It's been a diverse week for industry news, with everything from Don Mattrick's immediate departure from Zynga to EA's acquisition of the Despicable Me licence filling our pages.
Also on the site, we considered Apple's choice to feature an IAP pack for a 3-year-old game ahead of a trio of high-profile current releases, and began the uneviable task of cataloguing confirmed Apple Watch games as we trundle toward the hardware's launch.
Oh, and there was the small matter of a one-man indie game being picked up by Warner Bros. for a big-screen adaptation.
- Our Indie Mavens pondered the question of judging whether or not your game is ready to face the world, and finding motivation for that final push.
- We spoke to former F2P consultant and newly-appointed Senior Product Manager at Rovio Stars, Mark Sorrell, about his new role
- We continued our series of guest articles from Pixelberry Studios, this time on tight turnarounds and trusting your team.
- We spoke to Mech Mocha's Arpita Kapoor about the Indian studio's life so far, including the development and promotion of Puppet Punch.
Discovery, user acquisition, retention, and monetisation
- Kabam will continue to prioritise China as its key growth market by releasing Marvel: Contest of Champions in the region.
- Spil Games announced that its Unsung Heroes publishing initiative is gearing up for formal launch, aiming to increase discoverability for developers.
- The App Store overlords chose to eschew features for 3 current high-profile releases, instead highlighting a cut-price IAP pack for 2012's CSR Racing.
- Singapore celebrated its 50th birthday with five F2P mobile games, developed by local talent to commemorate the country's history.
- Ollie Clamp, VP Global Monetisation Solutions at Millennial Media, wrote a guest article about how gaming is powering up the mobile app economy.
- Quaid Media GM Volker Dressel shared 6 reasons why TV will drive the next phase in user acquisition for mobile games.
- 6waves' Stephen Lee urged Casual Connect Europe attendees to consider the ripe potential of Hong Kong and Taiwan on their own terms, rather than lumping them in with China.
Tools & platforms
- We began our endeavour to track every confirmed game heading to Apple Watch.
- The independent VR app store WEARVR raised $1.5 million in funding.
- Amazon splashed out $50 million in a major licensing deal involving Crytek's proprietary CryEngine.
Funding, deals, acquisitions and personnel
- Founding CEO Mark Pincus retook the leading role at Zynga, as Mattrick departed.
- EA signed a multi-title partnership deal with Illumination Entertainment, which wrenches the licence for Despicable Me's Minion characters from Gameloft.
- It was revealed that YouTube-friendly horror game Five Nights at Freddy's will be getting a movie adaptation, courtesy of Warner Bros.
- Chinese publisher Shanda Games ends its convoluted saga by settling on a buyout.
- Scopely announced that it will be partnering with Hasbro, bringing Yahtzee to both mobile and Apple Watch.
Movers, shakers and jobs
- This Game Studio, a start-up headed by ex-Kabam brains, has received $5 million investment from Korean publisher NCsoft.
- Ex-Fox exec Alex Lambeek has joined Rovio as its new chief commercial officer, snapped up for his experience with Asian markets.
- Rovio awarded $4.2 million in legal dispute over copyright and trademark infringing toys.
- Fuse Powered relocated its San Francisco team to a larger office, as well as poaching three new faces from Fyber.
- Apple is looking to recruit a new Games App Store Manager, along with two other games-related positions at the firm's Cupertino HQ.
- We continue to highlight the best industry job opportunities around with our Jobs Board.