Train2game News Yogscast new mobile channel

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Yogscast, the UK’s leading games video specialist, is pleased to announce the forthcoming launch of TAPP, a new YouTube channel dedicated to all things mobile gaming.

TAPP is being created by Yogscast’s in-house production team and will be fronted by the firm’s star personalities including Kim, Duncan, Martyn and Hannah and will produce regular video entertainment focussed on iOS and Android gaming.

The TAPP launch is in partnership with IPC Ventures, who are using the channel to promote their Gaming Top Talent competition to find the best mobile gaming devs in the world, and reward them with prizes worth over $1M.

TAPP will launch with a range of programming covering the latest games being released and regular features on 3 May.

“We’re really excited to be launching TAPP, which we’re confident will quickly become the leading channel for iOS and Android gaming on YouTube,” said Mark Turpin, CEO of Yogscast.

“We all play games on our phones and tablets as well as PCs and consoles and it’s always been a frustration that it’s hard to find great videos that will help us find new games or enjoy the ones we’re already playing. I’m also delighted to have a legitimate reason to be able to expense all my gem purchases in Clash of Clans.”
“Gaming Top Talent is a great partnership for us as it means we’ll also be able to discover the best new mobile games while they’re still in development – and with the prizes on offer we know there will be both strong competition and high quality games being produced,” Turpin added.

“Through our Gaming Top Talent initiative we are taking on the challenge of finding the best mobile games being made and sharing them with the world”, said Shelley Lau, Managing Partner at IPC Ventures, “which is why we are excited to partner with Yogscast, a pioneer in the games video industry with a dedicated, game-loving fanbase.”

More details about TAPP and the initiative with Gaming Top Talent and other partners ​will be released over the next few weeks.

Train2Game News 2016 Mobile Gaming Insights

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SOOMLA, an innovator in mobile gaming analytics, today announced its latest Q1 2016 Mobile Gaming Insights report, which illustrates user spending habits by cross-game behaviour, virtual economy model and game genre.

The new report reveals that users who completed an in-app purchase in one game are six times more likely to pay in another game, compared to any random user who hasn’t purchased. Furthermore, the likelihood of a user to pay in a second game increases by up to 40% based on the amount spent in the first game. Over 20 million players from more than 200 countries were included in the study, which is now available publicly on the company website.

The findings emphasize the contribution of cross-game purchase data to the ability to predict paying users, a coveted virtue in an industry where only 2% of consumers spend in games. Furthermore, knowing a user’s in-app purchase history by genres played, dollars spent and virtual items bought empowers game developers to tailor personalized offers at the user’s “comfort zone” price point.

Yaniv Nizan, Co-founder and CEO of SOOMLA, said: “Attracting payers to your game is like finding a needle in a haystack, but when crossing in-app purchase data from thousands of other games, our payer prediction technology reveals which user segments will eventually convert and what they’re likely to buy.”

Key Report Insights:

●      Past in-game payers are six times more likely to pay in another game.
●      Quick payers (first in-app purchase within 24 hours of install) are nine times more likely to pay in another game.
●      Over 40% of users who paid $25 or more in one game, will also pay in another game.
●      Holiday season savvy developers achieve an average revenue per paying user (ARPPU) lift in December of 83% above the annual average.
●      For each in-game item users purchase with real currency, an average of 18 additional items are purchased with virtual currency.
●      65% of all app revenue comes from “lifetime” goods (e.g. characters, level packs, remove ads), which cost $2.60 USD on average.
●      “Single use” goods (e.g. “save me”, ammo, 30-second boost) account for 71% of all in-game purchases.

Solomon Foshko, Manager of Strategic Intelligence at Wargaming Inc., said: “SOOMLA’s latest report provides a greater understanding of key trends in the mobile market and how best we can apply that insight for a competitive advantage within our product portfolio.”

Additionally, the report provides developers with insights on when players are more likely to play and how they play. For instance, daily active users increase as much as 33% over weekends, and this occurs primarily on phones, although sessions on tablets are often longer. Usage patterns differ across game genres as well, with strategy games boasting the highest average session duration of 11 minutes – 2.6 times more than other genres.

