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Hot Five: Azur Games and Metacore acquisitions, hybridcasual hype, and Niantic’s new star

Our quick-fix roundup of the hottest stories on PocketGamer.biz
Hot Five: Azur Games and Metacore acquisitions, hybridcasual hype, and Niantic’s new star

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) Azur Games to acquire portfolio of US hypercasual game publisher Tastypill

Mobile publisher Azur Games is set to acquire Tastypill’s gaming portfolio in a major deal that will see intellectual property rights and assets transfer to the acquirer. Nobtaly, Tastypill will remain its own studio as the deal is only of its mobile catalogue, not the developer itself.

Among said catalogue are games like Cart Crash, Claw Builder and Crash Tower.

"From day one, we’ve been very selective about who we partner with. These titles are important to us, so we wanted to find the right home for them. Transitioning them over to a seasoned publisher like Azur Games felt like the right move," said Tastypill co-founder Philip Kung.

2) Metacore to acquire Merge Mansion and Clash of Clans animators studio Piñata

Animation studio Piñata marks Metacore’s first company acquisition with plans to bolster the latter’s creative abilities for in-house marketing. The two have in fact worked together before, with Piñata having created animations towards marketing campaigns for Metacore’s Merge Mansion.

Through the deal, Metacore will take ownership of 100% of Piñata shares. It is the latest sign of rapid growth for the company, following Merge Mansion reaching 50 million installs and Metacore opening its first overseas branch.

3) A casual revolution: Why even console devs want in on hybridcasual

In the early days of mobile gaming, touchscreens were a buzz, app stores represented new, exciting opportunities, and the casual genre took centre stage. Times change, and genres do too.

After the rise of hypercasual, suddenly every mobile developer was all-in on making their own hyper success, but this burst of popularity petered faster than its predecessor. Now, the hot new thing is hybridcasual, an evolution of simplistic gameplay that adds a layer of progression.

Be it NCSoft or Lillith Games or even Ubisoft, more and more companies are getting into the hybridcasual game, and that number is only going up.

4) GIMZ CEO Nikita Guk talks Unity Runtime Fee aftermath and 1000 signature-strong collective letter success

Unity’s Runtime Fee sparked near-instant backlash when it was announced, with proposed changes marking a major shift for developers who would have to pay ongoing fees beyond a certain download threshold.

We spoke with Nikita Guk, the CEO of GIMZ and Hoopsly, who has been involved in the movement that gathered 1000 protesting signatures.

5) Monster Hunter Now wins big with 10 million downloads in 35 days

The new mobile entry in the Monster Hunter franchise has been a roaring success so far, representing a major moment for Capcom and Niantic. In fact, Monster Hunter Now looks set to become a mobile behemoth in its own right, with the 10 million download milestone reached in just over one month.

The game has already become Niantic’s second biggest and is boosting Capcom’s share price, with its first seasonal event coming soon to keep hunters engaged and recruit even more.