Bonus Level #07: OCT 26-30

Facebook Cloud Gaming starts beta; EA fined €10M for loot boxes in the Netherlands

Trend: Cloud Gaming Everywhere

New Facebook Gaming Play destination screenshot

Facebook starts beta-test of games streaming from the cloud in selected states in the USA. They are adding several mobile F2P titles to Facebook Gaming tab in Android app and on the web, but not on iOS, as Apple opposes allowing cloud gaming solutions on the platform. The starting list of titles is short and will be expanded with action and adventure games next year, but ultimately with any type of games in future:

  • Asphalt 9: Legends by Gameloft;

  • Mobile Legends: Adventure by Moonton;

  • PGA TOUR Golf Shootout by Concrete Software;

  • Solitaire: Arthur’s Tale by Qublix Games;

  • WWE SuperCard by 2K;

  • In the coming weeks: Dirt Bike Unchained by Red Bull.

Moreover, Facebook is launching cloud playable ads for games, a step forward from H5 playables. They will be available on Android and iOS, currently only in the US.

GamesBeat: “The service already has 200,000 users… The service was born out of a deal initiated last year, when Facebook acquired Madrid-based cloud gaming startup PlayGiga for $78M... Facebook has been working on this cloud-gaming effort for around 18 months.

GamesIndustry.biz thinks Facebook has the most relevant cloud gaming proposal on the market. Newzoo features interview with Vivek Sharma, Facebook’s VP and Head of Gaming, and reminds how crowded it becomes in the gaming clouds:

Nintendo Switch is also flying in the clouds now: Control is available globally on the platform as the first cloud title, Hitman 3 will follow soon (Resident Evil 7 was tested in Japan previously). After testing demo version for 5 minutes players can purchase Access Pass for $40. Ubitus is a technical provider of the cloud gaming solution.

Major News

Gacha is gambling in the Netherlands: EA fined $11.6M over loot boxes as Dutch court sides with gambling authority. District court unmoved by FIFA publisher's defenses, denies its bid to keep fines from being made public.

Activision-Blizzard needs to hire 2,000 people to meet production demands. Publisher to beef up for franchise-focused strategy a year and a half after laying off 800.

Tech

Backbone Labs has launched Backbone One, a game controller for iPhone that, used with its companion app, aims to bring mobile gaming closer to consoles.

Deals

Scopely raises $340M at $3.3B valuation. In March company was valued $1.9B. Participation of traditional pre-IPO funds hints for IPO coming in the next couple of years.

Vancouver-based East Side Games to go public in $150M reverse takeover. LEAF Mobile will acquire 100% of East Side Games for $150M, including $50M in cash and $100M in shares (~50% stake in LEAF). Thus, the acquisition will result in a reverse takeover, whereby East Side Games will become a publicly-listed company without a traditional IPO. ESG is specializing on licensed games with TV IPs. Their latest title is Archer: Danger Phone.

Stillfront Group has acquired Everguild Limited for up to $14.2M. Everguild develops CCG games and employs 7 people. Their main crossplatform title The Horus Heresy: Legions is based on Warhammer 40 000 IP.

Shotcall raises $2.2M to build gaming community hubs. Pay for playing together with your favorite influencer.


Game Releases

Major Games

1.Dragonscapes Adventure by Century Games (FunPlus). Energy-capped exploration game with farming and dragons merging. From Chinese publisher of top-grossing 4X strategies Guns of Glory and King of Avalon.

Hey, where did we see that logo before? I think Playrix has a good cause to sue Century Games for IP infringement.

Dragonscapes logo on October 20, from Facebook page:

Dragonscapes logo since October 22, as seen on Facebook and in stores assets:

Homescapes logo:

2.Wannabe Challenge by Day 7/Com2Us. Narrative dating sim for female audience, where you romance with 4 handsome housemates. From Korean publisher behind Summoners War.

