PUBG Mobile was the Second Most Downloaded Mobile Game in Q3

PUBG Mobile was the second most downloaded mobile game in the world in Q3 2019, beaten only by Fun Race 3D. It beat out games like Mario Kart Tour, Garena Free Fire, Mr Bullet, and Sand Balls, just to name a few. The majority of those downloads came from the Google Play store. On the App Store, Mario Kart Tour was actually the most downloaded game of the quarter and PUBG Mobile ranked only 7th.

PUBG Mobile saw more than a 100% growth quarter on quarter with nearly 80 million downloads. While Battle Royale Garena Free Fire managed to spend a 4th quarter in a row in the top 3 in the Google Play Store.

Of course, it should be noted that it is impossible to know how well Fortnite is performing on mobile because they aren’t in the Google Play store and this chart gets its data from the mobile app stores. It is interesting though to see so many games on these lists that well quite frankly, I’ve never even heard of. A lot of them are super casual games and aren’t the type of thing that people read or write about very often.

The data was collected and presented by SensorTower who are constantly releasing new reports on the performances of mobile apps, including games. If this is the sort of information that interests you then you should check out the MMOGames weekly business report every Friday. It dives into all the data and financial news that has been released in the online gaming industry every week.

 

 

Source: Sensor Tower

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Battle Royale Weekly: Battlefield V Won’t Have Battle Royale Mode Until 2019

PUBG Mobile has made $100 million in player purchases, Battlefield V won’t have battle royale mode until 2019, and a Battle Royale title announces that it will be shutting down. Find all of this and more below in this weeks’ Battle Royale Weekly news update.

 

Battlefield V Won’t Have Battle Royale Mode Until 2019

DICE has released the roadmap for the next few months of development on Battlefield V and it looks like the Battle Royale mode, called Firestorm is being put off until the March 2019 content release. Battlefield V will have phases that will introduce a new content patch every few months. In addition to Firestorm, the March release will include the Greece Theater a Combined Arms mission, and an unnamed multiplayer mode.

Source: Variety

 

Battlerite Royale Brings Out Halloween Event

A Halloween event has been introduced in Battlerite Royale called Curse of the Night. Trick or Treat shrines have popped up all over Talon Island and there are all new in-game items and cosmetics for you to get your hands on.

Source: Steam

 

Call of Duty: Black Ops IV Bans Battlefield V Designer, Then Unbans Him

A Battlefield V developer got his CoD Black Ops IV account banned temporarily shortly after he started playing. Florian ‘Drunkkz3’ Le Bihan took to Twitter to prove his innocence. Though he wasn’t told why his account was banned he operated under the assumption that he was banned because the system thought he was using an aimbot. So, he uploaded a video that proved his innocence. Shortly afterward his account was unbanned and he was able to go back to playing.

Source: Gamesradar

 

Crazy Justice Coming Soon

Crazy Justice

It looks like we’ll be able to play Crazy Justice soon now that the game is on Steam and can be added to Wishlists. It’s currently listed as Coming Soon and it will be in Early Access when it does go live but, this is very exciting news for anyone who has been following the game.egress

Source: Steam

 

Egress Now in Closed Beta, Early Access Coming Soon

Egress

What does Early Access even mean anymore? Nobody knows! But, Egress is now in closed beta. A few thousand beta keys were sent out for this event but if you didn’t get one you still have a chance thanks to their giveaways on Discord. Or you can wait until November 8th when the game will be in Early Access. The choice is yours.

Source: Steam

 

Fear the Wolves Gets a Massive Update

Fear The Wolves

Fear the Wolves got a huge update that introduced new features, new weapons, and more. Now you’ll be able to find secret stashes of high tier loot scattered throughout the map. But, players will need to find treasure maps in the wilderness to unlock them. The wolves that need to be feared have also been given a bit of an update. Their behavior has been improved so keep an eye out for solo ninja (the writer’s words, not official) wolves who will sneak up on players. Packs also have more health and are more aggressive.

