Mobile Game Market Overview for November 2021: Hottest News, Acquisitions & Top Games
(This article was originally published on Udonis’ blog.)
Interested to find out what has been going on in the mobile game industry in November 2021?
You’ve come to the right place.
In this mobile game market overview for November 2021, you will find all the hottest news, acquisitions, investments, game releases, and more!
Top Mobile Games in November — Apple App Store
This month, we saw a decline in the popularity of mobile games based on Squid games. In October’s mobile market overview, Squid Game-inspired games were a big trend, but it turns out it has only been a passing trend.
Paper Fold, a casual puzzle game by Good Job Games, has risen to the top of the App Store’s Free chart, from second place last month. Additionally, Voodoo has managed to get two of its games in the top-10 — Candle Craft 3D and Flex Run 3D.
Minecraft, an all-time favorite, is still number one in the Paid category. Moreover, just like in October 2021, Roblox dominates the Top Grossing category, along with Candy Crush Saga, Clash Royale, and Garena Free Fire. (SensorTower — free data)
Top Mobile Games in November — Google Play
According to SensorTower’s free data, Google Play has had a completely different situation than Apple in the Free, Paid, and Top Grossing charts. Bowmasters, an action game by Playgendary Limited, has ranked first in the Free category.
The Squid Game trend doesn’t seem to be going away on Google Play, as a game called Survival 456 But It’s Impostor managed to sneak into third place in the Free games category. However, the first place on the paid list went to Minecraft, the same as the previous month.
Compared to October 2021, the Top Grossing category looks slightly different. In November 2021, Coin Master took first place, followed by Candy Crush Saga and Garena Free Fire.
Mobile Game Market Overview for November: Hottest Mobile Gaming News
This month, we’re bringing you a lot of interesting news from all over the world, ranging from Turkey’s massive mobile game industry expansion to Israel, Spain, and Sweden.
Furthermore, if you’re curious about the NFT and blockchain trend in mobile gaming, keep reading!
1. Hadi Raises $5.2 Million in Seed Funding for Casual Mobile Games
Hadi, a Turkish startup mobile gaming company, raised $5.2 million in a seed funding round. They stated that the company was focused on developing fun and innovative casual mobile games.
Hadi’s team announced that they were working on a couple of games, but they didn’t want to reveal the games’ titles.
Mark Müller, the company’s CEO, said that the Hadi team was thrilled to contribute to the growth and evolution of mobile gaming. The seed funding round was led by Griffin Gaming Partners, a company known for investments in AppLovin, Discord, Tactile Games, and more.
Additionally, the funding round included angel investors like Tripledot co-founder Akin Babayiğit and a known investor in gaming companies such as Dream Games and Spyke.
2. Voodoo Invests in Teskin, Israeli Casual Games Developer
Voodoo’s investments have continued since October. The company has invested in Teskin, an Israeli casual mobile studio that chose to specialize in match–3 and puzzle games development.
With the undisclosed amount of funds Voodoo invested in the studio, Teskin stated that they planned to expand their teams and invest in new games. Moreover, Teskin’s team commented that the investment would boost Teskin’s growth in the casual game market.
Before this investment, the Israeli developer accumulated more than 20 million lifetime downloads across its portfolio of casual mobile games in just four years. Some of their most popular games are Jewels Planet, Jewels Empire, and Candy Deluxe.
3. Activision Blizzard Employees Demand New CEO, over 1200 Sign Petition
Activision Blizzard’s story didn’t end in November, but they did make some headway. Employees decided to take action and launch a petition calling for Bobby Kotick, the current CEO, to resign.
More than 500 allegations have surfaced in total, some of which are also related to Kotick. The Activision Blizzard leadership issued a statement saying that all of those harassment allegations related to Bobby Kotick are false.
Moreover, they repeated that the company’s leaders were doing everything in their power to make Activision Blizzard the best possible workplace in the gaming industry.
Before this petition, the company’s leadership issued multiple measures such as a zero-tolerance harassment policy, especially towards women and non-binary people. Additionally, they stated that the company actively worked on promoting and hiring diverse talent.
4. Zynga Enters NFT Market, Appoints Blockchain Gaming VP
Zynga decided to jump on the NFT hype train and even appoint a blockchain gaming Vice President, Matt Wolf.
The studio issued a statement saying that Wolf will work to integrate NFTs and blockchain systems into the company’s existing games. However, Zynga also said they would develop new games with integrated blockchain and NFT systems.
Scott Koenigsberg, Chief product officer at Zynga, said that blockchain had great prominence in the digital economy and that Wolf could help the company reach new markets through NFTs. Furthermore, he said that the emerging platforms and technologies were the key parts of Zynga’s growth strategy.
