The games industry moves quickly and while stories may come and go there are some that we just can't let go of…
So, to give those particularly thorny topics a further going over we've created a weekly digest where the members of the PocketGamer.biz team share their thoughts and go that little bit deeper on some of the more interesting things that have happened in mobile gaming in the past week.
Winning nine out of ten claims is an absolute result for Apple right? Well there's a downside. Game developers, particularly indie devs often find the world of the Apple app store difficult given the 30% cut that the platform takes. Developers have previously attempted to direct players to third party sources to take payments instead which was met with a swift block from Apple.
Now it turns out that this was a violation of California’s anti-steering laws and as such the ONE case they lost could turn out to the most critical. If developers are able to have their games on the app store but then direct those players to a third-party webpage to take in-game payments, the 30% bite that Apple takes gets dodged.
Adding this alternative payment method therefore seems a no brainer and would go a long way for many developers to ensure that they are reaping the real rewards of their product. At the end of the day this is Apple though. While it would be great to see them reevaluate the terms of their fee, the likelihood is we’ll see some kind of appeal and the lawsuit will continue to be dragged out.
Well this is certainly a turn-up for the books isn’t it? Cloud gaming is one of those things that I’ve come around to the more familiar I get with it. Personally I like being able to play my games without having to worry about an internet connection, but I can see the appeal. And if it gets more people to play, then games will be all the better for it.
However, Activision Blizzard is not exactly the big thing in cloud gaming. Neither is Call of Duty come to that. And when King has been stressed as the biggest part of this deal and rakes in so much cash, you’d think it’d be like shooting fish in a barrel if the CMA did want a real reason to halt the deal.
I feel there may be an issue of misunderstanding (or less game-literate 'experts') in the CMA. Perhaps they were taken in by the marketing-speak of “play any game, anywhere, any time” as it set off alarm bells? The issues of the platform's many limitations, small user base and ongoing tortuous route to mainstream adoption seems to have passed them by.
Right now the main emotions expressed seem to be frustration from proponents of the deal and amusement from opponents. Many people point out how comical it is that cloud gaming of all things may scupper the acquisition, if not in terms of money then significance. But hey, stranger things have happened in the gaming market. We'll only have to wait until next month's EU descision to discover whether this really is the death knell or just a stumbling block.
Asymmetrical PVP horror games have exploded in the past few years and Dead by Daylight is arguably the biggest game of its kind. Whereas other games have seen success with more complex gameplay mechanics, Dead by Daylight’s simplicity means that a variety of killers can slip easily into the game world and this has seen some of the biggest names in horror - from Stranger Things’ Demogorgon to A Nightmare on Elm Street’s Freddy Krueger - join the game’s growing roster.
The mobile version already stands out from other platforms in a number of ways. On top of unique cosmetics and kill animations, the recent Next Era of Horror update introduced a number of features such as seasonal leaderboards, a dedicated in-game chat system, and even a relic system which shakes up the core gameplay. The new Nights of Terror tournament, directly implemented in the game client, is just the latest new mobile exclusive feature, and perhaps the most interesting.
Dead by Daylight isn’t a newcomer in the world of esports, however it’s never (to my knowledge) hosted a competition such as this directly into the game client and once again mobile is pulling ahead.
What does this mean for Dead by Daylight? Well, it’s possible that the mobile version is being used as a testing ground for these new features before the developers tackle the task of implementing them into the “core” game, but for now the mobile version has another feather in its cap, making competitive play not only more rewarding than ever before, but more accessible.
We can only doff a cap and admire all those who are part of the Stumble Guys story. On paper it’s a cheeky little tale that should at best be an after-dinner anecdote at a game dev’s get together. In actuality it’s a genius, laser-accurate summation of how to ‘win at games’ authored by some of the smartest folks in mobile.
First there’s the genius snatch of first place by simply making the game that everyone wanted. No Fall Guys on mobile? No problem. Step up Kitka Games and Bob’s your global app store smash. An open goal for the thirsty Kitka and a ball-fumble (stumble?) by Mediatonic that we can’t see any smart dev worth their salt repeating in the future.
Next there’s the purchase of the game by Scopely from Kitka. Everyone’s a winner. Kitka get to cash out and Scopely get all the plaudits for taking a hit game even higher.
Then Scopely - owners of Stumble Guys don’t cha know - get to cash out to Savvy for literally billions. And they bag Best Live Ops (for Stumble Guys obvs) AND Best Publisher at our annual Mobile Game Awards.
And - as if to prove there’s never such a thing as a barmy idea - they’re totally reworking the game with an FPS view too. WITH cash up front via a deal with NERF, putting the game back in everyone's sights and top of our ‘must try this weekend’ list.
Proof positive that in the right hands (and with the right live ops) good ideas can stay great forever.