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Reinout is a marketing, strategy and business consultant in the gaming industry. He works also as a corporate strategist for several gaming studio’s. He is known for his 20+ years track-record with outstanding business and financial results in the global games space.

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Ubisoft has this week announced that several members of the core development team for Rainbow Six Siege are leaving the project.

Among them are brand director Alexandre Remy, and creative director Xavier Marquis, who are leaving to “pursue other interests within Ubisoft.”

Now that you know why today’s media companies are most threatened by mobile games, and what type of consumer you’ll encounter playing mobile games, it’s time to dig into the execution itself. What type of mobile campaign can you run in mobile games? More importantly, what type of mobile campaign should you run?

Footballer Mesut Özil has been removed from the eFootball Pro Evolution Soccer 2020 in China after speaking out against the nation’s government.

The Guardian reports he posted an Instagram message with the East Turkestan republic flag in the background — a region now known as the China-controlled Xinjiang province — describing Uighur Muslims in the area as “warriors who resist persecution.”

This article is part of an ongoing series of data-driven articles from PocketGamer.biz and App Annie highlighting trends in the mobile games sector.

Will SayGames’ Sand Balls be the most downloaded mobile game of 2019?

It was only released in July so that seems unlikely, especially given competition from the likes of Call of Duty: Mobile and Mario Kart Tour.

But certainly ever since we’ve been running these App Annie data articles, it’s been near or at the top of the most downloaded charts.

Maybe it will have to be satisfied with being the most downloaded mobile game of the second half of 2019?

For this week – as last week, and the week before that etc – Sand Balls remains at #1.

Ditto AppLovin’s Ink Inc – Tattoo Tycoon, at #2 and Focus Apps’ Brain Out at #3.

In fact, the biggest movement is Call of Duty: Mobile which drops out of the top 10.

Niantichas revealed a new feature for Pokemon GO called Buddy Adventure, which is set to hit the game in 2020.

As revealed on the official website, the Buddy Adventure feature will allow players to level up their friendship with their chosen Buddy Pokemon through battles, playing with their Pokemon, and feeding them berries

Buddies will now follow players around on the map, and each Pokemon has different quirks that they’ll exhibit while wandering around.The more time players spend with their Buddy, the higher their friendship level goes, rising all the way from “Good Buddy” to “Best Buddy”, with bonus perks unlocked at each level.

Mobile developer and publishing company N3twork has announced it has acquired the rights to mobile title Funko Pop! Blitz from Universal Games and Digital Platforms.

Universal Games and Digital Platforms is the restructured gaming arm of NBCUniversal, which earlier this year announced it would no longer be developing and publishing its own titles. This acquisition appears to be in line with an ongoing transition period mentioned as part of the restructuring, and Universal Games and Digital Platforms will continue to be involved with several of its former properties to manage the IP.

Facebook has acquired Madrid-based cloud gaming startup PlayGiga for a reported price of €70 million ($78 million).

CNBC reports (via Cinco Dias) on the acquisition, but noted that there were no further details on its goals or other related changes. A Facebook spokesperson confirmed the deal.

Finnish Nitro Games has revealed Lootland, a co-op shooter for mobile devices.

Lootland is a super-casual shooter game with an emphasis on co-op multiplayer. Players clear waves of enemies together, while picking up a ton of loot from the defeated monsters.

“We are thrilled to announce Lootland. We’re expanding our portfolio of shooter games by introducing an easy to approach looter-shooter game with a heavy emphasis on co-op gameplay,” says Nitro Games CEO and co-founder Jussi Tähtinen. “Based on our early testing results, we’re delighted to see a great demand for a game like this.”

Lootland slated for release in 2020.

Learn more about Lootland and Nitro Games at www.nitrogames.com.

The Game Awards announced that last week’s video game showcase reached more than 45.2 million global livestreams viewed, up 73% from 2018’s record-setting performance of 26.2 million livestreams.

