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Hot Five: Unity’s new CEO, Applovin rumours, and the biggest deal in games industry history is complete

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Hot Five: Unity’s new CEO, Applovin rumours, and the biggest deal in games industry history is complete
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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) AppLovin may make a second attempt at buying Unity, rumours suggest

The games industry was dominated by news of the controversial Unity Runtime Fee in September, leading to a 40% drop in shares and the inevitable rumbling of rumours.

To many, now looks like the perfect opportunity for AppLovin to sweep back in with a new effort to purchase Unity. As the rumour goes, AppLovin's CEO Adam Foroughi could even take over Unity now that Riccitiello’s out. After all, Jim Whitehurst has been announced as interim CEO, not the permanent new spearhead…

2) Everything you need to know about Unity’s new CEO Jim Whitehurst

Speaking of Whitehurst, who is he, exactly? After nine years, Unity CEO John Riccitiello is out, retiring from the company just one month shy of a remarkable 10 years on the board. And stepping into this new interim role as Unity’s CEO is Whitehurst, with wide-ranging accomplishments already including CEO positions at Delta Air Lines and one of the most successful open source businesses in history, Red Hat.

His appointment without a gaming background speaks volumes to Unity’s vision - underscoring the company’s ambitions to not only be a game software development platform, but a platform that deals in digital visions for any manner of industries from automotive to the movie business.

3) It's official. Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard is now complete

After countless hurdles, legal objections, deal tweaks and more, Microsoft have now completed their deal to acquire Activision Blizzard with Microsoft's Xbox comms stating that "Activision Blizzard King" joins Xbox.

In the newly released trailer celebrating the merger Xbox is promising "Old friends, new adventures, for all of us. It's a good day to play."

4) Chess is playing the long game: The rise of the auto chess genre

It's undeniable that chess has a strong legacy behind it - dating back to the 6th Century and crossing through cultures and time to stay with us today.

Auto chess was first popularised in 2019 and in the years since, chess-style games have only become more prevalent on mobile, be they the classic experience or automated hybrids. Chess was in fact February 2023’s most popular free iOS game, taking the crown in 28 countries.

5) Snowprint Studios' Alexander Ekvall talks iconic IP and acquisition. "It’s challenging out there and making a great game isn’t always enough."

Since being founded in 2015, Snowprint Studios has successfully built itself on turn-based tactics games. The studio's most recent release, Warhammer 40,000: Tacticus, won our Pocket Gamer Award for mobile game of the year in 2022 and has proved a hit with the Warhammer community.

it seems that this success hasn’t gone unnoticed, as Modern Times Group recently acquired a majority stake in Snowprint, We spoke with Snowprint’s CEO Alexander Ekvall about the studio’s journey so far.