Mobile game

Guardian Kingdoms aims more for Age of Empires or StarCraft than Clash of Clans

Phoenix One Games hopes to build their realm with their first fantasy mobile strategy game, Guardian Kingdoms.

The mobile strategy genre has proven to be incredibly lucrative, with Supercell (Clash of Clans) reporting $2.3 billion of revenue last year and Machine Zone (Game of War) bringing in an estimated $590,000 revenue daily. Since these games launched in 2012 and 2013 respectively, competing studios have attempted to cash in on the popularity of mobile strategy. According to market research firm Verto Analytics, action/strategy games are the fourth most popular genre on mobile, with a comparatively high number of user sessions per month.

However, Phoenix One claims that Guardian Kingdoms offers something different from the other mobile strategy games on the market. Alongside mechanics from Clash of Clans and other similar apps, Guardian Kingdoms provides more control over individual units and heroes so players can execute real-time strategy. It also emphasizes…

Plarium brings Skynet upon us with Terminator Genisys mobile game

Skynet is upon us. Are you for it or against it?

The artificial intelligence network that takes over the world in The Terminator films has now arrived on our mobile phones in the form of Terminator Genisys: Future War, a new mobile game for iOS and Android.

Tel Aviv, Israel-based Plarium is launching the clan-based massively multiplayer online (MMO) strategy game, which pits man against machine in a global battle for the fate of humanity.

Plarium has expanded the narrative that follows the conclusion of the Terminator Genisys Skydance film, where the remnants of the human Resistance are locked in a civil war over the few resources and weapons remaining.

Players start the game on a war-torn battlefield littered with Resistance holdouts and hostile Skynet facilities, just as the machines arise once again to ignite a new chapter in the Future War. In a first for any Terminator game, players will…

The future of mobile user acquisition and attribution

Adjust chief technology officer Paul Muller had a warning for attendees at our recent GamesBeat Summit 2017 event when it comes the future of user acquisition and attribution — or advertising to get users and figuring out where they are coming from.

Adjust helps mobile game and app developers figure out who among the ad networks is responsible for driving users to their app. Muller noted that “data is the new oil,” but clients are often giving away data rather than treating it as something really valuable.

For instance, Adjust found that the top 200 apps share their raw data for all users with 10 partners. Many apps even share revenue events, such as in-app purchases, with data networks.

“That’s a problem because many times you share your data with advertising networks that have a severe conflict of interest when managing your data,” Muller said. “Sure, they can monetize it…

Why Microsoft needs the iPhone to accomplish its mobile goals

Microsoft is shifting its mobile strategy.
Microsoft is shifting its mobile strategy.

It wasn’t that long ago when Windows Phone was an important topic at Microsoft’s Build developer conference.

But you’d be hard-pressed to tell from watching this year’s keynotes. Like last year’s event, no one in the parade of Microsoft executives who took the stage made any mention of Windows Phone.

Except for that one moment.

Joe Belfiore, corporate vice president in Microsoft’s Operating Systems Group, was demoing a new OneDrive feature from the upcoming Fall Creators Update on a Windows Phone. As soon as he said the words “Windows Phone,” someone in the audience let out an inexplicably enthusiastic “Woot!”

“Thank you,” he said, before continuing the demo. He didn’t mention Windows Phone again. Later, a slide appeared. “Windows PCs ❤️ All Your Devices,” it proclaimed. The first smartphone on the slide? An iPhone.

That almost perfectly encapsulates Microsoft’s mobile strategy right now. And, yes, despite the…

Tencent poured $90 million into Pocket Gems because of two shiny jewels

Above: Pocket Gems’ Episode, an interactive tale where readers make choices.

Mobile game publisher Pocket Gems announced today that it has raised $90 million in new funding from Chinese Internet company Tencent, which is also the world’s largest game company.

The funding amount is high in part because Pocket Gems has had so much success focusing on just two mobile games, its Episode digital storytelling app and its War Dragons hardcore multiplayer app. The companies didn’t disclose the size of the deal, but the Wall Street Journal reported the number at $90 million. And GamesBeat has confirmed that number is correct.

