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Love at First Sight: Kwalee Acquires Narrative Specialists Tictales

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Kwalee, a world-leading game developer and multiplatform publisher, has made its first ever studio acquisition with a deal that brings French developer Tictales into its increasingly-global family.

Established as one of the world’s foremost mobile game developers and publishers, Kwalee has achieved more than 750 million downloads across its hypercasual games portfolio.

The deal to buy Tictales is the first acquisition by Kwalee in its 10-year history, signalling its serious intent to build upon global hypercasual success with both casual and hybrid-casual titles.

Tictales, whose narrative-based mobile games have been downloaded more than 6 million times and played for more than 350 million hours, will continue to operate with creative independence while benefiting from Kwalee’s marketing expertise.

Screenshot from Perfume of Love by Tictales

14 games have been developed and published by Tictales since the studio’s founding in 2015, including Perfume of Love, Fictions and Swiit Crush – Interactive Stories. The company specialises in free-to-play romance narrative games, and its titles are acclaimed by fans globally.

Headquartered in Leamington Spa, UK, Kwalee has doubled in size over the past year thanks to rapid global expansion. The developer and publisher also has offices in Bangalore, India and Beijing, China along with remote team members all around the world. With the acquisition of Tictales, the company now has team members spread across 18 countries.

Kwalee boasts the world’s most prolific hypercasual games development studio, having published more than 40 number one mobile games – most of which were developed by a dedicated internal team. Internal development is complemented by a dedicated mobile game publishing team working with talented developers all over the world, led by SEGA and Ubisoft veteran Will Cox.

“We have been committed since day one to creating amazing mobile fiction for our audience and I’m very proud of all the team members of Tictales for this milestone,” said Christophe Chocho, Sales Manager and Co-Founder of Tictales.

“The long-term vision of Tictales is to bring bigger franchises to the world, with our production capacity increasing and new talents joining our team. We and Kwalee share the same philosophy about high-quality games and we cannot wait to show our exciting new projects to the world.”

“Our talented team crafts the best narrative experiences for fans to enjoy for many years,” added Harouna Camara, Creative Director and Co-Founder of Tictales.

“Joining Kwalee allows us to concentrate on these passions and specialisms while benefiting from their expertise, particularly in marketing and publishing.”

“It’s a proud moment for us to make Kwalee’s first acquisition, and Tictales is the perfect partner,” said Kwalee CEO David Darling.

“With their successful track record of casual mobile games and ability to tell a compelling story through their games, their ambitions match our own and we’re looking forward to building collective success.”

A legend of the UK games industry who co-founded Codemasters and led the company for 20+ years before establishing Kwalee, Darling is writing yet another chapter in his decades-long gaming career with this acquisition – and he’s not ruling out more deals for companies with complementary skill-sets.

David Darling, CEO of Kwalee

Developers with hypercasual, hybrid-casual or casual mobile games can submit, market-test and get their games published using the Kwalee Publishing Portal. In a process that takes only minutes, all that’s needed are a few 15-second gameplay videos, or a simple prototype: https://www.kwalee.com/publish-with-us/.

Latest News

BINGOTON: PADDY POWER PRESENTS A DRAMA…WITH BALLS

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Mischievous betting brand Paddy Power presents an eyebrow raising ‘drama with balls’ after teaming up with creative agency Octagon for their latest ad campaign. 

“Bingoton” was formally rolled out in a fashion befitting the brand’s proverbial bingo debutante today (23rd September).  

Written and art directed by Jonny Watson, Dan Harrison and Neil Richardson of Octagon UK, and directed by Jim Gilchrist of Outsider, the 30-second TVC will get its first showing on ITV this evening during Coronation Street.  

The commercial takes viewers back to the early 19th century, with Miss Bingoton and her lady-in-waiting assessing a selection of ‘gentlemen callers’, cleverly creating a humorous parallel with the perils of modern-day dating.  

According to Josh Green, Executive Director at Octagon, this was the ideal comical conduit to convey the Paddy Power Bingoproposition:  

“In the simplest terms, bingo is drama with balls. That’s how the idea of Bingoton was born.” 

