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Reinout is a marketing, strategy and business consultant in the gaming industry. He works also as a corporate strategist for several gaming studio’s. He is known for his 20+ years track-record with outstanding business and financial results in the global games space.

Game News for Gamers to read, for gaming people in the games industry and marketing and consultants!

Game studio coalition Stillfront Group has acquired of mobile game maker Storm8 for up to $400 million.

Stillfront will acquire 100% of the California developer’s shares for $300 million upfront and an earn-out consideration of up to $100 million based on financial milestones throughout 2020 and 2021. The transaction is expected to close on February 28, 2020.

Storm8 has been relatively quiet in recent years. Though it saw success in its early days that grew through a partnership with Hasbro for titles based on games like Monopoly, Bingo, and Clue, the studio laid off 130 back in 2017 from a team that then-totaled 240 employees.

This is the latest in a steady series of acquisitions made by Stillfront Group over the last several years, including the acquisition of Kixeye last summer, Imperia Online in 2018, and both Erepublik Labs and Goodgame in 2017.

Additionally, Stillfront has announced it has secured a total of $220 million in financing split across two loans from Nordea Bank Abp, Filial i Sverige and Swedbank AB offering credit of up to 1.6 billion SEK ($168 million) and 500 million SEK ($52 million) respectively.

Today, The Walt Disney Company has confirmed it will sell studios FoxNext Games and Cold Iron Studios to Scopely, following September reports of the acquisition.

The terms of the sale were not disclosed, though Scopely will not be acquiring the IP portfolio of licensed games, which will remain with Disney’s publishing business.

Both Los Angeles-based FoxNext and San Jose-based Cold Iron have bounced between several parent companies in recent years. Cold Iron was founded in 2015 by Cryptic Studios veterans, while FoxNext was created as a game development arm for 21st Century Fox in 2017. In 2018, Fox purchased Cold Iron. Then, both studios went to Disney when Disney bought 21st Century Fox, though Disney’s ongoing attitude toward games business meant that it was unlikely to keep development studios around long.

Scopely, meanwhile, has had a busy year of expansion between growing its international presence in Dublin, Barcelona, and Japanraising $200 million in Series D funding, and acquiring MMO maker Digit Game Studios back in May.

Digital Bros. will raise its stake in Starbreeze to more than 30%, through the acquisition of all assets held by Crossfire developer Smilegate.

The total price of the deal will be €19.2 million, for assets with a nominal value of €36 million.

Smilegate’s holdings include: a convertible bond worth SEK 215 million (€20.4 million); €13.8 million in credit as part of the Stockholm District Court’s reconstruction plan; and type A and B shares in Starbreeze for a price of €1.8 million.

AppsFlyer has raised $210 million in funding to accurately measure mobile ad spending and become a “democratizer” of mobile marketing.

Mobile ad spending was expected to hit $165 billion in 2019, according to Warc Data. Mobile attribution companies like AppsFlyer are important because they can figure out whether that spending was effective or not.

 

The Question; What is a Game Consultant

Gaming Advisors is a new site for the gaming industry. You can read more on Gaming Advisors.

I am a games consultant. Therefore I consult games studios, gaming hardware platforms, and online services for a several game studios.

The Nintendo Switch Lite has crossed one million lifetime sales in Japan.

As disclosed by Famitsu’s sales report for 2019 (via MCV), the handheld only version of the device has seen huge success in its home country, selling approximately 1.05 million units since launching in September 2019.

The Nintendo Switch family has continued to prove its dominance over Japan, claiming 75 per cent of all hardware sales in 2019. Breaking that down further shows that the Switch Lite accounted for 17 per cent of that number.

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Ubisoft is restructuring and expanding its editorial team in an effort to add more variety and flexibility to its game portfolio.

GamesIndustry.biz sister-site VideoGamesChronicle reports that the Paris-based advisory group of designers and producers will continue to be headed by Ubisoft chief creative officer Serge Hascoet and the current roster of VPs alongside newcomers, with existing VP Tommy Francois working alongside Child of Light’s Patrick Plourde and Splinter Cell’s Maxime Béland.

Game-Consultant.com https://www.game-consultant.com/news-sitemap.xml 

Cocos Play, a new platform that lets any app developer embed hyper-casual games in their apps  https://www.game-consultant.com/game-news/2020/01/16/cocos-play-announces-new-platform/

Game-Consultant.com; App Annie: Mobile game spending will top $100 billion in 2020; https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6623525366872981505 

RuneScape reached a new record number of paying subscribers in 2019, hitting a peak of over 1.1 million between RuneScape and Old School RuneScape.

In addition, Old School Runescape on mobile reached eight million installs since its launch on the platform in late October 2018. The PC and mobile versions combined also reached a new record in DAU.

The studio has recently launched RuneScape Mobile in early access, and is planning for a full launch in 2020.

Less than one week remains until Pocket Gamer Connects London,which takes place between January 20th and 21st.

Europe’s biggest mobile gaming industry conference, Pocket Gamer Connects, returns to London in a newer, bigger, better form. More than 2,000 delegates representing the entire sector will gather for the two days of January 20-21 to hear 200+ world-class speakers across 15 tracks sharing their expert insight on everything from monetisation to the latest development trends.

A reworked schedule with new tracks for 2020 that include live ops, influencer marketing, Industry Vision and Values, esports, global publishing, and a workshop programme. With highly competitive indie pitches and mighty networking through our free Pitch & Match meeting scheduler and the infamous Global Connects party night, no event puts you in touch with the whole Games Consulting Firm like PGC.

Every day we will look at each of the 15 tracks in turn. Today is the Acquire, Retain, Monetise track – an opportunity to learn some key insights into every aspect of the user experience.

Super League Gaming is making a big push into China with its new deal with Chinese media conglomerate Wanda Media, a subsidiary Wanda Cinema Games.

This partnership will bring live, competitive gaming to over 700 movie theaters that Wanda owns in China. This will let Super League Gaming take advantage of the growing gaming market in China, which Niko Partners expects to be worth $41.5 billion by 2023.

