What Can Alibaba Do For OUYA?

OUYA’s Android-based game console created an initial splash with a successful KickStarter a couple of years ago, but languished in the market after that, held back by a lack of great games and the inability to easily add any Android game. The company shifted to a platform strategy, hoping its curated game store would be more popular than its hardware. However, OUYA has not had much of an impact, being overshadowed by the success of the PS4 and Xbox One, and the more directly competitive Fire TV and the Android TV boxes heading to market. That’s not the end of OUYA’s story, though, as a new investment breathes significant life into the business.

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba announced a $10 million into OUYA, and has begun working with the OUYA team to incorporate more software into the system, providing a library of games that could expand beyond 1,000 different offerings, according to the Wall Street Journal.

In addition, this deal could help open up a new market for the OUYA store or perhaps even the hardware, as Alibaba seeks to introduce a game console to China, following that country’s recent lifting of a ban on game consoles. As a result, many players will now be able to access a much-wider Android market with the system, while at the same time paying an affordable price in comparison to more expensive systems, such as the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

This is the latest investment by Alibaba, who also paid $215 million for a chunk of mobile-messaging start-up team Tango in 2014, along with other companies, such as search-engine Quixey and shipping provider ShopRunner, according to the article. Alibaba also invested $120 million into Kabam, and perhaps that may mean seeing Kabam games on an Alibaba console.

So what does this mean It shows that Alibaba is quite serious about being a formidable competitor in the gaming market. Rumors of Alibaba developing a console for the Chinese market seem ever more probable; the company might even use the OUYA design (suitably updated, no doubt, with a newer processor for top-notch gaming power). OUYA’s store front, library of games, and user interface may all be of use to Alibaba as well. The Chinese market is wide open for consoles right now with no established base, and Alibaba’s immense size and bank account are powerful weapons. A lower-priced console would certainly be more popular than the high-priced Sony and Microsoft offerings. Alibaba may even be thinking about exporting such a console to other countries, where it could be an excellent way to bring Alibaba’s store front to a wide audience. Games may be just the way to sneak a store into people’s homes.

We certainly wish both companies the best of luck, as it’ll be interesting to see where this partnership goes from here.

What You Need to Know About Snapchat Discover

By: Sarah Ullman

Snapchat Discover debuted this week, thus launching Snapchat into the race for digital video platform dominance. Snapchat will not only distribute video to its 200 million users, but also create and publish its own content on the “Snapchannel.” (No one could think of a better name )

Converting Users Into Customers

Snapchat is somewhat inelegantly designed but wildly addictive. I won’t waste time explaining Snapchat basics, but you should know that the company is valued at $10 billion, and that users, including me, feel a strong sense of brand loyalty to the platform. As a user, I have an impassioned connection to my posts: the impermanence of a “Snap” means that it’s the only place I will take selfies. Selfie snaps feel almost existential: Are you there, SnapGod It’s me, Sully. And then, it disappears! Did it ever truly exist

Can you tell that I feel a bit emotional about Snapchat I wrote a sentimental and embarrassing Snapchat dissertation on Tumblr two years ago, which you can read here. It explains my belief that Snapchat is actually the most raw, base form of filmmaking that exists.

In some ways, Snapchat is the inverse of Facebook: content is temporary but a user can see exactly who is consuming your posts. Honestly, the knowledge of who is looking at your posts is essentially social media crack.

Snapchat knows that its audience is addicted, and now it’s time to trade in on that platform loyalty.

Read more…

This article was originally posted on VideoInk and is reposted on [a]listdaily via a partnership with the news publication, which is the online video industry’s go-to source for breaking news, features, and industry analysis. Follow VideoInk on Twitter @VideoInkNews, or subscribe via thevideoink.com for the latest news and stories, delivered right to your inbox.

Is Spending On Social A Better Use Of Marketing Dollars Than A Super Bowl Spot?

Ads for this year’s Super Bowl event are at an all-time high, with NBC charging an estimated $4.5 million for 30-second ads. Many companies are still biting, including movie studios hyping their big-budget blockbusters and other products, but, according to Adweek, it may be an excessive cost – especially considering what you can get in return through alternate means.

A number of media buyers and experts spoke with Adweek about the possibilities. “With (a $4.5 million) budget, you can run a YouTube masthead, Snapchat sponsored story, sponsored Instagram ad, promoted Twitter trend and a Yahoo! homepage takeover and still have money to spare,” said Adam Shlachter, chief investment officer for DigitasLBi.

