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Week in Views - What caught our eyes in the last seven days

The team take their pick of this weeks big news including anniversary celebrations, the rising popularity of subscriptions and when a game gets everything right…
Week in Views - What caught our eyes in the last seven days

The games industry moves quickly and while stories may come and go there are some that we just can't let go of…

So, to give those particularly thorny topics a further going over we've created a weekly digest where the members of the team share their thoughts and go that little bit deeper on some of the more interesting things that have happened in mobile gaming in the past week.

Daniel Griffiths

Daniel Griffiths

Editor -

Space Ape's Simon Hade: “Country Star benefits from several years of live ops R&D right out of the gate”

We love a success story and one that we personally play and love is even closer to our hearts. And it's not just when a game is great that we find affection for it, it's when they make all the right moves in the background - all those smart extra touches that players won't even notice - that we get really excited.

Beatstar from Space Ape Games is, of course, a nailed-on hit. However, what many don't realise is the difficulty and depth the team went to to make the game even happen at all. In an age where the music and film industries still like to think of themselves at the top of the pile, getting major labels to part with tracks for 'a mobile phone game' was a mighty uphill battle.

Thanks to their hard work the landscape has changed and big names think nothing of ensuring there's a mobile component to their latest release with Beatstar all to happy to hoover up the big-name collabs.

What's really smart about Country Star however is that the team realised the necessity to give the genre it's own app and experience and - in short - do the job properly and the music and artists justice. This is playing the mobile game just right - find your audience, know the depth and volume of their passions and create an app that they won't resist.

It's simple when you think about it.

Lewis Rees

Lewis Rees

Staff Writer

Fireproof Games prepares for the tenth anniversary of The Room

Mobile gaming is often misunderstood by “serious” gamers. Those who care about graphical fidelity, intricate gameplay, or deep storytelling will too often scoff at mobile as a gaming platform under the assumption that every mobile game is a simple free-to-play or hypercasual title.

These people are cutting themselves off from a lot of fantastic games by assuming that phones don’t offer the same level of gameplay.

The Room series is arguably one of the biggest outliers, and a franchise that succeeds thanks to the platform. The tactile puzzles thrive on a touch screen interface, and mobile is the perfect place to play.

The series has kicked off a whole new genre of similar titles, such as House of Da Vinci, largely by utilising the unique strengths of mobile gaming. Yes, the franchise has been adapted to other platforms, including VR, but it’s mobile we think of first, highlighting something that’s too often overlooked - mobile is just as capable of offering “upscale” gaming experiences and the enduring success of the franchise highlights the fact that - just as on PC and console - mobile consumers love great games.

Where will The Room go next? Well, that’s uncertain. It’s been three years since the franchise’s most recent entry, and five since the release of the last one on mobile. But the fact that people are still talking about the series ten years into its lifecycle goes a long way towards showcasing its longevity - and celebrating with such a big event may hint that the story isn’t quite over yet.

Paige Cook

Paige Cook

Deputy Editor

Mobile games using a subscription model almost triple in a year

In a mobile market packed full of games, gamers are spoilt for choice when it comes to what they download next. While this is great for players, it does leave some developers fighting to be discovered. Then of course, there are the changes in Apple’s app tracking transparency framework that have many developers concerned about their future reach and monetisation.

Enter the subscription model. Subscriptions are absolutely everywhere, and have become increasingly popular across the media industry, with the likes of TV streaming services and music platforms. So if it works well in other areas, why not on mobile? This is the question that more developers are asking themselves, and rightly so, since some of the top games in the charts are seeing great success using the model.

However, the thing to remember with subscriptions is that the player needs to see enough incentive to subscribe and then to continue doing so. Most mobile games that offer the model and do it well grant the player additional content, removing ads and giving premium access. The trick is in understanding what a subs audience needs to keep coming back. Thankfully it seems that more and more developers and games are getting wise to what makes subs tick.

It seems clear that subscriptions are here to stay in the mobile space and, for the first time, may even become the norm for monetisation and building your game's community.