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.
Apple's Vision Pro landed on faces today and there are 600+ apps already attracting eyes and (tapped together) fingers.
So everyone is about to get rich, right?
Of course the sand in this sandwich comes via the unit’s $3,499 asking price, which - while a laughable stinkbomb deterrent to all but the most foolhardy of fanboys - represents an even greater worry for developers contemplating sticking their neck out.
App and game development is a rather more complex business than in the solo-in-the-spare-room early App Store days that could see you and your hobby get Flappy Bird-lucky. These days aspirations and assets don’t come cheap and when you add a whole extra dimension to your visuals it’s easy to see production getting pricey. In short, making that killer Apple Vision Pro app could prove deadly for those brave enough to try.
200,000 (unconfirmed) units globally isn’t a huge market but there is that first mover advantage right now and it’s great to see the likes of Triband dishing up perfect, 3D anchored-in-reality versions of What The Golf and old iPad launch sensation Algoriddim repeating its magic for a 3D Djay.
As to whether either or any of the 600+ games at launch will hit paydirt remains to be seen but betting against this hardware at least at some point catching on, just doesn’t feel like a done deal. And as for betting against Apple - a company that if they really wanted to could have launched Vision Pro for $999 and sucked it up for years - seems like an even less smart gamble.
Will Vision Pro’s App Store explode with the kind of must-have apps that sold us all iPhones and iPads? Is this a ‘here we go again’ ‘next big thing’ moment? Only time will tell.
While most other companies might have taken stock of Unity’s catastrophic Runtime Fee announcement (which still remains, mind) and thought “maybe charging per install might piss publishers off, Apple took it as inspiration.
I expressed some early thoughts last week on Apple’s attempt to adhere to the Digital Markets Act while maintaining the status quo of owning the App Store and keeping its 30% share.
I always find the reactions fascinating to big news, especially when it comes to platform holders. When Unity announced the Runtime Fee, the entire games industry was up in arms, and very publicly so. Unity, at heart, is ultimately a services company and tools provider, reliant on keeping customers happy.
Apple is an entirely different beast. Other than a few of the very biggest companies (like the aforementioned Spotify and two companies that want to create competing marketplaces - Epic and Microsoft), there aren’t really too many in the industry willing to go on the record.
There’s a very real concern that should they do so, Apple may retaliate or they’ll lose the App Store team’s good graces. And Apple has proven that if anyone defies it or its rules, it will take swift action (as with Epic Games’ Fortnite).
The EGDF can call out Apple, as it’s the voice of a large collective, with its very mission to advance and represent the industry.
Either most publishers are happy with the status quo - or perhaps the lack of public, industry-wide condemnation, as we had with Unity, says more about Apple’s position in the market than those headline-grabbing quotes from tech’s biggest companies.
7 years of Fire Emblem Heroes: Evolving beyond an SRPG into Nintendo’s only billion-dollar mobile game
Today marks seven years since the release of Fire Emblem Heroes, and in those seven years the game has proceeded to become Nintendo’s most lucrative mobile title - earning more than any mobile Mario.
There’s no better time for a retrospective, therefore: a look back at what’s changed over the years and how Heroes has sustained itself through the ever-changing mobile gaming landscape.