Train2Game News 2021 Pocket Gamer Mobile Award Winners

MiHoYo’s Genshin Impact took home the biggest prize as it scooped Game of the Year at Steel Media’s fourth annual and industry-leading Pocket Gamer Mobile Games Awards, supported by Game Insight, held last week.

The ceremony saw the action role-playing title also awarded Best Audio/Visual Accomplishment, while Tencent and TiMi Studio Group secured Best Publisher and Best Developer, respectively.
Innovation of the Year went to Niantic for its ingenious reworking of augmented reality hit Pokémon Go for the 2020 lockdown, Pollen VC was voted Best Service Provider, and Supercell’s Clash Royale conquered the opposition to the Best Live Ops trophy.

As ever the event, which in this pandemic-affected year took place later than its traditional January slot and adopted a hybrid live/digital format hosted by London’s Ham Yard Hotel, aimed to shine a spotlight on the work of the top mobile games companies over the previous year.

Further highlights from the night included the Rising Star award, shared – an event first – by Jana and Sham Al Bdour of Sakura Games, Unity continuing its Best Game Engine dominance with a fourth win in as many years, and Jam City CEO Chris DeWolfe joining the ranks of Mobile Legend.

The coveted People’s Choice Award, nominated for and voted on by readers of Steel Media’s leading consumer site, PocketGamer.com, went to Tilting Point’s SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off.

“We believe the MGAs have a vital role to play in recognising the efforts and achievements of the entire ecosystem that makes mobile gaming the best industry in the world,” said Steel Media CEO, Chris James.

“This is doubly important considering the forced disconnects of the last 16 months and also the incredible role that the mobile games industry has paid not just in contributing to the economy and keeping people in jobs, but moreover in keeping billions of citizens feeling a little more connected and engaged.”

As the full winner breakdown below demonstrates, the 22 categories (including three new additions this year) represent firms spanning the whole industry, from the games developers and publishers to the tools companies, service providers, support agencies, investors and recruiters that all contribute towards this $90 billion sector being the largest and most pervasive in gaming.

After the lobbying and shortlisting phases – the biggest and most complex to date – which took place from March to May, the finalists were subsequently voted on throughout June by our panel of 100-plus mobile games experts from every corner of the industry.

Steel Media is hugely grateful to everyone who took the time to submit themselves, their colleagues, company, or contemporaries, as well as everyone who attended the ceremony itself during these tricky times – whether in person or digitally.

Additionally, we would like to thank main sponsor Game Insight, together with Admix, Huawei Ads, Jam City, Scopely and Tilting Point for coming on board as category sponsors – their support helped make the event a success in a particularly challenging year.

And last but by no means least, congratulations to all the finalists – it really was a hard-fought affair this year – and, of course, the heartiest of praise to the winners themselves.

More info on all things PG Mobile Games Awards at the official website:
www.mobilegamesawards.com

Train2Game News Nintendo At E3 2021

During its nearly 40-minute E3 2021 Nintendo Direct video presentation, Nintendo spotlighted a wide variety of new games coming to the Nintendo Switch system – with many launching this year!

Announcements include Metroid Dread, the first 2D Metroid game starring bounty hunter Samus Aran with a new story in 19 years; Mario Party Superstars, a new game in the Mario Party series featuring classic boards from the Nintendo 64 era and a collection of minigames from across the series; Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp, which includes the first two Advance Wars games rebuilt from the ground up; WarioWare: Get It Together!, the newest game in the frenetic and humorous WarioWare series; and Game & Watch: The Legend of Zelda, which is inspired by Game & Watch systems and features three of the earliest games in the Legend of Zelda series.

In addition, the next DLC fighter in the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Fighters Pass Vol. 2 was revealed as Kazuya Mishima from the TEKKEN series.

The debut of a new teaser for the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild also premiered during the Nintendo Direct presentation, showing off gameplay and a new world high above the kingdom of Hyrule.

A slate of exciting games from development and publishing partners were also featured, including Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope from Ubisoft, a sequel to the hit game Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle; Shin Megami Tensei V from Atlus, the next entry in the acclaimed Shin Megami Tensei role-playing series; and three games in the Life is Strange series from SQUARE ENIX, including the latest game Life is Strange: True Colors.

“With Nintendo Switch now in its fifth year, we have a diverse software lineup from Nintendo, as well as our development and publishing partners, including new games announced in this Nintendo Direct,” said Nick Chavez, Nintendo of America’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “We hope players of all kinds – even those who have yet to play Nintendo Switch – will find games they’ll enjoy.”