Epic Games is celebrating the growth of its PC gaming store by sharing a number of informational tidbits about its performance. Most notably, the company revealed that players spent $680 million on the platform since launch. That’s a good sign for the competitor to Steam — but it’s worth noting that majority of that cash went directly to Epic. Of that $680 million, Epic Games Store customers spent $251 million on third-party games. That means $429 million went to Epic games, and that primarily means Fortnite.

But that ratio of 1.7-to-1 in terms of revenue for Fortnite versus non-Epic Games isn’t really a problem. Fortnite brings in a huge audience that is willing to spend money, and that could spill over into other games. Valve Software, the company that owns and operates Steam, probably sees something similar where its games like Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive represent an out-sized proportion of its customers’ spending.

Netmarble announced today that its current chief global officer, Seungwon Lee, will become the South Korean mobile gaming company’s new co-CEO starting in February.

Lee has been with Netmarble since 2007, starting as vice president of corporate strategy. Prior to his time at Netmarble, he was an executive for Yahoo working for its South Korea marketing division.  He will join the current CEO, Young-sig Kwon. He will focus on Netmarble’s gaming businesses, while Lee will take care of management and global operations.

SayGames; Sand Balls had an excellent run as the most downloaded mobile game, but all good things come to an end, even for such a hyper successful hyper casual game.

Indeed, the game has dropped to #4, yet it wasn’t Ink Inc – Tattoo Tycoon nor Brain Out that managed to wrestle away the top spot.

Instead it was another release from SayGames – neat slo-mo shooter Johnny Trigger – that ended up top of the download charts over the Christmas season.

The #2 position was taken by Ruby Games’ top down shooter Hunter Assassin.

How Augmented Reality Can Boost Social Media Marketing; While Google Glass didn’t catch on and people aren’t sitting at home with augmented reality goggles on just yet, augmented reality (AR) is making its way into social media. Because of the seamless integration of AR and social media, businesses of all sizes and types can take advantage of this technology.

typically try to avoid writing about early access games, but I felt like an exception needed to be made when Fancade popped up in my Google Play Store. This is an app that absolutely deserves heaps of attention and praise not only for the concept but also the execution.

Developed by indie game developer Martin Magni, probably best known for his breakout game Mekorama, Fancade is an ambitious project that is both a growing collection of simple and fun casual games and also a visual scripting platform that enables anyone to design and publish their own homemade games.

After a couple of decades in the wilderness, esports is coming into its own as a form of mass media entertainment. The global esports viewer base is estimated to grow from 355 million in 2018 to 674 million in 2022, nearly a 90% jump, according to the Consumer Technology Association.

One company that has been in lockstep with this trend is ESL, a tournament organizer that has been around since 2000. At CES 2020, I caught up with Yvette Martinez-Rae, CEO of ESL North America, and Paul Brewer, senior vice president of brand partnerships at ESL North America. They were part of the esports track at CES 2020, the big tech trade show in Las Vegas last week.

TikTok owner ByteDance has acquired Beijing-based AI developer LevelupAI for an undisclosed figure.

The developer was founded in 2016 to research AI for the games industry. It now focuses its efforts on using AI to create content for games, particularly in tower-defence and match-3 titles, as well as testing games and “playing” games as bots.

As reported by EqualOcean, this is just another step in ByteDance’s plans to grow its gaming business. It introduced mini-games to Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, in February 2019, and has been acquiring and investing in developers in China in the following months.

The German city of Hamburg has pledged to invest €2 million ($2.2 million) into various game developers and firms over the next four years.

€520,000 ($577,000) will be given in funding each year until 2023, with €400,000 ($443,700) going towards prototypes under a new program due to launch later in 2020.

Grants for each project can be obtained for up to €80,000 ($88,700), with developers that do win the pitch needing to pay a quarter of costs.

Any games company of any size can apply for the funding, however they must be positioned in Hamburg with a permanent office.

Playable Platform has been testing self-optimizing ads since November 2019 and the company is now releasing some numbers of their first tests. The new technology already made a significant impact to some of the world’s most downloaded apps and enabled those companies to significantly increase their marketing reach.

“Self-optimizing playable ad technology is probably the greatest creative invention we’ve seen since video ads were first introduced,” said Gil Ohayon, Senior User Acquisition Manager at Ilyon. His reaction comes after the CTR of Ilyon’s playable ad for Hexa Jigsaw Puzzle improved from 13% to 53% without any human interaction.

I am a fully dedicated game consultant. My focus is to incorporate solutions to trending issues that gaming developers face in today’s world.

GamesConsultants.com is a games industry expert that advises games companies.

Razer is leaving the Bay Area. According to a filing with California’s Employment Development Department obtained by Dbltap, the peripheral maker is laying off 19 employees and shuttering its San Francisco office effective February 29.

Razer confirmed the news for Dbltap, adding that it offered some of the affected employees the option of relocating to continue on with the company.

“We will be centralizing our US operations in Irvine to make it our corporate headquarters,” the spokesperson said. “This means that we will strengthen our bench of talents there and further investments will be made in this office where our Sales and Marketing, Systems Business Unit, Customer Advocacy, HR, and Finance teams are currently located… This consolidation allows us to focus on scaling our Irvine office with a view to establishing a larger campus in the long term.”

Pokemon Go just had its best year ever in 2019 — even better than its 2016 launch.

Last year, Niantic’s location-based Pokemon title brought in $894 million, according to Sensor Tower. That’s up from its previous high year in 2016, when it brought in $832 million. Pokemon Go brought in $589 million and $816 million in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

That made it the fifth-highest-earning mobile game worldwide this year, behind Candy Crush and above Monster Strike. The top-grossing game in 2019 was Honor of Kings, which neared $1.5 billion in revenue.

Clash of Clans earned $727 million in 2019, according to estimates from market analyst Sensor Tower. That is a 27% increase from its 2018 revenues. It’s also the first time Clash of Clans has seen year-to-year growth since 2015.

