Gameloft’s Busy Week: Record Profits, Indian Studio Closure, Blackberry Presence
Anyone interested in MMORPGs on iOS must also be interested in the fortunes of Gameloft, the studio who has put out the biggest, most successful game in the genre. This week was full of news-y tidbits from the French company; we run through them for you below.
Record Revenues, Again
As January closed out, Gameloft released their 2012 financials, and it was all good news. The company posted record revenues for Q4, to the tune of of 57.7 m €, with an annual turnover of € 208.3 m, up 27% from the year before. North America accounted for nearly a third of their annual sales.
In their press release, Gameloft credited the success in part to the strong performance of their mobile titles, which accounted for over half of their annual numbers. They cited popular Q4 releases like Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour, World at Arms, and My Little Pony. They also credited several older titles that were still performing well, and specifically named Order Chaos Online as one such title, a welcome name-drop for those interested in the long-term health of the game.
India Porting Studio Shut Down
News also came out this week that Gameloft had shut down one of their development studios. According to Gamasutra, on January 29th the Hyderabad studio in India, a studio that employed some 250 programmers, was suddenly and completely shut down in the space of an afternoon, with only some lunchtime rumors to foreshadow the closure.
No reason has been publicly offered for the closure — indeed, Gamasutra reports that Gameloft officially refuses to acknowledge the story. And the story actually gets weirder, in that Gameloft reportedly tried to make the closure into a forced mass resignation, demanding that employees sign voluntary resignation letters that afternoon. This last part is according to anonymous sources who claim to be some of those who got the boot that day.
Hyderabad’s job was reportedly to act as a porting studio; they were given Gameloft’s games for iOS and tasked with porting them to Android. Frankly, if they were the studio responsible for all the buggy, long-delayed Android ports of Order and Chaos, maybe it was better they were shut down, because those were some pretty shoddy port jobs. There’s no telling how this closure will affect the speed and quality of future ports of OnC or any other game; presumably Gameloft has shifted that task somewhere else, especially given this next news item …
Gameloft Titles To Launch With Blackberry 10
One big piece of mobile news this week was the relaunch of the Blackberry, the once mighty king of mobile that had fallen low in recent years. And as part of the Blackberry 10 operating system launch, Gameloft announced on Friday that it would be porting some of its most popular current titles to the new platform.
Sadly, neither Order and Chaos nor Heroes of Order and Chaos were on the list; instead, titles like N.O.V.A. 3, Ice Age Village, and Modern Combat were on the short list. Still, it’s promising news to mobile MMORPG fans who are interested in a Blackberry to know that Gameloft is already moving onto the new OS; and assuming the new Blackberrys don’t flop, a port of OnC or HOnC is possible in the future.
For more on pocket-sized MMORPGs, check out the Massively Portable podcast.