Source: Variety

 

Fortnite Developers Opening Australia and New Zealand Office

Fortnite Battle Royale

Tony Reed has stepped down as the CEO of the Game Developers Association of Australia to help establish an Epic Games office in Australia and New Zealand. The details of what will happen in that office haven’t been disclosed yet, but, Reed says that there will be a lot of news about it coming in the near future. MMOGames will be keeping an eye out for this news when it comes.

Source: Games Industry

 

Fractured Lands Season 2 Coming in November

Fractured Lands

Season 2 will be coming to Fractured Lands on November 6th. With it comes semi trucks, a squad battle mode, and new customization options. New players will also be able to try it out for free during a weekend event November 8-11.

Source: Gamespace

 

Islands of Nyne Sees Massive Surge in Negative Reviews

Islands of Nyne: Battle Royale

While checking through our list of all the Battle Royale games currently in development we found something rather odd. Islands of Nyne on Steam has seen a huge trend downwards as the recent reviews have been in Steam’s words, Overwhelmingly Negative. In fact, of 281 reviews in the last 30 days, only 6% have been positive. Many of the reviews state that the game has no players and that the developers have abandoned the game. According to Steamspy the average play time in the last two weeks is just 6 minutes. Meanwhile, Steamcharts shows that the last time the game had more than 100 concurrent players was at the end of September. Sadly, it looks like Islands of Nyne may be dead in the water. But, we will, of course, be watching it in the following weeks to see how it performs over the holidays.

Source: Steam, Steamspy, Steam Charts

 

PUBG Mobile Reaches $100 Million, But Only Half as Fast as Fortnite

Thanks to a new report from SensorTower we now know that PUBG Mobile has reached $100 million in revenue. It took 192 days for PUBG Mobile to reach that milestone, one that took Fortnite just 90 days. Knives Out, NetEase’s mobile Battle Royale game reached $100 million in player spending in 118 days. Why was PUBG so slow compared to the others? Well, part of that is down to the fact that in China the game isn’t monetized. China is PUBG Mobile’s biggest player base and without them contributing to the revenue it, of course, took longer for PUBG to reach $100 million.

Source: SensorTower

 

SOS Shutting Down

SOS

SOS has announced that they will be shutting down on November 12th after struggling since they announced they would be following the Battle Royale trend and changing the original game. This move proved to be quite unpopular with players and the game never recovered. Players on Steam are now requesting refunds but so far those pleas have been ignored.

Source: Steam

 

Totally Accurate Battlegrounds Shortens Match Wait Time

Totally Accurate Battlegrounds made a small update to their game to shorten the amount of time you have to wait for a match to start. If 3.5 minutes have passed and no additional players have joined the queue the match will begin. This will sometimes mean smaller matches, but at least you will be able to play.

Source: Steam

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MMO Money: Huge Disappointment for Tencent

Seed has raised more than 8 million dollars for development of the unique MMO, while Niantic has acquired another game studio. Fortnite is still making more money than anyone could ever count, but a massive mobile game from China has turned into a huge disappointment for Tencent. Plus, we have more lootbox news, which includes some very interesting statistics that show most players don’t care about them at all.

 

Klang Raises $8.75 million for space MMO Seed

Space colony MMO Seed has an extra $8.75 million to work with for the development of the game thanks to recent fundraising efforts. This brings the total the studio has raised for the game up to $13.95 million, thanks to a previous funding round in March. Speaking about the latest funding Klang’s CEO Mundi Vondi said: “We’re truly humbled to have secured the Series A for the development of Seed, a project that we believe will play an integral role in the next generation of social simulations. We are honored to share our vision with Northzone, and are more excited than ever to tackle this very ambitious project.”

