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GameRefinery unveils the finalists for its annual Mobile GameDev Awards, celebrating the best in mobile game design



GameRefinery unveils the finalists for its annual Mobile GameDev Awards, celebrating the best in mobile game design
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The 2022 Mobile GameDev Awards finalists announced in seven categories covering different aspects of mobile game innovation and feature design, in USA, Japan and China.

Today, mobile game analytics specialist GameRefinery, a Liftoff company, is excited to announce that its jury has decided on the finalists for its second annual Mobile GameDev Awards. The awards recognise and celebrate innovation in mobile game design amongst developers in the USA, China and Japan.

The seven categories are:

Innovation and Excellence in Core Gameplay, (all regions)

Most Promising Soft Launch Game, (all regions) Biggest Evolver individually in USA, Japan, China Best Newcomer individually in USA, Japan, China

Best Feature Innovation, Best Event individually in USA, Japan, China and

Best Use of IP in Collaboration Events (all regions).

GameRefinery will announce the winners on the 24th of May 2022.

The 2022 Mobile GameDev Awards finalists have been selected by a panel of GameRefinery analysts, drawing on their extensive experience and expertise in games analysis.

GameRefinery’s platform tracks over 100,000 mobile games for market research, competitor intelligence, and player insights while providing more than 2,500+ in-depth game feature deconstructions and analyses.


Mobile GameDev Awards 2022 Finalists

Innovation & Excellence in Core Gameplay

The most innovative and well-executed core gameplay seen in 2021:

  • 无尽的拉格朗日 (Infnite Lagrange, China)
  • Gold and Goblins: Idle Merge
  • 哈利波特:魔法觉醒 (Harry Potter Magic Awakened, China)
  • Kingdom Guard: Tower Defence
  • ウマ娘 プリティーダービー (Umamusume Pretty Derby, Japan)
  • The Ants: Underground Kingdom
  • League of Legends: Wild Rift


Most Promising Soft Launch Game

The 2021 soft launch game most likely to be a breakout launch success based on gameplay:

  • Apex Legends
  • Clash Mini
  • Star Blast
  • Tower of Fantasy
  • Diablo Immortal
  • Honkai: Star Rail
  • Star Wars: Hunters


Biggest Evolver

The game that has developed the most during 2021 in terms of gameplay:

USA Finalists:

  • Merge Dragons!
  • Clash Royale
  • Garena Free Fire
  • Lords Mobile: Tower Defense
  • Rise of Kingdoms
  • Yahtzee® with Buddies
  • Cookie Run: Kingdom


Japan Finalists:

  • ステート・オブ・サバイバル (State of Survival)
  • Shin Sangokushi
  • ドラゴンクエストタクト (Dragon Quest Tact)
  • パズル&ドラゴンズ (Puzzle & Dragons)
  • プロ野球スピリッツA (Pro Yakyuu Spirits A)


China Finalists:

  • 植物大战僵尸2 (Plants vs. Zombies 2)
  • 谕 (Revelation)
  • 原神 (Genshin Impact)
  • 跑跑卡丁车官方竞速版 (PopKart Mobile)
  • 魂斗罗:归来-特战集结 (Contra Returns)


Best Newcomer

The best new entry into the market during 2021:


USA Finalists:

  • Beatstar
  • The Ants: Underground Kingdom
  • Royal Match
  • Kingdom Guard: Tower Defence
  • Family Farm Adventure
  • Zen Match – Relaxing Puzzle
  • The Lord of the Rings: Rise to War
  • No Limit Drag Racing 2
  • Idle Lumber Empire
  • League of Legends: Wild Rift


Japan Finalists:

  • ウマ娘 プリティーダービー (Umamusume Pretty Derby)
  • 二ノ国:Cross Worlds (Ni No Kuni: Cross Worlds)
  • ガーディアンテイルズ (Guardian Tales)
  • グランサガ(Gran Saga)
  • Nier Re[in]carnation


China Finalists:

  • 哈利波特:魔法觉醒 (Harry Potter: Magic Awakened)
  • 王牌竞速 (Ace Racer)
  • 幻塔 (Tower of Fantasy
  • 无尽的拉格朗日 (Infnite Lagrange)
  • 英雄联盟手游 (League of Legends: Wild Rift)
  • 重返帝国
  • 铲铲之战 (Battle of the Golden Spatula)


Best Feature Innovation

The most innovative new feature introduced in a game during 2021

  • 松松总动员 (Song-song Zong-dong-yuan, China) – Login calendar meets IAP offers
  • 松松总动员 (Song-song Zong-dong-yuan, China) – Innovative limited-time gacha event
  • Garena Free Fire – Special PvP modes
  • Cooking Diary – Social hangout areas
  • Yahtzee® with Buddies – Kingdom feature
  • Rise of Kingdoms – MOBA mode
  • Puzzle & Dragons (Japan) – Synchronous PvP mode
  • PUBG MOBILE – RP Activity Packs in Battle Pass
  • Highrise – NFT cosmetics
  • XFLAG’s Kotodaman and Monster Strike (Japan) – New gacha type with a social twist
  • Ensemble Stars!! Music (Japan) – Music co-op newcomer tasks


