The March 2009 issue of Your guide to... mobile games by Pocket Gamer
|Publisher||Steel Media Limited|
|Year founded||April 2005|
Pocket Gamer is a video game website that focuses on handheld video games. The site launched in 2005 and is published and owned by Steel Media Limited. The publication covers all major portable and mobile gaming formats, including iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone, PlayStation Vita and the various versions of the Nintendo DS, and was one of the first to cover the iPhone and iPod Touch gaming markets. As well as the website, the publication hands out awards for handheld games to recognize them in several categories. The British newspaper The Guardian periodically syndicates a list of recommended mobile video games from Pocket Gamer in their own newspaper, especially the list of recommended games for each month.
Launched in April 2005 with the sub-title 'play as you go', Pocket Gamer set out to provide professional editorial coverage of mobile and handheld gaming formats which they saw as the future of gaming. At launch the site focused on mobile phones (java and brew), the Nokia N-Gage, Nintendo's Game Boy series as well as the then newly launched Nintendo DS. They also mentioned PDAs and handheld console pretenders such as Gizmondo and the Tapwave Zodiac. The Sony PSP was added to the site soon after and as traffic grew Pocket Gamer became a barometer for the portable games industry, tracing the rise and fall of various platforms until the arrival of the iPhone in June 2007 which, thanks to the subsequent launches of the iPod Touch in September 2007 and the App Store in July 2008, grew to increasingly dominate the editorial agenda. More recently, the site has added Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation Vita, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone 7, MeeGo and Palm to the roster of covered formats.
In October 2007, Pocket Gamer launched the Pocket Gamer Guide to Mobile Games magazine, which was first featured by T-Mobile, where it is published bi-monthly in all of their stores in the United Kingdom. It was expected to have a circulation of 150,000 copies. A digital version of Pocket Gamer was also available on the websites of Vodafone and 3 UK. In May 2008, British company Steel Media (founders of the Pocket Gamer website http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk) announced that it partnered with O2 to produce the Pocket Gamer Guide to Mobile Games magazine, which had an initial print run of 500,000 copies and was made available in all O2 UK stores, making O2 the 4th UK mobile network to feature the Pocket Gamer magazine. In May 2008, the magazine's circulation reached 700,000 copies, with a total audience of 1.5 million when including web and WAP readership, and syndication reviews to Vodafone live! and the Samsung Fun Club. The website rumored in April 2009 that Sony would release the PlayStation Portable 2 later that year, although ultimately it was the PSPgo which was launched
In May 2008, Steel Media expanded the "Pocket Gamer" stable with the launch of a b2b-based sister site PocketGamer.Biz focuses on covering the business of mobile games and subsequently launched the PocketGamer.Biz Quality Index which tracks review scores of leading mobile games and publishers plus the PocketGamer.Biz annual industry reports.
In October 2008, "Pocket Gamer" launched its first foreign edition, PocketGamer.Fr, providing news and reviews on mobile and iPhone apps to a French language audience. The site grew steadily and launched its own iPhone app as well as providing syndicated content to several third party magazines. In August 2010 the site merged with number two in the market, JMobil and relaunched with a new design, new features and coverage of a wider number of platforms including Android.
In November 2008, "Pocket Gamer" launched their dedicated news and reviews iPhone app, joining with the previous wap versions of the site to provide portable gamers with tailored content on the go.
Past Guest Authors on Pocket Gamer
Since 2010, the Pocket Gamer Awards are handed out every year in March to video games for iPhone, mobile, and handheld devices in eleven categories each. The website also publishes regular features showcasing the 10 best games for each type of device, by genre.
For 2010, on the iPhone, Firemint won "Best Developer", Gameloft won "Best Publisher", and Flight Control won "Game of the Year". For other mobile devices, Digital Chocolate won "Best Developer", Electronic Arts won "Best Publisher", and Mystery Mania won "Game of the Year". Among handhelds, Rockstar Leeds won "Best Developer", Nintendo won "Best Publisher", and Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars won "Game of the Year". Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars also won the overall "Game of the Year" award.
Pocket Gamer launched the weekly Pocket Gamer iPhone and iPod Gaming Podcast on 1 December 2008, featuring a round-up of the largest news stories from the world of iOS gaming, plus information on the latest releases. Though initially a video podcast, the format changed to audio only on 18 May 2009. The show has seen multiple hosts and is currently helmed by James Gilmour, Peter Willington, and Harry Slater.
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