Mobile Game News Roundup: Christmas 2014 Edition

My CountryAs we celebrate the Christmas holiday season, mobile developers are hoping to snag a bit of your time with themed content updates in many popular games on iOS, Android and beyond. Here’s a look at just a handful of the updates available, which should offer a little something for every type of gamer.

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Gameloft’s Pastry Paradise Launches on iOS, Android

Pastry ParadiseGameloft has announced the launch of Pastry Paradise on iOS and Android devices. The match-three game introduces players to pastry chef Hannah, who must stop the “crooked cook” Mr. Moelleux from filling the world with his less-than-tasty mud cakes and canned custard. Each level has a different challenge, like earning a large number of points before running out of moves, or capturing tiles from enemy characters in head-to-head bake-offs.

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Mobile Game News Roundup: Thanksgiving 2014 Edition

High School StoryThanksgiving is right around the corner (for those that celebrate it this week), and app developers are capitalizing on the holiday by giving us all something to be thankful for: content updates in popular games, from High School Story to Spider-Man Unlimited and beyond. Here’s a look at a few of those updates, available across smartphones and tablets.

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Modern Combat 5 to be first game optimized for MediaTek’s new octa-core chip

Image via Gameloft

Image via Gameloft

Gameloft and MediaTek are teaming up on Modern Combat 5, optimizing the game on the semi-conductor’s new MT6592 octa-core smartphone chip for Android. (more…)

Thor wields mighty hammer on iOS, Android

Thor The Dark World

Image via Gameloft

With Thor: The Dark World ready to premiere in U.S. theaters November 8, Gameloft announced the release of the action RPG mobile title to go along with it, complete with a game narrative co-written by the movie’s screenwriter, Christopher Yost.

The free-to-play game is now available in the App Store and Google Play, and follows Thor in what plays like a tower offense game, as you control the Marvel hero and a selection of allies in a hack and slash battle from world to world with the ultimate mission to stop the evil lord of the Dark Elves, Malekith. (more…)

GT Racing 2: Hands-on preview

GTR2_4_650

When it comes to comparing Gameloft’s GT Racing 2 to EA’s Real Racing 3, Gameloft is already revving its engine with stats.

GTR2 features 35 manufacturers compared to RR3’s 16, 13 tracks compared to 10, 1,400 events compared to 1,300, 4 weather/time conditions (day, night, twilight, rain) compared to just 2, and 67 cars at launch compared to the 67 cars RR3 now features after 3 updates.

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Asphalt 8: Airborne review

Image via Gameloft

Image via Gameloft

Games like Real Racing 3 and CSR Racing have given a massive breath of life to the racing genre on mobile devices. While Real Racing 3 takes a simulation approach and CSR Racing is based on drag racing, there’s still be a lack of a quality arcade-style racer. Fortunately, Gameloft has filled that void with Asphalt 8: Airborne, a visually-impressive racing game that comes packed with a ton of speed and action.  Whether you’re looking to pull off flips and barrel rolls, or you want to speed and drift around the competition, Asphalt 8 offers something for all types of race fans.

As soon as you enter the main menu, it’s obvious that Gameloft set out to make a racing game that’s full of detail and customization, even if the menu system is a bit cluttered and difficult to navigate. The main gameplay options are World Series (online play), Career, Quick Solo Race, and Local Wi-Fi Race. Season one of the career is available from the start, and is an excellent way to get used to the controls and the different game types. Players experienced in mobile racers may be able to go online and hold their own right off the bat, but the controls feel a little less sharp than in games like Real Racing 3, so a few practice rounds isn’t a bad idea. While the first few races will likely be underwhelming, most players will quickly learn some of the tricks that make Asphalt 8 stand out. Pulling off crazy stunts doesn’t just look cool, it’s a fun way to refill turbo meter and destroy the competition. (more…)

Blitz Brigade update adds new mode, weapons, and map

Image via Gameloft

Image via Gameloft

Gameloft announced that Blitz Brigade 1.1.0 released today in the App Store, adding capture-the-flag mode, a new map entitled “Cathedral,” as well as a variety of new weapons for every class to the popular multiplayer shooting game.

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Gameloft’s Q1 2013 revenues up 21 percent to $70.1M

Gameloft logoGameloft yesterday released its earnings for Q1 2013. The French mobile game developer achieved sales of €54.2 million ($70.1 million), up 21 percent over the same quarter a year ago.

Smartphone and tablet revenues increased by 71 percent year-over-year, representing 60 percent of total group sales compared with 43 percent in Q1 2012.

