Nexon Looks West

Tokyo-based powerhouse developers NEXON have been admittedly focused on western studios as of late. After a few key team acquisitions from the United States, it seems the Eastern juggernauts are moving forward quickly with their infiltration of western video game studios. More surprisingly, it seems to be fueled by extremely positive motivations.

“I’m hopeful. I see more developers who are talking about making games that are very high quality, highly differentiated, and last a long time. Those are the things that drive Nexon. As I’ve said before, I wish our industry had a lot more of that.” Nexon CEO Owen Mahoney told VentureBeat in an interview at GDC this past month when asked what he was looking for at the conference.

Nexon currently develops/publishes a handful of titles on anyone’s Top-Grossing list, especially when considering the market size difference between NA and Asia, this is an astounding feat. They’ve recently settled up in their acquisition of PlayFusion out of the US, and it feels as though Nexon is earnestly looking to expand products worldwide to improve, which is rare in an era of take-overs and the absorption of the West.

What do you think about Nexon grabbing up western talent? Speak up on Twitter, and let’s have a chat! Write us at @AdrianCrook

– Wyatt Fossett | @W_Fossett

Compulsion Loop
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Archer Dash 2

Luke Tinius

Why Play? Archer Dash 2 is a charmingly retro and addictive endless runner/jumper with a bullet-time archery mechanic—you’re constantly as worried about careful jumping as you are about precision arrow volleys. Easy to learn but hard to master. They monetize on opt-in ads, offering a myriad of pixelated characters to unlock, and feast on your drive for a high score through three difficulties. Consistent, polished, uncomplicated fun that emphasizes a soft sell.

– Isaac Calon | @AdrianCrook

Google Play App Store
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Rival Gears Racing

ShortRound Games

Why Play? Rival Gears Racing is a very slick endless runner disguised as an almost CSR-style racing game, except with hover cars. The art and soundtrack are somewhere between The Matrix and Blade Runner and the overall package is very well put together. The pivot on the standard endless runner is that in most cases you are actually on the track with an AI car trying to beat them to the finish line using boosts, your car customization and of course some skill. Races also allow users to bet soft currency against the opponent. It looks good, sounds good and plays great.

– Chris Cervantes  | @SaveVsFail

Google Play App Store
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Charming Keep

Mighty Games

Why Play? One part clicker, two parts ode to Tiny Tower, and 100% the most adorable art style you’ve ever borne witness to; Charming Keep does it’s named proud. It’s both ridiculously charming and keeps you coming back for more. The idea is simply to build an amazing castle while the amazing women are off rescuing the useless men, earning as much coin as possible. Each floor comes with a unique theme, and there are roughly a gazillion things to upgrade to see your way to a mountain of gold.

– Wyatt Fossett | @W_Fossett

Google Play App Store
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Rabbids Crazy Rush

Ubisoft Ent.

Why Play? Rabbids crazy rush is a hilariousover-the-top runner that – right from the start – highlights the best of what the genre can offer. Firstly, RCR employs a linear level-map model instead of the single-track ‘get more meters’ model, and this choice helps progression feel more concrete. The Rabbids theme is quite funny and brought to life through great animationsvocalizations, and music. The vehicles and absurd suits that you collect through their gacha system, tell a similar hilarious tale. If you enjoy runners and wackiness, look no further.

– Matthew Emery | @AdrianCrook

Google Play App Store
Compulsion Loop

CompulsionLoop is AC+A’s (adriancrook.com) weekly pursuit of providing a Featured List for those in the games industry. A look at the latest must-play apps, along with short, useful takeaways from our team of game design and product experts. If you have a game that you think your industry colleagues should try, we’d love to hear about it at games@compulsionloop.com. Don’t forget to tell us why industry insiders should be compelled to try out the game (see what we did there?).

Know a game that you think others should play? Let us know and tell us why we should play it.

Thank you for reading and we look forward to helping you discover more games that you can glean learnings from. Feel free to reply to this email or contact games@compulsionloop.com — we’re always happy to hear from you.

Have a great week!

- Adrian Crook www.adriancrook.com