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Anzu and Zynga-Owned Socialpoint Partner to Bring Intrinsic In-Game Ads to Dragon City

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Anzu.io, the world’s most advanced in-game advertising platform, announced a new partnership with Socialpoint, a wholly-owned mobile games development studio that is part of Take-Two Interactive’s Zynga label, which will enable advertisers to run ads in the popular town-builder and strategy-game Dragon City.

The partnership will see Anzu’s non-intrusive intrinsic in-game ad placements integrated into Dragon City, appearing on 3D objects throughout the game to preserve the user experience while enhancing the gameplay. Advertisers working with Anzu can run their display and video ads within the iOS, Android and PC versions of Dragon City to reach hundreds of thousands of highly engaged players globally.

Dragon City plays host to more than 1600 dragons for players to collect, each beautifully designed with its own personality, skill, and rarity. Players can breed, grow and level up their dragons while sending them to compete in epic battles online. In its most recent and exciting update, the game partnered with AMC Networks to bring The Walking Dead experiences to the game. Anzu now allows advertisers to reach Dragon City players across all geographies, with a special focus on the US, UK, Germany, France, Canada and Australia.

“Dragon City is a renowned title with rich and engaging content that keeps players coming back every day, and Anzu’s ad placements allow advertisers to tap into this diverse and highly engaged audience in a non-intrusive way. The game has a huge following, and it’s been great to work with Socialpoint to help them establish their in-game ad monetization strategy, which benefits their studio, players, and advertisers,” Lev Kommisarchik, VP of Mobile Games and Publisher Services at Anzu, said.

“We are very excited to see how Anzu’s industry-disrupting technology will help us create a new revenue stream. We are also looking forward to welcoming some of the world’s biggest brands into Dragon City, further enhancing the gaming experience for our players worldwide,” Noemie Kerlidou, Senior Product Ad Monetisation Manager at Socialpoint, said.

Gaming

JUICY BUTTON GAMES LAUNCHES WITH $3M SEED ROUND LED BY THE GAMES FUND

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Juicy Button Games, a new independent games studio co-founded by the creators of Total Battle, Pixel Gun 3D and Mighty Party, today emerges from stealth with the announcement of a USD $3M seed round led by The Games Fund, a specialist early-stage VC fund that invests in outstanding video game developers and GameTech companies.

The investment will fuel Juicy Button Games’ development of an innovative mobile-first 4x strategy game from its headquarters in Limassol, Cyprus. The 4x genre is typically dominated by studios from China and, in its quest to create a worthy European challenger, Juicy Button Games has assembled a founding superteam which has been responsible for mobile titles grossing over $700M. Each co-founder brings a unique skillset to Juicy Button Games to create the perfect blend of top-tier 4x mechanics, slick user experience, and data-backed creative marketing. They are:

  • Alexander Kravchuk. A mobile gaming veteran with over 20 years of experience, Alexander is the creator of Total Battle, a leading MMO strategy title with $222M in lifetime revenue and 43M lifetime unique players.

  • Anton Sinelnikov. Anton is the co-founder and game design director of Cubic Games, which was acquired by Nexters in 2022 in a $100M deal. Cubic Games is best known for its legendary mobile FPS, Pixel Gun 3D, which has grossed over $220M on mobile and achieved 190M downloads. Anton is participating in Juicy Button Games’ seed round alongside The Games Fund as an angel investor.

  • Aleksandr Zaytsev. Aleksandr is the co-founder of Panoramik Games, a studio specializing in mobile midcore fantasy games including Mighty Party. Panoramik Games’ titles have achieved more than 70M downloads, with lifetime revenue of almost $180M across its portfolio.

Alexander Kravchuk, co-founder at Juicy Button Games, said:

“To launch Juicy Button Games, we brought together all four key elements: leading marketing expertise, cutting-edge tech, massive game design knowledge, and smart capital. Each of us has been in the games industry for decades and built successful companies, best in class. We united to alloy our collective expertise and resources and pour it into building the best 4x strategy game on the market. We’re set to launch and scale top-quality, deep, and juicy games that players will enjoy for years. We have known The Games Fund team for years and are excited to join forces with them as our first investor for this journey from Cyprus to global top charts!”