Clash of Clans launched for iOS back in 2012. An Android version followed in 2013. It has become one of the most successful mobile games ever, and it’s a mainstay a mobile market that research firm Newzoo predicted at $68.5 billion in 2019.

PlatinumGames announced yesterday that Tencent made a capital investment in the Bayonetta developer. The two parties did not disclose the details of the agreement, but Platinum did make a statement about what it means.

“This partnership has no effect on the independence of our company,” writes PlatinumGames boss Kenichi Sato. “And we will continue operations under our current corporate structure.”

A lot can happen in 12 months and 2019 has certainly been memorable one for Ireland’s largest game developer, Digit Game Studios.

Namely, after years of working with licensed IP, the 80-plus staff firm was picked up by mobile publisher and interactive entertainment company Scopely in May.

The duo had been working together on the MMO/strategy title Star Trek Fleet Command since the game‘s launch, so this acquisition wasn’t entirely surprising. Most recently, that title went on to surpass $100 million in less than eight months, cementing part of the reason for Scopely’s purchase.

As part of the merge, Digit founder and studio head Richard Barnwell has continued to manage operations of the Dublin-based studio, having previously gained experience in the role as CEO of Jolt Online Gaming, alongside various senior positions at Jagex.

In-game advertising platform Anzu.io has teamed up with Polish mobile games developer Vivid Games to deliver ads to the latter’s games.

As part of the new partnership, two of the developer’s titles will have Anzu’s advertisement technology integrated – Real Boxing 2 and Gravity Rider Zero. The games will feature both video and banner ads as part of the integration.

“As we welcome 2020, I can confidently state that gaming is at the forefront of pop culture,” said Anzu.io CEO and co-founder Itamar Benedy.

“That’s why I’m so excited to partner with Vivid Games to employ our innovative approach in Real Boxing 2 and Gravity Rider Zero, two games pushing the edge of what’s possible for mobile, to enhance the gaming experience for its millions of players.”

“It’s also an exciting time for brands as they will have the opportunity to speak directly to Real Boxing 2 and Gravity Rider Zero gamers through this new paradigm in in-game advertising.”

Simplified Chinese has become the dominant language among Steam users, according to the December 2019 hardware and software survey.

Each month, platform holder Valve conducts a voluntary survey to gather data on all aspects of its user base, such as hardware specs and language options.

The latest survey shows that the number of Simplified Chinese accounts has increased by 14.4% from the month prior to 37.9%. Meanwhile, English has fallen by 6.6% to 30.4%.

Welcome to 2020 – an exciting new decade of mobile games awaits!

Before we launch into this enticing future, it’s important to celebrate the very best of what was a rather splendid 12 months in and of itself at the Pocket Gamer Mobile Games Awards 2020 in association with Game Insight.

It must have been a cracking year because we had more entries than ever before, which were whittled down to the incredible 185 finalists that are currently being vetted by our anonymous judging panel to pick the 21 ultimate winners.

Razer has debuted a new mobile controller that can strap onto a phone, the Razer Kishi, during CES 2020. This universal controller is designed to work with any phone, and is made with streaming services like Google Stadia and xCloud in mind.

There will be Android and iOS versions of the controller, but they will both carry the same features. These include clickable analog thumbsticks and buttons similar to an Xbox One controller, as well as a D-Pad.

Japan dominated the video games conversation on Twitter in 2019, boasting the most active gaming community on the app and sustaining the hype around its most talked-about game: a 4-year-old mobile game called Fate/Grand Order.

Twitter announced today that more than a billion tweets about gaming were posted during 2019, 20 percent more than 2018, with Japan’s conversations around Fate/Grand Order leading the way. This is the second year in a row that Fate/Grand Order topped Twitter’s list.

Japanese are known for topping Twitter metrics over the years. Even in the last week alone, Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa managed to post the two most retweeted tweets in history. Even as far back as 2011, users in Japan tweeted so fervently about a classic anime showing up on TV, the topic surpassed Beyonce’s pregnancy announcement as the app’s most tweeted-about event.

Game-Consultant.com; I primarily focus on the entertainment sector, with an emphasis on the gaming industry. To be successful, growing companies need to focus on six key functions:

– Growth management

– Infrastructure development

– Marketing

– Positioning

– Comprehensive strategy

– Forecasting

Read more here; https://www.linkedin.com/posts/game-consultant-marketing-strategy-coaching-fundraising-ua_strategy-activity-6620597937321852928-dQoz 

ESL and DreamHack announced today that they are teaming up with Blizzard Entertainment for new esports events.

StarCraft II and the upcoming Warcraft III: Reforged will each get their own ESL Pro Tours. Like the ESL Pro Tour for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, this will be a series of tournaments help throughout the world during the year. ESL and DreamHack have agreed to a three-year deal with Blizzard. Blizzard is providing a combined prize pool totaling $4.6 million for the first season of the Pro Tours. The Swedish company Modern Times Group owns both ESL and DreamHack. More information esports consultancy

Jagex Partner’s former head of content acquisition Alex Cook has returned to Codemasters as its new global sales director.

As announced on LinkedIn, Cook has returned to the company he left in 2007 – he was previously Codemasters’ international sales manager.

“New year, new job. Absolutely thrilled to say I’m going back to Codemasters as their Global Sales Director. Officially start on Monday. Exciting times ahead,” wrote Cook.

Adjust has teamed up with Unity to become its first mobile measurement partner.

Developers that publish their titles through the Unity development tool will get immediate access to Adjust’s SDK. The mobile measurement firm specialises in cybersecurity and thwarting fraudulent installs.

“By ensuring that we provide the best integration possible, verified at every new version of the Unity platform, Adjust and Unity make user acquisition accessible and effective,” said vice president of partnerships at Adust, Andrey Kazakov.

“Most importantly, we offer developers the ability to get granular measurement, world-class anti-fraud solutions, automation and analytics using Adjust with Unity.”

