Industry News Weekly – Issue #133

What drives retention?


Raph Koster gives us a great overview of mechanics which are proven to drive retention. Read more.

Focus on monetization, not retention


Monetization is more important than retention for the monetary success of your game. Even for the long-term monetary success. Do you agree?

2019 Predictions


Deconstruction of Fun predictions for 2019 are continuing. Last week brought predictions for RPG and Card Battlers. There are some bold predictions so be sure to read it.

Miniclip acquires Head Ball 2 developer


Miniclip acquires Masomo, developer of Head Ball and Head Ball 2. The value of the deal has not been publicly disclosed. Masomo has offices in the UK and Turkey. For reference, their biggest title. Head Ball 2 has been downloaded more than 30M times in 2018 alone and while AppAnnie reports only $8M revenue it is worth keeping in mind that they rely heavily on ad monetization (interstitials, rewarded video and offer wall) so their revenues could be easily 50% higher than AppAnnie reports. The deal seems to bring a nice addition to Miniclip’s existing portfolio of football games – Soccer Stars and Football Strike. 

Breaking Apart Cohorts to Optimize Revenue


If you’re not following Eric Seufert’s (author of Fremium Economics) blog, then here is the latest article to get you started. In it he discusses the potential breaking up cohorts and segmenting users by their monetization potential. Read more

News around the globe


  • This article brings an overview of big investments that happened in 2018. According to Digi-Capital, the total value ($5.7B) was actually a new all-time high (doubling the record set in 2017.). The biggest chunk goes to Epic Games which raised $1.25B. Other notable investments include Tencent investing in Douyu streaming platform ($630M) and Chinese online games company (Shanda Games – $474M). Other notable names include Voodoo raising $200M, Aristocrat buying Big Fish Games for nearly $1B, etc.. 
  • Riot Games, Sega America, THQ Nordic and three more publishers join Entertainment Software Association. 
  • Zynga has it has completed its turnaround as it reports record mobile performance for 2018. Company-wide revenue for the quarter was up 7% year-on-year to $249 million, with mobile generating $228 million, representing a year-over-year increase of 12%. Zynga’s CEO, Frank Gibeau, says: “Zynga has a highly diversified live service portfolio anchored by our five forever franchises – Words With Friends, Empires & Puzzles, Zynga Poker, Merge Dragons! and CSR Racing.” Heading into 2019, Zynga expects to begin releasing games from its expanded lineup of strategic licenses including CityVille, FarmVille, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, and Star Wars, along with new titles from the recently acquired Gram Games and Small Giant Games.
  • DeepMind releases an AI learning environment for the card game Hanabi. “Researchers say the combination of cooperation, imperfect information, and limited communication found within the game provides AI agents with an excellent opportunity to grasp what they call ‘theory of mind’, or the ability to recognize mental states, including thoughts and intentions, in themselves and others.” Read more.
  • Apex Legends hits three million users in just three days after the launch. Read more.
  • New Star Soccer Manager, which was launched on mobile in July 2018, has now been published on Switch. Read more

Notable new releases


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