The article then broke down other ways that the money could be put to good use, including…

Ten “Premium Day” $425,000 Promoted Trends

Promoted trends usually run around $200,000 a pop, but with a higher value during the Super Bowl, due to a larger audience. However, it’s still more than worth it, as some Promoted Trends can easily reach said audience. The likely value is estimated to reach around 55 million users – and at a bargain price, no less.

Four Days of $950,000 Facebook Reach Blocks

A Facebook Reach Block estimates that promos show up in 100 percent of a target audience’s newsfeeds, at least once over the course of the day. This can spread to approximately 100 million users.

Though the ads will cost $950,000 for Super Bowl Sunday, that’s still a fraction of the price of a shortened TV ad.

Five $800,000 YouTube Masthead Ads

A masthead placement can cost $300,000 usually, although that skyrockets to $800,000 on game day. No matter, though, as the number of Super Bowl ads viewed on there have been watched quite a bit, with some reaching 80 million views, a 75 percent increase from the previous year. That’s a big audience.

Six Days Worth of $750,000 Sponsored Snapchat Snaps

Despite getting some flack recently over advertising prices, Snapchat is still a very effective tool for its audience outreach. Six days worth of these ads can generate an enormous audience, as proven by previous campaigns with Universal Pictures and McDonald’s. During the game, the social aspect alone would drive up viewership.

“It’s all driven by scarcity, which is why the TV spots are so expensive,” said Ian Schafer, CEO of Deep Focus. “At this point, it’s not because of how many people they reach – it’s because there’s so few of them.”

Still, you can’t ignore the value of ads, according to eMarketer. Approximately 80 percent of Internet users believe that good commercials – and even some of the bad ones – continue to have high value in terms of tradition. The additional numbers behind these statistics can be found here.

The Return of ‘Metroid’ Could Mean Big Business For Nintendo

In 2009, Nintendo released a highly popular game for the Wii called Metroid Prime Trilogy, which bundled together three fan-favorite first-person shooting entries from the popular series into one convenient package. Unfortunately, it was produced in limited numbers, and, as a result, became a hugely sought collectible item for years to come – especially in “complete” condition with Steelbook case, slip cover and art book.

However, fans of the game now have an easier – and less costly – option to take, as Nintendo re-released Metroid Prime Trilogy as a digital download on its Wii U service for $9.99. The sale price is good through next Thursday, after which it will go back up to its regular price of $19.99.

Normally, a game release just usually slips by without much news, but, to many fans, Metroid is a big deal. The franchise has been a favorite amongst fans since its debut on the NES in the late 80’s, introducing a rare female protagonist named Samus Aran that both male and female gamers immediately got hooked on. Since then, Samus has returned in a number of sequels, including the Prime trilogy, which has been both a critical hit and a best seller.

However, the Metroid series has laid dormant for the past few years, with the developer, Retro Studios, hard at work on other projects, like Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze for the Wii U. However, with Trilogy‘s return as a digital download, Nintendo may just be gauging to see if the series is still relevant – which, in turn, could mean a new game in the franchise.

Nintendo is no strange to revisiting popular franchises from the past, as fresh entries in the Mario Kart and Smash Bros. series have become huge sellers over the past year. The company is also returning fan favorites The Legend of Zelda and StarFox later this year to the Wii U, both of which should bring big sales.

So Metroid coming back would make sense, if only because it still has an avid fanbase that continues to appreciate everything does. Even lesser titles in the series, like Other M for the Wii, perform better than expected.

But there’s also another factor to consider – the “hardcore” gaming crowd that have been wanting a quality first-person shooter for the Wii U and 3DS systems. Call of Duty entries aside, there haven’t been too many games for either system, and a new Metroid game – complete with a multiplayer component like the one featured in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes – would no doubt resonate with this audience.

Nothing is official, by any means, but Nintendo may be paying close attention to sales numbers and perhaps even making a decision by the time the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) rolls around this June. For now, though, fans can appreciate Trilogy for all it’s worth – and at an affordable price level, at that.

Twitch Doubles Monthly Viewers To 100 Million and Other Impressive Stats

If any company had a huge, productive year with 2014, it’s Twitch.

Not only did the broadcasting channel find a new owner with its $970 million purchase by Amazon, but it’s also gained a lot of ground in viewership, broadcasters and more. The service jumped from 45 million monthly viewers to 100 million by the end of 2014, with 1.5 million unique broadcasters per month, by far the leading streaming game video provider.

