As well as being the first week back at work in 2015, for Steel Media-ers the past five days have been a frantic process of preparation for Pocket Gamer Connects London 2015, which kicks off on Tuesday 13 January.
You still have the opportunity to join over 800 top people from the mobile games industry - tickets are available.
- We ended 2014 with 10 games everyone in the industry should have played and we started 2015 with 10 mobile games you should be excited to play in 2015.
- We also launched our Soft Launch feature, which will be regularly rounding up the most interesting games being tested somewhere in the world.
- Hopefully some will break into the top grossing charts, although that won't be easy. 7 of 2014 top grossing apps were also there in 2013.
- Delving deeper into some of the games filling up our spare time, we considered the making of Candy Crush Soda Saga - sister game to Candy Crush Saga which was the most downloaded Android game of 2014 - and welcomed back the IAP Inspector who reported that Mind Candy's World of Warriors is a CCG that deals you a fair hand.
- Stateside columnist Carter Dotson started the year in optimistic mood: after a stagnant 2014, he's hoping for creativity to reign in 2015.
- UK veteran Jon Hare is more gloomy however. He reckons 2015 will see the death of many indie studios, while Jukka Laakso, the CEO of developer Rival Games, argued that Finnish investors prefer safe bets not innovation.
User acquisition, retention, and discovery
- Apple hit the ground running in 2015, announcing that the App Store had smashed revenue records in first week of 2015, although this news was tempted as the company said it would increase App Store prices in EU, Canada and Norway.
- More good news for Apple came from UK developer ustwo, which pointed out that only 5 percent Android users paid to download its $3.99 game Monument Valley.
- Things are also on the up for Microsoft, which announced that Windows Store downloads were up 110% during 2014, something you can hook into thanks to a generous developer offer from Marmalade and Microsoft.
- Flurry said that while time spent playing mobile games grew in 2014, the rate of growth declined by 50 percent.
- But the gaming demographic remains fluid: Adult women were confirmed as YouTube's fastest growing gaming audience
Tools & platforms
- With CES 2015 running in Sin City, much of the news concerned VR and wearables. Oculus' Jason Rubin argued that the early pioneers of VR have the best opportunity to win big, so we spoke to six launch developers for Gear VR.
- Hardware news included the announcement of Razer Forge TV and Nvidia Tegra X1's chipset, while Spanner Spencer rounded up the best gaming tech from CES 2015.
- Of course, the Apple Watch didn't make an appearance, but that didn't stop TapSense cheekily mocking up what adverts could look like on the device.
Funding, acquisitions, personnel and shuttering
- In China, there was plenty of activity at the start of 2015, with Perfect World following Shanda Games in considering a deal to take the NASDAQ-listed company private.
- NASDAQ-listed KongZhong seems happy on the exchange though. It spent $16 million on a 7% stake in China-floated publisher Forgame.
- Com2uS opened an office in Taiwan to better target Chinese-speaking countries.
- Finnish developer Seriously scaled up with new hires in Helsinki and Los Angeles.