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Indie Prize Asia 2018 Participants from Western Europe

November 7, 2018 — by Catherine Quinton

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The participants in Indie Prize at Casual Connect Asia always show amazing creativity and diversity, and this certainly true of these entries for Indie Prize Asia 2018 from Western Europe. From creative learning apps to complex puzzles to adventure games, and even some filled with horror, there is something here for every kind of gamer.

Game Title: Looters
Developer: Karizma Studio
Platform: Android
Country: Iran
Video: https://bit.ly/2REDTyf

Once upon a time there was a magical game studio named KARIZMA. They were known across the land for developing games, and one day a glorious castle emerged from the studio. The castle was filled with magic and gold so it attracted every looter in the world. Eventually the castle became known as Looters.

When you play as one of the Looters, you must avoid the traps and weapons that protect the castle. Be alert for unexpected dangers; you never know what lies ahead!

Game Title: Squirrel & Bear: Europe (Culture Travel)
Developer: The Good Evil GmbH
Platform: iOS, Android, Console Nintendo Switch
Country: Germany
Video: https://bit.ly/2QlBbxv

Squirrel & Bear: Europe is an adventure game that allows children to explore the diversity of language and culture in Europe. And it is a Badger rescue mission! Players explore Europe’s cities, food, sights and animals, and along the way they find hidden gems. They can listen to the different languages, take pictures, and, of course, save Badger!

Squirrel & Bear: Europe is a new adventure from the characters in Squirrel & Bear: Original. The original game received many awards, including: Die Bienenretter: Comenius-EduMedia Seal 2018, App of the Month September 2016, German Academy of Kids and Youth Literature e. V., Nomination for German Video Game Award as Best Kids Game 2015, Dyslexia Quality Award 2015, German Developer Award 2014 – Best Kids Game, Tommi Kids Software Prize 2014 – Winner Preschool, GIGA-Mouse 2014 – Best Lernapplication Languages, and Pädi 2014 – the Medien Interaktivpreis.

Game Title: ROPAS
Developer: Saif Ahmed
Platform: Android
Country:Tunisia

ROPAS is a complex puzzle based on Rock-Paper-Scissors. The goal at each level is to eliminate all but one of the pieces and leave the single winning piece. This winning piece is different at each level.

Each puzzle piece has its own unique features and interacts differently with other pieces; as well, it has a limited number of movements.

ROPAS is the first step toward realizing the developer’s idea of an interesting puzzle game that is both unique and complex. They began with adding mechanics each time they played Rock-Paper-Scissors, until it evolved into ROPAS.

Game Title: Mind the Gap!
Developer: Ashiokai
Platform: iOS, Android
Country: United Kingdom

In Mind the Gap, a simple arcade game, the goal is survival but at a relaxed, satisfying pace. The player increases their score by collecting power ups and Gwap coins. They can also buy additional playable characters.

Game Title: Need a packet?
Developer: Marginal act
Platform: Desktop Win, Desktop Mac
Country: Ukraine

Need a packet?, a horror-simulator game, takes place against a background of a garbage crisis in the city. The grounds are rotting, recycling containers are overflowing, the water is poisoned and the citizens start disappearing in the forests. The game’s character is Molly, a supermarket cashier, who is gradually losing her mind because of her boring, repetitive work. She begins believing the cash register is turning into a medieval tower and dragons and chimeras are flying around and trying to kill her.

Game Title: Désiré
Developer: Sylvain Seccia
Platform: iOS, Android, Desktop Win, Desktop Mac
Country: France

Désiré is a point-and-click adventure in which the main character sees only in black and white. Désiré, the game’s main character, meets different characters as the game progresses. Each of these characters elicits intense emotional response from him, changing the way he sees the world.

The game has four chapters, more than fifty scenes and over forty characters. At Indie Prize Tel Aviv 2016 it was awarded Best Mobile Game and Best Game Audio. At Indie Prize Asia 2016 is received Best Game Narrative and at Evry Games City it received Best Game Audio.