The company recently posted a large infographic highlighting its feats for the year. Here are just a few of its accomplishments . . .

  • New broadcasters came out in droves, especially internationally, with “hundreds” of people joining in. More global partnerships were made as well, with a number of expansions. Viewership growth has also expanded greatly, with triple-digit increase in such markets as Indonesia, India, the Middle East, Turkey, Italy, Ireland and Lithuania.
  • More devices now provide Twitch support that ever before, from game consoles like PlayStation 4 and Xbox One to stream-ready devices like the Amazon Fire TV and the Chromecast. Mobile devices also play a part in those numbers, particularly the Nvidia Shield.
  • Improvements in services enables viewers to see when Twitch users are live, even when they’re browsing through YouTube videos. Viewing parties also became an option, enabling certain broadcasters with a way to increase their audience.
  • A new merchandising option enables broadcasters to sell their goods through Twitch, in a partnership with Teespring. This helps enliven the community a bit more, and spreads word of mouth about particular talents showing off their wares on the service.
  • Community has grown greatly, with more focus on charity-based broadcasts like Extra Life, Games Done Quick and TSG’s Indie Marathon, each of which have raised a record number of donations, ranging from $122,000 (for TSG) to over six million dollars (for Extra Life).
  • Content has increased incredibly over the past year, between eSports competitions, local broadcasts and special “Twitch Plays” sessions, including the likes of Pokémon and The Legend of Zelda. No doubt 2015 will bring more of these.

More details and accomplishments can be found at this link. We certainly congratulate Twitch on its great year, and look forward to yet another one.

Adjust: ‘The App Store Will Be Dead’

As everyone knows by now, the massive number of apps available on both iOS and Android has lead to a discoverability problem for new apps, and games are suffering as much or more than any other category. Now we’ve got some numbers to help gauge the problem, as app analytics firm adjust has just released their “App Competition Retrospective Report” on the subject. Adjust says that app competition toughened in 2014, and that 82.8 percent of all apps in the App Store are what they term “zombie apps”: Apps that do not rank in the top lists and are effectively invisible in the app stores. This is up from 74 percent at the beginning of the year, a worrying trend.

“If this trend continues — and nothing indicates it wouldn’t — we’ll see less than a tenth of apps attracting any kind of organic user attention by the end of the year, and those that do gain attention will be apps that already have significant traction,” says Christian Henschel, CEO and Co-Founder of adjust. “The app store, as a source of organic acquisition, has finite capacity. When that’s reached, the app store will be dead.”

The number of Zombie Apps — those that are not visible in the app store — has almost doubled in 2014 from 657,778 in January to 1,136,501 in December. During this time, the App Store grew by 54.3 percent, increasing from 889,231 to 1,372,371 apps. The report also notes that the Chinese app market has seen 77 percent growth in 2014, while the Japanese market has seen 54.4 percent growth.

The [a]listdaily spoke exclusively with adjust CEO Christian Henschel about the issue of zombie apps, and specifically how it applies to games.

Christian Henschel

Does the discoverability situation for games appear better or worse than for other apps?

Games, as a category, is bigger and tougher to compete in than other categories – no question about it. It’s also highly diverse, with many developers large and small doing great work and placing a lot of attention on high-quality apps. At the same time, the ecosystem is much larger and there are more opportunities outside the Store than for other verticals.

Should game developers list their games only in subgenres, or also in the main game category? Is there a drawback to listing a game in multiple categories?

Our data indicates that the sub-genres, in terms of competition, provide lower thresholds to be listed. Counter this with the perhaps lower “foot traffic” passing through these lists. Where to list your games is something to carefully deliberate about, and this is something we’ve looked at particularly for this report.

Is there anything that Apple can do to make this situation better in the App Store? Do you think Apple is likely to make any major changes to help apps get discovered?

Yes, we believe this situation can be improved, and there are definitely some very promising initiatives and developments on Apple’s side. For instance, better and more increased curation for more categories, and improved discovery features in iOS8 will all improve the store to provide more for the end user and better conditions for the developer.

The App Store still is only one format and one place though. It’s great for distribution, but discovery can really benefit from more different formats, contexts and conversations outside the Store.

How does the zombie situation in the App Store compare to the Google Play store, and the Amazon appstore? Is it similar, better, or worse?

