Hot Five: Earth Day, birthdays, game closures, layoffs and more. Here's what's hot right now…

Our quick-fix roundup of the hottest stories on PocketGamer.biz

Hot Five: Earth Day, birthdays, game closures, layoffs and more. Here's what's hot right now…

Start your week right with our quick take on the stories that are impacting the mobile industry right now.

To help get you primed and ready for another week in mobile gaming, we’ve curated the biggest stories you need to know from the last seven days.

1. Monopoly GO! celebrates its first birthday and shares its behind-the-scenes story

Incredibly Monopoly GO! is one year old already and to celebrate its birthday the team at Scopely put together a video in which the team explained how they, and the game came together.

“We’re beaming with pride about everything our fantastic team has accomplished from a seven-year journey to becoming a number one mobile game and beloved experience with MILLIONS of people playing EVERY DAY!,” the Scopely team write. “To commemorate the passion and creativity our Scopeleans have poured into this game, we’re looking back on the adventure.”

2. Rovio cancels Moomin: Puzzle & Design mobile game after two years in soft launch

After more than two years in softlaunch, Rovio's Moomin: Puzzle & Design is no more.  

The title, which featured blast and renovate mechanics, was first released on January 24th, 2022, and was most recently available in the United States, Japan, Poland and Finland. Development of the title ended on April 11th, 2024. All in-app purchases have been turned off and servers will shut down as of July 8th.

Rovio said players who had made a purchase within the last 30 days prior to disabling monetisation will have a “limited-time offer” to transfer purchases to Angry Birds Dream Blast. “We have a very high standard for games that we launch globally and despite great efforts from the team, Moomin Puzzle & Design did not reach those,” a Rovio spokesperson told PocketGamer.biz.

3. Kwalee layoffs impact up to 10% of workforce, report claims

The exact number of layoffs at Kwalee remains unofficially confirmed but it would appear that the move took the company by surprise as they've only recently been hiring, with 20 new staff members joining the Kwalee team and more job adverts having been posted within 24 hours of the rumoured layoffs taking place - from a senior finance executive/chartered accountant role to an API and component testing engineer.

Both of these job adverts are now "no longer accepting applications". 

4. Merge Mansion takes on environmental issues in time for Earth Day

Metacore’s Merge Mansion is currently hosting a new event, Recycle Runaway running across Earth Day (today, April 22nd) until April 28th. The game's maker's Metacore are also taking part in the annual Green Game Jam, adding environmentally focused features into games in order to increase player's awareness of environmental issues.

The Recyle Runway event in game allows players to collect used clothes as part of a new spring cleaning project and then upcycle these items into sellable and desirable fashion. The event will take place on a second board and includes new recycled item chains to highlight how small solutions can make a broader impact. 

5. Delta game emulator hits No. 1 on the App Store download charts in 35 countries

Apple have lowered the drawbridge to their kingdom in Europe, allowing App Stores and retro game emulators on board iOS for the first time. And - unsurprisingly - the first big hit arising from this new found freedom is of course a retro game emulator - Delta - which does a neat line in offering clones of Nintendo games (if you know where to acquire them for side-loading).

Delta (the successor to GBA4iOS) was quick to launch on April 17th as the first high profile emulator, supporting game systems such as Game Boy Advance, Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64 and the Nintendo DS.

The app includes console controller support, save and load states for any game, cheat codes and multiplayer support for the NES, SNES and N64.


Editor - PocketGamer.biz

Daniel Griffiths is a veteran journalist who has worked on some of the biggest entertainment media brands in the world. He's interviewed countless big names, and covered countless new releases in the fields of videogames, music, movies, tech, gadgets, home improvement, self build, interiors and garden design. Yup, he said garden design… He’s the ex-Editor of PSM2, PSM3, GamesMaster and Future Music, ex-Deputy Editor of The Official PlayStation Magazine and ex-Group Editor-in-Chief of Electronic Musician, Guitarist, Guitar World, Rhythm, Computer Music and more. He hates talking about himself.