Game Title: Kabounce
Developer: Stitch Heads
Platform: Desktop Win, Console PlayStation 4
Country: The Netherlands

Kabounce is a fast-paced pinball game in a team versus team experience. You control the ball and must master your movements to dominate the field and annihilate the opponents, taking their points by force. You play parkour time attack challenges to test your skills against ghosts, friends or the leaderboards.

Kabounce was the winner at UE4Jam, 2015, received an Unreal Dev Grant in 2016, and was given a “very positive” rating on Steam. It was the winner at Codemotion Amsterdam 2018 and Grads in Games Winner.

Kabounce was nominated for the Indie Prize by Codemotion Amsterdam.

Game Title: Squire Squarefeet
Developer: Dane Games
Platform: Desktop Win
Country: Denmark

Squire Squarefeet is a nostalgic adventure that takes the player back to a time when games were easy to learn but hard to master. The characters in the game are the knight, Sir Hot-a-Lot and his squire, anti-hero Squire Squarefeet. Follow them on their journey to save the princess, and enjoy this game filled with fun for all ages.

At Game Scope 2018, Denmark, Squire Squarefeet won the People’s Choice award. People of all ages, groups of friends, and parents with children, played together to figure out the puzzles. The game is filled with adult humor, hard puzzle solving and pattern-based mechanics. These bring out the fighter in players as they sit down to take Squire Squarefeet for a spin.

Squire Squarefeet was nominated for Indie Prize by Game Scope.

Game Title: Circle of Sumo
Developer: Yonder
Platform: Desktop Win, Desktop Mac, Console Nintendo Switch
Country: Italy

Circle of Sumo is a fast-paced, competitive game that can take place in dozens of different arenas. Players can play alone or in teams as they fight for supremacy in the ring using their power, precision, reflexes and cunning. Sumo is only the starting point, the game is a real mini-games box; it has a joyful and inclusive soul that still keeps its purely competitive aspects, such as controllers’ precision and characters’ statistics.

Circle of Sumo can be played anywhere your imagination can see a ring: a traditional dohyo, the top of a tower, traffic roundabouts, desert islands, carousels, golf courses, sunny cemeteries, dark attics, and all sorts of unlikely places. There are mini-games for everyone’s taste: original creations, re-imaginings of different sports and tributes to traditional video games, such as Pong.

Circle of Sumo aims to be one of the most inclusive, cross-cutting games and to ensure pure fun while keeping the taste for challenge.

This game received the Game of the Fair award at Game Rome, 2017, where a ten-year-old child called it, “the funniest game of the last thirty years.” At Game Jam Rome 2017 it received the Best Game Award.

Circle of Sumo was nominated for Indie Prize by Codemotion Rome 2018.

Game Title: The Wizards – Trials of Meliora
Developer: Carbon Studio
Platform: VR mobile
Country: Poland

The Wizards – Trials of Meliora lets you test your magic abilities and your mettle as you defend the realm of Meliora. It is based on the award-winning action/adventure The Wizards, but is a completely new adventure. It takes place in the same world, adapted to Oculus Go and Gear VR headsets. Enjoy the fun of immersive gesture-based spell casting in standalone VR and the breath taking environments from the original The Wizards.

Carbon Studio released The Wizards – Trials of Meliora on July 5, 2018, a mobile VR game that brings the fun of casting spells with hand gestures to Oculus Go, Samsung Gear VR and Mi VR headsets. This independent title takes full advantage of 3DOF motion controller’s potential and introduces players to the rich world of The Wizards. The games casting mechanic puts magic directly into the player’s hands, eliminating pop-up menus, button combinations and other traditional systems.

The Wizards – Trials of Meliora was nominated for Indie Prize by RESPAWN.

Game Title: The Grandfather Machine
Developer: Shane Hou
Platform: Desktop Win, Desktop Mac
Country: United Kingdom

The Grandfather Machine is a first person maze/ puzzle game featuring a live performance actor. It is set in a desert environment divided into two main spaces, the Real World and the Virtual World. The mechanics of play in the game change, depending on where you are in these worlds. These core game mechanics include wall walking, gravity manipulations and space paradoxes. The game narrative is an experience into the adventure of a surreal world of alternative thinking and bizarre logic.