To view the Nintendo Direct video in its entirety, visit https://www.nintendo.com/e3/.

Train2Game News Capcom At E3 2021

During the all-virtual E3 2021, the Capcom showcase offered fans a look at what to expect from the renowned Japanese publisher’s latest lineup.

The broadcast, hosted by Rachel “Seltzer” Quirico, shared news and updates for the upcoming games Monster Hunter Stories™ 2: Wings of Ruin and The Great Ace Attorney™ Chronicles, the recently released hits Resident Evil™ Village and Monster Hunter™ Rise, plus a look at the year ahead for esports from the Capcom Pro Tour (CPT) and Street Fighter League (SFL).
 
Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin Takes Flight
The new story trailer for Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin shed light on the fate of the famous Monster Rider Red, the origins of Razewing Ratha, and the player’s journey to unravel the Wings of Ruin prophecy. Monster Riders eager to hop in the saddle to experience the opening hours of the highly anticipated RPG can enjoy a Free Trial Version offering full save data transfer when it lands on June 25 for Nintendo Switch™ and Steam at launch. Fans interested in seeing more of the diverse and majestic monsters coming to the game could catch a glimpse of numerous fan favorites they can bond with during their travels, including Elder Dragons Kushala Daora and Teostra. Finally, the showcase offered a look at some of the free title updates coming to the game after its release on July 9, 2021, starting with the Palamute from Monster Hunter Rise.
 
Mysteries Abound in The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles
Budding defense attorneys looking to make the journey West with rookie ace attorney Ryunosuke Naruhodo got a first look at the new features and gameplay arriving with The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles. While investigating heinous crimes, Ryunosuke and his legal aid Susato Mikatoba will team up with the preeminent investigator in London: Herlock Sholmes. During these Dances of Deduction, the duo will need to work together to untangle the ace detective’s over-enthusiastic assumptions and discern the truth. In order to stave off the peril awaiting his clients, Ryunosuke must use these facts in court to convince a jury of his client’s innocence. Just as the scales of justice lean toward a guilty verdict, Ryunosuke can engage in a Summation Examination to tip the scales back in his favor. This seldom-used legal practice allows Ryunosuke to pick apart any inconsistencies in each juror’s logic, and pit the jury against itself to force the trial to continue. With 10 new cases to unravel, eight mini escapades to experience, and a wealth of bonus content to explore, ace attorneys will have a full docket when The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles arrives in court on July 27, 2021.
 
More Challenges Await in Monster Hunter Rise
The robust post-launch support for the critically acclaimed Monster Hunter Rise continues, with the next update featuring the first Capcom collaboration title: Monster Hunter Stories 2. Hunters who complete the free collaboration quest arriving June 18 will receive layered armor based on the wise Palico Tsukino for their buddies, while players who use save data from Monster Hunter Stories 2 can access the Rider layered armor based off the gear of Mahana Village Monster Riders on July 9. Additionally, new Event Quests arrive starting June 24, and offer a variety of rewards for intrepid hunters such as new armor, gestures, and stickers. Fashionistas will also gain access to a treasure trove of new looks, with new (paid and unpaid) DLC options for hunters and their buddies. Finally, fans can look forward to a number of additional collaborations with other Capcom titles throughout the second half of 2021.
 
The Road Ahead for Resident Evil
Following the successful launch of the acclaimed Resident Evil Village last month, Producer Tsuyoshi Kanda shared news on what fans can expect next as the Resident Evil 25th anniversary celebration continues. Due to the overwhelming support and feedback for the game, the team has just begun development on additional DLC for Resident Evil Village. More news will be shared at a later date.
 
Capcom Esports
Capcom Pro Tour (CPT) commentators Vicious and RobTV provided a breakdown of the upcoming competitions and an overview of the changes coming to CPT 2021, which is shaping up to be the best season yet for fans and competitors alike. These changes include updates to the rules for competitors, and details about prizing. Additionally, the next season of Street Fighter League (SFL) is on the horizon, with more details coming soon. For all the latest information and 2021 schedules, check out the official CPT and SFL pages.

The full Capcom showcase broadcast can be accessed on Capcom’s official YouTube and Twitch channels, in addition to being available within the official E3 portal and app.

Train2Game News Pokémon GO Fest 2021

Trainers, Mark your calendars—Pokémon GO Fest will return this year as a two-day global event from July 17 to July 18, 2021!

Last year’s event featured the debut of a brand-new worldwide format that saw Trainers from around the globe working together to complete challenges, unlock rewards, and defeat Team GO Rocket.

