如果细察Gameloft的相关数据还会更令人吃惊。Gameloft是最为高产的游戏开发公司，但它很少依赖授权游戏。从它基于掌机授权开发的游戏种类来看——如 《N.O.V.A.》对应的是《Halo》、《Modern Combat》对应《使命的召唤：现代战争》（Call of Duty: Modern Warfare），以及《Gangstar》与《GTA》，这些游戏都是榜上有名的作品。另外，Gameloft的开发商种类最为繁杂，该公司支持多个手机平台的发行业务，即使是在有点落伍的Java和Brew平台上都有Gameloft活跃的身影。
有趣的是，《愤怒的小鸟》（Angry Birds）是在Chillingo的Clickgamer这一品牌的帮助下，于2009年12月10日进军苹果App Store，但一直到2010年2月才开始投放诺基亚刚刚登台的Ovi Store，成为运行于诺基亚N900手机的免费游戏，也是在此时它的销量才开始突飞猛进。从那以后，芬兰开发商Rovio（它从事手机游戏开发的时间已达8年之久）开始凭借其丰富的想象力和务实的态度应对一切挑战。原版本的《愤怒的小鸟》已经升级了13次，这款99美分的小鸟弹弓游戏现已增加至210个关卡，此外还提供Mighty Eagle这项用于加快升级的内置付费功能。
如果评价这个去年排名第一的iOS开发商，今年走了下坡路那就太不公平了。澳大利亚顶级工作室Firemint之所以下滑了两个名次与它的游戏质量并无关系，而是因为在过去的12个月中，手机游戏市场的竞争实在太激烈了。事实上，它去年发行的《实况赛车2》（Real Racing 2）市场反映一直很好，不仅卖出了9.99美元的好价钱，而且还凭借它的图像效果、物理机制和8人玩家在线模式，突破了硬件技术障碍，它也是2010年最受好评的游戏之一。在这期间，Firemint发行了《Flight Control》的iPad加强版，并把它移植到微软的Windows Phone 7，以及其他各种掌机和移动数字平台。该游戏的iPhone原始版本迄今下载量已达380万次。
该公司不久前还收购了澳大利亚同行Infinite Interactive工作室（《Puzzle Quest》系列游戏的开发商），为原本已经十分出色的Firemint公司额外增加了不少优秀的开发人才，为团队注入了新鲜血液。Firemint来年很有可能回归榜首。
4. Chair Entertainment（新晋榜单）
在《Infinity Blade》和《愤怒的小鸟》同为2010年表现最突出的手机游戏，Epic Games旗下的Chair Entertainment工作室之前已通过XBLA版本的《Shadow Complex》等一系列掌机游戏作品，向世人证明其出色的游戏开发能力。不过，该工作室第一款移动便携式游戏《Infinity Blade》，才是Epic游戏开发工具虚幻引擎3在iOS平台运行情况的最有力佐证。这两者结合的效果令惊叹，它通过触摸控制系统将高端图像效果、产品价值、重复妙用的定位功能和游戏设置完美地融合为一体。
《Infinity Blade 》不仅仅是虚幻引擎3的一块招牌，它还展示了掌机开发技术所能创造的游戏类型，并推动了整个行业的技术标准的发展。也许更重要的是，它为掌机游戏用户提供了更多选择。该游戏仅售5.99美元，将推出含多人模式和内置付费系统的升级版本，这款游戏几乎成了整个行业热议的关键词之一。
Mobile联合向运营商渠道推出Java游戏，这一切成就使它已经成为最重要的手机游戏公司之一。2010年，该公司凭借《植物大战僵尸》（Plants vs. Zombies）大放异彩，吸引了无数iPhone和iPad用户，使其成为这两个平台上最炙手可热的游戏，这也是2010年最受好评的游戏之一。该公司另一款表现突出的iPhone游戏是《Bejeweled 2 + Blitz》，除此之外，PopCap还是Windows Phone 7的合作发行人，发行了Xbox Live版本的《宝石迷阵》（Bejeweled）。
ngmoco从2009年开始转向免费模式游戏，2010年则证明该公司的选择正确无误。ngmoco首次发行的正式免费版游戏《We Rule》（由Newtoy开发）和《GodFinger》（Wonderland）表明，该公司仍保持着开发高质量游戏的决心。这两款游戏突破了类似Facebook城镇游戏等热门iOS游戏的画面和游戏设置风格，引来了大量热情的用户，但也因此引发了几个月的Plus+服务器罢工问题后，之后才开始实现稳定而成功的发展。据游戏邦了解，该公司出于这种原因（或者其他原因），最后在App Store撤下了这两款游戏，分别以《We Rule Quests》和《GodFinger All-Stars》取而代之。
尽管ngmoco曾经因此而面临麻烦，但该公司还是积极开发这一主题的其他变体游戏，比如《We City》和《We Farm》，同时也继续拓展它的《Touch Pets》系列游戏项目。
虽然澳大利亚开发商Halfbrick在过去10年中，一直是因开发GBA，DS和PSP等平台的外包游戏而闻名，它也算是App Store领域的迟到者。确实，它在2010年3月发行的第一款游戏《Blast Off》，仍是一款PSP游戏的移植作品。但一个月之后，Halfbrick成功地通过《水果忍者》（Fruit Ninja）证明，它已经摸出了开发iPhone这种小型游戏的门道。《水果忍者》通过高分奖励，诱使玩家不断重复游戏，同时以简单的切水果动作，以及升级版本的Arcade模式和Game Center的在线多人模式等新功能，创造了600多万的下载量。