SOOMLA enables payer segmentation with its realtime payer prediction system – a programmatic API that detects when a highly likely paying user has just walked into your game.  Developers can adapt the game to potential payers from the first session and segment them for targeting and in-game promotions. For big publishers, SOOMLA offers highly targeted payer audiences through its recently introduced Audiences dashboard. Mobile marketers can build custom and lookalike audiences based on SOOMLA’s proprietary dataset and provision their campaigns to reach the best users.

Train2Game News AppGameKit update

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The Game Creators today released App Game Kit Version 2.0.15. This significant key release adds many new features including animated 3D features, Bullet physics support and Assimp 3D model format importing.

Developers can now take their app ideas into the third dimension and have projects up and running in record time.

AppGameKit is available for both Windows, Mac and Linux platforms and apps can be deployed cross platform including iOS, Android, Windows, Blackberry, Mac and Linux. The pay once, royalty free price also drops down to an even more affordable $79!

The Game Creators Development Director, Rick Vanner, said “The new 3D engine has been eagerly awaited by our community and they’ve already started creating demos and games with it. We’re very excited to see what users do with all this new power.”

Alongside this release are four new DLCs that complement the core AppGameKit product. There are two detailed user guides that are designed and written to take any novice coder and turn them into an expert game developer in easy-to-follow steps. Witten by educationalist Alistair Stewart, the Guides are available in two versions; the Official AppGameKit Beginners Guide ($29.99) for novice users, and the Official AppGameKit User Guide ($39.99) covering many more programming subjects.

To aid developers two Giant Asset Packs are also being launched today. They are packed to the rafters with thousands of sprites, backdrops and sample demo projects. Users can incorporate any of the assets into their projects for just $19.99 each.

Lee Bamber, CEO of The Game Creators, said “AppGameKit is the perfect choice for beginners and professionals looking to create cross platforms apps, combining an easy to learn programming language with a powerful and flexible engine capable of turning your ideas into reality. Supported by a fantastic community and a wealth of additional resources, such as a 900-page full-color user guide and thousands of assets via the DLCs, help is here if you need it.”

The Game Creators developed Driving Test Success Theory, Hazard Perception and Highway Code apps for UK publisher Focus Multimedia, deploying them onto the App Store, Google Play, Amazon, Mac Store and Blackberry World – all from AGKs executable code. These Driving Test Success apps are now the UK’s #1 ‘Learning to Drive’ apps.

The App Game Kit official website: http://www.appgamekit.com/

Train2Game News European games devs driving global digital economy

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The Interactive Software Federation of Europe (ISFE) has presented a report by Deloitte that shows how European games companies are a driving force behind the global digital economy.

The report Mobile Games In Europe explores the emergence of the in-app purchase model in mobile video games. It shows how that model now supports 21,000 full-time employees in the European Union, many of them working in small enterprises that have been able to build sustainable businesses. The report highlights how mobile game developers now enjoy a lower barrier to entry and can start and build successful businesses anywhere in Europe. Regional industry hubs have attracted talent and capital and created new types of jobs and flexible, innovative business models.

ISFE expects to see double-digit growth in the mobile games industry until 2017, making it the fastest growing ‘content’ sector in Europe, with consumer spending estimated at more than €20 billion in 2015 alone.

The Deloitte report demonstrates that the in-app purchase model is popular with consumers, who show a high level of awareness of these games and enjoy more choice and variety. It also shows that only a small percentage of these gamers ever make in-app purchases. Consumers now download more free and in-app purchase mobile games than paid games. 

On Tuesday 15th of September, ISFE organised a high-level event at the Microsoft Executive Briefing Center in Brussels to present the findings of the report. The event featured a keynote speech by MEP Kaja Kallas (ALDE) and a panel discussion during which representatives from the games industry, the European Parliament and the European Commission discussed how the growth and leading position of the European games industry could be ensured while supporting the EU’s Digital Single Market initiative.

“Of the top 10 apps in the Apple iOS and Google Play app store in June 2015, six were made by game companies headquartered in Europe”, says Simon Little, Managing Director of ISFE. “We can be proud of our leading position, while keeping the focus on fostering a business environment where skills and talent keep our companies at the top.”