Licensed IPs

3.FGTeeV Goozy by Blobby Fish/PHL Collective/BDT Digital. FGTeeV is a gaming YoutTube channel with 17.1M subs run by a family of parents and 4 kids. And now they released an escape-house game with first-person camera, where you use multitool gun for solving puzzles. Trailer reveals decent production quality. Title is on the 2nd spot of top free games in US App Store, just below Among Us.

4.Tsubasa+ by Miraire Inc. A real-world game like Pokemon Go, where you gather a team of football players from Captain Tsubasa manga series and engage in matches at stadiums on the map around your location. Game also features licensed players from FIFPro. The title was available in 7 EU countries since the end of September and now rolled out to major international territories.

5.Sumikkogurashi Farm by Imagineer Co. Farm simulation game with cute characters, who love to be in the corner, created by Japanese producer of stationery items San-X.

Medium & New Publishers

6.Idle Death Knight by Neowiz. Idle RPG with cartoony art-direction from Korean publisher.

7.Knights Fight 2 by Vivid Games. Sword-swinging fighting from Polish studio. For Honor on mobile.

8.Immortal: Reborn by LTGames/Nemojoy Games. Idle RPG with endless upgrades of weapons. Interesting that there are no character images - just slots for equipment, and neither images for enemies. Well, Hong Kong-registered developer saved on character artists.

Top Downloaded Hypercasuals

New games in top 15 of the US App Store

9.Shortcut Runner by Voodoo. Runner capitalizing on idea of Stair Run (BL #03, Sept 28): gather planks on the go and autobuild shortcuts, where road is missing.

10.Hero VS Criminal by RadPirates/Juicy Publishing. A runner from a two-people indie studio in Annecy, France: “chase and catch the criminals on the highway”.

Premium Games

11.Five Nights at Freddy's: Help Wanted by Steel Wool Games, $4.99. Next installment in the popular horror game series. The game was first released as VR title in May 2019, but ported to non-VR platforms afterwards. FNAF HW is on the 2nd position among top paid games in US, tailing the mighty Minecraft.

12.Tales of the Neon Sea by Palm Pioneer/Boke Technology, $3.99. Detective adventure in cyberpunk world with pixel graphics. Available on Steam since April 2019, Very Positive (900 reviews).

Apple Arcade

13.South of the Circle by State of Play. Narrative adventure game set in Antarctica after a plane crash.

Notable Updates

eFootball PES 2021 by Konami. The annual major update of the football sim.

Upcoming Games

Announced

1.New football project by Konami. Football RTS: “Stack your deck with player cards, design your game plan and watch players simulate your strategy with live match play.” Registration for the closed beta.

2.NBA game by Kung Fu Factory/Netmarble. Sport game with “NBA athletes, impressive visuals, and approachable gameplay”.

Soft-Launched

3.League of Legends: Wild Rift by Riot Games. The most popular MOBA comes to mobile in Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. More regions will follow in December and global launch is scheduled for spring 2021.

Pre-registration started

Screenshot Image

4.Astractraft by NetEase. “Real-time sandbox & combat game” - create scifi mechs and aircrafts of any shape from lego-like blocks and mount equipment and guns on them. Test your creations in a battle.

5.Football Manager 2021 Mobile by Sports Interactive/Sega. Sports management sim.

Canceled Games

1.Gears Pop! by Mediatonic/Microsoft. RTS in Clash Royale style with Gears and Funko POP licenses is closing in April 2021. It was lunched in August 2019.

2.Angry Birds Tennis by Rovio. Casual tennis sim is killed during soft launch.


Research & Market Data

Top Grossing Mobile Games Worldwide Between September 28 and October 27, 2020

SensorTower: Genshin Impact hits nearly $250M in its first month, making it one of the largest mobile game launches ever.


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Bonus Level - weekly newsletter by Maxon Pugovsky, producer of mobile games at Gameloft. Please recommend BL to your colleagues, if you find it useful. Got a forward? Subscribe or browse through archive: