The games industry moves quickly and while stories may come and go there are some that we just can't let go of…
So, to give those particularly thorny topics a further going over we've created a weekly digest where the members of the PocketGamer.biz team share their thoughts and go that little bit deeper on some of the more interesting things that have happened in mobile gaming in the past week.
Dear John... AppLovin CEO Adam Foroughi wades into the Unity Runtime fee debate with letter to Riccitiello
It's fairly common knowledge that AppLovin doesn't have much love for Unity… Their planned purchase of everyone's former favourite development platform would have been a major payday for all concerned, so when Unity went behind the bike shed with ironSource it's AppLovin were left crying into their crisps.
What's less understandable - and actually hilarious - is how willing AppLovin are to show how much a company with Lovin in their name hates their former buddies. So much so that a) Their boss writes a letter to Unity's boss to essentially tell him what a jerk he is - in front of the WHOLE CLASS and b) He get's his mate to knock up a tool that makes it easier to move games off the platform - just for kicks.
Top tip. Never go behind AppLovin's back. They'll get you after school…
Pokémon is one of the world’s biggest gaming franchises, with Pokémon GO as one of mobile’s most successful games, effectively giving players worldwide the chance to become real-life Pokémon Masters.
Despite its success, Niantic is still aiming to take the game to the next level with an aggressive expansion campaign in India. With the game unavailable in China, India’s status as one of the world’s biggest mobile gaming markets makes it an attractive prospect, and the plans to bring in new languages and four million new pokéstops over the next twelve months could help take the game to the next level. After all, India is among the most lucrative mobile markets where the game is available but isn’t currently one of Pokémon GO’s top ten markets.
A tenfold increase could see India rise in the ranks - and certainly has the potential to be a lucrative move for Niantic.
I wouldn’t deny anyone who claimed that it’s quite a shame that Supercell has killed so many promising titles over the years. But at the same time, I think it represents both good business sense and strategy. The company clearly understands that with a relatively limited team, you can’t keep your eye on every project, and with the way Supercell’s “cells” work, having new projects to explore on a constant basis is clearly important.
I think Brawl Stars passing $2bn is a clear indicator that this strategy works long-term, as Brawl Stars only released in 2018 and has already made a huge profit for them. I am wondering though, in the time that we’ve seen so many games like Everdale and Flood Rush get the axe, are Supercell risking throwing out potential winners if games like Clash of Clans and Brawl Stars start to lose their lustre?
Microsoft just can’t stay out of the headlines if it isn’t about their acquisition of Activision Blizzard, then its major leaks of internal documents that show they have a packed schedule of new hardware on the horizon.
Xbox is looking at a ‘refresh’ for its mainline consoles and controllers all aimed at a 2024 release window. However, the refresh isn’t all the leaks covered. Images show an entire list of hardware on the 'Xbox Gaming Beyond’ slide. This features a one-handed control and a mobile controller that clips onto the side of phones. These documents are somewhat outdated, and plans always change, so some of these things may not come to fruition or they will be modified versions of the mock-ups we have seen; I'm holding out hope for a better Brooklin design.
While much of the leaked ‘refresh’ content seems predictable it does emphasise that Xbox is very serious about expanding not just its console offering but making gaming more accessible no matter where you are or what device you’re playing from.