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Introducing Our New Market Intelligence Tool

At Coda, our goal always has been and always will be to unlock the full potential of each of our studio partners by supporting and optimizing their games through each step of the odyssey that is publishing a successful mobile game.

One key challenge we know of from speaking to hundreds of game creators is that it is really hard to work out which game ideas, mechanics, arts styles and other elements they should be choosing to create their next game, particularly in an industry where the trends can change on a weekly basis. With that in mind, we’re proud to share with you, our studio partner, our latest product offering that we hope you will find helpful, addictive and inspiring when thinking about your next game.

Introducing the new Coda Market Intelligence tool

As a user of the Coda platform, we’d like to invite you to try our new significantly upgraded market intelligence tool. With the tool you can browse over 10,000+ games, their lookalikes, their relations to game mechanics and top performers, all of the information we think is relevant to achieving one thing: understanding what the next big thing is.

The tool consists of 5 different sections:

  • Prelaunch
  • New Releases
  • Top Charts
  • Trending Mechanics
  • Discover

Prelaunch

Prelaunch is great for getting insights into what other players in the market are up to, what they’re testing and which tests are succeeding or failing.

New Releases

This is a great place to see which relevant games are just being release and to spot new rising stars.

Trending Mechanics

We use our own automatic tagging system to identify changes in the market from the perspective of game mechanics, so you’ll be able to see how mechanic trends change over time and what the top games of those mechanics are.

Discover

After manually tagging hundreds of games ourselves, we’ve scaled those efforts into a machine learning model that can predict the games available in the market and keep our database of tagged games growing through time. We were so impressed with the results that we decided to share it with you, our development partners. You’ll be able to filter every hyper casual game available in the market by their core and secondary mechanics, dimensions, video types, styles and themes.

So step on up and start discovering. We believe this is a huge step forward for game discovery and we'd love to hear your thoughts on it.

Discover our Market Intelligence tool on the Coda Platform

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Our Top 5 Mobile Games to Keep You Entertained

Mobile games are a fantastic way to pass the time. Whether you’re on the way to work or in between appointments, as you hopefully will be again soon or stuck at home in isolation: an engaging mobile game is always a welcome distraction.

Here at Coda, we get to test and play a lot of different games (one of the many perks of the job) and we asked our Product Manager, Emre, to share his Top 5 Mobile Games guaranteed to keep you entertained!

Meet Emre

Emre Colakoglu is one of our talented product managers helping to expand and build the Coda Platform. As a developer and avid gamer, he took a moment to share with us his Top 5 Games to keep you entertained. Take a read below and discover a new game worth playing!

Machinarium is probably my favourite puzzle game on mobile! A point and click adventure puzzle game (pioneered in Monkey the Secret of Monkey Island and many other games by Ron Gilbert). The game has an amazing art style and sound FX art by Amanita Design based in Brno, Czechia. They have an upcoming game called Creaks scheduled to be released this year. I’m very much looking forward to it!

This was the first ever tower defense game I played on mobile - an instant classic! Great level design and artwork which brings a new dimension to the tower defense genre. 

I am also a big fan of the sequels Kingdom Rush Frontiers and Kingdom Rush Vengeance developed by Ironhide Studio based in Uruguay.

Amazing black and white 2D platform puzzle game with bizarre characters and an incredible narrative. You control a young boy navigating through a black and white environment. Limbo gets complicated in its second half where you need to get smarter about solving mechanical puzzles. The sound is fantastic too.

This is a physics based unusual golf parody that's full of surprises. It uses the golf mechanic but instead of your average golf ball, you’ll be driving and putting random objects… from cars, to birds and even full houses! So much fun! 

This game is a great spaceship simulation where you become the captain of a spaceship and adventure through space. The simple graphics and insane complexity made me a huge fan of this game - definitely worth a try!

So there you have it, five new mobile games for you to try out that are guaranteed to help you pass the time and keep you entertained. If you’re working on a game that you think will be a new favourite in the market, submit your game idea on our platform here!

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Berk’s Top 10 Mobile Games

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Meet Berk

Berk Tatlises is co-founder and CTO leading the development for the Coda Platform. As a developer and avid gamer, he took a moment to share with us his Top 10 Favourite Mobile Games. Take a read below and discover a new game worth playing!

