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How indies can handle PR, why the industry owes a debt to homosexuals, and is the great crowdfunding crash nigh?

Last week's top five stories
How indies can handle PR, why the industry owes a debt to homosexuals, and is the great crowdfunding crash nigh?

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.

#5: Computers are gay: Scott Foe on why the industry owes a debt to homosexuals

Computers are gay: Scott Foe on why the industry owes a debt to homosexuals

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Computers are gay: Scott Foe on why the industry owes a debt to homosexuals »

In response to PocketGamer.biz editor Keith Andrew's recent editorial on the lack of representation of gay people in games, Scott Foe, CPO at Unspoken Tales, has offered another take on the issue.

Foe believes there's a simple reason why gay people need to be represented more in gaming: the industry is indebted to homosexuals.

"Why? Why would we risk the game that we had worked on for years of our lives to see two women joined at the altar?" asked Foe.

"Well, videogames would not be possible without computers, and computers are gay.

"If you're paying tribute to thirty years of amazing videogame artistry, however modest a nod is required."

#4: Rewind Wednesday: Niantic Labs' John Hanke on the opportunities for location-based mobile games

Rewind Wednesday: Niantic Labs' John Hanke on the opportunities for location-based mobile games

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Rewind Wednesday: Niantic Labs' John Hanke on the opportunities for location-based mobile games »

If you don't recognise the name John Hanke, you'll surely recognise some of the projects, such as Google Earth, Maps, and StreetView, that he's helped bring to life.

Hanke now heads up Niantic Labs, a location based game development studio that's being branded an 'internal startup' within Google.

In his new role, Hanke has been tasked with creating location-based games with a difference, and in a recent conversation with PocketGamer.biz he explained how he intends to do just that.

"We didn't want to make just another location-based game," explained Hanke, referring to Niantic's latest game, Ingress.

"We're looking to build emotional resonance, [and with Ingress] we've had engagements and weddings, people climbing mountains to get to portals. 

"The players are becoming the stars."

#3: Is F2P the only way? $3.99 Out There was "profitable 3 weeks after release"

Is F2P the only way? $3.99 Out There was

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Is F2P the only way? $3.99 Out There was "profitable 3 weeks after release" »

The developer behind iOS and Android space adventure game Out There has spoken out about his decision to go premium, outlining his belief that premium games can be just as successful as their F2P cousins.

During a chat with PocketGamer.biz, Michael Peiffert dismissed the notion that going premium had held his game back, explaining there were "many different reasons" behind his decision to make Out There a paid experience.

"Freemium games are designed around the goal of making money," detailed Peiffert.

"Out There was designed to offer a full and unique experience. The game would not make much sense if we were selling fuel as in-app purchases instead of leaving the player drifting in the void forever.

"As a two-man studio, we don't need to make millions to be profitable. Out There was profitable three weeks after release."

#2: Six simple steps to productive and effective games PR

Six simple steps to productive and effective games PR

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Six simple steps to productive and effective games PR »

Though most developers understand the importance of PR, some are still struggling to find a PR partner that's right for them.

PocketGamer.biz guest author, and certified PR guru, Natalie Griffith believes there are six simple steps that will help any PR agency and developer get the most out of their relationship, and ensure that it's a prosperous one. 

"If you're devoting time and money to PR, it's vital to understand how to work with agencies to get the most out of your relationship," claims Griffith.

"While it's certainly not an easy process to find the right partner, there are some rules you can follow that will make the whole affair far more straightforward."

#1: Giving Kickstarter the kick: The great crowdfunding crash is upon us

Giving Kickstarter the kick: The great crowdfunding crash is upon us

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Giving Kickstarter the kick: The great crowdfunding crash is upon us »

Is the crowdfunding world as we know it nearing its end?

148Apps' Carter Dotson is one person who believes a big change is imminent, largely because consumers are beginning to realise that some companies, and individuals, are starting to abuse the system.

"Companies that want to take advantage of crowdfunding need to keep this in mind: they don't have to necessarily play to reality, but rather to the expectations that their audience will have," suggested Dotson.

"When a company decides to effectively justuse crowdfunding as nothing but free PR, people are going to start to recognise this.

"This era where anyone can ask for free money devalues those who could make the most use out of crowdfunding."