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The DeanBeat: Has the game industry hit its peak with crazy valuations or just begun its growth? – VentureBeat

Money is pouring into the game industry, and Im not just talking about GameStops crazy stock rise. I wrote about this last week, and now I find I have even more to say about this. Ive been debating with myself and others about whether the market has gone crazy or if the game industry deserves all of the growth it has seen during the pandemic.

I moderated a panel this week about this subject at the WN Winter 21 conference. Our speakers included Elena Egorova, the director of corporate development at Enad Global 7 (owner of Daybreak); Andrey Iones, the chief operating officer at Embracer Groups Saber Interactive; and Sergey Evdokimov, an investment associate at MyGames and the cofounder of InvestGame.

I also went on the new social audio app Clubhouse to talk with game industry people on various panels about all of the deal activity. I heard the refrain everywhere. Were at a historic point in gaming where more money is coming in than ever before, bigger than the boom year of 2016 when virtual reality got off the ground, Evdokimov said. His InvestGame found that deals hit a record $33.6 billion over 664 transactions in 2020 when it comes to all the money that went into game acquisitions, investments, and public offerings.

I am even more impressed with the mega-deals we have in 2021, Evdokimov said. I expect more from 2021. A lot of companies are sitting on a lot of cash. There is synergy from a roll-up strategy. There is a great question actually about what shall the independent gaming business do nowadays, either go public on their own or join someone big.

Above: InvestGames M&A activity in games in 2020.

Image Credit: InvestGame

Its a sellers market, Evdokimov said. As much as we would all like to celebrate this, having a sustainable financial market around games would also be a good thing. We should have rational explanations for why the industry is so strong, beyond the fact that some investors have become foolish. Evdokimov said the pandemic, as horrific as it is, has provided the dynamics for people to enjoy games more and choose them over other distractions, and that has led to the surge in sales and the improvement in valuations. The surge in sales has led to a surge in the stock market, and that has given more companies the added opportunity of using their stock to buy other companies.

Above: Left to right: Andrey Iones, Dean Takahashi, Sergei Evodokimov, and Elena Egorova.

Image Credit: WN

But not everybody agrees about whats the right price to pay for a company. And so the debate goes on.

On Monday, Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick explained to shareholders that financial discipline was the reason that it allowed Electronic Arts to outbid Take-Two in acquiring Codemasters for $1.2 billion. And as Zelnick was saying that, EA announced that it was buying mobile game company Glu Mobile for an enterprise value of $2.1 billion, or 36% more than the stock market valued it. Zelnick is clearly a pretty rational person, but now he has to second-guess whether its wise for him to sit on the sidelines while his rivals go nuts.

This came just a week after we saw Las Vegas-based PlayStudios and Russias Nexters announce they were going to go public in special acquisition purpose corporations (SPACs), which offer a way to go public quickly. And last week Embracer Group bought three big companies in one day: Gearbox Entertainment for up to $1.3 billion, Aspyr for up to $450 million, and Easybrain for $640 million.

One CEO of a big company joked to me that this makes him want to sell one of his game studios for a premium price.

I think this is all short-lived, the CEO said. I feel like this is 1999 or 2000. I dont see this being a sustainable environment. There is no rationale for any of this stuff.

Above: Glu Mobiles collection of games.

Image Credit: Glu

Another seasoned investment executive told me that the Glu deal wont be the last one to happen, but the number of quality acquisition targets in the West is starting to dwindle. That means that the rest of the gaming ecosystem, the small companies that are being fueled by the game venture capital funds, need to step up.

And Tilting Point has a strategy of lifting up the promising game studios and fueling their growth with user acquisition funds. It announced this week that it would pump as much as $60 million into user acquisition for Loop Games Match 3D puzzle game in 2021. Thats a pretty incredible figure for finding new users for a game, but Loop Games doesnt have to give up equity. Samir Agili, the president of Tilting Point, said in an interview that his company plays a kind of kingmaker role, identifying the up-and-coming firms.

Were here to find the smallest company that can scale to the max and doing it without being acquired, Agili said. Theres definitely a path for acquisitions now. But in our initial positioning, we help indies scale and raise their game.

Big publishers often say that their central services can make game marketing, publishing and other tasks far more efficient for game studios. So they collect a bunch of studios, take care of them with central services, and boost their games in the market. Companies such as EA, Playtika, and Scopely say they do this.

Above: Borderlands made Gearbox an attractive acquisition target.

Image Credit: Gearbox Software

But Embracer is more like a holding company with 50 or so people at its core. Stillfront, Enad 7, and others are similar. Theyre looking to acquire companies that are already being run well, Iones said. If one company has an intellectual property that isnt being exploited, another studio within the company can get to work on a game based on it.

I dont think these types of acquisitions make sense, said one CEO that I spoke with. They have almost no synergy with each other. I dont understand that. A company needs a strategy. I dont know what theyre building. Its really crazy.

The currency that these companies like Embracer are using is stock, enabling it to acquire so many companies that it now has more than 6,000 employees. Embracer has a market value of $12 billion, and it can get access to capital at historically low-interest rates. It has been raising more money to finance its acquisitions, and it was able to announce last quarter that it had acquired a dozen new studios in a day.

