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Updated: the winners of the Pocket Gamer Mobile Games Awards 2022

Championing the mobile games industry at the prestigious MGA 2022

Updated: the winners of the Pocket Gamer Mobile Games Awards 2022

On April 5, the Mobile Games Awards 2022 returned to London's BAFTA for the exclusive ceremony, bringing the global games industry together in London evening of celebration to highlight and champion the very best business and individuals driving the $90 billion mobile games industry forward.

Over 100 industry luminaries voted on the 23 categories - with the exception of the Pocket Gamer People's Choice award, voted for by readers of PocketGamer.com, Rising Star, and Mobile Legend categories – and you can check all the finalists and winners right here.

This year, the number of categories was increased to 23, representing firms across the industry, from the games developers and publishers to the tools companies, service providers, and recruiters that collectively make mobile games the largest gaming sector that reaches out to the widest audience.

Who won?

Steel Media CEO Chris James opened the evening with a roundup of the hardship the mobile games industry has faced over the past two years, and a celebration of its achievements both in overcoming bespoke sector challenges and in providing support to global humanitarian issues including the Russian invasion of Ukraine, combatting climate change, and tackling inequality and raising new voices in the mobile games industry.

James stated: "Whilst everything Steel Media does is designed to champion and advance the incredible mobile games industry, the Mobile Games Awards is our most focused celebration of the very best companies, games, and individuals of the previous 12 months.

"Considering how huge the mobile gaming business has become (over half the global games revenues in 2021), that is an increasingly challenging task and even being nominated in these circumstances suggests you're doing something incredible. However, to be voted for by your peers as a winner in one of the 23 categories is naturally even more remarkable. A huge congratulations to all the winners (and indeed to all the nominees) and a heartfelt thanks ' please do keep doing what you're doing!"

A thanks to category sponsors AudioMob, Kwalee, Enthusiast Gaming, and Tilting Point, and you can find more information on MobileGameAwards.com. Click through to see all of the winners and finalists, and stay tuned as we update with their thoughts on the awards and the mobile games industry moving forward.

Click here to view the list »
  • Pocket Gamer People's Choice

    Pocket Gamer People's Choice logo

    WINNER: Cookie Run: Kingdom

    The Pocket Gamer's People's Choice award recognises the best game to be fully released within the previous year and is selected by the consumers.

    This year, PocketGamer.com readers selected Cookie Run: Kingdom from Devsisters as the People's Choice for 2022.

    Cookie Run: Kingdom is an action RPG and city building simulator and is the sixth game to be released in the Cookie Run series.

    The other finalists were:

    • Alien: Isolation
    • Battlecruisers
    • Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins
    • Fantasian
    • Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier
    • Garena Free Fire MAX
    • Huntdown
    • League of Legends: Wild Rift
    • MasterChef: Let’s Cook!
    • My Friend Pedro: Ripe for Revenge
    • Northgard
    • Pokémon Unite
    • Retro Goal
    • Runestrike
    • RuPaul’s Drag Race Superstar
    • Taiko no Tatsujin Pop Tap Beat
    • Tales of Luminaria
    • Tears of Themis
    • Tetris Beat
  • Best Advertising & UA Service

    Best Advertising & UA Service logo

    WINNER: Unity Ads

    The Best Advertising and UA Service award goes to the company that has made the most significant contribution to the growth of the mobile games industry in terms of user acquisition and monetisation through their ads.

    This year, Unity Ads picked up this award for its contribution to the wider mobile games ecosystem.

    One of Unity's many accomplishments throughout the past year include its partnership with Meta Audience Network to allow Unity creators to further optimise their revenue potential with the option of in-app bidding via Unity Mediation, thus allowing them to select the right option for them.

    The other finalists were:

    • AdInMo
    • Adverty
    • AppLovin
    • AudioMob
    • Fyber
    • HyprMX
    • ironSource
    • Meta Audience Network
    • Mintegral
    • Pangle
    • Zynga

  • Best Analytics/Data Tool

    Best Analytics/Data Tool logo

    WINNER: Sensor Tower

    Who doesn't love data? Our Best Analytics/Data Tool award goes to the company that has provided the greatest mobile games marketing performance tool of the year.