Tom Muldowney, Head of Gaming Marketing with Paddy Power adds:   

“We wanted to make a ballsy ad and Miss Bingoton felt like the perfect leading lady to convey our ‘more chances’ message. That’s with the exception of the Suitor who sent her (Charles) Dickens pix. He remains on the cutting room floor.”    

The advert opens with stunning views of high society types gathering at the palatial grounds of Bingoton Manor. Centre stage is Miss Bingoton, who is joined by her lady-in-waiting and Master of Ceremonies, all of whom eagerly anticipate a parade of potential suitors for her viewing pleasure.   

Suitor Number 10 gets the (bingo) balls rolling. But he’s quickly dismissed by Miss Bingoton who instructs her footmen to “swipe left” on her behalf.   

  Suitor Number 3 is quickly dispatched in an equally decisive manner, having been judged by Miss B to be “catfishing again” after she takes in his dated and unrecognizable profile painting.  

Trying his luck next is Suitor Number 66, a handsome gentleman from Essex who only has eyes for his own reflection.   

“The only way is EXIT,” she giggles under her breath to her lady-in-waiting.  

Paddy Power’s latest campaign comes with all the easter eggs punters have come to expect from the mischievous brand, who manages to marry drama (and balls) to make it a perfect match.   

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Gaming

Turbo Mode in the Game ‘Mines’ is On – Fasten the Seat Belts

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Classics are eternal, but classics with new improvements are captivating. One of the first
Turbo games has undergone visual and functional changes and has transformed into one
more game Turbo Mines.

The Head of Product at Turbo Games says:

“Visually, this is the successor to the super hit of our classic Mines. We are a young
progressive team that improves our product regularly, but not just observes what works
well. There is no limit to perfection, especially when you can change quickly and
qualitatively to open an even wider potential of Turbo hit.”

What does it mean for the players?

The rules remain the same as in Mines, but some additional features modify the perception
of the interface and the game pace.

Firstly, it is possible to change the game field size: to 3*3, 5*5, 7*7, and 9*9. Such
modification gives a player a chance to work on their strategy and choose the risk rate. So
to say, every round can be absolutely different from all points of view.

Secondly, those players who enjoy speed can experience it in Turbo Mines too. Such a
function enables a player to choose the same pattern for opening the blocks for many
rounds in a row. If a player sticks to the strategy that they believe in, they will win for sure
because dripping water wears away a stone not with its strength but with its constancy.
But there is no need to wait, do it in Turbo mode with Turbo Mines.

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eSports

Four Teams Advance to CS:GO Female Tournament at IESF WE Championships

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The International Esports Federation (IESF) concluded a groundbreaking competition for the Female Feature Division CS:GO qualifiers, which saw Indonesia, Poland, Namibia, and Argentina move forward to secure their spot at the World Esports Championships Finals in Bali, Indonesia. The qualifiers were hosted online by IESF, and the finals tournament in Bali will feature a $50,000 total prize pool. Poland and Argentina came out on top of their respective region’s qualifiers.

IESF President Vlad Marinescu said: “IESF is privileged to be able to host its first-ever Female Feature Division CS:GO tournament, a significant step forward for the world of Esports. This event is promoting inclusivity and providing female gamers equal opportunities to succeed on Esports’ biggest stage. IESF is committed to advancing and supporting the role of women in Esports through initiatives like this and our current partnerships with Women in Games and GIRLGAMER Esports Festival. “

IESF Marketing Manager Ana Karakolevska added: “Congratulations to the four female teams for giving us one of the most exciting qualifiers yet, and securing their spot at the first-ever CS:GO World Esports Tournament. IESF is proud to be making advancements in shaping the future of gaming for the entire World Esports Family. We can’t wait to see these skilled teams compete in Bali.”

World-leading Esports club Natus Vincere (NAVI) represented Poland in the qualifiers and will bring some of the world’s best Esports players to Bali to compete for the ultimate prize. The 14th WE Championships will take place from December 1 to 12 with Indonesia, Poland, Namibia, or Argentina looking to be crowned the first female CS:GO tournament winners.

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