 

Fornite Earned $1 Billion From In-Game Purchases Alone

Yes, Fortnite has become one those topics we’re covering every week and starting next week we’re going to lump all the Fortnite news into one section. This week thankfully we only have one thing to talk about, and that is that Fortnite has earned 1 billion dollars just from in-game purchases. Monthly revenue for the game has done nothing but climb since October as shown by the graph above. In May viewers watched almost 700 million hours of battle royale content, 83% of that was Fortnite. More on Fortnite coming soon…

 

“Coming Soon” No Longer Allowed in German Preorders

star citizen like eve online

A recent court ruling in Germany may have a ripple effect around the world as it was declared that using vague terms like “coming soon” in preorders isn’t allowed. Part of the ruling said: “in the view of the judges, this information was too vague to comply with the statutory information obligation of the providers. According to this, potential customers should know before the end of the ordering process how long the delivery time will be at the maximum.” Exactly what this means for the future of gaming isn’t clear yet but it could possibly put an end to vague release dates, Kickstarter claims, and much more.

 

Video Game Kickstarters Equal Almost $10 million So Far in 2018

ICO Partners have put out their regular report on Kickstarter campaigns for video games which shows that video game Kickstarters have brought in $9.82 million so far this year. That’s up just $400,000 from the same period last year. This was in fact done with fewer Kickstarter campaigns than in previous years, just 723, the lowest first half of the year since 2012. Kickstarter is generally seeing a bit of a slowdown when it comes to video games, as people are learning how difficult it is to put a successful campaign together.

 

Niantic Acquires Seismic Games

Just last week we were talking about Pokemon Go creators Niantic acquiring a company and now here we are with another, their fourth acquisition in recent months. This time they have acquired Seismic Games, the makers of Marvel Strikeforce and VR experience Blade Runner: Revelations. John Hanke, the CEO said this in a statement: “We recently gave a peek under the hood of the Niantic Real World Platform, and we see the addition of Seismic Games as a significant accelerant for realising our vision of an operating system that bridges the digital and the physical worlds. At Niantic, we’re committed to our mission of motivating people to exercise, be social, and discover new places. We’re confident that Seismic Games will help us deliver on that mission – faster, and better.” All of these acquisitions are putting Niantic in position for a lot of awesome in the future which makes you wonder, what are they coming up with next?

 

Mobile Game Spending Up in the First Half of 2018

Mobile game revenue is up 19% in the first half of 2018 in the App Store and Google Play. App Store spending was about $6 billion higher than Google Play. Combined, the estimate is that global spending on the two platforms was at $26.6 billion. That’s a 19.1% increase year on year. One thing that may have an impact on Google Play’s revenue is that it isn’t available in China, at all. Also, many Android apps are available in third-party stores which isn’t the case for iOS. The top grossing games across both stores were Honor of Kings, Monster Strike, and Fate/Grand Order. But, PUBG mobile was the most downloaded. All of this just goes to show that mobile gaming is here to stay and there’s a lot of money to be had.

 

Arena of Valor Revenue Passes $3 million in 7 Months

Arena of Valor

Its only been 7 months since Arena of Valor launched in the west and in that time they’ve brought in $3 million. For any other game that would be fantastic, but Arena of Valor is Tencent’s Honor of Kings, one of the most successful mobile games at the moment. The Chinese version of the game has 200 million players and in 2017 brought in $1.9 billion in revenue. The founder of Sensor Tower, the intelligence firm who released this information spoke about the launch of the game and why they think it’s underperforming. “Arena of Valor launched in the US just as the battle royale craze was beginning to heat up, with Fortnite hitting mobile three months later-and subsequently dominating the time and wallets of the very users Tencent’s MOBA is gunning for. Undeterred, the publisher has continued to build out the game in the West, adding new modes, content, and characters, most recently the eagerly anticipated debut of Batman as a playable hero.” All fair points…also, Batman will be playable? Where do I sign up?

 

Lootboxes

A patch was introduced to CS:GO for Dutch and Belgian players that locks containers, making it so you can’t open lootboxes in those countries. In June, Valve disabled item trading in the Netherlands in response to the threat of prosecution from the Dutch Gaming Authority. At the time they also said they hoped to fight it, now it seems that item trading is back but lootboxes may be gone for good.