    Sensor Tower was the winner of this year's award for its cutting edge market analytics and data that allowed us to see the goings on in the mobile games market? PocketGamer.biz in particular relies on the accurary and depth that Sensor Tower provides to keep our readers up to date.

    For 2021, Sensor Tower indicated that the mobile games industry had generated almost $90 billion in consumer spending, making it one of the largest entertainment media markets worldwide.

    The other finalists were:

    • Adjust
    • AppsFlyer
    • DeltaDNA by Unity
    • Elixir by NumberEight
    • Game IQ by data.ai
    • GameAnalytics
    • GameRefinery by Vungle
    • SeeIt by Simpool
    • Tilting Point Analytics Platform

  • Best Developer

    Best Developer logo

    WINNER: Space Ape Games

    The Best Developer award, sponsored by AudioMob, is granted to the developer that made the biggest impact to the industry this past year.

    To qualify, companies must have a minimum of 11 employees and have either successfully released a game, or substantially grow an existing game in their portfolio.

    This year's Best Developer award went to Space Ape Games, the developer of Beatstar - Touch Your Music! and the upcoming Boom Beach: Frontlines, which recently soft launched in Canada.

    The other finalists were:

    • DevSisters
    • East Side Games
    • Gameloft Brisbane
    • Garena
    • miHoYo/HoYoverse
    • Niantic
    • Outplay Entertainment Ltd
    • Pearl Abyss
    • Rovio Entertainment
    • Snowprint Studios
    • Trailmix Limited
    • Tripledot Studios
    • ustwo games
  • Best GAAS Tools & Tech

    Best GAAS Tools & Tech logo

    WINNER: GameSparks / AWS GameTech

    The Best GAAS Tools & Tech award goes to the firm that provides exceptional live ops support to games that are currently on the market, such as making sure the game runs smoothly or helping the devs to implement new features.

    The winner of this award was GameSparks / AWS GameTech for the support that it provided to developers.

    Amazon acquired Game Sparks back in 2018 to support game developers with back-end operations.

    The other finalists were:

    • Azure PlayFab
    • ChilliConnect by Unity
    • Gridly
    • now.gg
    • OpenBack
    • Photon
    • Tenjin

  • Best Audio/Visual Accomplishment

    Best Audio/Visual Accomplishment logo

    WINNER: Genshin Impact

    As the mobile games industry evolves the games released on the platform are becoming more and more advanced. This award recognises the game that really pushed the boundaries of what a mobile game can be.

    This year's award for the Best Audio/Video Accomplishment went to Genshin Impact from HoYoVerse.

    With many calling it the first triple-A mobile title, Genshin Impact has made waves in the industry since its release in September 2020. Genshin Impact generated over $2 billion within its first year on mobile alone, making it one of the fastest-growing mobile games of all time.

    The other finalists were:

    • Beatstar – Touch Your Music
    • Blind Drive
    • Bloodshore
    • Hitman Sniper: The Shadows
    • Inked: A Tale of Love
    • LEGO Star Wars: Castaways
    • Revived Witch
    • The Oregon Trail
    • Unmaze

  • Best Game Engine

    Best Game Engine logo

    WINNER: Unity

    Game engines bridge the platform for creatives to bring their ideas to reality. The Best Game Engine award goes to the third-party company that provided mobile games developers with the best development opportunities within the last year.

    The voters selected Unity as the recipient of the Best Game Engine for its popularity and ease of use. In fact, the firm itself had reported that the number of hypercasual games created on the engine alone in 2021 increase by 137 per cent.

    The other finalists were:

    • Blackspace (Pearl Abyss)
    • Cocos Creator / Cocos2d-x
    • Godot
    • IdleKit (East Side Games)
    • Lua (Roblox)
    • Raylib
    • Unreal Engine

  • Best Storytelling

    Best Storytelling logo

    JOINT WINNERS: Alien: Isolation and The Oregon Trail

    The Best Storytelling award acknowledges the greatest narrative design in a mobile game within the last year.

    To qualify for this award games must have been fully released in 2021 or have had significant update to the story.

    This year we had two winners, Alien: Isolation and The Oregon Trail. Alien: Isolation was originally launched on consoles in 2014 but was brought to mobile devices in December 2021. The Oregon Trail is a modern take on a game of the same name orignally released in 1974 that launched on Apple Arcade last year.