Iones defended his parent company, Embracer, and its behavior. He noted that deals such as the Gearbox one were structured so that only some of the money ($363 million) comes up front in cash and stock, while the rest of the $1 billion or so comes after six years. That motivates Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford to stick around and help grow the company so it becomes a great deal for Embracer.

Above: Zyngas biggest games are its forever franchises.

Image Credit: Zynga

As I noted last week, Nick Tuosto (the managing director of advisory firm Liontree) has advised parties in 15 major transactions in the game industry in the past year. In his mind, some of the froth is justified as investors are finally catching on to the value that has been created by many game companies that have been delighting users and waiting for this day.

At our GamesBeat/Facebook: Driving Game Growth event, Tuosto brought up how Zynga is a prime example of using acquisitions to boost its overall position in the market.

Zynga went public in 2011 at a value of $9 billion, only to see its value collapse to less than $2 billion as it struggled in the transition from Facebook games to mobile gaming.

Under then-new CEO Frank Gibeau, the company went on an acquisition spree, spending billions of dollars acquiring Gram Games, Peak Games, Small Giant Games, and Rollic. And that has paid off in hot games like Empires & Puzzles that have fueled Zyngas earnings.

In other words, the acquisitions have quickly paid off.

Zyngas performance has been driven over the last 3.5 years by M&A, Tuosto said at our event. They have been able to buy assets at a cheaper multiple than they themselves trade.

Zyngas stock price has gone up four-fold in the past five years, bringing the company back to its original IPO value in 2011. It has done through its aggressive acquisition strategy, Tuosto said. And this week, Zynga reported record financials with fourth-quarter bookings of $699 million, and it saw its valuation rise to $12.9 billion. What was perhaps most promising about Zyngas results was that we saw no sign of a decline in the systemic increase in users and their appetite for playing games during the pandemic.

Above: Zombies swarm in smart ways in World War Z.

Image Credit: Saber Interactive

Ive warned that Apples stance on user privacy over targeted advertising could trigger a slowdown in games that takes all the air out of the bubble. And if the something in the broader stock market breaks down, then the relatively small game industry can suffer as a result.

This larger market will influence the gaming market as well, Evdokimov said.

But Iones noted that the gaming market has proven it is resilient in recessions, as it has a very low entry price (free-to-play, for instance) that enables consumers to spend money on it (or time) even during a difficult time.

Tuosto believes that the game industry is just beginning to exploit the opportunities and financial deals that lie before it. He believes that the game industry was undervalued before and that investors have finally noticed it, because the game industrys strong results stand out as other industries collapse. Advances such as free-to-play, subscriptions, and live operations have strengthened game companies, and now theyre ready to grow even further with a fresh injection of capital.

I agree that the industry is maturing, Iones said. The game industry was viewed for many years as a super risky industry. It wasnt investable. Now the games are making money, and were keeping costs in check. Once an industry is more predictable, it is more investable. Then you can scale your operations and build things all over the world.

For those who have been making games for a long time, the window of opportunity offers new options.

Saber was around for a very long time. My partner and I worked together forever and we made a decision we wanted to join a larger organization, Iones said. I wanted to make sure the company outlived my partner and I. If you become a part of a larger organization, and reflect your journey, nobody lives forever. Somebody else will step in and keep running the show.

Embracer says it gives the studios autonomy to determine their own fate and run their own businesses. And it doesnt have to worry if one game is delayed, as it has a whole portfolio of companies that can smooth out such problems.

Its hard to believe that just a year ago people were wondering how we would ever get any deals done, given that everybody was in lockdown and it was so hard to get deals done via Zoom, said Egorova at Enad Global 7 during our WN panel. She said that the secret sauce of the game companies are the developers with the knowledge about their craft and their love for the industry and putting gamers first.

The important thing is to enable developers to be braver in their decision making and take risks, she said.

Our goal is to be enablers, Egorova said. People are always going to play. Games have been with us since the cradle of humanity. And they will be here always.

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The DeanBeat: Has the game industry hit its peak with crazy valuations or just begun its growth? - VentureBeat

Numskull Games Offers Sneak Peek At Upcoming Titles, Reveals RICO London – TheGamer

Beyond RICO London, Numskull showed off gameplay for Battle Axe, Bladed Fury, and more.

During today's Numskull Presents virtual event, the studio offered a look at many of its upcoming titles including the newly announced RICO London.

The second installment of Numskull Presents included several of the studio's highly anticipated games, including Battle Axe, Bladed Fury, Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia, and Iris Fall. A few lucky viewers were also treated to exclusive merch, such as copies of Deadly Premonitions Origins signed by the multifaceted SWERY. Better yet, Numskull is still giving away free swag to learn more, check out its official YouTube channel.

RICO London was the big reveal of the event and is planned to launch on all last-gen platforms and Steam this June. The game is a "fast-paced first-person shooter which sees you tackling the notorious and violent gangs of London." You'll be able to play through the procedurally generated levels solo or with a friend in co-op, splattering the gangs of London along the way.

The beautiful pixel art of Battle Axe was also on full display, with a lengthy gameplay trailer showing off the wonderfully retro title.Its soundtrack doesnt play second fiddle to the graphics either, as it's composed by the legendary Manami Matsumae who worked on the original Mega Man score. Battle Axe is scheduled to launch on last-gen consoles and Steam this April.

