Everybody loves a good comeback story.
Theres something about cheering for a down-and-out sports figure, celebrity, or developer whos quest for redemption brings them instant vindication and validation.
...or $19 billion dollars, as was the case for WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton who was passed over by both Twitter and Facebook in 2009. Rather than turn despondent, Acton kept "looking forward to life's next adventure" which turned out to be a business venture with fellow co-founder Jan Koum.
It's hard to say how much money or industry influence Acton would have had if Facebook hired him four years ago, but it's a safe bet to say that he's come out well ahead after two disappointments.
The same will hopefully be said for all of us as we face hardships and disappointments in the coming year. But until those hardships come, let's look back at the Pocket Gamer Biz week that was.
Tools and platforms
- GDC's a few weeks away, and a survey of attending developers found that a full 51 percent are looking to release their next game on smartphones or tablets.
- App Annie and IHS discovered that spending on game apps jumped 3x from 2012 - 2013 while non-app digital game sales remained at a relatively flat 1.0x.
- Following on the heels of GungHo's Puzzle & Dragons, King's Candy Crush Saga became the second mobile game to earn over $1 billion.
- But our first Charticle of the week wonders if Candy Crush is King's only horse in the race.
- And our second examines the breakout success of Threes which became a top 100 grossing game in 62 countries - all without in-app purchases.
- Meanwhile, Tenshi Ventures noted that the F2P value chain is ripe for fragmentation and the emergence of specialist funding.
- Peter Molyneux talked free-to-play farces in an interview with us, and remarked that the days of whale-hunting are over.
- Paul Gardner, of Osborne Clarke - one of Europe's leading interactive entertainment law firms - noted that King's legal action against CandySwipe Dev Runsome was 'inevitable'.
- Pocket Gamer Biz's own Chris Kerr took a step back from the sexism controversy surrounding Capcom's Deep Down and urged the press to stop jumping to conclusions.
- PocketGamer.Biz editor Keith Andrew shared five things we learned from Casual Connect.
- While US correspondent Matt Diener looked at the narrow success of Unsung Story's Kickstarter and cautioned that you should never launch without a proof of concept.
- Carter Dotson from 148Apps argued that it's time for devs to look beyond the 'holy trinity' of Apple, Google, and Amazon.
- And Kirk Mckeand gave us a look at the making of Ruzzle, looking at how it succeeded with 'zero' marketing.
Funding, acquisitions, and start-ups
- Spending effectively $48 per user, Facebook purchased WhatsApp for $19 billion.
- A move which many analysts feel was made to address the 'missing link' in its business.
- Making months of rumours manifest, Candy Crush dev King finally filed for a $500 million IPO on the New York Stock Exchange.
- And Kabam might follow suit, as its co-founder and CEO said it's 'actively considering' an IPO of its own.
- Korean online and mobile publisher WeMade saw its FY13 mobile revenue jump 1037 percent to $132 million.
- And while GREE's Q2 FY14 sales dipped 7 percent, its international sales rose to $72 million.