    The other finalists were:

    • Argo’s Choice
    • Bloodshore
    • Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins
    • Five Dates
    • I Saw Black Clouds
    • Kathy Rain: Director’s Cut
    • Marvel Hero Tales
    • NUTS
    • Overboard!
    • Recontact:London Cyber Puzzle

  • Rising Star

    Rising Star logo

    RISING STAR: Karla Reyes

    The Rising Star award recognises any person who has shown considerable success and influence, despite being new to the mobile games industry.

    This year's award went to Karla Reyes, growth product manager at Niantic. Check out our talk with Reyes about how there is a "sense of duty to pay back and pay forward" to those already in the games industry.

    Steel Media CEO Chris James commented: 

    "Tonight’s rising star winner formally began their career in the industry just three years ago, leaving a career in fintech for a role at Square Enix.

    "Whilst there she worked with one of gaming’s biggest franchises, as product manager of Tomb Raider Reloaded, but also championed diversity in the industry through the foundation of the Square Enix RED (Racial & Ethnic Diversity) Employee Resource Group.

    "She also founded Code Coven, the first global games industry accelerator and learning community focused specifically on underrepresented talent and secured key partnerships with most of the world’s leading game companies (from Microsoft, Epic, and Unity to ustwo, Jagex, and the UN), raised over $1 million in funding for programs, as well as the GDC Relief Fund Accelerator, Diverse Game Developers Fund and Safe Spaces Game Jam and UN’s Green Game Jam."


  • Best Tools Provider

    Best Tools Provider logo

    WINNER: AWS GameTech

    The Best Tools Provider award goes to the company that provides the best third-party tools for developers to create mobile games.

    Picking up its second award of the ceremony, AWS GameTech was the winner this year.

    Amazon has continued to spread its wings in the games industry, including its activity in the mobile games scene. In November, Amazon partnered with partnered with AudioMob to provide in-game audio ads, boosting its offerings for developers.

    The other finalists were:

    • Anzu.io
    • Beacon by Rovio
    • Game UI Database
    • Geeklab
    • Ludo.ai
    • PlaytestCloud
    • RichCast
    • Simpool
    • Tournament SDK by Gimmebreak (with Exit Games)
    • Reality Gaming Group
    • wappier

  • Best Recruitment Agency

    Best Recruitment Agency logo

    WINNER: Amiqus

    The Best Recruitment Agency award goes to the firm that best supported the mobile games industry through finding the best talent for studios to develop news games.

    This year UK-based Amiqus was the winner of the award. Check out the firm's advice for getting an entry level position in the games industry.

    The other finalists were:

    • Aardvark Swift
    • Datascope
    • Expand
    • Games Factory Talents
    • Lovegrove Consulting
    • OPMjobs
    • Power Up Talent

  • Best Service Provider

    Best Service Provider logo

    WINNER: Xsolla

    The Best Service Provider award is for third-party companies that support mobile games studios to make the games they do.

    Third parties can provide support in many aspects of game development and can relieve some burden from studios with a heavy workload, such as art, audio, payments, trailers, UX, and more.

    This year's Best Service Provider award went to games payments and ecommerce provider Xsolla.

    One of its services launched last year, Xsolla Exit Strategies, allows developers financial and transaction advisors and helps guide them through the process of selling their IPs or studio.

    The other finalists were:

    • Agora
    • Amber Studio
    • Anzu.io
    • GameBake
    • Pollen VC
    • PTW
    • ZEBEDEE

  • Best Live Ops

    Best Live Ops logo

    WINNER: Subway Surfers

    Live ops are one of the things that keep the mobile games industry so alive, and without them, we wouldn't be where we are today.

    Our Best Live Ops award recognises the studio that made the most impactful updates and community management to sustain the lifetime of their games.

    This year's winner was Subway Surfers from Sybo Games. Subway Surfers is the most downloaded mobile game ever with over three billion downloads, and no doubt this is in part due to Sybo's constant stream of exemplary live ops that keeps the game alive.

