Wooga is the number three publisher of social games, after King and Zynga, according to AppData. The company is rapidly transitioning from social to mobile, and now reports that nearly half of its revenue is derived from mobile versions of its games. Wooga has a monthly audience of 50 million users, and like many social and mobile publishers, it is looking for the best way to leverage that audience. The answer that Wooga and others have arrived at is publishing.
The [a]list daily spoke to Wooga’s COO, Jan Miczaika, recently about Wooga’s foray into publishing with Tactile Entertainment’s game Airheads Jump. “Wooga is first and foremost a game developer, but what we’ve seen having developed a lot of games is that we’ve built internal resources,” said Miczaika. “We treat Tactile Entertainment like any other game team. They get our full marketing support as well as a ton of feedback. For instance, Jelly Splash will be out in 22 languages, and this is something a smaller developer cannot do.”
This seems to be an inevitable evolution for developers as they gather a large audience, and as the vast majority of mobile developers continue to struggle to find an audience. Why not pick some titles you think would be winners for your installed base, and cross-promote these games into profitability?
Games are becoming more important than the platforms, especially for casual games. People separate phones from tablets and laptops, but people just want to play the game,” Miczaika said. “Consumers don’t care what platform it is. I once told my mother we make iOS games, and she said ‘Oh, I can’t play them, I have an iPhone.'”
The key for free-to-play games, which now define the vast majority of mobile titles, is the large audience allows for cross-promotion. “Once a device hits a billion users, that’s when it becomes a mass-market device,” Miczaika noted. PCs have already hit that, smartphones have hit that point this year, and tablets are projected to hit that point in two years.” By way of contrast, Miczaika points out that consoles sold about 34 million last year. That’s not anywhere near the scale of the other platforms.
Publishers have experimented with different cross-platform strategies, but the most successful one seems to be fully synchronizing games across all devices. King has shown that with Candy Crush, and Wooga has had great success with Diamond Dash synchronizing across all platforms. Players enjoy being able to play a game on any platform that’s handy, and not losing any progress.
The publishing strategy won’t be a major initiative for Wooga. “We’re thinking a couple of published games per year,” said Miczaika. The games Wooga looks for will be similar in general to their current casual, broad-appeal titles. “We won’t go into tanks or dragons. It will be close to our existing style,” Miczaika said.
It’s getting harder to make competitive games, with development time and budget increasing. “Definitely,” affirmed Miczaika. “We see production quality going up all across the board. With the App Store market being so competitive, it’s something you have to do.”
Miczaika sounds a cautionary note for mobile developers and publishers. “Our existing audience is definitely an asset, but if it’s not a good game you can’t buy your way to the top. You can burst your way to the top, but in the end what you need to have is retention. What we’re focused on most is building games that retain people. If it’s a game that people play once or twice and then stop, it’s never going to monetize.”
Cie Games is revving up fans with a launch trailer for Racing Rivals, its free-to-play drag racing game shipping for iOS on August 29. Supporting the game launch with Cie, which has roots as a marketing firm working on car brands, is flagship sponsor Nitto Tires. The game also features an extensive list of licensed cars and auto parts brands.
A first glimpse of Racing Rivals draws an immediate comparison to NaturalMotion’s bestselling mobile racer CSR Racing, but Cie’s game runs deeper. It features live lobbies and real-time head-to-head racing, where other games have had asynchronous racing that pits players against an opponent’s clocked time. Fueling the drive to play, and eventually pay for upgrades and parts, is an in-game betting system where players can go “all-in” with their cash or put up their pink slip.
Look for our exclusive story on how Cie Games leveraged success with branded games to become a racing game maker with a dedicated fan following.
Those of you who thought Luigi did nothing but sit around all day and sleep – like he does in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team for the Nintendo 3DS – will be proven wrong with Nintendo’s latest live-action video. Titled Finding Luigi: Legend of Parkour, the trailer highlights how Mario’s slimmer brother is actually rather spry, performing a number of stunts and techniques that have him outperforming Mario at every turn. The video features interviews with Luigi’s “closest friends and colleagues,” as well as plenty of cool moves from the parkour player portraying Luigi.
