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Mobile Monday: Top 50 Developers & Relaxing Paywall Restrictions

Posted Oct 2, 2017

In this edition of Mobile Monday, we’re examining what shifts in PocketGamer’s top 50 mobile developer lists says about the industry as well as what the end of FCF means for content publishers.

PocketGamer Honors Top Developers
Once again, PocketGamer has released its list of top 50 mobile game developers. While many of the honorees are familiar faces who have been on the list before, there were 16 new names this year. Thus, while the market may have matured a bit, mobile game developers all around the world still have the potential to break into the ever-expanding industry and make a meaningful splash.

Regionally, APAC hd a strong showing, with 20 of the 50 honorees hailing from Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and China. This is a 25% increase in APAC’s representation on the list from last year, when only 16 had made the cut.

Indeed, there are now more top mobile developers coming from APAC than there are from Europe, a region which contributed 15 developers to the list. Looking at the top 10, APAC’s growth is even more prominent, with 50% of the top slots going to developers in Japan, South Korea, and China.

  1. GugHo Online Entertainment — Japan
  2. Mixi — Japan
  3. EA Mobile — United States
  4. King Digital Entertainment — UK
  5. Netmarble — South Korea
  6. Machine Zone — United States
  7. NetEase — China
  8. Tencent — China
  9. Niantic — United States
  10. Supercell — Finland

Relaxing Paywall Restrictions
Historically, publishers who want their content to appear in search results have had to abide by Google’s first-click-free (FCF) policy, allowing non-paying consumers to access at least some of their otherwise premium content. For instance, news sites that rely on subscriptions to monetize their articles had to provide free access to select articles in order for those articles to be found via Google News.

At long last, this monetization chokehold is being released, as Google is doing away with FCF in favor of a series of unenforced recommended guidelines. No longer will publishers be required to let non-paying users read up to 3 premium articles for free per day. This, of course, opens up far opportunities for publishers to drive subscriptions, a prospect that Thuy Ong of The Verge says has publishers “cautiously optimistic“.

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