但这种成功并非该公司的昙花一现。继《水果忍者》之后，Halfbrick又发行了一系列颇受好评的游戏，如《僵尸时代》（Age of Zombies）和下载量达50万次的《怪物狂奔》（Monster Dash）。最令人佩服的是，该公司虽然缺乏手机游戏开发经验，但却十分积极地将游戏移植到其他平台。游戏邦获悉，该公司还面向iPad平台推出了《水果忍者》的高清版本，当然，该游戏在Android和Windows Phone 7热门游戏中也同样榜上有名。
与其他许多日本发行商一样，Capcom已拥有长期的手机游戏发行历史。不过，它同时也和许多日本发行商一样，在智能手机和社交游戏领域表现得还不够积极，虽然它早在2005年就成立了美国总部机构和手机游戏公司Capcom Interactive。但该公司在2010年时来运转，发行了一些优秀的iOS游戏，同时还成功进军免费游戏市场。Capcom在App Store上发行的免费游戏《街头霸王IV》（Street Fighter IV）和《逆转裁判:复苏的逆转》（Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney）吸引了不少评论家的眼球，并创下了销售记录。
但真正让评论家们大吃一惊的，却是Capcom在iPhone平台发行的《蓝精灵村庄》（Smurfs’ Village，它还推出了一个Facebook版本），因为这确实是一款大获成功的授权游戏。该游戏自去年11月份发行以来，就一直稳居美国手机游戏前20强行列，下载量和销售额都非常可观。该公司的另一个成功之作是《Monhan Nikki Mobile Airu Mura》，它首次在DeNA旗下的Mobage手机游戏平台上露面时就吸引了100万日本用户。 不过据游戏邦了解，IUGO开发的《Lil’ Pirates》（Capcom发行的另一款iOS免费游戏）的市场表现却并不如意。
当然，Capcom如何靠这些基础获得如此瞩目的成就，特别让人好奇，要知道它的主要支持智能手机平台是Android，Windows Phone 7和三星bada。
尽管Backflip的良性经济圈（更多用户推动了更多下载量，从而又带来了更多用户）的确让人印象深刻，但真正让它在排行榜中占据优势的却是它的游戏质量，《Ragdoll Blaster》系列是其最突出的代表。2010年期间，该公司其他颇受瞩目的游戏还包括《NinJump》、《Buganoids》和《Graffiti Ball》。
10. EA Mobile（下降3个名次）
EA Mobile作为西方头号手机游戏发行商，排PocketGamer榜单的第10名，似乎让人有些吃惊。尽管以1700万美元（加上1200万美元的额外对价）收购了Chillingo（也出现在50强榜单中），该公司和去年相比还是下降了3个名次。事实上，比起其他许多手机游戏公司的表现，EA Mobile在2010年似乎运势不佳。从它自身的财务情况来看，2010年后面9个月的销售额只上升了2%（约1.6亿美元），而其竞争对手Gameloft在同期的销售额却增长了63%。
这其中涉及的原因很多，但作为一家大型掌机游戏发行商的一分子，EA Mobile要推出新的IP作品很困难，其发行的《Mirror’s Edge》和《战地之叛逆连队2》（Battlefield Bad Company 2）后来遭遇了延期发行的情况。pocketgamer认为有可能是因为EA时常对iOS平台上的游戏进行99美分降价促销，所以削弱了玩家购买全价游戏的热情。当然，它在2010年仍然朋一些可圈可点之外，特别是它的孩之宝（Hasbro）授权游戏，如iPad版本的《Scrabble》；另外，在所有平台上仍居首位《俄罗斯方块》的智能手机版本也均由EA发行。（本文为游戏邦/gamerboom.com编译，转载请注明来源：游戏邦）
The top 50 developers of 2011: 10 to 1
Considering the thousands of publishers and developers who have released mobile games during 2010, the task of picking out the relatively small number of 50 as being ‘top’ may seem to be a Sisyphean exercise.
Yet, that process provides a wealth of useful information, while the rigor of directly comparing companies forces us to think about what we mean by the term ‘top developers’.
In terms of the this ranking, we used metrics such as sales performance, critical acclaim of releases, innovation in terms of business approach, and the number and range of titles released during 2010.
The full list – produced in conjunction with mobile cross platform SDK and infrastructure company Scoreloop – will be revealed daily in the Top 50 Developers of 2011 section.
