Week that was

PG.biz week that was: Freemium games hit 65%, HTC ships 11M, Tapjoy raises $30M, and Steve Jobs isn't Patrick Mork's dad

PG.biz week that was: Freemium games hit 65%, HTC ships 11M, Tapjoy raises $30M, and Steve Jobs isn't Patrick Mork's dad
This exceptionally busy week in the world of PocketGamer.biz was boosted in busyness by the two-day Pocket Gamer summer conference, and things were moving fast in the world of app stores, smartphone platforms, developments in mobile game making and assorted technology too.

Following on from last week's pre-IPO reveal from Zynga, we took a look through the company's financials, pointing out that with cumulative revenue of over $1.5 billion, Zynga's doing okay, but doesn't match DeNA or GREE for profits.

The company's S-1 form also revealed Zynga's mobile DAUs rose 10-fold in the six months following its $53.3 million acquisition of Newtoy, now called Zynga with Friends. This week, Zynga also made it fifteenth acquisition in 13 months, buying Toronto studio Five Mobile for an undisclosed sum.

Cash inflow

It wasn't only Zynga buying companies though. OEM HTC revealed it had shipped 11 million smartphones in Q2 2011, with revenues hitting $4.34 billion. It's just dropped $300 million buying chipset specialist S3 Graphics.

In other M&A activity, eBay acquired mobile payments specialist Zong for $240 million, while analytics outfit App Annie raises its first round of VC investment, and Tapjoy raises another $30 million in a Series D round, bringing it to $42 million in 2011.

Booming free-to-play

The biggest theme of the week however was freemium. Flurry's Games GM Jeferson Valadares pointed out that revenue from freemium was now 65% of the US top grossing games chart, while Distinctive Developments MD Nigel Little spoke about designing mobile games for freemium success.

Glu Mobile is a convert to freemium and it boosted its team with the news that ex-IUGO business development director Sarah Thomson is joining to run its gPartners program. On a similar note, OpenFeint appointed ex-Playdom exec Ethan Fassett as its SVP of product.

However, Nielsen ran a survey which found 93 percent of app downloaders are happy to pay for games, suggesting freemium isn't totally taking over. Another monetisation option is advertising, with InMobi says its global mobile ad traffic is up 40 percent in four months to 35.7 billion request monthly.

Big to small

The transition from a few big console development teams to a lot of small mobile development teams continues apace. This week some ex-Ubisoft developers set up The Game Bakers to target what they called triple-A mobile, while we interviewed two similar start ups.

Former Realtime Worlds man John Harrison explained why his outfit Bang Games offers greater connection with gamers, and we spoke to Rodeo Games' Ben Murch following the news that its debut game Hunters has been downloaded 500,000 times.

There was also some interesting comment from Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata who argued - with numbers - that the rise of mobile and social gaming has slightly increased the number of DS games people bought, although only if such players were already spending money on social and mobile games.

All 'appening

Of course, there's always plenty of news when it comes to app stores, with Apple's App Store tagged as having hosted 15 billion downloads from more than 425,000 apps, while - obviously much earlier in its life - Windows Phone Marketplace now hosts 25,000 apps. And giving another perspective from another country, China Mobile's Mobile Market app store has handled 360 million downloads across 70,000 apps.

Perhaps most interesting however are the ongoing legal tangles about the term app store. It got GetJar's CMO Patrick Mork so annoyed he wrote a furious blog post, ending in the cry "We're not going to Cease & Desist ... Steve Jobs isn't our Dad".

Android rising

And there were number galore on the hardware front. Samsung has sold 3 million Galaxy S IIs in 55 days, while ODM Pegatron is rumoured to readying 15 million iPhone 5s and Amazon is rumoured to be readying 1.2 million Android tablets for a Q3 2011 launch.

Even AMD is getting in on the tablet business with leaks concerning its 'tablet-friendly' processor series Hondo, which is due in 2012.

Still, the platform growth remains with Android, with comScore underlining its share of the US market has tripled over the past 12 months, to the detriment of BlackBerry, Windows Phone and webOS.

Until next week....
Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at PG.biz which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.


No comments
View options
  • Order by latest to oldest
  • Order by oldest to latest
  • Show all replies