Numskull Presents also brought us new footage for the 2D action game Bladed Fury, tactical RPG Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia, and Iris Fall a mind-bending puzzle game. A replay of the full event can be found here.

NEXT: Jack Black To Voice Claptrap In Upcoming Borderlands Movie

Human Fall Flat's Sailboat Physics Got Nerfed Because Of Console CPUs

Jon Bitner is an Associate Editor for TheGamer. His passion for gaming started with his first console (Sega Genesis) and he hasn't stopped playing since. His favorite titles include The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Team Fortress 2, Rainbow Six Siege, Pokmon Sword & Shield, Old School Runescape, Skyrim, and Breath of the Wild. He can usually be found playing the latest RPG, FPS, or some obscure mobile game. Before working as Associate News Editor, Jon earned a Biology degree and worked in the Biotechnology sector experiences that taught him how to put words together and make sentences. When not playing or writing about the gaming industry, he enjoys sleeping, eating, and staring at birds.

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Numskull Games Offers Sneak Peek At Upcoming Titles, Reveals RICO London - TheGamer

TouchArcade Game of the Week: ‘Knightin’+’ – Touch Arcade

Its pretty easy to be sold on the concept of Knightin+ alone. Its basically an entire game thats nothing but the dungeon portions from the 8-bit The Legend of Zelda. Who wouldnt want that? While ideas like that can often sound great on paper but fall apart in practice, Knightin+ delivers exactly what it promises for a short but sweet action adventure that doesnt take itself seriously in the least, and actually fits quite well on the mobile platform.

Knightin+ offers 4 different main dungeons to play through. Youll move through each one room by room, floor by floor, and face off against many of the types of challenges youd expect from a Zelda dungeon. Sometimes the doors shut behind you and you have to defeat every enemy to open them back up. Sometimes theres something blocking your path and you have to solve some type of environmental puzzle to open the way forward. Each dungeon has a certain number of items and treasures to collect as well as a main boss fight at the end. Theres also a shopkeeper you can come across to buy different items and abilities.

Like I said, Knightin+ delivers pretty much exactly what it says on the tin. This is some very Zelda-lite inspired dungeon crawling with lots of charm and tongue-in-cheek humor, and it straddles that line between offering a meaty enough experience and not wearing out its welcome. In other words its the perfect little experience to drop a handful of dollars on and spend a day or two chewing through, so if you enjoy dungeon crawlers and especially the 8-bit style of Zelda games youll very likely have a wonderful time with Knightin+.

TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'Knightin'+' - Touch Arcade

Recursive Puzzle Game, Maquette, to be Released in March –

Kristina Bacon February 9th, 2021 - 3:59 PM

Annapurna Interactive, known for titles like What Remains of Edith Finch and Donut Country, has announced a release date for their most recent puzzle game, Maquette. Maquette seems to be a perfect blend of narrative storytelling as well as a complex puzzle simulator. To anyone confused where the name came from, a maquette is an unfinished or preliminary model that sculptors use, a fitting name for a game comprised of multi-sized models inside of one another. For those prospective players that have been to San Francisco, the architecture, art, and soundtrack of Maquette will seem very familiar. The developers even went so far as to feature Bay Area musicians to add another layer of authenticity.

The characters and situations are simple at the start, but the game evolves as the romantic relationship between its two main characters becomes more complex. The world of Maquette is a playable, interactive metaphor; a physical manifestation of the emotional underpinnings between two lovers, played out through a series of puzzles, representing the many challenges and triumphs a relationship can go through. Its a cathartic experience.

As seen above, the cast trailer was dropped recently. Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World, Black Mirror) and Seth Gabel (Fringe, Salem) are voicing the characters of Kenzie and Michael respectively. Kenzie and Michael are two lovers looking back onto their relationship as they guide players throughout the game. Maquette is known as a recursive puzzle game which lends itself to infinite possible ways to progress, great for gamers who enjoy a non-linear path. The recursion aspect was influenced by the complex, almost borderline random behavior that physics exhibits. As players traverse the world of Maquette, they will have to solve these puzzles in order to advance the story of Kenzie and Michael. As one of the cast members, Bryce Dallas Howard, puts it, the puzzles are almost a sort of metaphor for relationships.

Maquette will be available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Steam on March 2 for $19.99.

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Recursive Puzzle Game, Maquette, to be Released in March -

PS5 and PS4 free game bonus: Grab a friend and download co-op puzzler for free – Express

February 2021 will go down as a fantastic month for free games, as another download hits the PlayStation Store.

Available as a free download for a limited time, We Were Here is a co-op puzzle game developed by Total Mayhem Games.

Compatible with the PS4 and PlayStation 5, the game can be redeemed by anybody with a PlayStation account, although you will need a PlayStation Plus subscription in order to play.

We Were Here is the first entry in a series of co-operative puzzle games where players must work together to escape a sinister castle.

It will be followed by We Were Here Too and We Were Here Together on February 23.

"If you dont know, our games are cooperative first-person puzzle adventures where your goal is to escape, and all you have is a pair of walkie-talkies," a Total Mayhem spokesperson explains.

"You and your partner will be challenged to work together on the same wavelength in order to solve puzzles and explore.

