As anyone who's been working in gaming for longer than a week knows all too well, our industry can't go more than seven days without cooking up another controversy.
This week it was developer ustwo, and its beautiful Escher-inspired puzzler Monument Valley, at the eye of the storm.
After the studio chose to charge for an update (or DLC depending on your point of view) containing eight new levels, a small band of consumers made it their mission to bring down the game's App Store review score. That move sparked a debate as to whether or not ustwo had done the right thing.
In a bid to get to the heart of the problem, we asked our group of mobile mavens - which includes ustwo's Dan Gray - whether it was okay for ustwo to charge for Monument Valley: Forgotten Shores?
Moving away from the doom and gloom, we spoke to New York studio Dots to find out how it learned to thrive on mobile, while we also handed out prizes to Critical Force and Fluff Stuff Studios: the winners of our Big Indie Pitches at Slush and Apps World 2014.
As always, there's more where that came from, so hold on to your hats because its time for another Week That Was.
- Finnish shooter specialist Critical Force was the winner of our Slush 2014 Big Indie Pitch.
- Having paid out $2 million in 2014, Skillz explained that its mobile eSporters aren't just kids.
- Next Games played its ace by announcing its four game Compass Point series.
- Fluff Stuff Studios' Polyganic triumped at our Apps World Europe 2014 Big Indie Pitch.
- Make the best possible game you can. Everything else will follow, said Gamevil's Europe GM.
- We found out how New York studio Dots learned to thrive on mobile.
- Mediatonic's Paul Croft explained that self-publishing indies need to focus on niche markets.
- We asked, our Mavens answered: Was it okay for ustwo to charge for Monument Valley: Forgotten Shores?
- Carter Dotson posed the interesting statement: Learning from Taylor Swift: Your game is worthless but you can give it value.
User acquisition, retention, and discovery
- Monument Valley was on the rise in our most recent exclusive look at the UK App Store charts.
- Following on from its deals with Cut the Rope and Pou, 3d character app store Toyze added Talking Tom to its portfolio.
- Our Korean expert Curtis File invesigated How Korean indies like Owlogue and Wispsoft are finding success with local crowdfunders.
Tools & Platforms
- Apple waved goodbye to 'free' gaming by rewording its download buttons.
- Google made changes to allow Chinese developers to sell their games in over 130 countries.
- Jolla's crowdfunded Android compatible tablet raised over $500,000 in hours.
- Apple released WatchKit as part of its iOS 8.2 beta SDK.
- Microsoft announced that the Opera Mobile Store will replace Nokia Store - once known as Ovi - in its Nokia feature.
- Nokia made waves of its own by lifting the lid on a new Android tablet called the N1.
- Following 300% Asia growth in Q3, Adjust opened offices in China and Japan.
- US outfit Robotoki revealed it will pull the free-to-play element from its forthcoming debut release Human Element, cancelling its publishing agreement with Nexon as a result.
- We looked at how Angry Birds Go! performed, especially in terms of traffic sources, compared to Rovio's other F2P Angry Birds games.
Funding, acquisitions, personnel and shuttering
- Rumours in the Korean mobile games market suggested that newly minted Chinese outfit Alibaba is about to make a big investment into Com2uS.
- Berlin-headquartered performance marketing outfit Crobo established a new office in China, with the firm opening a support branch in Guangzhou.
- Ukie recruited 18 UK games businesses, including Pocket Gamer owner Steel Media, for a trade mission to G-Star in South Korea.
- US studio Disruptor Beam announced a $3.2 million Series A investment round.
- French publisher Gameloft announced the opening of a new US studio based in Seattle.
- Korean game publishing outfit Gamevil partnered with developer XL Games to release a mobile version of the successful MMORPG, ArcheAge.
- Gunjin Games gained investment from Ian Hetherington and Games Investor.