Ilya Karpinskiy, co-founder and General Partner at The Games Fund, said:

“At The Games Fund we are big believers in the mobile games market. But if you want to survive in the red ocean you better be a shark. Alexander, Anton, and Aleksandr are AAA founders and gurus in their domains with proven track records and top-grossing games under their belts. We can not imagine a better founding team for such an ambitious goal! Europe’s game development scene is an untapped pool of opportunities, and we are on a mission to connect outstanding gaming founders from overlooked regions with the global industry from the United States to South Korea! We are proud and humbled that both young and seasoned founders trust TGF to be their founding investor and can’t wait to see them building global companies!”

The Games Fund has raised $50 million to invest in gaming companies and founders from emerging markets in Central and Eastern Europe, such as ROAR Games, Obelisk Studio, Made on Earth Games, KEK Entertainment and Jarvi Games.

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Eastern Europe

Amazon Games Expands Global Footprint with New Development Studio in Europe

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Amazon Games Expands Global Footprint with New Development Studio in Europe
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Amazon Games announced it has opened a new game development studio in Europe, based in Bucharest, Romania. The studio expands Amazon’s commitment to developing and publishing games as it joins the ranks of the existing development teams in Orange County, Montreal, San Diego, and Seattle. The new studio will focus on supporting Amazon Games’ diverse portfolio of games now and in the future. Amazon Games is actively hiring to build out the talented team, with many active roles open now.

“Amazon Games is focused on developing and publishing great games, and we have an ambitious long-term roadmap in front of us,” said Christoph Hartmann, VP of Amazon Games. “Expanding our internal development teams into Europe was a natural next step for us as we tackle our broad portfolio. Bucharest is known as one of the top emerging European cities for game development and we look forward to tapping into the rich talent pool.”

Amazon Games has hired industry veteran Cristian Pana to lead the studio. Cristian brings more than 20 years of experience building video games, most recently serving as the Managing Director at Ubisoft Bucharest. Cristian’s experience spans some of video games’ biggest games and franchises, including Tom Clancy’s The Division, The Crew, Far Cry, and Avatar and diverse genres, from driving games, action adventure open world games to shooter RPGs.

“I’m thrilled to join Amazon Games at a time when the team is actively building across an exciting roadmap,” said Cristian Pana, Studio Head for Amazon Games Bucharest. “I’ve built and led outstanding teams in the past and I know this area of Europe is a hot spot for some of the very best talent in gaming.”

The new studio supports Amazon Games’ vision of developing and publishing games that foster community in and around its games. The expanding portfolio from Amazon Games includes two launched live-service games, New World and Lost Ark, announced projects including Tomb Raider, The Lord of the Rings, and Throne and Liberty, as well as unannounced projects from our San Diego and Montreal studios, and the independent studio Glowmade in the UK.

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Gaming

KuCoin Ventures Announces Strategic Investment in FantaGoal

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KuCoin Ventures, the investment arm of the global cryptocurrency exchange KuCoin, has announced a strategic investment in FantaGoal, an eagerly anticipated Web3 game for this summer. This collaboration marks a significant milestone in the evolution of the Web3 gaming market, emphasising the strategic partnership between KuCoin Ventures and FantaGoal.

FantaGoal is poised to capture the attention of football fans worldwide by integrating elements of the Euro Cup, Copa America, Fantasy sports and AI, delivering the most exhilarating football gaming experience. With the aim of building the world’s largest football ecosystem, FantaGoal has secured partnerships with many football stars as well as numerous football clubs and large football communities. Leveraging its innovative one-stop custody wallet solution, FantaGoal enables Web2 football fans to seamlessly transition into Web3 gaming.

The strategic partnership between KuCoin Ventures and FantaGoal is expected to unlock new opportunities for both parties. By leveraging KuCoin Ventures’ industry insights, FantaGoal is set to achieve substantial growth. Conversely, FantaGoal’s innovative gaming solutions will diversify the services offered by KuCoin Ventures. Key highlights of the partnership include enhanced user engagement for FantaGoal, advancements in seamless user integration from Web2 to Web3, and innovations in game economics and ecosystem design.

“KuCoin Ventures is thrilled to partner with FantaGoal, a platform that shares our vision for an open and accessible financial future. This investment is not just financial; it’s a strategic move to integrate FantaGoal’s innovative gaming solutions into our ecosystem,” Johnny Lyu, CEO of KuCoin, said.

KuCoin Ventures has been actively seeking out and investing in promising blockchain and cryptocurrency projects that align with its vision of a decentralised and inclusive financial ecosystem. The investment in FantaGoal is a testament to KuCoin Venture’s commitment to supporting projects that bring transformative solutions to the market.

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