"Each game is two player online co-op only, in which players take the roles of Antarctic explorers. The first two games We Were Here and We Were Here Too see players forced to seek cover by a blinding snowstorm, when they come across Castle Rock a mysterious medieval castle in the wastes of Antarctica."

According to Total Mayhem Games, players will soon be separated, and must communicate through Walkie-talkies to make it out in one piece.

"Inside Castle Rock you might occasionally see the other player from a balcony or on the other side of bars, but often your only direct interaction will be speaking via walkie-talkie.

"We find that this actually makes the game more intimate, not less you really have to listen to your partner, or youll never escape.

"As you explore your part of the castle, describe everything to your partner, and try and see where you can combine knowledge to work together and progress towards the exit."

It sounds a bit like Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, where players must describe what they see in order to defuse a bomb.

The third game in the series mixes things up, as players explore a base camp area together.

As the developer points out, however, players will be forced to split up in order to solve the mysteries.

While all three games will be available as part of a bundle from February 23, you can download and play the first game for free right now.

The We Were Here series is also available on Xbox and PC. The series bundle costs 19.24 on Xbox One, so expect similar pricing on PS4.

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PS5 and PS4 free game bonus: Grab a friend and download co-op puzzler for free - Express

Tackle thorny problems in ‘Room to Grow’ a plant pushing puzzle game launching on Steam for PC & Mac 25th February 2021! – Gamasutra

[This unedited press release is made available courtesy of Gamasutra and its partnership with notable game PR-related resource Games Press.]

Melbourne, Australia - 11th February 2021 - Releasing with the assistance of Film Victoria, Australia, Room to Grow is a Cactus based puzzle game launching on Steam for PC & Mac 25th February 2021. Mischka Kamener has created a visually stunning indie title that will twist puzzle fans minds in unique cactus based ways!

In Room to Grow, players must solve a succulent forest worth of prickly puzzles, learning to maneuver as a cactus in order to return other cacti to their pots, and with every puzzle solved, help to grow their way back home to the desert. Secrets and surprises await those who are brave enough to tackle the thorny challenges in each game world.

"I hope that the surprises I've left for players will leave a lasting impression on them, just like the games I was inspired by did to me," commented Mischka Kamener, creator and developer of Room to Grow, "I'm incredibly grateful to Film Victoria for their belief in me and my game - without that, I wouldn't have been able to turn Room to Grow into what it is today."

Room to Grow Features:

* Over 100 hand-crafted puzzles* Discover unexpected mechanics that will twist your mind differently to any other puzzle game* Play the way you want - Undo and restart as often as you like, skip puzzles if you want to* No timer, no action elements, no move counter - This game is all about the satisfaction of solving puzzles* Featuring a delightful original soundtrack by Romain Rope

Room to Grow is available on the Steam Store from here.

Press Contact:Decibel-PR[emailprotected]

About Mischka Kamener Although Mischka trained as a mechanical engineer and worked in software development, he is a game developer at heart. He has been passionate about games big and small since childhood, and it was only a matter of time until he took to creating his own. Outside of games he is an avid supporter of the St Kilda football club, enjoys the great food Melbourne has to offer, and loves spending time at home with his wife and ginger cat Marvin.

About Film Victoria Film Victoria is the State Government agency that provides strategic leadership and assistance to the film, television and digital media sectors of Victoria.

Fim Victoria aims to increase screen activity in Victoria and be a responsive advocate for the screen industry. We do this in a range of ways: through funding the production and development of screen content, industry placements, filming incentives, location assistance, industry events, partnership activities, and other support, all of which help develop and strengthen the Victorian screen industry.

More info on Film Victoria can be found at

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Tackle thorny problems in 'Room to Grow' a plant pushing puzzle game launching on Steam for PC & Mac 25th February 2021! - Gamasutra

Human Fall Flat Was Originally Designed To Be Portal Meets Limbo – TheGamer

The original idea for Human Fall Flat was a game which blended the puzzles of Portal with Limbo.

Portal continues to be one of the most influential puzzle games ever made, even more than a decade on from its original release. Recently we spoke with Tomas Sakalauskas, CEO of No Brakes Games and the creator of Human Fall Flat, and he shared with us some secrets and tidbits about the development of Human Fall Flat, all of which you can find in our full interview.

While asking about the origins of Human Fall Flat, Tomas revealed that his initial vision for the game focused on making something which blended the ingenious puzzles of Portal, with the style of Limbo, but in a 3D environment. Thats not quite where the game ended up, but you can see how he eventually came up with the idea for Human Fall Flat from that original vision.

Related:Human: Fall Flat Passes 2 Million Sales In A Week Of Its Chinese Mobile Launch

In our interview, Tomas told us how the idea for Human Fall Flat started:

It happened over the course of development. I started prototyping physics-based controls, trying to have independent control of each arm. Initially, I was able to have really fine control on that: I was using sticks on the controller to move each arm independently and D-pads could work, but that would be really messy controls. So we had to rework this control scheme. Then when I got the character more or less right, I started building initial puzzles. The idea was to make something like Portal meets Limbo. So we have physics interaction, but the world is 3D.

Human Fall Flat is a fascinating physics-based puzzle platformer, and its easy to see how Tomas came to make the now incredibly successful game after vigorous playtesting from his son, and fans online. For more tidbits from the development of Human Fall Flat be sure to read our full interview, which covers how the game began, how it became what we all know, the effects of releasing on Xbox Game Pass, what the Human Fall Flat characters taste like, and much more.

