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Gaming

John Wright Joins Kwalee As VP of Mobile Publishing: Trades Unity For The Billion Download Studio

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Wright’s leadership will reinforce Kwalee as the publisher of choice for top mobile game developers, drawing from his legacy at Luna Labs and ironSource.

Kwalee, a UK and global mobile, PC and console games developer and publisher, is thrilled to announce the appointment of John Wright as the new VP of Mobile Publishing. John joins the Kwalee team on the 2nd of October and will revamp the studio’s strategy to sign, launch and scale the games of external studios.

A passionate gamer and 15 year mobile industry veteran, Wright’s mobile journey saw him swiftly climb the ranks at app monetisation and distribution platform ironSource, relocating from London to the HQ in Israel during a pivotal phase in his professional growth. After returning to the UK, Wright re-entered the startup ecosystem by joining mobile app marketing outfit Luna Labs as their VP of Operations. With his leadership, Luna Labs witnessed significant and rapid growth. When ironSource acquired Luna Labs, Wright came full circle back to his former company, this time as the Head of Operations for Luna. Following ironSource’s merger with Unity, Wright transitioned to become the Head of Client Success for the Luna division within the wider Unity organisation.

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Kwalee’s mobile publishing team is a proven hitmaker, backed up by a large in-house studio, helping developers scale games successfully with marketing, monetisation and game design expertise. John Wright joins after Kwalee achieved the milestone of 1 billion downloads in 2023 and has won Best Publisher (TIGA and Mobile Game Awards, 2022).

His strategic priorities as he starts the new role are to deepen the support offered by the publisher to developers, improve its efficiency to best serve the global community of mobile gamemakers, as well as emphasise Kwalee as the number one choice for developers close to home in the UK.

During his tenure at ironSource, John was a director in the newly formed and industry renowned “unified team” during the advent of the Hyper Casual boom, collaborating with industry players such as Ketchapp, Rollic and Homa. He helped them achieve exponential growth as an early innovator, seeing the value in combining the strategies of monetisation, mediation and user acquisition activities. John Wright has an enviable record of launching over 100 mobile games globally and managing over $1 billion in client spend.

His vast experience includes joining early-stage startups in pivotal business roles, growing them quickly, and leading large, multi-disciplinary and remote teams. Known for his ability to inject vitality into businesses, John will use his partner-side expertise to drive growth at Kwalee as he moves developer-side.

David Darling, founder and CEO of Kwalee, remarked, “John and I have a strong relationship already, working closely together, having first met a decade ago when we launched TENS!. Seeing his trajectory and achievements since, especially with Luna Labs and ironSource, it’s clear why he’s the best fit for us. We’re eager to tap into his vast experience, enhancing our developer relationships and publishing capabilities.”

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John Wright shared his enthusiasm about the new role, stating, “Having worked with Kwalee as a partner and admired their innovation over the years, I’m thrilled to move across the table. We know it’s a challenging landscape post-IDFA, so small to medium-sized studios need a heavyweight publishing ally to help them achieve the highest level of multi-million dollar success. At Kwalee, I will champion developers. Our relationship will be symbiotic, understanding their needs as partners and clients.”

Embracing the rich British mobile developer community while setting sights on global expansion, John is poised to steer Kwalee’s Mobile Publishing into its most profitable and successful era yet.

Gaming

FANDOM EXPLORES THE GROWING IMPORTANCE OF GAMING & SELF-EXPRESSION IN 2024 INSIDE GAMING REPORT

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Study Provides New Insights Into How Brands Can Authentically Engage With Gamers to Help Them Express Their Best Selves Off-Screen.

KEY FINDINGS

Gaming has exploded over the past decade, becoming one of the most dynamic and expansive industries across the globe. Fandom, the world’s largest fan platform, dives into the heart of the gaming community to uncover the evolving motivations behind why people game in its 4th annual Inside Gaming report. The 2024 Inside Gaming report – a proprietary study coupled with Fandom’s first-party data from its 350 million monthly unique visitors, 45 million pages of content and 250k fan-powered wikis – captures a notable shift: gaming is increasingly seen as a means for personal expression, exploring one’s identity and providing empowerment and confidence in one’s real life.

Dominant Gaming Motivations

  • While stress relief remains the top reason people turn to games, a striking 46% of gamers list creation, imagination, and self-expression as their main motivations for gaming, up 10% from last year.

