Hot Five

How Best Fiends Forever and PvZ: Heroes performed, the human cost of a cancelled F2P game, and Next Games’ customer support approach

How Best Fiends Forever and PvZ: Heroes performed, the human cost of a cancelled F2P game, and Next Games’ customer support approach

Rovio has been a hotbed of activity this year as it continues restructuring its business to stem the decline in revenues its suffered over recent years.

To that end, the Angry Birds developer made two senior appointments last week, our most read story of the week. It brought back Jarkko Rajamäki as its VP of Ads and hired industry veteran Antti Viitanen as Senior VP of Studios.

Next up, the Nintendo Switch has been a hot topic of debate around the games industry, so it’s no surprise that our Mobile Mavens discussion on the topic was the second hottest article of the week.

Supporting customers

In third place was our interview with Next Games CMO Saara Bergström, who discussed how The Walking Dead: No Man’s Land developer is getting everyone at the studio involved in customer support, including the CEO.

Finally, Matt Suckley debates the human cost of a cancelled free-to-play game, and we delve into how the market has responded to the changing genres of Plants vs. Zombies and Best Fiends.

Click the link below to find out more about the stories that caught our reader's attention last week.


Click here to view the list »
  • 5 How has the market responded to the changing genres of Plants vs. Zombies and Best Fiends?

    How has the market responded to the changing genres of Plants vs. Zombies and Best Fiends? logo

    Plants vs. Zombies Heroes and Best Fiends Forever take the two franchises in new directions.

    Plants vs. Zombies is now a collectible card game, while the latest Best Fiends title is an idle game – much different from their tower defence and match-3 roots.

    But were PopCap and Seriously able to maintain the franchises’ popularity amongst users in a different genre?

    Matt Suckley looks at the data and compares their chart positons early on to previous entries.


  • 4 An adventure cut short: The human cost of a canned F2P game

    An adventure cut short: The human cost of a canned F2P game logo

    We reported the beginning of October that COLOPL NI had shut down Japanese RPG Rune Story and pulled it from the App Store in Western markets.

    While on a pure business level it may be a logical decision to close a game that’s no longer bringing in the cash, where does it leave the players who have spent their own time and money on the title?

    Matt Suckley considers the players’ side, and why each game closure is a mini tragedy for each of its committed players.


  • 3 Why Next Games gets everyone including the CEO involved with Customer Support

    Why Next Games gets everyone including the CEO involved with Customer Support logo

    Keeping players happy is crucial to ensuring your free-to-play mobile game is around for the long haul.

    So to that end, Finnish developer Next Games has been experimenting with a new approach to customer support, one that involves the entire team, including the CEO.

    The developer’s CMO Saara Bergström discussed the benefits of this approach to both the team and the games players, and why it plans to continue with that initiative.

    “You can't deliver a winning player experience if the whole company culture does not fully embrace a player-focused mindset,” she said.

    “It’s just that simple.”


  • 2 What do mobile developers think of the Nintendo Switch?

    What do mobile developers think of the Nintendo Switch? logo

    Nintendo finally unveiled its brand spanking new console/handheld hybrid the Nintendo Switch on October 20th.

    The console firm has a lot riding on its next system, after the failings of the Wii U. It’ll also need to do extra well if it’s to ultimately to replace the 3DS too.

    But what do developers think? We asked our Mobile Mavens for their thoughts on the tablet-like console and whether they think it can be a hit in a market filled with fierce competition from the PS4, Xbox One and mobile.


  • 1 Rovio brings back former VP of Ads from Unity and hires new Senior VP of Studios

    Rovio brings back former VP of Ads from Unity and hires new Senior VP of Studios logo

    Rovio has made two senior appointments as part of its efforts to grow its games business.

    The studio has recruited its former VP of Ads Jarkko Rajamäki back into the role he once held at the studio. He was previously working at Unity here he led its ads business.

    The Angry Birds developer has also swooped in for Antti Viitanen, who has been hired as Senior VP of Studios, where he’ll be responsible for Rovio’s global studio strategy.


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Senior Editor

Craig Chapple is Senior Editor of PocketGamer.biz and InfluencerUpdate.biz. He was previously Deputy Editor at Develop and Online Editor at Nintendo of Europe.

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