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The Weekly: WeChat mini-games success, South Korea's regulatory struggles, and the mobile app economy's second act

The Weekly: WeChat mini-games success, South Korea's regulatory struggles, and the mobile app economy's second act

Each week we'll be rounding up a selection of the most interesting articles related to mobile and the games industry at large.

This week, there's an interview with WeChat mini-games director Li Qing about how the instant gaming platform is performing so far, and what the future holds.

Elsewhere, there's a look at the stringent regulations placed on South Korea's games industry and its effect on local companies, Eric Seufert looks at the rise of apps usurping games in the top grossing charts, and Eurogamer takes a fascinating dive into the creation of a front-page Fortnite tabloid story.

See an article you think we should share? Email PocketGamer.biz Craig Chapple at craig.chapple@steelmedia.co.uk to add it to our weekly round-up.

You can find previous editions of The Weekly here.

The secret to WeChat mini-games' success: Interview with Li Qing, director of mini-games department

"100 days after the launch of mini-games, WeChat published its commercialization statistics: daily ad views on its platform were over 10 million, eCPM (earnings on every 1000 ad views) were more than RMB 80. From just 17 mini-games initially (exemplified by the game Tiao Yi Tiao), there are now over 2,000 mini-games."

Korea's heavily-regulated game industry to lose its edge

"Korea's game industry is weighed down by government regulations, which have been undermining the competitiveness of local developers." 

The mobile app economy's second act

"The emergence of new business models has upended the supremacy of gaming on mobile; the set of games that I have dubbed the "2012 vintage" -- Clash of Clans, Candy Crush Saga, and Game of War -- are still relevant and continue to earn lots of money, but they no longer stubbornly adorn the very top of the Top Grossing chart and, perhaps more importantly, their successors have not supplanted their positions. In fact, gaming's share of the Top Grossing position has shrunk year-over-year since 2014*."

Anatomy of a tabloid Fortnite front page story

"News agencies call on people to sell their stories to them. This can be lucrative for all parties involved. As the story moves up the chain from news agency to national newspaper, thousands of pounds can change hands."

Empires & Puzzles: Disrupting the biggest market with the smallest team

"We wanted to make a game that is so accessible and welcoming. Our tutorial is probably one of the longest tutorials out there, which is very counter-intuitive according to so-called industry experts. But we tested everything vigorously, and it gave us the confidence that this was the right way to do it."

Satoshi Mitsuhara on the joys of running HAL Laboratory and his friendship with Satoru Iwata

"As for the future of the games industry, I think that games that are not amusing will not be sold anymore. This is because players are so used to evaluating games and know when something is not up to scratch. Yes, there are games that are trying to extract money from players but eventually, these types of games will lose out, as they have nothing else to offer people."

Minecraft’s head says American employees should get a gap year like they do in Sweden

"I think here in the US we need more off-ramps from work, or opportunities to take a career break. Whether it’s parental leave, or elder care leave, or a sabbatical, we need opportunities for people to take a break and not have to start over from scratch when they come back."

This female gaming pioneer was so successful she retired at 35

"[Carol Shaw] went on to become, according to a colleague at Atari, “simply the best programmer of the 6502 [an 8-bit microprocessor] and probably one of the best programmers, period.”

The DeanBeat: Fortnite underscores the competitive difference between Unreal and Unity

"The complexity of shipping a game like Fortnite across all these platforms - a very open-world game, 100-player networking, advanced graphics - it pushes the engine in all directions. I can’t imagine how you could possibly build the technology base for a game like Fortnite without developing a game like that yourself.”

A reading list for game designers looking to expand their conversations

"When it comes to design and creative work done with other people, there seems to be an endless array of knotty and muddy conversations. I find myself thinking, “If I just had a word for that feeling, or for that… thing… I’d be able to solve the problem in a much more elegant way. Well, basically, the following reading list was put together precisely to help you find a few of those words for designing video games."

Making Six Ages for iOS: A retrospective

"I never made a very detailed estimate but figured the game would take about 24 months. It ended up more like 46. By comparison, the original King of Dragon Pass took about 33."

What’s in your backlog? We asked game designers, artists, writers and more

"The game I’m most embarrassed to have never played, but that I own and have owned for a while, is actually The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. And the reason this is most embarrassing for me is that I own the entire Witcher series, but have only ever played the very first game for about 12-to-16 hours, and am foolishly trying to push myself to go through the series in order, one game at a time. CD Projekt Red, don’t hate me!"


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Senior Editor

Craig Chapple is Senior Editor of PocketGamer.biz and InfluencerUpdate.biz. He was previously Deputy Editor at Develop and Online Editor at Nintendo of Europe.

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