This is in many ways difficult to compare directly as the metrics vary considerably between Stores, and the data provided is sometimes low quality. Generally, we have seen trends toward a higher flux on Android than on iOS — the top listed apps vary more often over time.

For third party stores on Android, like the Amazon Store, the rule is that the smaller, the easier it is to get a good spotlight in the Store. Again, you have to counter this with a more limited audience. We’ve not yet seen really innovative approaches to discovery in the third party stores, but this is sure to be a topic going forward. Top lists don’t work for discovery — they didn’t for web in the long run, why should they for mobile

What’s your advice to a game developer seeking to avoid their game becoming a zombie?

One area we recommend developers carefully look at is the right categories for their game. The better you can categorize your game to hit an audience, the more eyeballs you’ll attract.

All the same, even with the exact right categories, App Store organic discovery is a multiplier. It’s not a very good source for discovery in and of itself. If you don’t have users, you won’t get more.

Looking at the data in our report, it’s hard to entirely believe “organic-only” acquisition strategies. We must think that paid acquisition is requisite to some extent to find an audience for every app. Ads don’t have to be terrible drivers of traffic, and they shouldn’t. Shop around, educate yourself — especially in games, where there are countless options to achieve a high bang for your buck in marketing.

Super Bowl Advertising Is No Longer Just About the Big Game

By: Sahil Patel

For a long time, a Super Bowl advertiser knew that advertising during the big game was essentially a one-off deal. Sure, they could recoup some of their investment by running those ads on TV for weeks and months to come, but the real value was when millions and millions were tuned into the biggest TV event of the year.

That’s no longer the case, and the rise of web video, via platforms such as YouTube, has a lot to do with it. “These days, Super Bowl advertising isn’t just a 30-second spot that airs during the game,” says David Paull, founder of research technology developer Dialsmith. “At upwards of $4.5 million a pop, brands are looking for ways to build an integrated strategy around this effort.”

The Super Bowl is still the tentpole, for sure. But the massive amounts of video consumption on the web helps advertisers who, as Paull says, view the release of their Super Bowl ad as a “launchpad for a year-long campaign.”

This is why some advertisers are pre-releasing their ad on the web, recognizing that the lifespan of the spot will be far longer if it’s distributed as a piece of branded content across platforms, rather than just a TV commercial.

“Pre-releasing an ad allows them to start generating buzz early and drive social interactions in the week leading up to the game,” says Paull. “The downside is they lose the element of surprise, which is why not all brands do it.”

Some brands try to get the best of both worlds, by teasing their Super Bowl spot with mini-trailers on the web. “That’s what Skittles is doing this year and they have some fun teasers that leave you wondering where it’s going,” says Paull. “In the end that may prove to be an even more effective strategy because it builds curiosity and buzz without giving too much away so they can also capitalize on game-day buzz.”

Read more…

This article was originally posted on VideoInk and is reposted on [a]listdaily via a partnership with the news publication, which is the online video industry’s go-to source for breaking news, features, and industry analysis. Follow VideoInk on Twitter @VideoInkNews, or subscribe via thevideoink.com for the latest news and stories, delivered right to your inbox.

DeNA West CEO: How Mobile Games Succeed

Mobile games are a difficult business that’s been changing rapidly for many years now, with rapid hardware evolution, changing business models, new and fast-growing markets appearing, and numerous other changes. So it’s a significant thing indeed when a company has not only survived through many such changes, but thrived in the face of this shifting business. DeNA is one such company, a Japanese mobile game giant established in 1999 that has reached well over $1 billion in annual sales with mobile games first on feature phones, and now on smartphones and tablets.

Keeping a mobile game company at the top ranks of the business for years is a difficult task, especially as the market expands worldwide. DeNA has been successful not only in Japan but in other regions as well, snagging major licenses like Marvel and Transformers. DeNA West is led by CEO Shintaro Asako, who spoke with [a]listdaily about how to succeed in the mobile games business today, and some of the key factors that DeNA looks for in evaluating mobile games.

Shintaro Asako

It’s so difficult now to get a mobile game to the top ranks of apps, with the huge numbers of games on the market and new ones entering constantly. What are the key factors in making a mobile game successful?

For free-to-play games to be successful, that three important things have to be there. I call them the three mountains. Because it’s free, and so many games are out there, the first mountain is that the game has to be really attractive to make sure that people find this game and think that it might be fun, so that they decide to download it. This has nothing to do with the actual game play — the game has to be really attractive so people find the game and when they see it they say ‘This looks cool, I want to play it.’