OK, so it’s not such a joke to call it the Oscars of gaming anymore, as it is pretty darn close to being bigger than the Oscars. The Game Awards said that the show is one of the world’s largest — and most watched — awards shows for any entertainment medium. The Oscars are probably still bigger worldwide (the U.S. audience was 29 million in 2019), but the audience for the Academy Awards has been declining since 2014.

Games of the Year 2019: Divinity: Original Sin II http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2019-12-18-games-of-the-year-2019-divinity-original-sin-ii

How ArenaNet is rewriting the narrative for its narrative writers http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2019-12-18-how-arenanet-is-re-writing-the-narrative-for-its-narrative-writers

Electronic Arts and Respawn Entertainment have unveiled the Apex Legends Global Series, a set of esports tournaments for Apex Legends with a prize pool of $3 million.

The series will enable amateurs and pros to compete in online and live events. At less than a year old, Apex Legends is a young to be an esports contender. The battle royale shooter won the title of Best Multiplayer Game at last week’s The Game Awards. Its had more than 70 million downloads in the nine months between its launch and the end of October.

Madfinger Games‘ upcoming mobile shooter Shadowgun War Games has hit 500,000 pre-registrations ahead of launch.

The Czech firm confirmed the milestone as the studio puts its “finishing touches” to a closed beta version of the game. The limited space beta is due to open sometime in the winter.

Shadowgun War Games is a multiplayer free-to-play first-person shooter specifically designed for mobile. It focuses on 5v5 multiplayer matches, contrasting previous game Shadowgun Legends’ MMO stylings.

Gameloft has rolled out a limited-time event that will see content from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker appear in Disney Magic Kingdoms.

The update to the mobile theme park designer will coincide with the latest film release in the space opera franchise and continues the ongoing collaboration between the French publisher and The Walt Disney Company.

A new park expansion with locations inspired by Hoth, Endor, Jakku, and more will be made available, alongside the introduction of numerous iconic heroes and villains. Characters set to feature include Rey, Poe, Finn, R2-D2, C3PO, BB-8, General Hux, a First Order Stormtrooper, and Kylo Ren.

Players can also add attractions based on X-wings or the Resistance Speeder. During the event, quests can be completed to help fight Kylo Ren and The First Order, which in turn will reward users.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker event will take place from December 19th, 2019 until January 14th, 2020.

In a post on Medium, Atari said that developers can start making games for the VCS right now using the Unity engine and standard Linux tools. The company is working towards compatibility with other engines, but none were confirmed at the time of writing.

Last month, Atari said that the VCS was in the final stages of pre-production, with a launch scheduled for March next year. The console was supposed to launch in March 2019, but it was delayed so the hardware could be improved.

Battle Pass is a hot trend in mobile games – like it or notA bit over a year ago, we wrote a post about Battle Pass systems. Back then, this monetization mechanic was still brand-new with Fortnite the first mobile title to popularize it among players. Even though other genres slowly started adopting the Battle Pass as well, it was mostly left to Battle Royale games. Now the mobile gaming market looks quite different, and you could argue that Battle Pass is here to stay – not only in Battle Royale but across the market. In this blog post, we’ll focus on trend & popularity data for Battle Passes and look at a couple of the most interesting implementations we’ve seen so far.Editor’s Note: This is an extended version of an article on the same topic that we published int Pocketgamer.biz.The data and examples shown here are gathered from the GameRefinery service, which you can access here. If you’re interested in researching over 200 in-game features, their popularity, and implementations or checking out feature deconstructions of hundreds of games, you might want to pay a visit!

GamesIndustry.biz presents… The Year In Numbers 2019 http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2019-12-17-gamesindustry-biz-presents-the-year-in-numbers-2019 

A fifth former Google employee has come forward alleging that the company fired them for union-related activities, following similar accusations from four others over Thanksgiving this year.