Mini Metro

In Mini Metro, you're responsible for designing a subway map for a growing city. The graphics are simple but authentic to a true subway map design and the game gets more complex as the city grows and new stations open up. I like the game because I can never get better at it, but I still keep playing it rigorously. Just like FTL: Faster Than Light. 

Super Mario Run

Although being the first Nintendo title on mobile, it was an excellent execution from Day 1. Based on the Nintendo classic, players tap to guide Mario and other favourite characters through platform-style levels. I wasn't expecting it to be so fun, but in fact it’s so good that it made me pay for the full version in 15 mins after downloading the game. I’ve played it all over and over and over...

Animal Crossing Pocket Camp

Can nonsense be fun and satisfying? This is insane, this is surreal. I’m constantly completing the same limited amount of tasks but since I’m interacting with other people, including the NPCs and it gives me the joy so much. Everyone is so happy in this world. Not that this is a temporary thing for me, I’ve been playing this franchise (a Nintendo interpretation for franchise) since first generation of Nintendo DS came out.

Rope Rescue

Other than this one, without discussion, deserving the made-up title by myself “One of the Greatest Games on Mobile Ever”, the single reason it being one of my favourites is that it’s the first game my 7 year old nephew, and at the same time a BFF, told me: “I cannot believe this game has been produced by you! [CODA]” and played it nonstop for 2 hrs long.

Shinsekai Into the Depths

Go play the game. Mesmerising. In this underwater exploration game, mankind is forced to take refuge underwater as the land above freezes over. You control your Aquanaut as he navigates the depths of the oceans to uncover others living below. You'll need an Apple Arcade subscription to play and if not, don't worry - there's a one month free trial available!

Merge Faces

A fun 2048 spinoff, except this time you have get satisfaction and fun of merging faces! 

It’s a favourite because I’ve written the original code of the game and then a seasoned game developer went through it by request and offered me his services for free. He told me: “Let me just start from scratch and deliver it in 3 days”. And he did : ) Feel free to guess how long it took me.

 

WHAT THE GOLF?

I can’t hold my smile back when thinking about this one! Same situation with Shinsekai, an Apple Arcade title. It’s different and it’s something you won’t expect to be out there. A game with a golf-mechanic you won't have seen before, letting you golf just about anything - from houses, to dogs, to lamps and more... it includes challenges which don’t even make sense, super fun!

Tennis Clash: Game of Champions

Finally! A mobile game with a great user experience with game controls and mechanics. The game has great 3D visuals and you can even play with friends in real-time. This is the first digital tennis game I’ve played for days long. Is it weird that I feel proud of it being a mobile game?

Pokemon GO

I generally pretend to be cool/authentic/genuine/different, even though yeah it’s what you’ve guessed. At age 33, this game made me go out, walk for miles long, not talking about 2-3 miles but 10-15 almost every day for 3 weeks long. I’ve ran into young engineers on the road, the ones I was leading at the company I was part of then, couldn’t explain myself. At age 36, I still can’t.

Boom Beach

Boom Beach let's you play with millions of players, as you battle and raid enemy bases for control of resources and land. 

I've spent around £150 for in app purchases, adding this game to the list with the hope that somehow one day I can get a refund for promoting it. It’s Supercell, you cannot say no to them : )

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Will the Mobile Gaming Industry Remain Immune to Coronavirus?

In a few short weeks, Coronavirus, or otherwise known as COVID-19, has had an unprecedented global effect. At the time of publication the novel virus has infected over 340,000 people in over 160 countries, with governments scrambling to contain the spread and protect the health of citizens. As the number of cases increases, more and more industries are buckling under the effects of restricted travel, work and national quarantine measures.

But the question remains as to whether or not digital-based industries are immune to the impact of COVID-19. While mobile games are a digital product, there are multiple facets to the industry relating to monetization, promotion and development that could continue to be impacted even after the virus is contained.

Cancelled Events Threaten Promotional Activities

Given the contagious nature of Coronavirus, many countries have banned events or large gatherings of people in an attempt to limit potential exposure. It came as no surprise then to those in the mobile gaming industry when the annual GDC Conference in San Francisco was cancelled. 

GDC is not an isolated case and for many of those working in the industry, gaming conferences are integral to networking and keeping a pulse on new studios, publishers and developments. The cancellation of gaming events could have a huge effect, particularly on developers with promotional deals tied to the event. Losing a prime PR opportunity to announce a new product, company update or game could mean the difference between a game being extremely successful or one that struggles to gain attention.