A survey of gamers from the UK, France, Germany, and Spain has revealed that the majority of gamers are either unaware of lootboxes or largely indifferent to them. According to the survey, only 27% of gamers in these countries are aware of lootboxes. When it comes to general consumers that number drops to 17%. When asked if lootboxes are a positive influence on the games industry, 29% had no opinion while only 25% thought they don’t. In question after question, the respondents showed they had very little opinion on lootboxes at all. It would seem that those talking about them and thinking about them often are in the vocal minority.

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Fortnite Mobile Makes 5 Times the Revenue of PUBG Mobile, With half the downloads

If you follow our weekly MMO business column then it won’t surprise you to know that Fortnite is making a ton of money on mobile. Thanks to Sensor Tower, a market intelligence firm, we’ve learned that in the 11 weeks leading up to June 18 Fortnite made $92 million in revenue. In that same time, PUBG only grossed about $19 million. Meaning that Fortnite Mobile makes 5 times the revenue of PUBG Mobile. This, despite the fact that PUBG is available on iOS and Android while Fortnite is only on iOS.

Player spending in PUBG did spike recently though with the release of the Royale Pass. According to Sensor Tower, player spending increased by 365%. This grossed roughly $6.1 million globally every week compared to the previous $1.3 million average.

Just a week ago a new survey was released showing that 69% of Fortnite players have bought something in-game and the average spend is $85. Of the 1,000 players surveyed one in five said they were unaware that purchasing in-game content didn’t give them an advantage, this despite the warning at the bottom of the screen saying they are cosmetic only and offer no competitive advantage. One-third of those surveyed also said that Fortnite is the first video game they’ve spent money on.

In May Fornite earned more than $300 million for the first time in a single month. But, this number is only a 7% increase over April which has prompted some to say that the game’s growth is slowing.

Sensor Tower put out a similar report back in May which showed that PUBG revenue was only 1/3 that of Fortnite’s in which they highlighted the difference between the two business models. “There’s also the possibility that the way Epic Games has structured its purchases may be giving Fortnite a leg up on its biggest competitor,” he said. “It offers limited-time costumes and set daily items that players can purchase outright, as opposed PUBG Mobile’s primary use of loot boxes that produce random (and often duplicate) items when opened by players.”

 

Source: GamesIndustry, MMO Money

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7 Multiplayer Mobile Games You Should Play in 2018

With all the talk recently about how mobile games are dominating the scene and the fact that summer vacation is right around the corner, we thought it was time to take a look at 7 multiplayer mobile games you should play in 2018.

 

Hearthstone


Release Date: March 11, 2014
Developer: Blizzard
Platform: iOS, Android
Genre: Card Game

Hearthstone is a great game for anyone who only has 10-15 minutes to spare in between things, as well as a great game to play for long periods of time. Its one of the oldest games on this list but don’t let its age fool you. The game is still going strong with more than 70 million registered players as of May 2017. In August 2017 it was making as much as $70 million per month so it is safe to say that Hearthstone isn’t going anywhere any time soon. The most recent expansion to the game, The Witchwood was released in mid-April 2018 and included a single player mode called Monster Hunt.

 

Shadowgun Legends


Release Date: March 22, 2018
Developer: Madfinger Games
Platform: iOS, Android
Genre: FPS

If you’re looking to get your Destiny fix while you’re on the road then Shadowgun Legends is the game for you. The game is gorgeous and constantly being compared to Destiny, with good reason! The game has only been live for a few months now but it spent quite a while in development and it’s also the third game in the Shadowgun series. It is incredibly well polished and a total blast to play. Thanks to it being the third game in the series it has a large, dedicated fanbase. This is another great game for when you’re short on time you can spend playing in one sitting.

