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Week in Views - The return of M&A, killing your darlings and Monopoly WHOA!

The team pick their highlights from the headlines this week and deliver the stories behind the stories
Week in Views - The return of M&A, killing your darlings and Monopoly WHOA!
  • "It’s all very well earning it but unless you plough it into something else and realise it’s real potential elsewhere you're basically robbing yourself."

The games industry moves quickly and while stories may come and go there are some that we just can't let go of…

So, to give those particularly thorny topics a further going over we've created a weekly digest where the members of the team share their thoughts and go that little bit deeper on some of the more interesting things that have happened in mobile gaming in the past week.

Daniel Griffiths

Daniel Griffiths

Editor -

Monopoly GO! makes $2 billion in 10 months with "less than a quarter" of that spent on UA

A wise person once said that you’ve got to speculate to accumulate and that money in the bank is ‘dead money’. It’s all very well earning it but unless you plough it into something else and realise its real potential elsewhere you're basically robbing yourself.

While a tricky concept for earth-bound, cash-strapped, cost-of-living-crisis denizens to grasp - borrowing and spending money is good even if you haven’t got it - big business learnt the lesson decades ago and have been flexing financial muscles that they don’t have ever since.

Thus it’s always hugely entertaining for mere mortals to peek through the curtain and see what happens when such blithe black-and-white economics are applied to the nebulous worlds of fun and fashion. Y’see, movies and music can never really spend their way to success. There comes a moment where fans simply ‘go off’ yesterday's flavour of the month - especially when they have to traverse today’s bomb-strewn celebrity tightrope. And - despite all the Emperor’s New Clothes you throw at them - when you strip away the Gucci ear blinkers, this is easily the worst record they’ve ever made…

And in games?

There, staring at us from between the lines of Scopely’s $2 billion success with Monopoly GO! is the fact that they spent a quarter of that amount to get there. It sounds like a fair deal until you quickly realise that that’s half a billion dollars… Half a billion spent promoting a mobile phone game… Based on Monopoly… No, Mum. I’m not making this up.

And it’s a fact that’s only made more remarkable by the fact that it's paid off. When half a billion on mobile phone advertising for a single game is a straight-faced smart investment, you know that this game has changed forever.

Everyone else. You need to keep up.

Craig Chapple

Craig Chapple

Head of Content

Nazara Technologies commits $100 million to expand globally through M&A deals

Indian games publisher Nazara Technologies has pledged $100 million for M&A activity over the next two years as the company looks to scale its operations globally.

There’s an element of buzzword bingo to this - investments could range across games, Web3, VR and AI, or any manner of combinations of these. But it’s fascinating to see companies in emerging markets like India expand their ambitions and take to the world stage.

India’s games market still hasn’t fulfilled its great potential, but over the years titles like PUBG Mobile and Garena Free Fire have proven that there are players willing to spend in-game. But India has grown substantially as a development hub over the years, developing own-successful IP and collaborating with international partners.

A growing Nazara, if successful, is a sign of how far India’s games industry has come. And with so much market potential - and increasingly more talent - we could start seeing yet more publishers in the country make it big on the world stage.

Paige Cook

Paige Cook

Deputy Editor

Supercell axes Clash Mini as "bold changes" get underway, but there’s still hope…

Clash Mini is no more… Well, sort of. The game won’t be completely lost since there are plans to integrate the Clash Mini experience into Clash Royale. So game fans can download that instead if they haven't already, which is a smart move.

Supercell is no stranger to giving a game the axe, and within the mobile market, I think, in many ways, it’s a strength to know when enough is enough. This part of the gaming industry moves particularly fast, so if something isn’t hitting the mark, it’s good to ask if the resources going into it would be better served elsewhere. Of course, it’s always a shame to see fans lose a game they enjoy or a team taken away from a project they have worked hard on, but with the integration to Clash Royale, it seems, in this case, there’s at least a silver lining.

We spoke with Supercell’s Head of Live Games, Sara Bach, and she made it very clear that Supercell already is and intends to continue to commit to the changes mentioned earlier in the year by CEO Ilkka Paananen. Changes that acknowledged that Supercell’s year-on-year revenue had been in decline, but there was a plan in motion to get back into the top spot. It might seem like an odd way to show it, but I think that the decision to end the development of Clash Mini is in keeping with those changes.

Doing good business isn’t just about making new things; sometimes, it’s about knowing when to count your losses and move on.

Aaron Astle

Aaron Astle

News Editor

Six months of Monster Hunter Now: A well-earned celebration as Niantic catches lightning twice

Capcom once again takes the spotlight for me this week, with Monster Hunter Now having celebrated its six-month anniversary yesterday after what only feels like a few months at most. Certainly no more than five and a half…

In these past six months, Monster Hunter Now has established itself as one of the big players in the geolocation genre with $150 million under its belt (or talon?) so far, predominantly from Japanese players.

Being from a famous franchise can certainly help in this genre (just look at Pokémon Go) but it doesn’t mean automatic success (maybe don’t look at Harry Potter: Wizards Unite) - a mobile game has to have its own merit. And Monster Hunter Now has it in spades, successfully adapting the main series formula of hunting, crafting new gear from the rewards, and hunting something stronger to craft new gear from.

Not only that, but it has succeeded in leveraging mobile hardware and developer Niantic’s specialties, AR and location-based gameplay, to give Now its own special something that makes main series fans want to play too - to get off their consoles and computers and look at their screens outside for a change.

It’s a game I’ve thoroughly enjoyed so far, and as a bow user I’m pleased to report I finally got my Azure Rath Soul Helm to Grade 6 thanks to the celebratory monster spawns. If you know you know…