Train2Game News Final Fantasy IV Now Available On Steam And Mobile

SQUARE ENIX® today announced that the critically acclaimed RPG FINAL FANTASY® IV is now available worldwide for Steam® and mobile platforms.

Fans will relive FINAL FANTASY IV’s timeless story of love and betrayal, alongside dynamic characters and battles, with upgraded pixel graphics and audio as a faithful recreation in the 2D pixel remaster series.

The story follows Cecil, a dark knight and captain of the Red Wings, who decides to fight against the tyrannical Kingdom of Baron with his trusted friend and his paramour at his side, and later join forces with Kain the dragoon, Rosa the white mage, Rydia the summoner, and many more skilled allies. FINAL FANTASY IV set the standard for role-playing games with its diverse cast of characters, deep plot and real-time Active Time Battle (ATB) system, where time moves even during battle, giving the players an exciting sense of urgency. This latest version of FINAL FANTASY IV, brings the original release to life with improvements and updates, including:

  • Universally updated 2D pixel graphics redrawn for modern hardware, featuring iconic FINAL FANTASY character pixel designs created by the original artist and current collaborator, Kazuko Shibuya
  • Beautifully rearranged soundtracks, overseen by the original composer, Nobuo Uematsu
  • Improved gameplay, including updated controller and touch controls, modernized UI, auto-battle options and more
  • Quality-of-life improvements including supplemental extras like the bestiary, illustration gallery, music player and the ability to save at any time

Those who purchase FINAL FANTASY IV on Steam® by September 23 will receive early purchase bonuses, including three specially rearranged music tracks, two wallpapers, and a 20% discount. These special tracks transition from the iconic original versions to the new arrangements and include:

  • The Red Wings (Timelapse Remix)
  • Main Theme of FINAL FANTASY IV (Timelapse Remix)
  • Battle 2 (Timelapse Remix)

FINAL FANTASY IV is rated Everyone 10+ (E10+) and is now available on Steam® and mobile platforms. All six games within the pixel remaster series are available for purchase as part of the FINAL FANTASY I-VI Bundle for a further discount. More information on the bundle is available on Steam at: https://store.steampowered.com/bundle/21478.

Long-time fans and newcomers can look forward to additional details and the launch of FINAL FANTASY V and VI at a later date. Visit the official FINAL FANTASY pixel remaster series website for more information at: https://ffpixelremaster.com/

Train2Game News Tapjoy Reveals New Market Research On Parents Mobile Gaming

New market research from MobileVoice® by Tapjoy (www.tapjoy.com), a leading mobile advertising and app monetization company, shows that modern parents are far more tuned in and tech-savvy than their own parents were.

Because of their familiarity with the mobile ecosystem, they readily turn to their smartphones — particularly brand apps, social media, and rewarded ads — when it’s time to make a purchase.

This represents a major opportunity for advertisers who want to connect with the valuable parent demographic, according to Tapjoy’s report, Modern Mobile Gamer™ 2021: Parents Edition.

For the latest installment in Tapjoy’s Modern Mobile Gamer™ series, following the Gen Z Edition earlier this year, Tapjoy surveyed 5,498 of self-identified parent consumers in the United States.

Here are just a few of the insights that emerged:  

  • Parents love games, and mobile is their platform of choice. An incredible 90% of parents surveyed said they use mobile as a gaming platform, and 79% say games are one of their favorite mobile activities.
  • They shop on mobile because it’s convenient and saves time. Three quarters shop on mobile 1-4 times a week, and 73% cite convenience as a major factor.
  • Household spending is expected to increase as the COVID-19 pandemic wanes. Nearly half of parents shopped on mobile more during the pandemic and plan to continue doing so. 56% said they planned to spend more on the winter holidays in 2021, while 47% are planning to spend more on back-to-school shopping.
  • The pandemic continues to have a lasting effect on mobile habits: 47% did more mobile shopping in 2020 and said they plan to continue doing so, while 83% played more mobile games and said they plan to continue.
  • When it comes to marketing, 51% of parents like to see humorous brand content. 25% of parents also prefer brand content to be educational, compared to 18% of non-parents.
  • Modern parents are very receptive to rewarded ads: 46% said it’s the type of ad format they most prefer to engage with, compared to 12% who prefer Instagram and 10% who prefer Facebook.