 

Ingress

Ingress
Release Date: December 14, 2013
Developer: Niantic
Platform: iOS, Android
Genre: Location-based AR

If you thought Pokemon Go was fun for a little while but found yourself craving more then you might want to try its older brother, Ingress. Ingress will take you to interesting locations all over the world as you fight on one side of a war that spans the globe. There aren’t any Pokemon to catch, instead, you’ll be catching memories. It makes a fantastic tool for sightseeing and you can even play it at the airport. It has a built-in chat system so you’ll be able to coordinate with locals wherever you go. The Ingress community is incredibly involved, with most large cities hosting weekly faction meetups. That makes it a great way to meet new people while you travel.

 

Minecraft


Release Date: December 19, 2016
Developer: Mojang
Platform: iOS, Android
Genre: Sandbox

Its Minecraft, do I really need to say more?

Oh….my editor says I do.

Well, unlike other games on this list Minecraft isn’t free to play, you can pick it up in your device’s store for $6. It isn’t quite as good as the PC version, but if you’re hoping to lure your Minecraft addicted child away from the computer this is a good way to do it. It can be played alone or you can go multiplayer with your friends. Because of its sandbox nature, you can easily pick it up and put it down as much as you need to. Though if we’re being honest you’re more likely to end up getting sucked in for the whole day, so if your plan is to lay on a beach and play a bit of Minecraft you might want to put some sunblock on first. We wouldn’t want you to turn into a lobster. This is the sort of game that makes you wish you had packed your power bank.

 

PUBG Mobile


Release Date: March 19, 2018
Developer: PUBG Corp
Platform: iOS, Android
Genre: Battle Royale

Ooooh, here we go being controversial by putting PUBG at number 3! This is a decision based purely on the numbers. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds doesn’t seem to be doing amazingly on mobile. That’s not to say that it isn’t popular, it really, really is. It just isn’t making as much money as their biggest competitor. The Battle Royale genre is the current fad for this summer and you can fully expect to see people playing one of the two biggest titles in the genre on their phone everywhere you go. As this game is a literal life or death kind of game, we can’t recommend you play it if you’re going to be distracted a lot or you only have a short time to play. But if you’re stuck in the backseat of the car or on an airplane then this game will do just fine to help you pass the time.

 

Vainglory


Release Date: July 2, 2015
Developer: Super Evil Megacorp
Platform: iOS, Android
Genre: MOBA

Remember a couple years ago when MOBAs were the big craze that every studio was chasing? Believe it or not, the MOBA scene is actually still going strong, and not just in esports. No one is making new MOBAs anymore, but we do have some older gems that are still worth playing. The best MOBA to be released on mobile was Vainglory and you can still play it right now.

 

Fortnite Mobile


Release Date: April 2018
Developer: Epic
Platform: iOS, Android (coming soon)
Genre: Battle Royale

If you’ve been following gaming at all this year, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that Fortnite is number one on our list. The game has been dominating gaming since it released and it doesn’t look like it will be slowing down anytime soon. At the moment it’s only available on iOS but it is set to release on Android sometime this summer. It’s free to play and has in-game monetization that fans don’t find annoying at all. In fact, on average Fortnite mobile players are spending more money than those playing PUBG, so Epic must be doing something right.

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MMO Money: Mobile Revenue is Breaking Records

Quarterly report season, it’s exciting and a little bit brain melting. In between it all we’ve got other business news to talk about too including esports betting and more lootbox drama. We also get a real-world example of what can happen to a company’s stock when an embargo is broken and false information is released. There’s one theme that runs throughout this article, mobile revenue is breaking records all over the place. There’s a lot of information to digest in this week’s MMO Money so grab a drink, maybe a snack too and sit back for a wild ride. It all ends with more lootbox talk from Begium, Guild Wars 2’s game director, and everyone’s favorite…EA.