10. EA Mobile
Down 3 places
Considering EA Mobile’s status as the largest mobile publisher in the West, it might seem surprising to find it bookending PocketGamer.biz’s top 10. Indeed, the company has dropped three places compared to last year, and that despite its $17 million (plus $12 million earnout) acquisition of Chillingo (now also included in this listing). The fact is EA Mobile had a relatively weak 2010 compared to many other mobile companies. Indeed, even in terms of its own financials, nine months sales were only up 2 percent (to $160 million); while over the same period rival Gameloft saw its sales rise 63 percent.
The reasons are myriad, but as one element of a large console publisher, EA Mobile has found it hard to be nimble enough to come with new IP, while the release of Mirror’s Edge and Battlefield Bad Company 2 suffered from confusion and delays. Perhaps most significantly on iOS however, has been EA’s regular decisions to slashes game prices to 99c, removing the incentive to buy full price games at launch. Still, it’s had success too, especially with its Hasbro-branded games, such as Scrabble for iPad, while Tetris continues to top the charts of all platforms it’s released on, which for EA is all smartphone platforms.
9. Backflip Studios
Up 3 places
If you needed one example of how the app store business model has completely changed the mobile games business, you’d be hard pressed to find a better one than US studio Backflip. With its first free iPhone release Paper Toss racking up over 20 million downloads, it’s used this reach and number of daily players to build its own self-sustaining ecosystem. Free releases remain at the heart of the business, providing an ever large audience to upsell paid versions, as well as in-game advertising, which is used either in a purely commercial manner, or to cross promote other Backflip games, whether paid or free. In this way, by the end of 2010, the company had done over 70 million downloads on iOS and Android, having 2 million daily active users and over 20 million on a monthly basis.
Yet, while this is most impressive in terms of providing a virtuous business cycle (bigger audience, more sales, bigger audience), where Backflip scores highly is the quality of its games, with the Ragdoll Blaster series a particular highlight. During 2010, other releases that caught the eye included NinJump, Buganoids and Graffiti Ball.
