Angry Birds isn’t the only popular game in town. Zynga’s recently acquired Draw Something has surpassed 50 million downloads, while Temple Run has reached 10 million downloads on Android alone. The success of mobile gaming has inspired developers and publishers alike, and we’ve seen a great deal of investment in this space.
After rolling out an update to Draw Something, Zynga appeals to gamers with the ability to send comments along with your drawings, a heavily requested feature. Once sent, a screen lets you post your drawing to Twitter and Facebook, or save it to your camera roll. Another update is the “undo last line” feature, keeping you from having to toggle to the eraser.
The game’s wild success on Android and iOS has inspired Zynga to throw more money at smaller game developers, always on the hunt for the next Rovio or OMGPOP (though Rovio turned Zynga down). The game publisher plans to make more acquisitions in the coming three to five years, as part of its very aggressive long term strategy that will keep Zynga competitive with EA, Disney and other game houses.
Investing in new technology
While some game developers are getting bought up, others are raising funding rounds from venture capitalists. MoMini, an Israeli mobile game firm with a large game portal for Android, has raised $4.9 million from BRM Group and Mitsui Ventures. Their PlayScape mega-game catalogs 50 games in one Android app, giving a uniform cross-game experience with virtual currency that can be accumulated and applied from one game to another. MoMini’s gained more than 15 million downloads in the past three months.
Industry veteran Tony Takoushi (formerly of Halfbrick Studios) is also seeking growth in mobile gaming, launching Total ArKade Software. The new, independent studio is focused on the booming mobile game sector, dedicated to giving players the “same gorgeous art, great audio and compulsive gaming they would recognise from Halfbrick productions,” Takoushi says in a released statement. Fostering innovative gameplay, look for Total ArKade’s first title to be released “shortly” on Android, iOS and Samsung’s Bada platform.