 

PUBG Mobile Revenue Only 1/3 Fornite iOS Revenue

Mobile Revenue is Breaking Records

While PUBG mobile and Fortnite iOS came onto the scene at roughly the same time back in March, PUBG has only started to monetize in the last week. The revenue for that first week isn’t amazing. In fact, it’s one third the revenue Fortnite got in its first week being on iOS only. For those who don’t know, PUBG is available on both Android and iOS. Fortnite generated 3.7 million dollars its first week on mobile compared to PUBG which comes in around $1 million.

The report from Sensor Tower also states that Fortnite beat out PUBG with fewer players, 3.7 million downloads vs 22 million. But it doesn’t show how many of those 22 million downloads since launch are still active PUBG players, so this isn’t really a fair comparison to make. The 3.7 million Fortnite players would have all been active at some point in that week simply because it was the very first week, and not a couple of months later. Randy Nelson, Head of Mobile Insights at Sensor Tower attributes the differences to the means of monetization. “There’s also the possibility that the way Epic Games has structured its purchases may be giving Fortnite a leg up on its biggest competitor,” he said. “It offers limited-time costumes and set daily items that players can purchase outright, as opposed PUBG Mobile’s primary use of loot boxes that produce random (and often duplicate) items when opened by players.”

 

Activision-Blizzard Q1

They’re winning all of the money. End of story.

Overwatch Retribution Event - McCree and Reaper

Kidding…well sort of. They really are winning all the money. Activision-Blizzard had a net revenue of $1.97 billion for Q1, that’s up from $1.73 billion for Q1 2017. Net revenue from digital channels were at an all-time quarterly record of $1.46 billion. In Q1, Activision Blizzard had 374 million monthly active users, 38 million of those coming from Blizzard games. Preorders for WoW’s Battle for Azeroth expansion are ahead of where they had originally forecast.

The Overwatch League has strong viewership globally, reaching millions of people every week. As a result of the league and the upcoming playoffs, this summer there is increased engagement with the franchise. This means more people are playing and watching for longer than previously.

On the mobile side of things, King has had its highest quarterly net bookings in history. That’s money made from merchandising, products sold, licensing fees, and so on. This quarter King also had 2 of the top 10 highest-grossing titles in US mobile app stores for the 18th quarter in a row.

Generally speaking, things are great for Activision-Blizzard, so much so that they’re raising their outlook for the full year.

 

German Mobile Game Revenue Seeing Explosive Growth

Thanks to the many articles we’ve done covering the 2017 games business scene we know that mobile is still growing in a massive way and is already really dominating the gaming industry. But there’s one market in particular that is seeing massive, unexpected growth: Germany.

The German Games Industry Association reported on data from market research company GfK that in 2017, mobile gaming revenue grew faster than all of the German gaming market. Mobile gaming sales rose 21% versus the overall market which saw only 15%. Most of the revenue came from in-app purchases which totaled €481 million ($569 million). Just to put all of this in perspective, in-app purchases have more than doubled since 2014. It also doesn’t look like things are going to slow down any time soon. What this does show is that Germans are a fantastic audience for mobile games, unlike most of Europe who seem to prefer to keep a tight hold on their wallets.

 

Want to learn more about the games industry in 2017 check out these articles:

2017 Online Games Financial Review
2017 Games Industry by the Numbers
2017 Games Industry Revenue

EA Celebrating Record Year

It’s good news for EA, despite all the very public lockbox drama they had throughout the last year. Game sales are actually down, but live services are picking up the slack and now make up 40% of the publisher’s income. For the full year, EA’s net revenue was up 6.2% to $5.15 billion. But the news that most people were really hoping to hear was about Anthem and EA did not disappoint, saying that Anthem is set to ship in the last month of the last quarter of the year, that gives it a launch date in March 2019. During the call, they also talked a bit about lockboxes, but we’ll go into more detail on that in the section dedicated to all things lootbox.

 

Dow Jones Reporting Problem

Dow Jones News Service broke embargo and false information was released ahead of Activision-Blizzard’s quarterly report call. This information caused Activision-Blizzard’s stock to tumble, as well as stock for EA and Take-Two. Activision-Blizzard suffered a 6.3% drop, but within a couple of hours the correct information was published and in the end, Activision-Blizzard closed down 2.3%. Afterward, Dow Jones issued a statement saying, “We regret our error as well as inadvertently breaking the embargo. We have issued a correction and are reviewing our processes.”