In a Medium post published today, former Google security engineer Kathryn Spiers says that earlier this year, she coded a small pop-up notification that would appear in the browsers of Google employees when they visited an internal labor relations website. The notification read, “Googlers have the right to participate in protected concerted activities.”

What does FIGS mean?

When you search for “FIGS localization” on Google, you will get over 23 million results, but why does FIGS matter? And what do you need to pay attention to when localizing into FIGS?

Since leaving Epic Games in late 2017, UX expert Celia Hodent has been cutting across the game industry, meeting with developers to discuss ethical and practical UX solutions, as the industry itself grapples with the rising ethical concerns that come with more and more successful games.

From the usability and engagement of Fortnite, to a post-Epic career teaching developers about the ins and outs of UX, Hodent (also author of The Gamer’s Brain) has had an eye on the user experience in a way few other developers can speak to. At GamesBeat this year, Hodent stopped to chat with Gamasutra about what she’s learned about ethical game design in the last year and a half.

Axiom Verge surprised even its creator when it garnered critical acclaim in 2015. An indie metroidvania in the age of indie metroidvanias, developer Thomas Happ took a refreshingly formulaic approach that captured the same sense of wonder and mystery as classic Metroid. With a welcome dash of H.R. Giger-inspired art and a creepy, pulsating soundtrack, Axiom Verge was a breakout.

“I just try to make something that’s interesting to me and hopefully other people like it as well,” Happ tells USgamer today via email about the success of the first game. Happ closed out Nintendo’s Indie World presentation today with the announcement of Axiom Verge 2, a sequel to the first that’s been four years in development.

Axiom Verge 2 looks to explore new worlds and eras, supposedly delving into the origins of the Axiom Verge universe. We’re fans of Axiom Verge ’round these parts, so we reached out to Happ with some of our most burning questions about the sequel.

GameBizPitch @ GameBizCon | Jan 28 to 30 Come pitch your company deck online to corporates, investors and accelerators in order to get honest feedback, potential investment, partnership and exposure. Main categories: Game Pitch, Game Company Pitch, Service Provider Company Pitch, Service Provider Product Pitch, Esports Company Pitch For more information and the Early Bird pricing: https://lnkd.in/dsebmpr hashtag#gaming hashtag#esports hashtag#businessevent hashtag#bizztech hashtag#badpandagames Justin Berenbaum, Reinout te Brake, Eugene Dyatlov, Juan Tamargo, Xsolla, Game Consultancy – Game marketing – RTB Game Consultancy; Experts in Games, VironIT, TOP ENTERTAINMENT AGENCY

Streamlabs has launched a new fundraising platform aimed at making it easier for streamers to raise money for charities.The idea is to help charities to reach their fundraising goals without incurring a lot of additional costs.

Streamlabs says its native fundraising platform is a seamless experience for live streamers who can now fully produce a charity stream on one platform without relying on additional integrations. Unlike other platforms that tack on a 5 percent fee on each donation, Streamlabs does not impose any additional charges. Excluding the standard PayPal processing fees, 100 percent of every contribution is sent directly to the charities via PayPal.

Niantic revealed today that the Buddy Adventure update for Pokémon Go is coming by 2020. It will give players new ways to interact with their favorite Pokémon partner.

Pokémon Go has been a big hit since its 2016 debut, having earned over 1 billion downloads and raking in millions of dollars with its free-to-play model. It’s the biggest location-based AR game in the world. Adding new features can keep its current players happy and encourage lapsed fans to return.

Organizers for the Game Developers Choice Awards announced today that Kate Edwards will receive its 2020 Ambassador Award, which recognizes persons for “helping video games advance to a better place through advocacy and action.”

Edwards was the executive director of the International Game Developers Association form 2012 to 2017. The IGDA is a nonprofit supporting any person involved with game development. Edwards is now the executive director of Global Game Jam, an annual event that has teams from across the world creating games over a single weekend.