It’s unclear as to when events and large gatherings will be resumed in particular countries, but it is fair to assume that it will take time for borders to reopen and travel to resume as normal for people to start attending these important events and conferences.

Quarantine and self-isolation has led to increased downloads and user sessions

Quarantine increases user sessions

Self-isolation, social-distancing and quarantine measures have meant that millions of people have been contained in their homes. Huge numbers have turned to games to stay entertained, as seen last month when the Apple Store in China reported a whopping 62% jump in downloads alone during their quarantine period. 

Logically with increased user sessions, players are also purchasing more in-app purchases. Coupled with larger ad revenues from longer user sessions, it would seem that COVID-19 has had an overwhelmingly positive impact upon the mobile gaming industry. However while the initial growth is promising, it could be short lived.

A global recession will impact all industries

The past few weeks have seen economists and governments confirming the worst: that a global recession is likely to occur as a result of COVID-19. As expected a recession would undoubtedly have a detrimental effect upon both publishers and developers globally.  

Since many free-to-play mobile games generate the majority of their revenue from ads served within games, less brand ad expenditure from travel, entertainment or e-commerce brands would result in less overall ad revenue for developers.

While some industry experts are optimistic that there will be a fast recovery from the recession, it’s too early to tell how long such an economic rebound would take if the world returned to normal activity. 

Adaptation to new user behaviour is key

As recent weeks have shown, many industries have felt both positive and negative effects from the societal disruption of COVID-19. While it’s still too early to predict when the market will stabilise, adaption to the changing situation and demand of users is key to getting through this uncertain period. 

We suggest that game developers use this time to reflect and analyse game data to potentially spot new development opportunities in line with changing user behaviour. Perhaps even use the extra time in isolation or quarantine to ideate new game concepts, or see what games are working well in the market (there’s a great tool for that on the Coda Platform!). More importantly, game developers shouldn’t forget the bigger picture: the health of our family, friends and the community.

As Andrew French, COO of Coda reflects, “While it’s uncertain as to how the industry will evolve in the coming months, the health of our loved ones and local community comes first. We hope that loved ones stay safe and the general public work together to support each other during this time.” 

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Navigating Mobile Game Publishing Contracts

Publishing a mobile game is a really exciting moment for a developer. When it comes to signing contracts, however, developers can sometimes draw the short straw.

Publishing contracts can often be confusing and unclear. Pages upon pages of legal jargon can make it extremely difficult for developers to understand what they are signing up for - especially for non-native speakers. 

At Coda, we want to avoid this confusion and help equip developers with the knowledge to make informed decisions when publishing their games. This guide aims to break through the noise and help you to understand the main sections of a publishing contract, key terms & definitions, as well as the common pitfalls to be aware of.

Key Areas of a Mobile Game Publishing Contract

In every mobile game publishing contract, there are generally four key areas that are covered in the contract. These generally relate to the mobile game, the publishing of the game, the revenue split and the parameters of the contract itself. Throughout a contract you’ll find the publisher’s terms and conditions for each of these areas (not necessarily lumped into separate sections), as well as particular clauses that should be adhered to. 

Game

Terms and conditions falling under this area generally relate to the mobile game itself and how the developer and publisher interact with it. Often within publisher contracts, it will outline who owns the Intellectual Property (IP) of the game concept, how the game will be developed, the roles and responsibilities of the developer / publisher in developing the game, as well as any exclusivity in testing the game.

Publishing

Conditions under this category generally refer to the terms of publishing, essentially outlining how the game will be published, the launch and promotion of the game, updates and sequels to the game, if there is exclusivity of publishing, or if the developer is required to publish more than one game with that publisher.

Revenue

One of the most important aspects of a publishing contract that can differ from publisher to publisher is the revenue split on profits made from your game. Publishing contracts will often outline the revenue split, royalty agreements and may sometimes include buyout clauses or minimum revenue clauses.

Parameters of Contract

While you can easily enter into a contract, there are ways a contract can be broken or absolved based on the agreements set by both parties (the publisher and the developer). These will often be in the form of Termination clauses or under a section called “Breach of Contract”, detailing certain behaviours that will warrant a termination of contract and obligations of the developer and publisher. 