ISFE represents the European video games industry to the European Union and international organisations. ISFE spreads the word on its members’ positions regarding the main political and legal initiatives of European and international institutions in fields such as intellectual property, e-commerce, trade negotiations and the protection of minors.

Train2game News Fallout Shelter now available on Android

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Bethesda Softworks®, a ZeniMax® Media company, today announced that Fallout Shelter™, the first-ever mobile game set in the celebrated Fallout® universe from Bethesda Game Studios®, is now available worldwide for FREE on Google Play for Android devices.

Praised for its fun, addicting gameplay, and for its player-friendly approach to in-app purchases, Fallout Shelter has received accolades from some of the industry’s leading outlets, earning ‘Game of the Week’ from Touch Arcade and nominations for ‘Biggest Surprise’ from IGN and ‘Best Handled/Mobile Game’ from the official Game Critics Awards.

Today’s launch includes all-new game updates, including the introduction of Mr. Handy – the ultimate robotic companion – as a premium reward. Use him to collect resources inside your Vault, send him into the wasteland to collect caps, or defend your Vault from creatures and disasters, including new Deathclaw invasions and Molerat infestations.

Fallout Shelter is a post-nuclear strategy and simulation experience that puts you in control of a state-of-the-art underground Vault. Build the perfect Vault from a variety of rooms, oversee your very own thriving community of Vault Dwellers, and protect them from the dangers of the Wasteland.

To download Fallout Shelter for Android devices, visit: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bethsoft.falloutshelter

To learn more about Fallout Shelter, visit the game’s official website: www.FalloutShelter.com.

Train2Game News PEGI rating comes to mobile

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PEGI announced today the expansion of its rating system to mobile and digital storefronts in Europe, as part of a global initiative with other classification authorities from around the world.

The International Age Rating Coalition (IARC) was recently established to streamline the process for assigning age and content ratings to the high volume of digitally delivered games and mobile apps coming into the market today. The IARC.system is currently adopted for use in Google Play and Firefox Marketplace, and Microsoft’s Xbox Live Store, Nintendo eShop and the Sony PlayStation Store are expected to do so at a later date. 

Founded in late 2013, the IARC system represents the first time international ratings organisations have joined forces to agree on a unified process that simultaneously generates ratings for multiple territories while preserving each of their distinct cultural standards. Currently, the IARC process assigns the familiar and trusted content rating icons from PEGI (Europe), ESRB (North America), ClassInd (Brazil), USK (Germany) and the Classification Board in Australia, with more rating authorities expected to join in the future. All publishers on the participating platforms will be required to use the IARC procedure during the on-boarding process. There is no cost to publishers to obtain ratings via IARC and the process is designed to be fast and easy.

“I really applaud this responsible move”, says Robert Madelin, Director General of DG CONNECT, European Commission. “Age-rating apps in a way that is generally applicable, transparent, and consistent and that is familiar and understandable to users is an important step in making the internet a better place for children.”

“The market for digital games and mobile apps is exploding across the globe.  With a single click, developers can publish their games and apps on digital storefronts reaching a worldwide audience. These realities have created regulatory and cultural challenges that call for an innovative solution like IARC to help developers and storefronts provide consumers with culturally relevant, legally compliant and reliable guidance about the age appropriateness of the content in games and apps they may be considering for download,” said Dirk Bosmans, Communication Manager of PEGI S.A.. “It is encouraging that digital storefronts recognise the benefits of this groundbreaking initiative.”

The IARC system assigns age ratings, content descriptors and interactive elements for digitally delivered games and apps.  Developers can only access the system and use IARC ratings on digital storefronts that have licensed and integrated the system into their on-boarding process.  There is no cost for developers to use the system, which features a single questionnaire that once completed immediately assigns different ratings for various territories around the world.  Those IARC-certified ratings are then ingested by the storefront and mapped to their respective regions.  IARC and its participating rating authorities are responsible for monitoring and ensuring the accuracy of ratings assigned by the system. The fundamental goal is to enable digital consumers, especially parents, to have broad access to established, credible and locally relevant ratings for interactive entertainment products, regardless of the device on which they consume them. 