Edwards has often advocated for diversity and mental health awareness, while speaking out against Gamergate and crunch during game development.

Past winners of the Ambassador Award include Rami IsmailMark DeLouraTracy FullertonBrenda Romero, and Anita Sarkeesian.

There’s more than one way to skin a cat, as they say, and there are even more ways to run a global performance campaign. In the early days of mobile user acquisition, clients had one goal in mind: Get a ton of downloads and DAUs, and fast. They typically had a hands-off approach, letting the ad network be flexible in its approach and optimization practices, as long as the immediate outcome was met. Nowadays, however, clients want to know what happens after the install, as they are more concerned about profitability and LTV.

While we, like most mobile ad platforms, welcome more active involvement from clients, especially at the beginning of a campaign, there are times when you just need to trust. Granted, that’s a loaded word these days, as brand advertisers face a paradox of trust with agencies, but standards for transparency and accountability are gradually improving. With that comes trust, and with trust comes performance. Because when you trust your mobile ad partner, and don’t interrupt campaigns mid-flight or make reactionary budget adjustments, it frees them up to do their job — which is to meet your outcomes.

It’s been a year since the launch of Supercell’s fifth full release, Brawl Stars, and in that time the game has generated $422 million in revenue, according to Sensor Tower.

As reported back in March, $150 million of that revenue was made in the first three months after launch.

The PUBG Mobile Club Open final reached 532 million total views, 11 times more than last year’s event.

Not including Chinese platforms, the tournament clocked up over 57 million viewing hours, nearly 15 times more than the total from 2018.

The championship was held between November 29th and December 2nd at the Putra World Trade Centre in Malaysia.

Bigetron RA from Indonesia took the crown, winning $180,000. In second place, with a prize fund of $90,000, was TOP ESPORTS from China, and in third was Thailand’s MEGA Esports team, earning a cash prize of $45,000.

“PUBG Mobile is more than just a game, it’s a platform where players have fun, challenge themselves, keep in touch with friends and family, and meet new people,” said Tencent Games general manager of global publishing Vincent Wang.

Supercell‘s Brawl Stars has generated $422 million in gross revenue from its first year, according to Sensor Tower.

Launched worldwide on December 12th, 2018, the multiplayer mobile shooter has made the bulk of its revenue from South Korea with $94 million or 22 per cent originating from the country.

The US placed second at $73 million or 17 per cent before Germany claimed third with $35 million or eight per cent of the overall total.

Keywords Studios makes triple acquisition of Ichi, Kantan and Syllabes;

Service provider Keywords Studios has made three acquisitions in the form of Ichi, Kantan and Syllabes.

Founded in 2009, Ichi provides a full suite of creative and marketing services to video game publishers, as well as firms in the sports and entertainment sector. The company creates brand marketing campaign strategies, helping with game trailers, live-action, social content and more.

Keywords has purchased the London-based group for £3.2 million ($4.21 million). An initial payment of £2.24 million ($2.94 million) in cash will be made and 70,247 in Keywords ordinary shares will be issued to the seller within 18 months of completion.

“Ichi’s high value-add branding strategy and marketing expertise are key to determining the success of a game or product, so they will be a valuable addition to the Group’s range of marketing services,” said Keywords Studio CEO Andrew Day.

| Pocket Gamer.biz | PGbiz https://www.pocketgamer.biz/news/72174/keywords-studios-triple-acquisition-ichi-kantan-syllabes/

AD: Top 5 Mobile Games To Play On Red Magic 3S @IGNNordic https://nordic.ign.com/red-magic-3s-android/32212/promoted/ad-top-5-mobile-games-to-play-on-red-magic-3s 

In 2019, Apple took steps beyond premium device hardware and software and firmly established itself as a services powerhouse — particularly when it comes to gaming. The tech giant came out swinging in September with its dedicated gaming subscription service, Apple Arcade. With a $4.99 (£4.99, AU$7.99) monthly subscription, users get access to over 100 games that are playable on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Apple TV. Some games have started rolling out for Mac as well.

