Mobile is the next hot marketplace for gaming. From Nintendo launching Super Mario Run on iOS, to Sega collaborating with Wargaming to put Valkyria Chronicles content into World of Tanks Blitz, it seems every publisher wants to grab a share of the mobile store. According to VentureBeat's GamesBeat section, Ubisoft is looking to profit off of mobile games too: the company announced in a press release that they picked up mobile developer Ketchapp earlier today.
Ketchapp, who developed 2048 for mobile back in 2014, created a variety of games that have proven popular on smartphone devices. "Ketchapp is responsible for free-to-play games like Risky Road, Stack, and Gravity Switch," GamesBeat explained. "Bringing that library of apps into Ubisoft will make the company the fourth largest publisher in terms of total downloads in the $36.6 billion mobile gaming market."
Acquiring Ketchapp is certainly a wise investment. With an average 23 million downloads each month, serving as Ketchapp's publisher means a roaring start into the mobile market: with Ubisoft seeing the benefits right away. Not to mention, Ubisoft will enter the market as one of the top five mobile publishers in the world. The acquisition represents a clear signal on Ubisoft's part. They want to enter the mobile industry immediately and reap the gains, as opposed to simply creating tie-in products and spin-offs for smartphone devices.
Of course, Ketchapp isn't without controversy. As GamesBeat points out, the developer has seen numerous complaints that their games replicate game design mechanics found in other titles. According to a post on NeoGAF, several of their games essentially are repackagings of other titles, including 2048. With the memory fresh in the minds of many NeoGAF users, some are crying foul, figuring that Ubisoft is more interested in entering the market than treating developers fairly. Time will tell if the culture at Ketchapp stays the same as Ubisoft takes the wheel.