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Hot Five: Layoffs stack up, strategic investments are abound, and Nintendo finds cause for mobile celebration

Our quick-fix start-the-week roundup of the hottest stories on PocketGamer.biz
Hot Five: Layoffs stack up, strategic investments are abound, and Nintendo finds cause for mobile celebration

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) Helsinki studio Order of Meta raises $3.3 million

Helsinki-based Order of Meta has raised $3.3 million in a seed funding round to finish developing and ultimately launch its debut mobile cross-platform game Cargo Hunters. The round was led by GEM Capital with further participation from Korea Investment Partners, Play Ventures and The Games Fund.

Cargo Hunters is being described as a "PvPvE extraction shooter" and is expected to release this year, three years on from its creator’s founding by veterans of Wargaming and Panzerdogs.

2) 8SEC secures €1.5 Million investment from Kwalee

Kwalee has invested €1.5 million into French mobile games studio 8SEC, enabling the latter to leverage Kwalee’s expertise across game design, user acquisition and more. The move will see Kwalee’s CFO Matthew Farrow and VP of mobile publishing John Wright join 8SEC’s board.

8SEC has already reached more than 50 million downloads across its games catalogue comprising over 90 mobile games, Trivia.io, Hero Squad and Idle Army among them.

3) 7 years of Fire Emblem Heroes: Evolving beyond an SRPG into Nintendo’s only billion-dollar mobile game

Nintendo and Intelligent Systems’ Fire Emblem Heroes is currently celebrating seven years of operation, taking a cross-promotional spin to the latest anniversary with the addition of a new character type in Emblem Heroes. Starting with Emblem Marth, these characters come from Nintendo Switch title Fire Emblem Engage and offer an extra promotional opportunity for the game within the series’ most successful entry.

After all, Heroes has generated over $1 billion in its lifetime and far exceeded the revenues of the series’ highest-performing console title Three Houses, especially impressive considering the latter’s status as the industry’s best-selling SRPG.

4) 2024's games industry lay-offs: The stories so far - all in one place

2024 is already proving to be another challenging year for many game developers and publishers, with an unsettling amount of layoffs having taken place already.

Among the companies to have cut jobs this year are Thunderful Group, Devsisters, Playtika, Netspeak and Riot Games. And among the biggest in scale of layoffs are Google and Unity, with a combined total between the two verging on 3,000 already.

5) Sony Innovation Fund backs Carry1st with strategic investment

Sony Group Corporation’s venture capital arm Innovation Fund has made a strategic investment into Carry1st in support of developing entertainment businesses in Africa, with the games industry currently comprising more than 200 million players.

"We are excited to welcome Carry1st as our first investment in Africa. We believe there is tremendous untapped potential for the gaming market in Africa, which we hope to experience and contribute to through our investment in Carry1st," said Sony Ventures Corporation managing director EMEA Antonio Avitabile.