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ContributionsIndustry

5 Years of Social Monopoly: The Games That Excel Online

April 20, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

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By Peter Williams, Journalist

Online gaming has exploded in popularity over the last decade, thanks in no small part to improving technology and the drive to be more social online. While traditional gambling games and online casinos have long since thrived in the online environment, the advent of social gaming, particularly on social networks, has sent the market for this type of entertainment skywards.

One of the most popular games of all time, as far as traditional board games are concerned, is Monopoly. The popular Monopoly has unsurprisingly transitioned into the online sphere, and players login in their legions daily to play a variety of different Monopoly and Monopoly-themed games. Social Monopoly first hit Facebook back in 2011, and has become one of the most popular social games of its genre.

ContributionsDevelopment

A “Real” How-to for Unreal Engine

April 12, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

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By: Chris Murphy, Unreal Engine Evangelist and Director of Pub Games

Darkness surrounds you, black as night for what seems like light years away. You’ve seen 16 sunrises and sunsets in the past 24-hours. Suddenly, a lightning flash strikes through the quiet. Your head whips around, searching for more under the spotlight. The flash is reflecting off the shiny solar arrays of the space station, and back to the camera. The gravity (and the lack thereof) of the moment hits you: you’re in a 460-ton platform hurtling toward Earth at about 17,150 miles per hour, and you’re a long way from home….or are you?

Virtual Reality

To prepare and train their astronauts for the surreal experience of living on the International Space Station (ISS), NASA uses a perfect replica of ISS developed in Unreal Engine. The fabricated, three-dimensional environment incorporates many of the tasks and challenges that astronauts will face while in the $150-billion ISS, orbiting 240 miles above Earth. This training is critical to their success and ability to explore space.

ContributionsEventsIndustryNews

Esports for Indie Mobile Developers: Mad Skills Motocross Championship Deep Dive

April 4, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

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By Simon Sundén, head of Esports at Gumbler

With over 31 million downloads, Mad Skills Motocross 2 has continued to be a success for developer Turborilla since its launch in 2014. This is primarily due to a loyal player base, many of which are involved in real-life Motocross, as well as partnerships with the likes of RedBull for exclusive events. Looking to drive more community engagement, Turborilla decided to up the ante in October 2015 by introducing real-money challenges via Swedish skills-based esports platform, Gumbler.

Based purely on a player’s skill, Gumbler brings esports to mobile games by enabling players to win real cash through placing money on their abilities. After integrating Gumbler, Mad Skills Motocross 2 saw players win upward of $900,000 in 2016 – with some individual players earning as much as $6,000 per month.

Having seen the high levels of engagement from the Mad Skills Motocross 2 community, Gumbler worked with Turborilla to host its first World Championship at the beginning of 2017 with a prize pot of $20,000.

For Gumbler, the goal was simple as its Head of Esports, Simon Sunden explains:

ContributionsIndustryPR & Marketing

Six Ways Chinese Mobile Game Devs Can Improve Their Western PR Launches

April 3, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

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By James Kaye, Director of Big Games Machine

Lots of attention is given to helping Western developers launch their games in China. Virtually every gaming conference will feature at least one talk on the topic. Yet, there is little focus the other way round. This is largely because Chinese developers will often use a Western publisher. For the few that decide to self-publish, they will often seek the help of an agency partner.

James Kaye is Director & Co-Founder at Big Ideas Machine

Over the past few years, we’ve worked with several Chinese game developers wanting to launch their games in the West. As specialists in gaming PR and marketing, this means we often see developers making the same common mistakes, time and time again.

If you’re a Chinese developer, a publisher or even PR who has never worked with Chinese game developers before, here are six core areas we think deserve your attention. If you’re not a Chinese developer, then many of these tips will still likely apply to you.

ContributionsIndustry

How Hollywood Has Influenced The Gaming Industry

March 28, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

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By Mila Payton

A growing movement is pushing for Video Games to be classified as an art form, the same as music or movies. A medium for storytelling and cinematics that is on par, and sometimes better, with any Hollywood blockbuster in recent years. While movies have always been a “higher form of art” than games, this line is becoming increasingly blurred. In many ways, Hollywood gave rise to video games (in their modern form).

Without certain films, many genres of video game would not even exist. Without the cinematic, aesthetic and commercial movements that grew from the cinema, video games as they are now would be very different. Understanding these influences is key to understanding video games.

The Films That Defined Us

Game DevelopmentPostmortem

Overkill VR: Mobile Game Goes VR

March 21, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

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Overkill VR is a result of cooperation between two teams: Game Troopers & Starloop Studios.
Game Troopers is the official publisher of Overkill VR, managing promotion, marketing and distribution. Game Troopers is also an experienced publisher in mobile gaming, with a strong background in the Windows phone & Windows PC markets. While Starloop Studios is a multi-platform studio formed by developers and artists. Starloop has had many successful projects on different platforms, including PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC, mobile, VR, and more. This experience gives Starloop a unique perspective on game development in different environments and, as the devs state, increases their potential for success.

