the European Commission finally announced its approval of Games Tax Relief for developers in the UK.
Suffice it to say the March doldrums are nowhere to be seen as the news flew at us from every corner of the globe this week. But don't worry if you missed anything, we've got you covered with the PocketGamer.biz look back at the Week That Was.
Tools and Platforms
- San Francisco-based Double Fine announced that it's throwing its hat into the publishing ring to help indies stay indie.
- Wargaming.net CEO Victor Kislyi noted that World of Tanks Blitz will avoid "cruel" IAPs implemented by other mobile games.
- And MobileAppTracking's Jean-Vincent Chardon shared five classic mistakes devs make when tracking their mobile ad campaigns.
- And our Charticle compared Disco Zoo against Tiny Tower.
Games Tax Relief
- After months of debate and uncertainty, the European commission approved the UK Government's plan for Games Tax Relief.
- UKIE CEO Dr. Jo Twist shared her insight as to what the EC's approval means.
- While TIGA CEO Dr. Richard Wilson described the EC's approval as "a superb decision".
- Incidentally, UKIE served up everything you need to know to see if you qualify for the Games Tax Relief.
- Following a talk at GDC, Scattered Entertainment's Ben Cousins likented the anti-F2P movement to this generation's 'Disco Sucks'.
- Speaking of GDC, editor Keith Andrew shared what we learned from the conference - namely, the role of gays in gaming and why it's important to know when to kill your games.
- We also shared some short cut video interviews taken around GDC to give you a broad view of what you missed.
- Pocketgamer.biz writer George Osborn points out the King and Oculus deals aren't exactly the signs of 'maturing' industry.
- While editor-at-large Jon Jordan shared his thoughts and invaluable tips on games journalism - including the part he played in its decline.
- Russ Clarke of West London Games explained why he's a mobile developer that isn't making mobile games.
- And Kirk Mckeand gave us a look at the making of Disco Zoo.
Funding, acquisitions, personnel, and shutterings
- Facebook cornered headlines this week when it announced the acquisition of Oculus VR for $2 billion.
- Which might not be as strange as it sounds, since Oculus noted it's always been 'culturally aligned' with Facebook since launch.
- Cliffy B (Cliff Bleszinski), meanwhile, broke down the internet's rage against the "RiftBook" deal and figured everyone should have seen this coming.
- Tencent, meanwhile, spent $500 million to purchase a 28 percent stake in the South Korean studio CJ Games.
- And King started off the week strongly, looking at a $7.6 billion valuation ahead of its NYSE debut.
- ...but its Candy-based market deubut opened on a sour note as it debuted 10 percent below IPO price.
- Meanwhile, Zeptolab filed a brief with the EU to oppose King's trademark on "Candy" in Europe.
- Looking to IPO in China? Ourpalm VP Jia He said you've got six months to make it happen.
- While Youzu's CEO Qi Lin noted China needs to focus on developing IPs and finding growth that isn't simply based on 'more users'.
- ZQgame, meanwhile, announced a $100 million M&A investment fund.
- And a panel of Chinese web game devs shared their experience with 'false starts' on mobile.
- And Tencent announced the launch of Tencent Game Platform, an initiative which looks to marry its popular QQ messaging channel with WeChat's successful MMS.
- All of this makes the news that China's mobile games market grew 156 percent in 2013 - to $2.2 billion - a bit easier to understand.