It was a busy week for the mobile games industry: Apple released iOS 8 and updates to their App Store algorithm, Microsoft acquired Mojang, and the IAB released a report showing 52% of gamers are women. At NativeX, we launched a new product, Lightning Play™ Video, participated in GamesBeat in San Francisco, and released a new version of our SDK.
With so much going on in the mobile games industry, it’s often hard to stay on the pulse of things. To help you sift through the noise, I compiled a list of ten essential articles to read this weekend. The list was compiled based on popularity amongst the NativeX community of 32,000+ Twitter followers. Hopefully this is enough content to get you through your Saturday morning coffee. If not, check out the NativeX Twitter for more.
Top Mobile Gaming News (September 15-19):
VentureBeat – While last year’s iOS update splashed a fresh coat of paint on Apple’s mobile operating system, this year’s revision is a massive interior renovation. You’d be hard-pressed to see a big difference between iOS 7 and iOS 8, which was released September 17th, at first glance. (If you’re not a fan of the new iOS candy-coated aesthetic, tough cookies.) But dig a bit deeper and the changes become obvious. Eventually, you’ll find many of the upgrades indispensable.
Inside Mobile Apps – NativeX, an advertising technology company specializing in mobile games, has announced the launch of Lightning Play Video, its new video ad format that combines modern video ad technology with the company’s existing selection of native advertising formats, which includes discovery walls, interstitials and other “rich media” formats. Using Lightning Play Video, developers can integrate video ads into their applications seamlessly, without additional development work or interrupting the end user experience. As “native” ads, they’re designed to look and feel like they belong within the application they’re serving.
Pocket Gamer – Apple is starting to clamp down on app re-skinners by making changes to the App Store’s search ranking algorithms. That’s according to research conducted by ad network Tapdaq, which found certain apps and developers have seen a significant drop in daily app sessions. After collecting app session data from five developers of differing size and influence, Tapdaq found that developers with more apps have seen a notable decrease in app sessions.
The Guardian – A study published on Wednesday by the Internet Advertising Bureau reveals that 52% of the gaming audience is made up of women. That’s right – the majority of people playing games are women. Does this surprise you? It shouldn’t. Three years ago that figure was 49%, which is hardly a trifling minority. Women have always played games, and in recent years the growth of the mobile games industry in particular has been driven by a female consumer base.
Gamasutra – Ian Bowden is one of the most experienced artists in video game development, and his work is among the most influential. Bowden is formerly of Grand Theft Auto developer Rockstar Games, where he was art director for almost 10 years, based out of Rockstar Leeds. Recently, he left that position — considered a dream job by many — to head to Gameduell, a mobile and social game company based in Berlin, Germany known for games such as Little Diggers and Maya Pyramid.
NativeX Blog – Mike Shields from the Wall Street Journal recently published an article claiming, mobile games are the next great ad medium. Notice he specifies mobile games, NOT mobile. It’s a profound argument based on the premise that “Americans are spending inordinate amounts of time flinging angry birds and crushing candy.” This claim came just a few weeks before the 2014 GamesBeat conference, where the theme this year was about games contending to become the world’s most dominant medium of entertainment.
VentureBeat – Getting Apple to feature your mobile game can make all the difference on whether it’s a hit or a bust on the iTunes App Store. So pitching it in a way that gets the company’s attention is crucial for game developers. Michael Ehrenberg, a former Apple App Store marketing manager and current consultant, shared his advice about how to do that the right way at GamesBeat University, a track on tips and tricks for game makers at our GamesBeat 2014 conference today.
The Guardian – The average Android gamer spends 37 minutes a day playing on their smartphone or tablet, according to a mobile analytics firm. Based on data from 60,000 Android devices, the report claims that Android gamers in the US are the keenest in the world, averaging 51.8 minutes of daily gameplay. Germany (47.1 minutes) Russia (40.8) and Italy (38.5) all over-index in the company’s rankings, although British Android gamers average 32.4 minutes.
NativeX Blog – The theme of this year’s GamesBeat was “Total World Domination,” focusing on gaming’s journey to becoming the dominant medium of entertainment. As part of the discussion, NativeX Co-Founder, Rob Weber shared the stage with Kixeye CEO, Will Harbin. Together, they talked about data science and its role in mobile app monetization from the perspectives of an ad network and a F2P gaming studio.
New York Times – Parents like Minecraft because it can be a creative outlet for their children. Teachers like the game because it can bring lessons to life. And Microsoft likes the game so much that the tech giant wants to buy Minecraft’s parent company for more than $2 billion. It is not flashy graphics or an intricate story line luring these groups to the game, however. Minecraft has become a global phenomenon by breaking with those usual conventions.