Apple introduced 4 new iPhones with 5G support: iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max.
Unity introduces Game Growth Program for free-to-play indie games on mobile. Developers get access to tools plus a dedicated team of game operations experts. Unity covers the costs of UA and game optimization, revenue shared 50/50. Unity also creates Social Impact Division to support non-profits and allocates own shares worth $70M for the fund.
Beamable files for bankruptcy but will still pursue game monetization business. The process will allow to get rid of liabilities worth $3M.
…Only around 45% of players achieved the level 20, and around 18% achieved the level 100… In April 2020, Gardenscapes had 5,895 levels and Homescapes had 4,160 levels… Around 0.03% of users [reached those levels].
Chines publisher Yodo1 announces transition to a fully remote company from 1st December, 2020.
Animoca Brands integrates ERC-20 cryptotokens in casual games platform Gamee, which it acquired in July.
Hypercasual publishers competition for developers intensifies:
Supersonic Studios (IronSource) launches its Superstars contest for hypercasual devs. You can get up to $150K as a prize, if your title meets KPIs.
JoyPac launches accelerator program HyperFuel to aid in developing hypercasual titles.
Leading Chinese streaming platforms Huya & DouYu has entered an agreement to merge in line with Tencent’s plan, which owns major stakes in both companies. The valuation of the new company will be near $11B.
Mobile game publisher Playtika files to go public in window for game IPOs. The timeline or expected valuation are not specified.
Korean publisher Com2us has acquired Out of the Park Developments, German developer specialized on PC sport manager sims. It’s the first studio acquired by Com2us outside of Korea. OOPD games will appear on mobile platforms.
1.Pac-Mac Geo by Bandai Namco. The promise of the game is to play Pac-Man on the streets of real-life maps, like on Google Maps for April Fool’s day in 2017. But it’s a very rushed release - I could complete only tutorial level and constantly see network error message when try to load existing maze or create one in a local area. Some users managed to play, but rating in Google Play is 2.8 after 2200+ reviews. Critics also think “it could have used more time in the oven”.
2.Ancient Battle by Mandrill VR/Lion Studios (AppLovin). Hybridcasual game, where simple .io like combat combines with extensive meta of troop upgrades. But like in any hypercasual game multiplayer is fake and interstitial ads are plentiful.
3.Big Brother: The Game by 9th Impact. Reality show simulator similar to Sims in gameplay. For free you can be only a spectator, and to enter as contestant you pay $4.99. There is a cash prize: guaranteed minimum $10K, which increases for $0.69 with every contestant up to $1M. I wasn’t able to find official rules, so it’s unknown users from what countries are eligible for cash prize. I would guess that only where Big Brother is on TV currently.
Medium & New Publishers
4.Strikers 1945 Collection by Mobirix (Neowiz). Vertical shoot ’em up with extensive meta game from Korean publisher.
5.Carioca Club: A Popular Latin American Card Game by Moonfrog. Multiplayer card game from major Indian studio. Their Ludo Club has more than 50M downloads.
Top Downloaded Hypercasuals
1st time entries in top 15 of the US App Store
6.Draw Duel by Hippotap/Lion Studios (AppLovin). “Draw to control tip of your weapon to take out enemies”.
7.Let’s Be Cops 3D by Kwalee. Scan cars’ speed and fine offenders.
8.Hyper Boat by Suji Games. Reach the dock on boat without crashing, the variation of previous game Hyper Train from Turkish studio, which is also present in top 15.
9.Braindom 2: Who is Who Riddles? by Matchingham Games. Trivia quiz where you try guessing how to answer riddles. The publisher was incorporated in UK by Turkish co-founders in February 2020.
10.The Jackbox Party Pack 7 by Jackbox Games, $29.99. The next installment in the series of party games started in 2014. Simultaneous release on PC and consoles.
11.Counter Terrorist Agency by Play2Chill/Games Operators, $4.99. Strategy simulator, where you use surveillance tools and interrogations with tortures to stop terroristic organization. Released on Steam in December 2019 with mixed rating (225 reviews).
12.The Collage Atlas by John Evelyn /Robot House Games. Adventure/walking simulator with hand-drawn illustrations turned in 3D environment.
13.Poor Thief by Beep Yeah. Dashing puzzle, where character leaves a tombstone, when dies, and it’s crucial for completing level. TouchArcade and PocketGames.biz named it “Game of the Week”.
1.Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins by Kaigan Games. “Lost phone” detective game from Malaysian developers based on TV series by BBC. Kaigan polished investigation via a lost phone in Simulacra series of games.
2.World Flipper by Cygames/Kaka Games. RPG with pinball-like combat will be releases globally in 2021. Game is available in Japan since November 2019.
3.Goddess of Genesis S by ZlongGame. Turn-based RPG where anime-styled girl characters are loosely based on mythical or historical prototypes: Little Red Riding Hood with machine-gun and so on. From Chinese company behind RPG Langrisser & 4X space strategy Second Galaxy.
4.Shining Beyond by XII Braves. Hero collecting RPG with anime styled art-direction. From Singaporean studio, which closed their previous mobile title Valiant Force in December 2019 after 3 years of liveops.
5.Sheep Farm by Superbox. Farming time manager from Korean publisher.
Research & Market Data
Daniel Ahmad @ZhugeEXI was quoted in this @IGN article about how Genshin Impact has become one of the biggest game launches this year. - Est $50m rev. in its first week across all platforms - 20m pre-registrations prior to launch - 17m downloads in 4 days (App Annie) https://t.co/2c3qVcZ7WN
Sensor Tower - Q3 2020 Data Digest: 100 Billion App Downloads and Counting for 2020 (free with registration).
Read & Watch
Retaining and Fostering Women in the Games Industry (GamesIndustry.biz);
The IAP Merchandising Playbook, Part 1: Special Offers That Sizzle (AppTurbine.co);
The True Metric of Game Design Quality - a study of retention and videogame burnout though achievement lists (Game-Wisdom.com);
Green Game Jam: Environmentally Conscious Gaming - how 11 rival game studios rallied 250 million game players using green activations in their games (Google Play Dev);
Pre-Launch Testing for Mobile Games: Tools and Best practices on Google Play (Google Play Dev).
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