Week that was

PG.biz week that was: Apple stops Galaxy Tab 10.1 launch, VegasTowers' average IAP is $40, Spacetime gives away $330k, and Rovio could be worth $1.2B

PG.biz week that was: Apple stops Galaxy Tab 10.1 launch, VegasTowers' average IAP is $40, Spacetime gives away $330k, and Rovio could be worth $1.2B
Dodging broken shop windows and scallies with stolen bottles of champagne, PocketGamer.biz has also had a busy week in the world of app stores, smartphone platforms, developments in mobile game making and assorted technology.

Apple's legal team has been busy too. It's continuing to kick Samsung, its main component supplier for iPad and iPhone, over what it reckons are similarities between their phones and tablets.

It's gained a preliminary injunction against Samsung, stopping the European and Australian launches of the Galaxy Tab 10.1. It's starting similar action against Motorola's Xoom tablet, and there's news Apple maybe considering switching production of its next A series chip from Samsung to TSMC.

Apple is also refusing to step down in the ongoing Lodsys in-app pursuit lawsuit. Lodsys is suing dozens of developers big and smaller, but not Apple, Microsoft or Google. Apple seems determined to be involved in the defence however, saying it has better technical knowledge than any other company.

Samsung rides ahead

Still, Samsung riding high in the OEM charts at the moment; something that looks likely to continue if leaked reports about its future devices turn out to be true. Even its bada OS is doing okay; beating out Windows Phone shipments in Q2, apparently.

Let's hope Nokia will get itself in gear. Rumours have started about its launch line up of Windows phones, while it appears its one and only MeeGo phone, the N9, will only be sporadically available, at least not in the UK, US or Germany.

Once known for its desktop graphics cards, Nvidia's transformation, providing mobile chips in its Tegra family for many Android phones and tablets, seems to gathering pace. It helped the company post profits of $174 million in its second quarter.

Hey big spenders

The freemium games business is all about big numbers and indie developer Kathy Fung revealed some interesting ones about her game VegasTowers. It's had over 1 million downloads, has 50,000 active daily players, an IAP conversion rate of 3 percent, and an average IAP transaction of $40.

That's good even compared to current indie darling Tiny Tower. We're sure Glu CEO Niccolo De Masi would be pleased to have those sort of figures; he spoke to us this week about the company's plans now it has up to 20 development teams.

It's not all easy money though. Spacetime Studios had planned a shared wallet between its games; something that couldn't be deployed for various app store reasons. The resulting fan outcry resulted in it handing out $330,000 in virtual currency.

It's such issues that W3i plans to help developers overcome with its new Games Platform. Similarly, Future Games of London has launched its Future Games Network to enable indies to cross-promote both paid and freemium games.

Nintendo reticence

Yet for all the time and money being generated by the mobile games business, some companies still aren't convinced.

Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick has previously voiced his disinterest in the social and mobile space, mainly due to the low price of games. The company's poor financials might be forcing a rethink however.

It's much the same deal at Nintendo, which after many good years, is now hit by falling earnings and share price. Some shareholders are getting vocal, demanding Ninty seriously considers mobile games.

As if to underline the trend, Google launched games within its Google+ platform, potentially providing casual developers with a much needed Facebook competitor.

Quarter of fun

Numbers, more numbers.... This week has seen the laggards announcing their April-June financials, and there have been some big ones.

Japanese social mobile network GREE saw its full year FY11 sales up 82 percent to $794 million. It also signed a strategic business deal with Japanese developer Cave, investing $2.3 million in the process.

Korean publishers Gamevil and Com2uS both posted positive results. Gamevil saw sales up 46 percent to $9 million, including $3.5 million of net profit. It also hit a company lifetime accumulative total of 50 million mobile game downloads.

Q2 sales at rival Com2uS were up 17 percent to $8 million; again fuelled by global smartphone activity.

Chinese mobile companies are experiencing massive growth, with largest ISP Tencent announcing it will be investing significantly in mobile platforms. GREE and Tencent are integrating their respective platforms too.

OpenFeint highlighted its agreement with The9, which has seen over 60 Android games released in the Chinese market.

Baby love

Still, when it comes to large numbers, there's one company you can always rely on.

Angry Birds' developer Rovio has quickly become the 800lb gorilla of mobile gaming, although according to spokesman Peter Vesterbacka, it shouldn't be considered a games company any more. Instead, he argues it's building a 'next gen entertainment franchise'.

With that comes a different sort of business model and valuation, and so it is that rumours are spreading the company is about to sign a large investment deal that could value it as high as $1.2 billion.

And if it keeps signing deals such as its recent hook up with SwaddleDesigns to bring Angry Birds to babyware, maybe that's not so ridiculous.

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