When you awaken in the game you find yourself in a strange place. A scientist asks you to take several tests to answer some of life’s biggest questions. You must finish a series of challenges in a virtual space; you could walk on every plane, such as ground, wall and ceiling, go through different dimensions and travel by gravity pads to your final destination. But what lies at the end of your journey?

Game Title: OIC: Obviously Inappropriate Content
Developer: Last Life Left Game Studio
Platform: Desktop Win
Country: United Kingdom

OIC: Obviously Inappropriate Content is an adventure game set in a fictional Eastern-bloc country called Belkasvena. In this narrative-rich game, the player is a game tester who must censor a developing game under government regulation. The government, led by the SUPREME LEADER, continually implements new regulations to “ensure that all video games ensure a healthy and positive culture”. The game tester, employed by the “Last Life Left Game Studio”, has the job of testing a 2D action shooter game, “Ural Death Machine. If they discover any bug or anything that violates regulations, they must take a screen shot and report it.

The total testing period is six months in the story and each pass of testing a level in the game represents one week. At the beginning and end of each working day, the tester can check emails, interact with colleagues on social media and find out the news. This is how the player discovers the effects their work has on the company, the events in the outside world that will affect the pressures of their job, and the changing attitudes and censorship regulations of the government.

OIC explores the origin and development of video game censorship and how it might affect the video game industry and our society as a whole. Developer Shualying “Shane” Hou found inspiration for this game from Metal Slug, Papers, Please and Orwell.

Game Title: Voxel Clicker
Developer: Quantumfrog Mobile GmbH
Platform: iOS, Android, Web, other consoles
Country: Germany
Video: https://bit.ly/2zAgNl5

Voxel Clicker is a role playing game with voxel graphics and clicker elements, set in a beautiful kingdom. Players fight with one hero and up to four companions. When you play this game you fight against fantasy creatures, collect treasures, develop skills, and craft new items.

Voxel Clicker was the winner of GTR 2016.

Game Title: Vocarbicar
Developer: Quantumfrog GmbH
Platform: iOS, Android
Country: Germany
Video: https://bit.ly/2Qpr36N

Vocarbicar is a learning app for children in grades 3-4 and 5-6 and was developed in cooperation with Westermann Group. Vocabicar helps children extend their English vocabulary. They control toy cars through theme worlds and collect letters, words and objects, depending on the game mode. As they play, they memorize words which have been collected and repeated before. The game mechanic and high scores keep the children motivated.

Features include individually adjustable difficulty levels, choice of vehicles, exciting challenges in various fields, high learning motivation through high score list, and awards for specific successes. Either German or English can be selected.

Vocabicar received the Best Serious Game at the German Video Game Awards 2018.

Game Title: Bushy Tail
Developer: Fuero Games Sp. z o.o.
Platform: Desktop Win
Country: Poland

In this adventure narrative game, we learn the story of Little Fox. Three children are processing their experiences of the sudden arrival of refugees and foreign cultures by turning to the fictional world and using Little Fox as the hero who grows through, adapts to and overcomes the challenges of change. This game constantly transforms, depending on which child is telling the story, giving the player a sense of influencing the plot.

Bushy Tail has received the following awards: PC Indie Pitch award by Steel Media at Game Industry Conference, Best Story/Storytelling at Paris Game Connection, Developer Showcase winner at Games Forum London, Best Game Animation and Best Narrative at Casual Connect USA, and Warsaw Excellence Prize at Pixel Awards 2018.

It has also received many nominations, including: Most Original Game, Most Promising IP, Best Quality Art, Best Casual Game, and Best Console PC/Hardcore all at Game Connection Europe 2017: as well as Indie Game Award Finalist at Taipei Games Show 2018.

To view all of the Indie Prize finalists for Casual Connect Asia 2018, visit indieprize.org.