Additionally, Tapjoy’s latest report contains research and analysis about the modern family dynamic.

Only 55% of those surveyed are married, and today’s parents eschew stereotypical gender roles in favor of a more balanced approach to employment, childcare, and housework.

“Today’s parents are so much more aware of modern technology and trends than their own parents were,” said Lauren Baca, Senior Director of Marketing at Tapjoy.

“They grew up with the internet, so they’re well aware of what their kids are doing. They see smartphones as an essential tool that makes everything easier, from shopping to banking to monitoring the kids’ online activity. They have limited free time, so convenience is really important to them — we saw that meal kits and to-go food were especially popular mobile purchases in 2020. They like to unwind with mobile games at the end of the day, and they’re very receptive to rewarded ads thanks to the ease, convenience, and value they add to every transaction.”

The data in Modern Mobile Gamer™: Parents Edition was gathered from surveys run on the Tapjoy network in February and June 2021.

Responses were filtered to include all respondents who identified as United States residents and parents.

This report is the second in a series of four Modern Mobile Gamer™ 2021 e-books featuring key insights on Zoomers, Parents, Millennials, and Generation X. Modern Mobile Gamer™: Generation Z Edition is also available for download.

For more information on mobile advertising and app monetization you can go to https://www.tapjoy.com/

Train2Game News AR Witcher Mobile Game Released

Available now for free on iOS and Android, The Witcher: Monster Slayer is a brand new game set in The Witcher universe.

Developed and published by Spokko, the game challenges players to take on the role of a freshly trained witcher adept and step out into a dark fantasy realm using only their mobile phone.

Using advanced AR features, as well as their location and the time of day, players will be able to hunt down over 100 witcher-world monsters both old and new.

Watch the live-action launch trailer — Your Hunt Begins

By logging in to the game no later than July 28th, 11:59 PM CEST, Android and iOS users will find the Kaer Morhen Steel Sword in their inventory. This weapon increases the number of Experience Points gained from killing monsters by 10%, and will surely aid new witchers beginning their journey on the Path.

Download the game for free

The Witcher: Monster Slayer is available for free on the Apple App Store and Google Play. For more information, please visit the official website and follow the game on Facebook and Twitter.

Train2Game News Hypercasual Heroes Mobile Game Funding

Kwalee, a world-leading developer and publisher of hypercasual mobile games, has launched ‘Hypercasual Heroes’ to reward independent game developers making compelling and original mobile titles with up to $100,000 in advances and a publishing deal including substantial uncapped profit share.

There is even a Tesla Model 3 up for grabs for the first dev to pass the challenge!
 

With the limited-time challenge open for submissions until 31st August 2021, Kwalee is particularly looking for mobile games that feature new gameplay mechanics or ingenious twists on existing ones. This is in-keeping with Kwalee’s DNA, with many key figures at the company – including CEO David Darling and COO Jason Falcus – having begun their game development careers independently as teenagers and remaining passionate about the new strides being taken by independent developers worldwide.
 

Hypercasual games are titles which can be played in short bursts and have incredibly broad appeal, not just among traditional ‘gamers’, so hitting upon that combination of gameplay and visuals to entice all kinds of players will be the key for developers to become bonafide Hypercasual Heroes.
 

“One of the most satisfying aspects of hypercasual game development is that such a great variety of themes and gameplay styles can make for global hits with millions of players,” said Kwalee CEO David Darling.

“We’re always looking to develop titles that are completely unlike what’s been seen before and now we’re investing heavily in encouraging other developers to do the same with Hypercasual Heroes. We don’t even need to see a full game – just a video or a few levels can be enough to see a game’s potential!”
 

Kwalee’s Hypercasual Heroes is open until 31st August 2021. Full information on how to submit a game and potentially earn the aforementioned awards can be found on our website: https://kwalee.com/blog/inside-kwalee/introducing-hypercasual-heroes
 

Train2Game News Contra Returns

Contra Returns, a new addition to the legendary KONAMI run-and-gun action franchise Contra, is available for pre-registration on mobile devices starting today.