Matt Wolf said that Zynga’s mission to connect players worldwide through games made NFTs and blockchain technologies a natural next step needed for Zynga’s evolution.
5. Netflix Launched Mobile Games for Android on November 3rd
Netflix is no longer merely a streaming service. According to the company, it was time for Netflix to be known for its mobile game library.
So, on November 3rd, the first five mobile games were released, but only for Android. Later, Netflix announced that their services would be available on iOS as well.
As promised by Netflix, the mobile games will be available to all subscribers to the streaming service. Their current selection consists of Stranger Things: 1984, Stranger Things 3: The Game, Shooting Hoops, Card Blast, and Teeter Up.
Furthermore, Netflix CEO Mike Verdu shared that whether the users were looking for a casual game or a deep, immersive experience, Netflix’s goal was to have all of those games available.
Mobile Game Market Overview for November: Four Acquisitions
In terms of November acquisitions, we have a wide variety of news for you, ranging from educational companies being purchased to a surge in Nordic mobile market expansion.
1. Nordisk Games Becomes Majority Shareholder in Star Stable Entertainment
Nordisk Games, a Danish company owned by Nordisk Film, bought majority shares in Star Stable Entertainment. The Swedish game studio Star Stable Entertainment has developed the world’s first multiplayer role-playing horse adventure game — Star Stable Online.
The first shares Nordisk acquired in May of 2018 when they invested $18 million in the Swedish company Star Stable Entertainment.
Moreover, Nordisk Games had a good reason to invest in this company since their game Star Stable Online has more than 1.4 million active monthly users worldwide. Additionally, the Swedish studio stated that they were working on a mobile game port.
2. Thunderful Acquires Early Morning Studio, Swedish Gaming Company
Thunderful has decided to invest an undisclosed amount of money in Early Morning Studio, the company behind the hit RPG game Vampire’s Fall: Origins. Since both companies are based in Sweden, Thunderful stated that they were pleased to announce that they had acquired a local company.
Moreover, even though Early Morning Studio produces games for PC and consoles, Thunderful noted that it was Early Morning Studio’s mobile games’ records that had impressed them the most.
The companies stated that the Early Morning Studio would remain an independent development company but would have to report to the Thunderful Games. Furthermore, Emir Kuljanin, Early Morning Studio CEO, stated that the studio had some exciting new mobile projects in the works.
3. Zynga Acquires Three Turkish Hyper-Casual Studios
Zynga decided that it was time to expand into the Turkish mobile game market. They have acquired three Turkish hyper-casual studios through Rollic, their subsidiary in Turkey. Rollic announced that they had closed acquisitions of hyper-casual studios ByteTyper, Creasaur Entertainment, and ZeroSum.
The companies, Zynga and Rollic, commented how all of those studios had previously worked with them.
The three studios are known for games such as Firefighter Hero, Racing Online, Touchdrawn, Barista Life, Money Maker 3D, and more. All these games have scored some pretty high numbers on app stores, reaching more than a million downloads on both App Store and Google Play.
4. Sandbox Acquires Edujoy and Tellmewow, Spanish Educational Gaming Companies
Sandbox & Co, a suite of digital learning products and services, has acquired two Spanish educational gaming companies. Bhav Singh, the founder and CEO of Sandbox & Co, said they were excited to welcome Edujoy and Tellmenow to Sandbox’s ecosystem.
These educational companies’ content is aimed towards the younger population, and, as Singh stated, Sandbox is looking forward to working together to make learning fun for families worldwide.
Edujoy and Tellmewow have both developed games that are played worldwide and have received millions of downloads. Tellmewow focuses on designing games and puzzles for adults, while Edujoy focuses on educational content for children.
Mobile Game Market Overview for November: Five Fundraising News
November was full of startups blooming with investments from all sides. Check out which ones we have chosen for you in November 2021.
1. Blockchain Platform Forte Raises $725M, Mobile Game Devs Sign Up
Blockchain gaming is a fast-growing trend all over the world. Forte, a blockchain platform, decided to utilize this trend to the best of its abilities. Their Series B round went well, and the company raised $725 million.
The primary investors in this round of funding were Playstudios and Huuuge Games. Other investors included Warner Bros. Music, Overwolf, Cosmos, Polygon Studios, Griffin Games Partners, a16z, and zVentures.
Forte’s total investment after the Series B round exceeds $900 million. The company shared that they had gathered more than 40 developers and publisher partners on their platform. Forte revealed that by working with so many industry partners, they had amassed a large number of players — more than 15 million across partner games.
2. AudioMob Raises $16 Million for In-Game Audio Ads
AudioMob, a startup company from the US, has raised $16 million for non-intrusive audio ads within mobile games. The founders stated, after thorough research, that players mind audio ads much less than other types of ads.