From the launch of the Global Challenge Arena to the thrilling research that led us to Victini, Pokémon GO Fest 2020 was truly an event to remember!

What does this year’s event have in store?

Well, you’ll just have to wait and see!

2021 marks both the twenty-fifth anniversary of Pokémon and the fifth anniversary of Pokémon GO, so trust us when we say you won’t want to miss Pokémon GO Fest 2021! We can’t wait to celebrate another summer together.

Stay tuned for more details!

Please be aware of your surroundings and follow guidelines from local health authorities when playing Pokémon GO. Upcoming events are subject to change.

For the latest on in-game events and feature updates, be sure to check this help center article.

Train2Game News E3 All Virtual For 2021

It’s “Game On.” for E3, as The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) officially unveils plans for a reimagined, all-virtual E3 2021 that will engage video game fans everywhere.

With early commitments from Nintendo, Xbox, Capcom, Konami, Ubisoft, Take-Two Interactive, Warner Bros. Games, Koch Media, and more to come, E3 2021 will take place June 12 through June 15. 

Developers will be showcasing their latest news and games directly to fans around the world. The ESA will be working with media partners globally to help amplify and make this content available to everyone for free.

“For more than two decades, E3 has been the premier venue to showcase the best that the video game industry has to offer, while uniting the world through games,” said Stanley Pierre-Louis, President & CEO of the ESA. “We are evolving this year’s E3 into a more inclusive event, but will still look to excite the fans with major reveals and insider opportunities that make this event the indispensable center stage for video games.”

While maintaining E3’s longstanding position as a central destination for industry networking — where new partnerships and connections between video game publishers, developers and media are made — the digital format for E3 2021 means more people than ever can participate.

The ESA looks forward to coming back together to celebrate E3 2022 in person, in the meantime see you online this June!

Train2Game News Games Career Week Starts Today

Today marks the launch of the first Annual Games Careers Week: a diverse programme of events dedicated to getting more people to explore careers and education in one of the UK’s highest growth and most exciting creative industries.

Running March 26th- 2nd April 2021, over 75 event partners – including video games studios, nonprofit organisations, and educational institutions – will come together for this free online festival to provide exhibitions, interactive workshops and panel discussions, with the aim to encourage students, parents, career advisers, and teachers, to explore the potential of and many pathways into video games careers.

The week will provide a comprehensive guide for anyone interested in a career in video games. Participants of all ages and backgrounds can benefit from the experience and advice of some of the UK’s top industry leaders – from how games are made, useful subjects and skills to study, to portfolio building, networking and how to break into the industry, and more.

Key themes and insight into games careers from social, political, cultural, and economic perspectives will include:

  • Highlighting the need for greater access to education and advice on games careers  to people from all backgrounds
  • Tackling industry stereotypes and misconceptions
  • Improving diversity and inclusion in video games by showcasing the diverse talents, viewpoints, and experiences behind critically acclaimed bodies of work
  • Unconscious bias in parental perceptions of careers for their children

As part of the event’s focus on diversity in video games, the event organisers have recruited a very diverse range of spokespeople from the sector. They also called for an industry-wide sourcing of diverse images of studios, makers, and the people behind the games, to create a royalty-free image bank for games careers. The aim is for would-be game designers, programmers, artists, producers and anyone from diverse backgrounds to be able to see people like themselves already in the industry, showing that it’s a career option available to all, regardless of race, gender identity, sexuality, neurodiversity, or having a disability.

Games Careers week is a non-profit event funded and organised byThe BGI, Grads in Games, and Into Games. It has amassed the support of over 75 partners, all recognising the necessity for educating the public about an industry with a global sales value of over £100 billion in 2020 (Nielsen) – and the fact that many of the world’s top games development studios are UK based.   

Rick Gibson, one of the founders of Games Careers Week, commented “We want to help diverse young people, their parents, and their educators to learn more about why creative technology are so important for their futures. The games industry should be a poster-child for the UK’s export-driven knowledge economy. Most parents don’t know the UK supports over 25,000 stable, exciting and well paid jobs, which number grew by over 12% in 2020 right through the pandemic. We recognise there are education and knowledge gaps about games careers, especially amongst women and underrepresented communities, and we think the best way to build a more diverse workforce is to provide the tools, advice, and information to encourage a range of diverse new talent to explore their digital skills and career potential.”

Games Career Week has also received support from UK Minister for Employment Mims Davies: “Gaming can traditionally be a rather challenging sector to break into, so it’s great to see the industry giving such exciting opportunities to young people this Games Careers Week.