Crytek is trying to dismiss its own lawsuit against Cloud Imperium Games and Roberts Space Industries — but only on a temporary basis.

The company is taking legal action against the developer of Star Citizen, claiming (among other things) the company breached contract and infringed on its copyright by continuing to develop the game in CryEngine 3 without a licence.

The trial was originally set to take place in March 2020, but both parties requested that this be pushed back to June 16. However, Crytek is now pushing for this to be delayed further, primarily until Squadron 42 is released.

The single-player title, which serves as the campaign for Star Citizen, is due for release in the first half of 2020. Crytek’s court documents, shared by Reddit user RiSC1911, state that a meeting between the two parties in early December “revealed new information regarding the ripeness of one of Crytek’s existing claims.”

Steam has seen a major slowdown of games released on the platform for the first time in four years, according to data from SteamSpy.

Last year 8,415 games arrived on Steam, compared to 8,167 in 2018. With the number of games released on Steam rapidly increasing since 2014, this represents a notable change in pace.

The number of games released on the platform saw its first major leap in 2014, increasing to 1,609 from 557 the year prior. Since then, the number of games releasing on Steam has increased to nearly 2,000 a year.

Platinum Games has secured capital investment from Chinese giant Tencent as the acclaimed Japanese studio continues its journey into self-publishing.

The details of the investment, including the amount, have not been disclosed but the studio has stressed that — unlike past Tencent investments — the deal does not involve a change of ownership.

“This partnership has no effect on the independence of our company, and we will continue operations under our current corporate structure,” president and CEO Kenichi Sato wrote in the announcement.

We don’t say how to achieve success, but ask questions through which the game team their-selfs find the solution to their own tasks. The word coaching is defined as “the job or activity of providing training for people or helping to prepare them for something”. https://www.games-consultancy.com/mentor-coach-consultant/ 

As a game consultant, I consult and offer an unparalleled collection of consultancy and services for game studios and investors. Next to me, I have some industry experts at arms length. People with years of experience in the field of marketing, game design, funding and more. Check here the game consultant.

Game-Consultant.com; Twitch Users Can Now Tip Streamers With MenaPay Stablecoin; https://www.linkedin.com/posts/game-consultant-marketing-strategy-coaching-fundraising-ua_twitch-users-can-now-tip-streamers-with-menapay-activity-6616452877202280449-jfhV

What’s next for consumer AR in 2020 https://lnkd.in/d98rQ3b

Game-Consultant.com; The Unity game engine released a preview for “XR Interaction Toolkit,” which handles some core interactions for VR and AR. Like most optional Unity features, you can download and activate the XR Interaction Toolkit from the Package Manager. Unlike with the VRTK toolkit, Unity is preferring laser-pointer selection to direct manipulation. This works well with a wider variety of platforms, but can be less immersive for higher end systems. https://lnkd.in/d3QjQSg

Game-Consultant.com; Facebook recently produced a report on game marketing that represented its latest effort to understand the evolution of both gaming and gamers. The report delved into trends like hypercasual games, which are played in a matter of seconds and go viral for a couple of weeks. Gamers are shifting their habits, and big changes such as the coming bandwidth bonanza of 5G networks will likely change things even more. Facebook found in the report that gamers are likely to spend more time with mobile games in the coming year. And it found that gamers are forming loyal communities around their games and friend networks. They’re gravitating toward brands and intellectual properties that they can engage with across multiple media and platforms. https://lnkd.in/dKEBS-6

Facebook recently produced a report on game marketing that represented its latest effort to understand the evolution of both gaming and gamers. The report delved into trends like hypercasual games, which are played in a matter of seconds and go viral for a couple of weeks.

Gamers are shifting their habits, and big changes such as the coming bandwidth bonanza of 5G networks will likely change things even more. Facebook found in the report that gamers are likely to spend more time with mobile games in the coming year. And it found that gamers are forming loyal communities around their games and friend networks. They’re gravitating toward brands and intellectual properties that they can engage with across multiple media and platforms.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Health (RSPH) has called on the newly elected British government to implement tight restrictions on loot boxes in video games.

The call is joined by a report titled Skins in the Game, which alleges the normalisation of gambling in video games.

Based on research funded by charity GambleAware, the report found that the majority of young people see both loot boxes (58%) and skin betting (60%) as “forms of highly addictive gambling.”

As the end of the year approaches, we’re beginning to run out of unique ways to write, “FIFA 20 is No.1 for the EMEAA region, and not much changed from last week to this week.”

Five games retained their places from last week including FIFA 20, which is back at the top for the third week in a row and the seventh total week since its launch. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare also refused to budge from No. 2.

SuperData shares that Red Dead Redemption 2 sold 408,000 units on the Epic Games Store in November, paling in comparison to Borderlands 3’s launch on the same storefront which brought in 1.78 million units in its debut month. Though, to be fair, that launch was simultaneous with console, and Gearbox’s shooter is still unavailable on Steam.

Last month, we reflected on the increasing influence of console and PC IP on mobile, headlined in October by the launches of Mario Kart Tour and Call of Duty: Mobile. In November, there was no place in the worldwide top ten grossers for those big releases.

Sensor Tower Store Intelligence data shows Activision’s Call of Duty: Mobile falling to 24 from 12 month-on-month, though it still brought in an impressive $31.8 million in gross revenue. Nintendo’s Mario Kart Tour dropped to 57 from 27, generating $16.4 million. There was still room in the top 30, however, for eight franchises that started life on PC and console — down just two from October.

New to the overall top ten in November was Sony’s hit mobile RPG Fate/Grand Order, which generated $54.3 million, a 10% month-on-month increase. NetEase’s Fantasy Westward Journey picked up $53.3 million, despite a fall of 11% from October.

Twitch is the undisputed ruler of the livestreaming-video space, but competitors are starting to make gains. Mixer and Facebook Gaming are both up year-over-year in terms of market share, according to data-tracking service Arsenal.gg and broadcasting-production-tools company StreamElements.