Influence on Gaming Habits

  • People who are gaming for self-expression, creation & imagination are 30% more likely to increase their gaming time, feeling more drawn to the gaming world than ever before.

Games Driving Self-Expression

  • 60% of gamers claim that self-expression through gameplay is more important to them than ever before. Titles like Minecraft, Fortnite, and Roblox lead in enabling personal expression through extensive customization options, open-world exploration, and other game updates

Exploring Gamer Identity

  • The report also highlights a significant gap between players’ in-game identities versus their real-life personas, with 80% of respondents feeling their gaming identity differs from their real-life identity.
  • However, half of respondents claim they’d prefer to be more like their in-game personality IRL and 72% would feel more favorably towards brands that help them achieve this.
  • This is especially true of 18-34 year olds, multicultural (specifically African American & Hispanic) audiences as well as women and non-binary audiences.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR MARKETERS

Emphasize Self-Expression:

  • Self-expression is a key driver for gaming engagement. In fact, 32% of gamers want their physical appearance to be more like their in-game appearance.
  • Brands that align with this motivation can enhance their connection with gamers. For example, this represents an opportunity for fashion & beauty brands to explore dedicated product extensions for gamers looking to explore this self-expression.

Create Brand Safe Spaces:

  • 64% believe that gaming communities are vital safe spaces where they can truly be themselves, presenting opportunities for brands to foster and cater to these communities.

Align with Gamers’ IRL Aspirations

  • Many gamers wish to integrate their gaming and real-life personas. Brands that help facilitate this integration can achieve deeper consumer relationships.
  • The study found that 48% of gamers want their IRL skills to be as strong as their gaming skills, opening up an opportunity for brands to explore how they can create ways to provide gamers with products that enhance IRL skills and provide a sense of accomplishment & achievement they get while playing.

 

“From character customization to cosplay and content creation, video games have empowered gamers to explore, express and enhance their identity – nearly two thirds of gamers claim it’s easier to be themselves with a controller in their hands,” said Stephanie Fried, CMO of Fandom. “With the growing significance of gaming as a means for self-expression and personal evolution, it’s crucial for brands to connect to these motivators to help players bring their gaming personas to life in the real world.”

For an interview with a Fandom executive to discuss the study in more detail, please contact Rachelle Savoia at [email protected].

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Methodology:

Fandom surveyed 5,000 entertainment and gaming fans globally to understand the ever changing entertainment landscape. The insights from the study were joined with proprietary insights from Fandom’s first-party platform data of over 350MM users, 45MM content pages across 250K wikis.

 

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Baltics

In gaming culture, phones are replacing computers: “Charge your dopamine for the whole day in 5 minutes”

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It is common to think that gaming culture and its best experiences are only associated with computers and consoles. However, the gaming environment has changed significantly over the past few years. Once considered quite niche, mobile devices have now become the dominant force in gaming. Games on smartphones now account for more than half (according to Statista, 51%) of the global gaming market revenue.

According to one of Lithuania’s most famous gaming community members and the country’s most popular streamer, Karolis Jankauskas (“LTU Republic”), whose broadcasts are followed by more than 130,000 followers on the “Twitch” channel, we are living in a time of transformation.

User engagement and the number of game downloads illustrate that gaming culture is rapidly migrating to phones. Do you think it is starting to catch up with traditional gaming among true enthusiasts?

In the Baltics, events for games with mobile devices are just beginning to be organized, but the number of interested participants and their level of engagement is rapidly growing. Observing this activity, we can assume that gaming culture on phones can not only match but in some cases even surpass the traditional one.

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We used to have many various popular consoles and other devices — from “GameBoy” to “PSP.” Now, the experiences they created are also available on phones. Does gaming on a smartphone match the quality of gaming on consoles? How is the gaming community reacting to these technological changes?

Comparing mobile games and gaming on consoles or computers is quite difficult. I would say it’s like comparing a car to a motorcycle. Both move, but one offers more entertainment, excitement, and emotional experiences, while the other offers more practicality.

A similar situation exists with gaming devices. You could say that smartphones have worse graphics or a more superficial gameplay experience, but their simplicity and pace open up a completely different gaming experience. Additionally, they are accessible anywhere and anytime. You don’t have to play only at home.