“Many companies in the gaming world have already signed up to the DWP Kickstart Scheme to help our next generation of workers into brilliant new roles as part of our Plan for Jobs, and I encourage other employers to get involved across the sector as we push to build back better from the pandemic.”

A full schedule of the Festival’s events, news, as well as a permanent information resource on games careers can be found at https://gamescareersweek.org/

Train2Game Games for Change 2021

Today, Games for Change (G4C), the leading advocate of games for social impact began accepting speaker submissions and award nominations for the 2021 Games for Change Festival (July 12-14)—the largest industry-facing event for social impact games in the world.

Major themes of the Festival include a focus on achieving equity and social justice, ensuring a thriving planet, promoting mental health, and regaining a sense of security.  
 
“The issues Games for Change has advocated for years have been accelerated through this time of adversity,” said G4C President, Susanna Pollack.

“We need to continue that momentum by sharing lessons learned and thinking big about the road ahead. We invite developers, researchers, innovators, and changemakers to create this shared vision for our industry and hope to inspire the next generation of media that tackles our world’s most pressing issues.”
 
Through an open call for session submissions, Games for Change is inviting the global gaming community to share the latest thinking around games and immersive media that imagine, inspire, and ignite a future rooted in tangible social impact. Talks, panels, workshops, and demos will be presented across multiple tracks, including but not limited to Civics & Social Issues, Health & Wellness, Games for Learning, and the return of the XR for Change Summit.
 
Given the increased interest from international communities joining the Festival virtually in 2020, Games for Change will feature more sessions and speakers whose work is making an impact outside of the United States. In addition, Games for Change reinforces that the Festival is a platform for all voices and backgrounds, providing the community an opportunity to celebrate and reinforce core values: cross-sector collaboration, innovative and progressive thinking, and diverse perspectives.
 
Nominations have also opened for the 2021 Games for Change Awards, which recognizes and celebrates games in various categories. Games and XR experiences released between January 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021 are eligible to apply for one or more of the six award categories, such as Most Innovative, Best Gameplay, and Best Learning Game. Through a rigorous evaluation process by industry professionals, four finalists will be chosen in each category.
 
Submission portals for both speakers and awards open today and close on February 12. More information regarding selection criteria for each can be found on the Games for Change Festival website.

Train2Game News Indie Showdown 2021 Submissions Open

The Label’s annual Indie Showdown competition which celebrates indie game makers and honors excellence in the indie mobile game community is open through February 19, 2021.

Past winners include Levelhead by Butterscotch Shenanigans, What the Golf? by Triband, Mushroom 11 by Untame, Tiny Bubbles by Pine Street Codeworks, Old Man’s Journey by Broken Rules, and Bring You Home by Alike Studios. 

Indie Showdown submissions will be judged not only on fun-factor, but on all aspects of the game’s craftsmanship – its design, technical, visual, and audio elements. With no cost to enter and cash prizes totaling $17,000, the world’s top mobile indie game makers are encouraged to submit today https://www.thelabel.game/indie-showdown

“This is our sixth annual Indie Showdown and we’re excited to see what undiscovered games capture the judges’ attention and eventually land on the top charts,” said Mike Ouye, VP and General Manager, The Label. “While the year is just getting underway, there’s a lot to look forward to in 2021 when it comes to mobile games!” 

The panel of judges will include the original Indie Showdown contest winner, Tim Garbos, Creative Director on What the Golf? as well as Itay Keren, founder of Untame Games and creator of Mushroom 11, and Joshua Babich, The Label’s Director of Product.

The top 10 games will be revealed on March 10, with winners announced shortly after. Prizes include: $10,000 for the grand first-place winner, $5,000 for the second place prize, and $2,000 for the third place winner. 

Highlighted rules:

  • Pre-launch: Your game must not be launched worldwide.
  • Indie: You must not have a publisher or signed publishing agreement.
  • Original: You must own 75% of the showcased IP.
  • Mobile: Games must be playable on mobile devices.

Full contest rules available at: www.thelabel.game/rules/

Developers can submit their game by filling out a contest entry form here: https://www.thelabel.game/indie-showdown

Train2Game News Awesome Games Done Quick 2021 Charity Event

Games Done Quick, a grassroots organization known for its speedrunning charity events, will host Awesome Games Done Quick (AGDQ) 2021 Online this weekend, with a thrilling lineup of speedruns taking place on the official Games Done Quick Twitch channel.