Mixer and Facebooking Gaming both have 3% of the livestreaming market each in 2019. That’s up from 2018, when they both only had 1%. Their growth, however, is not zero-sum. TwitchYouTube Gaming, Facebook Gaming, and Mixer all saw year-over-year growth in hours watched. So as these sites work to improve their performance and capabilities, they continue to bring in new viewers from around the world.

Through the decades, gaming has grown from a niche hobby for a select few to a massive worldwide community. The online gaming community is expected to top 56.8 million players by next year. The video game market is expected to make $152 billion worldwide in 2019 and online gaming contributes to $33.6 billion of these dollars; representing roughly one-third of the industry.

Game-Consultant.com; Fortnite is still one of the most popular games in the world, but it has definitely lost some of the unprecedented momentum that it had throughout 2018. This led to League of Legends reclaiming its past status as Twitch’s most watched game, according to data-tracking service Arsenal .gg. https://www.game-consultant.com/game-news/2019/12/19/fortnite-lost-28-of-its-viewership-hours-on-twitch-in-2019/

As a game consultant, I consult and offer an unparalleled collection of consultancy and services for game studios and investors. Next to me, I have some industry experts at arms length. People with years of experience in the field of marketing, game design, funding and more.

Besides structure investment opportunities, I also lay out blueprints for corporate strategy and undertake detailed research in creating a bespoke gaming experience for your gamers audience.

Get More Customers in 2020 | User Acquisition Strategy Guide, some links to check out;

Ubisoft has this week announced that several members of the core development team for Rainbow Six Siege are leaving the project.

Among them are brand director Alexandre Remy, and creative director Xavier Marquis, who are leaving to “pursue other interests within Ubisoft.”

Now that you know why today’s media companies are most threatened by mobile games, and what type of consumer you’ll encounter playing mobile games, it’s time to dig into the execution itself. What type of mobile campaign can you run in mobile games? More importantly, what type of mobile campaign should you run?

Footballer Mesut Özil has been removed from the eFootball Pro Evolution Soccer 2020 in China after speaking out against the nation’s government.

The Guardian reports he posted an Instagram message with the East Turkestan republic flag in the background — a region now known as the China-controlled Xinjiang province — describing Uighur Muslims in the area as “warriors who resist persecution.”

This article is part of an ongoing series of data-driven articles from PocketGamer.biz and App Annie highlighting trends in the mobile games sector.

Will SayGames’ Sand Balls be the most downloaded mobile game of 2019?

It was only released in July so that seems unlikely, especially given competition from the likes of Call of Duty: Mobile and Mario Kart Tour.

But certainly ever since we’ve been running these App Annie data articles, it’s been near or at the top of the most downloaded charts.

Maybe it will have to be satisfied with being the most downloaded mobile game of the second half of 2019?

For this week – as last week, and the week before that etc – Sand Balls remains at #1.

Ditto AppLovin’s Ink Inc – Tattoo Tycoon, at #2 and Focus Apps’ Brain Out at #3.

In fact, the biggest movement is Call of Duty: Mobile which drops out of the top 10.

Niantichas revealed a new feature for Pokemon GO called Buddy Adventure, which is set to hit the game in 2020.

As revealed on the official website, the Buddy Adventure feature will allow players to level up their friendship with their chosen Buddy Pokemon through battles, playing with their Pokemon, and feeding them berries

Buddies will now follow players around on the map, and each Pokemon has different quirks that they’ll exhibit while wandering around.The more time players spend with their Buddy, the higher their friendship level goes, rising all the way from “Good Buddy” to “Best Buddy”, with bonus perks unlocked at each level.

Mobile developer and publishing company N3twork has announced it has acquired the rights to mobile title Funko Pop! Blitz from Universal Games and Digital Platforms.

Universal Games and Digital Platforms is the restructured gaming arm of NBCUniversal, which earlier this year announced it would no longer be developing and publishing its own titles. This acquisition appears to be in line with an ongoing transition period mentioned as part of the restructuring, and Universal Games and Digital Platforms will continue to be involved with several of its former properties to manage the IP.

Facebook has acquired Madrid-based cloud gaming startup PlayGiga for a reported price of €70 million ($78 million).

CNBC reports (via Cinco Dias) on the acquisition, but noted that there were no further details on its goals or other related changes. A Facebook spokesperson confirmed the deal.

Finnish Nitro Games has revealed Lootland, a co-op shooter for mobile devices.

Lootland is a super-casual shooter game with an emphasis on co-op multiplayer. Players clear waves of enemies together, while picking up a ton of loot from the defeated monsters.

“We are thrilled to announce Lootland. We’re expanding our portfolio of shooter games by introducing an easy to approach looter-shooter game with a heavy emphasis on co-op gameplay,” says Nitro Games CEO and co-founder Jussi Tähtinen. “Based on our early testing results, we’re delighted to see a great demand for a game like this.”

Lootland slated for release in 2020.

Learn more about Lootland and Nitro Games at www.nitrogames.com.

The Game Awards announced that last week’s video game showcase reached more than 45.2 million global livestreams viewed, up 73% from 2018’s record-setting performance of 26.2 million livestreams.

OK, so it’s not such a joke to call it the Oscars of gaming anymore, as it is pretty darn close to being bigger than the Oscars. The Game Awards said that the show is one of the world’s largest — and most watched — awards shows for any entertainment medium. The Oscars are probably still bigger worldwide (the U.S. audience was 29 million in 2019), but the audience for the Academy Awards has been declining since 2014.

Games of the Year 2019: Divinity: Original Sin II http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2019-12-18-games-of-the-year-2019-divinity-original-sin-ii

How ArenaNet is rewriting the narrative for its narrative writers http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2019-12-18-how-arenanet-is-re-writing-the-narrative-for-its-narrative-writers

Electronic Arts and Respawn Entertainment have unveiled the Apex Legends Global Series, a set of esports tournaments for Apex Legends with a prize pool of $3 million.