Gameloft attributes its fast growth to the success of the free-to-play model. The company adds that more than 67 percent of its smartphone sales came from in-app purchases and ad revenues in Q1. In terms of which games performed well in the quarter, Gameloft says older titles from as far back as 2011 and 2012 like Dungeon Hunter 4: Zero Hour, World at Arms, My Little Pony, Ice Age Village, Order & Chaos Online, Gangstar Rio: City of Saints and Asphalt 7: Heat, have largely contributed to the company’s strong performance in the first quarter.

Gameloft hopes three recently released titles in the past few weeks including Dungeon Hunter 4, Iron Man 3 and Order & Chaos Duels, help grow sales in future quarters. Gameloft claims Iron Man 3 was the most downloaded game worldwide on the iOS after it was launched. Future releases include Gangstar Vegas, Despicable Me and Uno & Friends.

Gameloft didn’t provide an earnings forecast for Q2 2013. Gameloft’s share price closed today at €5.29 ($6.84), up 0.95 percent.

Mobile apps news roundup: WeChat now has 190M MAU, PvZ 2 launching in July, Amazon launches Appstore in China and more

WeChat app icon roundupWeChat now has 190 million MAU – Tencent’s deputy general manager Hou Xiaonan revealed on the final day of the Global Mobile Internet Conference (GMIC) in Bejing that the company’s messaging app WeChat now has 190 million monthly active users (MAU). This put’s WeChat on par with U.S. messaging app competitor WhatsApp, which reveled in April that it has north of 200 million MAU.

Viber app icon roundupViber reaches 200 million user mark, launches desktop client – Mobile communication app Viber recently reached the 200 million user mark, up from its last reported user figure of 140 million in December 2012, and launched a desktop client. Viber’s main competitors are messaging apps like WhatsApp and VoIP services like Skype.

PopCap-Logo-300x300Plants vs. Zombies 2 launching this July – Electronic Arts’-owned game studio PopCap revealed that its upcoming Plants vs. Zombies 2: It’s About Time will launch sometime this July. No platforms have been revealed yet.

gameloftGameloft announces movie tie-in mobile game for Blue Sky Studios’ Epic – French mobile game developer announced a new game based on the upcoming animated feature Epic from Fox Digital Entertainment and Blue Sky Studios. This is the second game partnership between Gameloft and Fox Digital Entertainment for a Blue Sky Studios, with Ice Age Village as the first title, which launched in April 2012. The game will launch in May to coincide with the film’s theatrical release.

amazon-logoAmazon launches Appstore in China – Amazon launched its Android in Appstore in China this week. Amazon becomes the first western company to offer paid Android apps in the county, beating Google to the punch since Google Play only offers free apps in China, not paid apps.

gameloftGameloft launches Blitz Brigade for iOS and Android – Gameloft recently launched its free-to-play team-based shooter Blitz Brigade, which is takes place in a World War 2 setting. Look for our review of the game sometime next week.

Sunstorm Games logo roundupSunstorm Games currently sees 10M MAU, 1M DAU, 140M downloads – A relatively unknown mobile game developer and publisher called Sunstorm Games announced that its user base has grown to 10 million monthly active users (MAU) and one million daily active users (DAU) along with seeing 140 million downloads of its titles. The game studio’s most popular franchise is its “Maker” series, while the company has also built long-term partnerships with brands like Icee and SuperPretzel.

game-insight-logo-roundupGame Insight brings 2020: My Country to iOS and Amazon – Russian mobile game giant Game Insight released its city builder 2020: My Country, which was first available for Android, on the Apple App Store and Amazon Appstore. The title is the follow up to Game Insight’s other city-building strategy game My Country.

Kamicat logo roundupKamicat raises a round of funding from iVentureCapital – German mobile-social game maker recently raised a round of funding for an undisclosed amount from iVentureCapital. The Hanover, Germany-based Kamikat is most known for its game Kamicat Football for Facebook, which currently has five million registered users.

Tenfarms logo roundupTenFarms raises $2.7M in a round of funding – Mobile startup TenFarms, which is working on two products — Photopoll and Adtile — recently raised $2.7 million in a round of funding from an undisclosed angel investor. The funds are going toward the deployment of Adtile, a new mobile advertising product that allows native integration with apps and websites, and to support the contiuous development of Photopoll, a multi-photo polling app.

Folks from Paltalk, MessageMe and Tango will be speaking about mobile messaging at our Inside Social Apps conference June 6 to 7 in San Francisco. Learn more here.

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