Next:Minecraft Dungeons Hits 10 Million Player Milestone

Persona 5's Rebellion Against Injustice Is Exactly What I Need Right Now

TheGamer Guides Editor. Am I supposed to write this in the third-person? Do you know how awkward it is talking about yourself like you're someone else? No one would ever believe someone else has this many nice things to say about me.

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Human Fall Flat Was Originally Designed To Be Portal Meets Limbo - TheGamer

Somethings Fishy About This Steam Games Very Positive Reviews – Kotaku

Emoji Evolution is a simple-looking puzzle game in which you combine different elements to find a new one in order toand wow, this really escalatessolve the main dilemma of humanity. It seems like Steam users like it pretty well...or do they?

Take another look at that image of its Steam page, and youll notice that while recent reviews are mixed, the games developer has replicated the look of a game with very positive recent and overall reviews by changing its developer/publisher names to very positive. Due to Valves font and color choices, the effect is that it looks the same as a Steam pages review summary section. As Vice reporter (and Kotaku-ite from another lifetime) Patrick Klepek put it on Twitter: Well, this is one way to trick people into thinking your game has positive reviews on Steam!

Uh, Valve? Hey, Valve??? You might want to...not let developers do this.


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Somethings Fishy About This Steam Games Very Positive Reviews - Kotaku

Every App And VR Game Coming To Oculus App Lab For Quest – UploadVR

Last week Facebook launched Oculus App Lab, a non-store distribution method for developers to get their games into the hands of consumers without requiring sideloading. Weve spoken to several developers to learn about a bunch of Quest apps and games slated for release through App Lab.

First off, lets cover the games that are already out on App Lab. There are the 12 that it launched with and a couple of others that have launched since then.Heres the full current list, as far as we know:

Ancient Dungeon Beta(Free)by ErThuBaby Hands($20)by Chicken WaffleCrisis VRigade($6)by SumalabCrisis VRigade 2($20)by SumalabCyber Tennis ($15) by Technical ArtsDeisim($8)by Myron SoftwareDescent Alps Demo(Free)by SuturGym Class(Free)by IRL Studios IncMarineVerse Cup($20)by MarineVersePuzzling Places Beta(Free)byrealities.ioIncRhythm n Bullets ($10) by DB CreationsSpark AR Player(Free)by FacebookSmash Drums Demo(Free)by PotamWorksZoe(Free)by apelab

The rest of this list will be games that, as of the time of this writing, are not yet published onto App Lab for consumers to buy and/or download. These are all games and apps that weve been told about from developers directly that have either been submitted to approval or are in the process of preparing to be submitted.

Well try to keep this updated for a while until there is a better way of tracking this stuff! You can also check out SideQuest, which now has an App Lab filter in its browsing options. Its also totally fair to assume that, at some point or another, virtually any decent SideQuest app or game that is not on App Lab may eventually come to App Lab. It would be silly for a developer not to make that submission.

And finally, one caveat: there is of course still the chance that any of these apps are denied from App Lab. Curation requirements are much lower than on the official Store, so as long as games/apps hit performance targets it shouldnt be a big problem since unfinished content is one of the main focuses of the initiative. Id wager most, if not all, of these will reach App Lab.

Booper Get Home! is a 3rd person VR platformer based on the drawings of the developers kid (who is on the autism spectrum, limited-verbal) The game is about exploration, problem solving and helping people, and, of course; helping Booper Get Home.

The game features no health/ damage/ lives to worry about and the game will also focus on educational aspects, and what it is like what it is like being a young person navigating the big wide world.

Train to become the greatest Kung Fu Master the world has ever seen. You will begin as a tourist to Martial Arts, with no experience and slow reflexes. You will progressively move onto harder tiers of training, faster and more complex, until you no longer need to think but simply react.

In Crazy Kung Fu you will fight against a wooden training dummy, using your hands as well as your body to punch, block and dodge the various spinning arms. Throughout your journey you will learn how to be a master at all of these, building muscle memory at first, to then rely on instinct and quick thinking.

A virtual reality Disc Golf game, being developed for the Oculus Quest & Rift S. Play now with a full 18-hole course, 5 disc types to choose from, and the new Career Mode that tracks your stats across play sessions!

Dream Tango has come out of nowhere as a really impressive-sounding and ambitious VR game that aims to blend story-based narrative moments with surreal puzzles in an exciting action-adventure package. In it, you take on the role of Dream Agent Torii, who is tasked with restoring the Dream Jewel, which has been shattered and scattered across the Dream Realm.

Approximately 20% of the game is completed at this time, so it appears that theyll be aiming to publish a demo version on App Lab for Quest right now.

Sit back. Relax. Enjoy your favourite music surrounded by audio-reactive visual effects. You can play any audio track stored on your Quest with different effects. You can also access DLNA media servers on your network including Plex, Synology, QNAP, and many others.

Supports MP3, WAV, and more file formats. Theres also a laid-back mode so you can literally lie back and enjoy. Plus hand-tracking support with 90Hz for Quest 2!

Finger Gun is the first VR game in development that takes advantage of hand tracking to allow the player to play with their hands as if they were revolvers.

