Ruby Blast hits mobile platforms, with a little help from Adobe
Zynga today announced that Ruby Blast has come to mobile, available for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Players can now play the games across social and mobile platforms.
Zynga’s move into the cross-platform field with mobile games shouldn’t come as any surprise based on the success these sorts of titles are seeing. The biggest examples of these, of course, are Zynga’s own Zynga Poker and Words With Friends with 6.4 million daily active users and 6.3 million DU respectively. Ruby Blast bears the distinction of being the first Zynga Arcade title to come to mobile devices, and Zynga says it will soon release a mobile version of Bubble Safari, too.
Ruby Blast transition to mobile was accelerated via Adobe’s suite of development software, primarily Adobe AIR and Starling Framework. The development team was able to use the same workflow for both the web and mobile versions of the game, meaning it didn’t have to be rebuilt for the web. Meanwhile, the Zynga Beijing team tested the game’s performance and then worked with a group from Zynga’s headquarters in San Francisco to optimize it with Project Monocle (Adobe’s new profiling tool for Flash and AIR developers).
While Ruby Blast was being developed, Adobe’s Starling framework was used to help improve the game’s GPU acceleration, which helped it become the first GPU-accelerated Zynga title on the web (something Design Director Jonathan Grant proudly pointed out when we got an early look). Diana Helander, Adobe’s Group Product Marketing Manager, Gaming Solutions, tells us Zynga developed major performance optimizations that were subsequently worked into Starling’s open-source framework; essentially, other developers who opt to use Starling will benefit from all of Zynga’s hard work.
Ruby Blast is a major feather in Adobe’s cap, even though there are already over 25,000 AIR-made apps across mobile markets like Apple’s AppStore, Google Play and the Amazon Appstore. Adobe’s been stepping up its efforts to raise awareness of how both mobile and web developers can utilize the the same workflow in both AIR and Flash, publicly touting how the technology was used with games like FreshPlanet’s SongPop, State of Play’s Lume and Amanita’s critically-hailed adventure Machinarium. However, Ruby Blast is arguably the highest-profile title used with Adobe’s software.
Following its launch in June, Ruby Blast had traffic grow to and then hold steady between 450,000 and 500,000 daily active users. In late October, though, it looks as though Zynga turned on its full cross-promotion power and the traffic has begun to skyrocket. The game currently has 2.3 million DAU, a new high point, and its traffic isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. By launching the game on iOS, it seems reasonable to assume that the game’s traffic will increase even more dramatically as new mobile gamers wind up logging into it with Facebook Connect. Likewise, we’ve heard from industry sources that cross-platform games tend to monetize roughly three times as much as their Facebook counterparts do, something that will undoubtedly be mentioned during company’s next earnings report.