DeNA’s Pirate Bash Takes to the High Seas on iOS, Android

pirate bash 650

DeNA has announced the launch of Pirate Bash on iOS and Android devices. Developed in partnership with Kung Fu Factory, the game offers a “full 3D adventure” set on the high seas, as players build a crew and take to battle against other pirates, including other real-world players.


Super Battle Tactics: Check Out These Tips and Tricks for Success

Last July, DeNA launched Super Battle Tactics on iOS and Android devices. The tank battle game throws players into a television show on Tank TV, and asks them to annihilate their competition for the sake of ratings. During battle, each user’s team of tanks is represented by action bars and attack values. On each round, the tanks spin for a random number, and like a roll of the dice, this determines the amount of damage they’ll do to an enemy unit.


DeNA Launches Qube Kingdom on iOS, Android

qube kingdom 650

DeNA has launched its newest game on iOS and Android devices: Qube Kingdom. The tower defense game sees players defending the Six Kingdoms of Qubria from invaders, by placing warriors with different skills and powers on the path in front of their enemies.


DeNA launches competitive match-three puzzle game World of Thingies on iOS


Mobile game developer and publisher DeNA has announced the launch of its latest game on iOS devices, World of Thingies. Developed by DeNA Vancouver, the match-three puzzle game asks players to complete levels to collect the lost “Thingies” that were stolen by the evil Bossy Badsacks.

The game sees players traveling throughout the world of Landiland, completing fast-paced single-player boss levels, as well as multiplayer matches against other real-world opponents. In each game, players have up to three rounds to defeat their opponents, by earning more points in each timed round than the other player.


Isolani: Save humanity from a robotic army on iOS


Mobile game company DeNA has announced the release of Isolani on iOS devices. The first-person-shooter takes players to the distant future, in a world controlled by robots. Players will complete missions to save fellow survivors, collecting multiple weapons and eliminating robotic enemies in the process.


Arena of War: DeNA brings free-to-play Dungeons & Dragons to mobile

Image via DeNA

Image via DeNA

DeNA and Wizards of the Coast have announced the launch of Arena at War on iOS devices. The game was first announced in May as the first ever free-to-play Dungeons & Dragons mobile title. In it, players are sent on a journey through the Forgotten Realms, as they join friends to defeat enemies and collect loot.


Guest Post: The secrets to Blood Brothers’ success

Editor’s note: DeNA’s Japanese RPG card battler has been a hit for the mobile-social gaming juggernaut since release. As Inside Mobile Apps previously reported, Blood Brothers’ events feature is wildly successful for the game. In a third guest post from Kevin Oke, lead designer at both Adrian Crook & Associates, a social-mobile game design consultancy, and PlayRank, a second screen startup, he analyzes the successful components of Blood Brothers from an outsider’s perspective. He previously wrote guest posts for Inside Mobile Apps which analyzed Supercell’s Clash of Clans and NimbeBit’s Nimbe Quest.

DeNA Mobage’s Blood Brothers for iOS and Android recently celebrated its one year anniversary, and is continuing to monetize very well, with an ARPU that has grown every month since release. With this milestone in mind, now seems like a good time to take a dive into the game and highlight some of the things this collectible card game (CCG) does well.

Although it’s certainly firmly rooted in the conventions of the CCG genre (“hands-off” battles, card fusion, gacha) Blood Brothers does add its own touches of innovation, as explained below.

Blood Brothers PvP battle surfacingPvP

Blood Brothers excels at player vs. player (PvP) on a number of levels, one being surfacing. Good surfacing ensures that players are not only made aware of key AEM (Acquisition, Engagement, Monetization) features and the benefits they stand to gain by using them, but also pushed towards these behaviors via smart timing and offering incentives. This is generally done through contextual dialog boxes and limited time promotions.

As PvP gameplay is traditionally a strong source of retention and monetization, it’s especially important to do surfacing well. Blood Brothers keeps PvP at the forefront of the player’s mind with random PvP battles while the player is progressing through a level. These random battles are effective in several ways:

  • Surfacing of PvP gameplay to get the player interested in it and strengthen its ability to help monetize and retain players.
  • Increases PvP’s effectiveness as a morale sink (morale being the rechargeable energy resource needed to engage in PvP and raid boss fights).
  • Clear, simple goals and incentives (winning streaks reward the player with items) — these suck the player in, extending sessions and draining the player of their morale as they attempt to extend their win streak to hit the next reward.

Although conceptually not unique to Blood Brothers, the inclusion of “all-out attacks” (more effective than regular attacks but three-times more costly in terms of morale) and high level raid bosses that are susceptible to them further help to keep morale a precious resource and make a micro-transaction refill more tempting.

Lastly, compared to the confusing and convoluted user experience (UX) that precludes getting into a PvP match in Rage of Bahamut, there is little such friction in Blood Brothers. Opponent selection filtering options are eliminated in favor of pre-determined choices, and it’s immediately clear to the player what’s at stake with rewards, and how their deck stacks up against their potential opponents. (more…)

Mobile apps news roundup: Mobile revenues surpasses handhelds, Adelphic appoints new CEO, Disney launches Where’s My Summer? and more

HasOffers logoHasOffers raises $9.4M round of funding – Affiliate marketing company HasOffers announced a $9.4 million round of funding led by Accel Partners. HasOffers is known for its third-party tracking service MobileAppTracking, which allows app developers to track ad networks, seeing exactly what networks resulted in user acquisition. Other participants in this round of funding included RealNetworks founder Rob Glaser and Founder’s Co-op partner Chris Devore.