Mobile games are in an interesting place.

With two billion players globally, the sector is taken more seriously than ever, yet still a large number of gamers see it as a waste of time.

Mobile is ready to go to the next level and shouldn’t squander this opportunity.

But it’s not going to change the conversation by being at The Game Awards.

Hosted and created by Geoff Keighley over the past five years, The Game Awards brings about the best and brightest of the past 12 months for a night of celebration.

The event is known not only for its awards but more primarily for its breaking game announcements, with every year seemingly looking to outdo the last.

GamesIndustry.biz has opened the call for speakers for its upcoming Careers Fair.

This annual event runs alongside EGX Rezzed (and the larger EGX later in the year), providing attendees three days of talks and panels that give insight into the many routes into the games industry.

Last year, for example, we had keynotes from John and Brenda Romero, and a panel on improving diversity.

Additionally, we also run portfolio reviews, offering aspiring developer, artists, writers and more one-on-one time with experts in those fields so they can get some valuable feedback on their work.

Social casino developer KamaGames has expanded its ongoing holiday season advertising campaign targeting US airports.

Beginning before Thanksgiving and running for two months, the ads, which focus on KamaGames’ popular mobile game Pokerist, are designed to appeal to the high volume of travellers during this time of year.

The company says over 40 per cent of its revenue comes from the US, so it hopes the adverts will both attract new users and re-engage existing players.

Hey, big spender

Significantly KamaGames is running its ads in 78 airports, with the potential to rise to 90, and also rotating its creative videos bi-weekly to ensure it generates maximum ROI.

Of course, getting data on such campaigns is difficult, but thanks to technology such as QR codes, KamaGames reckons it can get sufficient feedback.

Indeed, it expects to drive over 200 million impressions across the entire two month period.

Activision’s decision to offer a mobile version of ‘Call of Duty’ should add $300 million in gross bookings for the video-gaming giant in 2020, according to analysts at Jefferies.  https://www.thestreet.com/investing/activision-push-into-mobile-games-wows-analysts-at-jefferies

Mario Kart Tour downloads have begun to slow down as the game reaches its third month of being live but revenue performance shows that Nintendo has a reason to be optimistic.

Launched on September 25th, Mario Kart Tour raced to an estimated 124 million downloads within its first month, according to Sensor Tower data.

Since then numbers have dwindled, and in the seven weeks following the game has only accumulated another 17 million, an increase of 11 per cent.

Though low, downloads are not all that crucial as the game’s revenue continues to grow from its month one result of $37 million to the now approximately $67 million.

Pocket Gamer Connects returns to London on January 20th and 21st for its biggest conference ever, including the popular matchmaking event Investor Connector.

This event pairs game companies – or individuals – with investors looking for opportunities to spend the right kind of money in the right sector.

Want a one-on-one meeting with the right investor? Let us know how much funding you’re looking for using this form, as well as a little about your company vision, who’s on the team, what the business model is and what you would use the money for.

If you make it through the approval process, we’ll line you up an individual meeting with an investor. After that, it’s up to you.

Five weeks remain until Pocket Gamer Connects London, which takes place between January 20th and 21st.

Europe’s biggest mobile gaming industry conference, Pocket Gamer Connects, returns to London in a newer, bigger, better form. More than 2,000 delegates representing the entire sector will gather for the two days of January 20-21 to hear 200+ world-class speakers across 15 tracks sharing their expert insight on everything from monetisation to the latest development trends.

A reworked schedule with new tracks for 2020 that include live ops, influencer marketing, Industry Vision and Values, esports, global publishing, and a workshop programme. With highly competitive indie pitches and mighty networking through our free Pitch & Match meeting scheduler and the infamous Global Connects party night, no event puts you in touch with the whole gaming industry like PGC.