Finger Gun is a VR shooter in which the player takes the role of the town sheriff, whos task will be to clear the different levels by taking down the enemies. This sheriff is quite special, though: he can turn his hands into real working revolvers any time he feels threatened. This way, just as when we were kids, we will be able to shape a gun with nothing else than our hands, and what imagination did back then will now be taken care of by virtual reality and hand tracking.

Flowborne is a virtual reality experience that conveys a healthy breathing style in an intuitive and playful way. The game takes you on a meditative journey through a fascinating virtual world. Follow the traces of Yuna who once roamed the temples of the world to discover the secret of the breath.

Experience a memorable and deeply relaxing pilgrimage through soothing landscapes and unravel the secret of the breath. Allow yourself to let go and master the art of diaphragmatic breathing.

More info here.

Guardians is an innovative VR shooter that blends RTS and FPS genres in a Sci-Fi setting. The game has a single player campaign and multi player PVP and PVE modes. Both multiplayer modes are cross play between PC and Oculus Quest.

Help Club, a virtual reality mental health peer support app. This was in response to his request for apps that are being submitted to the App Lab program. We have been communicating with Oculus about our app for almost a year, and they recommended we launch via App Lab upon its release.

The goal of Help Club is to create a space for people to attend anonymous group peer support meetings, learn coping skills, and create a mental health support community thats available 24/7. Each person who joins the community is vetted to ensure it remains a safe space for all.

Relax while completing beautifully detailed spherical jigsaws on your Oculus Quest. The new way to experience a traditional puzzle.

Only possible in VR. Find yourself stood inside the jigsaw. Use your tracked controllers (or experimental hand-tracking) to precisely place your pieces as you build the spherical puzzle. Rotate the jigsaw and scene to see it from different angles or simply walk around the jigsaw. Traditional flat jigsaws are also included.

Everyone knows Tilt Brush, right? Its a VR app that lets you paints and draw, in 3D, in the air around you and create amazing things. Now, since Google has stopped work on it and shifted to make it open source, weve already got a Quest-native multiplayer version up and operational on SideQuest called MultiBrush. Naturally, theyre targeting an App Lab release next.

NP Skills Lab, from inciteVR ($TBD)Medical training app for Nurse Practitioner students

The Clinic Immersives NP Skills Labs Enterpriseallows nurse practitioner (NP) students to develop clinical lab skills using their own affordable Oculus Quest mobile VR with unlimited access, anywhere-anytime, using hand tracking inputs to practice in either guided or expert modes.

NP learners and faculty access the Clinic Immersives NP Skills Labs through a Cloud-based enterprise that provides application control, headset control, learner progress monitoring, and rich analytics reporting of learning outcomes that provides insight for every aspect of clinical skills labs, learner performance, and learner and class skills gaps.

Last year I started an education company (Prisms of Reality) to reimagine the secondary math learning experience (which as you know continues to disengage the vast majority of kids!).

My team and I built our first Algebra learning game for the Quest that helps students learn and apply exponential functions to understand and solve relevant problems related to the global Pandemic (funded by the National Science Foundation). We willbe submitting to QuestAppLab, and are launching on Steam / SideQuest at the end of this month.

If youre looking for one of the best FPS games in VR, then this is it. There are tons of maps and game modes and for a game that requires you to sideload it there are actually quite a lot of active players. Its similar to Contractors with a reasonably fast-paced format and has great weapon handling. Definitely recommend checking this out now if you can, or waiting for the App Lab version.

In Peco Peco the jigsaw puzzles feel physical: you manipulate the colorful pieces, you snap them, and as you snap them, the model comes to life with sounds and animations.

Thanks to VR, the models are much more impressive than your ordinary puzzles: giant cookies, dancing jelly fruits, entire miniature mythical battles, small magical worlds with floating boats and moving cloud.

Perpetuum Mobile is a ode to the games in vector graphics found in the arcade in the 70s , 80s and on some home consoles.

You are the pilot of the infinite flyer Perpetuum Mobile and the last chance for the human race. So fly thru the tunnels of doom that the evil empire has created and destroy the army of villains, while trying to survive the dangerous maze and landscape.

RealFit provides custom bodyweight training workouts with added games and stats to keep you motivated. Free your workout from the confines of your living room get moving in VR with RealFit.

Bodyweight training exercises and games to get you moving your whole body, no need for extra equipment or expensive gym memberships. Custom workout options, environments and stats tracking help keep you motivated.

Games inspiring this project areThief, Dark MessiahandBlade of Darkness. Physics and world interaction will be core of major game mechanics. Each level will be designed so that it can be passed in several ways, using stealth or raw force. We plan to include accurate damage model and adaptive AI (inspirationFEAR 1-2). Multiplayer and COOP support is also planned but final implementation will depend on community support and demand.

Level after level, your experience will increase as well as the number of your gourmet customers. They are in a hurry, so make it quick to satisfy them before they leave!

Hungry, they wont let you make a mistake, even though burger orders will become more and more complicated Be attentive and precise, to make the best possible profit!

Song Beater is a VR rhythm/fitness game on steroids available forQuestandQuest 2 (90 fps supported!). It includes six game modes, over 60 songs, and leaderboards.

Beat challenging songs with your bare fists in Fit Boxing mode, wield variety of weapons (blades, tonfas, phasers, staff, saw) in Free Style or dominate the playfield in Real 360 mode!