The series will enable amateurs and pros to compete in online and live events. At less than a year old, Apex Legends is a young to be an esports contender. The battle royale shooter won the title of Best Multiplayer Game at last week’s The Game Awards. Its had more than 70 million downloads in the nine months between its launch and the end of October.

Madfinger Games‘ upcoming mobile shooter Shadowgun War Games has hit 500,000 pre-registrations ahead of launch.

The Czech firm confirmed the milestone as the studio puts its “finishing touches” to a closed beta version of the game. The limited space beta is due to open sometime in the winter.

Shadowgun War Games is a multiplayer free-to-play first-person shooter specifically designed for mobile. It focuses on 5v5 multiplayer matches, contrasting previous game Shadowgun Legends’ MMO stylings.

Gameloft has rolled out a limited-time event that will see content from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker appear in Disney Magic Kingdoms.

The update to the mobile theme park designer will coincide with the latest film release in the space opera franchise and continues the ongoing collaboration between the French publisher and The Walt Disney Company.

A new park expansion with locations inspired by Hoth, Endor, Jakku, and more will be made available, alongside the introduction of numerous iconic heroes and villains. Characters set to feature include Rey, Poe, Finn, R2-D2, C3PO, BB-8, General Hux, a First Order Stormtrooper, and Kylo Ren.

Players can also add attractions based on X-wings or the Resistance Speeder. During the event, quests can be completed to help fight Kylo Ren and The First Order, which in turn will reward users.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker event will take place from December 19th, 2019 until January 14th, 2020.

In a post on Medium, Atari said that developers can start making games for the VCS right now using the Unity engine and standard Linux tools. The company is working towards compatibility with other engines, but none were confirmed at the time of writing.

Last month, Atari said that the VCS was in the final stages of pre-production, with a launch scheduled for March next year. The console was supposed to launch in March 2019, but it was delayed so the hardware could be improved.

Battle Pass is a hot trend in mobile games – like it or not

A bit over a year ago, we wrote a post about Battle Pass systems. Back then, this monetization mechanic was still brand-new with Fortnite the first mobile title to popularize it among players. Even though other genres slowly started adopting the Battle Pass as well, it was mostly left to Battle Royale games. Now the mobile gaming market looks quite different, and you could argue that Battle Pass is here to stay – not only in Battle Royale but across the market. In this blog post, we’ll focus on trend & popularity data for Battle Passes and look at a couple of the most interesting implementations we’ve seen so far.Editor’s Note: This is an extended version of an article on the same topic that we published int Pocketgamer.biz.The data and examples shown here are gathered from the GameRefinery service, which you can access here. If you’re interested in researching over 200 in-game features, their popularity, and implementations or checking out feature deconstructions of hundreds of games, you might want to pay a visit!

GamesIndustry.biz presents… The Year In Numbers 2019 http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2019-12-17-gamesindustry-biz-presents-the-year-in-numbers-2019 

A fifth former Google employee has come forward alleging that the company fired them for union-related activities, following similar accusations from four others over Thanksgiving this year.

In a Medium post published today, former Google security engineer Kathryn Spiers says that earlier this year, she coded a small pop-up notification that would appear in the browsers of Google employees when they visited an internal labor relations website. The notification read, “Googlers have the right to participate in protected concerted activities.”

What does FIGS mean?

When you search for “FIGS localization” on Google, you will get over 23 million results, but why does FIGS matter? And what do you need to pay attention to when localizing into FIGS?

Since leaving Epic Games in late 2017, UX expert Celia Hodent has been cutting across the game industry, meeting with developers to discuss ethical and practical UX solutions, as the industry itself grapples with the rising ethical concerns that come with more and more successful games.

From the usability and engagement of Fortnite, to a post-Epic career teaching developers about the ins and outs of UX, Hodent (also author of The Gamer’s Brain) has had an eye on the user experience in a way few other developers can speak to. At GamesBeat this year, Hodent stopped to chat with Gamasutra about what she’s learned about ethical game design in the last year and a half.

Axiom Verge surprised even its creator when it garnered critical acclaim in 2015. An indie metroidvania in the age of indie metroidvanias, developer Thomas Happ took a refreshingly formulaic approach that captured the same sense of wonder and mystery as classic Metroid. With a welcome dash of H.R. Giger-inspired art and a creepy, pulsating soundtrack, Axiom Verge was a breakout.

“I just try to make something that’s interesting to me and hopefully other people like it as well,” Happ tells USgamer today via email about the success of the first game. Happ closed out Nintendo’s Indie World presentation today with the announcement of Axiom Verge 2, a sequel to the first that’s been four years in development.

Axiom Verge 2 looks to explore new worlds and eras, supposedly delving into the origins of the Axiom Verge universe. We’re fans of Axiom Verge ’round these parts, so we reached out to Happ with some of our most burning questions about the sequel.

GameBizPitch @ GameBizCon | Jan 28 to 30 Come pitch your company deck online to corporates, investors and accelerators in order to get honest feedback, potential investment, partnership and exposure. Main categories: Game Pitch, Game Company Pitch, Service Provider Company Pitch, Service Provider Product Pitch, Esports Company Pitch For more information and the Early Bird pricing: https://lnkd.in/dsebmpr hashtaggaming hashtagesports hashtagbusinessevent hashtagbizztech hashtagbadpandagames Justin Berenbaum, Reinout te Brake, Eugene Dyatlov, Juan Tamargo, Xsolla, Game Consultancy – Game marketing – RTB Game Consultancy; Experts in Games, VironIT, TOP ENTERTAINMENT AGENCY

Streamlabs has launched a new fundraising platform aimed at making it easier for streamers to raise money for charities.The idea is to help charities to reach their fundraising goals without incurring a lot of additional costs.

Streamlabs says its native fundraising platform is a seamless experience for live streamers who can now fully produce a charity stream on one platform without relying on additional integrations. Unlike other platforms that tack on a 5 percent fee on each donation, Streamlabs does not impose any additional charges. Excluding the standard PayPal processing fees, 100 percent of every contribution is sent directly to the charities via PayPal.