Developed by TiMi Studio Group and KONAMI, Contra Returns will be bringing a fresh twist to the iconic retro arcade shooter. Players can pre-register on Google Play and the Apple Store today to gain exclusive rewards.

Contra Returns will be launching on July 26.

Contra Returns brings fans of the franchise an authentic new take on the Contra series, enhanced with all new graphics, gameplay upgrades, and more. New characters, storylines and customizable weapons allow players to unlock skills and conquer the battlefield with the same thrill of the arcade originals.

Contra Returns offers over 200 levels, new game modes including One Life Mode, 1v1, and 3v3 modes, player and equipment upgrades and customization, and more, creating the ultimate Contra experience!

For more information on Contra Returns, visit https://www.contrareturnsm.com/en/ and follow on Twitter @ContraReturns_

Train2Game News Final Fantasy VII The First Soldier

SQUARE ENIX® today announced that the battle royale action mobile game, FINAL FANTASY® VII THE FIRST SOLDIER, is now accepting pre-registrations for an upcoming closed beta test to be held from June 1 through 7, 2021.

Players looking to prove themselves as prime SOLDIER candidates can sign up here through the Google Play Store, now until May 28, 2021.

  In FINAL FANTASY VII THE FIRST SOLDIER, players will embark on an intense battle royale experience where they must fight to be the last SOLDIER standing. To do so, players will use magic and special abilities along with ranged and melee weapons to triumph on the battlefield. Players can choose between various styles, such as Warrior, Sorcerer or Monk, each of whom boast unique special abilities. In addition to other SOLDIER candidates, players must also contend with ferocious monsters who inhabit the outskirts of the city. By defeating them, players can gain experience needed to level up and unlock new weapons. Classic FINAL FANTASY elements abound in the game, such as rideable chocobos, powerful espers, including Ifrit, to summon and materia, which enables players to cast devastating spells. Players can customize their characters’ outfits and accessories, obtain various weapon and vehicle skins, emotes and more to create their own unique SOLDIER.

  To see live gameplay of FINAL FANTASY VII THE FIRST SOLDIER, view a replay of the first official livestream, which aired earlier this morning from Japan: https://sqex.to/D7f0s

  The livestream ended with the reveal of gripping new scenes from FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE INTERGRADE, the enhanced and expanded version of the critically acclaimed and award-winning FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE on the PlayStation®5 (PS5™) console. The new footage showcases the impressive PS5™ graphics for FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE INTERGRADE and new content from FF7R EPISODE INTERmission, which follows Yuffie Kisaragi and her partner Sonon Kusakabe, on a dangerous mission to infiltrate Midgar and steal the Shinra Electric Power Company’s most powerful materia.

  To view the “FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE INTERGRADE Final Trailer,” visit: https://youtu.be/YsXnDKAv_h8

  FINAL FANTASY VII THE FIRST SOLDIER is slated for release in 2021 and will be available as a free download with in-app purchases for iOS and Android devices.

Train2Game News KOTOR II For Mobile

It’s the long-awaited return of the Jedi Exile.

Aspyr and Lucasfilm today announced the upcoming launch of the epic Star Wars™ single-player, RPG classic Star Wars™: Knights of the Old Republic ll™—The Sith Lords™ on iPhone, iPad and Android devices on December 18. Experience the fan-favorite optimized for mobile devices.

“Fans have been asking for a mobile version of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II for so long, and we’re thrilled to finally bring it to them,” said Elizabeth Howard, vice president of publishing at Aspyr. “We’re proud to continue working with Lucasfilm to bring classic titles like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II to modern platforms.”

Nothing is impossible with the Force! Watch trailer here: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSV7MWL7T88

Set five years after the events from the award-winning Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic, Sith Lords have hunted the Jedi to the edge of extinction and are on the verge of crushing the Old Republic. With the Jedi Order in ruin, the Republic’s only hope is a lone Jedi struggling to reconnect with the Force. As this Jedi, players will be faced with the galaxy’s most dire decision – follow the light side or succumb to the dark.

