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Hot Five: Microsoft goes multiplat, Fortnite to return to iOS, but global games industry layoffs continue

Our quick-fix roundup of the hottest stories on
Hot Five: Microsoft goes multiplat, Fortnite to return to iOS, but global games industry layoffs continue

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) Global layoffs at Gameloft as staff in Ukraine and Canada confirm redundancies

Publisher and developer Gameloft is laying off staff in Canada and Ukraine with at least 38 employees due to leave from various departments. The offices affected are in Toronto and Lviv respectively, meaning two of Gameloft’s total 18 studios are being impacted so far.

Equally, next month former employees will be returning to the Lviv studio following demobilisation, despite the ongoing years-long military conflict in Ukraine.

2) What does Microsoft's "more games to more people on more devices" mean for mobile?

Days after Microsoft confirmed cross-platform rumours with four undisclosed games branching beyond Xbox, the names of these titles have been revealed: Hi-Fi Rush, Pertiment, Sea of Thieves, and Grounded.

All four titles will be expanding onto PlayStation hardware, while Pertiment and Grounded will extend to Nintendo Switch too. This loosening grip on exclusives is an important sign of change for the Xbox maker following its acquisition of Activision Blizzard last October, in what appears to be an attempt to dismiss concerns of a monopoly - which came up often during the deal’s approval process.

3) Monumental acquires Coin Dozer publisher Game Circus

One week after acquiring MTG’s Kongregate, Monumental has now acquired Game Circus too, a US-based game developer and publisher known for the social casino arcade game Coin Dozer. Monumental’s mobile portfolio is already over 40 games strong and will continue to expand through the latest acquisition, adding a number of free-to-play casino games to the roster.

Across Game Circus’ titles, including Coin Dozer, Taps to Riches, Merge Zoo, and Prize Claw, the company has generated more than 400 million downloads so far.

4) Fortnite and Epic Games are coming back to iOS in Europe

By the power of the European Digital Markets Act, Epic Games is finally able to return to iOS after the Fortnite maker fell out with Apple some years back; after confirming the company’s return to Apple Developer status with the return of its account, CEO Time Sweeney took to Twitter to share:

"I'll be the first to acknowledge a good faith move by Apple amidst our cataclysmic antitrust battle, in granting Epic Games Sweden AB a developer account for operating Epic Games Store and Fortnite in Europe under the Digital Markets Act."

5) GameCentric secures $1.5 million angel investment to fuel growth in MENA

Two months on from launch, Indian gaming platform GameCentric has raised $1.5 million from Dubai-based angel investor Bilal Merchant with plans to use the funding to triple its MENA userbase. And seeking to "transform the industry", GameCentric is also looking at the utility of new technologies to stay competitive, cryptocurrencies included.

GameCentric has also teamed up with the KSA's POWReSports to bolster its acquisition strategy in the games sector.