Hot Five

Hot Five: Less than 0.1% of App Store games succeed, Fishlabs sells up, and controversial comments from Game Connection

Last week's top five stories

Hot Five: Less than 0.1% of App Store games succeed, Fishlabs sells up, and controversial comments from Game Connection

Welcome to's weekly rundown of the stories clocking up the hits, picking up the click-throughs and generally keeping the advertisers happy by serving up page views.

Or, if you'd prefer, the top five stories currently dominating our readers' attention.

Each week, we'll be counting down the biggest news from the previous seven days, giving just a glimpse of the industry's big issues, from five to one.

The Charticle: Smart early moves from the Clumsy Ninja

Clumsy Ninja took to the App Store in a position that many devs - indie or otherwise - would envy.

After all, it had the considerable weight of Apple's marketing division behind it and - oh yeah - that feature at the iPhone 5's debut event last year didn't hurt.

But after a year-long delay, many wondered how Clumsy Ninja would move once it hit the market.

Our Charticle examined Clumsy Ninja's performance out of the gate, and found - unsurprisingly - that it shot to the top of the download chart 24 hours after its launch, while its performance on the top grossing chart has been a bit less stellar.

Interested in the nitty gritty? Click the blue text right here.

Top 5 tips for game studios who are looking for investment

Aimlessly angling for angels isn't a sound investment strategy, no matter how tempting it might seem when launching a new studio.

Kadri Ugand, from the Estonia-based Gamefounders, compiled a list of 5 indispensible tips for game studios looking for an investment. Some tips are basic - as Ugand herself admits - but as with many things in life, success only follows after you focus on the fundamentals.

"When a game startup goes to an investor, they want to find money to make their game," she stated. "They will start telling the investor about the game and how cool it is for the player, how they can win, how they can buy boosters and pass through the levels.

"Investors in the gaming sector are players themselves, so they listen and enjoy this," Ugand continued, before cautioning that, "if this is the only level to the conversation, no money is coming the studio's way."

Breaking: Fishlabs sells up, co-founders Schade and Lohr to depart

It broke late last week, and debuted at the #3 spot in our Hot Five then as well, but it seems like everyone was interested in finding out what was going on at Hamburg-based Fishlabs when the Galaxy on Fire dev announced that it had sold up.

We've since learned that Austrian media outlet Koch Media purchased Fishlabs and all of its assets. But the breaking story, which co-founder Michael Schade relayed to, raised many eyebrows when it was revealed that Schade and co-founder Christian Lohr would depart the firm.

Thankfully, there would be no other jobs lost as a result - which is good news as Fishlabs went through a painful restructuring earlier this autumn.

Less than 0.1% of App Store games are successful, claims Wooga

We all know the market out there is crowded, but Wooga's corporate development lead Sebastian Kriese put some grim figures on a game's chances of success.

During a talk at Game Connection Europe in Paris, Kriese said that by Wooga's estimates less than 0.1% of App Store games are successful.

His talk also underscored Wooga's mantra that "without a hit behind you, you're nothing"... which is why at any time Wooga has 60 prototypes in development.

Of those 60, only 15 will make it production while only 10 of those will ever be soft-launched.

The lesson to be learned from all of this? Wooga actively celebrates killing games, and advises you to as well.

After all, "it's so much better to stop games that are not successful, that are average" so you can focus on launching only hit games instead.

Don't become an indie developer unless you can hack the life of a fat, Ukrainian prostitute

Although Boomzap Entertainment's co-founder Christopher Natsuume knew his comments during a panel at Game Connection Europe in Paris were controvserial, he likely didn't realise just how much interest they would create.

Natsuume gleaned a bit of insight from watching professional female escorts work a bar in the Ukraine recently. Said escort was repeatedly rejected by her targets - something that struck a chord with Natsuume.

"I was watching one of these girls - she was slightly chubbier, slightly uglier than all the others - as she circled the bar," he opened.

"She was going up to every single guy in that bar and getting knocked back, and I suddenly realised something - that's me. I go to conventions, and I try to sell myself to publishers, but compared to the big guys there, I'm just as unattractive and unappealing as that Ukrainian prostitute."

While the analogy was distasteful to some, Natsuume's underlying message is one that all indie devs should take to heart.

If you want to achieve success in the crowded mobile gaming market, you need to get out to as many events as possible, take rejection in stride, and never stop trying to sell yourself to the right publisher.

US Correspondent

Representing the former colonies, Matt keeps the Pocket Gamer news feed updated when sleepy Europeans are sleeping. As a frustrated journalist, diehard gamer and recovering MMO addict, this is pretty much his dream job.