    The other finalists were:

    • AFK Arena
    • Angry Birds Friends
    • Black Desert Mobile
    • Clash Royale
    • Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells
    • Magic: The Gathering Arena
    • MARVEL Contest of Champions
    • PUBG MOBILE
    • Star Trek: Fleet Command
    • State of Survival
    • Summoners War: Sky Arena
  • Best QA and Localisation Service Provider

    Best QA and Localisation Service Provider logo

    WINNER: TransPerfect

    The Best QA and Localisation Service Provider award is awarded to the company that has provided the greatest quality assurance and localisation support to mobile games developers.

    TransPerfect Gaming Solutions was the winner of the award this year for helping developers make sure their games launch with little to no issues, as well as making games available for other markets.

    The other finalists were:

    • Amber Studio
    • GameScribes
    • Keywords Studios
    • LocalizeDirect
    • MoGi Group
    • PTW
    • Quantic Lab
    • Testronic
    • Universally Speaking

  • Best Indie Developer

    Best Indie Developer logo

    WINNER: inkle

    We love indie developers here at Pocket Gamer (check out our Big Indie Pitch), and while we aim to celebrate all of them, this year one stood out from the crowd with a triumphant return to mobile.

    The Best Indie Developer award, sponsored by Kwalee, went to inkle studios, the developer of Overboard! We spoke with inkle last year about how Overboard! was created in just 100 days.

    The other finalists were:

    • Bontegames
    • Dumpling Design
    • GameTomo
    • Humita
    • Joon, Pol, Muutsch, Char & Torfi
    • Kuyi Mobile
    • Megapop Games
    • Perchang
    • Playbae
    • Rikzu Games
    • Silver Lining Studio
    • Trefle & Co Game

  • Best PR/Marketing Team

    Best PR/Marketing Team logo

    WINNER: Tilting Point

    Without marketing nobody would know about anything and our Best PR/Marketing Team award goes to the company that has created the strongest campaigns for mobile games.

    This year the winner was Tilting Point and you can see from our coverage here on PG.biz that Tilting Point's marketing team has has been extremely active this past year.

    The other finalists were:

    • Big Games Machine
    • Decibel-PR
    • Dimoso
    • Raptor PR
    • Scopely
    • Square Enix Montreal (Hitman Sniper: The Shadows)
    • Swipe Right PR
    • ustwo games
    • Wizards of the Coast

  • Best Influencer Marketing Agency

    Best Influencer Marketing Agency logo

    WINNER: Matchmade

    Connecting mobile games to their target audience can be well done by advertising them through the influencers that they relate to and follow online.

    Our Best Influencer Marketing Agency award goes to the firm that had a successful track record of connecting brands to their target audience. This award was sponsored by Enthusiast Gaming.

    This year the award went to Matchmade who launched their self-service Express Campaigns tool in November last year to make creator marketing more accessible.

    The other finalists were:

    • AFK Creators
    • GameInfluencer
    • Kairos
    • Knowscope
    • Nativex
    • Opera Event
    • WeQ

  • Best Challenger App Store

    Best Challenger App Store logo

    WINNER: Samsung Galaxy Store

    In a market dominated by the App Store and Google Play, our Best Challenger App Store recongises the third-party app store that has grown the most in the last year.

    The winner this year is the Samsung Galaxy Store. With new EU regulations incoming as a result of the Digital Markets Act Apple may be forced to allow sideloading on iOS devices, so we may see the Samsung Galaxy Store continue to grow in 2022 and beyond.

    The other finalists were:

    • Amazon Appstore
    • Aptoide
    • Geeklab
    • Huawei AppGallery
    • Mobango
    • Opera Mobile Store
    • TapTap

  • Investor of the Year

    Investor of the Year logo

    WINNER: Play Ventures

    2021 was a wild year for games industry investments, with an estimated $15.5 billion in mobile games deals made last year.

    Our Investor of the Year award goes to either an investment or investor that played a vital role in the success of a company.

    Play Ventures was the winner of this year's award for its continued investment into the mobile games industry. Such investments in 2021 included Kek Entertainment, Original Games, Odeeo, among others.

    The other finalists were:

    • 1Up Ventures
    • Agnitio Capital
    • Bill Shihara
    • Bitkraft
    • Hiro Capital
    • LVP
    • Makers Fund
    • MY.GAMES Venture Capital
    • Wales Interactive

  • Best Publisher

    Best Publisher logo

    WINNER: Kwalee

    Publishers can provide developers with publishing support, co-development, investment, UA, marketing, and more.