App Annie logoApp Annie and IDC portable gaming report Q1 2013: Smartphone and tablet revenues increase threefold – In a new report on mobile gaming, research firms App Annie and IDC revealed that smartphone and tablet revenues from Google Play and the Apple App Store increased threefold compared to handhelds, while also surpassing traditional handhelds in total revenue. For the first time, Google Play surpassed the Apple App Store in total downloads, but the Apple App Store remained the leader in revenue.

Adelphic logoAdelphic taps Michael Collins as CEO – Adelphic announced that former CEO at WPP-owned mobile marketing agency Joule was tapped as the new CEO for the mobile ad startup. Adelphic is known for helping mobile advertisers find the most ideal audiences for their ads, addressing the inconsistent ID for mobile users by analyzing different signals that allow Adelphic to predic a user’s demographic information.

Payvia logoPayvia to acquire Mogreet – Carrier-based mobile billing startup Payvia revealed it’s buying Mogreet, a mobile marketing company which delivers campaigns through text, video and picture messaging services. Acquisition terms were not disclosed.

playfirst_logoPlayFirst brings Diner Dash to Android – Resource manager Diner Dash, from developer PlayFirst, made its way to Google Play this week. PlayFirst also revealed that its Dash franchise reached more than 700 million downloads across all platforms globally.

Disney Interactive logo roundupDisney launches Where’s My Summer? – Disney Interactive launched Where’s My Summer? yesterday for iOS (coming soon to Android). The physics-based puzzler features Perry the Paltypus from Disney’s animated TV show Phineas and Ferb who also stars in the hit mobile title Where’s My Perry? The game is packed with 12 new limited-time levels.

Elephant Mouse logoElephant Mouse launches Star Trek Rivals – Developer Elephant Mouse launched collectible card battler Star Trek Rivals (free) last week for iOS. The game features characters and ships from the two most recent Star Trek films — Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness.

chillingoChillingo partners with Ninja Theory to publish Fightback for mobile – Mobile game developer and publisher announced a partnership with Ninja Theory, the developer behind the recently released DmC: Devil May Cry for consoles. Chillingo will publish the Cambridge, U.K.-based indie studio’s first mobile game, Fightback for iOS and Android.

DeNA logoDeNA releases ShowStopper Basketball – DeNA, in partnership with GameCloud Studios, launched ShowStopper Basketball this week for iOS. The game is a basketball action simulator, putting users in charge of their own teams to coach them in real-time on the court.

DeNA announces G.I. Joe: Battleground and Dungeons & Dragons Arena of War for iOS and Android

GI Joe Battleground Dungeons and Dragons Arena of WarJapanese mobile-social gaming mammoth DeNA today announced two more games — G.I. Joe: Battleground and Dungeons & Dragons Arena of War — from its existing partnership with toy and board game company Hasbro.

After landing a three-year licensing deal with Hasbro for the Transformers franchise, the first game from DeNA and Hasbro was Transforms Legends (originally announced as Transformers Battle) for iOS and Android, a card battle game developed ngmoco (review).

Starting with G.I. Joe: Battleground for iOS and Android, producer of the game David Phan describes the title to Inside Mobile Apps as an adventure RPG where players build a team with Joe heroes, Cobra villans, or both. Users are tasked with completing missions, collecting new members (in the form of cards with an action figure as the visual), and upgrading characters’ skills. Like other DeNA games before it, G.I. Joe features special missions, raid bosses, and player vs. player events, which have been extremely successful for other DeNA titles including card battler Blood Brothers.

“We have the opportunity to make the first mobile game for G.I. Joe not based on a movie, but based on the cartoon series and comic books,” Phan says.

Gameplay unfolds in an asynchronous manner, where combat is automated either in player vs. enemy or PvP (one-on-one only), relying on the statistics and skills from a user’s team of three or five characters to determine the outcome. (more…)

Inside Social Apps profile: DeNA’s Doug Scott

Doug Scott headshotEditor’s Note: Doug Scott is vice president of marketing and revenue at Japanese mobile-social gaming company DeNA. For a taste of what will be discussed at the “Platform Opportunities for Social Apps” session at Inside Network’s Inside Social Apps conference June 6 to 7, Doug answered a couple questions regarding the prospects of current mobile app platforms.

Inside Mobile Apps: Now that Google I/O just concluded, where do you see the Android platform for mobile development in the future?

Doug Scott: We have found Android to be a great development platform for several years now but the announcements at Google I/O take it to another level. By focusing on features to enhance gameplay and support game developers further, I look at this as a watershed moment for mobile gaming. This will certainly encourage more game developers to embrace Android and will allow developers of platforms such as Mobage to focus on even deeper, richer tools and communities for developers on top of these features. It is a testament to the power of gaming as the most engaging activity on these platforms.

IMA: Is there a difference between the iOS and Android platforms in terms of monetization for DeNA?

Scott: There can be differences between the platforms depending on the product but we have found that it’s possible to monetize extremely well on both Android and iOS. Without question, great businesses can be built on both platforms.

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