Kabam has announced it has been selected as the exclusive mobile distributor of Wartune, a popular Chinese web game that has been co-developed for mobile by 7th Road and Hoolai games. The announcement will see Kabam introducing the game to players throughout North America and major European markets.
Designed to address the needs of small to mid-sized mobile game developers, Gamebrain announced today a cloud-based development and publishing platform that Founder and CEO Eduardo Cervantes sees as a major breakthrough for developers looking to expedite the process from game idea to monetization.
“It is very hard to get your game discovered by the public,” explains Cervantes, “especially if you’re a small developer. You just don’t have the resources to rank high on the app stores.
“The top 20 game development companies account for 90-percent of revenue at the big app stores, both Google and Apple. In our study, we counted 1.1 million app development shops and independent developers around the world. So if the top 20 players are taking 90-percent of the revenue, that means the other 10-percent is being spread out among those 1.1 million developers. So where we see the opportunity is in evening the playing field.”
Mobile games publisher Yodo1 has today announced a new division for publishing games on the global market, in addition to continuing to publish Western games in China. Yodo1 will publish games across iOS and Android on both Google Play and the Amazon App Store. The company’s publishing expansion is led by Cavemania, a puzzle action game from Dallas-based studio BonusXP, which is set to launch this September.
Game studio Rocket Jump revealed that Mini Golf Matchup had reached the 10 million downloads mark in its first month of release.
Mini Golf Matchup, which launched at the beginning of March, grabbed the No. 1 spot on the top free iPhone apps chart in 28 countries eight hours after it hit the Apple App Store. In the first seven days, the game had 135,000 four and a half star average reviews, which was the most that any game ever received in that time span, says Scopely co-founder and CEO Walter Driver. A huge factor in the early success can be attributed to Los Angeles-based Scopely. Mini Golf Matchup is the first game published by Scopely, which has released four games in total.
“It was a big validation of our ability to work with external teams to create large franchises,” Driver says.
“We started Scopely to be the first mobile-first interactive entertainment network, he says. “We see ourselves as being able to build the first network like a TV network. Like Fox doesn’t create all of its own content. It has both internal studios and external studios and are able to systematically determine what content people want to consume and be able to broadcast that to a large audience and be able to bring premium advertising to the table around that content on a regular basis.”
Driver says Scopely is trying to build an increasingly larger audience with each game it launches. He then describes Scopely as “the HBO of mobile games.” (more…)
Japanese 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…)
Facebook releases native share dialog for iOS developers, allows Open Graph sharing without login and permissions
Facebook today announced the availability of a new native share dialog for iOS, which will give developers an easy way to incorporate Facebook sharing — including Open Graph actions — in their apps.
The mobile share dialog is a standard tool that enables users to post something back to Facebook. Similar to the Like button, the share dialog can be implemented with a small amount of code across any app and it works even if users haven’t logged into the app using Facebook. The dialog includes support for location tagging, friend tagging, custom privacy settings, deep linking and more.
Previously, mobile developers would have had to program their own sharing mechanism with these features or use the old “feed dialog” or iOS 6 Share Sheet, which are more limited in functionality and can require up to three extra steps for users.
Unlike Share Sheet, the native share dialog supports Open Graph publishing, as seen in the “read a book” example to the right. This is important because until now, developers had to ask users to log into their app using Facebook and allow various publishing permissions, which some users did not like.
Now, because the share dialog opens up the main Facebook app to complete the action, users don’t need to log into a third-party app with Facebook in order to share back via the Open Graph. As long as users have the Facebook app and are logged into that, they can easily publish to Facebook from any iOS app that uses the share dialog. This could greatly increase the amount of structured sharing through Open Graph verbs and objects.
Facebook first announced the native share dialog, along with other new mobile platform features, in April. However, it was only available in limited beta for iOS until today’s wide release. It is still in development for Android. The company says the share dialog should be used by default in all mobile apps that want to enable users to share something to the social network, even if the apps don’t have deeper Facebook integration, such as login or Open Graph.
Facebook offers a detailed comparison of all of a developer’s options for sharing back to Facebook — including the new share dialog, iOS Share Sheet, web-based feed dialog and Graph API — here. Technical documentation on the native share dialog is available here.
Mobile advertising and publishing platform Tapjoy today announced a partnership with South Korea’s largest social mobile platform Kakao, which will allow developers on the Kakao Games platform to monetize with Tapjoy’s advertising and monetization tools.