The initial five IARC rating authority participants, which collectively represent regions serving approximately 1.5 billion people, include:

    Pan European Game Information (PEGI) – Europe
    Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle (USK) – Germany
    Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) – North America
    Classificação Indicativa (ClassInd) – Brazil
    Classification Board – Australia

For more information about IARC, please visit www.globalratings.com

Train2Game News Nintendo partner with DeNa

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Nintendo Co., Ltd. and DeNA Co., Ltd. today entered into a business and capital alliance to develop and operate new game apps for smart devices and build a new multi-device membership service for consumers worldwide.

Leveraging the strength of Nintendo’s intellectual property (IP) and game development skills in combination with DeNA’s world-class expertise in mobile games, both companies will develop and operate new game apps based on Nintendo’s IP, including its iconic game characters, for smart devices. The alliance is intended to complement Nintendo’s dedicated video game systems business and extend Nintendo’s reach into the vast market of smart device users worldwide. Under the alliance, DeNA will also be able to strengthen its gaming business at a global scale by leveraging Nintendo’s IP. To ensure the quality of game experience that consumers expect from this alliance of Nintendo and DeNA, only new original games optimised for smart device functionality will be created, rather than porting games created specifically for the Wii U home console or the Nintendo 3DS portable system.

In order to create completely new game experiences for smart devices, all Nintendo IP will be eligible for development and exploration by the alliance. As these consumers enjoy the unique kind of gameplay found only with Nintendo, they will have the opportunity to explore even more premium experiences on Nintendo’s dedicated video game platforms. Information on upcoming games and availability will be forthcoming.

Nintendo and DeNA also plan to develop an online membership service that is accessible from smart devices, PC and Nintendo systems, such as the Nintendo 3DS portable system and the Wii U home console. The membership service, which is targeted to launch in the fall of 2015, will be built on DeNA’s extensive experience and capabilities in online membership services.

As part of the long-term relationship and commitment by each company, Nintendo and DeNA have also agreed to form a capital alliance. Under the capital alliance, Nintendo will acquire 15,081,000 of DeNA’s treasury shares, which corresponds to 10.00 percent of its total outstanding stock, for a total of approximately 22 billion yen. DeNA will simultaneously acquire 1,759,400 of Nintendo’s treasury shares, which corresponds to 1.24 percent of its outstanding stock, for a total of approximately 22 billion yen. The payment is due April 2, 2015.

Train2Game News Android PlaytestCloud

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Games usability testing startup PlaytestCloud will start offering playtests and usability studies for Android games today.

For just $49 per player game designers can quickly learn how real players behave in their games and fix problems even before the game is launched.

PlaytestCloud offers game designers the ability to easily perform user studies on Android devices within 48 hours. By looking at how actual players engage with games and making changes based on their feedback, designers can easily improve the playability of their in-development titles. PlaytestCloud’s quick turnaround time and relatively low price point allow companies like TinyCo, Wooga and ZeptoLab to quickly iterate on game designs and gauge players’ enthusiasm for their prototypes.

Until now, PlaytestCloud offered testing exclusively for iOS devices. Starting today they also added Android game testing to their platform. Game designers do not need to make code changes to their game. They can upload any recent game build to the PlaytestCloud web site to get player recordings within 24-48 hours. Designers can pick their target audience by age, gender and casual/midcore/hardcore gaming preference. They can also select players of competitors’ titles. Each game test costs US$49 per player. Testers play the games on their own Android device, while their screen is being unobstrusively captured by an SDK that is automatically added to the game.

“Android players are accustomed to different user interface conventions than users of iOS devices. You can really profit from testing an cross-platform game with Android users as well as iOS users.” says Christian Ress, who co-founded PlaytestCloud in 2012. With their Android support, PlaytestCloud also bets on the growing importance of Android titles for game studios’ bottom lines. In 2015 Google’s Play Store has surpassed the App Store’s monthly revenue in Germany for the first time.

Train2Game News Build mobile games faster

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npnf, inc., a company funded by SK Planet, Korea’s leading mobile content and services provider, released a platform to help developers build mobile games faster.