“Things are better than they have ever been at the company,” said Ben Liu, CEO of Pocket Gems, in an interview with GamesBeat. “It starts with player love. We had the largest player base and number of users ever. That translated to the best numbers ever at the company.”

Pocket Gems had an estimated $17 million in revenue in April, according to mobile measurement firm Sensor Tower. If the company sustained that rate year round, it would generate revenue of about $210 million.

Liu did disclose that the company has had more than 300 million downloads to date. Episode, which is kind of like a comic book platform in which anybody can tell their own story, has had more than 90 million downloads and 3 billion episodes viewed to date. Females ages 25 to 35 are the prime audience for the game.

Above: Building defenses in War Dragons

Image Credit: Pocket Gems

Meanwhile, War Dragons is focused on the traditional hardcore gamer market, and its multiplayer has made it a perennial hit that people come back to over and over. The game has had more…

Moonfrog taps FarmVille creator to build epic Baahubali mobile game

Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, a major film from Indian director S.S. Rajamouli, debuted this week. And it is accompanied by a new mobile game from Moonfrog Labs, dubbed S.S. Rajamouli’s Baahubali: The Game.

The mobile game is a major release on Google Play and the Apple App Store. To create it, the Bangalore, India-based mobile game publisher Moonfrog Labs turned to Mark Skaggs, co-creator of FarmVille, who moved to India in 2016 to work on games for the Indian market at Moonfrog Labs. Skaggs is betting that India’s game market will be the next China, which is now the world’s largest game market.

Moonfrog created the real-time strategy game in partnership with filmmakers Arka Mediaworks and Rajamouli’s Baahubali, with support from Graphic India. You could call it a major transmedia creation, Indian style.

This game is based on Rajamouli’s two-part Indian epic historical film, Baahubali, with an all-star Indian cast. The game is not a recreation of the film. Baahubali: The Game takes place in the Baahubali extended universe, where the player gets to be a part of the epic. The game was released this week in four languages: Hindi, English, Tamil and Telugu.

Above: Mark Skaggs, speaking at GamesBeat 2015.

Image Credit: Michael O’Donnell/VentureBeat

With Baahubali: The Game, the players act as Senapatis (generals or commanders) who serve the kingdom of Mahishmati. They train an army, build defenses and join forces with Baahubali, Kattappa and the other heroes of Mahishmati to push back the ruthless Kalakeya. The game gives the Baahubali fan a new entry point into the film’s universe as a player, where the fan can experience the challenge of being a general with the command of an army.

The end goal is for the player to prove their skills by building the strongest army, the best defended Rajya (outpost), and a working economy with food and gold to protect the kingdom of Mahishmati from the Kalakeya.

Above: Moonfrog’s Baahubali: The Game is a mobile strategy game.

Image Credit: Moonfrog

Skaggs led the design at Moonfrog Labs, where he is a director and board member. He previously led teams that created some of the world’s most popular social games – such as FarmVille, Empire & Allies, CityVille, Treasure Isle, Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle-earth, and Command & Conquer Generals. His games have reached 365 million people.

“We’re using our expertise as game makers to give Indian players the opportunity to experience the characters, environments, and battles in the Baahubali universe up close and personal,” said Skaggs, in a statement. “Great film franchises like Star Wars live on in the minds of players even after the film ends on the big screen. This game will let people live, play and experience the universe of Baahubali in new ways.”

He added, “God is in the details. And as you upgrade the game to various levels, you see the details on your own Rajya in the Baahubali universe. The challenge of bringing the epic world of Baahubali into a small screen was met by the art team watching the film over 100 times to recreate the extended universe with nuances such as iconography, colours, architectural styles, weaponry and clothing styles into one game board. From concept sketches to 3D models and paint overs, every detail of the game went through a labored process of creation, development, and building.”

Above: Moonfrog’s Baahubali: The Game runs on…