This week marked two big occasions for PocketGamer.biz.
The first is the Game Developers Conference in sunny San Francisco, where our news editor Alysia Judge has been busying herself talking to developers and reporting the latest from various talks and panels.
The second was the reveal of the much-laboured over 2015 outing for our Top 50 Developer series, which is now a yearly tradition for the site.
Taking into account both financial heft and design smarts, the list covers the biggest, best, and brightest of the industry right now.
- We rolled out our Top 50 Developer 2015 list, a format which is currently in its sixth year. This year's list reflects the truly global nature of the industry right now, and has an increased focus on quality of games.
- The Pocket Gamer Awards 2015 were announced, with Stoic, ustwo, Nitrome, and Nintendo winning big.
- Glitche.rs wins tour Big Indie Pitch at GDC 2015 thanks to its addictive juggling gem Kano.
- Mobile games had a large presence at the recent IGF Awards, with 80 Days, Metamorphabet, and more proving successful at the ceremony.
- Tom Blind of Backflip Studios told the audience at GDC his 6 essential prototyping tips for mobile games.
- We caught up with GREE's Andrew Sheppard at GDC, where he told us that developers should use their talents to ensure that gameplay and innovation remain the focus.
- Talking on a panel at GDC, Digi-Capital MD Tim Merel warned that mid-tier companies need to shrink to indie.
- Chris Pruett, head of dev relations at Oculus, called upon his own experience to give a GDC audience some tips on converting from tablet to mobile VR.
- Innospark's CEO told us why the firm's debut game Hero Sky is a mobile descendent of PC classic Warcraft III.
- The latest in our series of guest columns from Nordic Game Bits took a look at life after Subway Surfers for Denmark's SYBO and Kiloo
- We spoke to Mag Interactive CEO Daniel Hasselberg, who attributed Ruzzle's success to targeting the less fickle 'non-gamer' market.
- Rovio's Peter Vesterbacka told us that the firm's focus is on fans, not users or customers.
- We ran a guest article about how adding chat to your iOS games can help to solve developers' engagement gap.
- Industry veteran Jeferson Valadares spoke to us about his current role building Namco Bandai Games America's mobile business.
Discovery, user acquisition, retention, and monetisation
- Our Stateside columnist Carter Dotson pondered whether Apple's promotion of paid games will be powerful enough to stem the tide of F2P.
- We had a chat with Warner Bros' Greg Ballard at GDC, who told us - in light of his firm's slate of upcoming mobile games - that brands are key to cost-effective UA.
- We covered the news that market research firm The NPD Group is now tracking mobile game sales and in-app purchases.
- A report from Geenapp showed that the highest CPI costs are for the Japanese market.
- Paris Hilton will be following in the footsteps of Kim Kardashian and Katy Perry, with Animoca Brands signing her up for a new mobile game.
- Storm8 announced that its portfolio of more than 45 games has collectively garnered over 1 billion downloads.
- Unity's Jussi Laakkonen revealed at GDC that Crossy Road has now generated $3 million with Unity Ads.
- The Charticle took a look at Monument Valley's appearance in House of Cards, and the paid charts boost in which it resulted.
Tools & platforms
- Tapjoy launched its new monetisation and marketing platform, designed to predict players' behaviour.
- Unity 5 was launched in two editions - a free Personal Edition for hobbyists and start-ups and a $75-per-month Professional Edition for commercial devs.
- Unreal Engine 4 went "upfront free", backed by a 5 percent royalty fee, after the first $3,000 per product, per quarter.
- InMobi announced Appographic Targeting, its new service whose analytics intend to take into account the entire spectrum of an individual's gaming interests.
- We spoke to Nettention's CEO Hyunjik Bae about the ProudNet networking engine coming to mobile.
Funding, deals, acquisitions and personnel
- Virtual Piggy, the developer of a payment platform for under-21 consumers called Oink, partnered with Playerize.
- DeNA partnered with Fyber, making the firm its exclusive ad monetisation partner in the US.