Every so often, I'm reminded of the advice my college fencing coach gave us at the beginning of one semester.
"You don't need to be flashy to win, hell - you don't even need to change what you're doing. If something works, and it scores a point, keeping doing it until it doesn't work. Then change what you're doing."
That's paraphrased somewhat, and you can picture him barking out a la Vince Lombardi or Tom Landry if you'd like, but the advice seems rather timely given the revolutionary nature of Real Racing 3's in-app purchase code giveaway.
Discovery on the App Store is a tricky business, as most of us know, and what worked to get a game discovered twelve months ago almost certainly won't hold up in 2014's marketplace. That's why it might be time for us to change what we’re doing - assuming, of course, that Apple gives all of us the tools to do so.
But let's not let that distract us from why we're here. We're not looking ahead in this column, we're looking back at the past seven days to give you a rundown of the stories you might have missed in the PocketGamer.biz Week that Was.
E3 & PG Connects
- E3 is only weeks away! If you'll be in town, be sure to sign up for our Big Indie Pitch on 10 June and stop by our party on Wednesday 11 June.
- And PG Connects is coming to Helsinki on June 16. We already have Lima Sky, Ubisoft, King, Nordeus, Rovio, and Wargaming (among many, many others) signed up to speak. Looking to attend? book your spot!
- Speaking of PGC, we shed some light on a few of our speakers - namely Bushi-go's Kimberly Unger, Shark Punch's Jiri Kupiainen, Art of Click's Wandrille Pruvot, Chorus's Shintaro Kanaoya, and Remedy's Matias Myllyrinne.
- If you're an indie planning to be in Helsinki, sign up for our Very Big Indie Pitch on Monday 16 June.
Tools and Platforms
- The big news on the App Store came from Real Racing 3, when it launched the first-ever IAP promo code giveaway.
- While our Weekly UK App Store charts show that Blek is still holding strong against a surge from Toilet Time.
- Appy Pie, meanwhile, unveiled a three-step, cloud-based mobile game builder that lets anyone create their own Flappy Bird game in a matter of minutes.
- And after weeks of wrangling, ZeniMax has officially filed suit against VR firm Oculus for misappropriating trade secrets.
- Also, Microsoft aimed for the ultraportables market with its Surface Pro 3, a high-end tablet that might render your (Windows) laptop obsolete.
- Our IAP Inspector fixed its gaze on Bandai Namco's SoulCalibur: Unbreakable Soul to see what, exactly, players are paying for.
- And reports surfaced that indie devs were being pressured to implement pay-to-win tactics by publishers.
- Meanwhile, our new Monetizer Mavens hashed out whether the proliferation of in-game currencies is confusing players or not.
- While our Chart of the Week examined why file size is so critical for success in China.
- And our Charticle examined whether FarmVille 2: Country Escape is on track for a bountiful harvest.
- Thomas Was Alone creator Mike Bithell told indies that they should stop worrying about being perfect and embrace their flaws.
- Editor Keith Andrew also gave indies some advice, laying out why it's important for them to step away from their computers and attend conferences every now and again.
- Kirk Mckeand gave us a look at the making of Angry Birds Go, from kart to finish.
- And speaking of Finnish, our Finnsider gave a look at why the Finns aren't sweating the F2P furore.
- Also on the Finland front, Massive Entertainment’s MD noted that the Nordic success comes down to a strong tradition of storytelling.
- Heading towards one billion downloads, Storm8 CEO Perry Tam explained why it's important for publishers to be different.
- And FunPlus CEO Andy Zhong discussed how he's managed to build global success from Beijing.
- While Perfect World's GM Fabien-Pierre Nicolas, gave tips on successfully simplifying Chinese games for western audiences.
- Finally, our Mobile Gaming Mavens ponder whether the Tomodachi Life gay gaffe damaged Nintendo's reputation or whether its apology was enough to save face.
User acquisition, retention, and discovery
- Editor-at-large Jon Jordan shared his thoughts on how Apple's IAP giveaway codes will completely reboot the app discovery system.
Funding, acquisitions, personnel, and shutterings
- Video advertising firm Vungle looks to triple its staff in 2014, as it appointed Ex-Rovio man Ville Heijari to head its European operations.
- While Kabam and Korean gaming titan CJ E&M Netmarble partnered up to release an undisclosed mobile game.