Niantic revealed today that the Buddy Adventure update for Pokémon Go is coming by 2020. It will give players new ways to interact with their favorite Pokémon partner.

Pokémon Go has been a big hit since its 2016 debut, having earned over 1 billion downloads and raking in millions of dollars with its free-to-play model. It’s the biggest location-based AR game in the world. Adding new features can keep its current players happy and encourage lapsed fans to return.

Organizers for the Game Developers Choice Awards announced today that Kate Edwards will receive its 2020 Ambassador Award, which recognizes persons for “helping video games advance to a better place through advocacy and action.”

Edwards was the executive director of the International Game Developers Association form 2012 to 2017. The IGDA is a nonprofit supporting any person involved with game development. Edwards is now the executive director of Global Game Jam, an annual event that has teams from across the world creating games over a single weekend.

Edwards has often advocated for diversity and mental health awareness, while speaking out against Gamergate and crunch during game development.

Past winners of the Ambassador Award include Rami IsmailMark DeLouraTracy FullertonBrenda Romero, and Anita Sarkeesian.

There’s more than one way to skin a cat, as they say, and there are even more ways to run a global performance campaign. In the early days of mobile user acquisition, clients had one goal in mind: Get a ton of downloads and DAUs, and fast. They typically had a hands-off approach, letting the ad network be flexible in its approach and optimization practices, as long as the immediate outcome was met. Nowadays, however, clients want to know what happens after the install, as they are more concerned about profitability and LTV.

While we, like most mobile ad platforms, welcome more active involvement from clients, especially at the beginning of a campaign, there are times when you just need to trust. Granted, that’s a loaded word these days, as brand advertisers face a paradox of trust with agencies, but standards for transparency and accountability are gradually improving. With that comes trust, and with trust comes performance. Because when you trust your mobile ad partner, and don’t interrupt campaigns mid-flight or make reactionary budget adjustments, it frees them up to do their job — which is to meet your outcomes.

It’s been a year since the launch of Supercell’s fifth full release, Brawl Stars, and in that time the game has generated $422 million in revenue, according to Sensor Tower.

As reported back in March, $150 million of that revenue was made in the first three months after launch.

The PUBG Mobile Club Open final reached 532 million total views, 11 times more than last year’s event.

Not including Chinese platforms, the tournament clocked up over 57 million viewing hours, nearly 15 times more than the total from 2018.

The championship was held between November 29th and December 2nd at the Putra World Trade Centre in Malaysia.

Bigetron RA from Indonesia took the crown, winning $180,000. In second place, with a prize fund of $90,000, was TOP ESPORTS from China, and in third was Thailand’s MEGA Esports team, earning a cash prize of $45,000.

“PUBG Mobile is more than just a game, it’s a platform where players have fun, challenge themselves, keep in touch with friends and family, and meet new people,” said Tencent Games general manager of global publishing Vincent Wang.

Supercell‘s Brawl Stars has generated $422 million in gross revenue from its first year, according to Sensor Tower.

Launched worldwide on December 12th, 2018, the multiplayer mobile shooter has made the bulk of its revenue from South Korea with $94 million or 22 per cent originating from the country.

The US placed second at $73 million or 17 per cent before Germany claimed third with $35 million or eight per cent of the overall total.

Keywords Studios makes triple acquisition of Ichi, Kantan and Syllabes;

Service provider Keywords Studios has made three acquisitions in the form of Ichi, Kantan and Syllabes.

Founded in 2009, Ichi provides a full suite of creative and marketing services to video game publishers, as well as firms in the sports and entertainment sector. The company creates brand marketing campaign strategies, helping with game trailers, live-action, social content and more.

Keywords has purchased the London-based group for £3.2 million ($4.21 million). An initial payment of £2.24 million ($2.94 million) in cash will be made and 70,247 in Keywords ordinary shares will be issued to the seller within 18 months of completion.

“Ichi’s high value-add branding strategy and marketing expertise are key to determining the success of a game or product, so they will be a valuable addition to the Group’s range of marketing services,” said Keywords Studio CEO Andrew Day.

| Pocket Gamer.biz | PGbiz https://www.pocketgamer.biz/news/72174/keywords-studios-triple-acquisition-ichi-kantan-syllabes/

AD: Top 5 Mobile Games To Play On Red Magic 3S @IGNNordic https://nordic.ign.com/red-magic-3s-android/32212/promoted/ad-top-5-mobile-games-to-play-on-red-magic-3s 

In 2019, Apple took steps beyond premium device hardware and software and firmly established itself as a services powerhouse — particularly when it comes to gaming. The tech giant came out swinging in September with its dedicated gaming subscription service, Apple Arcade. With a $4.99 (£4.99, AU$7.99) monthly subscription, users get access to over 100 games that are playable on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Apple TV. Some games have started rolling out for Mac as well.

Mobile games are in an interesting place.

With two billion players globally, the sector is taken more seriously than ever, yet still a large number of gamers see it as a waste of time.

Mobile is ready to go to the next level and shouldn’t squander this opportunity.

But it’s not going to change the conversation by being at The Game Awards.

Hosted and created by Geoff Keighley over the past five years, The Game Awards brings about the best and brightest of the past 12 months for a night of celebration.

The event is known not only for its awards but more primarily for its breaking game announcements, with every year seemingly looking to outdo the last.

GamesIndustry.biz has opened the call for speakers for its upcoming Careers Fair.

This annual event runs alongside EGX Rezzed (and the larger EGX later in the year), providing attendees three days of talks and panels that give insight into the many routes into the games industry.

Last year, for example, we had keynotes from John and Brenda Romero, and a panel on improving diversity.

Additionally, we also run portfolio reviews, offering aspiring developer, artists, writers and more one-on-one time with experts in those fields so they can get some valuable feedback on their work.

Social casino developer KamaGames has expanded its ongoing holiday season advertising campaign targeting US airports.

Beginning before Thanksgiving and running for two months, the ads, which focus on KamaGames’ popular mobile game Pokerist, are designed to appeal to the high volume of travellers during this time of year.

