When it comes to mobile games, or video games in general, Japan is at the top of the shortlist as far as Asian countries go. Nintendo and Sony have become the household names only in Japan but globally and their dominance continues in the console world. However, mobile gaming industry is a different story. Nintendo and Sony, despite not lacking any effort, have been slow to get their sights set on mobile gaming world.
Singapore, not well known in gaming industry at all, has been dipping its toes in the mobile gaming scenes and there are already a few developers who have released some intriguing games. Although they haven’t quite achieved the success of Supercell, heralded developer from Finland, Singapore is becoming more well known for copycat games that are not particularly original but fun to play nonetheless.
Spearheading the effort is GUMI, a Singaporean game developer behind Brave Frontier. This is a game that looks exactly like Japanese Role-playing Games, Ala Final Fantasy or Dragon Warrior. It’s a simple copycat game that is very well polished and succeeded in penetrating the mobile gaming sector. To date, it has been downloaded over 20 million times on Google Android Play Store and Apple App Store. What separates Brave Frontiers from other JRPG clones is the PVP features that pits players against each other. Singaporean mobile game developer also has release several other games which haven’t seen as much success as BF such as: Big Hero 6 Bot Fight, Chain Chronicle and Slots Reel Frontier. The company has enjoyed its ups and downs, but recently has reported a $5 million loss in operating income.
The biggest problem with Singaporean game developers penetrating the western market simply seems to be cultural boundaries that exist. Western gamers aren’t big into JRPG, at least not on mainstream level, and to really break into larger audience, they will have to work hard to appeal to the gamers in US and Europe.
Daylight Studios is another Singaporean based mobile game developer that has released an intriguing game called Conquest Age. This iO only game is a hybrid of multiple game genres including: action, strategy, roleplaying and bit of crafting thrown in. Billed as fantasy RPG game, there are seven factions vying each other for supremacy and your job is to pick a faction and help achieved that goal. Rather fun game to play that has enjoyed limited success outside of Singapore, the Conquest Age is simply too complex to be successful in today’s mobile gaming market.
LambdaMu Games is one of those factory mill of mobile games that produces little to no originality when it comes to video games it produces. What it succeeds doing well is producing me-too mobile games that are heavily monetized with little play-ability value. They have so far produced games like Pixel People and Dice Soccer League. One of the top criticisms of the games LambdaMu is that they are very buggy and rarely runs correctly. It’s a sad state for the mobile developer to be in, producing unoriginal games that rarely runs correctly. Pixel People has since been acquired by Chillingo, which is a subdivision of EA.
Another mobile game that has hit our radar hailing from Singapore is Ravenmark: Mercenaries. Created by Witching Hour Studios, this little known game is available on Apple App Store. A turn-based strategy game at its core, it looks quite similar to Banner Saga for those who have played that excellent turn-based roleplaying game. From initial testing, Ravenmark has it all: good graphics, complex dynamics that will keep gamer interested for week and months and deep story line that actually engages and intrigues. It’s too early to say how this game will perform over its lifespan, but so far, it looks quite promising.