8. Capcom Mobile
Like many Japanese publishers, Capcom has a long history of mobile games. However, also like many Japanese publishers, it wasn’t as proactive as it could have been dealing with the smartphone and social gaming explosion, and that despite founding its US-headquartered and mobile-oriented Capcom Interactive in 2005. 2010 changed this however as Capcom launched some excellent iOS games, as well as successfully launching into the freemium market. In terms of premium App Store releases, both Street Fighter IV and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney impressed critics and hit their sales figures.
But it was the release of Smurfs’ Village for iPhone (also on Facebook), that most surprised commentators, both in terms of the licence itself, and its success. The game has remained in the US top grossing top 20 since its November release, generating millions of downloads and dollars in the process. Another success was Monhan Nikki Mobile Airu Mura, its first release on DeNA’s Mobage mobile platform, which gained one million players in Japan. Although the IUGO-developed Lil’ Pirates, Capcom’s other iOS freemium game, performed less well.
Certainly, it will be fascinating to see how Capcom builds on such foundations, especially in terms of supporting smartphone platforms such as Android, Windows Phone 7 and Samsung’s bada.
Despite building its reputation as a handheld work-for-hire studio on platforms such as GBA, DS and PSP over the past 10 years, Australian developer Halfbrick was late to the App Store.
Indeed, its first release in March 2010, Blast Off, was a port of a PSP title. But a month later, Halfbrick demonstrated it truly understood the type of bite-sized game that would chime with the iPhone audience with the release of Fruit Ninja. Driven by classic high score repeatability, and balancing simple fruit-slicing action with clean presentation, updates have added new features such as the Arcade mode and online multiplayer via Game Center. It’s since gone on to sell over six million copies.
This wasn’t a one-off success though. Halfbrick released a number of other well received titles such as Age of Zombies and the 500,000-selling Monster Dash, both arcade shooters starring cartoon action hero Barry Steakfries. What was most impressive however, considering the company’s lack of mobile experience, was its enthusiasm to bring its titles to other platforms. Fruit Ninja got an HD version for iPad, of course, but also topped the best seller lists on Android and Windows Phone 7.
Up 8 places
Following its famous pivot, switching from premium paid games to the freemium model the previous year, 2010 was the opportunity for ngmoco to prove it had made the correct decision. The release of first proper free-to-play games We Rule (developed by Newtoy) and GodFinger (Wonderland) certainly demonstrated the company’s desire for high quality content remained in place.
Both titles significantly extended graphics and gameplay beyond the generic Facebook-style Ville games that still dominate the iOS freemium scene. They also found an enthusiastic audience,
but commercial success and the stable deployment only came following months of problems with the company’s Plus+ server infrastructure. Indeed, for these (and other reasons), both games were eventually pulled from the App Store, replaced by We Rule Quests and GodFinger All-Stars respectively.
However with a formula pinned down, ngmoco started to aggressively operate releasing variations on a theme with games such as We City and We Farm, while continuing to support and extend its Touch Pets range.
And, while it remained tight-lipped about downloads and active user numbers, its $303 million purchase by Japanese social publisher DeNA, a figure potentially lifted to $403 million by future bonuses, underlined the rumours of impressive financial and audience figures.
Given its heritage as one of the premium PC casual game publishers, it might seem surprising that PopCap is firmly located as one our of top 5 mobile developers list for the second year in row. But with a third of its revenues now coming from the mobile business – ranging from its smartphone business on various app stores to its long running deals with EA Mobile over Java games on the carrier decks – PopCap is certainly one of the most significant mobile games companies. In 2010, this was underlined by the performance of Plants vs. Zombies, which charmed
everyone on iPhone and iPad, being a top grossing game on both iPhone and iPad. It was also one of the best reviewed games of the year. Another top performing iPhone game was Bejeweled 2 + Blitz, while PopCap was a launch partner for Windows Phone 7 releasing an Xbox Live version of Bejeweled.
Still, it’s a mark of a company that doesn’t rush development that its mobile division, which is based in Ireland, has yet to release titles for the burgeoning Android segment, nor has it revisited much loved titles such as Peggle in terms of new, and clearly lucrative, opportunities such as iPad, or indeed its marble shooter Zuma, which only remains available for feature phones.
