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Spotlight on Indie Dev Mobile Gaming Studios

Liz Marchetti,

24 June 2019

Reading Time: 5 minutes

On June 19 and 20 the gaming industry met in St. Petersburg for the White Nights Conference. The brightest gaming minds of the region got together to discuss industry trends, monetization, user acquisition and retention topics – as well as to showcase the best new gaming titles covering PC, mobile, console, web, AR and VR.

The event takes place in Russia, which has seen an exciting rise in gaming in the past few years: in 2018 the Russian gaming market was estimated $1.7 billion, which made it the 11th largest games market in the world, according to a report released by Newzoo. Notoriously PC-loving gamers, the Russian have fast embraced tablet and mobile gaming, accounting now to 66% of gamers (Newzoo). There are a total of 71.3 million gamers in Russia, of which 47.2 million prefer to play mobile games. Mobile gaming drove in 34% of the 2016 Russian gaming market revenue – the cheapness, ease of access and increase in mobile internet availability in Russia are responsible for this figure and further growth of mobile is forecast. Mobile free-to-play (F2P) games are specifically on the rise. There are some true success stories coming out from this fast-growing market. Positioned as a bridge between East and West and being the largest country per square mile further consolidate its status as an international player that cannot be overlooked.

With the conference honouring some of the most promising gaming talents at the “Indie Game Cup”, a prestigious contest for game developers, we wanted to also shine a spotlight on some of the most notable indie dev gaming studios out there. As we help mobile developers of all sizes publish their hyper-casual games, our team of gaming experts likes to keep a close watch on talents that are on the rise. So, we’ve prepared a shortlist of top 5 indie dev mobile game studios that we think will drive mobile gaming adoption in the Russian region and the rest of Europe. Watch this space!

Top 5 Mobile Game Studios Handpicked by WeQ STUDIOS

1. Anji Games

Anji Games is a St. Petersburg based gaming company. Its latest popular title Hellrider 3, available on iOS and Android, has been praised for delivering a fast-paced racer with clever combat mechanics. With a great story (starring racers and skeletons), game play and fresh graphics, it’s already a cult favourite of the genre. We look forward to seeing more!

2. Chimpworks

Founded in 2014, Dutch studio Chimpworks is based in Eindhoven and has an impressive portfolio of hyper-casual games. With short-sessioned and engaging hits such as Rider, Stack Jump and Baseball Boy, they have already enriched the mobile gaming experiences of more than 150 million players worldwide. We are fans of their creative and consistent work. They show no signs of slowing down!

3. Melsoft Games

Hailing from Minsk in Belarus, Melsoft Games (previously Melesta Games) has released 30 mobile titles for iOS and Android. Its game Toy Defense reached Top 10 Overall App in US, Russia, Germany, Japan and in more than 50 countries around the world. The sequel Toy Defense 2 saw a great response globally and had many of us honing our commander skills to jump into epic battle. Its latest game My Cafe is a must for anyone who’s dreamed of owning and running their own cafe or restaurant – or who enjoyed playing the Sims.

4. Popcore

Brand-new kids on the block Popcore are backed by EQT Ventures, Makers Fund and David Helgason. This mobile game studio’s mission is to develop ad-driven hyper-casual games for everyone, and has already achieved impressive traction with its early flagship game Connect the Pop!. The game has already been ranked top 100 in more than 100 markets. We look forward to seeing what’s next from these fellow Berliners!

5. Gamejam

Gamejam is a Vietnam-based game studio focused on building fun and beautiful mobile games. Headed by Christian Calderon, previously at Ketchapp, it promises to be a force to be reckoned with in the hyper-casual games sector. Their first app Draw Story! counts 300K downloads since their release less than a month ago on Google Play and App Store. Good with a pencil? Try it out! We had a lot of fun drawing our way out of trouble. Tons of excitement and drama guaranteed.

Notable mention

Last but definitely not least, a notable mention goes out to Russian studio Pixonic – by no means considered indie anymore, it has grown to a 100+ people team after the success of action-packed multiplayer PvP shooter, War Robots, which celebrated its fifth year anniversary last April and has received more than 130 millions installs. The game successfully brought in flagship action PvP game to the Chinese Android market in 2018. If you are into multiplayer battles or robots, this is the game for you. An inspiration to mobile game developers all around and proof that a fantastic game, combined with a successful user acquisition strategy, and hard work can really pay off!

Our team of gaming experts have been working with a number of indie dev studios to help them create a winning player acquisition strategy for their apps in Europe and globally.

Are you looking to develop and publish your own casual game? Have a cool game you’d like us to check out? We’re passionate about delivering high-quality mobile users for casual games to audiences globally, by combining our comprehensive publishing platform with premium player acquisition expertise. To chat all things gaming or ask us any questions about our services, you can contact us here. We look forward to hearing from you!

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