Go for a Space Walk and feel the vastness of space with your Oculus Quest. There are three scenes:

The Earth: Exit the space shuttle and chill out, orbiting over any part of The Earth to view the continents and oceans. Set the time-of-day to view sunrises and night lights. Complete challenges to recover satellites to the space shuttle.

Save The World! An asteroid is heading towards Earth. Navigate through the asteroids tunnels to plant explosives to destroy it in a race against time. 15 levels with 3 levels of difficulty.

The Space Station: Float around the outside of the Space Station and view the fully working Canadarm remote arm and visiting HTV supply vessels. Complete a puzzle fixing solar panels randomly different puzzle every time.

Learn how to solve a cube, practice your skills, and compete with others to become the fastest cuber! Featuring free play, competitive mode with leaderboards, automatic shuffling, and a guider to assist with learning.

Experience the thrill of the death-overs with this action-packed VR Cricket game developed from the ground up for Oculus Quest. While everyone is asked to stay inside homes & cricket grounds have gone cheerless & crowd-less, revive the vigor of cricket by not being a mere spectator but by actually being in the shoes of a batsman and chasing a mighty target in just a few overs.

With incredibly simplistic gameplay, The Final Overs doesnt require any professional hands to hurl the ball way into the crowd with a powerful swing of the bat. Even if youre new & know little to nothing about cricket, this game offers you the basic experience to effortlessly familiarize yourself with it and enjoy it without needing to learn about the sport.

For years the sharkpopulation has dwindled due to improper fishing practices and illegal trade. Now a gang ofshark-fin traders has attacked and captured thelasttwo remaining sharks on Earth, a mothershark, and her child. What lengths will you go to protect and rescue these majestic creatures?

TheLastSharkis a stealth action-adventure VR game where you must protect and rescue thelastliving sharks on Earth. Armed with nothing but your two bare hands, you infiltrate illegal fishing operations and retrieve information on where these sharks are held. Will you find them before its too late?

Fly, build, and protect the hive! Unstung is a challenging tower defense game with a unique, colorful art style and simple, intuitive 3D controls thats in development for Oculus Quest. You control Q, the Queen Bee as you collect pollen from fallen enemy bugs and build towers full of bee allies. Destroy armies of approaching bugs, protect your hive until the new queen is ready, and then go create a new hive.

Unstung will release in early 2021 with 12 levels. Each level will have a different layout, visual theme, and unique gameplay challenge. This early pre-release is a teaser, with only 4 levels.

Once you download ViFit, get ready for some fun, motivating and epic fitness sessions. You choose the session you want, its intensity and the music you want to play with.Change the environment at any time by pressing Y, and move from side to side reaching objects that seem impossible to reach.

Jabs, uppercuts, hooks, squats, sidesteps and many more movements that you will enjoy doing to complete your sessions in all 360 directions. You will have to put your full strength and precision into every movement you make to achieve your highest score and beat the community.

Simply put, this is a game about fighting in VR, we allow you the full liberty to apply your real-world fighting skills into our game and beat up your opponent virtually. This is aiming to become the Street Fighter/Mortal Kombat in VR.

Virtuoso is a new way to make music that is easy to get into and deep enough to wow a concert crowd. Gone are the days of clunky virtual pianos, these instruments were built for VR, and for creating without pausing the music.

Record using live looping, creating anything from satisfying ambient droning to hip hop or upbeat techno as you go. Connect to any music program using MIDI, or bring your headset anywhere and play with the built-in sounds. The skys the limit for what you can put into your music, but even as a beginner youll feel like a Virtuoso.

This is one of the few actual full-body workout apps available in VR. Youll have to hit hand cues to the beat of music just like all the others, but also youll be doing squats, running in place, and much more all with just your body and hands. No controllers required. We were big fans when we first tried it back in May of last year.

War Yards is a 1v1 multiplayer shooter that approaches bullet time combat in a whole new way. The game utilizes a unique set of mechanics that allow each player to control the speed of their opponents projectiles. Bullet time mode can be activated at any time, but while active it restricts the player to room-scale movement only and removes their ability to reload.

These mechanics create an unparalleled combat experience that seamlessly blends fast paced action with tense strategy. War Yards combines these innovative gameplay systems with incredibly detailed stylized maps to make for a truly unforgettable VR western adventure.

If youre a VR developer that has submitted something to Oculus App Lab on Quest or are planning to submit something soon, let us know down in the comments below or send us an email to

Games added since original publication: RealFit, Virtuoso, and War Yards

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Every App And VR Game Coming To Oculus App Lab For Quest - UploadVR

Tilting Point will invest up to $60 million in user acquisition for Loop Games Match 3D game – VentureBeat

Tilting Point will spend as much as $60 million on user acquisition for Match 3D, a promising puzzle game from Turkish developer Loop Games.

Tilting Point is a free-to-play game publisher and provider of user acquisition services. It works with smaller developers, taking their hit games and making them more successful by spending money on advertising for the games.

The deal comes just a month after Tilting Point said it would do a similar deal spending $10 million on user acquisition for South Korean developer Storytacos Dangerous Fellows, and that was also after Tilting Point said it would invest $40 million to fund user acquisition for South Korean game publisher JoyCity to market the mobile strategy game Gunship Battle: Total Warfare.