Currently, true gamers who play on consoles or computers don’t yet consider themselves in the same category as mobile device players. However, I think this attitude will change over time.

At the end of May, you invite your community to meet at the “Brawl Stars” mobile game tournament “Gaming tournament by Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra.” Is it true that this is a gaming phenomenon? It is already estimated that “Brawl Stars”

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downloads have exceeded 500 million. What is the secret of its popularity? How does this mobile game already have its own e-sports team today?

“Brawl Stars” stands out with its brilliantly designed combination. The game is extremely simple, and its concept is very straightforward. Defeat your opponent, and you will be the best. And the matches are super fast. You can play 3-5 matches in 5 minutes and charge your dopamine for the whole day. This is probably the main secret of the game’s success. Plus, there are various game accessories and special events that are very engaging.

Additionally, these are the reasons why this mobile game has its own e-sports team. It is competitive and easily understandable to a wide audience.

What will make the upcoming tournament of this game different from others?

For the gaming community, this “Gaming tournament by Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra” is relevant because it gives us an impression of how many people are engaged in gaming with smart devices. “Brawl Stars” players have a unique opportunity to test themselves against the best players. Participants are also motivated by the impressive prize—a “Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra”.

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In the qualifications and selections, players will play in teams of two, and in the finals, the teams will be changed—the players who make it will be assigned one of the Lithuania’s famous content creators participating in the event. This should add a lot of intrigue and excitement, as it will show how well the best players can communicate with content creators who may not be as good in the game as they are.

More and more gaming-oriented phones are being introduced to the market. For example, the new “Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra”. How do they help the culture of gaming on phones grow? Can a phone even influence game results?

Just like athletes or racers need the best equipment or gear, a powerful phone gives a player an advantage. The fewer technical issues you have in the game, the faster you can progress.

Meet the most famous gamers

All gaming enthusiasts and professionals will have the opportunity to experience the best gaming moments on May 24-26 in Vilnius at the largest popular culture event in the Baltic States, “Comic Con Baltics powered by Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra.”

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The “Gaming tournament by Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra” will take place at the impressive “Galaxy AI” booth. Here, visitors will also meet K. Jankauskas (“LTU Republic”), Simas Anužis (“Svarbeuse dariti”), Edvisss, and other famous players in the Baltics. There will be an opportunity to get up close with the most advanced “Samsung” smart devices, discover new opportunities that innovative “Galaxy AI” artificial intelligence features open up for gaming.

At the beginning of this year, “Samsung” was the first to offer its users a smartphone with artificial intelligence features. These change many ways of using and controlling the phone, as well as the habits users have adopted until now. At the event, you will have the opportunity to get acquainted with and try out AI features such as “Search by highlighting,” “Photo editing,” “Notes assistance,” “Live translation,” “Chat assistance,” and others.

The post In gaming culture, phones are replacing computers: “Charge your dopamine for the whole day in 5 minutes” appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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Gaming

Dr. Shocker set to prove an ‘electrifying game’ from Galaxsy

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Galaxsys continues to light-up the game’s vertical with the release of its electrifying game, Dr. Shocker, a thrilling action-packed game.

Main Release

Galaxsys, a games studio that creates high-energy games preferred by players who enjoy quick wins and something unique, is gearing up for its next major game release, Dr. Shocker, which will be available on the web and mobile.

”Dr. Shocker’ offers a thrilling, fast-paced experience where players connect electric cables to win. The ”doctor” in question is the game’s central character, who busily tries to connect electrical cables without being ”shocked”. The aim of the game is to win with the highest possible odds, and the electricity running towards the cables is electrifying!

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Vigen Safaryan, Chief Product Officer of Galaxsys, commented, “We are always looking to make our games fun, engaging, relevant, and authentic around a central relatable character such as Dr. Shocker. It won’t come as a shock that this game includes all our key player engagement features, such as the Bonus Game, Auto Bet, Buy Bonus and 3 Bonus modes enjoyed by casino players.

This new turbo game not only expands our reach but also enriches the gaming experience for players. It has the potential to become a star in our portfolio, much like Ninja Crash, which recently won the ‘Most Played Game’ award in Latin America. Galaxsys is focused on our commitment to expanding our games, ensuring players always have access to the most exciting gaming experiences.”

The post Dr. Shocker set to prove an ‘electrifying game’ from Galaxsy appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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