Week in Review: “Pokémon GO” adds 50 new creatures and weather effects, Mag Interactive IPO shows strength of Europe’s mobile game industry, and “Street Fighter 5” announces Arcade Mode with over 200 endings.
“Pokémon GO” is adding 50 new creatures and weather effects. The dozens of new Pokémon started rolling out last week for players to catch and collect. Niantic’s incorporation of the dynamic weather effects will be the first time an AR mobile game has factored in real-world weather to the gameplay experience. The current weather in a player’s vicinity will be visible on the in-game map, and will impact gameplay by changing Pokémon habitats, increasing combat power, etc. (VentureBeat)
War Child has launched the world’s first gaming armistice. Through the armistice, the charity for children affected by armed conflict will bring mobile developers together to raise funds and awareness for their cause. Participating games include “Verdun,” which recently held a moment of silence to enlighten players on War Child’s mission. Other games are leveraging exclusive challenges, peace items, and special in-app purchases. (GameReactor)
MAG Interactive’s IPO has shown the strength of Europe’s mobile game industry. The Swedish company behind the hit puzzle word game “Ruzzle” went public this past week at a market valuation of $137 million. While it isn’t a huge offering, it still shows that the public markets and business ecosystems of Europe can support mobile game companies, while many U.S.-based companies with hit titles have yet to go public. (VentureBeat)
Nintendo will release some of its games on its Chinese rival console, the NVIDIA Shield. Historically, Nintendo has rarely licensed its original games and characters to competitors, but the Japanese gaming giant does not currently sell its latest console, the Switch, in China. As the video game market in China was valued at $24 billion in 2016, Nintendo is looking to get its share. Nintendo games becoming available on the NVIDIA Shield include “The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess” and “New Super Mario Bros Wii.” (BBC)
“UFC 3” has raised the bar for women in video games. The new game, which released on beta demo this past week, is committed to accurately representing the UFC experience, which is significantly comprised of female fighters. For the first time, EA Sports captured movement data from actual female fighters on the UFC roster, instead of actors. The game also features the “camera-ready” hairstyles that female fighters sport at weigh-ins and news conferences, as well as two new female divisions. (ESPN)
Gamee plans to become the “YouTube of mobile gaming.” The Prague-based startup, which was founded in 2014 and now has 70 original games, offers mobile games that don’t require people to download an app. Utilizing the flash in browsers, Gamee’s games work instantly on browser apps and social networks. For example, if a user shares a link to a Gamee game with a friend via Facebook Messenger, their friends don’t even need to leave Messenger – they can instantly start playing right there on the messaging app. (Marketing Week)
The Whitaker Center will officially be the home of Harrisburg University’s varsity eSports team. The venue will now be hosting a variety of HU eSports events, including scrimmages, tournaments, meet-and-greets, conferences, and more. Whitaker Center CEO & President Ted Black says that they witnessed the enormous growth and impact of eSports in recent years, and saw the opportunity to bring that growth to Harrisburg by offering a fully immersive experience for the city’s eSports fans. (ABC27)
HyperX has announced a charity live stream with eSports pros. The company is partnering with the charity Extra Life (which helps support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals) and Square Enix’s “Dissida: FINAL FANTASY NT,” to host this stream with pro eSports celebrities and broadcasters at its gaming headquarters in Orange County. (eSports Insider)
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