EventsGame DesignNews

Casual Connect Eastern Europe 2018 Indie Prize Entries From Western Europe

September 14, 2018 — by Catherine Quinton

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Entries for Indie Prize at Casual Connect Eastern Europe 2018 from Western Europe show amazing creativity. One game brings art to life with gyroscope technology, another has players surviving and building in a world of garbage. Using music and rhythm to create challenging levels, creating your own comic book through a point-and-click adventure game, playing a variety of puzzle games or participating in MMO battles or retro arcade games, you are certain to find games that are fascinating to play.

Game Title: Flotsam
Developer: Pajama Llama Games
Platform: Desktop Win, Desktop Mac
Location: Belgium

Everything is flooded, and islands of garbage float among the ruins of tall buildings and the polluted coral reefs. This is the world of Flotsam, and you must find a way to survive. You will manage a team of drifters and salvage what you need to build boats and buildings from scrap and flotsam. And you must rescue the seagulls and dolphins who will help you find fresh water and seafood. Flotsam won the prizes for Best Game and Best Game Design at White Nights Prague 2017 and was nominated to participate in Indie Prize.

IndustryNews

Presenting the Indie Prize Finalists from Europe Part 2

May 24, 2018 — by Catherine Quinton

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Indie Prize at Casual Connect Europe 2018 has attracted many entries from all over Europe, including Italy, France, Austria, Netherlands, Norway, Belgium, Spain, Ireland, Germany, Greece, Denmark, Sweden, as well as the United Kingdom. And the innovation in these games is remarkable. Competitive games have a variety of new twists that require speed, precision and skill to succeed. Adventure and narrative games pit the player against novel situations and obstacles. Settings range from the historically accurate (or inaccurate) to fantasy or dungeons or even the player’s mind. And a variety of puzzle games challenge players’ thinking in different ways. Whatever kind of gaming you prefer, there are games here you will enjoy. These fantastic games total 38 from Europe. The finalists have been broken up into two parts. To see the other 19, see this article.

Game Title: Falling Sky
Developer: Falling Sky
Platform: Desktop Win
Country: United Kingdom/Norway

Falling Sky is a cinematic 3D mystery game. It was developed at the National Film and Television School and the project leader and sole developer was Jonathan Nielssen. The game uses Unreal Engine and motion capture technology to create immersive, narrative-driven drama. It has a Twin Peaks influence and elements of open world adventure.

The characters of the game are brothers Daniel and Tommy, who are attempting to solve the mystery of their mother’s disappearance. Guided by a series of cryptic messages, the boys set off on a quest to find the truth.

Exclusive InterviewsIndieStudio Spotlight

ALL CAPS and Disco Flip: When Music is a Key Element of the Game

March 6, 2018 — by Catherine Quinton

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ALL CAPS is a startup game studio based in Aalborg, Denmark. They focus on creating exciting, entertaining games that keep players coming back to play again. Their first game, Block Amok was released in early 2015 and has been nominated for a number of awards. Now their new project, Disco Flip, has won the Audience Award at Game Scope, an Indie Prize Partner event and Denmark’s largest games festival. As winners, the ALL CAPS team was invited to Casual Connect Kyiv and Indie Prize Kyiv. Recently Gamesauce enjoyed asking Brian Nielsen, CEO of ALL CAPS, about their indie studio, their experience at Game Scope and, of course, Disco Flip.

Gamesauce: Tell us about ALL CAPS. What was your reason for founding this game studio? What would you say makes it different from other studios?

Brian: Well, to be honest, we hadn’t thought about founding a game studio. We were just four guys who loved making games and who had been working on a prototype for our first game, Block Amok, while we were attending Aalborg University. We didn’t have a plan for exactly what we wanted to do except we wanted to make Block Amok as awesome as possible as we felt a great game would have an easier time attracting attention from both players and the press.

EventsNews

Announcing the Indie Prize at Casual Connect USA Participants from Europe and Asia Part 1

December 27, 2017 — by Catherine Quinton

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Europe and Asia are bringing some exciting participants to the Indie Prize during Casual Connect USA 2018 at Disneyland® Hotel. The games bring a variety of worlds and experiences, imaginary, realistic and even historical. The story lines are as varied as the environments, and challenge, adventure and learning are involved in all of them.

