Inside FI gives you exclusive access inside the training sessions of the Founder Institute.To get updates when we release new videos, follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.As Todd explains in the video below, you can’t “just build and assume customers will come,” so it is important to define the customer and their needs first, before a meaningful product can be made that will solve their problems and gain traction.Todd Hooper is the Founder and CEO of the mobile gaming company Zipline Games.Previously, he was the Founder and CEO of Napaera Networks, Trillium Lane Labs, Momenturn, and was part of the executive team at WatchGuard Technologies when they went public.In this talk from last year’s Seattle Founders Institute, Todd outlines an iterative customer development approach for startups to follow.
Since launching in 2009, the Founder Institute has helped launch over 3,100 new technology companies across 200 cities, 60 countries, and six continents.These companies have gone on to do great things, and create over 25,000 new jobs.Over the past week, Realty Mogul was featured on Crowdfund Insider, Appota highlighted on Tech In Asia, Whale Path was featured on peHUB, and more.Below is a roundup of recent Founder Institute Graduates in the news:Realty Mogul featured on Crowdfund Insider: Realty Mogul Raises Over $1 Million for Industrial Park with Brennan Investment Group (Crowdfund Insider): Realty Mogul, a Los Angeles Graduate, connects accredited investors looking to invest money in real estate with private real estate companies.Appota highlighted on Tech In Asia: Appota debuts social mobile gaming app called onClan at StartupAsia Arena (Tech In Asia): Appota, a Hanoi Graduate, is a mobile content distribution platform.
Mobile gaming is starting to mirror the larger gaming market more and more.Not only is it an increasingly profitable business, the hardware, accessories, and designs are starting to creep into smartphones.Just look at the ASUS ROG Phone!Not be left out, Huawei is rolling out what is the equivalent of GPU boosters in PC gaming.Dubbed “GPU Turbo”, the feature is coming to Huawei’s 2016-2018 lineup, except if you’re living in the US.The GPU Turbo feature actually debuted not directly from Huawei but from its Honor sub-brand.
Google has a presence in almost every aspect of our digital lives, from Internet services to smartphones to digital content distribution to connected homes.But one thing it has not yet fully sunk its teeth into is gaming.Yes, Android has mobile games but, so far, Google has been rather detached from them.But whether it’s game streaming or not, Google will probably need to take these factors into account to avoid producing another Ouya.Video gaming is a multi-billion dollar industry and mobile gaming has grown to take a lion’s share in it.Despite that, however, the market remains unstable, fluctuating, and inconsistent.
Tapjoy is an agency which maximizes mobile engagement and monetization for leading advertisers and app developers.At Cannes, it won best mobile campaign because they developed, with Fox Theatrical for their move Ferdinand, three different creative executions which were all gamefied.The consumers had the ability to watch a Ferdinand trailer and engage with one of three different gamefied end card experiences.Which saw a 90% video completion rate and digital engagement of 30 seconds.The trends that Andy Chandler, vice president EMEA has seen over the past couple of years is the mobile app ecosystem coming into the fold, with 50% of time spent digitally now in app rather than desktop.The agency has been focusing on creativity because brands are starting to realise the power of a mobile gaming environment.
After launching late in 2017 in the US and UK, gaming peripheral specialist Razer has brought its eponymous handset Down Under — the mobile gaming-centric Razer Phone.The handset touts a 5.7-inch display with an impressive 120Hz refresh rate – the first of its kind in the world – alongside stereo speakers that rock Dolby Atmos and THX-Certified audio tech.The unit is powered by a Snapdragon 835 processor and 8GB of RAM, the same combo that hit our shores last year in the OnePlus 5, which, itself, was delayed a few months after first launching in the UK and US.Although this isn’t the latest chipset from Qualcomm, the 835 was the brains behind the impressive HTC U11 and Nokia 8, and we’ll be getting our Razer Phones with the latest Android Oreo 8.1 out of the box.Considering the brand’s heritage of producing gaming peripherals, the sleek and serious aesthetic of the Razer Phone fits right into the array of deadly-looking keyboards and mice the company’s known for.The decision to launch the handset Down Under, even though it had already been available for eight months in other regions, could likely have something to do with the rise in popularity of mobile titles such as PUBG and Fortnite (the latter of which has been officially confirmed for Android in the near future).
