Hot Five

Hot Five: Gaming Kickstarters getting a kicking, Zynga picks up NaturalMotion, and are Flurry's analytics accurate?

Last week's top 5 stories

Hot Five: Gaming Kickstarters getting a kicking, Zynga picks up NaturalMotion, and are Flurry's analytics accurate?

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.

Big in Japan: Kemco goes against the flow, while Square Enix shares rise high

You'd be hard pushed to find a more influential mobile game market than the one currently residing in Japan: it's a place where ideas thrive, and revenue flows.

We wouldn't be doing our jobs right if we overlooked such an important market, so, every week we've been teaming up with Indie Navi to bring you the five most interesting stories from the land of the rising sun.

Last week saw Kemco announce plans to work on a new RPG every month, Kotaro Yoshida release an iOS sequel to indie phenomenon Half Minute Hero, and Square Enix Holdings' share prices go through the roof.

It's like a Hot Five within a Hot Five. Deep.

Chart of the Week: Why the 288% rise in US CPI costs is good news

According to market intelligence outfit Superdata, over the past 12 months the cost of getting a mobile game installed by advertising in the US has increased by 288 percent.

In contrast, the average revenue generated by mobile gamer per month has only risen by 38 percent.

Those numbers don't add up, and as the gap between marketing and returns supposedly growing bigger, it appears that the industry has a problem on its hands.

However, are those rising CPI costs actually a blessing in disguise? Our editor at large Jon Jordan seems to think so.

Only 1 in 3 of successful gaming Kickstarters ever delivers to backers

Self proclaimed "nerd" blog, Evil as a Hobby, recently claimed that only a third of all fully funded gaming Kickstarters actually deliver to their backers.

The blog points to a detailed analysis of all gaming Kickstarters from 2009 through to October 2012 which suggests that gamers shouldn't put too much faith in crowd funding as a valid aid for game development.

According to the data, only 37 percent of projects manage to made good on all of their promises, with a further 8 percent partially delivering - and while many people are missing out, it seems that mobile gamers are getting the shortest end of the stick.

You know where you can find out why.

Rolling retention: Why Flurry's retention metrics are misleading developers

Despite having a lot of admiration for analytics firm Flurry, Wilhelm Taht, COO at Playground Publishing, noted in a recent guest column for that the company's analytics platform would never achieve perfection because of the way it handles retention statistics.

"The retention metric the industry is interested in is defined as the "percentage of users that came back to your game on the Nth day after first using the app," better known as 'Day N Retention'," explained Taht.

"Flurry does not show this type of metric as retention. Instead something Flurry shows something it labels Rolling Retention.

"Long story short, the 'rolling retention' metric Flurry pushes is not something that gives any valuable information to its observer."

Zynga acquires NaturalMotion for $527 million

In what was undoubtedly one of the biggest stories of 2014 so far, Zynga took many by surprised by acquiring UK outfit NaturalMotion in a $527 million move.

The deal was announced through Zynga's latest quarterly results, with the firm paying out $391 million in cash for the Oxford-based developer, in addition to purchasing roughly 39.8 million shares.

"We believe that bringing Zynga and NaturalMotion together is the right step at the right time," said former Microsoft man, and Zynga CEO, Don Mattrick.

"Our acquisition of NaturalMotion will allow us to significantly expand our creative pipeline, accelerate our mobile growth and bring next-generation technology and tools to Zynga that we believe will fast track our ability to deliver more hit games."


What do you call someone who has an unhealthy obsession with video games and Sean Bean? That'd be a 'Chris Kerr'. Chris is one of those deluded souls who actually believes that one day Sean Bean will survive a movie. Poor guy.