Despite moving online amid the COVID-19 pandemic, AGDQ 2021 Online will find the world’s best speed-runners racing through a mixture of modern and classic games, all in the name of charity. The full schedule for the event, which runs from January 3-10, 2021, is now live at https://gamesdonequick.com/schedule

The event will also feature a brand new, virtual interactive crowd experience. GDQ Twitch subscribers can join the crowd on the GDQ website and use various emotes in the Twitch Chat to have the audience of Velocities (GDQ’s mascot) cheer on the runners, viewable by everyone. The interactive crowd experience will be available at GamesDoneQuick.com throughout the event.

AGDQ 2021 Online will be held this year in support of Prevent Cancer Foundation. Donations can be made directly to the charity during the event via the viewing page available at GamesDoneQuick.com. One hundred percent of all AGDQ 2021 Online donations go directly to Prevent Cancer Foundation.

Across the past decade, Games Done Quick has teamed with charities around the world, including Doctors Without Borders, AbleGamers, Organization for Autism Research, and Prevent Cancer Foundation, while bringing gamers together to marvel at the achievements of the most high-level speedrunners out there. To date, Games Done Quick has raised over $28 million for charity.

Last year, more than 2,750 people attended Awesome Games Done Quick 2020 in person, while the Twitch live stream saw a peak of 236,000 concurrent viewers. Through donations made during the event, more than $3.16 million was raised for Prevent Cancer Foundation.

AGDQ 2021 Online will be broadcast live on Twitch at https://www.twitch.tv/gamesdonequick.

The event is sponsored by Twitch, The Yetee, Fangamer, NIS America, and Devolver Digital.

For more information, please visit GamesDoneQuick.com.

Train2Game News London Game Fest 2021

The 2021 London Games Festival will showcase a range of unreleased titles from around the world, explore how games have aided players’ lives under COVID-19, and connect creators with global investors when it returns next year – running from Friday 19 March to Sunday 28 March

Next year professionals and players alike have a wealth of activity to enjoy, the majority of it from home. This includes a brand new showcase of new games, some of which will be playable at home for free, broadcasts and streams from iconic London locations and a must-attend business track.

A select number of outdoor elements are also planned for LGF and will be fully unveiled in early 2021. These include a public exhibition celebrating Ensemble, the festival’s showcase of Black, Asian and marginalised ethnicity UK video games talent, plus events run by Now Play This, which returns to Somerset House at the end of March.

London Games Festival is backed by the Mayor of London and seeks to make London the games capital of the world.  It is delivered by Games London, an initiative from Film London, the capital’s screen industries agency, and video games trade body Ukie (The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment).

Highlights for London Games Festival 2021 include: 

  • For the first time in its six years, LGF will curate an Official Selection of titles across key themes such as narrative excellence and diverse creators while offering enhanced ways for players to experience these games, from developer sessions through to streaming gameplay
  • Ensemble, Games London’s acclaimed exhibition of Black, Asian and marginalised ethnicity UK video games talent, returns with an outdoor exhibition in partnership with the City of London Corporation, showing in Aldgate Square and Guildhall Yard across March, April and May 
  • Games Finance Market, running across 22 March to 25 March, which will connect 60 major investors with games businesses for private online pitch meetings curated by Games London
  • BAFTA Games Awards, the games industry’s most prestigious accolades, broadcast on the night of 25 March
  • Plus another head-turning collaboration with Now Play This. Now Play This runs 25 March to 28 March and is set to feature experimental gaming installations and activities at Somerset House
  • All content will be underpinned with daily broadcasts from London. This includes keynotes with major developers and creatives, plus explorations on key themes such as games’ impact on culture, how creators can address burning issues such as sustainability and diversity, collaborations with filmmakers, and the ways audiences found solace in virtual worlds while living under lockdown

LGF was one of the first events globally to switch to digital platforms in early 2020 and to great success: its programming this year generated millions of pounds of business for 402 participating global games companies. The call is now open for game submissions and applications for investor meetings in 2021.

Adrian Wootton, CEO of Film London and the British Film Commission, said: “London Games Festival will unlock more potential for the capital next year. The festival was one of the first events to switch to all-digital and we’re proud to see it evolve the model further with a dedicated games showcase and more. The games sector has proven its resilience in 2020 and we remain hugely committed to championing London and connecting the city’s game businesses to colleagues across the world, all while continuing to promote this exciting sector.”

Dr Jo Twist OBE, CEO of Ukie, said: “London Games Festival will focus on topics that are close to our industry’s heart – namely diversity, sustainability, and the ways many of us have used games to escape to at challenging times. As games continues to prove its value commercially, it’s never been more important to build invaluable connections between creators and funders to support the creation of world-changing games businesses in the UK.”

You can discover more about the programme in the coming months via www.games.london and @londongamesfest.