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Mobile games lack innovation says Ubisoft, Finnish startup bags ex-Rovio exec and Flappy Bird creator talks up next "big game"

Mobile games lack innovation says Ubisoft, Finnish startup bags ex-Rovio exec and Flappy Bird creator talks up next "big game"

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.

Handy 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.


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  • 5 Finland's latest hottest startup Seriously poaches Rovio marketing chief and raises $2.65 million

    Finland's latest hottest startup Seriously poaches Rovio marketing chief and raises $2.65 million logo

    Last week, Finnish mobile-first startup Seriously announced the closure of a $2.65 million round, of what it labelled, "Series B Seed" funding.

    Upfront Venture, a firm that's invested in Seriously before, led the funding, while Sunstone Capital and Daher Capital also participated.

    Seriously also announced the hiring of former Rovio man, Phillip Hickey, who worked as the Angry Birds creator's marketing executive.

    "I'm impressed with the DNA of the Seriously team and I'm excited about the opportunity they have to build mobile first entertainment brands as audiences migrate to smartphones and tablets," commented Seriously advisor, Dan Romanelli.

    "I look forward to supporting them."


  • 4 From PR guru to GameMaker: The Byronic Man's adventures in mobile game publishing

    From PR guru to GameMaker: The Byronic Man's adventures in mobile game publishing logo

    How can a man who can't make games, make games? You're right, that's a trick question, because in the mobile age there isn't such a thing as someone who can't make games.

    The tools are available for everyone, and, in last week's PocketGamer.biz guest column, games industry veteran, but game development novice, Simon Byron explained how he, a man who'd never made a game, dived into development.

    "The game was made on and off in the evenings, over a couple of months. I was surprised by the process - Up, Down, Left, Right made great strides initially and then took absolutely ages to finish," explained Byron.

    "Given I’ve felt slightly fraudulent about making a game, I decided from the off it would be funded by advertising.

    "I’m a man who can’t make games, making a game. What a strange world."

     


  • 3 Rovio: Most games for our publishing label are 'found at conferences'

    Rovio: Most games for our publishing label are 'found at conferences' logo

    Matthew Wilson, Rovio's senior manger of publishing, has revealed that the firm finds the majority of its Rovio Stars alumni at industry conferences.

    The Finnish-giant isn't simply looking for games with great potential, however. It wants the complete package: titles, that, given time, could become a huge brand.

    "If you want to work with us, you really need games with strong characters and a good narrative," explained Wilson.

    "It's about building the universe pivot. If you think about The Lord of the Rings, everything revolves around the Ring, and if you think of The Matrix everything revolves around The Matrix.

    "It's about having the right universe pivot that you can build a brand around if the game succeeds."


  • 2 Ubisoft's Jade Raymond: Mobile is passing off "40 year old game design" as innovation

    Ubisoft's Jade Raymond: Mobile is passing off "40 year old game design" as innovation logo

    Despite suggesting that mobile games are heralding the start of a new gaming era, during her talk at this year's Gamelab in Barcelona, Ubisoft's Jade Raymond explained that mobile simply isn't doing enough creatively.

    "Mobile has attracted more people to gaming, but there hasn't been such a creative boom," said Raymond.

    "What passes for innovation on mobile is the recycling of 40 year old game design, with real world gambling and money stuck on top of it.

    “These days though, I'm spending a lot more time on mobile games than I am on consoles. The form factor of mobile games is much more adapted to modern life. It fits our reality."


  • 1 Flappy Bird creator Dong Nguyen talks cloning, lawsuits and his next "big game"

    Flappy Bird creator Dong Nguyen talks cloning, lawsuits and his next "big game" logo

    During a rare appearance at last week's Gamelab conference in Barcelona, Flappy Bird creator Dong Nguyen took to the stage to dispel some rumours, and offer his thoughts on everything from cloning to his next "big game".

    "I can confirm that Nintendo haven't been in contact with me about any lawsuit. They have never complained about my games,” revealed Nguyen, who explained that some rumours don't die because he simply prefers to “avoid the press”.

    “I am making a big game now, and I see it as many small games put together. My job is to synchronise those components in order to create one unique experience.

    “My new game will focus on competitions between players who can see each other in the game. I will also introduce new obstacles while maintaining the simplicity of the gameplay that Flappy Bird has."


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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