  Key Features: 

  • Choose the light or the dark side of the Force as you progress through the story.
  • The choices made will affect the player’s character, their party and those who may join the quest.
  • Add fan favorite characters to your party including HK-47, Canderous Ordo, and Kreia!
  • Optimized for mobile play with new touch screen controls

Availability:
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic ll – The Sith Lords will be available for purchase in the AppStore and Google Play starting December 18 for $14.99 USD.

Train2Game News Non Interrupting Mobile Game Ads

Immersive in-game advertising, where non-interruptive brands ads are seamlessly integrated into gameplay, is emerging as an important new monetization channel, with 46.3% of mobile game developers citing it as a key opportunity for 2021.

In a global mobile developer survey by InGamePlay brand advertising platform, AdInMo, confirms that In-App Purchases (65.8%) and in-game advertising (53.8%) are still the most popular forms of monetization, but it is immersive brand ads, also known as dynamic in-game advertising, which are expected to see the largest growth next year. 

While interstitials (33%) and rewarded videos (40%) are currently the most popular in-game ad formats, more than a quarter of developers (26.7%) are planning on trialling dynamic in-game advertising within the next six months. Casual and hyper-casual mobile games are driving this trend, with 62% of developers planning to integrate the new ad formats in 2021.

Developers of Free-to-Play games must consistently balance retention and a quality player experience with the need to monetize. The limitations of performance marketing ads, which force the player to leave the game, is driving developer to seek new non-interruptive ad formats. 75% of developers surveyed rated ‘does not interrupt gameplay’ as their top feature in a monetization platform, even higher than ease of SDK integration (66%).

Kristan Rivers, CEO, AdInMo, said: “If gamers can’t or won’t actively spend on in-game content, advertising is the best method of generating revenue. 

“Developers clearly hate having to interrupt the player experience or worse force players to leave the game. InGamePlay brand ads are click-free and allow developers to earn new revenues, advertisers to engage new mobile audiences and most importantly players to carry on playing.”

This exclusive and previously unreleased survey data is from a study carried out in conjunction with Pocket Gamer’ in August and September 2020.

Train2Game News MtG Releases Through 2021

Wizards of the Coast, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., unveiled today details for its upcoming slate of Magic: The Gathering releases through 2021.

The Magic team previewed the highly anticipated set Zendikar Rising – releasing on MTG Arena September 17 and September 25 for tabletop – by showing off first-looks at brand-new cards, new and returning card mechanics, and the set’s booster packs. The company also revealed exciting collaborations with AMC’s “The Walking Dead” and K-Swiss, set names and graphics for 2021, teased Magic: The Gathering Arena release on mobile, and much more.

Today’s announcements were part of the Zendikar Rising Debut Moment, a streamed event giving Magic players a look at what’s ahead for the entire brand, ensuring there’s something coming for everyone regardless of how they play.

Zendikar Rising

Zendikar Rising takes players back to the popular world where a new adventure lies around every corner. Over 20 Zendikar Rising cards debuted today, including all-new powerful Planeswalkers cards for Nahiri, and Jace, with art for a new Nissa. Players also got a glimpse of returning gameplay mechanics Kicker and Landfall, as well as new ones: Party and Modal Double-Faced Cards. Booster Fun and Set Booster packs were also previewed.
 

Set Roadmap for 2021
Also revealed today were upcoming sets in 2021:

  • Kaldheim – Magic’s Viking world – Winter 2021
  • Strixhaven – The most elite university in the Multiverse – Spring 2021
  • Adventures in the Forgotten Realms – Dungeons & Dragons comes to Magic – Summer 2021
  • Innistrad (two unnamed sets) – Werewolves and Vampires are back – Fall 2021
  • Time Spiral Remastered – Recapture the fun of a fan-favorite block
  • Modern Horizons 2 – A follow-up to the popular Modern Horizons set

New Secret Lair Drops
Magic teased two upcoming drops from its highly collectable, lovingly curated line Secret Lair: Yargle Day and an exciting collaboration with AMC’s hit show “The Walking Dead.” Fans should follow @MTGSecretLair on Twitter for more news and availability.