Game Title: Bushy Tail
Developer: Fuero Games
Platform: Desktop Win
Country: Poland

In Bushy Tail, three children are processing their experiences when refugees and foreign cultures suddenly arrive. They dive into the fictional world and tell the story of their hero, Little Fox, who goes through, adapts and overcomes the challenges of change. The game is constantly transforming, depending on which child is telling the story, giving the player the sense of influencing the plot.

EventsNews

Indie Developers from Sweden, Denmark, Finland and The Netherlands Flock to Kyiv

October 9, 2017 — by Catherine Quinton

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Indie Developers from Northwestern countries in Europe including one team representing each of these countries: Sweden, Denmark, Finland and The Netherlands will compete at the 20th Indie Prize which will be held in conjunction with Casual Connect Kyiv 2017.

Sweden’s participant in Indie Prize is an unusual adventure game that is already attracting attention in several categories in the app stores.

Game Title: Castle Cats
Developer: PocApp S
tudios
Platform: Android
Website: http://www.pocappstudios.com/

Castle Cats is a cat collection adventure. The player takes the role of the guild leader and works to defeat the ultimate enemy: The Evil Pugomancer. But you will have to play the game to find out how cat collection is such an adventure.

Castle Cats was featured as 8th in the New and Updated category of Google Play and 20th place for New Games We Love on Apple. It also received 15th place in the Action and Adventure category at launch on June 15th 2017.

Denmark’s entry in Indie Prize 2017 is an endless runner that adds the twist of music to the excitement of surmounting obstacles and defeating enemies.

Game Title: Disco Flip
Developer: ALL CAPS
Platform: Android
Website: http://www.allcapsgames.com/

Do you like action? How about music? Disco Flip combines the two with an endless runner world. There are countless characters, each with their own music and visuals. And the player must navigate both obstacles and enemies to succeed in this game.

EventsNews

Indie Prize Europe 2017 Winners Revealed

February 10, 2017 — by David Radd

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Photo by Lera Polska

Casual Games Association has announced the winners of the Indie Prize showcase. The honorees were revealed during a awards ceremony at Casual Connect Europe in Berlin.

Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun, a tactical stealth game set in Japan’s Edo period by Mimimi Productions, won Best Game Design. Anshar Wars 2, a VR space shooter game by Ozwe Games, won Best VR Game. FRU, a puzzle platformer that that uses Kinect to make the player’s silhouette into a “portal” between two worlds by Through Games, won Most Innovative Game. Blink and Die, a VR rhythm title where the music defines the level by Sureksu, won Best Game Audio and Best Kids & Family Game

“Indie Prize is becoming bigger and bigger year by year – it is amazing and overwhelming to see indie talent and spirit growing so very strong all over the world,” says Yuliya Moshkaryova, Director of Indie Prize. “On behalf of Casual Connect and Indie Prize, we cordially congratulate all the finalists, nominees and winners, and are looking forward to seeing more games in the future.”

Photo by Lera Polska

Other winners include Figment, a 3D isometric action-adventure where players fight against the anxieties of a 40-year old man by Bedtime Digital Games, won Best Game Art. Empathy, an adventure game where you explore the memories from people of the path by Pixel Night, won Best Game Narrative. Lightfield, an omnidirectional racing game described as parkour with a space ship by Lost in the Garden, won Best Multiplayer Game. Super Pet Hero, a voxel game about dodging traffic and pet saving by Amused Sloth, won Best Mobile Game. Lastly CoverFire by 1MBand had the honor to win the Best in Show award which was voted for at the event. 

Indie Prize has partnered with many local game contests from around the world. This grants the opportunity for various regional winners to showcase their games at Casual Connect. All told, developers from 63 countries submitted 470 games for the international Indie Prize scholarship, an increase of 20 percent compared to last year’s Indie Prize Europe 2016. Forty-two judges selected the 130 indie games to be showcased in the Indie Prize area during Casual Connect Europe in Berlin.

