News By Numbers - January 2nd, 201702 Jan 2017 1
Welcome to the latest edition of News by Numbers, and the first for 2017! In this column, we highlight some of the can't-miss mobile gaming news from the past week (or two, in this case). What's been happening while we've all be away?
Ticket to Ride: 2 to 5 players
Ticket to Ride added a new vertical map to its popular mobile apps: Germany is now available via in-app purchase. The German map supports games for two-to-five players with either long or short tickets. It'll set you back $4.99 on iOS and Android. At the time of writing, it is currently 70% off via Google Play.
Hearthstone: Diablo 3 event
December 31st marked the 20th anniversary of Diablo. Aside from making me feel really, really old…that means that Blizzard is celebrating the big 2-0 in all of its games, including this week's Hearthstone Tavern Brawl. Per their announcement: "In this Tavern Brawl, a hooded stranger awaits, holding a grim deck in his hands. Will you unravel the secrets surrounding this dark wanderer?" Blizzard has not announced a specific date, but the Dark Wanderer Tavern Brawl will probably start January 4th.
Don't Starve Shipwrecked: $4.99
iOS gamers got a pleasant surprise during the holidays: A new Don't Starve mobile game. Wilson has been through too much to worry about Apple's freeze period, apparently. This time, he's gotten himself stranded on a tropical archipelago. There are new recipes to discover and new strategies for survival to develop. Think you've got what it takes to survive this one? Get it here.
Megaman: 6 iOS games
Capcom recently announced that the first six Megaman games are being built from scratch for mobile devices, which one would hope will solve the porting issues that have plagued the franchise to date. Apparently it is going well, or well enough, as all six games will be appearing on the App Store on January 5th.
They will be priced at $1.99 each.
Mini Metro: 15 maps
Mini Metro is our puzzle game-of-the-year for 2015, and for good reason. It is beautiful and challenging with many great cities to pay in. A recent updated added two more—Seoul and Shanghai—bringing the total to fifteen. Hopefully you picked this up while it was on sale over the holidays but if not, get it now for either iOS or Android.
Steamworld: 20th anniversary of Image & Form
Image & Form, the studio that brought us Steamworld Heist (and other games in the setting), is turning twenty years old. They put out a video where they discuss, among other things, a new Steamworld game coming in 2017. No details yet, but let us hope a mobile version factors into it.
PvP: 42% of top games
Player-versus-player (PvP) modes of play have gained in popularity in 2016. In December, 42 of the top-100 grossing App Store games included one or more PvP modes. A comparison to games as a whole—where only 21% include PvP—proves that competition drives profits.
App Store: 63% increase in games
Nick's made mention of the sheer volume of App Store games a couple times in this column, now here's another one for you: the total number of games submitted in 2016 has increased by 63% over 2015 and is up about 246% from 2013. It is hard to imagine this trend line dropping, which means it's going to get harder and harder to find the brilliant gaming needles in a sea of mundane hay. We'll keep doing our best to dig out the best of the best into 2017 and beyond. [No pressure then -ED]
Mobile games: $40.6 billion in revenues in 2016
2016 was a lot of things to a lot of people. One of those things was a huge year for mobile games. The industry generated $40.6 billion last year according to one games-research company with 2.6 billion active users playing games every month. Asia was by far the largest market—$24.9 billion in 2016—with North America a distant second at $6.9 billion.
That's it for this edition of News by Numbers. If you've got a news item worth sharing send it our way on Twitter to @MrVigabool and it may show up in a future edition.