GungHo addresses the need for “deeper game experiences” with Freak Tower on mobile [Interview]

freak-tower-650Image courtesy GungHo

Puzzle & Dragons developer GungHo Online Entertainment released its latest game, Freak Tower, just a few days ago. The iOS and Android release allows players to build and manage their own tower full of freaks, assigning them to live in apartments, take up jobs, and sell goods to customers. Along the way, towers are attacked by monsters, bringing tower defense play to the equation, as players and freaks alike must partner to defeat monsters before they reach the top of the tower.

The game is similar in many ways to other tower-building mobile games, including Nimblebit’s Tiny Tower. We had a chance to chat with GungHo’s Yoshiaki Seo, Assistant Manager on Freak Tower, to learn more about the game’s development, and what makes it stand out from the crowd.

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Wooga reveals publishing platform for mobile games, unveils new game Jelly Splash

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Social and casual game developer Wooga has announced its new publishing strategy, which will see the company partner with developers around the world to release free-to-play mobile games.

This news comes along with new details concerning Wooga’s next game, Jelly Splash, which is set to release on iOS next month.

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Facebook unveils mobile discovery platform to help smaller game developers

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Facebook has today announced the launch of a new games discovery program that will work to help players discover titles from smaller, independent developers, which are normally hidden behind the larger and dominant companies in the space (Zynga, King, etc.).

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CocoaChina, Gameloft partner for Chinese localization of Asphalt 8, Dragon Hunter 4

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Image courtesy Gameloft

Gameloft continues to expand upon its partnership with Chinese game developer and platform creator CocoaChina, announcing the localization of two upcoming titles to the Chinese market.

Gameloft’s Asphalt 8: Airborne (pictured) and Dungeon Hunter 4 are next in line to be brought to Chinese players, using CocoChina’s localized strategies in monetization, piracy-prevention and more.

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Playtox brings My Farm to the US, increases focus on HTML5

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Browser game developer Playtox has announced the US launch of its successful massively multiplayer online (MMO) game My Farm. The mobile browser game has been played by over 45 million players worldwide, with 10 million active users in Eastern Europe alone.

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DeNA China partners with chip designers MediaTek to promote its social games

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Japanese mobile-social gaming juggernaut DeNA has announced that its China subsidiary will partner with Taiwanese chip designer MediaTek, Inc. to promote its social games. This is the first partnership with an upstream mobile phone supplier for DeNA China. MediaTek’s chips are used in numerous mobile phones and the partnership will make it easier to distribute more of DeNA’s games to more people.

Through the partnership, DeNA will be able to provide its mobile gaming platform, Mobage, pre-installed on devices that use MediaTek chips. Mobage has nearly 50 million users in Japan which is more than a third of Japan’s total population. In China, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, the platform has gained more than 20 million gamers. This is very similar to the Pokki, Zynga and Acer partnerships we covered last month.

Though it has yet to find as much of a reputation in the U.S., DeNA has a large following in Asia with numerous high profile titles such as the Transformers IP. Last year, it saw a 22 percent increase in revenue year-to-year with profit increasing three percent. This partnership will be helpful to the Mobage platform in China, where it has already experienced decent success. A similar partnership stateside could potentially interpose the platform to more widespread usage.

Disney launches updates for Temple Run: Oz, Monster’s Inc. Run, and Where’s My Water?

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Photo via Flickr / Pop Culture Geek

The worlds of Temple Run: Oz, Monsters, Inc. Run, and Where’s My Water? have expanded this month, as Disney Interactive has released new updates to its games on iOS and Android, the company said in a statement.

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Forecasting Cross-platform Networks and Mobile Games

Editor’s note: During the upcoming Inside Social Games Conference on June 6-7, Bret Terrill, the Founder of 12gigs.com, will be moderating two panels on the future of social apps, “Gambling Games: The Promise of Real Money,” and “Platform Opportunities for Social Apps.” InsideSocialGames.com had the opportunity to ask Bret two important questions on the future of social and mobile games.

 

bret_200x200InsideSocialGames: Is it possible to build a cross-platform gaming network? Is this something the world wants?

Bret Terrill: A cross-platform gaming network is something that a lot of people were chasing last year as the next big thing. The idea was: Similar to Facebook owning the social graph, a company could own the “gamer graph”, connecting people who liked certain genres across platforms and games. As it stands today, Facebook is really the only company that has been successful in creating a cross-platform (PC and multiple mobile environments) gaming network , one that has largely fed off their immense social network.

Other large games companies, such as DeNA and Gree, have had success in the Japanese market, but they have moved toward a publisher model in the last year. It is an open question on whether Clash of Clans players care about what other games the people they “friend” within the game are playing. I suspect the gameing industry itself cares much more than the players, who are more interested to see what is in the top charts of their phone’s App Store.

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Zynga’s annual shareholder meeting focuses on real-money gaming

Zynga script logoZynga today held its annual stockholders meeting in San Francisco, which heavily focused on the game company’s real-money gaming efforts, an anonymous shareholder told PandoDaily.

Zynga’s shareholder meeting comes one day after the company just laid off 18 percent of its staff (520 employees) and shut down three of its offices — Los Angeles, Dallas, and New York — including Omgpop‘s office. (more…)

Report: Omgpop shut downs as part of Zynga’s restructuring

Omgpop logoAs part yesterday’s staff purging at Zynga, which saw 520 employees lose their jobs, in other words 18 percent of its staff, Zynga shut down Draw Something developer Omgpop’s office, according to a report from The Verge.

Along with the layoffs, Zynga shut down its Los Angeles, Dallas, and New York offices. But, Zynga New York does include Omgpop, and now former Omgpop employees are making it public on Twitter that they are out of jobs. (more…)

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