The Loop Games deal could turn into Tilting Points biggest yet, as the Tilting Point will fund as much as $60 million worth of user acquisition for Match 3D in 2021, and it will provide app store optimization (ASO) and potentially other future services. By doing these tasks for the developers, Tilting Point is offloading the all-important task of getting a game noticed and the developer can focus on improving the game. This is part of what Tilting Point considers to be progressive publishing, where it starts small and builds its relationships with developers over time, said Tilting Point president Samir Agili in an interview with GamesBeat.

Weve been always trying to pioneer a publishing model, Agili said. We are really looking at the ecosystem of the market and providing things that will have a significant impact. The concept of raising your game, which is our slogan, is at the heart of everything. Its not building a new game. Its taking something that exists and accelerating it.

In the case of Loop Games in particular, the developer still handles a lot of tasks like the actual execution of user acquisition, but Tilting Points potential to help even more is clear and its money certainly makes a difference.

He added, Our approach has always been that we believe in the concept that the developer and publisher only work very well together if they have a progressive approach to their partnership. Its this concept of dating before you get married. The concept is clear, and the developers learn if the publisher they are working with is truly making a difference.

Above: Match 3D tests your memory.

Image Credit: Tilting Point

Tilting Point started working with Loop Games in June. Prior to that, Match 3D had 500,000 daily active users (DAU). Since that time, it has grown more than five times to 2.6 million DAU. All told, Match 3D has been downloaded more than 40 million times.

Agili said that Loop Games is another example of the success of Turkish mobile game developers (Zynga has bought three Turkish mobile companies for billions of dollars).

Match 3D tests players memory as they match pairs of 3D objects mixed together. It was the No. 7 most-downloaded free iOS game in the U.S. in December, after being among the top 50 free downloads in the U.S. for the prior six months.

Match 3D began as a game prototyped in just two weeks from the Loop development team based in Ankara, Turkey. Loop Games, which aims to create games that offer players a way to relax, is led by founder and CEO Mert Gur, a developer with 20 mobile games under his belt in various genres.

Gurs achievements include having won Best Game of the Year for Kristal Piksel from TOGED (Game Development Association of Turkey), and being part of a two-person team chosen as part of Googles Indie Game Accelerator program.

Gur said in an email to GamesBeat that he liked working with Tilting Point because the company was able to scale its game within a year, without locking itself into an old-school publisher or giving up any equity. And by scaling up, Loop Games can be more competitive.

There is real competition in the mobile gaming market, Gur said. So if you have a strong game, you want to enter the market with a lot of money in user acquisition to compete with the clones or other competitors. More money in UA means more players. We are still to this day following a very aggressive UA strategy which lets us stay at the top and beat our competitors.

Above: Match 3D has 40 million downloads.

Image Credit: Tilting Point

The New York-based Tilting Point partners with games developers through its constantly renewed $132 million annual investment user acquisition fund. Agili said that the company has become an important part of the ecosystem as big acquisitions have led to consolidation in the mobile game business. As larger companies buy game studios, Tilting Point helps identify new leaders with its user-acquisition deals with small studios. In that way, Tilting Point is one of the new kingmakers of the game industry.

And it moved fast with Loop Games, Gur said. His company has a handful of people.

We started utilizing their [user acquisition] war chest within one to two weeks, Gur said. This helped us with the competition. We have a really great relationship with Tilting Point right now and we hope to work together with them on our next titles.

Tilting Points most successful games include Star Trek: Timelines, Warhammer: Chaos & Conquest, and SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off.

Were here to find the smallest company that can scale to the max and doing it without being acquired, Agili said. Theres definitely a path for acquisitions now. But in our initial positioning, we help indies scale and raise their game.

Agili said the system works for Tilting Point because it starts with companies that have already seen some success. Tilting Point doesnt have to invest money in a bunch of companies in order to find the one that has a hit game. It finds the ones with the hits, and makes them into bigger hits.

These companies are not in their first pitch going to see VCs, Agili said. Their companies have released a project by themselves and finding they need to accelerate now.

With some developers, Tilting Point will take the progressive relationship further. Sometimes the company will co-develop games with developers, and sometimes it will acquire a developer outright.

Our positioning is always that we will continue providing expertise and tools to the partner and potentially build a co-developer relationship with them. And potentially, if it makes sense for both of us, we will do acquisitions. In general, the equity piece happens further down the line in progressive publishing.

Above: Loop Games is one of Turkeys hot new game studios.

Image Credit: Tilting Point

As for the road ahead, there are both big opportunities and challenges coming.

Were in lockdown, and that has created a tremendous amount of engagement or attention in the games, Agili said.

At the same time, Apple is shaking up the industry with a shift that emphasizes user privacy over targeted advertising, which means game companies wont have access to as much user data from the Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA). That will make it tougher for some game companies to find users with targeted ads.

This is really going to affect the ecosystem again, and some games are going to be winners or losers, Agili said. We think we can really help a lot of developers out there that are going to be impacted negatively by this.

Agili thinks well see more intellectual property games and cross-platform games as a result of the IDFA changes, and other strategies will emerge in the coming months.

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Tilting Point will invest up to $60 million in user acquisition for Loop Games Match 3D game - VentureBeat

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