Celebrating a well earned moment of triumph, photo by Lera Polsky

Fantastic Nominees:

BEST GAME AUDIO
Blink and Die developed by Sureksu
Guns, Gore and Cannoli 2 developed by Crazy Monkey Studios
The Long Reach developed by TLR Team
Beat the Game developed by Worm Animation

BEST GAME DESIGN
Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun developed by Mimimi Productions
FRU developed by Through Games
The Adventure Pals developed by Massive Monster
Okhlos developed by The Adventure Pals

BEST GAME ART
Figment developed by Bedtime Digital Games
Vive le Roi developed by Seccia
Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun developed by Mimimi Productions
Anshar Wars 2 developed by Ozwe Games

BEST GAME NARRATIVE
Empathy by Pixel Night
Lost Words developed by Fourth State
Code 7 developed by Good Wolf Studios
Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun developed by Mimimi Productions

BEST MULTIPLAYER GAME
LIGHTFIELD developed by Lost in the Garden
Super Rocket Shootout developed by Oddly Shaped Pixels
Panoptic developed by Team Panoptes
Akuto: Mad World developed by Hut 90

BEST KIDS AND FAMILY GAME
Blink and Die developed by Sureksu
House of Languages developed by Fox3D Entertainment OU
Figment developed by Bedtime Digital Games
Trains VR developed by The House of Fables

BEST MOBILE GAME
Super Pet Hero developed by Amused Sloth
VOI developed by Yunus AYYILDIZ (gamebra.in)
unWorded developed by bento
Euclidean Lands developed by Miro Straka

BEST VR GAME
Anshar Wars 2 developed by Ozwe Games
Panoptic developed by Team Panoptes
The Biumbis developed by 3OGS
Wrath of Loki VR Adventure developed by The House of Fables

MOST INNOVATIVE GAME
FRU developed by Through Games
Lost Words developed by Fourth State
Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun developed by Mimimi Productions
Panoptic developed by Team Panoptes

You can find the full list of Indie Prize Berlin 2016 finalists at indieprize.org.

Photo taken by Lera Polska

Join Indie Prize Facebook community to stay updated about Indie Prize https://www.facebook.com/groups/870174783048528/

The winners are supported by Unity (Platinum sponsor), Korean Game Developers Association (Gold sponsor) and the prizes for winners are provided by: Tenjin, Photon, Amazon Appstore, Appodeal, SpeedLink, ironSource and IBM.

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Nordic Countries & Northern Europe at Indie Prize Berlin 2017

January 14, 2017 — by Yuliya Moshkaryova

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Three games from Finland and from Sweden, one game from Denmark, from Ireland and from Estonia, two games from Lithuania and eight games from United Kingdom will be showcased at the international Indie Prize showcase during Casual Connect Europe 2017. Among these games there are two games that were nominated by Game Nation Nomination Partners: Sweden Game Conference from Sweden and by GameOn from Lithuania.

Europe 2016Video Coverage

Kim Sloth Bengtsen: New Opportunities and New Challenges in the Gambling Sector

April 21, 2016 — by Catherine Quinton

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'If you have no one to share your achievements with, then what’s the point?' - Kim Sloth BengtsenClick To Tweet

Do subscription-based business and casual gaming go together? Discover the what, when, where and how to monetize one of the more alternative ways of working with casual gaming in this lecture from Casual Connect Europe by Kim Sloth Bengsten. As the CEO of Lotto24, Kim revealed that they try to be both in the emerging market and the established market. To do this, Kim advises, “try to outmaneuver your competitors by price and quality but also being innovative and thinking about new products that you can add to your portfolio.” To hear more insights, tune in below.

USA 2015Video Coverage

Jakob Lykkegaard and How Data Transformed Teams and Games at Playlab | Casual Connect Video

October 25, 2015 — by Emily Baker

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Jakob LykkegaardJoin the CEO & Co-founder of Playlab Jakob Lykkegaard as he spoke at Casual Connect USA last August. He talked about how Playlab manages their internal teams in Bangkok and Manila with data and how they have created an internal economy to give game teams and producers freedom to pick while still keeping accountability and high creativity alive. He also touched on how Playlab is scaling this way with help from external game teams. He iterated, “Vietnam and Malaysia are South-East Asia’s fastest growing markets for mobile gaming and revenue.”

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