Best Event


The best in-game event held during 2021:


USA Finalists:


  • Yahtzee® with Buddies – Derby event


  • POP! Slots™ Vegas Casino Games – Win Zone event


  • Gardenscapes – Klondike Expedition event


  • Genshin Impact – Midsummer Island Adventure


  • Call of Duty®: Mobile – Anniversary event


  • Garena Free Fire – Pet Mania event


  • Mobile Legends: Bang Bang – Aspirants Unite event


  • State of Survival – 2nd Anniversary Airship Building event


Japan Finalists:


  • プロジェクトセカイ カラフルステージ! 初音ミク (Project Sekai Colorful Stage feat. Hatsune Miku) – New Year’s event


  • ドラゴンボール レジェンズ (Dragon Ball Legends) – Legends Festival


  • 妖怪ウォッチ ぷにぷに (Youkai Watch Punipuni) – Collaboration event with Neon Genesis Evangelion


  • 二ノ国:Cross Worlds (Ni No Kuni: Cross Worlds) – General events


  • NieR Re[in]carnation – Collaborations events with the earlier titles in the series (NieR Automata (launch), NieR Replicant and Drakengard 3)


China Finalists:



  • 松松总动员 (Song-song Zong-dong-yuan) – June 2021 Gacha event


  • 龙在天 (Legend of Yulong) – Fight the Landlord-card game event (doudizhu) in Jan


  • 神武4 (Shén wǔ 4) – Event with a real-life map to beat monsters and get points


  • 阴阳师 (Onmyoji) – recurring event with event-only customizable character


  • 富豪麻将 (Fuhao Majiang) – collaboration event with China Mahjong Masters Tournament


Best Use of IP in a Collaboration Event




  • 跑跑卡丁车官方竞速版 (PopKart Mobile) & Ali the Fox (China)


  • 肠派对 (Sausage Man) & Pizza Hut (China)


  • Top War: Battle Game & Transformers


  • 江南百景图 (Canal Towns) & Kentucky Fried Chicken (China)


  • Mobile Legends: Bang Bang & Hello Kitty (Sanrio Characters)


  • Roblox & 24kGoldn Concert Experience


  • PUBG MOBILE & Arcane (League of Legends)


  • 獅子の如く~戦国覇王戦記~ (Shishi no Gotoku – Sengoku Haousenki) & Rurouni Kenshin (Japan)


  • State of Survival & The Walking Dead (US)

Compliance Updates

Portuguese Regulator Approves Crash Games



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Portugal’s regulator has approved a draft regulation that will allow crash games to be played in the country.

Portugal’s Gaming Regulation and Inspection Service (SRIJ) announced the approval on May 19. It took effect on May 20, with the country’s Legal Regime for Online Gaming and Betting amended to include crash games in the legislation.

Crash games are house-banked games that allow players to play against the operator. They are based on a multiplier, which increases from 1 throughout the game to a maximum of 100.

Players aim to withdraw their bet before the game ends, receiving their initial stake times the multiplier if they do so. If they fail to do so, they lose their stake.

The legislation states that the multiplier will go from 1x to 100x. Additionally, the return to player cannot be less than 80%.

Licensed operators in the country may now apply for permission to offer the games.

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The World Health Organization (WHO) to provide expertise and support on health topics

Gucci and FACEIT have joined forces to debut the Gucci Gaming Academy, the first initiative of its kind created by a luxury fashion brand, envisioned to empower young esports talents, while creating a healthier playing and competition environment. The development program has been designed to provide support and enhance soft skills – through dedicated coaching sessions and teamworking activities – and help the next generation of esports talent to navigate the increasing amount of mental and physical issues coming from the pressure of in-game performance and online scrutiny.

The Gucci Gaming Academy is kicking off with four CS:GO players who are already competing in the FACEIT Pro League (FPL),  a competitive, moderated online league which has proven the springboard for the careers of some of esports’ most decorated pro players, with the intention of growing this number over time. Candidate selection will not only be based on in-game performance, but also on interviews to assess applicants’ personal values and soft skills, including their aptitude for teamwork and approach to conflict resolution. Players will be part of the Academy for up to one year, or until they are signed to a team, thus turning professional.

The Gucci Gaming Academy is filling a much-needed role in the future of the esports talent pipeline, facilitating the shift from amateur to pro in a similar vein to the academy programs seen in traditional sport.