The Kakao Games platform allows users to play with KakaoTalk users, share game scores, and compete on leaderboards in real-time. Games on the platform now gross more than $40 million per month, the company revealed in a statment.
In March, Tapjoy revealed that approximately 100 million unique viewers who come through its network per month are international, which equates to about 75 percent of its overall unique viewers per month coming from outside the U.S.
The partnership provides Tapjoy the opportunity to deliver premium content within titles on the Kakao Games platform.
KakaoTalk currently has more than 90 million users around the globe, more than 30 million users visiting the platform every day and is South Korea’s practically ubiquitous mobile messaging app. SundayToz was the first developer to get its match-3 puzzler Anipang on KakaoTalk’s game platform. At GDC 2013, SundayToz founder and CEO Kevin Lee told us he spoke with the founder of Kakao, and proposed the idea to turn the messenger app into a game platform, which led to the launch of Anipang for Kakao. Today, Anipang is generating around $500,000 in revenue a day.
Recently, KakaoTalk also demonstrated growth outside of its native South Korea by surpassing the 10 million download mark in Japan on March 24.
Mobile-social gaming giant GREE today reported 37.9 billion yen ($370.9 million) in revenue and 10.8 billion yen ($105.7 million) in operating profit for the third quarter of 2013, a quarter-over-quarter decline of both sales and profits. Sales fell 4 percent and profits 24 percent. Year-over-year, revenues are down 18 percent from 46.2 billion yen ($452.1 million) in Q3 2012 and operating profit dipped by 56 percent from 24.5 billion yen ($239.7 million).
The Japanese company, which was established in 2004, also posted an “extraordinary” loss of 4.03 billion yen (39.4 million) on one-time write-off of assets related to some titles. The loss was part of GREE’s plans to shift growth strategy to “selection” and “concentration”, where it will streamline its portfolio of core titles. Card battle titles from Pokelabo, the Japanese game studio GREE acquired in October 2012, are performing well for GREE. Three of the top 25 grossing iOS apps in Japan include Guardian Battle of Glory at No. 7, Sword of Phantasia at No. 10 and Clan Battle of Fate at No. 25. GREE also plans to share its successful Android lessons with Pokelabo, while Pokelabo plans to do the same for GREE with iOS lessons. (more…)
Japanese mobile-social gaming juggernaut GREE recently laid off around 30 employees from its San Francisco office, according to GameIndustry International.
“We have recently aligned GREE’s U.S. studio to focus on creating the next generation of mobile social games,” said Anil Dharni, chief operating officer of GREE, in an official statement. “This shift in focus has been clearly demonstrated by the success and growth of our games. As part of ensuring that we are operating as efficiently as possible, we have made the difficult decision to reduce our work force. The employees leaving today have made great contributions to our success and we wish them all the best.”
In December 2012, GREE restructured its company, letting go 25 people, mostly from GREE’s social networking platform OpenFeint team. GREE announced the closing of OpenFeint a month prior to the layoffs. GREE acquired OpenFeint in April 2011 for $104 million as part of the Japanese company’s efforts to expand into Western markets.
Stay tuned to Inside Mobile Apps for GREE’s Q3 2013 earnings tomorrow.
Korean mobile game developer and publisher earlier this week reported record quarterly revenue of 24.9 billion KRW ($22.8 million) in Q1 2013, up 17 percent quarter-over-quarter and 121 percent year-over-year. Profit improved tremendously as well, where in the company saw 8.6 billion KRW ($7.9 million) in profit for the quarter, an increase of 184 percent quarter-over-quarter and 120 percent year-over-year.
Mobile revenues domestically (South Korea) were up 34 percent quarter-on-quarter and 274 percent year-over-year at 18.3 billion KRW ($16.8 million). Com2uS cited games on messaging app KakaoTalk’s game platform as a key driver to the revenue increase. Sales overseas were down 18 percent quarter-over-quarter but up 1 percent year-over-year at 5.4 billion KRW ($4.9 million). Com2uS explained that most new titles launch first on KakaoTalk then overseas, where the platform doesn’t exist. The company plans to expand to more markets around the globe in Q2 2013.
A standout title for the company, in terms of revenue, was its recently launched strategy RPG title Heroes War, which is seeing stable revenue growth.
In total, Com2uS launch six titles in Q1 and plans to release 16 titles in Q2 2013. Com2uS didn’t update its earnings forecast for 2013, meaning its sticking with its expected 101.7 billion KRW ($93.2 million) in revenue and 41.1 billion KRW ($22.1 million) in profit.
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