Hot Five

Backflip heralds return of the publisher, we put Finland in focus, and the issue of gay people in games

Backflip heralds return of the publisher, we put Finland in focus, and the issue of gay people in games

Welcome to PocketGamer.biz'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.

Handily for you, each headline in the list also allows you to click through to the article in full, so you can make sure you've not missed out on any of last week's big stories.


Click here to view the list »
  • 5 From Ragdolls to riches: How Backflip is looking to become the publisher developers love

    From Ragdolls to riches: How Backflip is looking to become the publisher developers love logo

    In a recent chat with PocketGamer.biz, Julian Farrier, CEO and Founder of mobile publisher Backflip, explained why his team is focused on becoming the company developers love, rather than the publisher they love to hate.

    "I think there has been a series of publishing announcements that have been a little thin," explained Farrier.

    "The headline is: we're in this business, we've got two very high quality studios and somebody who actually knows what they're doing – they're all in this game with us.

    "I won't even pretend to guarantee that this is going to be an absolute home run for us, but what I can say is, looking at how studios have historically grown, it's not solely through internal capacity, and I think we're good at making games, but again I think we understand that there are skillsets out there that we don't have."


  • 4 Developers need to go orthogonal or get a publisher, says Scopely CEO

    Developers need to go orthogonal or get a publisher, says Scopely CEO logo

    The App Store can be an unforgiving, unpredictable, and unfriendly marketplace.

    If it's stability you're after you should probably look elsewhere, because on the App Store most developers struggle to break even while the lucky few take home all of the bacon.

    It's a hyper-competitive world where only the business-savvy will survive, and if they're lucky thrive, which is exactly why US outfit Scopely - a firm that prefers to label itself a "next generation mobile entertainment network" rather than a publisher - wants to ensure that developers are prepared for the challenged ahead.

    "The industry is more exciting than ever. The stakes are higher, and so is the competition," said Scopely CEO, Walter Driver.

    "Small developers provide innovation. They're bringing something unique to market, but they're operating at a competitive disadvantage.

    "I think they need to work with a publisher or do something very different - go orthogonal."


  • 3 Comparing the monetisation efficiencies of Boom Beach and Clash of Clans

    Comparing the monetisation efficiencies of Boom Beach and Clash of Clans logo

    Ever since Supercell admitted that Boom Beach, the follow up to the globally revered Clash of Clans, was a "risky" proposition, the industry has been waiting to see if the Finnish-developer's third title would sink or swim.

    Well, the results are in, and it'd be fair to say that the "risk" has paid off.

    Now a top 10 top grossing iOS game, Boom Beach has managed to become the game that many expected it to be, however, will it be able to escape the shadow of its older, more popular, brother?

    Last week PocketGamer.biz editor-at-large, Jon Jordan, aimed to find out.


  • 2 Why won't developers let me be a gay Premier League footballer?

    Why won't developers let me be a gay Premier League footballer? logo

    Sexuality and videogames. Their paths rarely cross.

    It's a problem, and like all problems, this one needs to be swiftly addressed.

    Of course, that's easier said than done, and while the fight for sexual equality in videogames rages on, PocketGamer.biz editor Keith Andrew added his voice, along with a possible solution, to the debate.

    "Equality comes not from hitting a set quota of 'gay games', but from a desire for homosexual or bisexual characters to be entirely unremarkable. Passé. Dull, even," detailed Andrew.

    "To get there, however, will require a clutch of developers to do what the big boys claim is simply too much of a 'gamble' – to represent the whole spectrum of sexuality in play where appropriate.

    "I'm counting on mobile developers to fuel that fight in the coming months and years. If the last five or so years have proved anything, it's that the topsy turvy world of mobile has little time for those unwilling to lead the way."


  • 1 What Supercell did next: Boom Beach masters the art of the follow-up

    What Supercell did next: Boom Beach masters the art of the follow-up logo

    Last week Steve El-Sharawy, Digital Engagement Manager at EzyInsights, opened out new regular column specifically looking at the mobile scene in the Nordic powerhouse that is Finland.

    The first edition of The Finnsider looked at just what the successful launch of Boom Beach means for mobile giant Supercell. Has it mastered the follow-up?

    "Supercell - whose employees enjoy free fruit, fancy coffee machines and daily swimming sessions in their enormous tower filled with money, don't need another game to do as well as Hay Day or Clash of Clans, ever," suggested El-Sharawy.

    "It could experiment with offbeat ideas for their next 50 games, or release a triple A nostril flexing simulator and would still monetise them well enough to turn a profit.

    "But as they say, with great speculation comes great expectation."


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.

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