Niantic showed off its new proof-of-concept game Codename: Neon in a YouTube video.The game allows players to compete with each other in a real-world environment using augmented reality gameplay.Although just a concept for now, Neon could represent the future of mobile gaming.Niantic, for now, is primarily known as the company behind the mobile gaming megahit Pokémon Go.However, the company’s ambitions don’t stop with putting Pikachu on a sidewalk outside your local supermarket.Smart, Wearable & Vibrating Modern Metronome [15% Off Now]
French startup Oh BiBi raised $21 million from Atomico with Korelya Capital also participating.Oh BiBi is a team of mobile gaming veterans trying to build the next big thing when it comes to mobile gaming.The company has already released a handful of games, such as LoL Kart, Motor World Car Factory, Dino Factory and SUP Multiplayer Racing.But the company’s next big bet is Frag.You’ll fight against other players in one-on-one matches.There’s a metagame element as well — you’ll need to put together your team of characters as you can swap between multiple characters in the middle of a match.
Mobile game sales have become a huge portion of the video game industry and are set to become even bigger, Baird Equity Research's Colin Sebastian said in a new report.Some of the biggest publishers in the industry, including Electronic Arts and Activision, are starting to focus more seriously on mobile games.Much of the industry's potential is due to the fact that there are lots more mobile devices in use than PCs or game consoles.The mobile games business is becoming a lot bigger than Clash of Clans, Crossy Road, and Candy Crush — and it's offering a big opportunity for game publishers, distributors, and app store operators.Some of the largest publishers are starting to bring some of their best-known games to mobile devices.And publishers are likely to get people playing longer and spending more money by incorporating features such as location tracking, augmented reality, and real-time multiplayer interactions, he said.
Mobile gaming is crazy big these days.Just look at the number of companies scrambling to make the perfect gaming phone.But the mobile gaming experience isn’t always what it cracked up to be, save for a few standout titles.Naturally, big gaming studios like Bethesda wants in on that market, and, so far, its free-to-play Fallout Shelter has been rather successful.But at E3 2018, famed game designer Todd Howard dropped a bombshell of a reveal.They’re making a new mobile game, The Elder Scrolls: Blades, and it’s not going to be like any mobile game you’ve seen.
Gaming overall has gotten a shot in the arm from the battle royale genre: Nvidia boss Jensen Huang credited games like PUBG and Fortnite with bringing 10 million more PC gamers to the family of GeForce users in the space of just eight months.But I don’t think the ROG Phone is that phone.What mobile gamers want from their hardware is a good display, a large battery, and — especially in the case of China, the biggest and most vibrant mobile gaming market — an attainable price.Asus ticks some of these boxes with its ROG Phone, but the device’s spec sheet (which includes 8GB of RAM, a special 90Hz display, and the option for 512GB of storage) betrays the fact that it’s aimed at the premium end of the mobile market.Would that be a big enough difference to convince people to buy it over cheaper alternatives?Both are aimed squarely at the Chinese gamer and both offer the 845 chip at a price below $500.
It’s a little bit of both – a new experience in storytelling using a mobile device.The app – or game, if you prefer – comes from the mind of Ken Wong, best known before Florence’s release as Monument Valley’s designer – another app which broke new ground in mobile gaming by creating a visually stunning world that ended up winning the title of Apple’s Game of the Year in 2014, as well an Apple Design Award.We sat down with designer on the sidelines of Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference in San Jose this week to talk about how Florence came to be, and what Wong has planned next.Wong moved back to his home country, Australia, from London, to Melbourne where there’s a thriving indie gaming scene to launch his new company Mountains.The team at Mountains is small – just a programmer, producer and artist, in addition to Wong.The company partnered with Annapurna, a film studio behind hits like “Her” and “Zero Dark Thirty,” that now runs its own games division.
The ASUS ROG Phone, the fourth in a new generation of gaming-centric Android smartphones, is going to be compared a lot with the Nintendo Switch.That is, if ASUS can implement one feature that’s missing from almost all mobile gaming phones and accessories.A middling Snapdragon 420 paired with 2 GB of RAM and topped with 720p screen will hardly make for an impressive mobile gaming experience.ASUS also opted for a middle ground between the refresh rates of normal smartphones and souped up 120 Hz of the likes of the Razer Phone to get a better 1 ms pixel response, or so it promises.All of these necessitated a custom kind of cooling system, one that you’d never imagine finding on a smartphone, to prevent incidents of Galaxy Note 7 proportions.The ASUS ROG is going to look crude, cold, and industrial beside a Galaxy S9 and an iPhone X, but that’s not going to be a problem.
Mobile gambling was barely a blip on the radar a few years ago, but it has exploded in recent years.This market is expected to grow even more rapidly as the United Kingdom, Australia and other countries open mobile gaming to real money compared to those that limit it to social gaming.Ebbe Groes, the CEO and co-founder of Every Matrix, writes that there are a couple of factors propelling the growth of mobile casino games.Consumers have found that online gambling is very interactive, resulting in many of them developing an affinity for it after playing free casino games found in their respective app stores, on Facebook and through other platforms.While this allows providers to reach customers more easily, they must also accept that it takes more effort to get their attention.In order to reach this demographic, many gaming providers initially marketed free social casino games to younger adults believing that these satisfied customers will ultimately go on to play for real money.