Magic: The Gathering X K-Swiss Limited Edition Sneaker
In collaboration with K-Swiss, the American heritage tennis brand, Magic unveiled a limited edition sneaker inspired by the iconic look of one of its most beloved characters, Jace Beleren. The reimagined Gstaad ’86 sneaker is crafted with premium leather overlays and underlays that are accented by glow-in-the-dark elements — the leather collar lining, printed designs, rubber outsole and extra laces. Metal lace clip-ons modeled after Jace’s character design and a debossed Magic: The Gathering logo at the tongue and a sublimated sockliner of Jace’s artwork complete the magical reinvention of this classic K-Swiss style. They are packaged with a special-edition box and tissue paper. The limited run sneakers go on sale today exclusively on Hasbro Pulse.

Magic: The Gathering Arena Comes to Mobile
Magic confirmed what fans have long been asking for: the upcoming launch of Magic: The Gathering Arena for mobile devices. More details will be revealed soon.

Check out the DailyMTG for more information and view the Zendikar Rising trailer HERE.

Train2Game News LEGO Legacy Heroes Unboxed Out Now

Gameloft, leader in the development and publishing of games, and the LEGO Group are thrilled to announce that the mobile game LEGO® Legacy: Heroes Unboxed is now available on the App Store, Google Play, and Microsoft Store.

LEGO Legacy: Heroes Unboxed is the first turn-based Role-Playing Game (RPG) from the LEGO Group and allows players to collect and playfully battle with over 50 characters from over 40 years of LEGO minifigure history. Bringing together minifigures old and new, LEGO Legacy: Heroes Unboxed gives LEGO fans a new way to play with the minifigures that they know and love. To ensure that as many LEGO fans as possible can enjoy this RPG adventure, the game is designed to be cross-platform, meaning that players are able to save, resume and battle against their friends regardless of the device they play on.

Each minifigure in the game comes with a unique set of abilities and skills, so players can build bespoke minifigure teams to tackle a series of exciting turn-based RPG challenges. Players can explore regions in the game inspired by iconic, fan-favorite LEGO sets such as those from LEGO City or LEGO Castle, and can even collect and unlock digital versions of real-world sets. The digital versions of these real-world LEGO sets feature the original box art and give players the chance to build some of their favorite sets digitally following real-life instructions!

LEGO Legacy: Heroes Unboxed is set in the ruins of Piptown, a small village that players are tasked to rebuild as they start a fantastic journey filled with epic quests and strategic battles.

In true RPG fashion, players will have the chance to team up with allies and make friends with iconic minifigures such as the wizard Majisto, the friendly Hiker and the powerful Chicken Suit Guy – all who bring their own unique skill set to help overcome challenges. Will players team up with Basil the Batlord, the chilly Commander Cold, the upbeat Fitness Instructor, or will they turn to other minifigures new and old as they explore this strangely familiar world?

Even the beloved LEGO minifigure Captain Redbeard from Set 6270 (1989) is here to lend a hand…er, hook to rebuild Piptown!

Gameloft Toronto worked closely with the LEGO Group’s archive team in Billund, Denmark, to study the full range of minifigures from the first minifigure that was created in 1978 all the way through to the newest Series 19 Minifigures that launched late in 2019. Vintage building instructions were also used to ensure every tiny detail from the original minifigure figures were recreated perfectly in digital form.

LEGO Legacy: Heroes Unboxed builds on the warm nostalgia of LEGO play that people experienced in their youth and couples this with the excitement of bringing these minifigures into a proper RPG experience,” said Thomas Aurick, VP of Creation at Gameloft. “We wanted to celebrate the multiple generations of LEGO minifigures and highlight a variety of characters from past to present. We are proud to bring new life and spark to some of these characters that have never been in a game before.”

Sean McEvoy, Vice President of LEGO Games at the LEGO Group said: “Gameloft has done an amazing job highlighting each minifigure’s unique personality and enhancing the details, characteristics, and charm of some well-loved minifigures from the last 40+ years. This is a delightful new way to play with our minifigures in a game that celebrates fun, creativity, and humor.”

A launch trailer can be viewed here.