    Our Best Publisher award goes to the games publisher that best supported another developer to release their game on mobile within the last year.

    This year's award went to UK-based hypercasual publisher Kwalee. Kwalee's published games include Draw It, Shootout 3D, Jetpack Jump, Looper, and more.

    The other finalists were:

    • Annapurna Interactive
    • Gameloft
    • HandyGames
    • Jam City
    • Miniclip
    • MyGamez
    • NetEase
    • Netmarble
    • Tamatem Games
    • Tencent
    • Tilting Point
    • Voodoo
    • Zynga

  • Best Innovation

    Best Innovation logo

    JOINT WINNERS: GamesForest.Club and Playing for the Planet's Green Game Jam

    Our Best Innovation award goes to the developer or tech firm that has pushed the boundaries on mobile devices through new technology.

    This year, we had two winners: GamesForest.Club and Playing for the Planet’s Green Game Jam.

    GamesForest.Club is a non-profit initiative that supports the games and other creative industries to actively invest in carbon absorption via planting and protecting forests.

    Playing for the Planet's Green Game Jam seeks to highlight the critical role of forests and oceans to fight against climate change, with the aim for studios to innovate this in their games with existing player bases. Studios are continuing to join and support the Playing for the Planet alliance, including TiMi Studios, Pixel Federation, and most recently Gameloft.

    The other finalists were:

    • askblu.ai SaaS Platform
    • Creative Mobile Games Machine Learning
    • Digital Asset Trading Platform by Reality Gaming Group
    • LEGO Advanced Procedural Pipeline by Gameloft Montreal
    • MobileVoice by Tapjoy
    • Mochi by Loveshark
    • Online WorkSpace (OWS) by tiplay
    • SimIt by Simpool
    • Upland
    • WAM.app

  • Game of the Year

    Game of the Year logo

    WINNER: Beatstar - Touch Your Music from Space Ape Games

    The Pocket Gamer Mobile Game Awards Game of the Year award recognises the crème de la crème mobile gaming experience released in the last year. This award was sponsored by Tilting Point.

    The award is given based on the creativity, innovation, art and audio, play mechanics, audience engagement, and critical and commercial success of a mobile game released in the past year.

    The winner of the coveted Game of the Year award this year was Beatstar - Touch Your Music from Space Ape Games, which also won the Best Developer award.

    The other finalists were:

    • Another Eden
    • Cookie Run Kingdom
    • FarmVille 3
    • Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier
    • Garena Free Fire MAX
    • Hitman Sniper: The Shadows
    • Hundred Days – Winemaking Simulator
    • Indies’ Lies
    • Love & Pies – Merge
    • Magic: The Gathering Arena
    • Moncage
    • Old Friends Dog Game
    • One Hand Clapping
    • Overboard!
    • PUBG: New State
    • Stranger Things: Puzzle Tales
    • The Oregon Trail
    • The Witcher: Monster Slayer
    • Townscaper

  • Mobile Legend

    Mobile Legend logo

    MOBILE LEGEND: Daniel Gray

    The Mobile Legend award recognises lifetime achievement in the mobile games industry and is awarded to any person in the world that has achieved great success in their career and has championed and pioneered the mobile games industry.

    The Mobile Legend award this year went to Daniel Gray, chief creative officer of ustwo games, for his contribution to the mobile games industry.

    Steel Media CEO Chris James commented: 

    "This year’s legend started their games career like many gaming pioneers in the world of QA and testing at legendary studios Lionhead and Kuju.

    "He later returned to Lionhead as a producer, where he was involved in franchises such as Fable, before moving to another historic studio in the form of Hello Games. Later to be notorious for No Man’s Sky, but at that time he working on the excellent Joe Danger series.

    "After three years working on that title, he joined the studio for which he is most renowned and began working for the enigmatic Mills (someone who probably deserves his own award for the creation of successailure games such as Whale Trail and MouthOff) at ustwo. Gray served as executive producer on what was to become one of mobile gaming’s most famous, best-loved and award-winningest titles, Monument Valley. And it has won a lot of awards…"

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