The company says over 40 per cent of its revenue comes from the US, so it hopes the adverts will both attract new users and re-engage existing players.

Hey, big spender

Significantly KamaGames is running its ads in 78 airports, with the potential to rise to 90, and also rotating its creative videos bi-weekly to ensure it generates maximum ROI.

Of course, getting data on such campaigns is difficult, but thanks to technology such as QR codes, KamaGames reckons it can get sufficient feedback.

Indeed, it expects to drive over 200 million impressions across the entire two month period.

Activision’s decision to offer a mobile version of ‘Call of Duty’ should add $300 million in gross bookings for the video-gaming giant in 2020, according to analysts at Jefferies.  https://www.thestreet.com/investing/activision-push-into-mobile-games-wows-analysts-at-jefferies

Mario Kart Tour downloads have begun to slow down as the game reaches its third month of being live but revenue performance shows that Nintendo has a reason to be optimistic.

Launched on September 25th, Mario Kart Tour raced to an estimated 124 million downloads within its first month, according to Sensor Tower data.

Since then numbers have dwindled, and in the seven weeks following the game has only accumulated another 17 million, an increase of 11 per cent.

Though low, downloads are not all that crucial as the game’s revenue continues to grow from its month one result of $37 million to the now approximately $67 million.

Pocket Gamer Connects returns to London on January 20th and 21st for its biggest conference ever, including the popular matchmaking event Investor Connector.

This event pairs game companies – or individuals – with investors looking for opportunities to spend the right kind of money in the right sector.

Want a one-on-one meeting with the right investor? Let us know how much funding you’re looking for using this form, as well as a little about your company vision, who’s on the team, what the business model is and what you would use the money for.

If you make it through the approval process, we’ll line you up an individual meeting with an investor. After that, it’s up to you.

Five weeks remain until Pocket Gamer Connects London, which takes place between January 20th and 21st.

Europe’s biggest mobile gaming industry conference, Pocket Gamer Connects, returns to London in a newer, bigger, better form. More than 2,000 delegates representing the entire sector will gather for the two days of January 20-21 to hear 200+ world-class speakers across 15 tracks sharing their expert insight on everything from monetisation to the latest development trends.

A reworked schedule with new tracks for 2020 that include live ops, influencer marketing, Industry Vision and Values, esports, global publishing, and a workshop programme. With highly competitive indie pitches and mighty networking through our free Pitch & Match meeting scheduler and the infamous Global Connects party night, no event puts you in touch with the whole gaming industry like PGC.

Every day we will look at each of the 15 tracks in turn. Today is Esports Academy – hear game makers, hardware vendors and esports teams give insight into the opportunities in competitive gaming.

Apple has launched an annual subscription for its premium mobile game service Apple Arcade.

As reported by iFun.de, a yearly subscription option has been rolled out to the App Store and is now available to purchase for $49.99. This is notably cheaper than the monthly $4.99 option, offering players 12 months for the price of 10.

The subscription prices carry across the same in the UK at £49.99 as well as Europe at €49.99. Those in Canada can sign up for CA$59.99 (approximately $45.55)

PocketGamer.biz has reached out to Apple to clarify whether this deal is limited time or permanent.

PlayStation leader and industry veteran Shuhei Yoshida will moderate a special panel at the GamesIndustry.biz Investment Summit in February.

Yoshida was tasked to lead the renewed indie development initiative within Sony Interactive Entertainment last month ahead of the launch of PlayStation 5 in 2020.

The PAX East Investment Summit will take place in Boston on Thursday, February 27th. The event connects developers together with publishers, platform holders and investors, and is designed to get games and studios funded. Now in its tenth year, the Summit has generated millions of dollars for game creators worldwide.

The event begins with a conference, which this year will include PlayStation, Kickstarter and Xsolla (with more to be announced). Followed by a networking lunch and a meeting system where developers have the chance to speak with publishers and investors one-to-one (meetings are at the discretion of the publishers and investors). Tickets are on sale now and also includes a pass to PAX East for both Thursday and Friday.

Microsoft has suggested that the Xbox Series X will only be the first console in its new generation of hardware — and that generation will simply be branded “Xbox.”

The point was made in response to inquiries from Business Insider, which noticed a quirk in the way the Xbox Series X name was presented at The Game Awards — specifically that the word “Xbox” was heavily foregrounded, with “New” and “Series X” much smaller above and below it.

“The name we’re carrying forward to the next generation is simply Xbox,” a Microsoft representative told Business Insider, “And at The Game Awards you saw that name come to life through the Xbox Series X.”

The current generation of hardware was named Xbox One, with both S and X models released. The hardware released in the generation before was all under the Xbox 360 brand.

Good mech games and VR go together like racing sims and wheel accessories — it just makes sense. But don’t hold your breath for VR support in MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries, at least not yet.

Back in 2016, MechWarrior 5 developer Piranha Games showed interest in VR support for its combat-focused mech simulator. Back then, the studio president Russ Bullock stated that it was “designed” to support VR, and it actually held a single demo for the game’s VR support at an industry event leading up to release. A programmer even stated that “native VR support” was one of the reasons they picked Unreal Engine for the game. But now that release has come and gone on the Epic Games Store, there is no peep of VR support at all.

The intimate and award-winning social VR experience Where Thoughts Go: Prologue is now on the Oculus Quest. In it, you discover anonymous audio clips recorded by other users, and record your own to be left in the virtual world for other users to discover.

In marketing and advertising, knowing who your audience is, how they’re changing, and how best to reach them is the job. That’s the work, and it’s no different when you’re marketing to gamers. But in marketing, there’s been a perception that we’ve figured out that audience — gamers like what they like and it’s not going to change.

The claim that “gamers are dead” famously isn’t a new one, but it’s really only existed in the context of cultural critique up to this point. But as an advertising creative at an indie agency and someone who has more combined hours in Team Fortress 2 and Overwatch than most people have at their current jobs — I have to say that it’s true.