Southeast Asia’s mobile media scene is heating up as YY, China’s largest video-streaming app by revenue, is leading a US$272 million series D round in Bigo, the Singapore-based company which operates livestreaming app Bigo Live.David Li, chairman and acting CEO of YY, is also joining the round, using his personal funds.Bigo claims to have 200 million registered users and 20 local offices globally.It has expanded beyond Bigo Live into more apps.These include Cube TV, a mobile gaming-focused streaming app, and Like, an app for editing and sharing short videos.With the support from YY, which made US$1.6 billion in revenue last year, Bigo is expected to put pressure on its rivals.
And while there might be some money to be made in mobile gaming, particularly in esports, the market isn’t stable enough to be profitable in the long-term.And a large part of that problem stems from the new, or rehashed, business model we, often derisively, call “freemium”.Square Enix Montreal and GoSquare Enix is by no means a small or inexperienced company.Its Montreal office crafted a new style of mobile games around its popular franchises.It will only be a matter of time before they leave the existing ones to rot in obsolescence.
What’s the worst thing about that monster gaming PC rig you’ve got at home?It’s the fact it stays at home and never leaves, because it’s so enormous you’d need a heavy duty crane just to shift it off the desk.Asus feels your pain, so it has made a smartphone that will satisfy your mobile gaming needs, without compromising on power, funky designs, or hardcore gaming credentials.It’s called the Asus ROG Phone, and it’s coming later this year.If you’re not a gamer, ROG stands for Republic of Gamers, and is a division of Asus that focuses on gaming, esports, and modding PCs for the highest levels of performance.It introduces a new phrase to phone fans unfamiliar with the gaming world too: Speed-binning.
Mobile gaming has become half of the global game market, bringing in about $70 billion of the $137.9 billion annual take.And very few mobile game companies will get any attention at the upcoming Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) show coming up in Los Angeles in mid-June, where PC and console games are the sexy attractions.That’s why it’s good to see some tangible inspiration for mobile game entrepreneurs at Casual Connect Europe in London last week.It reminded me of the strength of the European mobile games sector, and it once again showed it is possible to generate strong mobile gaming startup exits, as Zynga bought Instanbul and London-based Gram Games for $250 million.Paris-based Voodoo, a mobile game publisher that I knew very little about until last week, cheered everyone up on the first day of the show, raising an estimated $200 million for its role in the booming “hyper casual games” sector.On the strength of hyper casual games like Baseball Boy, Voodoo and other mobile studios have loosened the grip on the top-grossing list long dominated by the same handful of games, said Tripledot Studios cofounder Akin Babayigit during an investor panel.
Web and mobile gaming portal Kongregate is adding new games to its PC games marketplace, Kartridge.The platform is in closed beta, but it will arrive in open beta this summer with a raft of indie titles from developers such as Double Fine and Ninja Kiwi as well as publisher Versus Evil (which recently released Obsidian Entertainment’s Pillars of Eternity II).Kartridge has partnered with almost 50 developers to build a portfolio of games, with titles like Terrible Toybox’s point-and-click adventure Thimbleweed Park and Asymmetric Publications’ snarky cowboy role-playing game West of Loathing.Today’s announcement heralds the arrival of games like Double Fine‘s Psychonauts and the remastered Day of the Tentacle, along with Ninja Kiwi’s Bloons series.Publisher Versus Evil will offer titles like Stoic’s The Banner Saga series and Gambrinous’s Guild of Dungeoneering.Kongregate is still looking for developers who would like to port their titles, and in April, it shared some details about what the revenue share would look like for potential partners.
Gumi, a Japanese mobile game publisher and developer, is launching a US$30 million fund to invest in promising blockchain and cryptocurrency companies located anywhere on the globe.Gumi Cryptos will be led by Hironao Kunimitsu, the company’s founder and CEO, and Miko Matsumura, founder of US-based virtual currency exchange Evercoin.Matsumura is also an investor in other crypto companies such as FileCoin, Polymath, and Basecoin.With this fund, Gumi looks to back blockchain solutions in different sectors, Matsumura said in an email interview with Tech in Asia.He’s also not ruling out partnerships with the parent firm if the solutions are a good fit.Its second, Venture Reality Fund, is focused on early-stage virtual, augmented, and mixed reality startups.