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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 Apple's latest hardware, Silent Hill's next steps, and Microsoft's appeal against the CMA
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 -

Apple’s VR headset will be “iPhone moment” say industry professionals

OK. Let's tempt fate. As I write this we're only days away from the reveal of Apple's VR/AR headset, a device that - if their plans come true - will involve the tech heavyweight launching itself into a whole new product category and kick-start a whole market for the innovative and life-changing apps that will use it.

Think Mac, iPod, iPhone, iPad, Watch... And now… This thing… (Whatever it is…)

Surely any kind of prediction this close to the reveal would be madness? We all remember Microsoft's Steve Ballmer laughing out loud at the iPhone, and countless explanations as to why the planet's favourite wearable would never take off. Nailing your colours to a mast nearly always ends up with egg on the face. 

But I'm going to stick my neck out anyway. So… Yes, it will be amazing, and, just as with previous devices from Apple, it'll 'do' things that we didn't know we wanted, you WILL one day buy one (or at least another company's shameless copy of one) and it WILL one day nail this whole VR/AR thing and have the likes of Meta scrambling to re-lay their roadmap every year for the next decade. There. I've said it.

But I think that this time Apple have to endure their toughest post-launch wave of doubt and mockery yet. Sure, one day they'll get to a device that will one day be deemed a success. But that - I fear - is years away.

This is a long game and - personally - I'm surprised that Apple want to play it. Monday's reveal will be of a device that is too expensive, will have too limited use cases and 'killer apps' to pique enough people's interests, and will be uniformly derided as 'pointless' out of the gate. In short, unlike every Apple hardware launch yet, this won't be a device that will have the naysayers eating humble pie any day soon. Or perhaps ever.

Sure they've got the money and time to bumble this one into success, as Meta have tried to do. But doing things Meta style somehow just isn't Apple style…

Iwan Morris

Iwan Morris

Staff Writer

Gwent team sees 30 employees axed after ceasing of updates

There’s not much to be said about this that can’t be said about so many other layoffs. How terrible it is for those having to leave, and questioning whether or not it was the right move by the parent company. I think it should also be asked, does this indicate CD Projekt Red is no longer going to be focusing on mobile?

Gwent was not an unpopular game by any measure of the imagination, although it’s hard to compete with the likes of Hearthstone of course. And these are experienced devs, regardless of the somewhat niche genre they were working on. It raises the question of whether it was wise to slash this many employees in the first place.

I feel like the experience would be something CD Projekt Red would want to hold onto if they were still going to focus on mobile. But despite some indication in their financials it seems that this, compounded with the ending of development on Gwent, indicates an overall shift away.

I could be wrong of course, but it’s still a possibility in my mind. With the closure of Spokko last year too, it seems the future for CD Projekt Red is not on mobile.

Lewis Rees

Lewis Rees

Staff Writer

Silent Hill: Ascension debuts new trailer

I’ve written before about the unrealised potential of the horror genre on mobile devices. While mobile gaming is by far the most accessible of all gaming platforms thanks to its relative affordability and market reach, it struggles somewhat compared to other platforms in terms of immersiveness, and horror developers have yet to effectively make use of the myriad of features mobile phones have to offer which could result in some truly fantastic examples of the genre.

Silent Hill is one of the most beloved horror IPs in gaming history, and one that’s previously experimented with mobile phones, albeit the most recent mobile entry, Silent Hill: Orphan 3, was released in 2010, and as such the technology is somewhat outdated. With Silent Hill itself making a triumphant comeback with four games and a film in the works, it only feels fitting to utilise mobile phones. Rumours have been circling for some time that mobile interactivity was being considered, and with Silent Hill: Ascension we finally have an idea of what shape that could take.

Could this be the genre’s big breakout hit on phones? Well, with so many esteemed companies collaborating on the title, and the leveraging of one of gaming’s most popular horror franchises, it could well act as a proof of concept. Mobile phones will act as the ideal medium to interact with the game, creating a unique experience on a massive scale, and this could in turn lead to more and more developers creating horror titles specifically for mobile devices.

Paige Cook

Paige Cook

Deputy Editor

Microsoft and the UK's CMA begin their appeal tribunal on July 24

The Activision Blizzard drama continues to unfold as Microsoft is all set to appeal the CMA's decision to block the big deal. There was never any doubt that Microsoft would appeal the decision, and given the main grounds being issues over cloud gaming, I personally can't say I blame them.

Despite hearing about Call of Duty being the primary concern for months, the CMA's decision to bring cloud gaming to the forefront surprised many. However, given the string of recent approvals we have seen, it would seem that other regulators disagree with the severity of these cloud concerns.

So what happens at the appeal? I expect Microsoft will be quick to highlight these other approvals and claim that the CMA has made an error in judgement regarding its potential dominance in the cloud gaming market. It's also possible that Microsoft could highlight potential deals or agreements around the cloud market if the CMA is unwilling to budge. Xbox did something similar to appease the Call of Duty concerns by saying it would support Call of Duty on PlayStation for ten years.

Whether any of this will be enough to have the CMA reconsider, only time will tell, but this certainly isn't the last hurdle for Microsoft as we are still waiting to hear what conclusions the US comes to. For now, it seems this deal is still a long way from the finish line.