Next Games has recently announced that it has closed a $10 million funding deal after the huge success of their hit game The Walking Dead: No Man’s Land.
The funding round was led by Jari Ovaskainen and IDG Ventures, and backed by IDG Capital, Lowercase, AMC Networks and Lionsgate.
The total funding for the Finnish developer to date has reached a staggering $18 million.
Teemu Huuhtanen, the CEO of Next Games said in a recent statement “2015 was a banner year for Next Games. We succeeded in attracting senior international talent, growing from 45 to 70 employees, while launching two highly successful products: The Walking Dead: No Man’s Land, based on AMC’s blockbuster TV series, and Compass Point: West,”.
He continued “We are thrilled to see our existing investors fully committed to supporting Next Games’ ambitious expansion plans for 2016 and beyond.”
Next Games plans to use to the funding to build on its current titles and speed up the launch of its third title which is in development and yet to be announced.
So far, The Walking Dead: No Man’s Land has reached 10 million downloads and has shown great performance in the Google Play and iTunes charts.
ASKfm, the platform targeting both iOS and Android devices has announced the release of its latest update. The app allows users to send each other questions from within the app. The latest version now offers a redesigned interface as well as other additions. ASKfm now offers a more youthful feel for its target user base. The platform also offers a new mascot: Owlcat.
Additionally, the app now has GIF integration, which enables users to browse through GIFS to send with their question responses. Users are also able to unlike any post, or double tap to like a post, customise the banner behind their profile and share profiles and post through text.
Furthermore, due to an integration with a partner platform for Vine Creators called Collab, the feature ‘Question of the Day’ will be programmed by a selection of Vine stars including Marcus Perez, DSharp and Rickey Thompson. On top of this, a ‘Grab n Ask’ feature will enable users to share questions that they find with other users.
Andrea Cutright, the COO of ASKfm commented in a recent statement “ Young people on ASKfm show incredible engagement—the bulk of the 18 billion questions asked over the past year were answered within a minute. We saw an opportunity to dramatically evolve the ASKfm experience to foster the instantaneous communication, creativity and connection that reflects how our users view the platform.
Officially launched for iOS and Android devices is the communication platform, MyState. The aim of the app is to avoid ‘phone tag’ between users, allowing them to see when other contacts are currently on a call. Ultimately, users will not waste their time calling someone when they are busy.
When a user has downloaded the app, MyState keeps track of their availability status, automatically displaying it from within the app. If a user is without internet connect, is in a different time zone or currently on a call, an icon will be displayed. The app is also able to detect when a user’s device is on vibrate or silent, or even when the device is being charged and running low on battery.
Another feature of the app is that users are able to post their own status messages, listing them as ‘busy’, ‘free’ or displaying to ‘text me’. There are also privacy options should a user wish to prevent certain contacts from viewing their state.
The app offers a ‘crunch’ button, which notifies users that a user is trying to reach them, when they are on another call. Users are also able to tap buttons to send a text message to a contact as well as send an email.
Zvika Starkman, the CMO of MyState said in a recent statement “MyState is really shifting the way people communicate. The phone has evolved so much since its invention, yet the issue of call coordination has remained. We solved the problem of wasting energy and pent up frustration from playing phone tag, and waiting on busy signals. This is just the first step of where MyState could take its users. Imagine the future possibilities, like coordinating a conference call with the tap of the Crunch button the moment all parties are available!”
The puzzle game Best Fiends, which was launched by the Finnish developer Seriously in 2014 has achieved its largest revenue month to date. It has been reported by Seriously that in December the game produced over $3 million in revenue, bringing its total gross revenue $25 million.
It can be said that the part of the apps success was due to the Against Slime 2 charity campaign. The campaign included over 20 YouTube starts as well as The Ellen DeGeneres show – to be a part of a competition using the game.
The campaign proved to be a huge success raising over $250 000 for charity and brought the total amount donated to $350 000.
The game saw over 2.6 million downloads due to the campaign, with the total downloads reaching 25 million. The daily active player count for the game in now at a staggering count of 2.1 million.
For more interesting statistics on the hit game see the infographic posted by Seriously.
Recently launched to the iTunes store is Movesum, the Swedish health platform app by Lifesum. The app aims to step-count and assist users in visualising the number of calories that they burn each day. This may be from drinks to food and will assist users in paying attention to their everyday activity as well as their food consumption.
Every day, the app will count how many steps each user has taken. It will then match these stats with the food and drink intake. Users are able to pre-set goals for the number of steps they wish to take daily.
When using the app, users can swipe to view various drinks and food and tap the items to see their approximate nutritional information such as fat content, protein and carbs. Movesum also provides an estimate of the amount of steps needing to be taken to match the calorie counts.
Henrik Torstensson, the CEO and co-founder of Lifesum said in a recent statement “The simple truth is that people don’t need to move very fast to be healthy, they just need to move more. Movesum makes it fun to move on a daily basis, and will hopefully encourage people to walk instead of driving or catching public transport.”
