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Week in Views – | Pocket Gamer.biz

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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.

Daniel Griffiths
Editor – PocketGamer.biz
Daniel Griffiths is a veteran journalist who has worked on some of the biggest entertainment media brands in the world. He’s interviewed countless big names, and covered countless new releases in the fields of videogames, music, movies, tech, gadgets, home improvement, self build, interiors and garden design. Yup, he said garden design… He’s the ex-Editor of PSM2, PSM3, GamesMaster and Future Music, ex-Deputy Editor of The Official PlayStation Magazine and ex-Group Editor-in-Chief of Electronic Musician, Guitarist, Guitar World, Rhythm, Computer Music and more. He hates talking about himself.

GDC’s State of the Industry report reveals AI concerns, redundancies worries and a drive to unionization

Putting developers in the limelight doesn’t happen enough and GDCC/Game Developer’s annual State of the Game Industry surveys are fun excursions behind the Oz curtain, into the minds of the people that really matter – the genius brains that make pixels and audio come to life in ways that brains like.

While marketing nether-speak is unavoidable and tech jargon for jargon’s sake is daily table stakes, hearing talented devs, artists, and writers open up is always worth a read.The sad thing is that this year’s report does a great job of highlighting the problems that 2023 has brought with it and the worries that these most brilliant of minds have upon them heading into 2024.

Job losses abound throughout the industry, the perceived need to unionize and take a stand grows stronger and AI is looming out of the shadows offering a friendly handshake with one hand while holding something sharp behind its back in the other.

For me, the best, and most optimistic and right-thinking part of the survey, is in the comments section where these talented teams tell it like it is. It’s clear that they believe that the magic can still happen and that they know that they’re working in the greatest industry in the world. I, like them, remain always optimistic and I wish them – and everyone who makes games great – the best of luck for the year ahead.

Week in Views - | Pocket Gamer.biz

Craig Chapple
Head of Content
Craig Chapple is a freelance analyst, consultant and writer with specialist knowledge of the games industry. He has previously served as Senior Editor at PocketGamer.biz, as well as holding roles at Sensor Tower, Nintendo and Develop.

Despite new regulations Apple will still be able to charge 27% on external platform payments

Just as some publishers and payments companies popped the champagne following Epic’s victory in its long-running court case against Apple (and by victory I mean losing almost its entire case except for achieving a ‘win’ for web store links), Apple pulled its best trick yet. Sure, have your silly web links, but you need to pay us 27% for off-store(!!) transactions, and we’ll stick a big warning suggesting nowhere is safe outside of Apple’s warm embrace.

We’ll see how the courts find Apple’s interpretation of the ruling, but it’s a stark reminder that Epic’s fight was never going to be an easy one. Despite all the global pressure, Apple and Google have fiercely stood their ground on a 30% cut, and their miniscule concessions ensure alternative payment methods through their stores are more expensive and entirely unviable.

Don’t like it? They really don’t care. Unless you’re non-gaming – sorry, reader apps, dating apps, etc – then maybe they care a little bit.

Week in Views - | Pocket Gamer.biz

Paige Cook
Deputy Editor
Paige is the Deputy Editor on PG.biz who, in the past, has worked in games journalism covering new releases, reviews and news. Coming from a multimedia background, she has dabbled in video editing, photography, graphic and web design! If she’s not writing about the games industry, she can probably be found working through her ever-growing game backlog or buried in a good book.

Netflix’s Grand Theft Auto re-releases dominate December’s mobile app rankings

Grand Theft Auto is easily one of the most well-known gaming franchises ever. Even most non-gamers know of GTA, perhaps not always for the right reasons, but for Netflix, I imagine it was an absolute no-brainer to include some of the classic titles on its streaming service.

Despite Netflix having a pretty impressive gaming offering now, getting subscribers to use the service for games has always been the issue. So, if one franchise could change that, it makes sense that it was GTA. All three titles from the trilogy made it into the top 10 charts in December, with San Andreas sitting in the number two spot in global downloads.

It’s clear that the inclusion of GTA on Netflix has benefitted the trilogy itself and, of course, massively benefited Netflix in getting people to use the service for its gaming offering. Now that people have seen how well it works, maybe they’ll stick around and play some other titles on offer. I expect that now Netflix has witnessed the magic of a big classic franchise on its service, it’ll be looking for additional lucrative IPs to host in 2024.

Week in Views - | Pocket Gamer.biz

Aaron Astle
News Editor
Aaron is the News Editor at PG.biz and has an honours degree in Creative Writing.
Having spent far too many hours playing Pokémon, he’s now on a quest to be the very best like no one ever was…at putting words in the right order.

Pokémon Masters surpasses $300 million in lifetime player spending

Pokémon Masters surpassing $300 million in revenue is quite the milestone, and though far lower than Pokémon Go’s earnings, this still lands the game as The Pokémon Company’s second-biggest on mobile. It’s also my most-played.

With everyone from Ash Ketchum to Red to Irida making their way into this gacha title, it has something for everyone, be they veteran or newcomer to the series. That’s probably why it’s made $300 million: each new addition to the gacha has to be someone’s favourite.

It’s unsurprising, but still impressive, that Japanese players have accounted for more than half of Masters’ revenue, and it also explains why certain characters get more in-game furore when introduced than others: Ingo and Emmet are popular in Japan but not so well-known in the West, yet they released as limited-time Poké Fairs in the same way as the world-renowned Champion Cynthia. It shows that The Pokémon Company and developer DeNA know who their biggest audience is…

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