The second mountain is the game has to be so easy and fun you come back and play it for maybe two to three days. Once people download the game, they don’t have any instructions or manual, and they don’t have any investment into the game. Therefore you have to make sure the game is very easy to understand and fun to play. Instead of going through detailed long tutorials, the easiest thing to do is let the player play the game right away, and the control has to be intuitive instead of having to be explained in detail. Some piece of interaction has to come in to grab people’s attention and hold it for one day to three days. Anything beyond three days, people usually have to have a different reason to play that game. You can maybe have filet mignon for two days in a row, but you can’t have it for seven days in a row.

The third mountain is that now you are getting into the core of the game. Perhaps, if it’s a racing game, you think “Instead of just racing I need to get a better car. I need better parts, or I probably need to get tuning done.” People start thinking abut how to win this racing game — I need a better team, I need a better car — so people are now getting into a deeper game, the metagame, not just winning a race. That’s the piece that really dictates the super-successful games that have high lifetime values (LTV’s) versus low LTV games that people might decide to play for a few days then move on to another game. All the really successful games today have really long retention. People not only download it because it looks fun, play it because it’s so fun, but people also have a deeper reason why they continue to play that game. The last piece is usually linked to some game mechanic like an RPG. Talking about a racing game, instead of just doing a race, you’re now buying a car, optimizing a car, practicing, tuning up the car — that’s more like an RPG, or team management in a sports game.

What sort of monetization works best for free-to-play games?

When that cycle starts, people have to feel that it’s positive purchases, not negative purchases. Positive purchases means that it’s not that you run out of energy and you have to pay to continue to play the game. For instance, I have a Toyota Camry but I need a Porsche to be able to win my game, so I have to play more and gain more points so I can get a new car. That’s a really positive experience, so users are invested into the game. They are now getting the free game and playing a quick mini-game, and they are getting into a long-term investment phase, a growing aspect of the game, so people will play the game for a long time.

On the top-grossing charts, you can see Clash of Clans where you are buying additional buildings and making your empire strong, that’s really investment. Game of War is the same thing. Those successful games have that RPG aspect. Whether it’s a racing game or a sports game or a tower defense game, people buy additional things and grow it, that’s the really fundamental aspect of those game and it’s the only way you can engage users to play for a long time. But if there’s no fun, crisp minigame, people feel like they’re constantly studying and don’t get to practice with what they have gained in the game. The minigame could be a puzzle, or a race, or a sports game, but usually the successful game has two aspects, the RPG aspect where you do something day to day to improve your character, and there is a place to exercise what you have gained.

What do see in the years ahead for China, Japan, and the West for mobile games? How are those markets alike, and how are they different?

The Japanese market is about a $7 billion market, and I expect that market to grow in single digits over the next couple of years. I predict it will go up a billion dollars or so in the next couple of years; it will grow but not as fast as other markets. The Chinese market today is somewhere around a $4 billion market, and I expect it to go to $8 billion in the next two to three years if not earlier. I expect the Chinese mobile gaming market will be the largest mobile gaming market in the world. The Western market, which is mainly North America and Western Europe, is around $3.5 to $4 billion, maybe slightly smaller than China. I think this market will be $5 to $6 billion in the next few years. This is DeNA’s prediction, and the good thing is that all three markets are huge, and all three are growing. Our strategy is to be successful in all three markets.

The second thing is that all three markets are very distinctive from each other. The type of game, the type of minigame that people like to play, the type of metagame, and the genre of game that people like is all quite different for all three regions. If you look at the top ten-grossing charts, eight to nine out of the top ten games are created by local developers for all three markets. Some people look at Candy Crush and say all you need to do is create the right game and localize it for each market, but that’s not true. You have to really think global but also be local — some people say “glocal.” You have to really understand what attracts each local audience.

What’s the best advice you can give a mobile game developer to help them be successful in 2015?

Unless you have a local team targeting for a local audience, which is China, the West, and Japan, people should seek partnerships to make their game successful globally. If you don’t have people or a studio in other markets, the easy thing to do is either licensing the game to other people with experience in that market or find a partner who wants to work with you to be successful in that market. The second thing is, people are playing successful games for a longer time, even twelve months or longer. A new game that’s slightly better will not necessarily attract people. The quality bar to convince people to switch from an existing game to a new game is higher. It doesn’t mean people aren’t going to try, because it’s easy to check out a game.