Pitfalls & Red Flags

In many cases, small studios or solo developers don’t have the resources to check legal details of contracts. Many will often rely heavily on the headline terms provided without reading the fine print and this can lead to developers signing contracts in good faith, while unknowingly being taken advantage of by publishers. 

Below are some of the most common pitfalls or clauses in contracts that act as red flags, urging you to pay attention and really understand what you’re agreeing to:

Exclusivity Clauses

Exclusivity is a common theme that will appear in publishing contracts and it exists to protect both the publisher and developer in the publishing process. However, sometimes exclusivity clauses can state exclusivity in testing with other publishers for certain timeframes, even on games not being published and restricting who you can test other games with. Every publisher will have different exclusivity agreements, so it’s up to you as a developer to decide what exclusivity agreements you are comfortable to work with.

Capped Payments

Headline fees will often state the revenue split for developers, but sometimes small print can state a capped amount of revenue that developers will receive every month / week. Capped payment clauses may even be accompanied by a buy-out clause as well. For some developers, capped payments may be a more suitable or even preferred revenue model for their type of game. The red flag here is when these clauses are hidden within fine print, so make sure to read carefully and understand your payment model before signing!

Fine Print

Make sure you read the fine print properly! Headline fees or statements in contracts can sometimes reveal only half the agreement, with clauses and strings attached in the fine print. Read the fine print and make sure you understand how revenue share is calculated and split (by geography, user, device) and what your rights and responsibilities are as a developer entering into the partnership. 

Buy Out Clauses

In this case a publisher can buy your game at a set price, meaning that you will no longer earn royalties once the game changes ownership. For some developers this may be a preferred scenario depending on the game and how much revenue they anticipate it will make in its life cycle. For others, this may limit the overall amount of revenue that can be earned from the game so it’s important that you’ve projected expected revenues to make a more informed decision.

Opt for contracts that help you grow as a developer

As a developer with a great game concept, you ultimately have the final say in which publisher you choose to launch your game with. So when speaking with publishers, we recommend you try and find a publisher that is going to work to grow not only your game, but your career as a developer through a mutually beneficial collaboration. 

At Coda, we are proud to say that we differ from many publishers in the way we approach publishing games. Our platform is the biggest example of our core mission, which is to help level the playing field for developers by giving them the tools and data to optimise their game development processes. The mobile gaming industry can be difficult to break into as a smaller developer, which is why our platform and our publishing contracts are aimed at producing quality games for users rather than quantity.

Our publishing agreements are transparent and clear so you know exactly what you’re signing up for. We share all analytical data with you throughout the testing and publishing process and our contracts have no capped payments, buy-out clauses or hidden fees and costs. We also operate on a simple and easy to understand revenue model for all markets and territories. 

As a developer it’s your game and your decision when it comes to who you want to publish with. Make sure you choose the right publisher who will provide a fair and honest collaboration and will help you grow your career and portfolio as a developer in the long-term!


Useful Contract Terms & Definitions

Confused by legal jargon? We compiled a list of the most common contract terms found in contracts and their definitions, as well as what to be mindful of when signing:

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TermDefintionWhat to lookout for:
Net RevenueThis refers to the amount of money remaining after costs of taxes & marketing have been subtractedMake sure that you really understand how the revenue will be split and that there is no fine print setting revenue share based on country or traffic source. For example, some contracts may state a 50:50 revenue split on Iranian users, by an 80:20 split for U.S users.
ExclusivityWhether or not you are required to publish exclusively with that publisher, with other publishers or whether your game can be published or tested later with another developerSome contracts may state that you may only test a game exclusively with the publisher, even if the publisher decides not to proceed in the launch. Make sure you aren’t limiting potential future publishing opportunities by signing into a heavily exclusive contract.
Buy-out clauseA publisher can buy the IP of the game, with the set price specified in the clauseIn this case a publisher can buy your game at a set price, meaning that you will no longer earn royalties once the game changes ownership. This may limit the overall amount of revenue you can earn from the game but is a case by case situation.
IndemnitySecurity or protection against a loss or other financial burden. Indemnity clauses are included in contracts to protect both the developer and publisher if there is a breach of contract or unforeseen circumstancesMake sure to read this section carefully and understand both your responsibilities and rights as a developer.

