Week that was

Alibaba's rumoured Com2uS move, Monument Valley IAP dissected and the end of free App Store games

Last week's top 5 stories

Alibaba's rumoured Com2uS move, Monument Valley IAP dissected and the end of free App Store games

Welcome to PocketGamer.biz's weekly rundown of the stories clocking up the hits, picking up the click-throughs and generally keeping the advertisers happy by serving up page views.

Or, if you'd prefer, the top five stories currently dominating our readers' attention.

Each week, we'll be counting down the biggest news from the previous seven days, giving just a glimpse of the industry's big issues, from five to one.

Handy for you, each headline in the list also allows you to click through to the article in full, so you can make sure you've not missed out on any of last week's big stories.


Click here to view the list »
  • 5 Apple waves goodbye to 'free' gaming by rewording download buttons

    Apple waves goodbye to 'free' gaming by rewording download buttons logo

    Last week Apple ended the era of formal 'free' gaming by updating its Mac and iTunes App Stores to change the wording of download buttons for free apps from 'Free' to 'Get'.

    The firm's sudden and unannounced change of heart is likely the result of the European Commission's recent attempts to clamp down on free-to-play gaming.

    Indeed, the EU commissioner for consumer policy, Neven Mimica, had previously explained that by ridding app stores of the word 'free', consumers, and particularly children, would be better protected.

    "This is significant for consumers. In particular, children must be better protected when playing online," said Mimica.


  • 4 Devs need to move beyond what's currently top grossing to new worlds, says Spymaster creator

    Devs need to move beyond what's currently top grossing to new worlds, says Spymaster creator logo

    Mobile developers must have the courage to look beyond the top grossing horizon and explore new worlds. At least, that's what PlayRaven’s CEO Lasse Seppänen believes.

    Speaking on the gaming stage at the Slush 2014 conference in Helsinki, Seppänen called for developers to embrace the spirit of Christopher Columbus and explore the new gaming world rather than send their time fixating on the top grossing charts.

    “There is no way Christopher Columbus could have mapped the new world without going there” he said," explained Sappänen.

    “We need to launch portfolios of new titles that are new and unique and I believe the success for us is to build new styles of games with new mechanics to reach new audiences.”


  • 3 Was it okay for ustwo to charge for Monument Valley: Forgotten Shores?

    Was it okay for ustwo to charge for Monument Valley: Forgotten Shores? logo

    Recently, UK developer ustwo become the game industry's flavour of the month when the studio released eight extra Monument Valley levels for £1.49/$1.99.

    In the hours that followed the developer was bombarded with complaints, and the game itself was hit with a flood of 1-star user reviews on the App Store.

    So what exactly did the studio do wrong? Were the ustwo team naive to think that they could charge mobile consumers for what some saw as an update, or were they right to stick to their guns in the face of an extremely vocal, and decidedly angry, minority?

    Our Mavens offered their thoughts. 


  • 2 Reaction to Monument Valley's Forgotten Shores IAP shows mobile gaming at its worst

    Reaction to Monument Valley's Forgotten Shores IAP shows mobile gaming at its worst logo

    While the whirlwind surrounding developer ustwo's decision to release eight additional levels for its award-winning puzzler Monument Valley may have died down, it's still important to assess what caused consumers to react in such an extreme way.

    That's what our contributing editor, Keith Andrew, did when he branded the reaction to the Forgotten Shores IAP an example of "mobile gaming at its worst".

    "The furore around developer ustwo charging £1.49/$1.99 for eight new levels – the Forgotten Shores in-app purchase – in Monument Valley makes absolutely no sense to me," said Andrew.

    "I understand – or, at least, 'grasp' – the bones of their argument: at a base level, they've previously paid for the game and, rightly or wrongly, there's a belief that paid games shouldn't have in-app purchases, that everything beyond that opening pay wall should be free.

    "But, while there's a legitimate argument to say that it's unfair (or, at least, a bit cheeky) for paid games to make money out of consumables, being put out because a developer dares to charge for fresh playable content is beyond me."


  • 1 Rumour: Alibaba to invest big in Com2uS

    Rumour: Alibaba to invest big in Com2uS logo

    If the rumours coming out of the Korean mobile games market are to be believed, then newly minted Chinese outfit Alibaba is preparing to invest a huge slice of cash into Com2uS.

    Indeed, even though the rumours are, right now, just that, PocketGamer.biz's Jon Jordan wouldn't be surprised if a deal did materialise.

    "In many respects, such a deal wouldn't be a great surprise as even before its US IPO, Alibaba has been investing heavily in technology, including games," said Jordan.

    "For example, it dropped $120 million to get into US/Chinese F2P publisher Kabam in an aggressive move to gain traction with the fast-growing company that has strong presence in the west and which together with Alibaba is now looking to crack the Chinese market."


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What do you call someone who has an unhealthy obsession with video games and Sean Bean? That'd be a 'Chris Kerr'. Chris is one of those deluded souls who actually believes that one day Sean Bean will survive a movie. Poor guy.

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