According to the Developer Economics Report for Q3 2014 from Vision Mobile, 57% of games are below the “app poverty level”, generating less than $500 per month. The report concludes: The more games a developer ships, the more likely they are to be financially successful. Yet, 70% of game developers have shipped less than 4 titles in the lifetime of their business.

The npnf platform was built to help developers quickly solve recurring gaming problems so they can focus on what makes their game fun. By integrating the platform, npnf’s internal first party team was able to reduce development time by two full months. The platform separates configuration from implementation, which means configuration changes have no impact on the client code. Even better, it means that developers don’t need to resubmit their app to the Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store when they tweak a configuration.

Chris Lee, CSO, explains: “It’s critical for first party studios, like us, to build as many quality games as quickly as possible. To do that, you’ve got to have a better starting point when you set out to build a new title- and that’s where our platform plays such a crucial role. It lays down a foundation so that we don’t have to start from scratch every time.”

The npnf platform supports user management, player inventory, virtual currency, and energy. The latest version, released this month, adds support for loot tables, gacha, fusion, evolution, and crafting. For those building a Games as a Service (GaaS), the platform supports seamless expansion of game content, versioning of your configurations on a per release basis, and (coming soon) a portal for your operations team to support your players.

For more information about the npnf platform, see https://developer.npnf.com.

Train2Game News Biba taking mobile games outside

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Biba, a developer of mobile augmented reality games and apps, and PlayPower, a leading provider of play, sport and recreation equipment, have partnered to bring digital and real world play together.

The companies are inspiring kids to get back outside by fusing digital games with active outdoor play through new Biba mobile apps and Biba-Activated playgrounds from PlayPower.

“Biba’s mobile games designed for outdoor play are just a breath of fresh air,” said Dr. Greg Zeschuk, former Bioware Founder and Biba’s Chairman of the Board. “PlayPower and Biba are creating a new category, an inventive way to blend our new media habits with the health benefits and joy of active outdoor play. I am inspired by the category as a game designer and father.”

Biba games ensure children use the phone not as a vehicle for abstraction, but as an intuitive, single-function interface.  In addition, the games are designed for ‘refereed play,’ keeping the phone predominantly within the parent’s hands, keeping kids safer, devices safer and providing parents an opportunity to have freeform fun with their kids.

“We want to change what screen time means,” said Matt Toner, President of Biba.  “Our games bring kids back outside and turn playgrounds into the ultimate destination for modern families to go for healthy, active fun.  Thanks to our partnership with PlayPower, we think we’ve blended the richest parts of mobile play with the unadulterated fun of jumping, swinging, sliding and playing outdoors.”

The storyline of Biba’s initial mobile games is simple:  Playgrounds are transformed into the wreckage of robot spacecrafts that have crashed on Earth, and players interact with their very own companion robot, which encourages the player to explore the playground through its whimsical eyes.  The games marry a colorful interface intended to foster the imaginations of kids ages 3-9 with a unique ‘embodied play’ game philosophy that encourages kids to actualize their gameplay with their bodies.  Fun and age-appropriate physical challenges are reinforced through points, high scores and badges that can be shared online and with friends.

Biba games will be optimized for use with ‘Biba-Activated’ playgrounds from PlayPower, where augmented reality technology will create deeper gameplay experiences.   Biba apps will provide information about the gameplay experiences available at each playground—enabling families to search and find their favorite playground destinations..  Some of the Biba games will work with playgrounds that aren’t Biba-Activated, since Biba games allow players to tag which types of playground equipment are available to them.

“Active outdoor play is essential to the development of healthy children.  Getting enough active outdoor play for their kids is a problem with which most modern parents are familiar.  The solution PlayPower has developed with Biba blends the technology-driven world that kids expect with the joyful outdoor fun that parents remember from their own childhood,” said Lynne Vandeveer, Chief Marketing Officer at PlayPower. “Parents’ concern for their children is justified by research that shows kids are spending too much time sitting still in front of a screen and not enough time outdoors.  We intend to change that by engaging modern kids on their own terms.”

Biba games will be coming to mobile devices later this year, at the same time that Biba-activated PlayPower playground equipment will be populating city parks across the country.