Movesum is available for a free download from the iTunes App Store.
Just launched for iOS devices is the new social networking app, Peach. It aims to provide users with a space to share various updates about their lives as well as follow others.
Unlike other apps, which combine content from all users on a timeline, Peach offers a specific page dedicated to each user who can share content. Users can share photos and text to their spaces, as well as content through the use of magic words such as ‘gif’, ‘rate’ or ‘shout’ as examples.
When a user types the word ‘gif’ for example, the GIF search bar will appear. Users are then able to search the GIF’s with keywords and browse with the arrows that are available.
Users are able to follow others in the app, which enables them to see a preview of their recent posts on the apps home screen. To view more of another user’s activity, they are able to tap on a friend to view their full space.
While a user is viewing another user’s space, users can go to the bottom of the screen to fire an activity button, to complete actions such as giving the user a cake or waving to the user. Users can also comment on individual posts as well as like them on a users page.
Peach is available for a free download from the iTunes App Store.
The 2015 holiday season proved to be the App Store’s busiest time as it reached record breaking sales. On in-app purchases and downloads, App Store customers spent more than $1.1 billion over the two weeks end Jan.3 2016. This includes weekly back-to-back records for purchases and traffic for the App Store.
More specifically, on Jan.2016 the App Store had its busiest day in history, with over $144 million being spent by users on the given day. The previous record was made the week earlier on Christmas day of 2015.
Philip Schiller, the senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple said in a recent statement “The App Store had a holiday season for the record books. We are excited that our customers downloaded and enjoyed so many incredible apps for iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV, spending over $20 billion on the App Store last year alone.”
It has been reported that for app developers since 2008, there has been near $40 billion generated.
The staggering number of app downloads came as no surprise due to the large amount of devices being given as gifts and then in turn, filled with app downloads.
Recently launched by Inkboard is the new mobile app, Animatic targeted at iOS devices. The app allows users to generate their very own animated hand-drawing which is then able to be shared via social media and to friends through text messages.
The app allows users to create the animated GIF’s frame-by-frame and uses varied drawing utensils such as markers, crayons and pencils. Before adding a new frame, users are able to draw as much as they like. Options are also available to erase parts of the drawings. To help users draw, there is a shadow visible in the background of the previous frame.
A preview of the GIF can be played at any time whilst using Animatic. Users are also able to add in new frames at any time throughout their work. Additionally, the speed of the animation is able to be adjusted. They are then able to save the animation as a GIF or video to their device and once this is done, users can share it via email, another app or text message.
Darren Paul, the co-founder of Inkboard said in a recent statement “Most importantly, we wanted Animatic to enable anyone to easily animate their ideas. Animatic is the offspring of our product Inkboard, and powered by the Inkboard SDK. We can’t wait to see what people will create!”
Animatic by Inkboard is available for a free download from the iTunes App Store.
Recently launched to the app stores by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is the new “The Walk VR” mobile app for both iOS and Android devices. The app aims to tell the story of Philippe Petit, who in 1974 walked on a wire between the towers of the World Trade Centre.
The app offers a 360 degree video mode for those who don’t own a virtual reality headset, however is indeed compatible with Google Cardboard devices and Merge VR Goggles. To change the view of the scene users can move around their device on the 360 degree video mode.
As the video plays, users with a VR headset experience Petit’s walk through the towers by moving their head to change their view.
Over a special promotion period, due to the film’s release on DVD and blu-ray users that wish to purchase the Merge VR Goggles are said to receive a $15 discount on their purchase using a promotional code. The usual retail price of the headset is valued at $99.
Recently launched by Shoto is its latest version, Album Match targeted to iOS devices. The app aims to allow users the ability to share photos with friends, and combines both the users and the friend’s photos into albums. The latest version, being a 5.0 update includes an ‘overhauled design’ for the app. Additionally, it introduces Album Match which is a new feature that points out photos that each user may wish to share.
Album Match essentially identifies which friends were with a user when pictures had been taken at a certain location, then creates an ‘album match’ to group these photos into an individual album. After one of these matches have been identified, the user can then request access via their friends. Once the images have been approved by the friend, the user then has access to the folder.
The app also includes an ‘album completeness’ feature that indicates whether a particular album could still contain more images from friends. Furthermore, the new version of the app includes a redesigned Library. Users are able to browse their Library to discover content. Lastly, displayed on the photos are icons that indicate whether the photos are public, private or shared.
Sachin Dev Duggal, the CEO of Shoto said in a recent statement to Social Times “ Shoto 5 is our big push in truly letting you get the photos you didn’t take. Whilst others sell you on this fear of missing out, you always end up getting a sharing app that doesn’t really get you the photos from friends. Our Album Match technology precisely tells you who has photos and let’s you ask for them by a single tap. All the photos pool into a single album.”
Shoto is available for a free download from the iTunes App Store.