The likes of Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony might often dominate the gaming headlines, but while it seems as though the major consoles are constantly battling it out for top spot, it's mobile gaming that has seen the greatest increase in players in recent years. According to exactly who you ask, anywhere between 2-3 billion people now play games on their mobile phones, with up to one-third of them never playing anywhere else. Download numbers and revenue continue to rise all over the world as technology improves and awareness spreads, and more and more major names are looking to establish themselves as the place to play the best games.
But for all of the attention that mobile gaming is getting, it can be very difficult to get noticed. There are almost one million games listed on the App Store alone, with more than 1,000 new games being submitted to the platform every month during 2018-19. Add to that the increasing rate at which major developers are getting into mobile gaming with the likes of Call of Duty Mobile, PUBG Mobile, Fallout Shelter, and the upcoming League of Legends: Wild Rift and it becomes clear that a crowded market is unlikely to leave space for even the most well-made new projects. Mobile gaming can be a step into a long-term career in game development, but with so much competition it can be easy for even the best ideas to go entirely unnoticed.
To help level the playing field, Google is teaming up with MY.GAMES, an international gaming brand with more than 150 titles in its portfolio, including War Robots, Hustle Castle, Left to Survive, and Skyforge. Since 2014, its 13 studios have brought their games to more than 740 million people across PC, console, and mobile. The aim of MY.GAMES is to provide advice and investment via dedicated investment division MGVC - a team of specialists offering support in multiple aspects of development from game design and production to marketing and HR - to help the video game industry develop across the world. To that end, the group is working with the global tech giant to introduce Game Drive, a new scheme designed especially to provide insight and expertise to mobile game developers. The new program, which went live this month, will help promising mobile game studios and projects from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa get ahead in the hugely competitive development scene by focusing on how to break out on an international level.
Game Drive is open to any team working on a mobile game across Europe, Russia, the CIS Region, Turkey, Israel, the Middle East, and Africa, no matter what genre they've chosen to work in, how large their team is, or how much experience they have - as long as your game has a playable demo, Game Drive is open to you. Applications for the scheme opened here on November 18, 2020, and developers have until January 8, 2021 to submit a proposal. After that, ten of the most promising submissions as selected by a panel of executives from both Google and MY.GAMES will be invited to an online Demo Day (to be held in English) on January 28, 2021.
During the Demo Day, the winning teams will be provided support and advice from Google and MY.GAMES. Experts from Google's internal advertising company Admob and digital distribution service Google Play will offer assessment and analysis of each game's business potential and key metrics, as well as an overall look at their individual strengths and weaknesses. The successful development teams will also receive step-by-step recommendations about how they can improve their games ahead of release with a focus on how to scale up the project, as well as advice for developers looking to introduce their games to the international market. Finally, the day will act as a networking opportunity to introduce the teams to the MY.GAMES ecosystem, offering a closer look at the internal training the group can deliver to help provide long-term investment in each studio.
No matter your background or the type of games you make, Game Drive has the potential to offer a career-changing boost to teams looking to enter the hyper-competitive mobile gaming market across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Every month, more than 25 million people play one of the 80 MY.GAMES titles in active operation all over the world, and that wealth of experience could be an invaluable tool in creating the next mobile smash hit. For more details about how to apply, click here but remember that you'll need to submit your project before applications close on January 8, 2021.