With the growing business opportunities available on the Asha and Windows Phone platforms, we have been reviewing our developer content programs to see how we can maximize our support to you, our developers. As a result of this review, we have decided to focus our support and investment in new content toward Asha and Windows Phone. Over the next few months we will be transitioning our active developer support away from Symbian and MeeGo.
If you have Symbian and MeeGo content in the Nokia Store, it will continue to be available for download to customers, and you will continue to receive download and revenue reports as well as payouts for downloaded content. However, starting January 1, 2014, you will no longer be able to publish any new content or update existing content for Symbian and MeeGo.
The Symbian Signed program will also close on January 1, 2014. If you have any unused paid technical support tickets, you may use them for Windows Phone or Asha developer support.
We are very excited about the opportunities available with Asha and Windows Phone, and hope that you, our Symbian and MeeGo developers, will bring your talents to these platforms. We believe that these changes will help improve our ability to support you as you develop fantastic apps for your customers.
When we witness developer success, we want to share it with the community in the hope it will be a catalyst for others! Recently, Game Insight, developer and publisher of free-to-play games, saw its business grow with its first foray into developing games for Nokia devices and Windows Phone 8. Starting with city-builder My Country and role-playing adventure Rule the Kingdom, the company has already surpassed $500,000 in revenue from more than 700,000 Windows Phone 8 users this year.
So how did Moscow-based Game Insight experience such success with its first Windows Phone games? We asked Senior Business Development Vice President Darya Trushkina that question and she gave us a few insights:
Trushkina suggests creating high-quality content that keeps users engaged and doing so in a format that feels authentic to the region. Integral to this is customizing each game for each market, to make players feel that the experience was built specifically for them.
Lean on Nokia
Make use of regional Nokia developer teams (like Game Insight did in Russia and China), who may be able to provide marketing support, including prime spots in the Store, cross-promotion opportunities as well as social media support. They can also help with local market insights and feedback to help ensure an app is successful with consumers in the target market.
As a small developer, Game Insight found this hands-on approach from Nokia’s regional teams to be key to limiting marketing expenses and increasing each game’s overall revenues. Encouraged by the success of their first titles on Windows Phone, the company is now looking to replicate that success in additional markets across the globe as well as expand development for Windows Phone 8 and Nokia devices.
Unless you’ve been living in a cave without internet access for the past year or so, you’ve probably noticed that all-things Zombies are really, really hot right now. The team at Oxford-based Rebellion studios knows this very well, leading the charge when it comes to the zombie-shooter genre.
Co-founded by brothers Jason and Chris Kingsley more than 20 years ago, Rebellion is an indie games developer that creates immersive titles for gamers using PCs, consoles and mobile including Windows Phone 8 devices.
Have a look at the video below to hear directly from Jason and Chris about their games in the Windows Phone Store, and then read on to discover some of the secrets to their success …
As Jason points out: “When we say ‘free to play’, we do mean that people can download the game and play it from start to finish and not pay us a thing, which I think is brilliant value.”
At the same time, if a player wants bigger guns, or to move faster in the game, or skip levels, there are options for purchases within the games to meet those needs.
Working with Nokia
The team at Rebellion was introduced to Nokia by colleagues from Microsoft, and over the past year or so, Rebellion has developed a strong working relationship with both companies.
“We have always kept an eye on the technology scene. Nokia has always been up there in our minds as a partner to work with, and increasingly the phones are getting more computer game/console-like. And that’s getting more exciting for us,” Jason said. “Nokia are producing the type of technology which allows us to put our major games technology on to it, and deliver the kind of experience people like,” he added.
“The support from Nokia has been amazing. We really didn’t expect this level from publishers, from hardware guys,” said Chris Kingsley, Rebellion CTO. “It’s great for us to get the support that we do because it is really good for you as a company, it means other people believe in the quality and the game play and what you are doing is worthwhile,” he added.
The ease of the Windows Phone platform
At the same time, they have an obvious comfort level with the Windows Phone platform, too.
“We’ve been [making games] for 20 years … so making games for Windows Phone is very easy if you’re doing stuff for other Windows platforms,” Chris said. “So it is really a bit of a no-brainer for us.”
Jason agreed, adding: “The technology that is in the phone is broadly similar to what we have on consoles. At some stage it will probably catch up … and that means we can make the kind of complex, in-depth and interesting games that we have been interested in doing on the PC, and we can introduce them to a different form factor.”
There is also a difference when it comes to app testing. “The base line [of Nokia Windows Phones] is very powerful so we can build up from there,” Chris said. “We don’t have to worry about the level of fragmentation so we don’t have to dumb our games down. We don’t have to QA millions and millions of different types of hardware.”
What does the future hold for Rebellion?
“There’s no doubt that Windows Phone will continue to succeed as a gaming platform,” said Jason. “They [Microsoft] have put games at the forefront of the Windows store, and helped developers like us spread the word about our games through PR and social media.”
Jason adds: “Our most recent Windows Phone game – Zombie HQ – can also be played using an Xbox controller on Windows RT and Windows 8. We think lots of developers will really get behind features like this, and it’s just another reason for us to bring more games to Windows Phone in the future.”
Every day from now until the close of Mini Missions 1 & 2 (Sept 30, 11:59pm PST), we are giving you the opportunity to get your hands on some sweet, sweet bundles of Nokia swag. We’ve got Nokia Developer backpacks, jackets, and Nokia Create t-shirts that we know you’re already craving.
As part of our ongoing efforts to provide developers with the most useful tools and services, we are introducing our new GitHub account, which you can find here: https://github.com/nokia-developer. This new account will replace our older system, Nokia Developer Projects, and over the next few months, we will be transitioning all Projects activities to GitHub and begin ramping down Nokia Developer Projects. The last day that Projects will be available is October 31st, 2013.
The winners of our Future/Capture competition were announced this past weekend in Lund, Sweden, where10 teams took part in the exclusive 27-hour Hackathon and transformed their ideas into working Windows Phone applications.
We’re happy to announce that DVLUP, our developer rewards initiative, is expanding into five additional countries. Earlier, the DVLUP beta launched in Canada, the U.K., and the United States. We are now making it available to developers in Australia, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Italy, and Vietnam. [Update: Egypt will be launching later, but isn't available yet. DVLUP is available to developers in Vietnam now, though.]
DVLUP lets you show off your chops to the Developer community, earn badges and points for your development efforts and community support, and trade in your points for rewards like merchandising for your app, new devices, gift cards, t-shirts, an d more.
Here’s the introduction to our two final Nokia Future/Capture hackathon entrants, Rahat Yasir and Chris Mack.
Along with the other 8 teams that we’ve profiled in the last few weeks, they will be coding this weekend in Lund, Sweden, bringing their imaging apps ideas for Nokia Lumia 1020 to fruition. They are in for a chance to win the grand prize of a trip to an upcoming Nokia event, a Nokia Lumia 1020 and promotions for their creation. Stay tuned via @nokiadeveloper Twitter to find out how the event unfolds.