Every day we will look at each of the 15 tracks in turn. Today is Esports Academy – hear game makers, hardware vendors and esports teams give insight into the opportunities in competitive gaming.

Apple has launched an annual subscription for its premium mobile game service Apple Arcade.

As reported by iFun.de, a yearly subscription option has been rolled out to the App Store and is now available to purchase for $49.99. This is notably cheaper than the monthly $4.99 option, offering players 12 months for the price of 10.

The subscription prices carry across the same in the UK at £49.99 as well as Europe at €49.99. Those in Canada can sign up for CA$59.99 (approximately $45.55)

PocketGamer.biz has reached out to Apple to clarify whether this deal is limited time or permanent.

PlayStation leader and industry veteran Shuhei Yoshida will moderate a special panel at the GamesIndustry.biz Investment Summit in February.

Yoshida was tasked to lead the renewed indie development initiative within Sony Interactive Entertainment last month ahead of the launch of PlayStation 5 in 2020.

The PAX East Investment Summit will take place in Boston on Thursday, February 27th. The event connects developers together with publishers, platform holders and investors, and is designed to get games and studios funded. Now in its tenth year, the Summit has generated millions of dollars for game creators worldwide.

The event begins with a conference, which this year will include PlayStation, Kickstarter and Xsolla (with more to be announced). Followed by a networking lunch and a meeting system where developers have the chance to speak with publishers and investors one-to-one (meetings are at the discretion of the publishers and investors). Tickets are on sale now and also includes a pass to PAX East for both Thursday and Friday.

Microsoft has suggested that the Xbox Series X will only be the first console in its new generation of hardware — and that generation will simply be branded “Xbox.”

The point was made in response to inquiries from Business Insider, which noticed a quirk in the way the Xbox Series X name was presented at The Game Awards — specifically that the word “Xbox” was heavily foregrounded, with “New” and “Series X” much smaller above and below it.

“The name we’re carrying forward to the next generation is simply Xbox,” a Microsoft representative told Business Insider, “And at The Game Awards you saw that name come to life through the Xbox Series X.”

The current generation of hardware was named Xbox One, with both S and X models released. The hardware released in the generation before was all under the Xbox 360 brand.

Good mech games and VR go together like racing sims and wheel accessories — it just makes sense. But don’t hold your breath for VR support in MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries, at least not yet.

Back in 2016, MechWarrior 5 developer Piranha Games showed interest in VR support for its combat-focused mech simulator. Back then, the studio president Russ Bullock stated that it was “designed” to support VR, and it actually held a single demo for the game’s VR support at an industry event leading up to release. A programmer even stated that “native VR support” was one of the reasons they picked Unreal Engine for the game. But now that release has come and gone on the Epic Games Store, there is no peep of VR support at all.

The intimate and award-winning social VR experience Where Thoughts Go: Prologue is now on the Oculus Quest. In it, you discover anonymous audio clips recorded by other users, and record your own to be left in the virtual world for other users to discover.

In marketing and advertising, knowing who your audience is, how they’re changing, and how best to reach them is the job. That’s the work, and it’s no different when you’re marketing to gamers. But in marketing, there’s been a perception that we’ve figured out that audience — gamers like what they like and it’s not going to change.

The claim that “gamers are dead” famously isn’t a new one, but it’s really only existed in the context of cultural critique up to this point. But as an advertising creative at an indie agency and someone who has more combined hours in Team Fortress 2 and Overwatch than most people have at their current jobs — I have to say that it’s true.

Published by Reinout te Brake

Reinout is a games investor and strategic business consultant specializing in the games industry. Reinout established his credentials through his own successful investments, start-ups, consulting and (advisory) board positions that led through time to strong bonds with key stakeholders in this fast paced industry. He is known for his outstanding results in the gaming industry. He has worked with many game studios around the globe and is therefore well known in the international gaming industry. Check out his games podcast; https://www.game-consultant.com

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