Are you looking to publish your next game or have a concept you think has potential? We’d love to see it! Submit your game directly on our platform here and discover how our tools and exclusive market data can help you to unlock your game’s potential. 

Sign Up to Coda to submit your game

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Coda’s Latest Releases: Juicy Stack & Balls Master

This past week the Coda team has been working hard with studios, Loop Games and Original Games, to publish not only one but TWO new exciting titles!

Balls Master and Juicy Stack are the latest titles to be launched by Coda, with the mobile games already generating impressive metrics and top-chart positions around the world in less than a week!

Balls Master is a game with beautifully designed visuals and dynamic levels, requiring patience & accuracy from players.

A simple yet entertaining concept, players are required to destroy all cubes by aiming and firing balls before the cubes reach the bottom of the screen in true Space Invaders fashion. With in-game currency allowing you to score power-ups and revive lives, the game has already generated impressive metrics.

Retention rate of players at Day 7 sits at an impressive 30%, with 33% of revenues being generated from In-app purchases alone!

Juicy Stack is a delicious new mobile game that delivers a fresh new concept for mobile gamers. Best described as Tetris meets Fruit Ninja, Juicy Stack from Original Games is bursting with colour as players race against time to chip away at their slowly growing fruit tower.

Juicy Stack has already hit top chart positions in Overall Games in numerous countries including the UK, Japan, Sweden, Australia & Canada, with Day 7 retention sitting at a strong 20%.

So what are you waiting for? Try Juicy Stack and Balls Master for free today on the Appstore!

If you're looking to publish your next game or have a great concept, then we'd love to see it! Submit your game to the Coda team and get one step closer to launching your game.

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How Coda’s Latest SDK Release Gets your Game Lift-off Ready

For many mobile game creators, particularly smaller studios or indie developers, creating a game from scratch is time consuming. Coda’s latest SDK release, v1.4, aims to simplify and speed up a lot of these processes for game creators.: The Firebase-integrated SDK houses modules designed to help developers build more games faster.

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Coda raises $4m seed funding from LVP to grow out mobile game publishing platform

LONDON — January 29, 2020 — Coda, the first end-to-end publishing platform built to transform how free-to-play and casual mobile games are brought to market, has raised $4 million in seed financing from sector-expert VC firm LVP. The company also announced that LVP general partner David Lau-Kee will be joining the Coda board of directors. The sizable seed funding will be used to scale Coda’s operations, grow its team and partner roster, and to add features to the Coda platform. Developers can download the Coda SDK and start building now at www.codaplatform.com

Coda’s mission is to empower game makers around the world to make a living doing what they love

“Coda’s mission is to empower game makers around the world to make a living doing what they love — making games,” said Sekip Can Gokalp, founder and CEO, Coda. “We couldn’t be happier to have LVP’s support and sector expertise to help make Coda the essential platform for developers and players of mobile games.”

Over the last decade, game development has been undergoing democratization, allowing small teams from virtually any location to quickly create and share casual mobile experiences with players around the world. However, more often than not, under-resourced developers and small teams are at a disadvantage when it comes to acquiring new users, applying data science and analytics to improve their games, or monetizing their games to make a living. The free Coda SDK is a groundbreaking way to level the playing field for game creators by taking care of many complicated and time consuming tasks needed to launch a successful mobile game, drastically reducing development time and costs. The platform gives developers of all sizes the sophisticated publishing tools and expert support they need to make their games successful. Creators get to concentrate on building great games, while Coda takes care of the rest.

LVP shares Coda’s vision for supporting an increasingly diverse and global community of developers

“LVP shares Coda’s vision for supporting an increasingly diverse and global community of developers who are focused on making great casual mobile game experiences,” said David Lau-Kee, General Partner, LVP. “The next big game idea could literally come from any corner of the globe, and platforms like Coda will be essential in helping these developers bring their ideas to life and connecting them with players.”

The Coda platform gives developers a suite of powerful tools to support them at every stage of a game’s lifecycle, whether they’re looking to refine their game concept, optimize their feature set and difficulty, or preparing their game for user acquisition campaigns, launch, and monetization.. The platform can also help developers test their concepts, track competitive games, and streamline the creative process to find new ideas faster.

To date, small development teams including the studios behind mobile games Rope RescueColor Combo and Pipeline 3D have used Coda to tune and launch their games. Combined, they have hit the 10 top in over 100 countries and surpassed 30 million installs.