4. Chair Entertainment
With Infinity Blade vying with Angry Birds for the title of the most significant iOS game of the year, Epic Games-owned Chair Entertainment had previously demonstrated its ability with a variety of console titles, peaking with its XBLA title Shadow Complex. Yet, as well as being its first portable title, Infinity Blade, was a poster child release demonstrating how Epic’s Unreal Engine 3 worked on iOS. The combination made the result even more impressive, as it mixed up high-end graphics and production values with a lightness of touch in terms of control system, and clever reuse of location, assets and gameplay in terms of its looped progression system.
More than just a calling card for what can be done using Unreal Engine 3 though, Infinity Blade demonstrated the type of game that could be produced when console development sensibilities were bought to bear, raising the bar for the entire industry. And, perhaps more importantly, it legitimised portable gaming to the wider console-focused audience with an exclusive game from one of development’s rising stars. Throw in a neatly pitched $5.99 price, as well as promise of a multiplayer update and in-app purchases, and you have a game that touches almost every
important buzzword that’s shaking up the industry.
Down 2 places
It may seem a little unfair to say the only way was down for last year’s top iOS developer. That Australian super studio Firemint has dropped two places is little to do with the quality of its output though, only the tremendous competition that has flooded onto mobile gaming markets over the past 12 months. In fact, Real Racing 2, its major release of the year, was magnificent, not only selling well with a $9.99 price tag, but pushing the technical barriers of the hardware thanks to its graphics, physics and 8-player online multiplayer, also topping the critics’ chart being the best reviewed iOS games of 2010. In the meantime, Firemint released an enhanced iPad version of Flight Control, also porting it to Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7, as well as various console and portable digital platforms. The original iPhone version has now clocked up 3.8 million sales too.
And, looking to the future, the purchase of fellow Australian studio Infinite Interactive, creator of the Puzzle Quest series, brings additional development staff and creative juices to a team that has already well demonstrated its prowess and attention to detail. There’s no reason Firemint couldn’t retake top spot next year.
It’s ironic that Angry Birds hit the Apple App Store under the auspices of Chillingo’s Clickgamer label on December 10, 2009. It wasn’t until February 2010, by which time it had also been released as a free game on Nokia’s nascent Ovi Store for the N900 device, that sales took off. Since then, Finnish developer Rovio, which has an eight year history in mobile game development, has ridden the rollercoaster with an imaginative, if pragmatic, attitude. The original Angry Birds has received 13 updates, now providing 210 levels of bird projectile action for 99c, plus the Mighty Eagle level skip as an in-app purchase.
Of course, Rovio has also made moves to publish its own versions, with Angry Birds Seasons and Angry Birds Free, not to mention the iPad HD versions, released under its own name. More significant perhaps was the move to Android, with an ad-supported version exclusively launched on the third party app store GetJar. It’s since been made available for high-end devices on the main Android Market, gaining Rovio advertising revenue of well over $100,000 per month.
The result has been over 50 million Angry Birds downloads in 2010, and the creation of a true gaming phenomenon since underlined by the popularity of plush toy and deals for movie tie-ins and animated series.
Up 1 place
Gameloft is the second largest, and fastest growing, mobile games publisher in the West. It has over 4,000 staff, with development offices in over a dozen global locations, and annual sales in 2010 of $193 million. So why is it top of a list entitled PocketGamer.biz’s best developers? The fact is, despite the obvious advantages Gameloft has over all other companies making mobile games, in 2010 it nailed the process of making high quality games that gamers loved, deploying them across all viable mobile hardware platforms, as well as charging reasonable amounts of money for them. It was the perfect storm.
Indeed, digging into Gameloft’s figures makes for surprising reading. It’s one of the most voluminous game makers, but rarely relies on licences. And for all the joking about its creation of genre title based on console licences – see N.O.V.A. for Halo, Modern Combat for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, and Gangstar for GTA – the games themselves are amongst the best available, and that’s before you take into account that Gameloft developers are the most promiscuous when it comes to supporting as many platforms as they can, even including long tail support for Java and Brew.（source:pocketgamer）