People have a invested a long time and a lot of money into an existing game, so for you to convince them to stop playing and shift over to a new game is tough. For anyone to be successful in today’s market, the game has to be really high quality. You probably have to convince Apple and Google to feature your game. You probably need IP to convince people to at least download your game, and your game it has to have that minigame concept and RPG concept to be successful afterward. If someone has an excellent minigame, it’s probably better to have a larger company as a partner so the larger company can either guide the company to create that RPG element or perhaps get something like the Star Wars IP and attach that to the game. The market getting more difficult for small to medium size companies. People are already playing an existing game… you’ve already seen this happening in the console market. It is happening in the mobile gaming market. It’s not any more some guy in a garage making a minigame and making millions of dollars.

Influencers Talk About The Recent ‘Audience Explosion’

NATPE 2015, which took place earlier this month, provided a number of highlights for those in the video production business, which you can see recapped here. In addition to announcements, press conferences and parties, the event was also a good place to check out a variety of panels covering topics like how to make an impact in the digital video community.

Among these panels was YouTube & Vine Stars: The Rise of the Digital Influencer, a panel devoted to explaining the explosion in popularity in the medium, as well as those that are turning it around for the better.

“While stars have been emerging from YouTube and other digital platforms for close to a decade, a true explosion in audience size has occurred over the past 18 months,” reads the YouTube description for the video. “These exceptional content creators, producers and channel leaders have become true influencers, and are now attracting an ever growing number of media companies and brand marketers that are turning to this new breed of global superstar to drive their products and messaging. How did these women and men find their viewers How do they maintain the high quality product the audience demands What does the future hold, and where will the online audience find tomorrow’s new talents This panel discussion will feature a mix of stars and talents with major followings, along with the professional representatives who help steer their careers. We will discuss how these stars are born, what it takes for them to grow and sustain a global audience, and the careful process by which they are matched with opportunities designed to leverage their reach and influence. If your business and viewing habits find you in this world, don’t miss this chance to hear from those who inhabit it with brilliance!”

The panel featured a number of stars and behind-the-scenes folk talking about the medium, including Ali Barash, moderator and digital media agent; Lisa Fillipelli vice president of Talent, Big Frame, Etc.; Viner/Actor Marcus Johns; Vlogger and Internet personality Tyler Oakley; Entertainer and Internet persona Connor Franta; and Amy Finnerty, executive vice president of talent partnerships for Disney’s Maker Studios.

The panel can be watched in full below, and while it runs nearly 48 minutes in length, there’s some information here that many will find useful – especially if they’re trying to break into the digital market.


The Hunt Is On In ‘Evolve: Hunters Quest’

Evolve is already shaping up to be one of 2015’s premiere game releases, a four-versus-one multiplayer opus where a quartet of heavily armed hunters pursue a dangerous creature – all of which are controlled by human players (or AI, if you’re a solo combatant).

With the game set to arrive next month, 2K Games has taken the initiative and launched a separate app that will get players excited for the game, while at the same time providing a nice diversion with its own take on the “match-three” formula.

Evolve: Hunters Quest is available now for iOS, Windows, Android and Amazon Fire devices, and provides players with the opportunity to join a team of Hunters on the planet Shear, as they seek out dangerous new prey to hunt. Players need to match up icons on a playfield to attack enemies in turn-based style, while staying alive from their incoming attacks. Along the way, they can activate special abilities to knock their foe for a loop, as well as earn Mystery Points to level up characters.

It definitely has a Puzzle & Dragons vibe to it, and that’s what 2K is counting on, since GungHo Entertainment’s game continues to be popular worldwide on mobile devices. However, the design stays true to the Evolve formula, with familiar characters that appear in the original game, including the monsters.

The game, developed in conjunction between Evolve‘s Turtle Rock Studios and mobile app team Cat Daddy Games, is available for free of charge, and features a number of power-ups that can be unlocked using in-game currency. It’s unknown at this time if it supports Microtransactions, but, given that it’s a promotional release, it’s not very likely. It can be downloaded for iTunes here.

Launching a mobile app alongside a premiere console release is a sound business strategy, as it drums up additional business and hype in a way that isn’t really considered clear advertising. Plus, to be fair, Evolve has been quite popular with the community with the two betas it’s gone through over the last few months.

We’ll see what kind of impact these monsters make when Evolve launches on February 10 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.