Nicolas Oudinot, EVP New Business and Gucci VAULT CEO said “Gucci is at the forefront of the luxury industry’s foray into the world of gaming and as part of our mission to build meaningful relationships with communities in a genuinely authentic way, we are dedicated to supporting the up-and-coming generations of players to help manage the challenges they may face as a result of participating in esports. Understanding the issues that are relevant to them and learning about these from the people they affect are at the core of this collaboration.”

We are proud to announce the launch of the Gucci Gaming Academy. Together, we identified a need to create a new initiative that would aid the development of new talent. The Academy will offer a clear path to pro structure connecting the dots between the FACEIT Pro League, education and well-being,” commented Co-Founder & CBO of FACEIT, Michele Attisani. “The physical and mental demands on players looking to compete at a professional level are high. Players have rigorous training schedules, compete in high-pressure tournaments and immense pressure from fans, so it’s important that new talent entering the space are equipped with the right support structure at an early stage in their development. Supporting and empowering young esports talent is at the core of FACEIT’s values and through our shared vision with Gucci, we hope the Academy helps equip the role models of tomorrow.”

The program comprises group and individual activities to improve the esports athletes’ skills, within and outside the spheres of their respective game titles, as well as additional benefits, such as:

  • Group sessions facilitated by psychologists who specialise in esports from Mindwork; topics include “Performance under stress”, “How to deal with the spotlight”, “Teamwork” and more
  • Individual sessions with specialised psychologists who will provide support for players as they pursue their competitive journeys
  • Digital training plans designed specifically for each player, supplied via the Gucci Education platform
  • Participation in community-driven experiences coordinated through the Gucci Changemakers Volunteering program
  • Access through FACEIT to professional coaches who will provide training for improving in-game performance and offer practical strategies for how to compete professionally while maintaining a healthy mindset
  • Virtual educational sessions teaching the basics of player contracts and personal branding.
  • Top-of-the-line gaming PCs and monitors for optimal performance and personalised selection of computer electronic peripherals from Logitech G for high-level gameplay and to facilitate learning
  • Access to the vast Gucci and FACEIT esports network for the players’ entire careers

Representing the values of the Gucci Gaming Academy are the ambassadors, commentator James Bardolph, Counter-Strike legend Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund and trailblazer for women in esports Stephanie “missharvey” Harvey. The ambassadors will also act as mentors to the academy players, having 1-on-1 mentorship sessions with each talent monthly.

Gucci Gaming Academy has been designed by Gucci and FACEIT alongside some of the world’s leading mental and physical health organizations and legal minds to ensure every element of the curriculum has been informed by experts.

Significantly, as part of the program, Gucci and FACEIT will also work with the World Health Organization to find ways to support all gamers involved to improve their gameplay while prioritising health and safety. This includes mental and physical health, fighting misinformation online, among other essential topics.

“We welcome efforts by Gucci and FACEIT to encourage their large online communities to take the necessary steps for better health and well-being,” said Andy Pattison, Team Lead of Digital Channels at the World Health Organization. “We need to continue to reach people with lifesaving health messages where they are, in the palms of their hands.”

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World’s largest arcade platform offers retro gamers Epic deal – giving access to over 1300 Games



World’s largest arcade platform offers retro gamers Epic deal - giving access to over 1300 Games
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The world’s largest library of retro games, Antstream Arcade, will be slashing the price of its annual premium subscription to just $19.99 as part of Epic’s Spring Mega Sale. Between Thursday 19th May to Thursday 16th June, this discount will be available on the Epic Games Store and across all other platforms, giving retro gamers around the world ad-free access to over 1300 games. 

This world leading library of games includes retro classics like Mortal Kombat, Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Monkey Island and Earthworm Jim – all of which can be streamed from the cloud without the need for additional downloads or for microtransactions. 

Players from around the world will also be able to compete in Antstreams global tournaments, moving up the global leaderboards and engaging in game exclusive  “Challenge Modes” – modes that put new spins on old classics. Like Pac-Man Hide and Seek, or Mortal Kombat On The Ropes challenges. Players will also be able to enjoy Antstream’s new “Giant Slayer” feature – where players can challenge the global Antstream community to beat their high score in a game of their choice – bringing the joy of the classic Arcade to the modern gaming audience.

Steve Cottam, CEO at Antstream Arcade, said: “Our goal as a company is to bring some of the greatest games ever created to a global community through the medium of cloud gaming. Unlike other cloud gaming platforms that might have only 100 games, Antstream currently offers players over 1200 titles – with a price tag that sits well below our competition. And with this latest deal alongside Epic’s Spring Mega Sale, we are excited to make retro gaming more accessible than ever”.

Outside of the premium subscription option gamers are still able to access their favourite retro games on their computer, mobile, tablet or other devices through the free, ad-supported tier. Antstream Arcade features fully licensed and fully playable retro games from publishers including Disney, Warner Brothers, Taito, Atari and Bandai-Namco, as well as a huge range of smaller indie developers and IP owners from the arcade era and beyond. 

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