In their Series A round, AudioMob raised $14 million, but with other investments, their total went up to $16 million. Makers Fund and Lightspeed Venture Partners led the Series A round.
Moreover, Sequoia Scout Program and Google joined in as investors too. Google selected this company as part of the 30 startups they funded from the Black Founders Fund in Europe. The company’s goal is to expand further worldwide, the founder stated.
3. Indie Studio Pocket Burger Games Raises $1M, Starts Casual Game Development
Indie studio Pocket Burger Games has raised $1 million in a seed round to start developing casual games. The seed investment round was led by SISU Game Ventures, followed by RLC Ventures and Aream & Co.
Samuli Syvähuoko, a founding partner at SISU Game Ventures, said they had been familiar with some of the Pocket Burger Games’ team members when the company had approached them. Moreover, he stated that Pocket Burger Games had piqued their interest right away because it had been clear they shared a passion for building a progressive company culture.
The founders of Pocket Burger Games have all previously worked at large corporations and created some successful games. One of the founders, Matt Down, worked as the Programming Lead on the smash hit Merge Dragons. Other founders have previously worked at Rovio Entertainment, Lionhead, Gram Games, and Space Ape Games.
4. Indie Publisher Plug In Digital Raises $75M, Plans a Major Portfolio Expansion
Plug In Digital, an indie publisher, has raised $75 million in a Series B funding round. Their plan with this investment is to publish more than 30 games for various platforms. Their Series B funding round was led by Bridgepoint Development Capital, with funds provided by the investment company Eurazeo.
Francis Ingrand, the company’s founder, explained that they were thrilled to work with Bridgepoint on the next steps in their highly ambitious development projects.
As he stated, the company was founded in 2012, and since then, it has become a full-service game distributor and publisher for mobile, PC, consoles, and even cloud platforms such as Google Stadia.
5. Moon Active Raises $300 Million, Valuation Soars to $5 Billion
Moon Active, the studio behind Coin Master, has raised their company’s valuation to $5 billion after a fundraising round. Insight Partners, an American venture capital company, led this funding round.
Samuel Albin, Moon Active CEO, said that they were pleased that Insight Partners had partnered with them. In addition to Insight Partners, Albin stated that they were happy to welcome Andalusian Private Capital as another investor.
Albin said that with those funds, the company was one step closer to realizing its ultimate goal — becoming the number one mobile gaming company in the world.
Mobile Game Market Overview for November: Mobile Game Releases
1. Supercell’s Clash Mini
Clash Mini, Supercell’s new game, entered the soft launch phase in Canada, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, and Iceland on November 8th. Supercell stated that potential future content would be possible while adjusting the current player experience during beta testing.
At its core, Supercell stated that Clash Mini had been designed to be as approachable as possible while also incorporating a deep and meaningful strategy. The company described the game as a source of fun, strategy, and ease of play.
Furthermore, the Supercell team stated that the two other games announced alongside Clash Mini, Clash Heroes, and Clash Quest were still in the early stages of development. The release date of the game has not been confirmed by the company.
2. Ragnarok Origin — Mobile Remake of Ragnarok Online
On November 10th, Ragnarok Origin, Gravity’s mobile MMORPG remake, was released globally on iOS and Android. Gravity’s game, Ragnarok Online, was released in 2002 as a multiplayer online role-playing game.
The game was most popular in South Korea. It featured Norse mythology, with characters drawn from the Ragnarok story. This game was released for PC, and it was unique because the character lived in a world where his surroundings changed over time.
The developers refined the combat, improved the 3D graphics, and more in this mobile remake. In just two months, the game received 700,000 pre-registrations. Ragnarok Origin allows players to embark on an epic fantasy adventure in Ragnarok and select one of six fully-customizable character classes.
3. Bermuda Adventures by Belka Games
Bermuda Adventures by Belka Games saw the light of day on November 4th, 2021, when it was released worldwide.
The Jones family is featured in this puzzle game, which takes place in the mysterious Bermuda Islands. The goal for the players is to build, customize, and explore the tropical setting, eventually reuniting the family by completing puzzles.
Bermuda Adventures is available for both iOS and Android devices.
Belka Games is AppLovin’s partner studio, and they’re supercharging their game development with revenue growth of more than 200%. Furthermore, the studio has been creating games for over ten years. Clockmaker, a top 100 grossing mobile game in the United States, is one of their most popular games.
Final Thoughts on Mobile Game Market Overview for November 2021
November brought us a lot of exciting news about game releases, acquisitions, and investments.
Have you enjoyed reading this mobile game market overview for November 2021? Which part did you find the most interesting?
Let us know in the comments below!
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