The video ties in with the recently released New Super Luigi Bros. U, available now for Wii U.
To prepare gamers for the final round of downloadable content for Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Treyarch and Activision released a new trailer that highlights Apocalypse, a pack which includes two all-new multiplayer maps, two revamped classic maps from previous games, and a new Zombie map where you face off against the horde of Dieselpunk undead while contending with an unstoppable robot that stomps around.
Apocalypse releases on Xbox Live on August 27, and will come out for PC and PlayStation 3 at a later date.
With Madden NFL 25 hitting stores today for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 – and expected to sell millions of copies as a result – EA Sports has launched a new trailer for the game, one that revisits the past years of the franchise, from its glory days on the Sega Genesis to the current-gen release that can be played now. It’s amazing how far the game has progressed, and it’s fun to watch the changes!
Madden NFL 25 is available now for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and arrives later this year for Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
Twitter UK recently released an infographic illustrating the best practices for using the darling of Twitter, the hashtag. Some of the highlights in the flowchart include basic knowledge like how to best integrate the hashtag as part of an advertising campaign, but other tips delve deeper into making the hashtag topical in the news or employing ways to make sure your hashtag has lasting value.
Editorial manager of Twitter UK Gordon McMillan explained that often times brands don’t really need too put in too much creative effort, but better research saying, “If people are already using a hashtag, and having conversations, part of your work is already done. All your brand needs to do is ensure that when it joins that conversation it is valued.”
In fact, “One way to make sure it is memorable is through media integration. The best hashtags are tightly integrated with other marketing activity from TV advertising, to press ads and direct mail material,” says McMillan.
What are some of your tips for creating the best hashtag? Share in the comments below!
When Sony launched digital pre-orders for Grand Theft Auto V on the PlayStation Network, it was a good initiative, one that promised players first crack at downloading the game upon its release. Unfortunately, it came with a catch – a data leak that not only revealed the game’s soundtrack, but also some story spoilers. According to VG24/7, the early release of these files was to help speed up downloads of the game once it releases, with its full file size estimated at 18GB.
Both Sony and Rockstar have since issued apologies over the leak.
Said Sony, “Regrettably, some people who downloaded the digital pre-order of Grand Theft Auto V through the PlayStation Store in Europe were able to access certain GTA assets. These assets were posted online. We have since removed the digital pre-order file from the PlayStation Store in Europe. We sincerely apologize to Rockstar and GTA fans around the world that were exposed to the spoiler content. GTA V is one of the most highly anticipated games of the year with a very passionate following, and we’re looking forward to a historic launch on 17th September.”
Rockstar added, “Unfortunately, as many of you may already know, some people who downloaded the digital pre-order of Grand Theft Auto V through the PlayStation Store in Europe were able to access certain GTA V assets leading to leaked information and media from the game appearing online. As you can imagine, we are deeply disappointed by leaks and spoilers being spread in advance of the game’s launch. GTA V represents years of hard work by many people across the world, and we couldn’t be more excited to finally share it with you properly this September 17th.”
When a game goes free-to-play, that doesn’t mean it loses out on its opportunity to make cash for the company.
A report from App Annie has indicated that 96 percent of the top 100 highest-grossing apps in Google Play are of the free-to-play variety. This exceeds the number of iPhone and iPad apps, which clock in at 77 percent and 69 percent when it comes to overall sales.
The full chart shows the breakdown for each category. It’s clear that free-to-play games certainly have a future on the market.
Rockstar Games has continued to hype Grand Theft Auto V like crazy, especially considering that the game has just gone live. Today, it unveiled a number of new screens featuring items that will be included with the Special and Collector’s editions of the games.
Such items include additional weapons like the .50 Caliber Pistol and the Bullpup Shotgun; new outfits for each of the main characters – Michael, Franklin and Trevor; custom characters for Grand Theft Auto Online (in the collector’s edition only), a special ability boost that gives better marksman and speed skills to each specific character; stunt plane trials where you can show off your flying skills; and unique vehicles and garage property in the collector’s edition, such as the Hotknife hot rod, the CarbonRS sports bike and the Khamelion electric car. Follow the link below to see these items in action.
Grand Theft Auto V releases on September 17 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
Source: Rockstar Games