 

Tencent Q1

Have you had enough with all the good news yet? Well here’s some more for you. Tencent is reporting a 48% increase in revenue year on year. Most of this has been driven by mobile games and social platforms. Total revenue for the quarter was $11.69 billion with operating profit at $4.88 billion. Smartphone game revenue increased 68%. This includes both mobile games and social games on their social media platforms like QQ, which has 805.5 million active users. Facebook is at 2.2 billion, just in case you’re wondering.

On the PC gaming front, revenue remained fairly flat year on year. But with new titles expected in the coming months, Tencent has said this will change. The company also attributes the lack of significant revenue increase on more and more people making the transition to mobile gaming. Tencent is going to be responsible for releasing PUBG and Fortnite to China, assuming they get government approval. They’re also going to publish Ubisoft mobile and PC games in China. So, the future is looking bright for this monster of a company.

 

Boss Key Saga

By now you’ve almost certainly heard about the saga of Boss Key. The company shut down this week just a month after putting a new game up on Steam Early Access. If you haven’t heard all of the drama, or you haven’t seen the concept art from the games they never got to make there’s an entire article on the Boss Key saga.

 

Pearl Abyss Q1

Pearl Abyss had a record first quarter thanks to mobile games. Are you starting to see the same pattern we are? Net profits are up a massive 82.9% compared with the same period last year. Much of their success is thanks to releasing Black Desert Mobile in Korea. North America and Europe account for 56% of Black Desert Online’s game sales. Coming up, the company is working on MMOFPS Project K, casual mobile MMO Project V, and Black Desert Mobile is going to expand to more regions of the world. You can expect it to reach the West sometime next year.

 

Kakao IPO

Black Desert Online

Speaking of Black Desert Online’s performance, we need to talk about Kakao Games, the publisher of BDO in the west. They’re preparing an IPO on the KOSDAQ in Korea. If it passes the screening required, it will most likely go public by the end of this year. According to Samsung Securities, Kakao is worth an estimated $1.4 billion. In addition to BDO, they’re also responsible for publishing PUBG in Korea and developing mobile games.

 

NCSoft Q1

All of NCSoft’s games are down this quarter with the exception of Aion. Guild Wars 2, the company’s most popular game in the west saw a massive, though entirely expected drop. Q4 2017 is where all the revenue for the game’s last expansion Path of Fire was at, so while there was a 32% drop quarter on quarter, year on year there was actually a 66% increase.

During the investor call, NCSoft admitted that Blade & Soul II for mobile has been delayed until 2019 because it didn’t meet expectations. It has a new team and a redesign which is the same thing they did for Lineage Eternal.

 

Nexon Q1

Finally, we’re at the last quarterly report that has been released as of this moment, Nexon. Much like many of the companies already mentioned in this article, Nexon has a strong showing this quarter with $827 million in revenue. That’s up 21% year on year. One thing that really makes them stand out from other companies is that most of its business, 84% of it in fact, was on PC. The vast majority of Nexon’s earnings came from China (67%) and Korea (22%) while North America accounted for just 4%. Later on this year in the west we can expect to see Durango, Maplestory 2, Maplestory M, and Final Fantasy XI mobile.

 

Esports

You can expect to see esports betting blossom thanks to a ruling by the US Supreme Court. They effectively overturned the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act which banned sports betting in all but a few states. The Supreme Court ruled that PAPSA violated the Tenth Amendment. What does this mean for esports betting? It means we’re going to see it a whole lot more. DraftKings have already got plans to move into betting for sports and esports.

In other esports news Quarterback Inc. has raised 2.5 million dollars in its initial seed funding round. The funding will go towards continued development and growth of Quarterback’s esports gaming platform. The seed round was back by Bitkraft Esports, Crest Capital Ventures, Deep Space Ventures, and UpWest Labs.