Starloop’s biggest title to date is Make it Rain – The Love of Money, a mobile clicker with more than 20-million downloads across its three platforms, Android, iOS and Windows phone. These are the teams that created Overkill VR. Here’s how it happened.

ContributionsIndustry

Ever Wanted to Experience the World of the “Whale”?

March 17, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

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By Sam Forrest, Director of Global Communications at KamaGames

In a high class, sophisticated casino in the 1960’s, Sylvia Trench sits at a Baccarat table. Luck is not on her side and so after losing 3 hands in a row, she decides to up the stakes. “I admire your courage Miss…” says the tuxedo wearing stranger across the table…“Trench, Sylvia Trench, I admire your luck… Mr…?” he lights a cigarette and replies with the line that will become synonymous around the world with, action, adventure, sophistication and cool…

“…Bond, James Bond”

In Sean Connery’s first appearance as Ian Fleming’s super spy James Bond in the 1962 film Dr. No, the movie opens with 007 playing Baccarat Chemin de fer. Chemin de fer was the original version of Baccarat dating back to when it was first introduce to France in the early 1400’s and was a favourite amongst French Royalty. The same version is still the most popular there today.

From French Royalty to the modern day “Whales” as they are known, Baccarat has always been a firm favourite of the serious player. In casino circles, a Whale would be a player that has a credit line of between $1,000,000 and $20,000,000 USD and often leaves the tables either millions of dollars up or millions of dollars down.

Postmortem

Hoppy Land: How Eipix Made Its First Self-published Game

March 16, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

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With over a decade of experience in the game development industry, Eipix Entertainment is currently the most productive cross-platform developer of HOPA games in the world, developing more than 20 new titles a year, and employing more than 300 creatives. The company is also deep into the process of expanding onto other fields of the gaming industry, such as adventure games, text-based adventures and VR games. In 2016, it has set its sight on new territory – self-publishing and the free-to-play casual gaming industry.

New beginnings are tough. Eipix has worked on a variety of projects since its inception back in 2005, but for the past five years the company has almost exclusively worked on HOPA titles released by its publisher, Big Fish Games. These games put us on the map, and it is their success that allowed us to consider branching out and venturing into unknown territories.

Once we were able to consolidate our operations and create a steady pipeline for such a massive output of HOPA games, the next logical step was trying our hand in a different genre. Finally, in 2016 we chose to enter the self-publishing arena.

Eipix has grown to employ more than 300 people

ContributionsPR & Marketing

19 Metrics You May Have Never Heard About

March 13, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

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By devtodev lead analyst Vasiliy Sabirov

Analytics in most cases is simply the monitoring of key metrics: DAU, MAU, WAU, ARPU, ARPPU and other abbreviations. Basic analytics metrics represent the 20% of the functional of analytic systems, which provide 80% of the result.

But are these 80% enough?

If not, then our article is for you. We will talk about some of the metrics that are also worthwhile to keep in mind if you want to fully understand all the processes that occur in your application.

Acquisition Metrics

So, users start to use your application. You measure the number of new users (New Users), the total number of users on a particular date (Total Users). You calculate the price to attract users (CPI), the effectiveness of your investment (ROI).

But in order to start the flow of traffic from the partner, first you have to find a partner, sign the contract (agreement with lawyers is often not so fast to be done), integrate and agree on everything. That is to spend both time and money either to pay your employees or on one-time payment to the partner (this also happens). Therefore we recommend to calculate not only the usual CPI, but also the effective cost of user acquisition (eCPI), which includes all third-party costs.

Accordingly, it is better to calculate ROI by putting eCPI in the denominator. Thus, you get eROI. And it may well be so, that on the basis of eCPI and eROI you choose completely different partners.

ContributionsIndustry

Monetising Social – How Free Games Can Mean Big Business

February 25, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

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By Ian Jones

Social gaming has been one of many fundamental shifts in online gambling in the last few years. Online casino operators in particular were quick to move on opportunities in social gaming, and the result was a new, pseudo-gambling form of gaming, where players could compete against friends within their online social networks, or just against other players more broadly in the style of arcade gaming. These games traditionally differed from gambling insofar as they didn’t pay any monetary return, leading some to question whether these games could really be described as gambling at all.

Game developers found workarounds, allowing players to pay for in-game advantage, or for extra chances to compete against their peers. But now, some operators are taking the business model to a whole new level, with alternative streams of revenue being generated in the process. But to what extent could this shape the social gaming environment in the months and years ahead?

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