 

Lootboxes

Finally, we end this article as we always do with a look at what has been going on around the lootbox controversy in the last two weeks. The biggest news has been that the Belgian Gaming Commission released their full report on the controversy. The report itself is 25 pages long and in English, if you want to give it a read, but the most important thing to take from it is that they recommend criminal prosecution being initiated. Another recommendation that they give is age verification and banning the sale of games featuring loot boxes to minors. Wow.

Gamasutra posted an interview with Guild Wars 2 game director Crystin Cox from GDC that touched on the lootbox controversy that is well worth a read as she had a lot to say. She had a hard time defining what an ethical, non-painful lootbox experience might be like and she also said she hopes the government doesn’t get involved in regulation. Guild Wars 2 was specifically mentioned in a recent article here on MMOGames talking about a site that explains microtransactions for games. Guild Wars 2 has frequently been called out by players for their lootbox practices.

Lastly, as promised there is EA news to talk about. EA is adamant that lootboxes aren’t gambling at all. Why? Well, according to EA CEO Andrew Wilson, it’s because players always get a specified number of items and there’s no way to cash the items out or sell them for currency, real or virtual. This argument is a bit like Santa promising you’ll get 5 things for Christmas and on Christmas morning finding out that 3 of them are lumps of coal, one is a gum wrapper, and the other is reindeer droppings. You still got something though!

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PUBG Mobile Adds Miramar Map

The sun-beaten expanse of the desert now fits into your pocket. The PUBG Mobile Miramar map is now added to the pocket edition of the battle royale shooter, along with a number of features intended to improve social play and optimization.

pubg mobile miramar

Miramar is pretty much the same dusty map as PC players of PUBG are familiar with, including all of the open land and city locations one expects for long-distance and close-quarters engagements respectively and a land area that’s 50% larger than the Erangel map. The Miramar map also brings on some new weapons and vehicles to the game.

In addition to the new map, this update has also added a local team feature that lets players who are near each other enter a six-digit code to team up, as well as a number of improvements to the game’s sounds, special effects, climbing and parachuting in the interests of optimization.

PUBG Mobile’s latest update is now available. A video with one of the game’s devs detailing what’s new can be seen below.

Our Thoughts

Whether Miramar is a popular choice or not, it’s good to have options and see new things arriving to PUBG Mobile. We hope that those who play this shooter on their mobile devices find this latest update to their liking.

Source: press release

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PUBG Mobile Goes Live and Pits You Against Bots Initially

Turns out that earlier arrival to Canada wasn’t the start of a regular testing phase, but the start of a full-on PUBG mobile release. The on-the-go edition of the popular battle royale shooter has made its way to iOS and Android devices in most regions around the globe.

pubg mobile release

According to the press release, the Canadian beta test went exceedingly well, with the presser saying that “large amounts of positive feedback” helped to push the mobile game to a full release as of Monday, March 19th.

“We are working hard to create an authentic PUBG mobile experience that players new and old will love,” said Chen Jerry, corporate VP of Tencent. “A lot of went into controls and optimization to give players a smooth and intuitive experience.”

With some time after PUBG mobile’s release, however, new revelations have also come to light with regards to the game’s first few matches. An early access review of the game from The Verge has stated that the first few matches you’ll play in will be populated with bots, which are described as “pretty dumb and [unable to] put up much of a fight.” That said, the ratio of human players to AI-controlled ones does reportedly shift in favor of pitting you against other players as you rack up the wins.

Our Thoughts

On the one hand, we’re glad that the early Canadian beta test went so well that PUBG Corp and Tencent felt the game was ready to go. On the other hand, we wonder if the news that the first couple of chicken dinner wins were earned on the bodies of bots won’t make those wins feel a bit more hollow. We’d love to read your thoughts on both of those matters below.

Sources: press release, The Verge via VG247.

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